‘Where is Tara?’ is hands down one of my favourite travel blogs – it combines fun with really informative posts as well, plus she has been to so many places that I know more than likely she will have been to any destination that I want to visit 🙂 If you love to travel or have that travel bug then look no further than Tara’s blog – it is filled with travel stories, advice and tips and I know each time I go on it I just find more places that I want to visit 🙂
Tara is a pharmacist turned travel blogger and the dedication and hard work that she has put into the blog really shows through in the quality of the articles that she writes and if you visit once then you will certainly visit again! And now onto the interview with world explorer Tara Povey!
Can you please tell us a little about your blog beginnings and how it all started? Did you have a vision from the beginning on how you wanted it to develop?
Oh God no! I started my blog because I was dating a travel blogger at the time. He wanted me to have a blog so that he could use it as a sort of gimmick to go along with his blog. However, I had always wanted a blog (but had no idea how to create one) so I let him set one up for me. For the first year of my blog’s existence it was an online diary that I wrote in sporadically. However, when the relationship ended, badly, the previously mentioned travel blogger told me that my website would be nothing and I’d never get anywhere with blogging. SO, I decided to prove him wrong. Success is the best form of revenge as they say.
Anyway, that’s what motivated me to take my blog more seriously. So the first year was basically a write off and this second year has been all business and a seriously steep learning curve. The only thing I knew from the beginning of my blog was that I wanted to be very honest, and I think I’ve stuck to that.
What do you love most about blogging? And how do you keep yourself motivated?
I love connecting with people in general whether it’s my readers, other bloggers or PR companies. However, what I love the most about blogging is that my blog is all mine, I worked to create it. So when I get stressed or worried that I’m not progressing, I just take a step back and look at what I’ve achieved and made for myself all through my own hard work. It’s something I’m extremely proud of. Having worked for other people for years it’s nice to be in charge of my own time and be my own boss.
Keeping motivated is usually done through lots of caffeine. I’m addicted to iced coffee and energy drinks. If that doesn’t work then I get a pep talk from my boyfriend or sister.
You have had some amazing trip and travel adventures – what has been your most memorable trip to date?
SUCH a tough question. I got invited on a press trip up to the Causeway coast in Northern Ireland earlier this year and that was incredible. It was perfectly organised AND I was even allowed to bring my mam and sister with me. We were given beautiful rooms in the Bushmills Inn that cost nearly £400 per night. We got to dress up like GOT princesses and pose for photos in front of Dunluce castle. We had wonderful tour guides and ate the most amazing food. And at the end of it all we went to the Bushmills distillery where I was given a personalised bottle of whiskey that is only sold at the distillery, nowhere else in the world. It was a great trip and it was so nice to be able to show my family what I actually do on these trips.
Where are you currently based? Do you have your next trip planned?
I’m currently based in Dublin, though I’m not usually home for long. My next trip is to Aruba in the Caribbean. After that I haven’t got another trip planned until the end of November. So I’ll be exploring a bit more of Ireland in September/October which should be nice. I really need to write more about Dublin! It’s terrible, you always take for granted what’s on your doorstep.
An editorial calendar is an idea that I have been toying with for the past while. Do you have an editorial calendar that you stick to or do you write as inspiration strikes?
I don’t have an editorial calendar. I prioritise what I HAVE to write over what I want to write and that’s it usually. I probably should have a calendar, but if I had one I think I might get obsessed with posting on certain days etc. I prefer to be quite flexible. The only thing I am quite stubborn about is if I have a great post with the potential to go viral then I HAVE to post it on a Sunday to get maximum traffic. But really, I have no posting rules.
Although I am sure it will be hard to choose – what has been the most amazing opportunity that has popped up because of your blog?
I’d have to say that working with SONY Pictures for the release of their movie, “The 5th Wave”, was an amazing opportunity. I got to go on a survival training day down in Wicklow, write about the experience and how I would survive if I was faced with a post-apocalyptic situation in Dublin. I’m a massive fan of teen fiction, movies and adventure so it was the perfect collaboration for me. Plus it was an amazing opportunity to work with such a globally recognized company.
Is there one place that you would recommend everyone to visit at least once?
The Canadian Rockies; the most incredible lakes, glaciers, mountains and forests teamed with spectacular wildlife and postcard-perfect little towns. What’s not to love about all that?! My boyfriend and I took an incredible road trip from Calgary up to Edmonton through Banff and Jasper national parks. We walked on glaciers, slept in a TP, saw black bear cubs and coyote pups, watched the Banff Mountain Film Festival and had Peyto Lake all to ourselves. We did also chip the windscreen of our car, but sure that’s neither here nor there!
what are your top 5 things that you could not travel without?
Is it a cliché to say my passport? I feel like I have to answer honestly; my phone, my travel cash-card, my GIANT laptop, at least 2 gemstone rings and my tangle-teezer hair brush! My boyfriend will be devastated that I didn’t have him as one of my top 5, hah.
If you weren’t travelling – what do you think that you would be doing?
I’d probably be doing a lot more art. Between my website and all the travel I barely have time to put pencil to paper, let alone master how to vectorise and digitise my art. This is something I’ll hopefully have a bit more time to concentrate on when I’m not travelling in October, possibly. I’ve always drawn. I got an A2 in higher level art in the leaving cert and always wanted to do art in college. But I ended up doing pharmacy instead. Which, in hindsight, was a wise life decision but art is still a big part of who I am.
Do you have any tips for anyone considering starting a travel blog?
Don’t start one just because you want to get free stuff. It is hard work! It will only work if you LOVE travel and if you LOVE writing. BUT if you do love travel and writing then my advice would be to just start! Think of a name, buy a domain name, pay for hosting, buy a nice theme and then just get writing. Don’t expect to make any money or get any trips in the first year. Just write, join groups, talk to people and keep learning. If anyone wants any more advice about starting a travel blog feel free to email/tweet/message me.
What would be your top tip for someone thinking of going backpacking for the first time?
Make sure you get a travel cash-card. I have the STA travel card and use it ALL THE TIME. Basically you can load money onto it and use it like a debit card. If you used a normal bank card you could end up paying nearly 5 euro in transaction fees every time you purchase something abroad with your card, depending on what country you’re in. However, with a travel card you don’t get charged any foreign transaction fees. Plus, if it gets skimmed or anyone robs it they only have access to the amount you load onto it. So it’s safer and saves you money! God, I sound like I’m selling them, haha.
Do you have a blog bucket list – What does the future hold for ‘Where is Tara’? 🙂
A blog bucket list, I like that. Hmm, I started one in 2016. I wanted to work with an airline, a big brand, do more press trips, be featured in print media and be on TV. Thankfully, I’ve managed to tick all of those off. But I want to keep building on them. I’d love to become a brand ambassador for an Irish company, to promote some of the great products we have in Ireland. I just need to find the perfect brand for me.
I’d also love to increase my website views by another 10,000 before the end of the year. Print media is something I’m a bit obsessed with too, I’d LOVE to see one of my articles in print. God, there’s so many things I want to do! At the moment I’m really focusing on improving my video skills.
Going forward I want to grow my Youtube channel, do more public speaking, presenting and generally be more involved in the Irish blogging and travel community. It’s hard when I’m travelling so much to really get to know everyone and network. However, now that I’m home for a while I’m planning on getting more involved.
A massive thank you to Tara for doing the interview – it is always amazing when I get to feature people who I love to follow and have been reading their blog for so long at this stage that I genuinely was delighted when she agreed to be featured!
You NEED to check out Tara’s blog – but I warn you, it is hard not to book plane tickets after being on it! She is also on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. I know I will certainly be following her along when she goes on her Aruba adventures 🙂