I am starting a brand new series of blogs to grace Sundays – interviews with Travel Bloggers! I will be presenting some questions that are designed to let the bloggers write heaps about themselves, so hopefully the readers will be interested enough to go and see what they have to offer.
Today I start with Tim Blight, whom you might remember from a couple of episodes of the podcast. I do hope you enjoy this interview!
My name is Tim Blight, and my blog is UrbanDuniya. As you may have guessed, I love the city life, and that explains the “Urban” part of the name, and “Duniya” means ‘world’ in Arabic – I love to travel, and I’ve lived in four different cities in my life; Melbourne, Lahore, Sydney and Chennai. My blog covers the city life, style and trends from these cities (with which I’m still very connected), as well as my travels around the world!
I’ve also written a travel guide to Pakistan, Pakistan Traveller, and I’m working on my second book, a travel cookbook featuring recipes from my travels – I’m hoping to publish it in April.
2. What made you decide to start a blog?
I studied journalism, but what I realised was that I love writing more than reporting. A friend of mine, Cez Krol, one half of eTramping.com, encouraged me to start my own blog, and so I did – I wanted to contribute my vision to the world, and write for writing’s sake.
- What have your favourite experiences been away from home/the place where you were born?
Spiritual experiences in various places around the world have always been the highlights for me. Vivid religious celebrations in Pakistan, jubilant festivals in India, waking up in a new city like Singapore and experiencing it completely free of expectations. One of my best recent memories was lying on the grass in a park in festive Lahore towards the end of Ramadan, staring at the moon in the starry sky above, and thinking about the universe and how beautiful the world can be.
- When you write your blog, who are you writing for?
That’s a tricky question – it changes according to the article, really. Sometimes I write with a purpose, to have my voice or story heard – in that case it’s for everyone. Sometimes I write for myself, like an art form, and sometimes I write to inspire other travellers!
- What advice would you give for anyone wanting to start their own travel blog?
I have three pieces of advice.;
- Be aware of what you’re getting into – it’s not a bad experience, but it becomes your baby, and you guard and maintain it jealously! It can take up more of your time and thought than you had ever imagined. But it’s also great to have your contribution out there – so don’t be disheartened.
- Be clear with yourself (and others) what you hope to achieve by blogging. If you’re doing it for money, be honest with yourself about that, and what shape your blog will take. If you’re doing it for the love of writing, then be prepared to explain that. Not a lot of people seem to understand why someone would do something for little or no monetary return – but if that’s your thing (as it is mine), then be prepared to explain that all the time!!
- Don’t have expectations and be prepared for everything – take criticism constructively, be prepared for slow growth, be ready to make tweaks and changes, and remember why you started.
- What do you enjoy writing about most on your blog?
I love writing about the cities in which I live – I love describing them to the people who read my blog, and taking them on journeys into the soul of each metropolis! I also love the reflective pieces that I’m sometimes inspired to write. And of course I love travel writing – but not as much as I love travelling!
- What’s the hardest thing about running a blog?
The hardest thing about running a blog is maintaining momentum. It’s not hard to maintain a blog, but it’s hard to keep it of consistent quality and interest, and to keep people routinely engaged on social media etc.
- Please recommend three blog posts you’d like readers of this to read!
Check out my most recent photo gallery, featuring White Night Melbourne, one of my favourite events in one of the cities I call home; http://urbanduniya.com/gallery/gallery-white-night-melbourne-2016/
A trip to Kasur, near Lahore, in Pakistan; http://urbanduniya.com/traveller/sufi-saints-and-border-bravado-in-kasur/
And one of my reflective pieces, looking back after about 2 years of blogging, and returning to Chennai, my home for a year and a half; http://urbanduniya.com/news-and-opinion/homecoming-chennai-and-change/
- How can people find your blog and find you on social media?
I’m all over social media! You can find me on;
A HUGE thank you to Tim for being the first cab off the rank with my interviews! Hope you enjoyed this interview, next Sunday there’ll be another!
May the Journey Never End!