Aspiring Travel Writer of the Week: Bob Bales of The Traveling Fool
Bob’s website is The Traveling Fool and was launched in 2011.
Bio: Born with a passion of learning about the history of different cultures, Bob Bales (aka The Traveling Fool) enjoys discovering people and places he finds off the beaten path that most tourists don’t know about. Often found with a cigar in one hand and a good whiskey in the other, Bob likes to write about what makes those people and places he visits special. From Europe to Asia and North America there is always a history and story to be told.
Here is Bob’s Q&A About his Life as a Travel Blogger
Bob is a full-time travel writer.
How long have you been a travel writer? I Started part-time in 2011 since then I have retired from working overseas and went full time as a travel writer
Where do you call home? Houston, Texas
How many countries have you been to? 31.
How many continents have you been to? 5.
Top 5 destinations on your travel to do list: Philippines, Ireland, Scotland, Japan, Vietnam.
Earliest travel memory: Family camping vacation in Colorado.
Favorite Travel Writer: I think I have to go with Papa, Ernest Hemingway. While he was not a traditional travel writer many of his stories focused on foreign locations or expat life and they always transported me to some far away place.
Favorite Travel Blogger: There are a lot of really good travel bloggers but one of the first travel bloggers I followed was Matthew Karsten of expertvagabond.com
Favorite Travel Photographer: Gary Arndt. It’s hard to argue about someone who has multiple awards and has photographed all around the world.
>>>> Related Post: How to Build Authority as a Travel Writer with Gary Arndt (Part 1)
Matthew Karsten from Expertvagabond.com
Jodi Ettenberg from Legalnomads.com
Derek Baron from WanderingEarl.com
Deb and Dave of ThePlanetD.com
The trip that turned you from a vacationer to a traveler: I think it started on my early family vacations. We would camp at National and State Parks and on one trip we pulled into a State Park in Colorado. The park was full and my dad spoke with the ranger about where we might could go. After a few minutes he returned to the car and we followed the ranger up a dirt road to a mountain cabin with a private lake that turned out to be the Rangers personal property. He let us stay there for a week without paying him anything, enjoying the area, fishing in the lake and using his facilities. That taught me to just put yourself out there, talk to people and you can discover some really great places.
The trip that turned you into a travel writer: I would come home from working and traveling overseas and friends would ask me about where I had been. Many had never been far from home and were always amazed that I could travel to what they deemed “exotic” locations. I decided to start a blog in my spare time to tell those stories about travel to others.
Your first steps to become a travel writer: I actually stalked other travel bloggers online. I asked Matthew Karsten, Derek Baron and others about how to start, the mechanics of what I needed to do and they were gracious enough to explain things to me.
Are you an independent traveler or do you participate in organized media trips? I do both. I go on organized media trips, work with CVB’s and DMO’s for individual trips and sometimes just plan a trip on my own and go somewhere.
The social media platform driving the most traffic to my site is: Pretty much a toss up with Facebook and Pinterest but I try not to rely on social media and concentrate on organic search, my newsletter and am starting a podcast. With any social media platform, the key is consistent posting and occasional ads.
My favorite tool/app for social media: I like Triberr for Twitter and Tailwind for Pinterest
My favorite WordPress plugin: Revive Old Post. It re-sends out your posts on Facebook and Twitter at intervals that you set reaching people that may not have seen it the first time.
If only I had the time, I’d do/finish…… : Write more articles.
My top tip for aspiring travel writers and bloggers!
Find a good mentor group to ask questions, bounce ideas off of and get inspiration
Best travel tip for travelers: Instead of sitting at the resort or just hopping on and off a bus to go to famous destinations, get out and walk the area. You will meet interesting people, discover some little known places most tourists never see and maybe come home with a great story to tell.
Connect with Bob!
More Travel Blogger of the Week Features!
Travel Writer of the Week: Kristin Montgomery of Growing Global Citizens
Travel Writer of the Week: Maggie McKneely with Pink Caddy Travelogue
Travel Writer of the Week: Jorge and Claudia with Travel Drafts
Nominate a friend (or yourself!) as our next 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/