One more sleep until Christmas – eek!
I thought I would share a Q&A today with the lovely Becky Wiggins of the brilliant EnglishMum.com blog. I first met Becky on a press trip to the south of France several years ago and she is one of the loveliest, bubbliest writers I’ve ever met – I know we’re not meant to say this as journalists and bloggers, but the trip ended up feeling like more of a holiday than work and that’s largely down to the great people I was with.
Anyway, I digress…
I used to run my guest writer Q&As on Mondays but I have some new ideas for the new year so I’m going to move them to Sundays. That way you can read about all the brilliant travel writers and bloggers over your Sunday brunch and hopefully feel inspired going into the new week.
Good idea? I think so.
If you’re new to my guest blogger Q&A, do check out some of my past interviews in the archives. Some of my most recent include Rebecca Hall of Life Beyond Borders, Josh Burrell of LOOKDWN and Melvin Boecher of Travel Dudes.
But for now, let’s find out more about Becky, why she set up EnglishMum.com, what her typical week involves and the global adventures she has planned for 2018.
Over to you Becky..
Tell us about yourself
I’m Becky Wiggins, I live in a little village in the Chilterns, just on the border of Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire, and I’ve been blogging at Englishmum.com for ten years.
Why did you set up your blog?
We moved to Ireland because of my husband’s work, and I was sending all these emails home to various friends and family. I’d read about blogs and thought I’d start one up as a way of keeping in touch with everyone and telling them about our new life from a central point. It just grew from there!
Tell me about your typical week
I work full-time from home. I also write for various other papers and magazines and I’m Contributing Editor at Cruise International, so my work is really varied. At Cruise, we’ve now written two books for Viking Cruises, and I’ve really enjoyed working on those, but my blog is my main work (and income). It averages out that I take around 15 trips a year, and they’re pretty diverse: one week I can be on a river cruise in Amsterdam, another on a trip to Walt Disney World to check out a new ride!
What do you love most about blogging / writing?
I love being my own boss, and I’m really proud to say that I’ve created this little business from writing about things that I love. I love the community around the blog too, and of course I love to travel and discover new places, but one of my happiest moments was opening the book I wrote for Viking and seeing my words and photos in beautiful, hardback form!
What do you think is the key to a successful blog?
For me, it’s been fighting the urge to be pigeonholed into one genre. For years, people have been saying to me ‘you won’t win awards unless you have a niche’, but English Mum has been successful even though I write about everything from baking and shopping to Disney and Universal. It’s worked well for me.
What kind of content can readers expect from English Mum?
I basically write about everything that I love, so you’ll find great family recipes, UK and worldwide travel guides, hotel and restaurant features, shopping, and local stuff from the Chilterns too.
Tell us something about yourself that people may not know..
Easy! Before I had my boys, I worked in the police service as a Control Room Operator. I absolutely loved it – it’s really high pressure and diverse, but it can also be quite upsetting. I just couldn’t go back after Sam was born.
What’s been the best trip you’ve ever written about?
There are so many! I did an adventure cruise along the St Lawrence river from Quebec to Newfoundland, which was incredible, and tagging along with Ant and Dec and Scarlett Moffatt for the season finale of Saturday Night Takeaway at Walt Disney World, Florida in April was definitely a career highlight.
What are your 3 favourite travel blogs?
Well yours, obviously! But apart from that: I met Lucy Laucht on a trip to Barbados and was blown away by her amazing work ethic – she was up at dawn to get the best light. Her blog, These Foreign Lands, is utterly gorgeous and her Instagram pictures are incredible too. She makes me want to hop on a plane every day!
For family travel inspiration, I love Helen Wright’s fantastic Passport Stamps – I love that she puts together suggested itineraries to destinations, and she’s been everywhere, so you’ll find travel guides from London to Bali and beyond.
What’s in store for English Mum over the next few months?
I’m off to Peru in January to cruise down the Amazon with G Adventures, so I’m really looking forward to that – I’m going to stay on for a day or two and explore Lima too.
After that, who knows? But we’re planning a huge family Christmas visit to Walt Disney World so that’s going to be magical.
All images provided by Becky
If you’re a travel writer or established travel blogger and you’d like to feature in my guest blog Q&A series, get in touch.