You know those people you encounter who just seem to nail every aspect of life? Well, that’s Phoebe from Little Grey Box. Not only does this chick run a super-successful travel blog, but Phoebe is as genuine and lovely as they come! She is a walking example of the success that comes from staying grounded, being persistent and pursuing what you love. LGB is the perfect balance of honest, helpful and hilarious travel stories, tips and reviews. It’s no wonder that Phoebe has been nominated for numerous awards for her blog! I got the chance to grill Phoebe’s brains about her travel blogging success, so prepare to be inspired by this power woman!
You have certainly built yourself one incredible travel blog! How did Little Grey Box begin, and did you ever imagine it would grow in to your full-time career?
Little Grey Box began on the floor of our flat in London. I started it as a hobby, never knowing it could be a career at all for anyone, let alone me. It actually started as a food blog and place for me to vent about things that annoyed me like people all up in my grill on the tube. Then naturally evolved into a travel blog as we were travelling so much in London.
What started your love for travel?
My parents really encouraged me to travel. I ignored them, as you do when you’re a teenager, but my mum kept telling me to travel and see the world. Then, when I was 21, my Uncle passed away. We were really close and I was really sad, I realised I needed something big in my life. I booked a one-way ticket to Paris and took off by myself for 6 weeks around Europe. That trip changed my life. I found myself and I found freedom. It set a spark in my soul.
It seems you’ve built up not just a large but a LOYAL following on your blog. What is your number one tip for people wanting to do the same?
Trust yourself enough to be honest, open and authentic. Take inspiration from others, but don’t copy. People will engage with you because of who you are. So, rely on and indulge in your strengths and the things that make you happy. Do lots of those things.
I love seeing that you as well as your overseas adventures, you also make an effort to explore your own country. Where is your favorite place in the whole of Australia?
I love Brisbane. It’s my home town and it’s where my heart is. I get a smile on my face just thinking about it. People bag it out and say it’s a small town, but that’s what’s so great about it. Aside from Brisbane I love Agnes Water, a tiny Queensland coastal town halfway between Gladstone and Bundaberg. It is the best beach break location.
Working freelance as a travel blogger, what is the hardest part and what is the most rewarding part?
The hardest part is adapting to a constantly changing routine. There are days when I might travel all day, arrive and do some sightseeing then go back to the hotel and work all night. I’m a creature of habit so it’s a good challenge and it keeps me on my toes, otherwise I’d probably be agoraphobic. The most rewarding part is feeling like I’m achieving my life’s purpose. I know in my bones that I’m doing what I’m supposed to do in this lifetime.
What is your recipe for a productive day of blogging? Do you have a routine you follow?
The trick is to treat yourself gently and not put too much pressure on yourself. I wake up and take time to have a coffee and eat my breakfast, then ease into it by catching up on emails and reading news websites. Then I start writing and editing photographs, piecing together blog posts. If I don’t feel up to it, I’ll rely on previously written draft posts and take the day off to indulge in some meditation, a trip to the beach or spend time painting and drawing. I’m going to be doing this for the rest of my life and I don’t want to burn out, so balance is key. You’re more productive when you’re well rested and energised.
Of all the places you’ve travelled to, where are you dying to go back to?
Great question! Definitely Iceland. We went before we were taking the blog seriously and before we had a good camera. All I have to show for that trip are some horrible, grainy images taken on my iPhone 3. Seeing as it is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been, I’m hanging out to go back and photograph it properly (and also recreate the Secret Life of Walter Mitty skateboard scene).
What inspired you to turn Little Grey Box in to more than just a hobby? Was there a defining moment?
I was really unhappy in my old office job. It was hard to face up to it, but I realised I felt like I was wasting my potential and was unfulfilled. I was so confused that I nearly deleted my blog out of anger. Shortly after that I had a breakdown and realised that my life the way it was, couldn’t be it. I kept thinking that going to a job I dislike just to earn money to pay bills can’t be what life is about. So I quit.
What is your biggest piece of advice to anyone wanting pursue travel blogging?
You have to want to it just as much as you want to breathe. If you really, truly want to be a successful full-time travel blogger you have to work hard, be committed and get to a point where it fuels you. Commit to it 100% and do it because you love it, don’t do it for ‘Insta-fame’ or as a way to set up an eternal online shrine to yourself. It has to come from the heart.
Being genuine is something I respect so much about you. Why is this so important when is comes to blogging?
That means the world to me :) Thank you. It’s the most important thing because, really, it’s all you have. If you aren’t genuine people will eventually see right through you and you’ll lose everything. All you have to rely on is yourself. Let your freak flag fly!
What’s on the horizon for the future with Little Grey Box?
My husband, Matt, recently left his office job too and now we both run LGB full time together. We now work from home with our cat. We’re taking every offer to travel that comes our way and opening ourselves up to whatever the universe brings us. Next week we’re off to New Zealand and later in August we’ll be going up to Hervey Bay for a spot of whale watching. Our focus for LGB this year is to ‘Think Bigger,’ and see the bigger picture of possibilities for the site and what we can share with people to inspire them to travel and live a life they love.