‘Fresh legs’ is a term in sports such as football, and it means a substitute who hasn’t yet played in a match, and who therefore will have more energy than those already on the field. A few weeks ago, VroomVroomVroom sat down for a chat with Dave of Dave’s Travel Corner, one of the oldest and most honored blogs online.
This time, we want to bring to you an in-depth conversation with a Victorian who has just started out in the world of travel writing, Kylie of Travel Reviews by Kylie.
Travel Reviews by Kylie began this year as a Facebook-based travelogue that features reviews of beautiful destinations across Australia, including accomodations, campervan parks and similar tourism businesses. Accompanied by Kylie’s outstanding photos, which she also shares via Instagram, this is one of the fastest-growing ‘fresh legs’ travel pages, and Kylie tells us that a web domain is also being developed. Kylie’s work has also been featured by the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation — not your TV network, Americans.) Check out her ABC Open page right here.
We think that our car rental customers will enjoy Kylie’s enthusiasm and gorgeous pics just as much as we do!
VroomVroomVroom Car Rental Blog: I’ve read on Travel Reviews by Kylie on Facebook that your passions are travel & photography. What ultimately inspired you to “just go for it” and become a travel writer-photographer and business reviewer?
Travel Reviews by Kylie: I recently turned 40 and I thought to myself, I have spent the majority of my adult life raising our 4 children. Now it’s my time to pursue what I love to do!
VroomVroomVroom:Tell our readers a little more about Kylie.
Kylie: I am a wife, mum of 4 and am also now working 3 days a week in Customer Service and on my days off, I am committed to this new venture. I have not always been determined, but find now that I am very determined and a stronger person. Maybe life’s lessons lean you this way! I have a loving, caring and I think funny personality, and am a little bit of a joker. And I love to help others, when I can. I enjoy the beach, bush and high country. Not a lover of the snow.
VroomVroomVroom: Has a family member or anyone else in your past influenced you to travel or write?
Kylie:Not at all. One night I was laying in bed and I thought to myself, how can I travel and get to take photos? — This is how the idea came about. I have had no writing experience previously, and I’m totally enjoying everything about this venture. Photography, travel, meeting new people, making friends … everything about it really is just unreal!
VroomVroomVroom: You’re based in the Melbourne area, and many of our customers live, work and play in Australia. Can I put you on the spot? Name one thing you really love about Gippsland, and then name one thing that you absolutely hate about it!
Kylie:Loving Gippsland is easy! We are lucky to live in a great location. We’re central to the beach, snow and mountains. The worst thing about Gippsland is WINTER … We’re just under 2 hrs from our major capital city of Melbourne. We reside in the Latrobe Valley in Gippsland. The region is best known for its primary production such as mining, power generation and farming as well as the tourist destinations – Phillip Island, Wilsons Promontory, The Gippsland Lakes, Walhalla, Mt Baw Baw and the Strzelecki Ranges.
VroomVroomVroom:You’re on Instagram — and readers, do yourselves a favor and follow travelreviewsbykylie right now! — Kylie, did you study photography or are you self-taught?
Kylie: I am self-taught. I have always had a passion for photography, even as a child. I recall my Dad giving me his film camera (24 exposures) and letting me take a photo of a pelican. I handed the camera back without any film left and 24 photos of the pelicans! I am still the same. I may take 5 photos — or 100 — of the same subject until I am satisfied with the end result.
Photography is obviously a pure passion of mine, but I’m yet to take some lessons.
VroomVroomVroom: Do you prefer travelling by air, by sea or by land? Are there advantages when you drive to a destination?
Kylie:Driving for sure! So much to see, to explore and to capture. Always new points of interest and driving is a better holiday experience, spending time together as a family. Even though flying sometimes has its advantages, time-wise.
VroomVroomVroom: What has been your most unforgettable road trip?
Kylie: Fraser Island for sure! We travelled solely and after departing the ferry, did not have any idea where we were going. I remember seeing a dingo and our youngest (at the time) yelled out “There’s a bingo!” But the weather was not very good whilst we were there. Probably next time we’ll be better prepared.
VroomVroomVroom: Tell us a bit about your recent stay at Merool on the Murray. What makes this resort special, and what did you like most about it during your visit?
Kylie: The Pioneer Theme is a stand out! Relaxing on the banks of the Murray and hearing the sounds from the Paddle Steamers is divine. Also that it is family-owned and operated is another good factor.
VroomVroomVroom: What can you offer someone reading about you who might want you to review their businesses?
Kylie: A friendly personality, beautiful photos of their destinations and accommodations. I promote an in-depth review of the accommodations on my Facebook page and also share photos via Instagram. With page views now over 2500 and growing, these accommodations will be highly noticed and recommended.
I want to show tourists and the public at large what Australia has to offer!
VroomVroomVroom: A hot topic in camping right now is “glamping” — luxury camping on a grand scale focused on service and comfort, instead of “roughing it” — have you tried “glamping”? What are your thoughts on the trend? Is camping the old school way better?
Kylie:As of yet, I haven’t tried glamping, but it’s on the list. We stay in cabins and have our own caravan. When we’re roughing it, we stay in tents and the Aussie Swag.
VroomVroomVroom: You once wrote the following, “The more destinations we have explored within Australia, I really don’t think it’s necessary to travel overseas…” Many bloggers have long lists of destinations that are all around the world. I think specializing in a particular area is awesome. Explain to our customers why you feel the way that you do about Australia.
Kylie: Really, in my opinion, Australia simply has it all! Australia contains places that are Natural Wonders of the World and also World Heritage listed. We have not travelled all of Australia, but from what we have seen so far, it is very impressive and there’s plenty more to see. Capturing and experiencing the ‘Kimberleys’ is my ultimate dream, and hopefully one day it will be fullfilled. (VroomVroomVroom adds: check out car hire in Broome!) I would also love to photograph Cradle Mountain, Richmond Bridge and The Nut at Stanley, all located within Tasmania.
VroomVroomVroom: I personally love the photos that you capture of wildlife, such as the kookaburra. Can you tell our readers a little about this native Aussie bird? Is photographing birds or other animals still as fun for you as when you saw those pelicans with your Dad?
Kylie: I totally enjoy taking photos of wildlife! The kookaburra is a beautiful Australian bird and my favourite. When they laugh, they make you happy and really are truly beautiful birds.
I recently had the experience of photographing Kangaroos. They are truly remarkable and the baby ‘Joeys’ are so adorable. A very strong marsupial and often known as ‘Skippy’.
VroomVroomVroom: If you had one country apart from Australia to photograph, which would you choose?
Kylie:Canada for sure. So much beauty that I have seen via the Internet and other forms of media, and also my relatives’ photos make me very envious!
VroomVroomVroom: Kylie, where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Kylie: I am hoping that Travel Reviews By Kylie and my Instagram excel. I am aiming for accommodation owners to contact me in regards to a review, instead of me contacting them. I’m trying to get some sponsors on board, like Dometic/Waeco, Coleman, etc. I am holding giveaways to attract Facebook users to my page. I have had some great support so far, but now hope to have some larger goods to attract more followers. Also, it would be great to be able to get a fuel sponsor, as this venture is truly non-profit — the fuel and food expense can be quite costly. My camera is an Olympus E-500. I am yet to contact Olympus to see if they can assist with a larger lense, to enable me to get those beautiful shots that are inaccessible and at a far distance. I am also very interested in Lensbaby and hope to be in contact with them soon and would love to experiment and be creative with their products.
VroomVroomVroom: If they ever make a film about your life, who would you like to see in the role of Kylie? And do you think you would want to review the movie?
Kylie: Jennifer Aniston as she has a natural appeal and is my favourite actress. I would trust my life in Jennifer Aniston’s hands, so (laughing) I would probably not be required to review the movie.
VroomVroomVroom:What’s the one most important lesson that you’ve learned so far about online review writing and travel? What advice would you give to young people who want to know more about the world of travel writing?
Kylie: That others have different opinions on the set out of a travel review. My advice for young people who want to know about the world of travel writing is — give it a go! Get up and go! You can always try and try again and never give up.
Jason Dickson is a Content Writer and Car Rental Expert for VroomVroomVroom. He also wants Ms. Aniston to portray him — he thinks she would enjoy the challenge! He invites you to check out our previous travel blogger interviews.