Aspiring Travel Writer of the Week: Sarah Attaway
Blog Name & Start Date: Sarah Attaway launched Global Gal, January of 2015
Bio: Sarah is originally from Phoenix, Arizona and attended College of Charleston in South Carolina. She is currently an English teacher in Hanoi, Vietnam. Whenever she is not teaching, she uses her days off to explore Hanoi or elsewhere in Southeast Asia. She has plans to leave Hanoi in June to continue traveling before eventually relocated to Atlanta, Georgia. Her hobbies include discovering new restaurants, improving her photography and getting out of her comfort zone!
How long have you been a blogger/writer/photographer? I have been a blogger and writer since January 2015, so almost a year and a half. I would consider myself a photographer for about 5 months now because that’s when I actually started placing an emphasis on my photography and educating myself about how to use my camera.
Where do you call home? I am originally from Phoenix, Arizona. My parents still live there so it’s also my home base in the States. It’s where I still tell people I am from. However, my current home is Hanoi, Vietnam.
How many countries have you been to? 28 and have plans to visit 5-6 more by the end of the year.
How many continents have you been to? Three: North America, Europe and Asia.
Top 5 destinations on your travel to do list: Well, the ones I have planned for later this year obviously! These include Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan, Denmark and possible Laos. Otherwise, I’d say Peru, Turkey and anywhere in Africa for a Safari!
Earliest travel memory: My earliest memories are of visiting my grandparents. I had one set of grandparents in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and one set in Sea Island, Georgia. So just generally being with family in those places!
Favorite Travel Writer: I attended TBEX in Bangkok last fall and saw travel writer Don George speak. He read a travel story about a temple somewhere in Asia. I was memorized by his detailed descriptions and the way he evoked emotion in his writing. I remember wishing I could write like that.
Favorite Travel Blogger: I really love Margo from The Overseas Escape I’ve been following her website and career for almost a year now. She has expanded her audience, started selling guides, and launched a travel consultancy within that time. Basically, she’s doing what I would love to do.
Favorite Travel Photographer: Honestly, I’d say people I follow on Instagram! I am constantly finding new accounts that I love. Currently, I love Esther JuLee.
The trip that turned me from a vacationer to a traveler: After graduating college, myself and a girlfriend of mine took 5 weeks to travel through Vietnam and Thailand. That was the first time I’d really dedicated time to an entire country, as opposed to main cities within a country. Since then, I’d say my solo trip to Cambodia enhanced that even more. I spent almost 3 weeks exploring Phnom Penh, Kep, Kampot and Siem Reap. It was so great to take time in each place, have days just to relax around town in a cafe or on the beach. It makes you feel a little more permanent in a place.
The trip that turned you into a travel writer/blogger/photographer: In the spring of 2015, I spent a month in Antigua, Guatemala. At this point, I had already started my blog but it was just a side hobby. I never imagined people would actually read it, besides my family and close friends. I had been writing about previous travel memories at this point. It was my trip to Guatemala that gave me the opportunity to write about current travels. I began to use Global Gal as a way to give personal recommendations. It’s the first time my writing wasn’t just about random stories and the 1st time I realized I wanted my website to become so much more than it was.
My first steps to become a travel writer/blogger/photographer: My first step to become a travel writer/blogger was to change the way I wrote. I enjoy writers that balance personal information and logistical information about a place. My favorite writers are people who I feel like I could travel with or grab a glass wine with; however, it’s not all about them. I wanted to incorporate that into my writing as well. I was always a strong writer in college; however, I was writing research papers so the type of writing I was doing had to change.
The social media platform driving the most traffic to my site is: Facebook and Pinterest! It switches off day to day or month to month.
My favorite tool/app for social media: I really love Later for Instagram. Instagram is my favorite form of social media because I think it is the most social and friendly platform. It’s so beneficial to be able to plan Instagram ahead of time. Even though Later doesn’t post automatically for you, you can do all the work ahead of time, such as tagging people and creating your caption. Then Later reminds you to post the Instagram at your scheduled time.
My favorite WordPress plugin: I really like an Instagram widget. When I find a new blog, it makes it super easy to see if I want to follow that blogger on Instagram or not!
Favorite Travel Twitter Chat: I really need to be more active on Twitter! The one chat I have participated in a few times is #TravChat, which used to be called #ANZtravelchat. It takes place Wednesdays at 4pm my time in Vietnam so I can participate before heading to work! it’s a different travel topic each week.
Favorite Travel Blogger Facebook Group: My favorite group is easily Girls Vs. Globe. As the name suggests, it’s just for girls with an interest in travel. Many are travel bloggers, but not all of them are. The group is so supportive. Girls are constantly asking for personal recommendations about planning trips and members are always there to help. It’s also a great place to connect with other bloggers on projects or to share recent posts.
If only I had the time, I’d do/finish…… I have had “create media-kit” on my to-do list for a while now. I think I’ll finally get to it this week!
If I knew then what I know now! Sarah Attaway’s top tip for aspiring travel writers and bloggers! There is so much more to travel blogging and writing than meets the eye. We aren’t always laying on a tropical beach somewhere with a cocktail in hand. There is always something to do, whether it’s write a new post, pitch to another website, update a social media platform, comment on other blogs, edit photos, etc. It takes time and dedication. You can’t expect your blog to become big overnight.
Sarah Attaway’s best travel tip for travelers: Don’t judge others on how they travel. Some people want to spend the extra money on a nice dinner. Other people want to save $3 on a cheaper hostel room. Everyone has their own travel style and no one style is better than another! As long as you are happy with the way you travel, then all is good!
Connect with Sarah!
Sarah’s site is longer published.
Sarah Attaway’s article Hotel Review: The Nam Hai Hoi An, Vietnam was just featured on 52PerfectDays. Please check it out here: http://52perfectdays.com/ps-hotels/hotel-review-the-nam-hai-hoi-an/
Nominate a friend (or yourself!) as our next Aspiring Travel Writer of the Week!
If you have been blogging, writing or taking photos for less than 2 years or have less than 10,000 unique views per month to your website, I invite you to be a featured ATW (Aspiring Travel Writer) of the week. As ATW of the week you will be featured on my travel website, 52Perfectdays.com and the BreakintoTravelWriting.com website! Here are all the details! breakintotravelwriting.com/aspiring-travel-writer-of-the-week-guidelines/