Travel Blogging 101: A Conversation with Ashley Christensen
This month, we’re interviewing women from all over the world and asking them about their experiences travel blogging. We had the privilege of speaking with Ashley Christensen about her travel blogging experiences. Here’s a glimpse into our conversation.
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 grew up in a small town in Illinois, and am currently taking Chicago by storm. From 2010-2012, I lived in Hong Kong working as an elementary school teacher and there began my love of travel and blogging. In those two years, I traveled to 10 different countries, and have since more than doubled that number since I returned. I am a yoga instructor, avid reader, happy hour pro, and volunteer extraordinaire. My travel blog is called New Girl In the City.
What first inspired you to start your blog? Since then, which destinations have you covered?
When I moved overseas, I really wanted my family and friends to feel, see, read, and visualize what was happening in my life, so I began writing. Since moving back, I started a new blog about my adventures in dating, travel, and eating in Chicago. My most recent travel pieces include Portland, OR, New Orleans, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Mexico City, Mackinac Island, MI, Tucson, AZ, and more.
What is the main purpose of your blog? Is there a message that you’re trying to convey to your readers?
My blog feels a bit like an advice column: how to successfully plan a trip, where to stay, what to do, and which foods to try. I make each post very personal without giving too many negatives opinions on the places. I like to preach about all that’s good.
What gets you into the writing mode?
I recently started a calendar with when posts will go live, and wrote down an extensive list of ideas that have been floating around in my head or on the Notes section of my phone. I never dread writing since I do it when I feel inspired (hence, the very full Notes section).
What are some exciting partnerships, connections, or opportunities that have come out of your blog?
Honestly, I don’t look for free perks when I’m traveling. I travel a lot already, so my blog posts come out of the experiences I’m having. Luckily, I have made some great connections in Chicago and travel around about once a month doing restaurant reviews with comped meals.
What advice would you give to other women who are interested in launching a travel blog?
First, just go for it! Don’t have an expectation for who’ll read it or how many people will click on everything. Be passionate about what you like and those that are equally as jazzed about your topics will come.
Photo Credit: Ghokan Altintas