Birth Place: UK
Current Location: Chennai, India
Occupation: Travel writer and English tutor
When I was at school, the Geography classroom had a poster on the wall that said, ‘the world is a book and those who do not travel only read one page’. This is the phrase that has set the precedent for the rest of my life so far, any chance I have ever had to travel, and I have taken the opportunity.
From simple days where I became a tourist in my home town, to spending 3 months in Tanzania or backpacking across Europe – I have tried to explore everything around me. Even when I was young I loved writing and creative writing, my dad used to let me use his laptop to write short stories all the time. After a few attempts at blogging, I finally gave in to my friend’s suggestions and started writing about my travel.
I am often accident prone as a traveller, so some of my posts are based on the accidents and funny stories of my travels and others are travel guides for places I have been. After a year I had tens of thousands of views and I finally paid to host my website (thegreatambini.co.uk), rather than using a free template and since then I have kept learning and improving my travel writing. It took me a long time to believe that I could write about my travels and that people were actually reading my blog.
I took my passion for writing and paired it with my need to travel and have managed to form it into the first steps towards a career.
It is hard to set up a website from scratch when you have limited knowledge in web-design, so when I transferred my site across to being self-hosted I found it difficult. There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes for websites, especially when you make them indexed by Google – so I had to teach myself all the different terms.
I also struggled with learning how to market my blog on social media, but now most of my traffic comes from platforms I have only used for 6 months – which is such a success for me! I am self-taught at the background side of my website, and it feels great to know that the hard work has paid off.
If I had any advice for you, it would be just go for it, when you want to start writing, just do it! You don’t have to share it with anyone straight away and you can just get practise. I regularly go back to my original posts and feel embarrassed at what I wrote, but the practise just means you develop your style and improve.
Amber on the Sustainable Development Goals
I think that Goal number 5 (Gender Equality) is the most important.
Most women in the world have faced some form of gender-based discrimination, even in developed countries where gender equality is there on paper. By changing the language used, social behaviours and bringing equal rights in countries where women do not have the same rights to inheritance or legal freedoms, it is possible to impact the world massively.
I try to contribute towards all of the goals as much as possible where I can, but I feel the most important are those that we have been tackling for a long time. For example, access to clean water and zero hunger, along with gender equality – these should have been a part of history, not our current reality.