Travel Blogger Tell All – Divergent Travelers
Ø Who are you?
My name is Lina Stock. My husband David and I run the blog Divergent Travelers, which is all about adventure and a whole lot of photos.
Ø Where are you from/Where’s home?
We were both born and raised in Wisconsin. Our hometown area is Superior, Wisconsin which is straight across the bridge from Duluth, Minnesota.
Ø What type of traveller are you? Backpacker, full time traveller, luxury traveller?
Currently we are full time travelers. We focus on exciting destinations and adventure in our travels.
Ø Where was the first trip you took?
My first international trip was to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic in 2001. I had never left the country prior to this and after meeting a fellow classmate and foreign exchange student at school, her host sister and I decided to visit her over Christmas break. We spent 10 days living like locals and exploring the city. That was the tip of the iceberg for me, there was no looking back, I was addicted to travel.
Ø Have you had any bad experiences whilst travelling?
Does food poisoning count? If you travel enough you will eventually get it and we have both had our fair share of sick days when traveling through the years.
Ø What is the worst place you’ve travelled to and why?
One of my least favorite places is Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I feel like the whole city is a con artist in honest mans clothing. I’ve been there twice but after my second visit I can honestly say I dislike it and will not be returning again. The only exception being to transit through it since it is a hub for many flights in SE Asia. I also don’t relate to the vibe there, I am not a city person, so a city has to have a special vibe for me to like and understand it. Kuala Lumpur just doesn’t do that for me.
Ø Where is your favourite place in the world?
This is a REALLY tough question. I have so many favorite places and the list keeps growing as we travel more. Up on the top though is Peru and New Zealand. Peru because it is so beautiful and the country is extremely diverse, plus I love the Spanish language. New Zealand is one of the only places in the World I’d be willing to leave the states for at this point. Another beautiful and diverse country.
Ø How do you fund your travels?
We currently fund our travels with our savings and some income from our travel blog.
Ø What is your most fond memory from your travels?
There are so many memories, but one of my favorite things about travel is actually when I am not traveling. When I am just sitting somewhere and a song will come on the radio or my iPod that will whisk me immediately to a place that I relate to that song. Those moments are so amazing. In a matter of an instant I can be back traveling.
Ø What would you be doing if you weren’t traveling?
Likely working still, buying more horses and saving for more sort term trips.
Ø Have you ever experiences any cultural faux pas?
I am sure there have been many! I think sometimes they go unnoticed because it isn’t something we think about all the time. We try to be respectful and read up on the customs before visiting a new destination but sometimes we have habits that are so different than what is normal for them. One big one I know we have done here in china is putting our chopsticks IN the bowl, instead of ON the bowl. Ooops!
Ø What is your Favourite airline?
After flying on many, many airlines I have to say Delta. The planes are always clean and they have a great track record for being on time. That is a luxury.
Ø Where are you off to next?
We are currently in China and will be exploring Tibet while here, then Hong Kong.
Ø What is the name of your travel blog and why did you choose this name?
Our blog is Divergent Travelers. We chose this name because we wanted something unique that also aligned with our story. We were shooting around names one day and David came up with the word Divergent. After I read the definition I knew this was the right one for us.
Ø When did you start blogging?
We started this blog in 2013. I have done some random blogging and writing for many years before this but nothing official like the one we run today.
Ø Where did you start blogging?
At home in Wisconsin before we started long-term travel.
Ø Why did you start a Travel blog?
Initially it was going to be an outlet to write about our travels for friends and family. Also, it was a place for us to keep track of our stories and photos from our travels. It morphed into a business but that wasn’t our original intention.
Ø What are you tips for new Travel Bloggers?
Have a plan and get educated about what goes into blogging straight from the get go. It is a lot of hard work. You can’t just buy a url, post a couple photos and expect to have a big blog with loads of partnerships. There are lots of courses out there that will teach you the basics of blogging that are really helpful when you are starting out so you can start on the right track, versus starting and then having to revisit all our old content to revamp (guilty!).
Ø Do you wish you did differently when you started out?
More research and more classes on blogging.
Ø What has been your most successful blog post and what was it about?
Our top viewed post on the blog is an article we wrote about the Road to Hana in Maui, Hawaii. It focuses on how to have an out of the box adventure on your own.
Ø What do you do to help make your articles successful?
All posts are promoted via our SM channels, networks and in our newsletter. We also pay attention to SEO on each article so that we are found on the search engines.
Ø What social media platform is the most helpful for you and why?
Twitter brings us the most referral traffic. Because of the turnaround time on there we are able to share our articles many times a day to increase exposure.
Ø Have you worked with any “big name” sponsors, if not who would be your dream to work with?
We have worked with Kiwi Experience, JUCY and Indie Travel, to name a few that I think qualify for ‘big name’! We’d love to work with some of the big adventure companies in the future to visit some remote places.
Ø Do you have any tips for new bloggers who want to work with sponsors?
Spend the time to build a solid brand. They want to work with bloggers that know who they are and are confident in what they can offer.
Ø Which travel bloggers do you admire?
There are so many! I constantly read The Planet D, Goats on the Road, Suitcase Stories, Breakaway Backpacker and Backpackology.
Ø Do you have any advice or tips for aspiring travellers?
Know what you want and go for it. If you want to travel, then make a plan and execute it. It won’t execute itself!!
Ø What is your Travel Motto:
On our blog, Diverge with Us and Join the Adventure. Personally, I love the quote about change being scary, but nothing is scarier than regret. This is so true and something I strive to live by. No regrets.
Website url: http://www.DivergentTravelers.com
Google+ profile: https://plus.google.com/b/110365520218182660967/+Divergenttravelers/posts
Awesome to meet you guys. Solid advise to new bloggers too. Great interview. Looking forward to following your adventures. 🙂
Hi Anna, nice to meet you too! Blogging is one of those things you can look back on and always think of a million things you wish you’d done differently! I think that is what appeals to me so much, love the constant movement of the profession.
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