Travelling around the world on a one year honeymoon with your husband sounds like a dream to me and to most people, very unattainable. Skye from The Fit Traveller made this dream come true last year and shared her travel stories along the way. She is a journalist, a former personal trainer, a freelance writer, photographer, intrepid traveller as well as a passionate wellness warrior. So pretty much an all-round inspiration which is why I reached out to her to interview her for the INSPIRE section of the blog.
She loves to keep fit no matter where she is in the world, showcasing to her readers that it is possible to stay in shape when enjoying your holidays. We caught up via email to dive a little bit deeper into the life of The Fit Traveller.
How did you start The Fit Traveller?
The seed was planted when I was running a personal training business many years ago. I used to hand out notes for my clients to give them additional support outside of our one-on-one time and then took that online a bit later. I love being able to give clients something that they could take with them on holiday or share with family members who weren’t able to access their own personal trainer. When I jumped into the world of journalism I closed the site down, knowing that I wanted to develop that idea into something much bigger, later in my career. While working as a journalist, I spent a lot of time in the digital space. It was such an exciting and dynamic space with so much scope to reach people from all walks of life all over the world. I wanted to create something unique in that space; a website that was now only beautiful but beneficial to others and also a business that would enable me to combine my passions for travel, wellness and storytelling. That vision is how now come to life in The Fit Traveller.
What was your background before starting the blog?
My academic and work background is broad, but complimentary in many ways. I have a few University degrees in International Relations, International Law and Journalism, no doubt inspired by my incurable case of wanderlust and a love of learning. Whilst studying, I ran a personal training business which fed my love of fitness, wellness and sports. I then went on to become a journalist and have been privileged to work on some of the most prestigious programs in the Australian media, for the better part of a decade. I now get to focus all of that experience on The Fit Traveller.
How did you pick your niche for your blog?
The original idea came from my own personal love of wellness and travel. The Fit Traveller really is my baby and when you are building something of your own particularly in such a competitive space, you really have to authentically love what you are creating as well as ensuring other people want what you are offering too. Thankfully, it appears my passions are shared by many and the market is exploding when it comes to combining wellness, adventure and luxury travel.
At what moment did you think, ah-ha this is what I want to do?
When I took to leap and cut back from full time to freelance work so I could give The Fit Traveller more attention. I found myself bounding out of bed in the morning and staying up late at night, exploding with ideas. Everything about the website began to make me excited, fearful, nervous. I knew I really cared about what I was creating and I was truly invested in making it a success. That’s when I knew it was exactly what I wanted to do.
I always have people ask me how I afford to travel so often. They are very surprised to hear that I had 3 jobs at the age of 14 and have saved every single penny to fund my travels. How did you save for your big trip with your husband?
I too have been working since I was 14, mostly to fund my travels! As newlyweds, I think our friends and family were expecting us to announce that we were having a baby but instead, we told them we had quit our jobs and we were hitting the road for a year. We used our savings to fund the trip and I took on freelance work as well. Neither of us regret the investment. I have actually never regretted spending money on travel. An expensive dress perhaps, but a life changing trip? Never.
What’s your favourite way to workout when there’s no gym in sight?
I’ve always been a runner so for me personally, I love an exploratory run. Usually, I’ll find a cafe, a landmark, parkland or a town that I want to see and I’ll work out the general direction I need to run in to get there and go for it. It sometimes leads to a few awkward conversations with the locals when I take a wrong turn; I’ll be standing sweaty in my training gear speaking a broken version of their language with lots of animated hand gestures to get me back on the right track. I like to throw in a little HIIT training. It’s the fastest and most efficient way to burn off some of the calories that inevitably come with training the local cuisine in each new country.
What’s your 5 top travel experiences to date:
- Travelling overseas on a sports trip when I was 15. I was chosen as part of a hockey team to tour the UK, Europe and the US, representing our school. It really was the trip that really started it all. I caught the bug and I’ve never looked back. I feel very fortunate to have been given that opportunity at such a young age.
- Backpacking around the world when I was 18. It was before the days of social media. A girlfriend and I just packed out bags and went exploring for a year. There was the occasional reverse charge phone call, a hand written letter or hotmail home, but otherwise we were just out in the world on a big adventure. The world is a very different place these days. I really treasure the memories of that trip.
- Living in Barcelona for a year. I went to Spain as part of my undergraduate degree at 22. I chose Barcelona, even though I’d only spent two days there a couple of years before. I was on my own, I didn’t know anyone and I barely spoke the language but it was one of the best experiences of my life. By the time the year was over, I was fluent in Spanish, I had friends from around the world (many I am still friends with now) and the city had become my home. Every time I return, it still feels like my second home and my husband even proposed to me there.
- Our wedding in Bali. We chose Bali for our wedding as it was the destination for the first overseas trip my husband and I took. It was also close to Australia and relatively inexpensive so we thought more people would be able to attend. Having our family and friends all in one place for the week before and our wedding, was the most incredible experience. I would highly recommend a destination wedding to anyone thinking about it. It’s hard work to plan but we loved every minute of it.
- Our World Tour – We have just returned from a round the world tour. We visited more than 30 countries, more than 80 locations and slept in more than 120 beds, in just over 11 months. We were certainly on the move but that was also part of the trip, we were travelling for The Fit Traveller so we tried to incorporate a little wellness, adventure and luxury into everywhere we went. It was a phenomenal trip, made all the better for doing it with my husband.
It’s not always cocktails & sunsets when you run a travel blog, what’s one part of being a travel blogger you do not enjoy?
The technical side of the business drives me a bit nuts. I am more of a creative than a technical person, so if something goes wrong on the site, it takes a while for me to figure out how to fix it or call for help. That’s something I’m working on now; arming myself with more technical skills.
What’s one thing you do every day that ensures you stay grounded?
I have coffee with my husband each morning. It doesn’t matter where in the world we are or how busy the day is set to be, we just get up a little earlier and check in with each other. He really keeps me grounded and reminds me to focus solely on what I am doing. That’s something that is really important in this space.
With everyone becoming a blogger or instagrammer these days, how do you set yourself apart from the crowd?
As a journalist, I am proud that we deliver quality, in-depth coverage of places, people and events in a very beautiful and accessible space. My storytelling style has always been longer format; I like to get down to the intimate detail of a story; whether it’s a profile piece or a review on a resort or retreat. I like to transport people to a place so they know what it really feels like to be there or share someone’s story in a way that readers can really appreciate their point of view.
What’s one tip you can give someone that wants to travel for a living?
Start small. Despite appearances, travelling for a living is not for everyone. Life can be uncertain and it can be tough at times. So don’t quit your day job just yet. Instead, build the dream on the side. Once you’ve done a few trips and you know for sure you are comfortable committing to a substantial stint on the road, then dive in.
What’s next on the list for the Fit Traveller?
I have just returned from almost a year of full time travel so I am showing the website and our readers a little love. I am giving the site a facelift and working on lots of new content. There will be some exciting new projects on the horizon too, so stay tuned for that. Of course, I am also in the process of planning my travel for the rest of the year. I’m enjoying a little time with the family, cooking up a storm in the kitchen and doing some much needed training as well before jetting off.
If you had to choose one:
Beach or mountains – both. Years ago I would have said beach but I’ve fallen in love with the mountains.
Bikini or ball gown – both. I love the beach but I jump at any chance to dress up!
Flip flops or stilettos – stilettos.
NYC or Paris – Paris, always.
Hiking or sailing – Hiking
Carry on or check in luggage – Check in.
Green smoothie or mojito – Both! It’s all about balance.
What travel bloggers have inspired you to travel? Let me know in the comments below.
Read and watch more interviews from the INSPIRE section.