In life I'm lucky enough to be surrounded by so many inspirational, wonderful women. In life, in work, in relationships, in blogging, in a thousand-and-one ways, I have a front row seat to observe so many people I adore absolutely crushing it. One such person is the divine Charlie, who I first met at a blog event a few years back, and who now is one of my dearest blog-friends here in London. She's clever, talented, oh-so-stylish and frequently makes me howl with laughter with a witty quip, a well-chosen gif, or a spot-on 'No Diggity' moment. The girl is gold, and I'm delighted to have her here on the blog today for an 'I Love Your Blog' feature. Take it away, Charlie!
|The lady herself! All pictures within the post are taken from Charlie's lovely blog, with her permission.|
1. How long have you been blogging?
About five years, but it was with a different domain name and nothing to do with what I write about now!
2. What do you blog about? Do you have a specific goal with your blog (i.e. reviewing products, promoting a business, transitioning into a writing / media career), or is it more a record of your life/a hobby?
I predominantly write about travel but have a good mix of lifestyle, food and general moaning thrown in! It started as a hobby but as I've grown and had more opportunities come from it, I definitely think about collaborations and paid gigs more than I used to.
3. What is your favourite thing about blogging?
The opportunities it has thrown my way. From being an ambassador for JK Rowling's charity, Lumos, to staying in amazing hotels for free, and of course, meeting some of my most dear friends (including you!).
4. What is your least favourite thing about blogging?
SEO. Oh my god I hate all the stupid tagging and naming conventions and all that stuff. I'm also not a huge fan of editing photos, but I love how they look when I'm done so it's worth it in the end.
5. Do you have any favourite posts on your blog – pieces you’re really proud of, which document something special, or which seemed to strike a chord with your readers?
I really enjoy writing travel pieces that have a personal touch. My pieces on the Kindness of Strangers and Feeling Homesick went down really well and they were so cathartic to write that I was relieved to find that people could relate to them. Often my posts that are written on a whim, often whilst I'm seething with rage (like my one on Tampon Tax), get shared a lot, which is kind of hilarious. I genuinely just love to share my travel experiences, especially insights into how I travel alone and the weird places I go *cough* panda sanctuary*cough*
6. Whose blogs do you love? I’m always looking for recommendations :)
Aside from the beautiful Bangarang gals, I absolutely adore Angloyankophile - Jaime is so relatable, friendly and honest, and has a beautiful aesthetic. Other regular reads include Lily Lipstick, Absolutely Lucy, Annie Bishop, Flash Anthology, I Want You To Know and Sophie Cliff as they are all foodie/travel/fashion GOALS. Bookmark all of them!
7. I love your travel posts – where is your favourite place to visit?
HARDEST QUESTION EVER. So I'm going to give a couple, soz. I am fascinated with China and have been lucky enough to see a fair bit of it. It is so different to anywhere else in the world so if you're looking to get out of your comfort zone and #travel, that's the place to be. New Zealand is absolutely stunning and there is SO much to do there. I spent a month there and still didn't do as much as I wanted to! I also love Tasmania and Norway for scenery, friendly people and awesome seafood.
8. I was so impressed by your solo travels earlier this year. Would you recommend travelling like this? What did you enjoy the most about it, and was there anything that was especially tricky?
I recommend solo everything, to be honest. If you want to see something, see it. Whether that's a country, a movie, a gig - just go and don't regret it!
The bit I enjoy most about solo travelling is going at my own pace but also having such special moments all to myself. I remember being stood in front of the Giant Buddha on Lantau Island in Hong Kong all by myself and just loving that this experience was all mine - nobody else's. It honestly made me well up and THAT was the point I knew I wanted to travel more (that was March 2014). I also enjoy making a tit of myself and not worrying about anyone around me caring, like singing Beyonce at the top of my lungs whilst cycling around the city walls of Xi'an and people CLEARLY thinking I was this bonkers white girl and staying well away from me!
I think the trickiest thing is just knowing where you are. You have nobody else to rely on to know if you're on the right bus, walking into a dodgy area or getting ripped off by a market trader. You really have to have your wits about you, but if you're switched on and have a bit of common sense, you should be fine!
9. Where is next on your travel 'to do' list?
Oh lord. So many plans, not enough time or money! I'm going to South Africa in December, but 2017 plans currently include Budapest, Lisbon, Iceland and Japan. I'm also trying to squeeze in an Easter trip to Oman, and would love to spend new year 2017 with a friend who lives in LA and then head to Jamaica to see my dad. Please don't ask me how I intend to fund all of this because I am hugely in denial.
10. What tips do you have for bloggers growing and nurturing their blogs?
If you compare yourself to other bloggers, make it proactive. Don't copy them but be inspired to work harder and improve certain aspects you're maybe not as strong at. Do it for you and don't be disheartened. Zoella wasn't built in a day!
What an inspiring note to end on! Thank you so much for your brilliant answers, lovely Charlie.