Interview with In the Loop Travel
Meet John author of In the Loop Travel a very popular and well known travel site dedicated to fitness while traveling and cruises. I’ve been a big follower of In the Loop Travel for a while now because I love his direct manner of speaking. His interview carries this direct approach which makes his bloggin and travel approach very easy to follow. It’s also very actionable. It’s great in today’s world of elaborate ads and schemes, I know with John it’s straight to the point and motivating. Sit back and relax as you read his informative interview. Who knows you might just want to book a cruise after you finish reading.
Tell me about a day in your life currently.
If I’m not traveling on a cruise or some other trip somewhere in the world, I get up make a hearty omelet and get to work on my freelance writing assignments, creating new posts for my website InTheLoopTravel.com and reaching out to PRs of travel brands or editors to get story assignments for In the Loop Travel. Then, it’s lunch, gym time, probably a nap and Netflix, before hunting and pecking around my social media platforms for a while.
You have many features to your blog like vlogging, a blog, media work, and sections dedicated to fitness and cruises. Which facet do you enjoy the most? Were any especially hard to develop?
I really enjoy trying to tie it all together. I travel and cover mostly cruising at this point, and these trips are wonderful ways to get around the world and see several destinations easily in one itinerary. They also provide rich content opportunities like ship and destination reviews, narrative tales of the trip and new cultures I interact with. I will always find stuff to post live on social media, then capture video and get anecdotes and story details that eventually make their way onto my website or into magazine pieces that I write for others. Fitness and adventures fits into this because I enjoy being active and focusing on health and fitness, so I often try to find unique story angles that help show others how they can keep up with a fitness regimen or maintain wellness when on these cruises – or during any kind of travel experience for that matter.
What is one of your favorite travel stories to tell?
I like to tell the one about how we were stranded for a few hours on Santorini when a windstorm whipped up suddenly and our ship had to leave the caldera because it was not safe to be anchored there anymore. Picture a thousand passengers high on the hill watching their ship leave them behind. Many were panicked as we hiked down the crowded switchbacks to the marina – battling windy conditions and rain-slicked cobblestones and met with a logjam of donkeys midway down. My small group took it in stride and knew that the ship would return after the storm passed. We made a beeline to a waterside tavern and enjoyed several beers and laughs.
Where is a favorite place that you have visited? Why?
I would have to say Myanmar was special because it was so untouched when we went in 2015. The people were as interested in us Westerners as we were in meeting them and learning about their daily lives. The children are so precious there.
What was your big breakthrough moment or the moment that you realized you had a really successful blog?
I think when I started getting comments from people who weren’t in my circle of immediate family and friends. Lol. I’m not sure I noticed a breakthrough moment, actually, but a slow and steady building of the brand. It took about four years to make enough solid connections through relentless networking and just making sure to extend a hand, pass out a business card and start a conversation at conferences or on trips. You never know who will be able to help you, and it pays off to be friendly and genuine to everyone.
When scoping out your next cruise what are your cruise must-haves?
I always love for it to be a new destination or offer an experience that I have never had before.
People often turn to In the Loop Travel for fitness advice while they travel, what is one of your biggest pieces of advice? Why did your focus on fitness develop?
You have to make it a lifestyle choice, a priority. We all like to feel good and look good. But fitness also is extremely important to help us live better lives in general. I try to emphasize how staying fit greatly improves a travel experience because we can more fully participate in activities and lessen the risk of injury or illness.
Was it difficult for you to manage your time between traveling, blogging, and working? If so what are some techniques you developed to manage everything?
At first, it was fairly simple to handle the workload. My In the Loop Travel website and freelance writing is my fulltime job now, and every year it gets busier. I just try to prioritize my work on a daily or weekly basis. Things that are deadline sensitive get handled first. Ideally, I can do a little bit of work each day that offers enough variety so that I can maintain some creativity in my writing. That means I try to not write for more than two to three hours a day (it’s better when my mind is fresh), then, I switch to my social media channels, then some outreach and handling administrative stuff, then some video editing. I like the variety each day can bring.
What is your favorite no equipment travel workout?
I am big on jogging and finding an outdoor space where I can do bodyweight squats, pushups, and pull-ups. A lot of beaches, running paths, and trails around the world also have fitness stations along them, which offers the chance for a great workout in the outdoors. I also pack fitness bands for added resistance training.
What was your vision when you first started your blog and how does your current blog compare?
The blog started as a simple diary of my daily or weekly activities, travel, and non-travel, to keep friends and family in the loop with what we were up to. Then, it became a travel website as we started to really do more trips and strived to make travel our passion and work. The vision evolved toward cruise and fitness and how you can incorporate both when we discovered how much we enjoyed cruising. We have always been passionate about fitness.
What are three must-have items that you bring on all your trips apart from the necessary items like passport, visa etc?
I need my running shoes, exercise shorts and I’ll bring my Nutribullet travel blender and protein powders to make healthy smoothies that supplement the foods I’ll have on a trip.
How would you compare travel writing and blogging to journalism and working for a newspaper?
There is a spectrum of writing styles that is as far from journalism as you’ll find spanning all the way up to in-depth serious writing more similar to newspaper reporting. I like to take the tone that is appropriate for the experience or information I am trying to share. I love that travel writing can come in all forms: narrative pieces, experiential first-person accounts, tips and tricks articles, guides, reviews, and lists. The one tenet I stick to is that my writing must be accurate and fair.
If you could pick a movie that represents your life what would it be?
Hmmmm. “It’s a Wonderful Life” seems to on-point. But I feel fortunate in what I am doing.
What are some tips you’d tell your best friend (and our readers) about how to run a successful blog?
Find your passion and go for it. Do what makes you happy, be expressive, honest and consistent. Readers will respond. Be patient and persistent, and don’t try to emulate others. Learn from the experts, but make sure you are being true to yourself or you won’t find happiness doing this. Ask questions. You’ll find fellow travel writers are very willing to share their expertise.
Let me know if I missed anything. Do you have any other thoughts you’d like to share?
I think we covered a lot. I’d just like to ask your readers to feel free to reach out to me with any further questions they might have to see if I can help or point them in the right direction. I always like to see comments on the articles on my website In the Loop Travel. That’s why I do all this!
Let us know your thoughts about this great interview with In the Loop Travel. What did you learn? Do you prefer cruises? I’ve actually never been on a cruise and so will be on the look out for future cruise oppurtunities in the future. I’ll defintely use In the Loop Travel for my cruise advice. Are you running a blog and working at the same time? It’s hard. What are your recommendations or advice? As always comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for travel tips, advice, or guidance! Bon Voyage!