+ Who are you?
I’m Angie. I also answer to Ange, Angelene, Shakira and Sharkweek.
I’m a newlywed trying to balance work, writing, wifedom and wanderlust. To read an abridged version of my life story & how I became a globetrotting blogger, visit my About page.
+ I’m new to your blog. Where should I start?
To see the evolution of Angie Away from 2010 to the present, start by checking out my quarterly Reflections from the Road
posts. I’ll wait.
+ Are you a full-time blogger? What do you actually do for a living?
Blogging is one of many income streams for me. I’m also a media consultant, publicist, copywriter, journalist, TV host, digital influencer and public speaker.
You can read more about what I do and how I make money here.
I’m a Slytherin, too, but no one pays me for that.
+ How did you afford your RTW trip in 2011? Are you a trust fund baby? Either that, or you’re a call girl/drug mule. Right??
Oh, it’s way more scandalous
that all that. Can you handle it? I traveled all over the world in 2011 using my savings account. WHAT?!
Instead of stockpiling designer shoes or having a big wedding and 2.5 kids in my twenties (not that there’s anything wrong with that), I socked away whatever money I could and used it to fund my initial year around the world. What’s more awesome and rad than saving pennies and paying your own way? *Fist bump*
+ How did you go from traveler to pro-blogger?
I never had a grand plan to become a professional travel & lifestyle
blogger. Frankly, when I started blogging in 2006, it was just a way to keep friends and family back home updated on my life in NYC. Professional bloggers were few and far between back then, so it’s not something I even considered until it happened organically about a year into my solo travels. I found a way to parlay my love of travel, PR background and blog platform into a career, and here we are.
+ Do you always travel for free?
I wish! Sometimes I get to visit cool places on someone else’s dime in order to write about them either for my site or newspapers, magazines or TV segments. I make any sponsored travel abundantly clear so you’ll always know what I paid for and what I got paid for.
Either way, you’ll always get the truth. I’m a terrible liar and I can’t stand obviously paid-for positivity.
+ Should I quit my job to travel?
That’s a very personal decision, and while I’m a professional writer/blogger/traveler/public speaker/publicist/journalist, I am not a professional career advisor. I certainly never regretted taking the step for myself, and in my job, it was the only way to get away long enough to really see the far-flung corners of the earth without being attached to my work-issued Blackberry. *Shudder*
As we say in the South, there’s more than one way to skin a cat. You don’t have to quit your job to travel and I think some of the most interesting travel writers out there are the weekend warriors, making travel a part of their life while working full time.
+ How can I start a travel blog?
Starting a travel blog is easy – just pick a niche, buy a domain name and write, write, write, write, write. There are hundreds of books written on the topic and entire websites and conferences devoted to figuring it all out. Every blogger’s story is different, and there’s not just one way to do it.
Maintaining a travel blog and getting others to read it over time is the really tough part. Prepare yourself for grueling hours, the disillusionment that comes with finding out it’s not as easy or glamorous as it looks and then thousands of inquiries from others who want to do what you’re doing because you’ve made it looks so easy and glamorous.
If you make it past the first (self-financed) year without giving up, you may have a chance of surviving in the saturated travel blogosphere.
If you really just want to see the world, save your money and go travel. Leave blogging to the masochists.
+ What photography equipment/scuba gear/suitcase do you use?
Check out my resource page
for a list of cameras, luggage and travel gear that I swear by.
+ I’m traveling to [insert name of country]. Where should I go? What should I do? Where should I stay?
Meep. I wish I could answer every travel question, but I get so many requests – it’s overwhelming! If you want my advice on a specific destination, check out my Destinations page to see if I’ve been there. If I haven’t, Tweet me your question, and I’ll try to direct you to a blogger who has.
+ Can I pick your brain?
Ewww. This is an idiom I loathe, almost as much as when people say they “caught the travel bug” like it’s some sort of filthy epidemic you pick up from the airplane tray table.
If you have a specific question that I haven’t answered here, please feel free to get in touch via my contact form. If you’re a brand or business and you’d like to “pick my brain” about working with bloggers or using the social sphere to promote your content, I consider that consulting and charge accordingly.
+ When are you going to write your book? You’ve been talking about it for a long time.
Tomorrow. That is also when I will start my diet.
+ Is [insert name of country] safe?
Safety is not predictable, no matter what State Department warnings say or what you might see on the news. It’s wise to avoid certain countries in times of turmoil, but in most destinations, safety has everything to do with you and the individual decisions you make on a daily basis.
I can’t predict if you’ll be run over by a tractor, robbed by masked marauders or squished by a falling piano in your hometown next week. The best advice I can give on safety (which is the same exact advice I’d give to anyone, any day, anywhere – not just travelers) is be aware of your surroundings, don’t overindulge in substances when you’re alone (or really, ever) and be incredibly cautious with everyone you meet.
+ How did you meet your husband?
+ Can I advertise on Angie Away?
Not really. It’s ironic considering my PR roots, but I like folks to be able to escape the noise of advertising when they’re hanging out on my site. Any sponsored content here is designed to be as organic as possible, will always make sense in the context of the Angie Away lifestyle and will be flagged accordingly.
I am open to discussing new opportunities, so if you think your brand is a fit, please get in touch.
+ Did you have a quarter-life crisis? Sigh. #Millennials
Not at all! I decided that instead of speeding toward my thirties chained to my desk, I’d spend my 29th year cage diving with great white sharks, climbing mountains in the middle of the night and sleeping under the stars. It was the best decision I ever made.
Perhaps my trajectory doesn’t fit with the traditional American dream, but I’m more than ok with that.
+ What was Donald Trump like?
I interviewed with Donald Trump when I made the finals for Season 6 of The Apprentice. He didn’t say anything racist or sexist, and he actually seemed pretty amused by my answers. Not amused enough to put me on the show, but let’s be honest, NOT being on reality TV was the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
+ Are you more of a budget or a luxury traveler?
I never wanted to box myself into one category because there is value in every experience. Budget trips can be just as much fun as luxury ones; and fancy trips can be as transformative as those that take a bit more effort. I’ll sleep just about anywhere as long as there’s a compelling story to be told.
+ Aren’t you scared to travel by yourself? You’re just a girl, you know!
I’m not the first traveler – solo, female, short, blonde, etc. – to travel around the world, and frankly some of my globetrotting predecessors thought they might sail off the end of the Earth. In comparison, my misadventures have been a cakewalk.
It’s a guarantee in this broken world – bad stuff happens. I’ve been robbed, drugged unconscious, groped, tear-gassed, I broke a toe, hurt my neck on a zipline, got in a mini-plane crash, had my identity stolen and shared a toilet with a snake. Isn’t traveling THE BEST?! The crazy thing is that some of that bad stuff happened while traveling, and some of it happened closer to home.
It’s crucial to have a healthy respect for the potential dangers you might encounter on the road, but fear is not an emotion worth entertaining (except in the case of cockroaches.)
+ What is the meaning of life?
Giving. I believe that every blessing in my life is not so I can live in comfort and get everything I want, but so I may bless others. I learn over and over that if I am faithful to share my blessings, God will never fail to provide for my needs.
+ Why did you give up a successful PR job to travel in a failing economy?
Embarking on my original RTW adventure wasn’t an easy decision, nor was it impulsive. When I first began to consider a career break, one of my biggest areas of concern was leaving my phenomenal (and stable) NYC PR job. My colleagues were more like sorority sisters, my clients were amazing and my projects interesting, and I had more once-in-a-lifetime opportunities than I could dream up – like launching the Wizarding World of Harry Potter or taking a private jet trip around The Bahamas.
However, I was beginning to care more about my career than anything else in my life, and that’s not a person I ever intended to be. After reading Counterfeit Gods by Tim Keller and praying about it a whole lot, I realized I was allowing my job to take the priority position, all the while missing opportunities in other arenas and using work as an excuse to get out of all sorts of things that used to be important to me.
After some soul-searching, I realized that I cared about my job much more than it cared about me, so I gave it up and hit the road.
+ Who are you voting for?
I’ll never tell. Angie Away is a politics-free zone.
+ Does it cost money to access the hundreds of articles you’ve written over the years?
Of course not. The content published on Angie Away is absolutely free and my gift to you. But if you want to send money or plane tickets, you go right on ahead, Sugar.