Today we’d like to introduce you to Michelle Weigold.
Hi Michelle, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers?
Ever since I was 14 and went to London with babysitting money I’d been saving up in a shoe-box called “TRAVEL” for about three years, I’ve known I wanted to see more of this world. Growing up in northern Kentucky, I had never left the country until this trip. It truly did change the course of my life. Over the years, I found various ways to afford travel and sought out any opportunities I could. My studies in the Spanish language allowed me to have many long-term immersion adventures (I studied abroad in Spain in college and again in Costa Rica for my Master’s degree), and I am also a huge fan of backpacking and budget travel. Once my interest in travel was stoked, I wanted to find a way to encourage others that no matter their financial situation, they can find ways to get out there and travel too. I have seen how life-changing it can be!
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
Of course, this has not been without its challenges. In 2020, I had my first child, and while I knew this would slow down my freedom to travel for a bit, I didn’t expect there to also be a global pandemic! My website traffic plunged by nearly 80%, and I just recently have been able to bring it back to pre-Covid numbers. While I have traveled a bit since then, it is definitely different now as a new mother! I am now also focusing my content on local day trips and hidden gems in the Cincinnati area, as well as international travel and tips for traveling with young children. With the rise in influencer marketing, it is also tricky to try to “stand out from the crowd” and show your unique voice and how you can add value to the travel community. I have just tried to be consistent and know that as this is truly something I love I will be able to push through the tough moments.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
By day, I am a high-school Spanish teacher, and I have led a few trips abroad with my students. I also always encourage study abroad programs to my Seniors and know how truly impactful these early travel experiences can be for their worldview and future life and career choices. Travel is my passion, and while I had found ways to incorporate this into my teaching career, I always wanted another way to share this with friends, family, and anyone else who shares in this love too. People are always asking me, “How do you afford it? How do you plan it? How do you decide where to go?”, and I thought a blog would make an easy way to answer! In 2016, I started my travel website “The Great Wide Somewhere”. At first, it was not something I could see myself making into a “real job”, but over the years it has grown and I have been able to turn this into a career in itself. As a result of my travels and writing all about it, I have been able to work with tourism boards, brands, and travel companies. I promote their products to my audience, allowing me to spread awareness on travel services I love, and it in return provides me with funds to be able to further my travels.
- Website: www.greatwidetravel.com
- Instagram: @ChelleTravelFoto
- Facebook: @TheGreatWideSomewhere
John & Michelle Weigold