The Astounding Travel Writers interview series continues today with a newer member of the travel blogger sphere.
I first learned about Mera when she submitted an article to the Byteful Travel blog carnival a while back. Mera is a great example of someone who knows what they love to do and is actively doing what they can to share their adventures with the world in an honest, and very real, way.
1. Thanks for agreeing to do an interview today and being a part of my Astounding Travel Writers Series. It’s wonderful when we travel writers can connect. I’d like to begin with a simple question:
How do you usually introduce yourself?
Hi, I’m Mera. I live in a suburb of Chicago with my husband and two kids. I love to travel, and as I child moved around the Caribbean for my Dad’s job as a Methodist Minister of Religion.
2. What does Travel mean to you?
It’s really about the experiences and memories you create. It has opened up the door to many life-long relationships and given me a wonderful perspective on everything in life.
3. In what ways has it pushed you to grow?
Travel can make one mature very fast. At 14 and 15, I traveled alone to track and field meets in other countries. I also left home in South America at 17 to come to college here in the US. I learned very fast how to interact with people, find my way around, and generally take care of myself. Imagine being in the Miami International Airport by yourself at age 14!
4. Have you ever hitchhiked?
No. The opportunity has not really presented itself. However, I would hitchhike, especially if I’m not alone.
5. How did you get involved in the travel sector?
I’m very new to travel writing (7 months), however I’ve been traveling all my life. I’ve become involved because I’m home with my children and would like an outlet. I love traveling so much though I don’t see myself going back to my old career.
6. How was your site born?
I have been a stay-at-home mom for a few years now, and with my children getting older I wanted to find a hobby or possible second career. The blog is really an outlet for me. I really enjoy travel and love the places I’ve lived. My kindergartner, who is quite a handful, is now gone all day, leaving me with my very manageable 18 month old at home.
7. Do you use social media daily? And if so, how do you find balance with it within your daily routine?
Yes, I do, and sometimes I do feel it takes up too much of my time. I try to devote weekends to my family. I’m also a list maker, it helps me focus on my daily goals. I do need to spend more time working on my blog specifically, though. I tend to focus more daily on my personal profile.
8. In that same vein, how do you balance writing and travel?
I’ve only been doing this for a short time, I have not struggled with this issue. I have too much to write about. I only take 2 or 3 trips a year; however, local travel is also something you can write about. You can also write about travel tips, travel inspiration, travel deals, etc.
9. Do you have any advice for people who want to start a travel blog or grow their travel blog?
Go for it! Do it for yourself, if you get fulfillment out of it then others will as well. Do not expect too much when starting out. Write as often as you can and try to network with others through social media and local groups.
10. Out of everything you’ve ever published or created, what are you most proud of?
Well, I’m very proud of the blog itself. I’m not a very tech-savvy person. I recently took a trip to Guyana, South America, where I used to live; and I’m currently writing 4 to 6 articles. I’ve finished one already that is over 1,000 words. I think once I’m finished, that series of articles will be what I’m most proud of so far.
11. How do you see travel writing & travel sites evolving into the future?
It’s no big secret that travel writing does not make you rich. I see sites moving toward selling more products. I also see local travel as an under-represented area. There are so many backpackers and people out there traveling the world and writing about it. That’s wonderful but the average person wants to know how they can travel more on their budget and schedule.
12. Is there anything you’re proud of that you’d like to plug?
I’m now a travel agent! I love blogging but I also want to do more for people. I want people to be courageous and fulfill their travel dreams. Look on the blog (below) for more details.
Thanks again for the interview, Mera! Wishing you continued growth for your site.
To Learn More about Mera:
- Read Mera’s blog — TravelByMera.com