Each month, we’ll introduce you to a member of our Female Travel Bloggers Facebook community so you can learn about who they are, why they became a blogger and what their favorite travel moments have been so far.
Meet Lottie from “Princess In A Caravan.”
What inspired you to start blogging?
I started blogging in 2015 as a way to keep friends and family back home up to date with what I was doing. Prior to me starting, I had spent a year in South Africa managing volunteer projects and my life there seemed to alien to what my life at home had been! Then, when my boyfriend and I decided to pack everything we owned, including the 2 dogs, into a caravan and explore the perimeter of South Africa, several of my friends (and my Mum!) suggested I should write a blog.
How did you come to name your blog?
My nickname at University was Princess and we were traveling in a caravan so it just made sense!
What makes you unique compared to all other bloggers out there?
My blog posts are mostly written in a diary style and are about my personal experiences traveling off the beaten track in rural Southern Africa. I make a point of not spending lots of time in the touristy areas when I go somewhere as I think this is the best way to really get to know a country and its cultures and people.
What do you love most about being part of the FTB group?
I love that the community is full of like-minded, supportive women. Every day the wall is filled with people asking questions, sharing wins, discussing problems and also supporting, celebrating and boosting each other. My favorite part of the group is that not only does it lead to real life connections but that it’s a place where members can go and know they will always get what they need regardless of the fact that people are located all around the world and in most cases, haven’t met each other in person! I feel very fortunate to have been asked to admin such an amazing community and I can’t wait for an opportunity for all 5 of us to meet in person 🙂
What advice do you have for people wanting to start a blog or those who are struggling to continue with it?
Not to compare yourself to others. This is something that we talk about a lot in the group and I think it is the most valuable piece of advice any blogger can be given. There are so many bloggers out there, each on their own journey with different and goals and routes to take to get to them. Your blog, what you write, how many people follow you and how much engagement you receive, is relevant to you and your own targets. So often, new bloggers or people like me who started the blog with the best intentions but now have a million other projects that take my focus away, feel inadequate next to others. So, it is important to remember we are all individuals just as our blogs are all unique. And, let’s be honest, this is advice that can often be applied to day to day life outside of the blogging world!
What are your blogging goals?
Haha, my goal for 2018 is simply to blog! I kind of abandoned the site last year as I had a large client project that, along with traveling in very rural areas, meant I just couldn’t publish as much as I wanted to. My goal, for now, is to get back into writing regularly for my own blog rather than only writing for clients as a travel writer.
What has been your biggest blogging win?
I think this has to be being asked to be an admin for FTB. That counts as a blogging win, right?
Where do you live?
I moved back to the UK a few months ago after 6 years abroad and I swapped the caravan for a narrowboat! I live onboard with my boyfriend and dog – both of whom came with me from South Africa 🙂 Right now we are in central London on the Grand Union canal but we plan to explore the whole of the UK’s waterways over the next few years.
What do you do for your career?
I am a primary school teacher and my background is in education program management, however, I am currently freelancing as a website developer and online marketer. That means I spend my days building websites or putting together marketing strategies that could include content writing, social media marketing, and influencer outreach. I have a few passion projects and am hoping to pay more attention to those this year too!
What is your favorite film?
The Green Mile gets me every time
What song is your life anthem?
“Wake Me Up” – Avicii
What quote sums up where you are right now?
It’s a cliche but it has to be
“Difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations”
Do you have an embarrassing travel story?
I once went to a braai (a BBQ for all the non South Africans reading this) and was told to help myself to the dishes in the kitchen – a lovely array of salads, pasta and rice dishes. I tucked in and filled my plate only to wonder why no one else was taking any of the rice dish. I quickly realized, that had actually been prepared for the dogs and the ‘meat’ that had been added to it was dog food! Gross.
What has been your most memorable travel experience so far and what made it so unforgettable?
I have had so many but I am guessing saying exploring Southern Africa in a caravan is cheating? So, in that case, I have two: Riding from HCMC all the way to Hanoi on motorbikes in 2016. This was not only a wild adventure but seeing as I hadn’t ever ridden a motorbike before, the fact I did it was a personal accomplishment too. Exploring Tashinga in Matusadona National Park in Zimbabwe in 2017. At this point, we were road tripping with another vehicle and it took 9 hours to cover 80kms on what I can only describe as a dirt track with no dirt, as the rains had washed it all away. When we got to the end, the park staff were literally speechless as they hadn’t had anyone come for 4 months! We had the national park to ourselves and were surrounded by elephants. In fact, in one month in Zimbabwe, I saw more elephants than people!
What is your favorite city and country and why?
City: London because it’s home. Country: Uganda because I have a deep attachment despite it not being the African country I have spent the most time in. My first solo trip was to Uganda, I have volunteered in classrooms there, set up education projects with local schools and really got to know local people in one of the small towns there. It feels like a second home.
What one destination did not impress you and why?
Thailand. I stopped there years ago on my way to live in Sydney and was thoroughly disappointed. However, now I have traveled more I think my opinion would be different as a lot of what I didn’t like was down to my personal discomfort.
What has been your favorite meal?
South African braais are the best!
Where are you traveling to next?
I am currently planning a month in Spain on a Digital Nomad trip but after that, I don’t have any plans for 2018 yet. That said, we do have to move our boat every two weeks, does that count as travel? 🙂
What/who inspired you to travel?
My Mum. I was very fortunate while growing up as we did a lot of European travel and spent time in India. She shared her BL (before Lottie) travel experiences with me and they inspired me to get out there and see the world. She has always encouraged me to strive to achieve my goals, one of which is to see as much as I can.
What’s your travel style and why do you like it? (Budget, Luxury, slow, sustainable, family, solo etc)
I would say my style is a mix of budget and sustainable with a little luxury thrown in every now and then!
Are you a Female Travel Blogger?
Request to join our supportive Female Travel Bloggers Facebook community to ask questions and network with like-minded women! All you need is an active travel focused website to be accepted.
Originally from the UK, Lottie has traveled extensively across 6 continents & lived in Australia, Canada & South Africa.
She ditched the bright lights of primary classrooms to embark on an adventure exploring South Africa in a caravan as a location independent freelancer. Her next adventure is taking her, temporarily, back to the UK where she will be living in a narrowboat and bobbing around on the waterways.