When and why did you start blogging?
Bio: Kristin. Wife and Mother and lover of travel. Based in Orlando Fl. I started blogging Spring 2017. I have always enjoyed getting out and seeing new places, trying new foods and drinks and learning more about the history and culture of an area. I would share my photos with my friends during each trip, when a friend of mine turned me onto Instagram where she was sharing her photos.
From there I fell in love with the idea of this beautiful network of travelers who support each other and were traveling full time! I didn’t believe that was even an option (unless you were recruited by “The Travel Chanel” to make a scripted show about traveling) But now I find myself so inspired and motivated by fellow travelers who are exploring and tasting their way around the world!
What do you blog about? Any particular niche within travel?
My niche is “sippin and strollin’
Meaning I focus a lot on the cocktails and foods that the city or region is known for. I also pass along cocktail ideas often featuring ingredients or liquors that are distilled in the city I just visited.
How did you decide your blogs name?
I’m a bit of a wild spirit with an eclectic personal fashion style, and have been nicknamed already by friends as the Gypsy… the name evolved in wanting to keep the blog personal without using my own name and incorporate the element of the spirits and cocktails that are featured in many of my photos, posts and recipies.
How long have you been blogging for?
What plans do you have in the future for your blog?
Collaborations with fellow travellers…many of the women travellers that have inspired me have been around the world already! I would love for my Sippin Gypsy family to have insights to their amazing experiences!!
Projects I coming up.. YouTube channel
Places to visit This year will include trips to: Atlanta GA, Charleston SC, Philadelphia PA
Collabs working with two as we speak….hopefully more by the time you post this! Im excited and inspired by these confident traveling souls and anxious to learn from them, travel vicariously through them and connect them to the beautiful base of Gypsy followers I have!
Does your blog cover anything else other than travel? If so what?
1) Cocktail recipes – I bring home ingredients or liquors from the city I just visited and create fun cocktails to enjoy with my friends!
2) Diary – I live in Orlando, so there is a lot to do all the time… I have short posts featuring a lot of the extra activities at Disney and am building posts about preparing for excursions here in Fl)
3) “The BEST I EVER” – a list of the most amazing and memorable foods or cocktails I have experienced.
What can our readers find on your website? www.sippingypsy.com
I am just starting out, so I haven’t been featured anywhere yet, but I am collaborating with two other travel bloggers/digital nomads as we speak!
Do you have any travel tips or advice for our readers that might want to start a travel blog?
Just do it! There are free platforms for a blog, and the social media sights are free! Put yourself out there. The people that are doing this full time are so supportive with ideas and encouragement. Give yourself a few hours each week to commit to uploading your content, reviewing others content and networking. If you love to travel, others will want to know why and want to see what inspired you! I have absolutely no photography or marketing background, I’m just excited to share what excites me and I have yet to be ‘judged’ about my lack of skill in angles, lighting or editing…there is only love and support and it has boosted my confidence 10fold!
What are some of the highs and lows of travel blogging?
The highs are when someone uses your content and has a memorable or fun experience following your advice or insight. Its also very exciting when successful full time travel bloggers like my content. The lows are when I feel that writers block…I just can’t come up with a creative way to recap my travel. Its also a low when I feel the photos I took just don’t capture the mood or ambiance after I’ve already returned home and can’t retake the image.
What type of traveler are you?
I have that full time job that eats up 45-50 hours of my work week. I’m also a wife and mother. My content gets uploaded sometimes at 3 in the morning after work and taking care of the family, but I love doing it, and I find myself so invigorated by the journeys others are taking that it is so rewarding no matter what time of day. I also have a VERY supportive husband. He purchased my domain name for me and my camera, he helps me with recipe ideas for my cocktails and takes care of the kids on my day off so I can spend real time working on my content and networking.
As someone who works full time (9-5) how do you fit in travelling around your work schedule?
When you love what you’re doing, it doesn’t feel like work! Blogging is “me time’ a chance to share the amazing trip I just took. I have to commit to doing a little something every day. Maybe its only 30 minutes in social media, finding inspiration in what others have done. Maybe its my full day off, writing, networking, planning the next trip. I don’t want to not be working on this any chance I get!
What sites or other resources do you use to decide where and when you will go to a certain place or destination?
I love personal testimony. I reach out through my friends for tips about where to go. I also love to use the local website for the city I am planning to visit. I do leverage yelp and trip advisor and use key words like “organic” or “farm to table’ or “local”. When I first get to a city, no matter how gimmicky it sounds: I always do a ‘tour’. This gives me a quick overview of the history of the area, and usually recaps local favorites or staples in the city. I also pick up a book from a local book store that is about that city written by someone that has lived in that city and has a passion for their hometown.
Do you have any favourite travel books you have read or use?
Each city I have visited so far has had a local publication of a walking tour of that city. In effort to support local, I make it a point to buy one of these books and a cook book and bottle of liquor from each city. I have also leveraged Fodor’s Walking Tours through my phone to help with history, tips and insights.
What’s been some of your favourite destinations & why?
Please keep in mind I have traveled to many more cities than I have blogged about, I just didn’t have the common sense to start blogging earlier to capture those experiences too. I will of course be revisiting for content and exploring deeper. But hands down my two favorite places have been New Orleans and The Rhine Valley in Germany. Germany was so enchanting! Being a lover of history, I felt like I was walking through pictures of my story books. The food was incredible, the hospitality was unparalleled. I spent 10 days staying in different bed and breakfasts, hiking up to castles and monasteries and exploring small local shops and meeting the most amazing people.
New Orleans is my other favourite. Again the history of the city, coupled with the food and music scene is something I can never get enough of. This city epitomizes my sippin and strollin mantra. I love the dark history of the city and what beauty has come from the strength and perseverance of its people. The food has shaped my own cooking style and introduced me to new flavor profiles.
What equipment do you use to blog or for your blog?
I use my laptop, Nikon camera and I Phone X for everything. I use weebly for my blog, VSCO to edit my photos, Adobe Cloud (which I am still learning) to make my logo and to use for my future videos. I am constantly on Facebook and Instagram and check in regularly with Twitter and Pinterest and I use IFTTT to make posting between them more cohesive
Drone…that’s on my Christmas list for this year!
Do you have any photography or making travel videos tips?
I am only starting to dabble in videos… but for photos…take a lot… often the one you land up using is one that is after the 10th shot of the same thing.
What’s the TOP blog post TOPIC’s on your page?
Do you have any tips or suggestions one how bloggers can earn an income from blogging?
I am working towards that goal myself. Everything I am doing is on my own steam and dollar right now, but I believe if I keep at building quality content that my Sippin Gypsy family finds inspiring, that the monetary platforms will come.
Top 5 Bucket-list Destinations and why?
1) Italy: I love the food, and history and I want to get out into those small countryside villages and cook and make wine with locals!
2) Egypt: The history! I would love to explore inside a pyramid and wander the marketplace. I have always wanted to ride a camel in the desert! I have yet to have true Egyptian food, but I’m excited to try!!
3) NYC: I have been here as a buyer in the fashion industry. I know the glitz and glam that the city offers. I want to go outside of the tourist areas and get into the small local spots that have been there since the beginning of time.
4) Spain: My husband has such great memories of his time in Spain as a child. Plus some of the Instagram posts that have inspired me the most with architecture and history have come from Spain.
5) Japan: I have always been inspired by the ethereal appearance of the countryside of Japan. The architecture and reverence for nature calls to me. I would want to make this trip a balance of exploration and self-reflection. Taking time to immerse myself into solitude in nature and just meditate and grow.
Top 5 travel experiences you can’t wait to try out or do?
1)Camping. When I turned 18 I spent a week on the Appalachian Trail. I want to do it now as an adult in a more rigorous hiking environment.
2) Riding that camel in a desert!
3) Riding an elephant in India and taking part of Holi.
4) Cook and drink with locals in travel abroad… spending time in their homes and really getting know what life is like for them.
5) Be invited to travel somewhere and blog about the experience
Do you have a money saving travel tips?
Pick what you want to spend your money on. I have this vice of preferring to stay in small, historic but luxurious accommodations… this is important to me more than going during the time of year that they weather is the best. I live in Florida…I don’t need to go somewhere when its warm and nice. I’ll enjoy a week of cold and rain if that’s the low season with better prices. Also eating local is most often much more affordable than the glitzy big box spots. Not only do you get the taste of the soul of a city, your dollar goes a lot further.
Do you have ay funny or strange travel experiences to share?
As a family, we booked a getaway to Savannah GA for the eclipse. We stayed at the Mansion on Forsyth which was so beautiful, we bought local cheese and bread to pair with our wine to sit out for a picnic during the Eclipse…and what do you know…the only HOUR the clouds filled the sky and it rained was during the Eclipse… we would’ve had a better experience seeing the eclipse if we had just stayed in Orlando and watched it from our balcony. Oh well! At least the kids got to experience Savannah Ga, I fell in love with several amazing spots there, and we sat and ate local cheese and bread while watching the eclipse on a TV from a couch in the lobby of the hotel.
Was there a place you visited that did not live up to your expectations & why.
I’ve always been a “glass half full’ kind of gal. I find joy in simple things like strolling down quiet street and seeing a beautiful doorway or browsing through the store run by the local college to house their artwork. The only thing that comes to mind that has ever been close to something called “disappointing’ is trying a spot for food that a local just ranted and raved about, but in the end its just not what I expected.
Please share the links to your photos one your Instagram page.
What’s in your travel bag?
3)the book locally published for that city
4)if its an open container city: my flask
5)a few tea bags of Tazo Passion Tea (I love to drop a tea bag into a cup of water to stay hydrated while strollin)
What travel apps do you use?
Trip Advisor, Yelp, Open Table
What are 3 things travelling has taught you?
1)How much alike we all are. Our ethnicity and heritage doesn’t change that we are human and citizens of this planet. A smile means the same in thing in any language, and everyone knows how to raise a glass and say Cheers!
2)There is so much more than your own 9-5 job. There is a big world out there that keeps going while you’re in the office. Everyone has a job that needs to be done, be grateful for yours and be courteous of the jobs of others. TIP those street artists well, they are dedicated to their craft as you are to yours. We all need to make a living.
3)Step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Don’t eat or try something you can get at home. Trying something local made by locals is so much more rewarding and gives you a true taste of that place.
Have you encountered any travel mishaps or scary moments if so what happened?
Thankfully I have stayed safe on all of my travels. I have had the usual deflation of losing a phone and all its photographic content (thank you now for icloud storage!) Other than not packing warm enough clothes for a surprise cold front, I roll with the punches and keep my glass half full and keep sippin.
Do you have any recommendations for cities and beach places that you have visited and loved?
I have some definite recommendations!
1)If you like beaches and you’re coming to Central Florida, please visit Clearwater Beach. The sand is soft, the sunsets are beautiful and the food within walking distance up and down the beach is incredible, I mean right off the boat incredible!
2)In New Orleans, I make it a point to visit Bourbon O Bar every time I go. They have the most amazing Ramos Gin Fizz. It may take 6 minutes to make, but there’s always live music while you wait.
3) In St Augustine I fell in love with Odd Birds Bar. This eclectic spot is more of a hangout for locals and bartenders, but the bar staff here really knows how to craft a cocktail. The ambiance is charming, and they have live music on several nights.
Where do you see your travel blog in two years?
This question made me grin…at my current “9-5” we have regular reviews, and on one of the tools during a performance review the question is asked: “How will you gage success”? So where do I see my blog in two years? How will I gage success?
I would love to replace my 9-5 income and be able to travel full time. My husband and I have already decided as the time comes, we would pull the boys out of conventional school and transition them to online school so they can have the world as their class room. But more than anything, I want the privilege to be invited to blog about a particular place. Every morning I anxiously get up and check my emails for that golden ticket
“Dear Sippin Gypsy…would you please come and write about your experience at …..” It may be a pipe dream…there are so many talented and cultured bloggers out there, but I would love just one invite based on my content and perspective!
Please share 1 travel quote you love.
I have one that really spoke to me last year and got my wheels turning for a more fulfilling life:
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page”
Augustine of Hippo
And I have a quote because I endorse a lot of ‘sippin’
“Sip and Stroll or Sip and Ride but please don’t ever Sip and Drive…Cheers!” Sippin Gypsy
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