Two incredible women, Erin & Lauren both have a passion for travel and adventure.
We sat down with them and discussed all things family and careers.
Meet Erin Holmes
Adventurer, travel writer, blogger and mother
1. How did you become a travel writer?
I always had a passion for writing; I just never thought it would come in the form of travel writing. But I am so glad
it did. Finding something you love to do is the key to success. I love the work I do and it supports my family. I would
encourage everybody to travel. It opens your eyes and realise that the world is beautiful. It removes borders
because you learn about different people and yourself and I think it makes you a nicer person. The world is an exciting place
and you can create the life you want wherever you are.
I also discovered a new skill – that I can juggle better than any circus clown. I became a master multi-tasker. I homeschooled
my children, did my travel planning, blog writing, partnership building, late nights, long days.
2. How do you juggle an incredible career but also being a mum?
Namely, the world is genuinely a nice place. People are helpful and kind and trustworthy. I wanted my kids to
experience this, and understand what the world has to offer! In 2012, I left for a six-month travel stint with my two
kids, who were two and three years old at the time, that ended up lasting five years. We were nomads!
I wanted to share the unusual journey that the kids and I were on so I started my blog. Within six months, I was at a
Chinese street festival in Malaysia when someone yelled out my name. I turned around and a lady raced up to me
and gushed, “It’s you! I’ve been following your blog.” I was gobsmacked! But my blog grew and grew, the audience
reached more than 180,000 page views per month, and before I knew it, I was being asked to write for another outlet.
So traveling with my kids and travel blogging went hand in hand.
3. Any hot tips for parents wanting to do the same?
It all comes down to flexibility. Build in some downtime. Adults can adapt easily from one situation to the next. With
kids, everything takes longer, so build in enough buffer time and downtime. Be realistic, understand your kids, their
ages and their limitations. Like how much sleep they’ll need so you can all enjoy the next day.
For the kids, I make sure there are plenty of movies on their iPad and plenty of food. And a loose bedtime routine:
change into pyjamas, electronics off, time to sleep.
For me, it’s all about comfortable clothes, my laptop, my phone, and my headphones. I get a lot of writing done on
the plane and for that I need an up-to-date music library. In between articles I always get up and stretch, go to the
bathroom, talk to staff, grab some water.
Meet Lauren Bath
Travel photographer, social media consultant and Instagram Queen
1. Why have you chosen Instagram above other media platforms?
I started playing around with Instagram as a hobby in 2011. I was always interested in photography
and travel, and I wanted something creative to do. Originally I took photos with my iPhone. I was very
experimental and I loved to make the ordinary beautiful.
I started out with 5,000 followers in three or so months. I wanted to see where I could go with it. I
invested in a professional camera for a trip to Zimbabwe because I wanted to capture some beautiful
pictures. I started taking really beautiful, high quality photos and they really stood out from the rest of
the ones you’d find back then on Instagram. I was gaining around 1,000 followers a day, and within
18 months I’d gained 200,000 followers – before Instagram really took off. I found it was the easiest
way to express my passion for travel whilst still maintaining my voice.
I got really lucky with timing, but my secret was quality photos and my passion. I ended up quitting
my job as a chef and jumped head first into photography as a career.
2. Top three career highlights?
It’s such a difficult destination for a creative person to get to, and I was lucky enough to be
introduced via a client and I was hired for a job. It was absolutely incredible, probably one of the
best trips I’ve ever done. It was amazing to be surrounded by wildlife. At times I’d be surrounded by
half a million animals – seals, penguins – it’s such a wild, rugged landscape and so far away from humanity.
It was such an honour to be asked to do the job for the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation.
I was so excited to it because animal conservation is something really close to my heart.
Being immersed in the world of the orangutans, I learned so much, around illegal pet trade and how
the locals think about these animals. I was up close and personal with the orangutans. I really felt for
the babies – they’d had their mothers taken away from them. I really responded to one of the adult
females – Roslyn. She’d been in a cage for 20 years, because there aren’t the resources or facilities to
put long-term stayers with health complications on their own island, and they can’t be released into
the wild because of how it will affect the other orangutans. I’m really proud of this work because it
meant the Foundation was able to bring such great awareness to what’s happening to the orangutans
through channels that hadn’t been previously explored. It’s why I do what I do.
Swimming with Humpback Whales in Tonga, 2018
It’s an indescribable feeling being in the water with the humpbacks. It was the best wildlife encounter
I’ve ever had. They are so inquisitive and intelligent. The babies were very curious and adventurous
and came closer and closer. I watched one of the baby whales jump out of the water.
And rather than take photos of the event, I decided to just immerse myself in the experience and watch it unfold.
3. Top tips for getting that perfect Instagram photo?
Shoot in great light. Moody or dramatic light like sunrise or sunset is perfect.
Follow a process. Take your picture, review it, get your camera settings right, then work with
Use some post production. Do some basic editing to adjust your contrast, saturation and white
balance. There are heaps of apps out there that let you do this.
Want to know more about Erin & Lauren?