Travel blogger, journalist, photographer, TV show host, entrepreneur – Veronica Pototska is my guest on this week’s Inspiring Travel Bloggers. Hailing from Kiev, Ukraine, Veronica has been making a strong and steady influence in the world of travel blogging through her travel blog Siniciliya where she shares her travel experiences with several valuable travel tips to the readers. She is also the successful founder of Travel Mode On – a digital content agency. I met Veronica through a Facebook travel group and since then I have been getting inspired following her travels.Read the interview below as she shares her stories, anecdotes and suggestions with us.
Tamshuk: Tell us about the story behind the name of your blog – Siniciliya. I mean, it is just so unique. The name doesn’t give away what your blog is about yet it is intriguing enough for readers like me to visit.
Veronica: At the age of 7,I heard that one could own an island. Back then it sounded like a whole different universe to me. I still dream to own a tropical island someday and it will be named Siniciliya. The name itself is a wordplay of my maiden name Sinitsa and an island in Italy called Sicily (locals call it Sicilia or Siciliya).
Tamshuk: What was your motivation to travel places and write about your experiences?
Veronica: I was born in the end of the USSR period and I was growing up knowing that a very limited amount of people could leave the country and see the world. Of course, those people could only be a part of guided group and they could not explore the places they could visit. But I read a lot of books written by Jules Verne and dreamed that someday I would also go explore the world. So I did as soon as I got my first opportunity. I got addicted to traveling from my very first trip abroad. Whenever I came home from a new destination many people have asked me to share the stories from the countries I visited. They wanted to know about my adventures, cuisines, street food, culture, festivals, and holidays. And I loved sharing my stories and photos with them. Then I started sharing my photos and stories on social media and later created my blog Siniciliya.
Tamshuk: Any favorite destinations you have been to? And any particular place that you haven’t been yet but really want to visit?
Veronica: I have visited over 50 countries but there’s a special place for India in my heart. It has vibes and a soul, that opens to those who can understand and accept it. I have visited it 6 times already and really looking forward to exploring more. I haven’t been to Australia and New Zealand but I really want to visit them.
Tamshuk: As a traveler, you know that traveling is not only about heavenly experiences in paradise. There are bound to be some bad experiences too. Share with us what has been your most unpleasant experience when you have been traveling.
Veronica: Unfortunately, I had some very unpleasant experiences and if I were to look back at them I’d say most of them were associated with my gender. A female traveler overcomes more unpleasant situations in general. Although I always respect cultures, act and dress up appropriately, there have been situations in Turkey, Nepal and India that were way too risky. I learned that no matter what I have to listen to myself, to my intuition and remember that safety always comes first.
Tamshuk: What is the secret behind those captivating photos? Any particular camera you use those?
Veronica: The main secret behind my photos is love. Love for the place, people, vibes, moments and of course for each other. Nowadays I travel mostly together with my husband Vitaliy and he is the photographer of many photos in my blog. Recently we held our first travel photography exhibition and we called it “The Moment”. It was about feeling a perfect moment, capturing it with a camera and sharing with the world. The camera I use is Canon Mark II.
Tamshuk: Going by the awesome photos on your blog, you are quite the fashionista. Is that a conscious effort to incorporate an element of fashion along with your travel experiences when you publish an article on your blog or is it something that just happens naturally?
Veronica: Oh, thank you, Tamshuk! Since I have now taken my blog to a new professional level, I do incorporate an element of fashion into the photographs. I want to create perfect visuals that convey a message of a particular place and a moment, or even narrate a story of a particular travel. Before I go to a new destination I try to pack accordingly. For example, I knew way in advance that I will be cruising the Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong under the red sails of the Aqua Luna junk, so I chose a red floral dress by a Russian designer Ulyana Sergeenko.
The street style in Hong Kong inspired me to explore the stores in Causeway Bay and choose an outfit that would say “I am Hong Kong”.
Tamshuk: The reason why I consider you to be one of the most inspiring travel bloggers is because how you stay true to all your activities – publishing new posts on your blog, managing Travel Mode On and your media assignments – yet at the same time you are always available to your followers(including me) on social media. Tell us, how important it is for you to regularly interact with your followers and fellow aspiring travel bloggers?
Veronica: My mission is to inspire others to travel the world, to see how beautiful and amazing it is and, of course, to leave one’s comfort zone. For that reason, I do my best to interact as much as possible with my followers. Of course I do devote some of my time for digital detox. Other than that I am almost always available.
Tamshuk: Well, you have already achieved quite a lot as a Travel Blogger, Journalist and Entrepreneur. How would you define success or what does success mean to you?
Veronica: That’s a tricky question to which my answer was changing from year to year. At some point, I defined success as being recognized by others. Although this is still very important to me, today I define success as staying true to myself, developing my talents and exceeding my own limits.
“I define success as staying true to myself, developing my talents and exceeding my own limits”
Tamshuk: Finally, what advice or suggestions would you provide to folks like us who aspire to become an influential travel blogger?
Veronica: I would advise to stay true to yourself, do what you are best at, be professional in all areas and spread kindness in the world. Thank you, Tamshuk, for this wonderful interview.
Thank you Veronica for sharing so much. A woman of substance and truly an Inspiring Travel Blogger. I hope to continue getting inspired by your stories and travels.