Interviews with Big Bloggers

Interview with Time Magazine Top 100 Blog: The Everywhereist

1 Comment 03 February 2012

There’s a reason I decided to start with this interview, and that’s because Geraldine is absolutely hilarious, and you guys deserve some hilarious. Basically, after getting laid off from her copywriting job (which she explains to me isn’t firing, since I take everything personally and get even vicariously worked up for people I hardly know), Geraldine decided to start a blog and use the newfound freedom to follow around her husband, SEOmoz founder Rand Fishkin, on his frequent business trips around the world. Named one of the best blogs by Time Magazine in 2011, Geraldine says that her travel blog is, at it’s core, a love letter to her husband. “A big, long, cuss-filled love letter. The kind he’d appreciate. The only kind I’m able to write.”

And now, here we are. Geraldine so kindly took the time to tell us about food, her blog, and – because it’s me and I can’t help but ask – some relationship advice.


The Everywhereist

{Click here to visit The Everywhereist}


 1. So, you got laid off and decided to start following your husband around, who travels all over the world for work, and blog about it. Now, I write a lot about dating and relationships, so I just have to ask – how did this sudden time-traveling-togetherness impact your relationship? 

Shockingly, it worked quite well. Rand (my husband) was traveling a ton before I was laid off, and my job kept me at home, so we didn’t get to see very much of each other. Once I started traveling with him, we were actually able to spend time together. And because Rand is quite busy during our travels (with meetings, work obligations, conferences, etc.), and I’m off doing my own thing (cake-eating, museum-hopping, more cake-eating), we don’t grow tired of one another. We spend our days apart, and get to have dinner together.

2. Now, onto more traditional questions that I promised you, i.e. about your blog/career. First of all, you are hilarious. How in the world did you get fired from a copywriting job? I would imagine they have since regretted their decision and contacted you apologizing and taking the whole thing back. Please explain to me how this happened.

It was far from personal. The company I was working for was acquired by another, much-larger company, and they kept only a very small skeleton team to help them with the transition. So lots of people – including ones with gobs more talent than I – lost their jobs. It definitely helped me keep things in perspective.

3. You write a lot about snacks. Of all the places you’ve visited, which had the best food? (I’m not doing well at sticking with the traditional questions, am I?)

Peru has some of the most amazing cuisine I’ve ever experienced. The food has so many different influences – Japanese, Spanish, Chinese, Quechuan – it’s unlike anything you’ll have anywhere else. Oh, and they do  eat guinea pig down there. And yes, it’s delicious. Seriously.

And Italy has some of the best food on the planet. But I suspect that isn’t news to anyone.

4. Since your husband is an SEO man, have you SEO’d your own site? Do you think this is a valuable piece of the marketing for a new blog, or is it more applicable to businesses and larger sites? Do you have any SEO tips you’d like to share?

The fact that I don’t do SEO on my site is kind of a long-standing joke in our house (somewhere, there is a butcher with a vegetarian wife who knows my husband’s pain). The way I see it, SEO is Rand’s world, and like quantum mechanics, I respect it, but I don’t have the patience to understand it.

That being said, I do think it’s incredibly valuable, and not just for huge corporations or large sites. There are definitely things that smaller blogs can do – keyword research, creating quality content, avoiding spammy links – that can make a huge difference. Rand actually wrote a blog post on it – it’s targeted for travel bloggers, but really it’s great for any beginner.

{image source: a really cute post on The Everywhereist with lots of romantic-y pictures}

5. Speaking of marketing, how did you market and grow your blog’s readership?

I am probably the worst marketer in the world. For years, I didn’t even tell anyone I had a blog (my family didn’t know about it until after it was featured in TIME magazine and by then, the secret was out). I am very active on Twitter and Facebook, which help to send a little bit of traffic to the blog, and I put up new posts every Monday through Friday (I think consistency is an important factor in building an audience. You don’t need to post every single day, but you do need to post regularly). But really, no one is more surprised than I that the nonsense I write actually gets read.

6. I have often talked about how blogging helped me to become more confident with my “authentic” self. There’s just something about “putting it all out there” to everyone you know (and beyond) that is very liberating. Since your blog is also very personal and autobiographical, do you feel like it’s been a liberating experience sharing all of your thoughts and travels with the world?

It’s such a double-edged sword! Yes, there are times when it just feels wonderful to write about a negative experience or something that’s been bothering me. I can get it off my mind and onto the blog. But I occasionally will run into someone who’s taken offense at what I’ve written. Or I’ve had a change of heart about something that I’ve posted, but by then, it’s too late.

Still, I think the experience has been a rewarding one: I’m accountable for the things that I think and feel, and I often have to defend them. It’s also helped thicken my skin up a lot. I might get a little bit of criticism, but it’s well worth it.

7. At the end of the day, what are your goals with blogging? Do you think you could return to a normal job now, or would you rather keep pursuing your own writing and adventures?

Goals? I was supposed to have a goal with my blog? Oh, crap.

In all seriousness, I love writing and I love to travel. And I’m incredibly, absurdly lucky – I get to spend my days doing both. My blog started as just a way to pass the time, and it’s now bigger than I ever imagined it could be. I’m excited to see where things end up, but if I’ve learned anything over the past few years, it’s this: you can’t predict where life will take you. Just try to enjoy the ride.

8. Ok, one more non-traditional/nosy question before I leave you alone. My dream, as I told you in our emails, is to get to a spot where I can work online and not be poor so my boyfriend and I can live around the world for a year (rather than blogging from my basement, which, I have to admit, can get depressing). Do you have any tips for traveling with someone you love so that they don’t abandon you in a random country?

Rand and I rarely fight while on the road. Come to think of it, we rarely fight at home, either (I blame him. He sucks at fighting. It’s one of his best qualities). I think we both came to the realization that life is short, and you don’t want to waste it yelling at one another on the street of some fabulous foreign city. At the very least, save that for home. Or, you know, never.

And when all else fails? Hold hands. It’s really hard to be angry at someone when you’re touching them.

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1 comment

  1. Ann says:

    Ahh, I love Geraldine and her blog! I found her on Twitter and have been following her stuff for a while. So great to see her on your site!!
    Ann recently posted..Five Weekend HighlightsMy Profile

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