For those who don’t know you and We Are Travel Girls tell us a little about yourselves.
Becky: I am the founder of popular female travel community We Are Travel Girls where we curate and publish stories from women traveling all over the world. We promote women’s blogs, we host meet-ups and events and are getting ready to launch our Travel With Us trips in Bali, Japan and Malawi! Before I started We Are Travel Girls I had a successful 10 year + career in finance in London, where I advised private clients on their investments. Having always had a huge love for travel I finally took the leap and left finance to pursue my dream of starting a travel company.
Vanessa: Hi! I’m Vanessa Rivers. I grew up on a ranch on the Central Coast of California and attended college at UC Santa Barbara, where I fell in love with surfing. Surfing led me around the world, and it was on one of these trips that I decided to combine my love of the ocean and nature to create an eco-friendly bikini line, SUMMERLOVE SWIMWEAR. I am currently based out of London, and spend much of my time traveling, documenting my adventures on GlitterandMud.com. Together with Becky, I am the Co-founder of WeAreTravelGirls.com. I have visited 35 countries and specialize in surf, snow and luxury travel, working with top brands such as Gansevoort Hotel Group, Four Seasons Hotels, Mandarin Oriental, Nikki Beach and 1 Hotel Group, just to name a few. I am a certified Ski and Snowboard instructor and I also give private surf lessons.
Tell Us How You Got Into Blogging & Creating The We Are Travel Girls Community
Becky: For as long as I can remember I wanted to be a travel writer, before blogs existed and everything we read was online I would go to travel writing seminars by writers who were published in the Rough Guides, Lonely Planet and Wanderlust magazine. I was desperate to write for one of these, but didn't know how to break into that industry. After university I ended up working in finance, but always had insatiable wanderlust and a desire to write about my travels.
In 2015, I was looking at ways to leave finance, and Vanessa, suggested starting a blog which would help for marketing if I ever wanted to start a travel company, a product or an app. So I set about creating a travel blog, in doing so I realized that was what every girl was doing, so I turned my attention to creating a community among these women. This led me to start @WeAreTravelGirls on Instagram, which has now grown to a community of over 200,000 followers. Which in turn led Vanessa and I to creating the company We Are Travel Girls.
Vanessa: I was working on my swimwear line and teaching surf lessons before I started travel blogging. Moving to Europe five years ago inspired me to start sharing my travel stories, and soon my hobby turned into a career as I quickly realized how passionate I was about sharing travel tips, experiences and advice. I met Becky during a design course at London College of Fashion and soon after we started she started the @WeAreTravelGirls Instagram page. The following grew rapidly so we decided to come together to launch WeAreTravelGirls.com and form the company together.
What Are Your Top 3 Favorite Destinations?
Becky: Some of my favorite places I have visited are India, Ecuador and Alaska.
Vanessa: I love love love Positano! I also love Ireland! And staying at Nihiwatu on Sumba Island in Indonesia was a dream come true!
Where Is Your Dream Destination & Why?
Becky: I would love to make it to Antarctica - I am sure everyone would! This would be a once in a lifetime trip, the wildlife, the landscape and being at the bottom of the world are all so appealing.
Vanessa: I am an avid surfer so I would love to go on a luxury surf trip to the Maldives. It is on the top of my bucket list!
Share A Bucket List Trip That Your Think Everyone Should Do In Their Lifetime
Becky: Visiting Lapland and staying in an Igloo & an Ice Hotel. I went to Finland last year with a group of girlfriends to spend 5 days exploring, seeing the northern lights, husky sledging, ice fishing, feeding reindeer, snowmobiling and so much more – you could spend two weeks here and still find things to do!
Vanessa: I think every girl should go on at least one solo trip to Bali! Bali is amazing and we are doing two We Are Travel Girls Bali Retreats this fall which create the perfect opportunity to “travel solo” and still have an awesome group of girls to hang with!
Share your favorite luxury boutique hotel in the world.
Becky: I recently visited Penang, Malaysia and fell in love with Cheong Fatt Tze, The Blue Mansion. It is one of the most unique hotels I’ve ever stayed in. Built in the late 1800’s, the mansion was originally the family home of Chinese businessman Cheong Fatt Tze. In modern terms, it’s one of the most “Instagrammable” buildings I’ve ever seen which has been converted to a luxury boutique hotel.
Vanessa: That is a tough question! I love so many but I think my favorite boutique hotel to date is Hotel Marincanto in Positano!
Please tell us one weird or funny fact about you that most people don’t know.
Becky: I am terrified of flying, which is not very convenient as a travel addict and blogger!
Vanessa: I am obsessed with Chapstick! I have to have it with me at all times! If I was stranded in the desert and could take one thing I would have a really hard time choosing between water and the Chapstick!
What do you miss most when you are on the road?
Becky: I have to admit I don’t miss many things. I have never been one to get homesick and I actually enjoy the simplicity of long term travel which makes you realize all the possessions, clothes and things we collect when living in one place are not always needed.
Vanessa: When I am on the road I miss my bed and my hubby! But he travels with me a lot so usually I just miss my bed with my very soft memory foam mattress topper! ;)
Do you have any advice for someone wanting to break into the travel blogging industry?
Becky: Try and look for a unique way to enter the industry. There are a lot of travel influencers now and it can be hard to stand out from the crowd – which is really why we started We Are Travel Girls. Be prepared to work hard if you want to turn it into a full time business, and try not to rush to monetize before you have created a dedicated audience. The size of your audience doesn’t necessarily need to be huge, but you want them to be engaged and posting too many promotions, early on will turn many people off. We waited for over a year before we considered any paid posts offers and created a business plan and strategy for monetizing our company.
Vanessa: This is a tough industry. It can sometimes take years of hard work with no pay before you start making money. You have to be extremely passionate and love what you do. You also have to work very hard and not give up!
Visit website: wearetravelgirls.com