Today, I’m super pleased to have Aftab Pathan on the blog. Aftab is the founder of the luxury travel and lifestyle blog Fresh And Fearless. And if you already follow Aftab, you’ll know he posts about some seriously stylish and luxurious places in London and beyond. Personally, I think he has a great eye for photography, so I urge you to follow him on instagram if you’re not already.
If you haven’t caught up with my other travel writer and blogger Q&As, feel free to check some of them out, including Stuart Forster of Go Eat Do, Jen Lowthrop of She Gets Around, Becky Wiggins of EnglishMum.com and Rebecca Hall of Life Beyond Borders.
And if you are an established blogger and would like to take part in a Q&A, please get in touch.
But for now, it’s over to you Aftab….
Guest Travel Blogger Q&A | Aftab Pathan, Fresh And Fearless
Tell us about yourself
I’m Aftab, I am London-based but I grew up by the south coast of England in Bournemouth and I’ve been blogging for almost five years.
Why did you set up your blog?
I wanted to start a blog for a couple of years before I actually did, but I wanted to have a creative outlet to my science studies. Whilst I was studying for my final A-level exams I started Fresh And Fearless during my extreme procrastination sessions. It felt like the right time, especially as I was due to move to London to start my higher education studying Biochemistry at university. It was my way of having an online diary, doubled up as a creative outlet for my friends and family to see what I got up to whilst I lived in London.
Tell me about your work and your typical week
At the moment I work on my blog full time and have done for the past year or so, whilst I have been in between finding the right job for me. However, my main work I would say is around the Marketing/PR background which I’m soon returning back to.
I try and travel on average once a month, sometimes that could be three times in one month and nothing for many months or other times it could be a steady trip every month. I don’t write for any other publications at the moment, but that’s something I will definitely branch out to should the opportunity arise. Until then, I’m very happy to dedicate my creativity to Fresh And Fearless and wholeheartedly nurture it.
What do you love most about travel blogging?
I think my love for travel blogging stemmed from my initial love for travelling. I love to explore the beautiful destinations of the world and the luxury hotels that reside within them, then capturing it through my camera lens, acting as my trusty eye. Then coming home to write about my personal experience, filling in the thoughts and moments that the pictures simply cannot describe to tell a beautiful travel tale.
It’s almost like experiencing a trip, fully immersing yourself in it for all its glory and then coming home and reliving it all over again, only this time through my words and photography. The most special thing about it is that I have that as a keepsake for life as I read back through my old blog posts reminding myself of my truly thrilling and memorable travels.
What do you think is the key to a successful blog?
Authenticity, a true love for writing, a unique way of storytelling and a passion for capturing those special moments. I for one love sharing my blog posts with my readers and I have done ever since day one. Numbers have not been something that ever mattered to me, even when I first started and only parents used to read my blog posts. It was never supposed to be what it is today, but I guess that’s what has grown it to be what it is now – the love, honesty and unconditional commitment to it.
What kind of content can readers expect from Fresh And Fearless?
Fresh And Fearless is a luxury travel blog, where I seek out the way to travel in ultimate luxury that is affordable to everyone, whether it be something people save up for or for those that are able to afford it without any saving. As much as I would love to fly around in a private jet to each destination I travel to, it’s not reality in all honesty nor is it relatable to the majority of people.
Alongside my luxury travels, I have a real passion for finding the hidden gems whether they be in the form a destination that not many people have heard about or thought to travel to, down to the perfect family-run authentic restaurants that everyone must try when visiting a destination.
Tell us something about yourself that people may not know
I’m actually a very fearful traveller. I used to hate flying as a child, but I loved travelling – as did my parents. I guess I had no choice but to quickly get over my fears if I were to fulfil my travel dreams.
Even now, I feel rather unsettled during turbulent flights. On top of that, I feared a lot of experiences whilst travelling and often having my barrier up, I missed out on a lot of fun and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. It is partially where the ‘Fearless’ part of my blog name comes into play, it’s a personal pact that I have made with myself to push my limits as much as possible during my travels.
As a result, I’ve ridden camels in Dubai, skied on the Italian Dolomites, Quad biked across rural parts of Scotland, stood on cliff edges of Dorset, tip toed across 200ft high rope bridges in Canada, swam in Lake Geneva, crawled through bat caves, walked alongside Maasai in East Africa and so many more unforgettable experiences.
What’s been the best trip or experience that you’ve written about?
Oooo, that’s hard. I think the best experience that I have done most recently would be skiing on the Italian Dolomites. It was a completely surreal experience but what was even more breath-taking, was going up to the Black/Black Diamond runs via ski lift and watching the sunset over the mountain peaks. That was a definite ‘pinch me’ moment and I won’t be forgetting the experience or the chills of pure joy and happiness that ran down through my back.
What are your 3 favourite travel blogs?
Can I have four? (Oh, go on then…) They would be Binny’s blog – Binny’s Kitchen & Travel Diaries, Angie’s blog – SilverSpoon London, Emma’s blog – Adventures of a London Kiwi and Polly’s blog – Follow Your Sunshine. Four truly inspiring and worthy travel blogs that everyone should follow and read.
What’s in store for Fresh & Fearless over the next few months?
I would like to think lots more luxury travel across the globe. I created a long wishlist of 20 places I really want to visit this year at the beginning of 2018. A few places included are Santorini, Positano, Barcelona, Bali, Petra, Phuket and Moscow. I’d love for you to all join me and travel vicariously through my blog posts, let’s see if I can complete all 20 by the end of 2018 shall we?!
All images provided by Aftab Pathan.
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.