Down at Divine today we have someone who probably needs no introduction in the travel world.
Adam’s blog – http://travelsofadam.com – receives over 125,000 unique per month from 150+ countries with over 65,000 social media followers. Travels of Adam has been named one of the 10 best websites for 2016 (2016, Wirtschafts Woche), one of the 7 best travellers to follow on Instagram (2014, Yahoo! Travel), and was a finalist for the Best LGBT Blog (2013, Bloggies Award). The website is consistently ranked among the top 20 travel blogs by numerous online sources and is often a featured source of information on the travel industry, specifically ‘hipster’ travel.*
Adam managed to find time in between his schedules in various career paths to graciously give us this interview.
Welcome Adam. It’s great to have you with us. Firstly, one of the things we do is ask the interviewee a few weird questions so we can get to know the person a bit better. Here we go.
If you could replace one body part with a super bionic replacement, what body part would it be?
Hahaha what?! I feel overwhelmed with ideas just at the thought of this…
Divine. – Hmm, maybe create a hump on your back like a built-in back pack…no more airport check in.
What fairy tale character would you most associate with?
Belle from Beauty & the Beast
If you had to describe yourself as a flavour, what would it be?
If you were a wrestler what would your stage name be?
Lol I have no idea, but little red shorts would definitely be a part of my costume
What’s the best way to your heart?
Have you ever been approached by someone who knew you but you couldn’t remember them?
Haha yes – I was at the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris and a woman came up who recognized me – we had gone to elementary school together!
Now we get to the real questions.
You market yourself as a blogger, social media specialist, and marketer. Your website explains how this came about but we’re sure people would love to learn how this all happened and how you diversified into everything you do. Please tell us a little about it.
Well, in school I studied communication/advertising and then straight out of college I went to work for a book publisher as a graphic designer. After working for three years, I had this strong desire to start traveling so I saved up my money to quit my job to travel. That’s when I set up the blog. I was always interested in traveling, in writing and in social media, so the blog was a logical step. I’d also had several blogs as a teenager – usually for sharing embarrassingly emo and anonymous poetry. I started Travels of Adam for fun – a way to share my travel tips as I travelled around the world and never once planned for it to become what it is today! I think my passion for writing, for blogging, is really what made it successful and out of that, I realized the full potential of working online.
We have to say we found your website a fascinating source of information on how to market and blog, and use social media. You’ve obviously spent a lot of time learning new techniques and reading up on things, trying out different mediums. What is the single most important tip you can give to someone wishing to be successful in digital marketing if you could only give them one?
Well, to be honest, I think you’ve got to have the passion. You can’t just set up a blog and expect to make money overnight. It’s not the easiest work despite what people think. Also – while producing original, authentic, quality content is important – the step most people forget about is how important marketing is. There are a lot of ways to market a blog and it really just depends on your own strengths, connections, and interest to find what works for you.
It’s a sad situation that gay travel can be fraught with difficulties and one has to be sure they know where they are going and the cultural differences if there are any. If not, it can prove quite traumatic we’d imagine. You give some great tips on this on your blog. Are there any specific places you feel are the best for LGBTQ people to visit without them feeling uncomfortable, even threatened?
Gay travel is a really interesting subject and one I’m very passionate about. There are definitely some destinations which are much better for LGBTQ travellers than others – big cities like New York, London, Bangkok, Los Angeles, Madrid or Berlin are always going to be relatively safe and welcoming. But then there are other hotsposts which have been popular gay destinations for a long time and continue to welcome LGBT tourists – places like Tel Aviv, Puerto Vallarta or Gran Canaria. You can read more of my gay travel tips here: http://travelsofadam.com/gay-travel/
Is there anywhere you haven’t been yet that’s on your bucket list? Somewhere at the top of the list you simply must visit? If so, why is this place so important to you?
Ugh – yes! Too many places. Brazil is definitely on my list – I’ve never been. But I also really want to return to Mexico City. I went once as a kid and again as a student, but I’d love to explore as an adult.
We’re sure there are perils everywhere in travelling around in strange countries. Do you have an emergency kit you carry with you with special items in case you get into trouble, need medical help or anything? Any advice for people out there on a basic travel first aid kit?
I don’t, actually. I keep some basic things like band-aids and medications in my toiletry kit, but as for other medical or first-aid items, I don’t really pack it. When I’ve had trouble on the road, I’ve found pharmacies to be mostly helpful – even when you don’t speak the language, sometimes there are other ways to communicate. Having a smartphone with data can really help in those situations.
Soooo…you used to work in a book store – Barnes and Noble- and wrote articles for a gay porn site. Do tell us a bit more about these two parts of your life. We’re sure they’ll be interesting to our readers.
Hahah, yep. Working in a bookstore was a big part of my life – I loved the chance to recommend books to strangers. And it’s funny – I feel as if that has evolved into helping me as a blogger – because on my blog I love recommending things to strangers online. I like to think I have good ideas and solid recommendations, and I feel so lucky to be able to share my world with so many others. That’s probably what also led to me writing for a gay porn site briefly – the chance to share my stories with more people. Plus it was just a lot of fun!
What’s next in store for Adam Groffman – can you share any of your future plans with us?
I’m working on expanding my site with more guides and more contributors. I’m also planning some big trips for throughout the year. I really hope to disconnect from the online world for a bit and enjoy a true vacation. Probably some warm and near a beach!
Make sure to follow me on Instagram – http://instagram.com/travelsofadam/ for real-time updates from my travels around the world!
Adam, thanks so much for taking the time out to answer our nosy questions. We hope you get to Brazil and Mexico City one day in the not do far future.
*A ‘hipster’ can be defined as a person who follows the latest trends and fashions, especially those outside the cultural mainstream. Hipsters live in ‘edgier’ areas and visitors are seeking out these neighbourhoods to experience hipster culture such as pop-up restaurants, vegan cafes, independent shops and craft galleries.