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Travel Blogger Interviews

Travel Blogger Tell All – Rear View Mirror

Ø Who are you?

I’m Andrea Anastasakis, a road trip travel blogger based in Europe.

Ø  Where are you from/Where’s home?

I’m originally from Perth, Australia. I moved to Paris to study French in 1999 and since then have lived in a few different places including London, Montpellier (in the south of France) and then back to Paris. Since 2012 I’ve been travelling full-time without a home base.

Ø  What type of traveller are you? Backpacker, full time traveller, luxury traveller?

Full-time traveller road tripping around Europe with my husband.

Ø  Where was the first trip you took?

My first trip abroad was with my family to Singapore and Malaysia. My first solo trip was in 1994 when my parents bought me a round the world flight for my 21st birthday.

Ø  Have you had any bad experiences whilst travelling?

In the summer of 2000 I was feeling a little unwell before a flight but not unwell enough (I thought) to cancel my trip. But by the time I got off my flight in Albania I was very ill and they took me straight to hospital. Being treated in a run down hospital in a poor country where there was no electricity and at times no water was not fun. I was not in good shape and a few days later the British Embassy had me evacuated to Italy. Moral of the story, don’t travel when you’re in poor health!

Ø  Do you have any funny or crazy travel stories?

There was that time I travelled to Lazarat, a mafia run, lawless village in Albania which at the time produced the majority of the marijuana found in Europe.

Ø  What is the worst place you’ve travelled to and why?

I like most places I visit but staying in a filthy, disgusting hostel almost ruined Transnistria for me.

Ø  Where is your favourite place in the world?

My favourite place changes all the time but right now I’d love to be island hopping around Croatia.

Ø  How do you fund your travels?

Like most travel bloggers I fund my travels in a variety of ways. I’ve been working online since 2005 and over the years I’ve built a number of product based websites, some of which still provide me with affiliate and advertising income. I also do some web development work, though not so much these days. As for my travel blog, I don’t make a full-time living directly from it but income from my travel guides is increasing each month and I’m currently working on some sponsorship deals.

Ø  What is your most fond memory from your travels?

When I was growing up my grandparents would take my brother and I road tripping around the West Australian outback. My fondest travel memories are from that time including hiking in the gorges in the Kimberley region and swimming with dolphins at Monkey Mia.

Ø  What would you be doing if you weren’t travelling?

Dreaming of travel.

Ø  Have you ever experiences any cultural faux pas?

I’m sure I’ve made a lot of mistakes but most people are too polite to say anything.

Ø  What is your Favourite airline?

Qatar Airways

Ø  Where are you off to next?

I’m currently finishing off a road trip through the Baltic States and will be heading to Poland next.

Blogging:

Ø  What is the name of your travel blog and why did you choose this name?

Rear View Mirror. I chose this name for a few reasons. My blog is about driving holidays and road trips and of course I write about where I’ve been so Rear View Mirror reflects that. It’s also about leaving behind what’s in the past and moving towards the future. I also happen to be a huge Pearl Jam fan and have travelled to Stockholm, Berlin and Arras (France) just to see them play Rear view mirror live!

Ø  When did you start blogging?

2005

Ø  Where did you start blogging?

Montpellier, France

Ø  Why did you start a Travel blog?

When I first moved to France I didn’t have permission to work so I started working for myself with online projects including an expat blog which later morphed into a travel blog.

Ø  What are you tips for new Travel Bloggers?

Write regularly, tell great stories, improve your photography and photo editing, travel independently, visit places which few bloggers write about.

Ø  Do you wish you did differently when you started out?

I wish I’d been 100% focused on travel blogging from the start and that my posts were aimed at helping my readers rather than just being about my travels.

Ø  What has been your most successful blog post and what was it about?

My Ultimate Romanian Road Trip post is by far my most popular as it was shared in the Romanian media and has been liked more than 12,000 time on Facebook. It’s a simple post about the best stops to make when driving through Romania.

Ø What do you do to help make your articles successful?

I focus on longer, detailed posts which either tell a story or are helpful to my readers so they’re more likely to remember it and share it with their friends.

Ø What social media platform is the most helpful for you and why?

Facebook as likes and shares can quickly generate a lot of traffic on the right post.

Ø  Have you worked with any “big name” sponsors, if not who would be your dream to work with?

No big sponsors but I’ve worked with many smaller, local companies. It would be a dream to work with National Geographic on a project.

Ø  Do you have any tips for new bloggers who want to work with sponsors?

Do you research to make sure you can deliver on what the sponsor is looking for, whether that’s blog coverage, social media mentions or something else and make sure your audience demographic is a good fit. Network with potential sponsors as face to face meetings and developing personal relationships is important.

Ø  Which travel bloggers do you admire?

I like travel bloggers who tell great stories and share beautiful photos. Some of my favourites are Travels of AdamThis American Girl and Backpacker Becki.

Ø  Do you have any advice or tips for aspiring travellers?

Don’t think too much about it or get bogged down in planning. Just go.

Ø  What is your Travel Motto:

Road trips are the best trips.

Website url: http://www.rearviewmirror.tv

Twitter: https://twitter.com/destinationeu

Instagram: http://instagram.com/destinationeu

Google+ profile: https://plus.google.com/+AndreaAnastasakis

Pinterest: http://instagram.com/destinationeu

Article written by:

Hi, my name is Samantha, Finance Managing Guru by day, Travel Blogging Enthusiast by... well... day too! Haha! Travelling King is the destination hotspot for the wannabe traveller! Showcasing affordable, luxurious getaways for the budget conscious! With the combination of my financial knowledge and travelling experiences I aim to show you, with a little planning, the right budget and a realistic goal you can fulfil your travel fantasies and explore the world whatever your budget or desires may be!

Join the discussion

  1. Anne

    An amazing interview with Andrea, who I know personally having met her on my first trip to Paris April 2009 at a Bloggers/expat lunch.

    I love reading Andrea’s blog ,very inspirational. Gives great reviews on places to eat, stay and place to see in each county she goes too. Well done Andrea, great to know more about how you started your travels.

  2. Nate

    That last photo is amazing!

  3. Andrea

    It’s a cool place. You should visit some time.

  4. Andrea

    Thanks Anne! It’s been great having your support for so many years. 🙂

  5. Ryan Biddulph

    Hi Sam, Pete and Andrea,

    Loving your story Andrea. That mafia run town in Albania sounds like a crazy place.

    As for your serious illness I have been there. I suffered through giardia in a remote Indian village. I was blessed to be 45 minutes from a good hospital but the tuk tuk ride was so bumpy. I felt like I was going to pass out at some points and had to be carried around, like some type of rag doll.

    You’ve seen so much during your travels, which is quite awesome 😉

    Ditto on the longer, detailed posts. I run Blogging from Paradise, which is a blogging tips themed blog which teaches folks how to retire to a life of island hopping through smart blogging. Since I published 2500 to 3000 word posts 3 times a week my readership grew quickly, as did my social reach.

    Go in depth; folks will dig it.

    Thanks for the share all.

    I’ll tweet this through Triberr.

    Signing off from Fiji,

    Ryan

  6. Andrea

    Getting ill on the road is never good but having to take a long tuk tuk ride sounds tough!

    Three super long posts per week? I could never do that. Glad it worked out for you.

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