Featured Blogger: Molly On the Road

Hi everyone! My name is Molly, and I’m not the traveler who quit her job to see the world. I’m a student almost done with my degree, and I intend to create my own life of travel from scratch. The majority of my travels have been throughout South America, and that won’t be changing any time soon—it now feels like home, and my goal is to bring to light all of the incredible travel destinations in South America and make them shine. 

1. First of all, what are your website and social media links?

Of course, first things first! Molly On the RoadFacebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

2. How did you come up with your website name?

My website name grew from my love of Jack Kerouac and his book “On the Road,” and the site was created right after I took the most incredible road trip through the American West with my best friends. It was the happiest, freest, and most alive I had ever felt, and I wanted to build my blog in that spirit.

3. What more can you tell us about your blog? What are your goals or intentions for it?

The focus of my blog so far (other than one road trip article) has been on travel throughout South America. I’ve been to 6 countries on the continent, and I have immediate plans to visit more. After several months there, South America has started to feel like home to me, and living on the road in the most incredible place made me truly happy. I also want to focus more on sustainable and responsible travel, since tourism can have really negative effects in so many areas of the world. I want to write for the mindful traveler looking to broaden their horizons to South America, one of the most underrated regions on Earth.

I also want to monetize, and not “quit my job to travel the world” but create a life of travel from scratch. I’ll be done with my degree soon and unleash myself into the real world, and my goal is to make something viable enough from Molly on the Road to support my own version of the “real world.”

4. Can you provide us with a Throw Back Thursday picture of one of your favorite travel memories with an explanation? 

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This photo was taken at the Grand Canyon on my aforementioned road trip. We were incredibly rushed, so I love that photo because it looks so calm. In one day, my friends and I drove from San Diego, California, to Durango, Colorado—and somehow we managed to make a quick pit stop at Grand Canyon National Park for under an hour to take a few pictures. It was a great memory because being from Minnesota, we just simply don’t have this kind of geography. It was the first National Park I had visited, and it sparked my desire to visit even more in the US and around the world.

5. Which are your favorite and least favorite cities you’ve traveled to? Why?

My favorite city is either New Orleans, Louisiana, or Cusco, Peru, and for both I can attribute my affinity for them to their incredibly vibrant cultures. In both cities, the food is fantastic and the streets are alive, and they are both centers of a heritage that extends far beyond their limits. Their atmospheres are truly incredible.

My least favorite city was probably Buenos Aires, even though I lived there for several months. It has its beauty, but it has a lot of ugliness, too. I eventually learned to get past my bad first impression of the city and enjoy myself to the fullest, but I learned a lot about myself and my preferences during that trip. Lesson #1: I am not a big city girl.

6. What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten? Where?

In Ecuador I tried Cuy, which is what English-speakers know to be Guinea Pig. I was a vegetarian at the time, but I had a moment of “YOLO” and decided that I needed the experience this delicacy before I left. I don’t regret it, but I definitely didn’t enjoy it!

7. Who are your travel idols?

I have quite a few! As I mentioned earlier, Jack Kerouac is my cliche muse that inspired some of the ideas behind Molly on the Road. I also take a lot of advice and guidance from the blogs of Adventurous Kate and Alex in Wonderland, who have consistently produced high quality content while maintaining crazy lives on the road. I could only hope to be half the writer that they each have been over the years.

8. What’s your best travel tip?

Don’t listen to the fears of people who have never visited a destination, and even if they have, take it with a grain of salt. Everyone has different experiences, and just because Colombia had a drug problem 30 years ago or there used to be a massive war in Vietnam, doesn’t mean that they are still dangerous places for travelers. Trust your instincts, be a smart traveler, and have no fear.

9. Which is your favorite post you’ve written? Please provide a link.

One of my favorite posts I’ve written is called Why I Decided to Study Abroad in South America…Twice. I highlight why I think its important to explore more than just one country in a region to broaden your perspective, and why now is the best time to travel to South America simply because there are many things to see that just won’t be around for our generation’s grandchildren.

10. What advice would you give to someone new to travel blogging?

Don’t get discouraged just because the industry is pretty saturated. There is still room for niche bloggers, you just have to find your voice. I’m still following this advice myself as a beginner, but I’ve already seen drastic changes in my following and I can feel something coming up on the horizon. I can’t wait to see where travel blogging brings me!

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