#MyBlogLife: Siobhan McAuley On Turning Her Travel Addiction Into A Dream Job
Blogger Siobhan caught the travel bug at six months old, and hasn't stopped since.
From: Born in Zimbabwe but moved to Ireland aged 12.
Lives: Meath – when I’m not travelling!
Growing up in Zimbabwe to an Irish dad and a Sri Lankan mum, Siobhan McAuley was no stranger to different cultures. Born with the travelling bug, Siobhan spent her teens saving for trips away. As an adult, she’s turned her love of travel into a marketable skill, shooting and reviewing resorts all over the world for her husband-and-wife blog, They Wanderlust. We caught up with Siobhan between trips to find out what it’s like travelling the globe with a toddler in tow, to discover where she really considers “home”, and of course to grill her how she stays fit and healthy while travelling 24/7.
You spent a lot of your childhood in different parts of the world – have you always had an interest in travel?
My first trip abroad was to Mauritius and my mum’s native home of Sri Lanka. I was just six months old at the time. In that sense, the term “interest in travel” doesn’t quite capture what it means to me. Travel has always been a way of life for me, not just an interest. I travelled around the world with my parents until I was I was old enough to go solo.
As a teen, I would save my pocket money and earnings from my part-time job for trips away. I wasn’t interested in nightclubs or alcohol like most of my peers – all I wanted to do was to see the world!
Is there one part of the world that you feel most content or that you consider ‘home’?
I am a nomad by nature so I feel at home anywhere I go! However I do have a particular draw to Miami and New York.
My husband Byron and I have incorporated travel into every aspect of our lives. Byron proposed to me during a trip to Cape Town, South Africa. We got married in Las Vegas, and that’s where we found out the sex of our baby boy Mason – now one – too.
How did you get your start in the blogging world?
Seeing as I have always had an interest in travel, photography and fashion, starting a blog might seem like it would have been an obvious choice for me, but it actually wasn’t my idea! While on vacation in the Maldives, a PR person from our hotel enquired about working with us, and it was that conversation that inspired me to turn my passion in to a career.
Has becoming a parent changed how you travel?
The main change is that it’s simply not as easy to be spontaneous now that we have Mason. Before he came along, I went on many a spur-of-the-moment trip to New York, Dubai or the likes.
In general though, traveling with Mason is easy. Like his mum, he feels at home wherever he may be, plus he loves the outdoors and is a very friendly child. Also, I can honestly say that breast-feeding has been a saving grace: it soothes Mason on long haul flights and it also makes it easier to feed him on the go.
It’s important to me that he sees as much of the world as I did as a kid, Opening a child’s eyes to different cultures is the most important education you can give them. It means they’ll never be ignorant or disrespectful of race or lifestyle differences.
Your shoots always look so incredibly professional! Tell us a bit about what goes into making them look good?
It takes a big effort for sure. Before visiting a new destination, I search for as many fashion editorials or shoots from that location as I can, as inspiration. Byron’s in charge of sourcing clothes. Once we arrive, we scout out the best places to shoot on foot, and starting snapping pictures. When a shoot is complete it goes over to our photography team who ensures all the images are ready to be shared on social media and the blog.
As for writing the post, I do this after the shoot, usually once we’ve packed up and headed home. While we’re at the destination there’s simply no time to write, between scouting, shooting and meeting PR managers and hotel directors.
Many would consider your job a dream job, but it must be tough at times too?
Yes, it’s a dream job but it’s still a job. Usually I’m working for the entire duration of our trip. The pictures might look chilled out and relaxed, but they could be the result of countless takes – especially when it comes to photos with Mason in them! Shooting days can be tough as it’s just myself and Byron there to manage equipment, mind Mason and of course take the photos. Not to mention the fact that we’re often working in intense heat!
Any tips on keeping up a good food and fitness routine while travelling?
It’s definitely a challenge to stay healthy when you’re on the go. Our most recent trip was to Venice, meaning constant temptation from delicious carb-filled food! As a rule of thumb we always take a swim at some point during the day, or if the resort we’re in doesn’t have a pool, we at least make an effort to walk everywhere we can. Plus we always drink plenty of water and start our day with a high-protein meal to keep us full until lunch.
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