Put four travel writers together and you get travel talk.
Put four moms together and you get child talk.
Mix it all up and you get the ‘Traveling Mamas’ blog.
Meet Mountain Mama (Kara Williams), Mudslide Mama (Jennifer Miner), Desert Mama (Beth Blair), and Cajun Mama (Shannon Hurst Lane).
All established travel writers in their own right, together they have formed a collective travel blog focusing on - you guessed it - travelling with kids. But it's not just about the kids. Traveling Mamas also is about romantic escapes, solo trips, and girlfriend getaways, plus travel industry news and travel gear reviews.
The blog has only been up and running for a couple of weeks now, but it’s full of useful, interesting, and entertaining information for anyone travelling with or without kids. Bet you didn’t know about the where and how to find letterboxing adventures or the growing popularity of babymoon vacations. It’s all here and more.
I was curious to find out how the blog evolved, so I contacted the Traveling Mamas to have a chat…
Write to Travel: So how did the blog come about ?
Kara Williams ‘We all met at Travel Media Showcase in November 2007 in Palm Springs. Prior to that, we'd only known each other via the Internet, primarily from our posts at www.travelwriters.com.’
Jennifer Miner ‘We all hit it off remarkably well, vowed to stay in touch, and well…’
Beth Blair ‘Shannon had the brilliant idea of starting a blog geared toward traveling moms. She asked if we would be willing to collaborate and we all jumped at the chance.’
Shannon Hurst Lane ‘The four of us just clicked and we decided to try and do something together that would possibly benefit the masses (consumer mamas out there in cyberland).’
WT: You make it sound so simple.
Jennifer ‘TMS experience [was] followed up by an email from Shannon saying "Look at our blog, I set it up for us already!" THAT was such an unexpected, brilliant, motivating thing to do, how could the rest of us not embrace it? Since then we've fiddle with the design, layout (etc), but the overarching philosophy behind TravelingMamas remains the same - to inspire other women to get out there and explore the world.'
WT: I imagine that you all bring different strengths and experience to the blog…
Kara ‘The beauty of this group blog is that we all have such different backgrounds and strengths. DesertMama (Beth) is a former flight attendant from Tucson. MudslideMama (Jen) used to be a college counselor in NYC, and now lives in California. CajunMama (Shannon) is a former firefighter who still works for her local fire department in dispatch in Louisiana. As for me, Mountain Mama of Colorado, I've been in the publishing industry for 17 years.'
Beth ‘ We tend to pull the best attributes of each "mama" to accomplish our goals. Personally, I prefer to keep my hands in the creative aspect of the blog.’
Jennifer ‘‘Since they call me the SEO Queen (I was hoping for Goddess - maybe next year!) I suppose my particular strength is knowledge of how to write for the internet. This includes search engine optimization, obviously, but also those poor gals have had to read through my manifestos regarding the importance of incoming links, page rank, keyword phrases, and other non-creative, technical aspects of running a blog.’
Kara ‘I'm the picky copyeditor of the group -- I've been known to go into my fellow bloggers' posts to fix typos. I like all my i's dotted and t's crossed.’
Shannon ‘I guess my role is to keep all the girls laughing. I REALLY like to make people laugh and smile, be it through an email or a blog post.'
WT: Is it a difficulty or a bonus that you all live in different states ?
Beth ‘I think it's so neat we all bring different backgrounds and locations to the blog. We are always learning from each other.’
Jennifer ‘For us, it's actually an asset: Four different regions of the U.S. are easily covered just by us looking in our own backyards!’
Kara ‘I think we all bring such different perspectives to TravelingMamas because we live in four different geographic regions of the U.S. CajunMama had to give me a Mardi Gras 101 lesson since I didn't understand some of her references to what happens down in the South during Carnival season.’
Shannon ‘It is so much fun and has given me something to be excited about again, in regards to travel writing. Writing is such a solitary career. How nice to be able to dish with someone about the job, with the ups and downs.’
Jennifer ‘One of the interesting benefits of Web 2.0 and new technology is that location is rendered nearly irrelevant for many forms of online writing.’
WT: The Traveling Mamas is in its infancy. Where do you see the blog a year from now?
Jennifer ‘Hmmm, this is a good question. There is indeed the fantasy of pina coladas on a tropical isle (honestly, who doesn't have THAT fantasy?)’
Kara ‘The four of us are on a white-sand beach in the Caribbean drinking mai tais celebrating our blogging success!’
WT’: Sounds great but let’s get back to reality…
Shannon ‘Hopefully we will all get to travel on a trip together as a group and blog about it. I would like to see us as the place where traveling mamas (and papas) go each day whether dreaming about a trip while at work or planning the ultimate getaway. Oh, and I would just love it if I saw someone wearing our t-shirts! Can I add Rock Star to the mix too? Seriously, we'll still be having fun a year from now.’
Beth 'We have discussed the different avenues we can take with the blog and to tell you the truth we have a lot of exciting endeavors planned. The details will hopefully get pulled together in May when we are together again. So stay tuned….'
WT: Well, you heard it here first. These gals have big plans...so as Beth suggests, stay tuned…
Monday, March 03, 2008
Put four travel writers together and you get travel talk.