Do You Salut – Travel Interview

Hi I’m Summer and I’m the creator of Do You Salut blog. Do You Salut is a blog about traveling, living life, and celebrating everything it has to offer. Do You Salut is a new blog. I started it in late June 2017. Salut is a French word that can be used to say hello or cheers. So my blog’s name is asking readers to stop and think how are they celebrating life? Are you celebrating it through traveling? Drinking a cup of tea? Doing yoga? Reading a book? Whatever way you are doing it just make sure that you are living your best life.
DoYouSalut was a way for feeling and me to deal with the stressors of reaching thirty years old like I wasn’t reaching my full potential. I like to call it a pre-midlife crisis. At the time I began writing for Do You Salut one of my best friends was diagnosed with cancer and he ended up dying a year later. My core was shaken. Blogging and traveling was a way for me to escape. Now it’s a way for me grow.

What plans do you have in the future for your blog?
I’m in the process of creating a YouTube series called Unpack NYC where I explore all of New York City’s attractions both the popular ones like Times Square and the hidden gems like Louis Armstrong House. I hope to provide more travel guides and itineraries on my website. I also would like to have more wellness posts where I share ways to improve your life: be it decluttering the house, tips on how to cope with toxic family members, how to beat the normal every day blues, budgeting, or how to have a good time on a dime.

Does your blog cover anything else other than travel? 
Yes, I actually started blogging years ago when I was a nutrition student studying to become a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist. I created a nutrition blog called SalutNutrition and realized that my lifestyle posts grabbed more attention then my regular nutrition posts. DoYouSalut was a little experiment from that observation and has grown into my favourite “child”. So Do You Salut covers travel but also life things as well.

What can our readers find on your website?
On my website you can find my travel and life stories. I share my adventures and provide travel tips from my mishaps and give readers a peak into life in my beloved city: New York City. I also share wellness tips and stories.

Do you have any travel tips or advice for our readers that might want to start a travel blog?
I would say first think about why you want to do it. Is it for fame? Or because you want to share your story. Then just do it, start writing, and start taking pictures, just start. Also don’t worry about what everyone else is doing.

What are some of the highs and lows of travel blogging?
There are so many travel bloggers and no matter how much work you put into your site you will always find someone who is just better than you. At times in the beginning that can be disheartening. It’s also challenging keeping up with all the changes and things you need to do in order to get noticed.

Travel blogging is so saturated. You can find yourself; not really living in the moment because you want the greatest picture of the ‘gram, or torn between telling your story and telling people only what they want to hear.

I love travel blogging because it makes the world so big and small at the same time. You get to learn about different things from other people. For example, I didn’t know the Lapland existed until I stumbled upon a travel blogger and read about his time there.

What type of traveler are you? 

I work full time as a Registered Dietitian- Nutritionist and I travel any time I get. I always try to get the most out of my travels, which means sometimes going straight from the office to the airport for a red-eye flight and going straight from the airport to the office. Sometimes I also work holidays (like Memorial Day, Presidents Day,etc) so I can use the days when it better suits me.

What sites or other resources do you use to decide where and when you will go to a certain place or destination?
I mostly decide where to go based off of books that either my boyfriend or I are reading at the moment, a tv show or movie I’ve seen, or place might just keep popping up.

Do you have any favourite travel books you have read or use?
I don’t really have a favorite travel book. Before a trip I go to the local library and get whatever free travel book they have.

What’s been some of your favourite destinations & why? 
5. Salt Lake City- Place I went to on my first solo trip, beautiful city and my first time seeing snow capped mountains in May.
4. Savannah Georgia. I love my beloved NYC but the fact paced city life isn’t truly me. Savannah is a city right out of an old time novel. I loved the Southern hospitality and charm of this city.
3.Givenry and Paris, France- Givenry is where the painter Claude Monet had his gardens. His meticulous attention to detail is awe-inspiring. Paris, the City of Love, and I have a not so secret affair. I went there as a teen and didn’t truly understand what I experienced until I went there again as an adult. It’s also the first international trip my boyfriend and I went to.
2. San Francisco- Nice relaxing place. I can definitely see myself living there!
1. Germany- I surprised myself by how much I’ve fallen in love with Southern Germany.

What equipment do you use to blog?

My blogging equipment consists of: my Canon T5 camera, my Google Pixel 2 phone (I used to have a Haweui P8 which was amazing!), my pens (green, orange, and black), journal, my MacBook air laptop, tripods, and a action camera that’s a low budget Go Pro. I use iMovie and Canva for my visual needs. My pictures aren’t edited. That’s a can of worms that I will open once I truly find my writing voice and have my blogging groove. Right now it’s too much to do at once.

Do you have any photography or making travel videos tips?
I would say just grab your camera and start clicking or filming. The more you practice the better you become, you’ll learn which angles work best for you, which things you are really good at photographing, etc.

Do you have any tips or suggestions one how bloggers can earn an income from blogging?
I haven’t monetized my blog yet but I everyone talks about Amazon affiliates or just affiliate marketing in general. I think developing your voice and style first is important before you start bringing other people into the picture. You want to develop your credibility and identity.

Top 5 Bucket-list Destinations?
1. Any of the Polynesian Islands
2. Africa (West Africa)
3. Asia (Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Bali)
4. Northern Lights (It doesn’t have to be Iceland)
5. South America (Colombia, The Galapagos Islands, Brazil rainforests, etc)

Top 5 travel experiences you can’t wait to try out or do?
Japanese Tea Ceremony
Visiting San Sousi Palace in Haiti (my parents home country)
Yoga or meditation class in India
Northern Lights
Visiting Colombia (my boyfriend’s mom’s home country)


Do you have money saving travel tips?
I’m all about saving money any way you can. I almost always book rooms in either hostels or hotels that provide free breakfast. I know we life in a brunch culture but restaurants really over price their breakfast items. I come from a food background so it drives me crazy how expensive breakfasts can be. Also when you’re eating breakfast at the hotel or hostel you get to see the other people you are sharing a space with. Its also a great time to mentally prepare for the adventure you’re about to embark on!

Do you have ay funny or strange travel experiences to share? 
Last summer my boyfriend and I went to bike riding in Amsterdam. I haven’t ridden a bike in years so I was a bit shaky and insisted on my boyfriend riding in front of me. While riding along a man cut in front of my boyfriend and me and he didn’t realize. He made a turn and left me. As I got to the corner I looked left, right, and straight ahead and could not see him. My phone wasn’t working and I did not have a key to our room. So I was pretty much stranded. There was a cheese shop at the corner. I patiently waited for him to come back and find me but I was so tempted to go into the cheese shop (I LOVE CHEESE!). When he finally came back I could see the look of sheer terror on his face. I could not help but laugh. Needless to say he didn’t find it funny. This made me laugh even more because I’m normally the worrywart in the relationship.

Was there a place you visited that did not live up to your expectations & why.
I would have to say London. I LOVE British culture, TV and the British accent. But when we got to London it was at the end of a nearly two week Eurotrip. I was exhausted and it rained everyday during our tour. By the time I got to London I was grumpy and surprised by how similar it was to New York, which meant no more smiling faces that greeted me in Germany. But when I reminisce about London now I still had a great time and would love to go back again.

What’s in your travel bag? 
Top 5 things in my travel bag: a sweater/scarf, my journal and pen, camera, wallet, glasses (if I’m wearing contact lenses) and a snack

What travel apps do you use and why
I mostly use Expedia, Airb&b, Google maps, and recently Worldpackers and Skyscanner. I know there are tons more out there but these are what I’m most familiar with and trust the most.

What are 3 things travelling has taught you?
Never judge a book by its cover. Of course I already knew that was true for people but it is also true for places. My thoughts on Germany were mostly from my studies and things with World War II. Never would I have thought to go to Germany or that I would love it so much.

Do not put limits to yourself. I used to always think to myself “But you can’t do this because….” Yet last year I accidently became a travel blogger. It all start out with a 30 things to do before turning thirty list. The next thing I new 2017 ended and I traveled to about 10 different places! We truly can accomplish so much more if we stopped thinking… “I can’t.”

The grass is really always greener. When traveling I like to compare where I am to New York. And I always find myself complaining about NYC and USA and all the backwards things we do. But everyone complains about where they are from. I’ve notice there are so many people who are madly in love with New York City. People who long to visit and its pretty much my backyard. This is probably the same for a person in Thailand, or maybe Brazil, or Rome. The bottom line is that its best to enjoy where you are just as much as wherever you travel.

Have you encountered any travel mishaps or scary moments if so what happened?
In Barbados the “buses” are really vans and the stops aren’t labeled as well as it is in NYC or other metropolitan areas. My boyfriend and I, we are a interracial couple (he’s white-Latino and I’m Black. I always become a bit on alert because I’m afraid that someone might not like seeing us together.) By the third day there we became familiar with the bus route and one time in the evening the driver went a different route that we were unfamiliar with. For a while we were the only passengers in the van and I was worried at the possibility that we might have been getting kidnapped. But we didn’t!

Do you have any recommendations for cities and beach places that you have visited and loved? 
I really liked San Francisco, California. It’s such a beautiful city. The people are very nice and have a great relaxing vibe. Recycling and water conservation is a norm there, which is really cool to me. For beaches I would say Inch Marlow Barbados. It’s a bit off from the capital but our hotel overlooked the ocean and the people there were even chiller than San Francisco.

Have you visited any off the beaten track places?
I visited Bavaria or Southern Germany and it was amazing. It was truly breathtaking. We went into many towns which names I don’t remember but Mittenwald was by far my favourite. Locals were wearing lederhosen and medieval costumes for a festival. It was awesome!

Best places you have visited or want to visit for cultural experiences.
I want to visit all the regions that came up on my Ancestry DNA test. I’d love to take a yoga lesson in India, learn a traditional dance in a Polynesian island, learn about coffee farming or carnival in South America, and so much more.

What are 5 things you wish you knew about blogging before you started?
1. SEO
2. Pinterest.
3 Facebook Groups
4. Blogger Conferences
5. Saving money and self-hosting.


Where do you see your travel blog in two years?
In two years I hope that I would be creating short films are mini documentaries about my travels and the people I’ve encounter. I also hope to have improved my writing and have a short story section on my blog to just entertain people, make them laugh, make them cry or just escape their everyday humdum without needed to leave home. I would hope that My Unpack NYC show continues and even gets picked up by the public broadcasting station called NYCgo. The sky is really the limit! I just hope that I’m still doing this and it still makes me happy.

Please share one travel quote you love.

Not all those who wander are lost” by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Please Share Details Of Any Other Blogs You Have.

I also have a food and nutrition website called SalutNutrition.com. I’m in the process of revamping the site but on the site I plan on covering general nutrition information and showing how exploring cultural foods and help improve your life. I’ve recently started learning more about sustainability and agriculture so I’ll be sharing things about that as well. My hopes is that the site is up and running by mid-May 2018.


Instagram: www.Instagram.com/doyousalut

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/doyousalut

Pinterest: www.Pinterest.com/doyousalut

Twitter: www.Twitter.com/doyousalut

YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0al-TSFOFG6a8-iU17CO5w

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