Lesley Murphy launched her travel blog, The Road Les Traveled, with a focus on the “luxury adventure” niche when she realized there wasn’t a blog catering to this demographic of readers – those who didn’t want to just backpack a country only to miss out on the fine dining and cultural experiences, and yet were reluctant to simply follow the well-trodden luxury travel circuit. Subsequently, she has sought out unique hotels worldwide that offer more than just a bed and breakfast, and hopes to inspire her adventurous readers to pursue similar experiences.
Learn more about how this Arkansas girl ended up in Argentina (and more!) in this week’s Blogger Profile.
LM: I moved to Buenos Aires to manage a marketing team for a luxury hospitality company. After about a year of building my marketing knowledge, I wanted a new challenge – I took what I learned on the job and applied it to my own website. I wanted to create something that I’d be proud of instead of focusing all of my energy on somebody else’s product.
ONA: What’s your favorite thing to photograph?
LM: I really enjoy taking photos of expansive landscapes. Not just pretty mountains or open spaces, but landscapes that entice you to go on an adventure. For example, a walkway leading to Torres del Paine, Chile, or the crazy undulating sand dunes of Atacama, Chile. I like to be active when I travel, and I want my pictures to reflect that aspect of my personality.
ONA: How does photography play a role on your blog?
LM: Photography plays a huge role. Since I’m a travel blogger, my photos are a glimpse into my adventures. My goal for each blog post or Instagram photo is to inspire other people to travel. I want people to plan an adventure based on the places I’ve been and the photos I’ve taken. The best part about photography is that each photo evokes a memory. When I look back at my photos I feel an immense sense of nostalgia, oftentimes spurring me on towards another adventure!
ONA: What camera do you shoot with? What is your “go to” lens of choice?
LM: I shoot with a Nikon D3200. Honestly, my go-to lens is the stock 18-55mm lens that comes with the camera. However, when I take indoor photos I like to switch to the Tokina PRO DX 11-16mm lens. The Tokina lens is also great for landscape photography.
ONA: What inspired you to start your blog?
LM: I was at work at my old job in Buenos Aires overseeing a guest blogging project. After sitting through calls with these guest bloggers and influencers, I knew I could do the same, if not better. Travel has always been a big part of my life since I was little, so I don’t know a better way to describe it than to say that it feels very natural. I love waking up for it every day.
ONA: In one sentence, what advice would you give to a blogger just starting out?
LM: Blog about what you love, because it’s more fun for you and your readers. Your happiness and passion will show through your writing.
ONA: What’s your favorite post on your site and why?
LM: I’d probably say True Life: I’m a Full Time Travel Blogger or Tricks of the Trade: Blogging as a Full Time Career. Both are personal posts about my career decision. It’s a little frightening opening yourself in a way that almost invites criticism or judgment, but I learned a long time ago to throw judgment to the wind!
ONA: How did you hear about ONA?
LM: I’d been fiercely searching for a fashionable yet functional camera bag. My previous one was small and nerdy looking. Think “black lunchbox that screamed ugly camera bag.” It wasn’t for me. Plus, the deeper I delved into photography, the more my camera equipment grew. I needed a larger bag, and with my Brixton messenger, I can carry my camera, various lenses, my laptop, plus personal items. It’s a great thing!