Get In the Hot Spot Interview # 8 With Annabel Candy and Give-Away

Australian travel writer and blogger writer Annabel Candy

Today's interview is with Australian Travel Writer, Speaker, Blogger, and Mom, Annabel Candy. Enjoy!

Welcome to The Bold Life. Would you like to introduce yourself to our readers? 

Thanks Tess! I'm a travel fiend from way back. I was born in England and I also have a New Zealand passport. I've lived in eight countries and I've hitched rides on a fire engine in Turkey, a donkey cart in Tunisia and a gravel truck in Zimbabwe. I've traveled the world to spot animals in the wild and then ended up sharing my home with scorpions, bats and birds. 

I now live with my husband and our three children in Queensland, Australia where I write on my blog Get In the Hot Spot and share blogging tips for small business owners and writers at Successful Blogging. When I'm not running our web design and copywriting business, walking on the beach or dreaming of zipping back to Africa that is! 

You inspire thousands of people through your blogs everyday. Who inspires you and why? 

That's kind. Thank you. I try to be uplifting and positive, even when tacking traditionally boring topics like internet marketing because life's better when you have fun with it. 

I'm inspired by a host of other business owners, bloggers and writers.

I love fiction and my favorite authors are Alexander McCall Smith, Doris Lessing and Anne Patchett because I went to an inspiring author talk by her lately.

My favorite bloggers are Darren Rowse, Leo Babauta and Penelope Trunk. They're a diverse bunch much like my reading habits. I also love lesser know bloggers like Seana Smith, Nikki Parkinson and Caroline Makepeace who are all Australian. Sonia Simone and Jon Morrow are the best blog writers and copywriters around while Seth Godin's marketing books are great food for thought.

My favorite book about writing is Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. It's a brilliant combination of writing and personal development tips.

Best of all my kids inspire me to get off the computer and out into the real world. To stop taking things too seriously, to live in the moment and just have fun. 

What is the biggest fear you’ve overcome in 2011 and how did you do it?

I joined Toastmasters this year because I wanted to practice my public speaking but I never realized how scary it is to stand in front of a group of people and talk until I did it. Especially when you talk about yourself or an idea you're passionate about.

I joined the group to make me commit to facing the fear and get feedback on my speaking. It worked. I still get nervous but I know I can do it and do it well. I've spoken to many groups this year. The biggest was over 200 people but the scariest was doing a live book pitch to two publishers in front of an audience of 50 people.

In the days leading up to the event I got this clicking in my jaw which got worse and worse. I thought my mouth was going to cease up completely and I knew it was psychosomatic! But I pressed on and did it. It went well and I even videoed it and shared it on my blog which was scary too. 

There's only one way to overcome fear and that's to just do the scary stuff again and again until you control the fear. Make a decision to give fear the finger and just get on with it. That's all you can do. 

What is your best traveling money saving tip? 

Buy the very best backpack (or bag) you can afford. I still have the same backpack I bought when I was 18. 25 years later it’s been dragged all over the world. It looks slightly tired but it still works a treat. I recommend you choose a great brand like Lowe or Kathmandu and just bide your time until they have a sale. 

What advice can you give to people who want to design their life around travel? 

It's easier without kids but I have three and you can do it anyway even if you have a big family. What I did was plan my career round travel. So right after university I trained to teach english as a foreign language because I knew I'd be able to find work almost anywhere with that qualification. That was great for about 10 years. 

Now I have kids and a business I don't move around as much but I don't want to either. My travel style has always been to live somewhere, really get to know it, learn the language and hang out with the locals. You get more out of it that way and you can still make forays to nearby countries.

So I recommend slow travel so you can really amass true memories rather than rushing round trying to fit in so much you can't even remember where you went.

 Top three blogs that you have to read at least once a week? 

That is too hard. I probably read hundreds of blogs each week zipping here, there and everywhere. I'm interested in a lot of different topics too and I often swing by here for personal development. But if you really want me to name only three here they are: 

Penelope Trunk for her incredibly honest writing.
Leo Babauta for his lifestyle choices and winning outlook.

Barbara Hammond at Zero to 60 and Beyond for her positivity and great stories. 

What are you currently working on? Where do you see yourself in Dec. 2012?

I'm always working on a lot of things at once. Writing and web design jobs for clients, blog posts for my blog and guest posts for other people. That suits me well in many ways because I have a short attention span but in 2012 I want to work on improving my focus and stop zipping from one thing to another so much as I think that will increase my productivity. I just read Uncertainty by Jonathan Fields and that's inspired me to finally start a little attention training and stay on track with my goals.

Next year I want to write more travel stories and compile them into a book. I can't predict what I'll be doing or what I'll have achieved in 12 months time. The internet and blogging world is changing so fast with new opportunities opening up all the time. I guess I'll just keep doing what I'm doing now. Writing more, writing braver and see where it leads me! 

I'd love to give three of your readers a copy of my ebook and audio book Successful Blogging in 12 Simple Steps. All The Bold Life can get a 35% discount with the "35off" discount code if they like the sound of blogging for business, creativity or personal development. Blogging has helped me in all of those areas, I guess that's why I love blogging so much. It's also helped me make fabulous connections with inspiring people all over the world and I count you as one of them.

If any readers would like to win a copy of the book just leave a comment below:)    

Please vote this blog as The Top Personal Development Blog of 2011. Leave in the comments that your vote is for Tess at The Bold Life. Click here to vote: Change Your Thoughts. Thanks!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • barbara December 7, 2011, 10:44 am

    Wow Annabel! I was so surprised to see myself mentioned in your top three blogs to read! Thank you so much. I am honored that you are inspired by my blog because you and your encouragement kept me going through the first year and continue to inspire me to press on. I am humbled and grateful!

    Oh… and I do love Tess’ blog too!

    • Annabel Candy, Get In the Hot Spot December 7, 2011, 3:57 pm

      Hi Barbara,

      You’re welcome. I’m so happy to be part of an extraordinary (in a good way!) group of women like you and Tess:)

  • Lenia December 7, 2011, 10:58 am

    Very interesting interview with many references in blogs, books and tips to keep in mind. Thank you both of you!

  • Angela Artemis/Poweredbyintuition December 7, 2011, 7:33 pm

    Hi Annabel & Tess,
    Two of my favorite people!
    I really enjoyed learning more about your background Annabel.
    I love your honesty about trying to make the less exciting topics of “internet marketing” more fun for your readers.
    I believe public speaking is at the top of the list of people’s fears – this is no small feat. Congratulations on your public speaking and joining Toast Masters!

    • Annabel Candy, Get In the Hot Spot December 8, 2011, 4:43 am

      Hi Angela,

      Ah, thank you! I get very excited about it but I know some people don’t so I try to win them over:) No one learns anything from boring teachers do they?!

      Have you done much public speaking?

  • May King Tsang December 7, 2011, 11:14 pm

    Hello Annabel, thank you so much for sharing your experience, your fears and your goals for 2012. It was an inspiring read and will have a sneaky peak at your blog recommendations. I’m still newish to blogging so I’m all ears when it comes to blogging. Thanks again for sharing and all the best for 2012. Regards, May King.

    • Annabel Candy, Get In the Hot Spot December 8, 2011, 4:46 am

      Hi May,

      Oh if you need reading recommendations I’m your woman! Will come to you for tea recommendations:)

  • Janine Fitzpatrick December 8, 2011, 2:30 am

    Great to learn more about the woman behind the tweets I’ve been following. Just starting out in the blogging world – have so much to learn – but having lots of fun doing it.

    • Annabel Candy, Get In the Hot Spot December 8, 2011, 4:47 am

      HI Janine, thanks for reading my tweets! Having fun it THE most important part. You’re off to a great start:)

  • Cassie December 8, 2011, 5:36 am

    Hi Annabel and Tess
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experience with us. I am a new blogger and hope to learn more on how to grow my brand. Best to you, your career and family in the coming new year!
    Cheers, Cassie

  • Cathy | Treatment Talk December 8, 2011, 1:16 pm

    Hi Annabel and Tess,

    Great interview. Wonderful to find out more about you and your book. You’ve inspired me to check out Toast Masters, as public speaking can be a fear of mine as well. I always enjoy reading about blogs that are favorites, so thanks for sharing.

    • Annabel Candy, Get In the Hot Spot December 8, 2011, 9:32 pm

      Hi Cathy,

      Lol, I should be on their PR team:) I recommend Toastmasters. It’s fun – in a scary good way…….

  • Surabhi @ Womanatics December 8, 2011, 7:41 pm


    It was a great interview and quite inspiring. Thanks for such great work. And yes, since I am a novice blogger, I would like to have a copy of the ebook.

    • Annabel Candy, Get In the Hot Spot December 11, 2011, 5:33 pm

      Hi Surabhi,

      Great! Tess: please an you send me names and email addresses for the 3 winners so I can send them the book?! Thank you:)

  • Annabel Candy, Successful Blogging December 8, 2011, 9:33 pm

    Hi Surabhi, that’s great. We’d better say first three to ask for it get it. Maybe you can email me your email address? I’m annabel at 🙂

  • David Stevens December 9, 2011, 2:38 pm

    Hi Tess and Annabel,
    It’s great to see some Aussies get a mention and Annabel lives in one of my favourite holiday spots. Thank you for the insight.
    be good to yourselves

  • Mary Meredith Drew December 9, 2011, 5:07 pm

    Annabel, Ann Patchett is one of my favorite writers as well. She is amazing, and I am so envious that you got to hear her speak.
    By the way, it was very brave of you to join Toastmasters. I think speaking in public is one of the scariest things I had to learn, too. It took a long time, but the last time I read my work at Wordstock, I was shocked to notice that I was not scared a bit. That felt so great.
    Best of luck with you work.

    • Annabel Candy, Get In the Hot Spot December 11, 2011, 5:36 pm

      Hi Mary,

      If you ever get the chance to hear her speak do it:) I had zero expecations but she’s as good a speaker as she is an author.

      Love that you overcame your fear and are a confident speaker. Will be following in your footsteps:)

  • Lisa Wood December 11, 2011, 6:49 pm

    It was so good to read your interview! I guess I never realised that talking in a group of people would be scary for you – I thought you would be really confident! That sure makes it interesting…facing fears and being the best you can be!

    I love your travel stories – and hearing how much you have done. All the best for 2012


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