Welcome to the new section of my blog where i highlight some of the talented creatives that I’ve followed from around the world. These fortnightly posts will highlight a small amount of the talent that is already out there, and hopefully promote more collaboration, rather than competition between creatives.
This week we’re highlighting the work of Sami, who I’ve been following on Instagram for a little while. I found Sami when looking for other plus size travellers and was delighted to see how confident she was with herself and solo travelling.
You can find her on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest!
Let’s start with the basics, who are you? Where are you from?
I am a small town girl from Ashburn, Georgia in the United States.
Is your social media your day job/side income or hobby? If a hobby, what do you for work?
Definitely a hobby/side hustle! I am actually an executive assistant full time, portrait photographer pretty much full time, and in my spare time, I work on my social media and my blog, SamiM Adventures.
What is your favourite thing about yourself?
My ability to travel by myself for extended periods of time.
What is one goal you have for the next year?
I have been working hard to stop seeking validation in the numbers whether it is website hits, social media likes, or number of followers. It’s hard!
What’s one way you’ve been challenged in the last year?
Last year in a freak accident while on a plane between Switzerland and Greece, I completely tore my ACL in my right knee. I was on my first international solo trip and I couldn’t walk and was stranded at the airport clinic and hotel for 24 hours before I could get another flight home. Terrified does not even been to cover it. Fast forward almost a year and I just got back a few months ago from another solo international trip. My biggest challenge was finding the confidence to continue traveling solo. So glad that I pushed through my fears!
What is the main focus/topic of your content?
On my blog, I want to write journal entries that not only provide practical advice for anyone who wants to go to these particular places, but I also want a journal to remember my trip! I also aim to get great pictures for the virtual travellers who may not be able to visit the places I get to go to. With my Instagram, I think my original intentions was to be an influencer and grow income from it, but the past few months that has evolved and I have fostered great relationships! I met up with a sweet English girl while in Amsterdam all because of Instagram. I think that is beautiful.
What influenced you to start your blog?
My love of travel and photography have been my biggest inspirations. I find it so exciting to share and gush about my travels to anyone who is interested and I find that my travel blog is the best platform!
How have you improved the quality of your content since you began?
YES YES YES! When I first started out, I think my writing was poorly lacking, my photos were mostly landscapes, and I was just unhappy with my direction. Nowadays, I am more present in my photos and I have found my “voice” in my writing.
Who are some of your favourite Instagram accounts?
Who are some of your favourite Bloggers?
Find Us Lost, Salt in Our Hair, the Blonde Abroad
What’s your advice for the solo traveller who still wants great shots of themselves on the road?
Invest in a tripod and a remote! Best decision I ever made. My photos used to be taken with a timer and my phone or camera propped against something, but it quickly became SUPER tiring walking back and forth so set the timer. I now take 80-90% of my own photos. I have so much more confidence with those pictures too!
If you could be anyone else, who would you be?
I always find these questions fascinating in their nature. Do I take the cliche answer and say myself? I really have felt so much more content with my life these last few years that I honestly don’t know if I would be anyone else. If you would have asked me this 2 years ago, I may have said a skinnier girl or the rich celebrity, or even someone who is in a relationship. But lately, I am doing all of the things I want and I am happier than I have ever been. I am accepting my plus size body for what it is – mine. I think as humans we think everyone else has to have such a better life than what we have but in reality, we all have our good days and bad days.
What would be the ultimate end goal with your social media?
I hope to continue sharing my photos, rejoicing in those who have travelled to some of the same places I have, and forming a community. I think travel is such a unifying thing and Instagram has made it easier than ever to share and engage with anyone across the globe! Instagram is also a great fount of information when it comes to research and I love discovering new places just like others do!
Have you met anyone through your social media? How did that go about?
Yes! I met Aimee (@aimee.in.wanderland) while I was in Amsterdam this past April. We had communicated in the months leading up to my trip via the direct messaging on instagram. She was so kind and she drove me around to the famous Keukenhof Gardens and even the daffodil and hyacinth fields of Lisse! It was so a splendid day and a one-of-a-kind experience!
What camera do you use?
I most take photos with my Canon 5D Mark III but I do snap a few on my iPhone X.
What software do you use to edit your photos (if at all)?
Photoshop and Lightroom.
Where is your next travel destination?
Asheville, NC and then Mexico (I think!)
What destination is still on the top of your bucket list?
Iceland, Thailand, the UK & Scotland.
What has been your favourite destination so far? Why?
I adored Kotor, Montenegro and Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland! Both have so much different kinds of beauty and the locals that I met where simply the nicest people!
Travelling solo or with friends?
I am a huge fan of traveling solo and doing what I want, when I want. I think it’s so freeing and I love being able to find peace with myself. But I am always down for traveling with friends – the ability and comfort of traveling with someone is good for the heart and usually the pocketbook too! 😂
Group tours or your own itinerary?
I definitely prefer traveling and creating my own itinerary! I love researching places and finding cool corners of cities, restaurants that have food I know I will love, and spending as much or as little time at a place as I want.