In our series of interviews with travel writers and influencers across the globe, we look for travel bloggers and lifestyle writers with interesting lives who can share some inspiring stories and useful advice from their experience. This week we have Nicole From Nicole Leigh West’s blog.

An Interview With Nicole From Nicole Leigh West

Tell us a bit about yourself

My travel addiction kicked off with outback camping trips around Australia as a kid. Straight after high school, I jetted off to live in Japan as a professional dancer and never looked back, in terms of globe-trekking. I’ve always been entranced with books and scribbled my own stories as soon as I could write. The two passions of traveling and writing naturally collided, and the first article I pitched was published in Vacations and Travel magazine. I felt like a fluke at the time but quickly led to a travel writing career that I adore.
Highlights along the way include starting my first novel while on a movie set in a spooky Czech chateau and exploring South East Asia and Mexico as a digital nomad. All up, I’ve visited around 60 countries and the wanderlust only gets stronger. For me, travel is an expansive experience that teaches you about yourself and the world from a wonderful range of perspectives. I love to give back by promoting sustainable travel, wellbeing, and personal development within my work. When I’m not writing or on my way to a new destination, I’m hanging out with loved ones, swimming in the ocean, and simply loving life in the present moment.

What’s your biggest achievement as a Travel Writer?

The first time I saw my byline in a magazine was a beautiful achievement. The bigger picture of that, and my biggest achievement, is having the persistence and passion to live my dream of becoming a professional writer. I tend to view ‘achievement’ as how we feel about ourselves, rather than the goals we kick. Just sitting down to write, when you love it, means you’re achieving wellbeing within yourself regardless of the outcome.
Nicole Leigh West Stockholm-min

How do you fund your travel?

I’ve lived as a digital nomad for the last few years. Writing for clients, magazines, and blogs allows me to country-hop. It’s easier to do than most people think when you choose countries with cheap living expenses. The temptation of unlimited travel is a powerful motivator to keep improving your skills and your business.

What is the single most effective strategy that a blogger/writer can use to bring traffic to a blog?

Producing consistent, entertaining and polished content that adds value to people’s lives.

What is your dream traveling experience?

Oceans, exotic food, new cultures, meeting locals, admiring landmarks, exploring history, writing within inspiring backdrops, diving into adventure activities, getting lost, dancing in the moonlight, stargazing, hiking through the wilderness, giving back to the places I visit, learning and expanding my personal growth – body, mind, and soul.
Nicole Leigh West Teotihuacan Mexico - Edited-min

What tools do you use to monetize your blog? Which works best for you?

As a travel writer, my blog is a portfolio rather than a source of income in itself. From working within the industry though, I know that delivering value within a focused niche always works. Selling informative eBooks, coaching services, and courses can generate passive income fairly quickly, as long as you know your subject matter and sincerely offer audiences a service.

Do you have a bucket list? If so what is on it?

Almost anywhere I haven’t discovered is on my bucket list. At this point in time, the next destinations I can’t wait to tick off include Iceland and Peru.

What is the first trip you remember taking and how old were you?

One of the first trips I remember was a camping adventure to Australia’s Fraser Island. I was about seven and my memories are a happy blur of four-wheel driving through the rainforest, sliding down sand dunes into transparent lakes and being just a tad scared of dingoes and spiders while walking to the bathrooms at night!
Nicole Leigh West Tanah Lot Bali-min

Have you been anywhere which turned out to be totally different to how you imagined? If so, how?

I try not to have too many expectations when I visit new destinations. This way, every place turns out totally different to the image you have from pictures or stories, based on your own experiences.

Have you had any bad experiences whilst traveling?

Yes, quite a few, as most long-term travelers have. Each and every one of them has been a valuable learning experience. The beauty of travel is that it often throws you into challenging situations that expand your mind and your life skills.

Where is your favorite place in the world?

The ocean! From the Maldives to Bali, Spain, Greece, Australia, and a million other coastlines, beach-hopping, snorkeling, and swimming rank at the top of the list for me.

If you were not traveling what would you be doing instead?

If I’m not traveling, I’m often writing about travel anyway! I also write fiction, along with holistic wellbeing and personal development articles. Writing allows for traveling in the mind that can extend to anything and everything you want it to.

Nicole Leigh West Halong Bay-min

What has travel taught you?

Every bite of exotic food, every conversation, and every new scene has taught me something while traveling. I’ve learned to rely on myself, think quickly on my feet, and broaden my mind to encompass a myriad of cultures and beliefs. Most of all, I’ve developed an intense love and sense of oneness within the world, so that I feel at home wherever I go.

Do you prefer solo travel or with someone else?

I adore solo travel for the adventure and freedom of just following your own path wherever it may lead. You also tend to learn more and meet more people. That’s not to say I don’t love romantic escapes, family trips and traveling with friends too. I love all of it!

If you could swim with dolphins or go shark diving, which would you pick? and why?

I’ve had the pleasure of doing both in the wild. Swimming with dolphins is a surreal, spiritual experience and something many Australians find themselves accidentally doing on a day at the beach. I lost any fear I had about diving with sharks upon my first sight of one swimming out of the black depths before me. I was struck with awe at the beauty of it.
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Nicole From Nicole Leigh West’s blog.

sumit

Author sumit

Sumit Sharma is a full-time digital marketer who finds his passion in traveling and blogging about his experiences.

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