This month’s Blogger of the Month is Zoe Holland who writes Juggling on Rollerskates, a family-focused travel blog that features glamping, festivals and outdoor adventures. Zoe and her family are based in East Sussex but love to roam You can follow Zoe on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
What inspired you to start blogging?
I have always loved writing. From a young age I’ve kept diaries, travel journals and written stories. In my twenties I spent a number of years working in ski resorts where I started toying with the idea of writing about some of the competitive events that took place in the resort such as The Burton Open. This led to me writing for a season workers website, writing resort guides and sharing tips on how to find work in resorts. At that point it was my dream to make a career from writing about travel and winter sports but it was before blogging was a ‘thing’ and I just didn’t have the tools or experience to get my work out there.
Fast forward about 10 years and I was on maternity leave with my second child. I suddenly had the time and desire to write again. I was no longer travelling in the wider sense but still had a craving for adventure. I decided to start writing about the adventures we had as a family close to home. That was early 2017. My blog now continues to feature local days out for families but also a wide range of UK and European family breaks covering a range of areas including glamping, camping, budget and adventure. I feel fulfilled in a sense that the blog creates opportunities to travel and explore as a family whilst also acting as a creative outlet for my work.
What are your blogging and travel plans for the next 12 months?
Over the Summer I have a nice balance of both solo and family trips planned. As a family we will be heading to Majorca for our main Summer break as well as a few local glamping and camping trips throughout both Sussex and Kent close to where we are based. As my children are a bit older now I’m looking forward to indulging in a few more solo trips as well. As my youngest starts school in September I’m looking forward to embracing the opportunity to return to some of my own interests such as hiking and winters ports. I currently have plans to visit Tignes in the Alps this Summer and hope to do some hill walks in the Brecon Beacons in the early Autumn.
Where is your happy place? Your favourite destination in the world?
I’m happiest in the mountains. Any mountain will do! If I had to pick one place it would be the Southern Alps in New Zealand. I’ve spent a number of winters in Wanaka in Otago on the South Island and it really has everything I could want from a destination. Great snow in the winter. Water sports and hiking trails in the Summer. Some of the best scenery you will ever come across. Great people. Good wine. Tick. Tick. Tick!
Which blogs do you love to read for inspiration?
I love reading blogs that inspire me to get outdoors, especially those that make me realise that I don’t need to travel half way across the planet in the search for adventure. I read Alastair Humphreys for his micro adventures and motivational ideas. Sian Lewis and her blog The Girl Outdoors inspires me from a female perspective. I really enjoyed reading about her recent Arctic Expedition and find myself thinking ‘If she can do it…then what’s stopping me?’ Finally I follow Potty Adventures which follows outdoors mad, David Mellor and his family in Wales. Again I find it inspiring to see what adventures others can achieve with a family in tow.
Can you share the three most popular posts on your blog?
My most popular posts are my seasonal events round ups, local lambing events or family festivals in Kent and Sussex. After that my review for Tom’s Eco Lodge on the Isle of Wight is the next best read post followed by a piece I wrote at the end of last Summer called ‘Working with Influencers: A Guide for Glamping Businesses’.
Can you share any tips for newer bloggers who would love to set up a travel blog?
Stay true to your passions. Don’t write for anyone else but yourself. It’s very easy to get wrapped up in writing what you think you should or what readers might want to see. Anyone who enjoys reading your blog will do so because it is genuine and original. Keep this at the heart of all your work.
If you could go back in time to when you first set up your blog would you do anything differently?
I wish I’d started writing again earlier. That’s my only regret. I think once you start working on a blog you learn as you go along. You can’t expect to know everything from day one. Take your time. Allow mistakes to happen. Learn from them and enjoy the ride!