Tell us about Millie Goes and how you got started.
want to hear what I have to say! Will from the Broke Backpacker was the guy who convinced me to try my hand at writing, we had met many years beforehand and dated for a while way before he’d started
blogging. He suggested I try guest blogging for him, so with a little nudge I started to write about my experience of finding a travel buddy- it was so well received by his readers he told me I simply had to
start my own website and I grew from there.
Was this always what you wanted to do or did it emerge over time?
When I was 18 and finishing school, my only goal was to somehow be successful in the business world to make my dad proud. I was young, materialist and had decided I was going to slot into society just like everyone else. I was scared of most things, and had no intention to travel other than in luxurious 5* resorts. Little did I know that once I hit the road for my first trip I was never going to turn back! I
won’t deny that this trip, interlining Europe, was originally simply so I could say I’ve tried backpacking and move on. From then on though, travel has been the only thing on my mind. I’ve worked so many crap jobs (but some really nice ones too) to save so I can hit the road again over the last few years. The blog has just been a way for me to keep my adventures alive and encourage others to try it too.
Who has helped you in the process of following your dream?
It’s hard to pinpoint an exact person or anything at all that helped me follow this dream to travel for a living. My parents are obviously awesome and have helped support me when things have become a little hard, and my friend Dan has also been someone who has constantly believed and encouraged me to keep going with the blog – he’s even flown out to bizarre locations to save my life before! A true friend for life and my secret hero in times of need at times. Other than that, it’s been a severe determination to prove to people that I matter and that I’m not the boring, dull girl so many people used to think I was.
What inspires you?
Other travel blogs a lot of the time. There is huge travel blogging community out there who support each other. LJOJLO Travel blog, The Broke Backpacker and Nomadasaurus are my muses when I get really stuck, and are great sounding boards when I get writers block! I also hit google and simply look up inspirational travel quotes, something I’ve recently started to create on my own website to help others get some: http://www.milliegoes.com/inspiration-wall/
What challenges have you encountered and how have you overcome them?
Try to stay original in a market that is oversaturated with bloggers is tough! It’s so hard to stand out in the travel blogging world at the moment as there are so many of us. My Two Minute Guides have helped in breaking me apart from others, but also I think my friendly and personable writing style also is slightly different. I try to write as though I’m talking to my friends instead of third party readers so they all feel involved in my travels.
I love the quote on your website, “The only person from stopping you from achieving your dreams is yourself”. Tell us more about the message are you trying to share with your work.
That message is what I’d love to go back to my 14 year old self and scream at. I was that moody teenager who felt like the world was against me, when really I was just against myself. Why was I always so scared? Why did it matter what people think of me? Once I started travelling all that was just washed away and that’s when I realised I was the only thing holding me back. I have no excuse not to live my life to the full so why wasn’t I? I’d love to just help one other person see this and feel as free as I do now!
How did you learn to deal with criticism?
Learning to deal with criticism is something I gained many years before the blog or before I started travelling. Having gone to an English boarding school, I think that if you can survive 4th form in a
group of hormonal, over- privileged teenage girls you can survive anything. From being locked a in a locker, to constantly being told I was ‘Count Camilla’ (I had the worst teeth before braces) anything
that comes my way now I just laugh at. I’ve learned over the year that the best defence against negativity is a good sense of humour.
What is it that you love about travelling?
This is the million dollar question for me. Travelling for me is to have complete freedom. In a world where we have to justify what we’re doing, where we’re going etc constantly it’s the most beautiful feeling in the world to have a one way ticket somewhere and not a clue what’s going to happen when you arrive. Sure, it’s got me into a hell of a lot of trouble along the way, but nothing can beat that feeling. It’s that moment when you watch that sunrise or sunset, holding onto your budget beer in that pristine moment of silence, or the rush of wind in your ears as you start to drop out of a plane. The sound of rain on the tin roof of the beach shack you’re renting for $5/night with 3 complete strangers who are now your closet friends or the moment you see a landscape so beautiful you can hardly breathe. Every single day on the road is an adventure, and every single day I fall in love – a destination, a new friend, a new exotic flavoured dish etc. It just doesn’t get any better than that for me, I find it so hard to describe sometimes!
What advice would you give to aspiring artists?
Love what you’re doing. If you don’t love it with every fibre of your being you won’t succeed. It’s bloody hard work, especially at the start when you get no reward whatsoever, but you learn the best
ways to do it and move on. Eventually you build a network of friends who are doing the same as you and it grows into something you look forward to doing when you’re home from work. Once you reach that point, when the work is something you love everyday then you’ve struck gold as you will succeed!
What have you learned in the process of following your dream?
Never listen to negativity, from myself and from others. It’s literally poison and you have to go somewhere with no one around to scream at yourself to shut up and only think positively. Once I got
into that habit, it’s been ‘relatively’ smooth sailing. I always get things wrong while travelling, I’ve been shot at, I’ve shot someone (they were fine before anyone panics), I’ve tackled raging rivers and swum with full sized crocodiles and sharks – the list is literally endless. If I’d listened to friends and family every time they told me to give up and go home, that it’s too dangerous etc I’d be back where I started!
What are you most excited for in the future?
That the world is so big I will never finish. That may piss some ‘list tickers’ off but that just makes me unbelievably happy. No matter what I do, there is no way I can experience everywhere in just one lifetime. I’ve got some major places on my list such as Antarctica and Bhutan, but I just love going to new places and trying new things .