Aspiring Travel Writer of the Week: Lois Strachan of Beyond Sight Blog
Lois’ website is Beyond Sight Blog and was launched in June 2015.
Bio: When I was 6 years old I decided I wanted to go everywhere in the world and meet everyone. When I became blind at 21 that dream didn’t change. I am a motivational speaker, author, blogger, podcaster, disability consultant and sometime rock musician whose purpose is to show that disability does not mean inability. And that purpose is reflected in almost all the work I do.
While travel is not the only focus of my blog, it’s certainly the one that I have most fun writing. My interest in accessible travel – travel for persons with disabilities – has recently led me to host a bi-monthly podcast, A Different Way of Travelling – where I interview travelers from across the spectrum of disabilities about the tools and techniques they use to help them travel. My books include an illustrated children’s series, “The Adventures of Missy Mouse”, and a memoir, “A Different Way of Seeing: A Blind Woman’s Journey of Living an ‘Ordinary'” Life in an Extraordinary Way.
Here is Lois’ Q&A About her Life as a Travel Blogger
Lois is a part-time blogger and podcaster.
If Part-Time, what is your day job? Motivational speaker and disability consultant.
How long have you been a blogger/writer/photographer? 5 years.
Where do you call home? Cape Town, South Africa.
How many countries have you been to? 22 so far.
How many continents have you been to? 4.
Top 5 destinations on your travel to do list: Egypt, India, Morocco, Tanzania, China.
Earliest travel memory: Flying to Durban, South Africa from UK to visit my grandparents– I kept insisting I wanted to sleep on the floor of the aircraft with the tray tables down. I must have been 3 years old at the time. Now I wish I could apologies to my remarkably patient parents for that incident – I must have been such a pest!
Favorite Travel Blogger: Shirley Longmire
Favorite Travel Photographer: Since I’m blind I’m not sure I’m qualified to answer this question. But, if I had to pick one, I’d say my husband, Craig, who provides many of the images for my blog. Or is that favoritism?
Favorite Travel Blog/s or Website/s: With my niche being accessible travel, I tend to spend the most time on sites that provide information for travelers with disabilities. My current favorites are Accessible Travel Forum, Spin the Globe and Accessible South Africa, the platform for whom I host the travel podcast. Or is that also favoritism?
Paragraph about the trip that turned you from a vacationer to a traveler: I’m honestly not sure how to answer this – I’m not sure I’ve ever been anything but a traveler.
Paragraph about the trip that turned you into a travel writer/blogger/photographer:
I’d been blogging for a little over a year when people started asking questions about how and why I travel since I can’t engage with destinations in the usual way because of my blindness. After my next overseas trip, which was to Poland, I started trying to explain why I still love travel and the way I experience the places I go to in my blog.
My first steps to become a travel blogger & podcaster:
My first step was the need to overcome the mindset that people wouldn’t be interested in how I engage with travel. Despite being asked that question on a regular basis, I found it hard to believe that people would want to know about how and why I travel.
I am an independent traveler: I am focused on organized media trips. At this stage I am an independent traveler. Who knows what will happen in the future?
The social media platform driving the most traffic to my site is: My Facebook page.
My top tip to use Facebook for traffic: Tap into people’s curiosity – there’s so much information out there that they will only engage with what draws them in.
My favorite tool/app for social media: Facebook – it’s the only one I feel I’m truly getting to grips with; I’m on Twitter but don’t feel I’m using it effectively; and I haven’t even had the courage to look at Instagram yet, even though I know I really ought to.
Favorite Travel Blogger Facebook Group: I’m embarrassed to say I have only recently thought about looking for travel blogger Facebook groups – definitely something for me to investigate further.
If only I had the time, I’d do/finish…… : Join and play with Instagram, for sure.
My top tip for aspiring travel writers and bloggers!
Define your audience – if you try to speak to everyone you’ll probably end up speaking to no-one.
Best travel tip for travelers: Take the road less traveled – some of my best travel experiences have been when I’ve moved away from the usual tourist destinations.
Connect with Lois !
More Travel Blogger of the Week Features!
Aspiring Travel Writer of the Week: Maggie McKneely with Pink Caddy Travelogue
Aspiring Travel Writer of the Week: Jorge and Claudia with Travel Drafts
Aspiring Travel Writer of the Week: Jeremiah Pittmon of Smiles On Arrival
Nominate a friend (or yourself!) as our next Aspiring Travel Writer of the Week!
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/