Sisterhood of the World Bloggers
The blogging community is a dynamic and tight-knit one. I belong to several different groups for bloggers–some focus on the business of blogging, and others are groups of bloggers who actively support the efforts of their blogging peers by posting comments and social media shares.
What an honour it was to be chosen as a member of the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers group by my friend and colleague Donna Janke of Destinations, Detours, and Dreams. I’ve known Donna for a couple of years now. First online, and then in person, when she attended a chocolate dinner at McNally Robinson Booksellers in Winnipeg last year. (By the way, there is a chocolate dinner on September 19th, with a few spots left if you are interested, visit McNally Robinson Community Classroom. I’d love to meet you there!)
Donna loves chocolate and travel, lives in Winnipeg, and likes to escape the cold Manitoba winters. We have a lot in common.
As part of the process of accepting this award, I’ve got to answer a series of questions posed to me by Donna, my nominator. I then have to choose 10 women bloggers who specialize in travel, nominate them here, and pose my own questions to them, that they in turn will answer on their own blogs.
Here are the questions that Donna has posed to me:
Why did you start blogging? I started blogging back in 2009 as a way to build my author’s platform, and to connect with readers. I’ve really learned to love it and look forward to sharing thoughts and stories with my readers every week.
How did you select the name for your blog? That’s a two-fold question. I previously had 3 separate and distinct blogs. One was a writer’s blog and was in my name. The second was a travel blog I called “Diversions with Doreen,” and the third was a site for my chocolate events and carried the same name as my book, Chocolatour. I’ve now merged the three blogs into this site, as it was too difficult to post regularly to 3 sites.
How do you like to travel? Alone, in a group, fast-paced, laid-back, luxury, budget, structured, unplanned, . . . I am not a solo traveler by choice. I only travel alone when necessary. I much prefer travelling with a friend with whom I can share laughs and experiences and compare notes on the chocolate, food, or wine we may be tasting. Most of my travel is structured as most of it is sponsored in some way. I wish I could take leisurely vacations, but it’s just not in the cards at this point in time. On a very rare occasion, I take time away from the d=fast pace of my life as a travel writer and take a holiday with my husband and our cat.
What has been your most unusual travel experience? I would have to say my trip to the UAEA. I’ve done a fair amount of travel and have visited at least 30 countries to date, but most has been in North, South and Central America, the Caribbean, and Europe. But when friends of mine were living in Dubai, I took the opportunity to visit them and explore the United Arab Emirates. I was really surprised at how different life was for them in Dubai, and I really loved visiting the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, and being kissed by a camel in the desert!
What is the weirdest food you’ve eaten? It would have to be guinea pig in Peru. It is their national dish, so we had to try it. But I can’t say I enjoyed it much. And it definitely was weird eating a rodent.
What do you do to plan and prepare for a trip? I’m not a big planner. I fly by the seat of my pants so to speak! So I’m a last-minute packer, and I rarely have time to fully research a destination as thoroughly as I might like. That’s part of the fun, though. I love being spontaneous, going with the flow, and being completely open-minded when I travel.
How has blogging changed your travel experience? It hasn’t really changed my travel experience very much, as I’ve been a travel writer since 1997. So I’ve always been taking notes and taking pictures when I travel. And I’ve always been sharing my stories with people. I think the one way that blogging has changed my travel experience is that I can now publish as quickly as I like, and can get instant feedback from my readers and fellow bloggers. I really love that!
Where will you go next? My next big trip will be to go back to Mexico. I was there in May on a research trip, as well as to attend a travel writer’s conference and fell in love with the country all over again! It had been about 10 years since my last visit to Mexico, and about 20 years since my last visit to Puerto Vallarta. I visited Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Tequila for the first time and enjoyed the experience so much I’m planning a return trip in the very near future.
What is your favourite thing about blogging? Without question, it is having the opportunity to choose what I want to write about. I love storytelling and being able to share my thoughts with like-minded people. I also love the way blogging opens us up to the world and enables us to connect with people around the world. I’ve made some tremendous friendships through blogging.
What is the most important thing travel has taught you? To keep an open mind! It really irks me when I’m travelling and someone compares what’s going on (whether it be the accommodations, food, culture, or whatever) to what they get/find at home. Travel is meant to be an adventure! Enjoy it for what it is. Don’t wish it was the same as being at home. You might as well stay at home if you aren’t open to adventure.
My nominations for this award go to:
Debbra Dunning Brouillette who blogs about island travel at Tropical Travel Girl
Elaine Masters who blogs about wellness travel at Trip Wellness
Shelly Rivoli who blogs about travelling her with baby at Travels with Baby
Christine Peets who blogs about life and about travel at With Humour and Hope
Donna Adinolfi who blogs about spas and transformative travel at Mindful Adventures
Carol Patterson who is known as the Nature Travel Gal and blogs at Carol Patterson
Parm Parmar who blogs about travel at Planet Blue Adventure
Rachel Heller who blogs about global travel at Rachel Heller
Lucy Tobias who blogs about the art of travel at Lucy Tobias
Janice Waugh who blogs about solo travel at Solo Traveler
My questions for my nominees are:
1. Is there a single moment in your travels that you feel has been your most transformative for you?
2. Has there been a singular action that you have taken that has taken your blog to the next level?
3. What has been the most effective tool that you have used to grow the readership of your blog?
4. What is your primary travel goal for the next year?
5. Do you have a favourite place that you just can’t seem to get enough of?
6. What is your favourite thing to do when you visit a new place?
7. Do you have a favourite travel blog?
8. If you could go absolutely anywhere in the world in the next 6 months, where would it be?
9. Who is the most memorable person you have encountered in your travels?
10. What is one place you wish you’d never have gone, and why?
Thanks to these ladies for accepting my invitation into the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers. I can’t wait to read their answers to these questions, and to meet the bloggers who they choose to nominate into the Sisterhood!