Getting to Know a Travel Blogger Series : High Heels and a Backpack
Melissa Douglas is a full time solo female Travel Blogger and Freelance Writer who left her corporate career in favour of a more adventurous life. She bases herself in Seoul, South Korea and likes to focus her travels on non conventional destinations such as Palestine and Iran in an attempt to push the boundaries of solo female travel.
What got you into blogging and how long ago was this?
I left my corporate job in September 2015 and started travelling around the Far East, visiting all sorts of obscure and off the beaten track towns and villages in China, Japan and Korea. One of my friends emailed me to say that everyone at home loved reading my travel updates on social media and mentioned that I should start documenting my travels in a blog. I was a bit shy and nervous about writing at first but I started my blog in early 2016 and now it’s both my favourite hobby and my source of income!
Fav destination and why?
I think that Seoul will always be my favourite city. I lived there as an English Teacher for a while before I started writing full time and was completely captivated by Korea’s fascinating culture, history, and the friendliness of the people. Since I now have a circle of friends in Korea and know the country and the language quite well, it feels more like home to me than the UK!
Since I wrote a lot about travelling in Seoul and Korea in general on my blog, I got “discovered” by publications including Forbes Travel who asked me to write for them about travelling in Korea. For that reason also, Korea will have a special place in my heart as moving there really helped me in my move towards becoming a full time writer and blogger.
There is some hideous figure out there about how many people start up blogs every day and it can deter you from writing one when you feel like the odds are against you, however there is always room on the internet for great content so as long as you are prepared to work hard, post consistently, and teach yourself technical aspects such as SEO (ugh), there is no reason why you cannot make a success of your blogging aspirations.
I love to travel to the lesser visited places so I have always been fascinated by the mysterious Kingdom of Bhutan in the Himalayas. Bhutan looks incredibly beautiful and it is actually the only country in the world that measures “gross national happiness” as an output in the same way as you would currency! I have finally booked a trip to Bhutan for this December and I am literally crossing the days off a calendar like an inmate scratches tally charts onto the wall! Travelling there is certainly not cheap (they have a strict rule that states you must spend $250 a day in their country because they want to minimise the impact of tourism!) but I am certain that it is going to be worthwhile.
Pet peeve about travelling
Sometimes I feel that there is a lot of ridiculous competition between travellers that I really feel is idiotic. For example, people will state that if you do something like choosing to fly from one destination to another rather than take a long, uncomfortable 15+ hour train journey then that makes you a “tourist not a traveller”. I’m in my late twenties now, I did my share of long journeys when I was younger and on my first trip around South East Asia but now I’m willing to pay a little extra for my own comfort. Let’s stop the travel shaming and snobbery.
Favourite travel blogger
There are so many travel bloggers out there that I really respect and admire. A personal favourite of mine is Stephen from Unchartered Backpacker. He also focuses on non conventional destinations and has been to some adventurous places like Afghanistan and Libya. I don’t doubt that travelling in these places may be different for me as a solo female, but his stories are very inspiring to read.
If you like this please share and pin for future reference. If you are a travel blogger and would like to feature in my Getting to Know a Travel blogger series please get in contact.