Ortensia Blu with Blogger Laney Sachs
On Ortensia Blu, blogger Laney Sachs shares her off-the-beaten-path Italian experiences and helps others get there too.
Tell us about yourself! What do you do when you’re not traveling the world? Where are you from? Where do you currently live?
I live in Cos Cob, CT and when I’m not traveling, planning trips, cooking, etc, I work for a German hiking boot company named LOWA. I’m fortunate in that I’ve always had a part-time position there, which has allowed me the time to travel for myself as well as to company trade shows and international sales meetings in awesome places. My bags are always packed, so to speak, and I’m always ready for the next adventure, wherever it may be.
What first inspired you to start your blog? Since then, which destinations have you covered?
I’m sort of an accidental blogger. The platform I used for an online store I started came with a blogging component. I didn’t know the first thing about blogging, but figured I’d give it a try. I’ve learned so much and there’s always something new to master.
I traveled a lot both domestically and internationally before I started the blog, Ortensia Blu, but the blog only covers Italy. Since I’ve had the blog, I’ve traveled to Germany, Austria, England, Israel, and Switzerland, as well as several new places for me in the US like Montana, Wyoming, and Alabama. So I suppose I have lots of places I could write about if the blog had a different focus.
What is the main purpose of your blog? Is there a message that you’re trying to convey to your readers?
The main purpose of my blog is to talk about and share my passion for Italy, especially the non-touristy and off-the-beaten-path parts. I have an almost strange obsession with all things Italian (the food, wine, language, and people) and as I travel and learn more, I’ve found other kindred spirits. I want others to know that Italy has so many amazing places to visit beyond what’s in the guidebooks and it’s okay to go out of your comfort zone for the experience.
What gets you into the writing mode?
Always an interesting question because I don’t have nearly the amount of time I’d like to write. If I didn’t have to get up at 6:30 every morning, the 2:00-4:00 am time when I can’t sleep because my mind is going a mile a minute would actually be a good time to write.
What are some exciting partnerships, connections, or opportunities that have come out of your blog?
I think the people, bloggers and readers I’ve met, have been some of the most fun things about having the blog. I’ve met really wonderful individuals, both virtually and in person who have their own terrific blogs and have been so encouraging and supportive. But the biggest opportunity that has come out of my blog is Ortensia Blu Italian Adventures, where I can actually take people on a small group boutique tour to some of these special pockets of Italy and they can experience first-hand the places they’ve read about on my blog.
Is your blog a business? If so, what are some of the ways that you monetize it?
Does the blog itself make money? No. But it has allowed me a platform to talk about my passion and to get others curious and excited. Because of the blog, people are so comfortable that they trust me enough to travel to Italy with me.
What advice would you give to other women who are interested in launching a travel blog?
If you love to travel and want to share your experiences, I’d say to absolutely go for it. But the thing about a travel blog is you actually have to travel and truly embrace wherever you’re visiting. The well-known tourist spots have lots of coverage so you want to find the really cool places that aren’t being written about and then find your own special niche.