British-Norwegian travel writer with a focus on Scandinavia and the cruise industry.
Author of Moon Norway and Moon Oslo travel guidebooks. Senior contributor for the travel section of Forbes.com, writing about Scandinavia and the cruise industry.
Publisher of www.lifeinnorway.net, a major English language website, podcast, and YouTube channel about Norwegian culture, lifestyle and travel.
1. What got you into travel writing?
I was interested in writing and online publishing since the early days of blogging, but it wasn’t until I moved to Norway in 2011 that I began to take it more seriously. I started the blog that would eventually become ‘Life in Norway’ but back then it was just a personal diary. It quickly grew, leading to freelance opportunities and on from there.
2. What’s the most challenging part of being a travel journalist for you?
I consider myself a publisher just as much as a writer, so staying on top of the changes in the online publishing world is the most challenging aspect for sure. Thankfully, it’s something I love to do!
3. What is one thing [equipment or personal item] you can’t go without on the road?
It has to be my iPhone. The fact I can record video in 4K, publish blog posts, rebook cancelled flights, and, in a pinch, run my entire business, all on one tiny device never ceases to amaze me. It’s well worth the investment.
4. What’s your most unusual and/or memorable travel experience?
Moving to a new country almost on a whim, with just two weeks notice. Almost 13 years later, I am a proud citizen and make my living, at least in part, by writing about Norway. Sometimes you’ve just got to listen to your gut!
5. How did you learn about NATJA and why did you join?
I was introduced to NATJA in terms of both the conference and awards by my friend and mentor Tim Leffel. Although I was born in Britain and live in Norway and hold citizenship of both countries, I write primarily for the U.S. market so I find value in being a member. My travel schedule is so busy but one day, I will make it over to a NATJA conference!
6. What is the best piece of advice you could give to a rookie travel journalist?
Plan to stick with it. If you are interested in the online publishing side of things, then playing the long game is at least 50% of the success criteria. The most successful blogs and online endeavours I see today have been around for years. Building an email list of people who read and like your work and will follow you as your career twists and turns (which it will!) is crucial.