My guest this month for the Travel Blogger Interviews series is Marianne Rogerson, the creator of Mum on the Move, a family travel blog providing destination information and travel tips for families with small children. Here is my interview with her:
1. Tell us a little about yourself: Who are you? Where are you from?
I’m Marianne, I live in Hong Kong with my husband and two kids aged 6 and 4. We moved to Hong Kong 3 years ago after 7 years in Singapore. Before that we were in Edinburgh, Scotland where my husband is from and where I went to university. I was an expat kid, having been born in Vanuatu and brought up in Papua New Guinea, and studying languages at university meant time living in Spain, Portugal and Costa Rica too, so I’ve always been a bit of a nomad!
- What is your blog about and how did you start blogging?
Mum on the Move is a family travel blog full of destination information, family travel tips, hotel and product reviews, focusing mainly on the Asia and Australia regions. It’s aimed at families who don’t let having kids stop them from taking adventurous and fun trips.
I started Mum on the Move a couple of years ago to get back into freelance writing after I took two years off to have my son. But my readership grew so quickly and unexpectedly, that now I focus full time on my blog. I try to make my articles super useful for people visiting a destination – I love it when I see people having had a great time when they’ve been inspired by one of my posts.
- Do you travel for business or for pleasure?
Mostly for pleasure during the kids school holidays. However, once you have a travel blog, there is always an element of business involved with all your vacations. So especially if I am being hosted by a hotel or tour company, I need to be documenting everything across social media, taking photos and taking notes. I’m usually editing photos over breakfast and posting them to Instagram over my happy hour mojito! My kids now know when we walk into a hotel room that they aren’t allowed to touch anything until I have taken all my photos.
- What is the most stunning place you have ever visited?
We just visited El Nido in Palawan in the Philippines in April and I think it could be my new favourite place on Earth! The water is so clear, the beaches are so beautiful, there is fabulous snorkeling, amazing scenery. I instantly fell in love.
- What is the one thing that is too large or impractical to travel with that you wish you could take with you when you travel?
I’d love to be able to take a load of my kids’ toys with me –like their Lego or Magnatiles. They inevitably end up playing on their iPads during downtime when we travel – or we end up playing never-ending games of UNO!
- Do you feel that blogging takes time away from your social or family life?
On the one hand, blogging is a great job to have when you are a mum as you have flexible hours to fit in around the kids. On the other hand, it’s a job that is very hard to switch off from with all the social media commitments etc. I do find myself posting to Instagram while the kids are having their dinner, and I have that horrible mother’s guilt for being on my phone the whole time, particularly when we are on a “family vacation”.
- Do you have any funny travel story?
Travelling with kids certainly throws up some extra challenges. We had a pretty unfortunate experience flying back from Phuket a couple of years ago when my son was ill. His nappy leaked all over two changes of jeans, he was sick all over my top – and to top it off my daughter fell asleep and wet herself on my husband’s lap. We had to go through immigration – my son wearing his sister’s flowery leggings, me covered in vomit and my husband with a large wet patch looking like he’d wet himself!
- What has been your most successful post so far and what is it about?
Despite the fact that my blog is mainly about adventurous family travel and advocating that you don’t have to stop enjoying adventurous trips just because you have kids…. my most successful post is Tips for Visiting Hong Kong Disneyland. I guess everyone just loves Disneyland!
- What is the most adventurous thing you have ever done?
Before we had kids my husband and I were always into taking adventurous vacations – we’ve hiked the Everest trails in Nepal, done the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, white water rafted through a canyon in Peru for 5 days and trekked through the rainforests in Borneo in search of orangutans.
We still try to be adventurous now we have kids, just toned down a little – but our kids have been bamboo rafting in China, snorkeled with turtles in the Philippines, climbed temples in Myanmar and been parasailing in Borneo. It always amazes me how up for everything they are.
- What inspires you to travel, what kind of places appeal to you?
I get inspired by my fellow travel bloggers and seeing where they have been and also travel photos on Instagram. I like to visit a place that has beautiful scenery, amazing food and interesting culture – I’m not asking for much!
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