# Interview (Audio)
Today's Special Guest (me!!)
Kim Da-young, Korean power travel blogger (Nonie's 로망여행가방 http://nonie.tistory.com ), Publisher of E-book travel guide "Hitchhickr" & Author of book "스마트한 여행의 조건"
Today's guest for the feature interview is a power blogger that runs a popular travel blog online. Called by her nickname "Nonie," Kim Da-young had a dramatic career turn from an ordinary office worker to an influential travel writer. She is the publisher of the very first E-book travel guide in Korea, called "Hitchhickr" and also the author of the book called "스마트한 여행의 조건" or " "Guide for smart traveling."
Travel in Marrakesh, Morocco. 2008
1. When did you become interested in traveling at first?
When I was in university, 12 years ago, I traveled to Turkey and Greece by scholarship program. I traveled for 1 month during the summer vacation. It was a classic backpacking trip, but enough to know how to start travel.
2. You said you became addicted to traveling since your first couple of trips when you were in university. What was about traveling that so fascinated you?
I like the quote “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” I shocked through every journey I've never seen before. After I traveled more and more countries, my whole life has changed. I started to study speaking English, read more books, and I looked for my job which I really want to do.
3. How many countries have you traveled so far?
About 25 to 30 countries, but I happened to visit same country again, but different cities, fortunately.
4. How did you manage to travel that many number of countries? Where did you get the money to travel?
I always spend my money, but my budget is quite lower than other people. because I used to plan my route for some purpose. mostly For covering my blog with great cities and hotels, so I work with so many companies in all around the world. they give me a chance to do so. I think i should handle two things at once during the travel. but I am satisfied.
5. When did you decide to make a living out of traveling?
I began my career as a travel editor of AB-ROAD, which is monthly travel magazine in Korea, so I have some relationships with tourism boards, travel agency.. so after I moved to other job and focus on my blog, they gave me a chance to travel as a blog writer. At that time, blog became a huge media in travel. so I got even more opportunity to go abroad than when i was an editor. amazing.
→ Last year, I won the 1:5500 global competition run by MTV Australia and Destination NSW to send one lucky person on the trip of a lifetime to Sydney. Related link: http://goo.gl/6jUUOH
6. You started blogging and wrote reviews of the places you visited on your blog. Tell us how you started your blog.
After quitting a travel editor, I moved to IT company as a PR manager, I had to find some new platform to share my previous travel experience. Blog became a new social media at that time. I opened my blog as a media focusing on the travel.
7. The blog soon became very popular and it won the best travel blog at the Tistory Blog Awards for 2009 to 2012, four consecutive years. What was behind the success of the blog?
First of all, I don't write commercial reviews or unrelated post on my blog. I think it's a big difference from the others. and My tour reviews are professional because my past career was a travel editor.
8. What did people find most helpful from your blog?
My blog is deep focused on many useful information about great hotels, restaurants, shopping spots. because my main target readers are just with me, 20~30's women. they really want to travel as their own lifestyle and tastes. so I give theme some good example of FIT(Foreign independent tour). big trend.
9. Your blog is full of useful information in finding hidden spots. How were you able to find those unusual spots in a foreign country that you've never visited? What are some tips?
I am trying to search local information in several ways, At first, my main target is Korean blogger who stay in local. second is a real local blogger. both have many practical information. If you take a trip to famous big cities, I recommend TIMEOUT.COM, global travel media cover the local news.
10. I heard your blog has some foreign visitors as well. How do you accommodate those who don't speak Korean?
basically I write every post in Korean, but I join some global contest or event, so I introduce myself in English as a special notice, also I like to use the Instragram. I'm trying to communicate English on it.
11. You published the very first E-book travel guide in Korea, called "Hitchhickr." Tell us about the Hitchhickr series.
Hitchhickr series are travel guide which published as an electronic book only. I have a big picture in ebook business especially in the travel industry, because travel book have to offer location info in anywhere immediately, but paper books can not do that and are also heavy. so I wanted to make a mobile-friendly travel book. Hitchhickr series have two books so far, Singapore and hongkong. more books will be come soon.
12. You also wrote a book called "스마트한 여행의 조건" or "Guide for smart traveling" in English. What is this book about?
The sub title of this book is "Travel that design your life", which means your trip will be the great self-improvement, not just vacation. I wanted to propose some new way of traveling. You can change your life if you change your traveling, like I did.
13. What do you mean by "smart traveling"?
Smart Traveling is kind of a business trip which you can find new insights and ideas for your better life. It is not a package tour or backpacking. It's not only a vacation or relaxation, but also gets new things and makes your near future better.
14. What travel tips do you give in your book to people who want to travel "smart"?
I give some tips how to select good boutique hotels, design spots, inspiring cafes during your trip. the most important thing is, before you go, you have to know yourself and get the right information by your tastes and lifestyle.
My column 'Smart Traveling' for Cosmopolitan Korea, July, 2013
15. Tell us some travel destinations that are less known among Koreans?
I recommend Taiwan. I went there twice last year, Their local culture and foods were really great. Actually Taiwan is more popular than before because of recent TV show "꽃보다 할배 2", but I think most people don't know real attraction about Taiwan yet. now the most popular destination is Hong-kong. Taiwan and hong kong has same chinese tradition but different characters.
16. You are one of the leading travel writers in Korea and you've been giving lectures on how to become a travel writer. What's the first step to become a travel writer?
I always says how much important to reading book is. if you want to write some things. and just write everyday. best way is making your own blog. my students make their own blog and start their stories during my class.
17. What are some questions that are frequently asked about becoming a travel writer?
which major will be good? or how much your annual income? or how can I get a job in the travel magazine company? most questions are from high school or university students. I'm always trying to answer their questions but it's so limited. that's why I start my lectures these days.
18. What's next for you? Any future plans?
My career has dramatically changed recently after Smart traveling book was published. so I don't know exactly what's going to come. but I want to be more than travel writer, try to make new lifestyle media with new platform like youtube. And I wish to introduce good things about Seoul to all around the world.
# About me : http://nonie.tistory.com/notice/1020
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