Natasha is a travel writer, blogger and influencer based in Dubai. In early 2014, she quit her Finance career to pursue her dream and invest all of her time into a career as a travel storyteller and photographer. Since then she has volunteered with tribes in Vietnam, kayaked in the Abel Tasman National Park in New Zealand, hiked in the fairytale landscape of Cappadocia in Turkey, on a glacier in Iceland and the rugged Eastern tip of Spain at Cap de Creus and sailed in the backwaters of Kerala. Her blog TheBohoChica.com features stories, photography & tips focused on cultural experiences, discovering new cuisines & hiking adventures around the world. She hopes that readers will be inspired to travel more often and venture out of their comfort zones. She is also on Instagram @thebohochica.

She is a member of the Professional Travel Bloggers Association. Her writing has appeared in online publications such as Matador Network, Elite Daily, iExplore, The Culture-ist, Expedia Singapore and Travel Mindset and in the UAE based print magazine Saffron Insider. She is a regular columnist for iExplore.com and GoOverseas.com.

1. How did your work as a travel blogger change your life?

I started my blog because I love to write and travel inspired me to write more and share with others how incredible our world is and how travel opens up the world to us. As I started writing more, I became more observant of other cultures and people and also more appreciative of them. Now when I look at new and unfamiliar aspects of travel, I do so keeping aside my own biases and with an open mind. I observe things I didn’t before, ask questions I would be too indifferent to ask before and try my best not to objectify other cultures, but to explore them through stories while respecting them. I’m grateful for my audience that is interested in my content, and now, I want to travel even more so I can write better stories. And most of all my work as a travel blogger means that I love what I do and why I do it every single day.

2.Which of the places you have travelled is your favourite and why?

Of everywhere I’ve been so far, Iceland is my favourite country. I love being outdoors and remote, wild places are perfect for someone like me who loves to spend a lot of time hiking by herself, just connecting to nature on a level where I don’t need anything else. Iceland has some unbelievable landscapes that are often rightly described as otherworldly. Plus it’s home to a warm, open culture and some of the nicest people in the world. It’s also the most gender equal country in the world, something I love as a feminist and is unsurprisingly, one of the happiest countries in the world.  

3. What do you find more challenging when you work with brands and companies?

The most challenging part of working with brands, especially when they are new to working with bloggers and influencers is in getting them to understand the value that comes from this new kind of advertising and promotion versus the more traditional forms. As a brand, if you’ve found a blogger or influencer who is professional, creative and can offer you quality content or a solid campaign, you need to take advantage of that and pay them as you would a professional, rather than offer a complimentary meal, stay or product in exchange for a review. The value of online marketing cannot be stressed enough for two reasons- one, people buy from people, i.e. influencers who they can relate to, even more than they would from celebrities. For example, if you love hiking and found this cool and popular Instagram profile of a guy who posts some amazing hiking photos and he mentions a certain brand of hiking shoes, you will check them out if you’re looking to buy hiking shoes yourself. The second reason is that content lives online forever, and only grows stronger over time if it has the right SEO and is of high quality.

4. Do you find Susurrus helpful and why? 

I’m still quite new to it, but I’m beginning to see some interesting campaigns come through, I think it will only grow better in the coming time as it’s an exciting time for influencer campaigns here in the Middle East.

5. Do you have any useful tips on how a new blogger can create a blog as successful as yours?

The most important tip I have is that you really need to love it to be any good at it. Don’t blog because you think it’s glamorous or because you want to be famous. I’m typing this at 4.00am so that should tell you the kind of passion I have for my job and how unglamorous it is. If you don’t have enough passion, it becomes obvious to your readers and you seem superficial. Create the best content you can, care about your audience, learn and master your craft and don’t be a sell-out. And please stay grounded, take your work seriously by all means but please don’t take yourself too seriously!