After a short hiatus, My guest blogger series is back. And this week I’m so excited to introduce to you, the lovely Binny Shah, of Binny’s Food & Travel Diaries.
If you haven’t caught up with my guest blogger series before, do check out some of the other fantastic travel blogs that have already featured. This includes Memoir Musings, Wanderluce, and Lux Life. I also added a Q&A with myself, for anyone who is new to The Travel Journo.
But for now, let’s find out about Binny’s Food & Travel Diaries.
Over to you Binny…
Tell us about yourself and your blog
Hi I’m Binny, a food and travel blogger currently based in London. I was born and raised in the East African coastal city of Mombasa, Kenya, and grew up surrounded by coconut trees, the sound of the ocean waves crashing against the shore, monkeys playing in our garden and beautiful scenery. I now live in London with my husband Amit, and have been writing my blog, Binny’s Kitchen and Travel Diaries, for just over 2 years.
Why did you set up your blog?
I was always being asked by friends and family on tips on where to go, which restaurants, etc, so it made sense to put them all online. I’ve always had a passion for writing and Binny’s Kitchen and Travel Diaries launched as a creative outlet where I could share my recipes and document my adventures both in London and internationally, of events, restaurants, hotels and destinations I have been to.
It’s also like a digital diary for me and I love reading back on some of my earlier posts from time to time and re-living the memories.
What’s your typical week – do you blog full-time or part-time?
I am actually in my last month of full time employment after which I will be blogging full time, as well as doing freelance social media marketing and photography, which I am so excited about.
I have been balancing a full-time job in Banking alongside my blog until now and I usually wake up at 5am every day to work on my blog for an hour and a half before going to Canary Wharf for my day job.
My typical week at the moment is filled with work during the day and events or reviews in the evenings. I am really looking forward to having much more time once I become a full time blogger.
What do you love most about blogging?
What I love most about blogging is that it has really enabled me to move out of my comfort zone, meet amazing people, make some brilliant friendships and the blogging community is simply amazing. I hope that in five years’ time my blog has made a valuable contribution to the blogosphere and that it continues to inspire people to move out of their comfort zones and to travel and try new things.
What do you think is the key to a successful blog?
I think the key to a successful blog is to be consistent, committed and dedicated to it. It is also wise not to compare yourself to others unless it is to inspire, and to focus soley on growing and improving your blog, finessing your writing style and loving what you do. Personally, I try and blog 4-5 times a week and I have focused on improving my photography as well, which has motivated me to blog and share my experiences even more.
What kind of content can readers expect from your site?
Readers can find restaurant recommendations, both in the UK and abroad, as well as hotel reviews and destination guides. I do share the occasional recipe too, usually inspired by my multi-cultural upbringing in East Africa.
Tell us something about yourself that people may not know..
Despite working in Investments, I actually have a masters in marketing and have had a paper published in a journal.
I used to play the piano, have tried eating ants and grasshoppers in Mexico City, once built an ios and android app to promote tourism in Kenya and am the owner of the Our Kenya Facebook Page.
What are your favourite travel and lifestyle blogs?
What’s your favourite social media platform and why?
My favourite social media platform is Instagram because I love sharing photos, interacting with friends, family and fellow bloggers on it as well as love using Instagram Stories to share snippets of what I am up to as well as links to my latest blog posts.
Instagram has been one of the drivers for me wanting to improve my photography and I love looking back to see how much my style has changed over time.
Where are your travels taking you to next?
I have quite a bit of exciting travel planned for the second half of the year staring with Thailand and Malaysia at the start of September, a countryside break in North Devon in the UK, a trip to Qatar, followed by Hong Kong and Bali in November.
Thank you Binny for taking part in my Q&A and sharing all your wonderful stories and tips. And good luck with full-time blogging! If you want to find out more about Binny Shah, you can follow her on twitter, instagram and of course, via her lovely blog, Binny’s Food & Travel Diaries.
If you’d like to be featured in the Guest Q&A series, get in touch.