In 2018 my little travel blog turns 8 years old. That’s nearly one third of my life that I have been writing about my travels. It’s a hobby which has grown into a major part of my life. This is my journey from backpacker to global traveller.
My blog now allows me to travel to the most incredible places, meet wonderful people and earn money from doing something I love doing, writing!
When this blog first started I was a fresh graduate from Nottingham Trent University and had started my blog two years previously. I hadn’t done anything with my blog expect add a few posts each year, and I swear the only person reading it was my mum.
Then when I left university I became depressed. The suffered with anxiety and the change and up-haul of moving my life once again back home, and having to search for a job, all became a bit too much. I decided to go travelling to Australia and New Zealand to escape reality and this is where my blog really came into its own.
I forgot to say, at this stage, it was called The Nomadic Backpacker, a blog all about backpacking around Southeast Asia and Australia. I featured mostly hostels, packing tips and where to get the best flight deals from.
It was only in 2014 when I decided to rebrand and due to my lifestyle changes back at home, I decided to change my name to Sophie’s Suitcase.
I adored travel, but I had gotten fed up with the backpacking way of life. I had been to Southeast Asia three times backpacking, staying in hundreds of hostels, some incredible, but some awful. Due to getting a job after returning from my trip to Australia I upped my luxury rating when searching for hotels, and my trips became more focused on wellbeing and comfort.
In the early days I rarely got a complimentary stay… and even if I did, I would email hostels and ask for a free night in return for a review that would take me hours to produce. It really wasn’t worth my time, but in that moment it seemed great.
As my blog grew and grew more people got to know the brand, and the content I produced and I have managed to curate a little community for myself and my loyal readers, that over the years have ultimately made this happen for me.
Now, eight years on, and thousands of hours later, my blog is what it is today, thriving and successful (if you don’t big up yourself, who will right?!) and I am so proud of what it’s turned in to. I now have a massive following on my social media channels, and I am slowly but surely upping my monthly unique views every month.
The blog has sent me to some wonderful places including Aruba, France, Sweden, Amsterdam, Crete, Cyprus, Australia, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, and so many others.
It hasn’t just been the trips either, because of my blog I have now gone on to write for an array of publications about travel and my journey as a travel blogger. I have written for publications including Cosmopolitan, The Culture Trip, Skyscanner, Lonely Planet, Elite Daily, Harper’s Bazaar and I am now writing for Citizen Femme.
And as if that wasn’t enough fun, for me blogging has been about so much more than press trips, sponsorships and press invitations. I’ve made a group of friends who have become incredibly close to me. They have become real-friends, not just ‘online friends’ and they are friends I will cherish for years to come.
Blogging has changed my life, and I am sure it will continue to do so for many years. Despite my love of travel, I’ve always been scared of going out of my comfort zone. By taking up blogging it has given me the opportunity to challenge myself, and for that that I proud.
I look forward to what is to come in 2018 and beyond….
What’s your story? Or even more importantly, what’s your journey?