It’s been almost one year since I quit my full-time job in marketing to become a full-time food and travel blogger, and I’m really proud of how far I’ve come during this time. Over the past 12 months, I’ve worked with brands such as FlyBe, Dealchecker and Icelolly; featured on BBC Radio several times, appeared in the Mail on Sunday and Sainsbury’s Magazine; been invited on food-focused press trips with the likes of Come to Hamburg, Tourism Northern Ireland, Grenada Tourism Authority, Welcome to Gouda, Visit Portugal, Visit Cardiff and Food and Drink Wales, and simply proven to myself that I can make a living from blogging. I think it’s safe to say I’ve had a pretty good year! However, I recently experienced my proudest moment of the year yet when I discovered I’ve been shortlisted in the Travel & Food category of the Post Office Travel Blogger Awards 2018!
Post Office Travel and Food Blogger of the Year 2018
Yes, that’s right! I am one of ten bloggers shortlisted in the Travel & Food Category, selected by the Post Office according to several criteria including quality of content and style. I’m in stellar company, joined by some of my favourite fellow culinary travel bloggers.
What is the prize?
I genuinely mean it when I say that the main reason I’m entering this competition is because I would love to be recognised for my blogging achievements. I set up my blog almost eight years ago (although I’ve only been covering food and travel for the past three years or so) and it is practically my baby. I’ve built it from the ground up, and I’ve never bought followers or traffic, or used automated bots to artificially inflate my following. Since quitting my job, I probably work more hours now than I ever did when I was working full-time, but I’m much happier and I wouldn’t change it for the world; hopefully, that goes some way in showing you how passionate I am about what I do!
However, I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t like to get my hands on £5,000 to spend on the trip of a lifetime, which is what the bloggers who win the Post Office Travel Blogger Awards will receive. As part of my entry, the Post Office have asked me to write about where I’d choose to go if I won the £5k, and how I would choose to spend the money.
A culinary Caribbean adventure
There’s no place I’d rather be than chilling out on a white sand beach with a rum punch in hand, tucking in to hearty Caribbean cuisine like Jamaican jerk chicken or Grenadian oil down. In fact, it was my four-month trip to Jamaica in 2014 that inspired me to begin writing about culinary travel.
More recently, I went on a press trip to Grenada for Grenada Chocolate Festival (read more on the blog soon!) which has further fuelled my passion for the Caribbean.
If I was to win this year’s Post Office Travel Blogger Awards, I’d spend the £5k on a solo culinary adventure to the eastern Caribbean, stopping off in Grenada (it’s such a beautiful country, I just can’t get enough!), Barbados and St Lucia. I’d use the prize money to pay for my flights, transport to the airport, accommodation in mid-range hotels, attraction entrance fees, local food tours, cookery classes and experiences, and to cover the cost of eating out at restaurants recommended to me by the locals. I’d like to think my photography skills have improved somewhat since I went to Jamaica, so it would be great to have the opportunity to capture some stunning shots too.
I’d also love to buy some Welsh cakes to take with me to give to anyone I happened to meet along the way, as people in the Caribbean are always so friendly and welcoming, and it would be lovely to be able to thank them for their hospitality by giving them a little taste of Wales!
I need your help!
In order to be in with a chance of winning the Post Office Travel Blogger Awards 2018, I need your help! The first stage of the judging process takes the form of a public vote, and the blogger with the most votes from each category will then go through to the judging panel, featuring award-winning travel blogger Emily Luxton, and freelance travel journalist, Lucy McGuire.
Voting is quick and easy. Simply enter your name and email address into the voting form and vote for one blogger per category. Voting is open until 17th July and the winners of each category will be announced on 25th July 2018. Keep your fingers crossed for me and please don’t forget to VOTE!