Twenty Questions With Brooke Saward of World of Wanderlust

IMG_9962I was first introduced to World of Wanderlust (WOW) many months ago by a travel-obsessed friend of mine who followed WOW on Instagram. I remember being entranced by her photos, and spent months following along on the adventures of a girl I later learned was Brooke Saward – a 22 year old Aussie from Launceston, Tasmania.

It wasn’t long after I was introduced to Brooke’s Instagram page that I started reading her blog, and I now visit WOW several times a week for travel tips, reviews, and accounts of her own personal experiences while abroad.

Brooke is a shining example of success in the travel blogging industry, and in just over a year since WOW was founded, Brooke has grown her readership to over 150,000 visits per month. As well, just last month Brooke launched her own eBook The World of Wanderlust Story about her personal journey with WOW and how she got to be where she is now. Brooke’s dedication, quirky personality and enthusiasm for travel make her blog a must-read for anyone who shares her love for adventure.

I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to talk with Brooke about our mutual love of travel…

In one sentence, tell us why you love travel.
Travel will not only show you the bigger picture, but force you to find yourself within it. 

Why start a travel blog? Why not become a travel agent or something else in the travel industry? Why specifically a blog?
For me it was all about sharing my experiences and creating a relationship with readers so that I can inspire them and convince them to travel and find it as valuable as I do. It’s just as much about me enjoying having an audience as my audience enjoying watching me travel. It makes me feel so much less alone on the road, too! 

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How did you come up with the name of World of Wanderlust?
I became familiar with the term “wanderlust'” before it became a buzzword and felt somewhat consumed by it. I was amazed that a word – just one little combination of ten letters – could describe everything I had been feeling for years since I first travelled. Wanderlust is pretty well defined now as the “strong desire to travel” – but I felt like it was so consuming for me, so much that it was all I wanted to do. So my world was entirely filled with wanderlust. I decided on the name “World of Wanderlust” because I wanted readers and fans to feel like they had one place on the internet they could come to get their “fix” if you will… somewhere they could fuel their desire to travel the world and live vicariously through someone who was travelling when they are not able to. So here we are with my little space of internet, my ‘world’ full of wanderlust. 

How has travel changed you as a person?
It has forced me to grow up and mature a lot quicker I think. Before travelling I had a narrow-minded view of the world. I think in Australia (and many other Western countries) we are quite sheltered and encouraged to believe we live superior lifestyles that are somehow more advanced than others. It is only once you have travelled to countries like Thailand that you can truly appreciate Thai cuisine, and only in China will you find a better Chinese remedy than any drug you can be prescribed. Travel changes you in ways you can’t even imagine. 

What would you say to a young person who just graduated from school, has some money saved up, and wants to travel the world but doesn’t know where or how to start?
Jump on my blog and start reading through the articles! There’s so much information there and there’s no better way to learn than to read about it first hand from someone who did the exact same thing. I also endeavour to reply to all emails from readers and give advice where I can. It sometimes gets difficult because I am so busy these days, but I am going to start doing ‘meet ups’ with readers in cities, which will enable me to meet everyone and answer all your questions in person!  

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For those of us who live a semi-nomatic lifestyle, relationships can be difficult to maintain. So how do you balance your love life with your love of travel?
I don’t have a love life! (haha) And to be quite honest, my nomadic lifestyle is probably to blame for my last relationship ending – but that’s life! You live and you learn. If I were to have a relationship again any time soon, it would need to be with someone who has a similar lifestyle or is very patient and understanding. 

Sometimes when we travel we get these “moments” of pure awe and wonder at the amazing things we see and experience. What’s been one of those moments for you?
Waking up in Paris to a snow storm in January 2012. I couldn’t believe my luck when I walked out of my apartment that morning! I was grinning like a child at Christmas… it was very special!
 

If money was no object, where would you go and what would you do?
It’s funny you ask this because lately a lot of people seem to be assuming my travels are funded by my parents or that I come from a lot of wealth. It’s not true at all! I have to budget just like everyone else and even though I’m working now, it still doesn’t mean I have an endless supply of money. If money wasn’t an object, I’d go to the moon. Dream big. 

There are stories all over the internet of women and men who’ve had violent and horrible things happen to them while they were abroad – robberies, rapes, kidnapping, even murder. What do you say to people who warn you against travelling to countries where these types of incidents against tourists have occurred?
There is crime everywhere. You can’t live your life in fear. Be smart, have your wits about you, and think of all the positives… they far outweigh the negatives or likelihood of something going wrong. Live a little! 

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You always seem very fashionable and well-put together when you travel. How do you manage to maintain your sense of style while you’re on the road?
I live by a few simple rules… Black is always in; A hat is your best travel accessory (it makes you instantly look fashionable and saves you doing your hair); And confidence is key. Sometimes I ‘umm’ and ‘ahh’ over an outfit and then just think ‘you know what, I’m just gonna go with it’… and the rest is history! 

Give us one quick tip for saving money while travelling?
Walk everywhere. 

If you’re strapped for cash but still want to get away, what affordable destinations would you recommend?
It really depends on your location – I would send Aussies to Bali, Indonesia; Americans to another state in America; and Brits to Morocco. But at the end of the day, consider your home country!!! There’s so much to discover in our own backyards that can sometimes be even more magical than anywhere overseas. 

What are your top five travel essentials? (excluding technology)
A hat; comfy walking shoes; a good book; headphones; and an open mind. 

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What’s been your biggest travel blunder?
None so far! 

What are your favourite travel blogs you always find yourself going back to?
To be honest, I don’t have time to read other blogs at the moment, which is really quite disappointing. I love chatting to other travel bloggers over emails to share tips though! 

Your blog has gained a very popular following in a short amount of time. What’s your secret to success?
My biggest secret is that I work 24/7 – I literally eat, sleep, breath and dream about World of Wanderlust. I always have new ideas both for the long and short term, and I’m always working on progressing my blog from the minute I wake up until the moment I pass out in front of my laptop – every day! 

What are your goals for WOW over the next few years?
There are some big ideas in the pipeline, but the general idea is to increase WOW’s global reach. I’m so passionate about it, I won’t ever stop growing it into something bigger and better. 

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What would you love to have achieved for WOW by the end of 2014?
This year my focus is all about the reader. I want WOW readers to feel they are travelling with me and they don’t have to leave home in order to see and experience the world. That’s why I’ll be focusing a lot more on video content in 2014 and posting regularly on social media so everyone can feel like they are on my trip and I can feel less alone on the road. 

Between social media and your website, you post new content daily, usually many times per day. When do you take a day off?
(haha)…. I don’t. I’d love to say this is an exaggeration, but I haven’t taken a day off since I started WOW in December 2012. I just can’t bring myself to not achieve anything for WOW in any given day. I probably only realised this on Christmas day last year when my family mentioned it to me as I was blogging away in the corner of the lounge room while everyone enjoyed family time – whoops! 

Where is WOW heading next?
Next week I’m off to London and won’t be coming back to Australia or having a home indefinitely. My full schedule is available five months in advance on my website. 

You can find World of Wanderlust at;
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5 responses to “Twenty Questions With Brooke Saward of World of Wanderlust

  1. Reblogged this on Writing Ahead and commented:
    I often sit back and watch others achieve their goals that I would kill to have. But what exactly is stopping me?

    2015 will be all about reinventing myself, finding myself, and working toward my goals for the long term. It’s time to stop messing around.

    Stay tuned, kids!

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