Welcome to today’s installment in my new travel blogger interview series! The goal of this weekly series is to help spread the blogging love and introduce you to some other awesome travel bloggers! Any travel blogger, whether new or experienced, can sign up to be featured in this new series. Today I’m happy to share that I’m featuring Dariece from Goats on the Road!
Dariece is a co-founder of Goats On The Road, and an expert in saving money, finance management, building an online business and of course… travel. She loves meeting new people, trying new cuisines, and learning about the unique cultures of our world. You can find her on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN BLOGGING FOR? WHY’D YOU DECIDE TO START A TRAVEL BLOG?
Nick and I have been running Goats On The Road since 2012! We have two other websites as well, but they are fairly new and Goats On The Road is our flagship site (and our baby).
In 2008, we quit our jobs in Canada and set off on a backpacking trip around SE Asia. Since we were on a budget and wanted our money to last for as long as possible, we opted for this part of the world as it has some of the most affordable places to visit.
After that year-long trip, we returned home to work for one final year in Canada. We then quit our jobs again, sold everything and took off indefinitely.
But, the money we saved could only last so long.
So, we decided to start a new website about our travels in the hopes that we could not only share our information and tips with the world but make enough money to cover our travel habits!
Luckily, our plan worked and Goats On The Road (and the jobs that have stemmed from it) has been our sole source of income since 2013.
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR NEW TRAVEL BLOGGERS/ASPIRING TRAVEL BLOGGERS?
The main tip I have is to not give up and to put in the work. So many new bloggers think that they will just create a website and BOOM, they will be bloggers.
But, in reality, it takes perseverance and time to build up your blog. Have a strategy in place and follow through with it. Make charts and keep track of what you’re doing each day so you’re not wasting time on other things (such as scrolling through Instagram…).
Another tip for new bloggers is that you need to be a niche website these days. Gone are the days of just being a generic travel blog. You need to be a “vegan, solo female travel blog” or a “couple travelling in the USA by campervan”, or “a travel blog to Chicago”.
The more niche you are, the better your odds are of being seen.
WHY DO YOU LOVE TO TRAVEL?
Travel brings me joy. For me, it’s all about meeting new people and learning about new cultures. I love interacting with the locals and seeing how they live — travel is all about breaking down cultural, religious and racial barriers.
Sure, I could travel around Canada and that would be a great trip as well, but I enjoy experiencing things that are unique from what I grew up with.
Some of our best travel moments have come from being in more offtrack places like Mongolia, Iran, Jordan, China, Albania, Colombia and Kyrgyzstan.
WHAT’S YOUR BEST AND WORST TRAVEL EXPERIENCE?
I’ve had so many amazing travel experiences, and thankfully, just a couple of poor ones.
The best is probably when Nick and I left China and set off on the Trans Mongolian and Trans Siberian railways to see Central Asia and Mongolia.
In Mongolia, we plotted a trek by using Google Earth Maps. Armed with our camping gear, some food and fishing kit as well, we set off on an 8-day hike through the Mongolian Steppe — camping under the stars, fishing in the river and meeting nomadic people along the way.
My worst experience was probably watching Nick almost drown in a riptide in Sri Lanka, but that has nothing to do with the country itself. So, another poor memory is being told to leave the country and being spat on while in Morocco.
DO YOU PREFER SOLO TRAVEL OR TRAVELING WITH OTHER PEOPLE? WHY?
I have never travelled solo. Nick and I have always been on adventures together and started our life of travel together. And, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PLACE YOU’VE EVER BEEN TO? WHY?
It’s hard to list my favourite place that I’ve been as there are so many awesome countries in this world.
Colombia and Ecuador have fantastic adventures, are incredibly diverse and have friendly and welcoming locals. I love Italy and Greece for their beauty, ease of travel, hospitable people, overall vibe and zest for life…and FOOD!
I also love travelling to more exotic and challenging places such as India, Egypt and China. That’s what travel is all about!
For a tropical holiday, I have to mention my home base of Grenada in the Caribbean, and Mexico as well.
WHAT’S YOUR BIGGEST TRAVEL TIP?
My biggest travel tip is to plan, but not overplan. There’s nothing worse than discovering that you really enjoy the city/town/country you’re in but you have a bus ticket already booked for the next day. Have the first few days (or week) planned, but leave room for spontaneity as well.
IS THERE ONE SPECIFIC THING YOU LIKE TO DO, SEE, OR BUY IN EVERY PLACE THAT YOU VISIT?
Where it’s available, I always like to join a free walking tour when I first arrive in a destination. It’s a great way to get orientated, get a quick rundown on the history, and get some restaurant recommendations from the guide. I always keep one paper bill from each currency as well.
IS THERE ONE PARTICULAR FOOD THAT YOU’VE TRIED WHILE TRAVELING THAT YOU LOVED? WHAT FOOD WAS IT AND WHY DO YOU LOVE IT SO MUCH?
Nick and I are total foodies and we always try the local food when we’re travelling.
I love all Thai food, cacio e pepe pasta from Rome and margarita pizza in Naples. I’m also obsessed with dumplings in all forms — momos in Nepal, soup dumplings in China, Khinkali in Georgia, gyoza in Japan, ravioli in Italy …and the list goes on.
Plane or train? Train
Hotel or hostel? Hotel
City or nature? Both!
Popular site or off the beaten path? Offtrack
Suitcase or backpack? Backpack
Fast travel or slow travel? Slow travel
Professional camera or phone photography? iPhone
Warm or cold weather? Warm
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All photos used throughout this post are provided by Goats on the Road.