Imagine sitting by that perfect ocean spot, watching the sunset, sipping something soothing at a well designed cafe all while hugged and cuddled by nearby mountains. Imagine strolling through tourist-free urban streets dripping with culture and overflowing with creative architecture. As wonderful as these imaginations seem, planning a trip on it’s own may be a challenge. Once you get there, the challenge gets real and you find yourself scrambling for unique spots to explore yet coveted by many. Vanessa Rivers along with her friend Becky van Dijk found their travel blog We Are Travel Girls to bridge these gaps, for women, by women. They are now known as one of social media’s most popular travel bloggers who have a knack to be in the know of what’s hot and what’s not. Travel blogging is a dream for many, many of us and a lifestyle unmatched. Their 9-5 and in betweens hold similar values to that of any small business, yet what they do is a job that’s a modern day millennial’s dream.
Their joint venture, We Are Travel Girls is a travel blog to inspire, educate, empower and connect women travelers. They host events and meet-ups all over the world, where women travelers can connect with each other. In an interview with Vanessa Rivers, we explore her passion for travel blogging and her eco swimwear line SummerLove Swimwear. We also asked her to share some very useful tips for those of you out there aspiring travel bloggers.
What did you do before starting your swimwear line?
Before I started my eco bikini line SummerLove Swimwear, I was waiting tables and teaching private surf lessons! I’m an avid surfer and I love being in the water and I love
How did you begin your career blogging?
I began travel blogging almost 10 years ago on GlitterandMud.com
Your background and role models?
I was raised on a solar-powered eco ranch in San Luis Obispo County, on the Central Coast of California, and graduated Coast college at UC Santa Barbara. My role models growing up were my mom, my step-father Todd Fisher, and my step-grandma Debbie Reynolds.
Travel bloggers are
recently inspired Americans to travel and explore the world more than previous generations. Would you agree?
I do think travel bloggers have helped encourage people to get outside of their comfort zones and see the world! In 2016 my business partner Becky van Dijk and I launched our global travel community, We Are Travel Girls, with this exact goal in mind – to inspire, connect, educate and empower female travelers.
How did you find your niche and how did are you so eco aware?
Surfing led me around the world, inspiring a lot of my adventures. So I guess you could say surfing, along with my passion for travel and sustainability, led me to create my travel blog and my swimwear line.
I was raised on an eco ranch so from a childhood I was taught to consider how my actions impact the earth.
What gave you the idea for an eco-swimwear brand?
Born from my passion for surfing and love of travel, I was inspired to create SummerLove Swimwear after years spent searching the globe for swimsuits that used sustainable materials but still looked luxe. Believing that going green doesn’t mean forgoing style, I set out to design bikinis that are sexy, modern, and environmentally friendly.
When I started sketching designs for my line in 2009, most of the eco swimwear brands that I saw were not functional or stylish and I began to realize that there was a void in the market. I wanted to create swimwear that is chic and affordable, allowing women to buy green and still look gorgeous.
Your work routine and the challenges that came with your business:
I work remotely from everywhere on my laptop. I am actually more productive with a cocktail in hand by the beach, haha! The biggest challenge is how do you differentiate yourself from other travel bloggers? How do you make yourself stand out? We answered this problem by launching We Are Travel Girls and creating a platform that promotes women around the world, not just Becky and me.
What was the hardest point in your career and how did you overcame it?
The hardest point in my career is now
Do you face any travel challenges?
Yes leaving my daughter to host our Travel Girls Getaways
Any advice for aspiring travel bloggers and nomadic workers?
- Take Becky’s Blogger Course – she will literally teach you everything you need to know to become a travel blogger and run your own successful business.
- Invest in a great WordPress theme and website designer to help you get it set up properly. Ryan at Salty Collective is great and helps us with all my websites.
- Don’t have the “If you build it they will come mentality.” Have a plan for how you are going to drive traffic to your travel blog and then put that into action every day. Like anything else, you have to treat travel blogging as a real job, not a hobby, in order to make it successful.
- Be ready to put in years of hard work to grow your following. Some people make money sooner but for many travel bloggers it takes years to start generating an income. Have a plan for how you will generate income from other sources for the first 5+ years you are travel blogging.
- Pick a niche you love and are passionate about!
A favorite quote?
“What makes a woman beautiful is her attitude towards the world.” -Christi Zabel (my mom)
Venessa is a proud mom, avid surfer, travel blogger, and entrepreneur. Being raised up on a ranch, she tries to opt for sustainable, eco-friendly choices, which she combines with her love for surfing in her eco-swimwear line, SummerLove Swimwear