Firstly, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and This Island Life, how and when did it all begin?
I started This Island Life in 2010 – at the time I was a copywriter at an advertising agency. I loved having a job where I could write all day and be creative, but I needed another outlet. This Island Life was born out of my passion for summer travel and everything that goes with it – the sun, the ocean, the bikinis and the adventures. I never dreamed that I would get to travel the world and share my experiences with island lovers from all over the globe. Having created an island travel hub that makes people happy and inspires them to enrich their lives through travel is truly inspiring.
Is this your full-time job or do you work on the side too?
Working on This Island Life full-time would be the dream, but I also still work four days a week as a copywriter. I use my annual leave to take blog trips – which is never enough! When I’m not travelling, I have every Friday dedicated to This Island life, which is of course my favourite day of the week.
The million-dollar question – is it attainable to make a full-time living while travelling?
If you’ve got the following and you’re producing high-quality content, most definitely. There are so many different ways to earn an income as a travel blogger, but like any job it’s highly competitive and you’ve got to put in the work. For me it’s more like a freelance job than a full-time job, because earnings can be sporadic and vary from month to month.
Top 5 travel essentials that we wouldn’t see you on a trip without?
My camera, a bikini, sunglasses, a hat and my boyfriend – mainly because he’s my favourite person ever, but also because he is my photographer and much better at flying the drone than me.
So, you’ve just come home from Europe – tell us, where did you go and what was your favourite destination?
We had a month in Europe and it was actually my first proper holiday in five years. As much as I love travelling for my blog, I just needed a trip where I could have my own schedule and to not be constantly working. We did Paris and London for the first week, then we spent the next three weeks island hopping around Greece and Italy. I’m half-Greek – my grandparents are both from a beautiful island in the Ionian Sea called Ithaca and one of my great grandfathers was from a little port town in the north of Kefalonia called Fiscardo. It was my first trip to Greece and I just couldn’t go another year without seeing my family’s home island. I’d spent my whole life hearing about Ithaca, so to see the island for the first time was a special moment.
Sardinia was my next favourite destination – not only was it incredible, it was also a surprise. After Greece I knew we were flying out of Rome two weeks later, but I had no idea where we were going in between. I’d shown my boyfriend a photo on Instagram of a beach in Italy months before – I didn’t know it was in Sardinia. He researched where the photo was taken and surprised me at the airport as we left Venice. The beach was Cala Goloritzé – it has incredible limestone formations and the most crystal clear aqua water you’ve ever seen. It was one of the highlights of our itinerary and we’re already planning to go back again next year.
Do you have any accommodation recommendations? Any stays that stood out from the rest?
We didn’t stay anywhere flash – just family run bed and breakfasts. We basically road tripped the entire time in Greece and Italy, so we didn’t stay anywhere for more than one or two nights. Most places we booked at the end of the day as we didn’t know where we were going to end up. We’d book a place at 8pm, and then rock up 30 minutes later.
European vacay’s often see us eating and drinking our weight in cheese and rosé, what was your go-to euro meal?
My go-to meal on the Greek islands was grilled sardines and salad with a carafe of the local wine – either white or rosé. In Sardinia it was fresh seafood – every night was a feast of mussels, squid and local fish. I love cheese, but I’m allergic to dairy – but I did risk it in Italy where I had the best pizza of my life – twice! It was at a local pizza joint in Pompeii where we were staying for just one night. We were meant to stay on the Amalfi Coast the following night, but my boyfriend couldn’t stop thinking about that pizza – so we ended up back in Pompeii eating another diavola. He is still talking about that pizza!
Beauty 101: what is in your kit when you travel, both skincare and makeup?
I don’t wear make-up every day when I’m travelling, but I like to have everything I need just in case.
I try to take as little as possible, but these are the things I can’t travel without…
Bobbi Brown BB Cream ($65), Nars Bronzer in ‘Laguna’ ($58), Nars Blush in ‘Orgasm’ ($44), Clinique ‘Almost Powder Makeup’ ($55), Loreal Xtreme Resist Lipgloss in ‘Never let me go’ and Blinc ‘Amplified’ mascara ($35.95), Lancôme ‘Sourcils Waterproof Gel-Cream Eyebrow Pot’ ($49).
Having said that, I didn’t wash my hair once in Greece or Sardinia haha.
Do you have a go-to travel playlist on Spotify? Can you share it with us?
I don’t have any set playlists, but I listen to a lot of hip hop like Drake and Kendrick Lamar. Whatever new albums are out at the time I’m away, is usually what I end up listening to. In Europe, Justin Bieber’s ‘Despacito’ unintentionally became our travel theme song – just because it was playing EVERYWHERE we went!
Lastly, you spotted some of our swimwear! What do you love about Aloé?
I lived in my Aloé bikini and one-piece in Europe! I don’t think I’ve ever worn swimwear more comfortable or more flattering than Aloé. I love that they are reversible too – it’s like having double the swimwear. I am definitely going to have these swimsuits back on high rotation as soon as summer in Australia hits.