Hey there! This week I’ve got Amanda from Chasing My Sunshine – she’s a part-time traveler, currently in graduate school in Philadelphia. Check her out!
1. First of all, what are your website and social media links?
I blog at Chasing My Sunshine (http://www.chasingmysunshine.com/) and I spend far too much time on both Twitter (https://twitter.com/SunshineChasing) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/sunshinechasing/). Although I’ve got a healthy dose of Pinterest (https://www.pinterest.com/ChasingMySun/) thrown in there too.
2. How did you come up with your website name?
I was going through a pretty negative slump in my life. Grad school was really getting me down. I started to realize that traveling made me so, insanely happy. And sharing those stories was super fun! I’m always on the move, so I thought Chasing My Sunshine would allude to me chasing what makes me happy and just making things work. Plus I am a summer lover, so I am always literally chasing sunshine.
3. What more can you tell us about your blog? What are your goals or intentions for it?
I’ve recently had a big realization with my blog. I read tons of “Top Things to do in X Location” posts that I totally love. I use them for inspiration and planning. But I really like the more storytelling side of travel blogging too. And I don’t know why I wasn’t writing what I’d want to read! So this year my goal is to really hone my story telling skills. I’d love to increase readers and page views, but having a creative outlet is the #1 most important thing for me.
4. Can you provide us with a Throw Back Thursday picture of one of your favorite travel memories with an explanation?
Two words: San. Francisco. I feel so head over heels in love with this city that every time I look at a picture from that trip I just melt into happiness. There are moments when your whole body just feels at ease, your heart kind of soars, and your brain takes a much needed break. San Francisco was that for me. I got to spend the whole week with my boyfriend just exploring and being happy. Ah! It was the best.
5. Which are your favorite and least favorite cities you’ve traveled to? Why?
Favorite: you can see above for that one! Least favorite? I actually really didn’t like Florence, Italy. I don’t know if it’s because I was mid-semester in Rome and totally in love with THAT Italian city. But I found that a lot of people just assumed I didn’t want to try to speak Italian. And it just felt more touristy than I would’ve liked. I’d like to give it a second try, though. Perhaps it was where I was staying or the time of year I visited.
6. What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten? Where?
I don’t know if I’ve eaten anything super duper strange! I used to be such a picky eater so Escargot was quite a jump for me. I ate it at a restaurant in Paris with a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower, so at least that was picturesque. And the escargot wasn’t half bad! So I guess I’ve got to get to more adventurous eating, huh?
7. Who are your travel idols?
Ooh this is a good question! You know, I’ve really got to shout out to Kristin from Be My Travel Muse (http://www.bemytravelmuse.com/) and Brenna from This Battered Suitcase (http://www.thisbatteredsuitcase.com/). They’ve really changed the way I look at travel blogging, as well as traveling in general. Just love ‘em!
8. What’s your best travel tip?
I don’t know how people don’t use AirBnB by now. It seriously changed the way I travel. Traveling on a budget? Boom. You’ve got a kitchen you can cook in. Want to travel like a local? Heck, you’re staying with somebody who can give you the best recommendations! Seriously, I’m in love. As long as you read through reviews carefully, I don’t see any reason why there would be a problem. You just have to be smart! (I don’t know if you want to put this in but I have a link for $20 off your first stay! I would get $20 too, so no worries! www.airbnb.com/c/afolk1?s=8)
9. Which is your favorite post you’ve written?
Can I have a tie? They’re both recent but I love my posts on my 2016 Travel Resolution (http://www.chasingmysunshine.com/travel-resolution/) and the way that I Slow Travel, this post specifically for Austin (http://www.chasingmysunshine.com/slow-travel-austin/). The slow travel post kind of sparked me figuring out my travel style, whereas the resolution post just gets me so totally amped for this year. Plus I’ve still got a couple months to figure out so that’s really fun too!
10 What advice would you give to someone new to travel blogging?
It is so easy to get caught up in “Find your niche!” “Get the page views!” “What do your readers want?” “SEO!” Dude. Don’t forget why you started a travel blog in the first place. It can be really easy to start comparing yourself to other bloggers and I’ve been there before, and it’s not always a fun place. Do this for you first. Your readers come second.