Betsi is the founder of Betsi’s World, an online travel website. She is a traveling storyteller whose passion lies within sharing the depth and beauty of the destinations she visits.
Betsi and Jim, her travel companion, travel the world while documenting their adventures and gathering travel tips to share with their readers. Betsi focuses on destinations that cater to multi-generational travelers, as well as luxury travel getaways and all-inclusive resorts.
Betsi is a member of multiple writing associations such as the North American Travel Journalists Association, the International Food, Wine, and Travel Writers Association, and the International Travel Writers Alliance.
As a contributor to online and in-print publications such as the Travel Awaits, Buzz Feed, Food Wine Travel Magazine, International Living, Indian River Magazine, and many others, Betsi is used to crafting stories that engage readers and immerse them in the places she travels to.
You may have heard Betsi on the Digital Nomad Mastery Podcasts, as well as the Dramatic Travelers Entrepreneurs and many others.
An avid sharer of travels, Betsi collaborates with a variety of Destination Marketing Organizations and tourism boards to help draw visitors to stunning destinations. She welcomes the opportunity to work with travel brands, publications, and tourism boards to help reveal the unique story behind each location.
1. What got you into travel writing?
In 2013 my husband Jim and I decided to downsize drastically. We sold our 4000SF home in Virginia, moved onboard our 47’ sailing catamaran, and set off to explore the Bahamas.
I started writing an online journal to keep all of our family and friends updated on our travels. I loved the creativity that flowed out of our experiences. In 2014 I decided to see if I could create a writing income, so I began pitching to magazines. I got some accepted pieces, and my travel writing and blogging journey began. In 2014 we moved to Florida, bought a condo to store our belongings, and continued to cruise and explore the Bahamas on our boat.
2. What’s the most challenging part of being a travel journalist for you?
How to do all the things! My strength is the creative aspect of writing. However, balancing all the other hats – SEO, social media, marketing, and promotion is difficult.
Along the journey, I have had opportunities to meet other writers, editors, and publishers who have shared tips and tricks and encouraged me, which has helped tremendously. I can better balance all the different aspects of being a writer and creator, and it gets easier over time.
3. What is one thing [equipment or personal item] you can’t go without on the road?
My phone & camera. It’s so easy to record my thoughts after a full day of activity; to remember the sensory experience of the meals, drinks, wine(s), and other adventures.
These notes and photos help me recall each meal or experience, so when I am writing, I can do so from an emotive and sensory point of view.
4. What’s your most unusual and/or memorable travel experience?
The most unusual travel experience was sailing over 100 miles offshore in the Atlantic Ocean, headed for the Bahamas from Virginia for the first time. We had 20’-25’ foot waves on our stern, and we were surfing them. I remember vividly having my first cup of hot coffee of the morning, setting it down on the deck table, looking over the stern in amazement at the height of the waves, and my coffee did not spill a drop!
The most memorable experience was celebrating my 55th birthday from the top of Volcán Baru, Panama’s highest peak. After a jaw-jolting three-hour off-road jeep journey, the jeep climbing up the mountain and crawling over downed trees and rocks, we arrived at the top of the mountain.
We were met with a fantastic sunrise! It was worth every bump and jolt on the journey up the mountain to have a 360° view of Panama as the sun slowly rose over the horizon, bathing the sky in magnificent shades of yellows, oranges, and reds.
5. How did you learn about NATJA and why did you join?
I met several people at conferences who highly recommended NATJA. I was searching for a way to connect with other journalists and DMOs.
6. What is the best piece of advice you could give to a rookie travel journalist?
Travel writing is not for the faint of heart. It takes determination and perseverance. When you breaking into travel writing, you need an income source until you begin generating the income through your writing.