As part of the next instalment in my international version of Guests’ Corner (previously a local South African travel interview section on Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust), I chatted to Betsi Hill, travel blogger, creative editor and Florida-based freelance writer at Betsi’s World.
With years of experience amassed both together and individually, husband-and-wife duo, Betsi and Jim Hill, are a writing and travelling force to be reckoned with…
Using their combined passion for and knowledge of travel, food, wine and boating, and above all, their joint expertise (Betsi worked in various sectors of the service industry, and now frequently appears as a radio personality on Where to Play Golf’s 19th Hole and The Distillery Channel, while Jim is a licensed, 100-ton US Coast Guard captain) – Betsi and Jim showcase their boating adventures and travel experiences through their elegant blog, Betsi’s World.
Based in Florida, USA, this enigmatic pair enjoy all the best things in life: food, wine, beaching, boating, adventure – and of course, photography, blogging and freelance writing too!
For some wonderful pictures and boating stories, you can count on Jim’s input, while Betsi handles the primary blogging and creative editing side of things. Together, though, one thing is assured: a passionate and inspirational travelogue!
To read and follow their enthralling stories and adventures – with a special focus on Florida, the Bahamas and the Caribbean – please check out their blog!
1. Who or what inspired you to go into travel blogging?
I attended a writers’ conference in 2014, and decided to do travel writing… Blogging was a natural extension.
2. What kind of traveller are you: thrill seeker, culture vulture, adrenaline junkie, nature lover or some of everything?
I would say we are a little of everything. We do a lot of travel on our own boat, and spend tons of time in the Bahamas, so we definitely connect on the nature level.
We love to dig into the culture of a destination as well, and really get to immersed into the local culture/vibe of a destination. Of course, being boaters, brings its own thrills.
3. Which are your top three most memorable travel experiences and why? Please list each one with a brief explanation.
1. The Bahamas: We have boating through the Bahamas for 10+ years, and with each visit, we fall more and more in love with the islands, the people and the culture – not to mention the incredible waters of the Bahamas for snorkeling, diving and all things water-centric!
2. Volcan Baru, Panama: We celebrated Betsi’s 55th birthday on top on Volcan Baru, watching the sunrise over the entire country; it was a breathtaking experience!
3. Moscow, Russia: Going over in the ’80s, it was a humbling and extraordinary experience to meet the locals, and see what everyday life was like. Not to mention the architecture and culture.
4. What was your most humbling or eye-opening travel experience in your home country and why?
Living in the United States, it’s hard to pinpoint a trip, but we would say it was our trip to the Grand Canyon… Standing and looking down at this absolutely incredible natural artwork, just took our breath away.
To think that that the canyon had taken thousands of years to form, with help from the wind and water – and the resulting natural artwork just was stunning.
5. Worst local travel experience?
We have never had a bad travel experience.
6. Your top three travel destinations across the globe – either that you have personally experienced or would love to visit?
1. Jim grew up on the island of Guam, and so that is one of our top three travel destinations. To experience the selfless giving of the community, the natural beauty, and the water, makes it one of our top travel experiences.
2. We both want to explore Australia – the Outback, Great Barrier Reef, and the wildlife.
3. New Zealand has been calling to us for the last several years, so we are beginning our research on New Zealand.
7. Any useful travel sites/blogs that you can recommend for following?
We can often be found following fellow sailors and boaters, as they chronicle their travels through the Bahamas and the Caribbean.
8. If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
Wow! That is really a difficult one… Hands down, New Zealand: the natural beauty, the diversity of activities, the people, and of course, the wine are what we can’t wait to travel to and explore!
9) Do you have any handy tips for planning a trip/day out in your city (and please state which city it is)?
Fort Pierce, Florida has been overlooked for a long time, but now it is a Mecca for snowbirds looking to escape the harsh winters, and not wanting to stay for an extended time in Miami or Tampa.
Our food scene is beginning to come up, and there is so much to do on the water – surfing, swimming, diving and snorkeling are all great activities.
With our close proximity to Disney, take a day away and come visit our stellar Farmer’s Market – we are the third best in the nation… We have craft breweries and cideries popping up all over the Treasure Coast.
10) Best travel advice for locals and tourists?
Don’t leave anything but footsteps, and hang out where the locals hang out!
To read about and see all of Betsi and Jim’s travel stories and experiences, you can visit their awesome blog. Or follow them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Thank you very much, Betsi and Jim, for appearing in this guest travel segment.
Author: Tamlyn Ryan
Content writer by day and blogger by night, Tamlyn Ryan passionately runs her own travel blog, called Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust, from her home base of Cape Town, South Africa. And, despite a national diploma in Journalism, in her free time, Tamlyn’s preferred niche remains travel writing.
Tamlyn is a hopeless wanderer, equipped with an endless passion for road trips, carefully planned, holiday itineraries and, above all else, an innate love for the great outdoors.