This week we peek into the world of Molly from Travel With Molly!
1. First of all, what are your website and social media links?
2. How did you come up with your website name?
A very boring story – Molly’s my nickname, and I wanted a blog name that would be simple and easy for people to remember. Travel With Molly was the simplest, easiest thing I came up with!
3. What more can you tell us about your blog? What are your goals or intentions for it?
My blog started life as a way for me to both document my own travels, and to engage with other travellers. I was completely new to blogging – I’d done a bit of writing before, but just for myself, and putting it out there on the internet was a pretty scary experience! I felt much more confident with my photography, though, and I made a conscious decision to make the blog a very visual one. I do love travel writing, but to me it will always be secondary to the image.
I’ve been blogging for about nine months now, and I feel like I’m just starting to find my voice and to establish my little ‘niche’ in the massive sea of travel blogs that are out there! When I first started, I wanted to cover everything, do everything, see everything, and it’s just not possible! I’ve actually learnt a lot about my style of travelling from doing the blog. I’m much more of a city / cultural / arty kind of traveller than an outdoors / adventure kind of traveller. Now, I think, that’s beginning to show, not only in the kind of things I’m posting but also in the general style of the blog.
Looking ahead, I have so many plans! My most exciting project at the moment (which will be launching soon – you’re the first to hear about it!) is The Bookshop Lover’s Guide to Europe. As well as being passionate about art and photography, I’m also a real bookworm, and I work part-time in an independent bookshop. I love seeking out independent, quirky, specialist bookshops wherever I go, and this section on the blog will be almost like a directory of personal recommendations. I’m hoping to get other travellers to contribute as well, and obviously it will be an ongoing project – since the whole idea is that I (or another blogger) will have actually visited these places. Anyone can look up shops on the internet – I want this to be more engaging and personal.
In more general terms….I want to carry on enjoying it! There’ll maybe be some raised eyebrows if I say that I’m genuinely not that bothered about making money from it. Sure, it would be lovely, and I would never say no! But it’s not the reason I’m doing it. I do it because I love doing it – I love learning from it, and I love sharing my experiences and my journey with others. My aim is to continue doing that as well as I can, and to have fun doing it! Life’s too short for anything else……
4. Can you provide us with a Throw Back Thursday picture of one of your favorite travel memories with an explanation?
This TBT picture was taken earlier this year, at the closing parade of the Carnaval de Nice at the end of February. I hadn’t been sure what to expect – I’d never been before – but the scale of it, the colours, the noise, the music, and the party atmosphere was just incredible! I’m hoping to go back next year, but this photo always reminds me of what an amazing day it was. (You can see more photos from the Carnaval at http://travelwithmolly.com/2014/03/05/carnaval-de-nice-in-pictures/.)
5. Which are your favorite and least favorite cities you’ve traveled to? Why?
My favourite…..oh, this is difficult! I’m a real city person. My absolute favourite would probably be Paris. I love the history, the culture, the food, the people – it’s such a vibrant city. My least favourite was probably York. It rained all day (not that the weather was York’s fault), and although it had some lovely old streets and, of course, the Minster, I just didn’t find it that friendly. I’m glad I went, but I wouldn’t rush back.
6. What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten? Where?
I’m a wimp when it comes to strange food. The weirdest thing I’ve ever eaten was sea urchins in Nice – which actually weren’t that weird at all. Just salty.
7. Who are your travel idols?
My biggest travel idol is also my biggest photography idol – Germaine Krull (1897-1985). Not nearly as well known as she should be, she was an incredible photographer who travelled all over the world at a time when it wasn’t particularly easy to do so. She captured the world around her in portraits, journalistic reportage, industrial abstracts and montages, and street scenes – a world that included Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris, the South of France, Brazil, the Republic of Congo (then French Equatorial Africa), Algiers, and Bangkok. She travelled – and took photographs – in order to see, rather than just look. If I could ever come close to achieving that like she did, I would be very happy!
8. What’s your best travel tip?
Be curious. I love travel planning – probably more than most people! – but the best discoveries are usually hiding just around a corner that isn’t marked on the map. Every so often, get your nose out of the guide book and follow it wherever it wants to go. Be prepared to make detours, to abandon plans, and to be spontaneous. You’ll have a more memorable, more exciting, and more unique trip because of it.
9. Which is your favorite post you’ve written? Please provide a link.
My favourite post was the result of taking some of my own advice! On my first trip to Paris, I knew I wanted to spend time on the Left Bank – and instead of following any kind of itinerary or set route through the labyrinth of streets that make up the Latin Quarter and St Germain, I got myself well and truly lost. You can read all about it, and see the photographs, at http://travelwithmolly.com/2014/07/23/strolling-along-the-left-bank/
10. What advice would you give to someone new to travel blogging?
Blog about your passion. I know, I know….your passion is travel. But there are an awful lot of travel blogs out there. What’s going to make yours stand out?
I get that most people are wary of too much specialisation – of forcing themselves into a niche that they can’t get out of. But if you’re passionate about what you’re writing / photographing / experiencing, then it will show. Ask yourself why it is that you travel. Is it to learn? To make a difference through volunteering? To make the most of precious weekends off? Do you travel for a particular thing – art, or wildlife, or history, or food? Do you have a knowledge and a love for a particular region or country? Do you love taking your kids with you to show them the world? Do you love travelling solo?
Great. Bring that into your blog. You don’t have to write every single post on that subject, but use it as a guide; a kind of cornerstone that your blog is based around. I’ve based my blog around my love of photography, with other passions – art, culture, books, history – coming in second. Whatever else happens on my blog, the image has to be good! Find your passion, find your niche, and go from there.
And enjoy it!!!