Who is So She Travelled?
I’m Frances Draskau. In 2015 I left London and put my job in fashion photography on hold to document modern Africa and began a life changing journey of my own. The women I met en-route inspired and helped me to grow both as a photographer and a female traveller. Their stories also made me question how little information there was tailored to female travel and photography and how to go about it.
I believe there are differences in the way women undertake travel, especially when solo and/or visiting countries where women don’t have equal rights. We’re living in the best and most affordable age to travel there has ever been, so we should while we can, and I want to support anyone who wants to travel and take travel imagery and feel good about it.
With so many amazing apps, widespread connectivity, and women’s outdoor clothing that isn’t only pink anymore, this is a really exciting time to explore!
New technology facilitates independence and lighter travel footprints and So She Travelled is here to provide honest guides and first hand experience by myself and other professionals who are using the latest equipment, creating content, connecting with diverse cultures and travelling the world as well as the back garden. I’d like all women to have the chance to join the journey as it happens and share the experience, not just the highlights.
What makes So She Travelled different from other travel websites?
Before I travelled regularly myself, I often felt excluded by travel publications where long distance travel was often presented as exclusive and aspirational or dangerous and war torn. They seemed like worlds I couldn’t ever under stand or fit into and provided me with looking glass accounts of places I’d never get to go to.
Having been lucky enough to travel extensively in the past few years for work and leisure, I discovered travel is so much more accessible than anyone ever admitted to me. There is a lot of information to absorb about each destination and it’s a case of having reliable and up-to-date intel and first hand accounts from people you trust – that’s why So She Travelled was conceived.
The goal of So She Travelled is to share travelling in a way that brings everyone along on the journey as it happens not just an edited version afterwards.
Regardless of the level of luxury or the exotic nature of the destination, travelling should be as fun to watch as doing it is – perhaps more so if it’s done in ways you wouldn’t necessarily do it yourself!
By creating and sharing mobile device content, the reality of travel and tourism can be hopefully be enjoyed and accepted for the wonder it is, rather than selling Photoshopped dreams (or nightmares) that don’t exist in real life. I love both those types of travel imagery but when I’m planning a trip, I want to see what’s real and I want help and anecdotes that relate to what I’m actually going to see, feel and experience. That’s what I want to offer to readers too: what it really feels like to stand in front of a gorilla in Rwanda, when to view the Mona Lisa without the huge crowds, who’s making the best travel pack and where to get it for the cheapest price or what it felt like to be caught in a storm on the Atlantic as it happens. I want everyone to have the inside scoop!
Why mobile device created content?
When I first conceptualised So She Travelled in 2015, the plan was to go down the usual blog route of DSLR imagery and video to accompany each post. However while road testing this during the website build and my travels, I realised this wasn’t going to allow me or my team to immerse ourselves while we explored because we’d be too busy editing the content instead of creating it.
Most of each day of travel is spent exploring and adventuring so evenings are the only time to socialise and get involved with local communities. I’ve witnessed many travel bloggers racing through day trips to devote their afternoons, evenings and early mornings locked to laptops, not able live the lifestyle they’re selling. So I started an Instagram account called So She Travelled only sharing photos taken and edited with my mobile phone and noticed that they got just as many likes and comments as the edited photos from my DSLR on my personal account – often many more! When the Stories element of Instagram came into play I started uploading my experiences of travelling each day with a mix of video and photo content that I curated in my own style and blunt humour without much thought of whether they looked enticing. Within a few months more people were watching these than were liking the picture posts! Although I was (still am!) often embarrassed at how honest and raw I am in these stories, I never stopped showing my highs and lows because direct messages poured in after each day expressing support and thanks that they had helped someone decide upon a trip, plan an outing or simply have the confidence to be honest about their own travel experiences.
Mobile content is now of such high quality that I get most of my own travel inspiration from Instagram. It enables me to see exactly what’s happening as it happens, which is why it makes sense for a travel website to deal in mobile content too – it’s true to life, produced on the go and the content being created is, in my opinion, some of the greatest and most beautiful there is right now. Mobile media is lightweight, economical and allows artistic development without the need to invest in pricey software. And with the latest advances in camera technology, it also prints really well too!
As a lifelong camera geek, I love editing software on any platform and spend most of my time learning and improving my skills on apps that process photo and film while I’m travelling and have time to play. Travel content is something we all create, even if only for our loved ones, and I think mobile content is the future of travel connectivity. We could all do with exploring it more and being given a boost that it’s an acceptable art form and means of expression.
Is So She Travelled just for women?
No! Much of the content is tailored to help women travel and features my experiences as a woman travelling but I hope that this information is universally beneficial and entertaining, and ultimately useful to any destination you want to find yourself in. In my photographic career I’ve often found a lack of other females in my field or opportunities that didn’t single us out as the token woman on a publication so it’s become increasingly important to me to support the next generation of female content creators and be a stepping stone for them to greater things.
There’s a natural career path in the film and photographic industries from assistant/runner to photographer/DOP/operator and this was often where women were cut out historically as we weren’t considered strong enough to lift the heavy equipment – mobile phones and lighter full-frame camera development now offers a solution to an old prejudice, and it’s a wonderful chance to even out the playing field. I’m committed to supporting women throughout their journey.
What if I can’t afford to travel?
As a jobbing photographer I can certainly relate to not having the funds to travel to far-flung destinations in my not too distant past! That never stopped me travelling though. Travel can be going for a walk after all, it doesn’t have to be far-flung. Continent hopping is pricey, I’m not going to pretend it’s cheap or a matter of choice but I will share everything I can about how to travel affordably and safely as well as providing a window into any luxurious holiday experience you might want to save up for, or just get the inside scoop on!
Travelling isn’t just catching a plane. It can be changing your route to work, walking the dog somewhere new or taking the train to the coast at the weekend. There’s a chance to see something unexpected by taking your feet for a brisk walk and So She Travelled includes contributions and features from the women who are doing exactly that as well the sun drenched, dreamy stuff we all appreciate. I’ve lived in London for 15 years and I still haven’t seen all the museums, parks and galleries it has. For me, that’s an equally big priority as visiting Antarctica is!
Work With So She Travelled
We’re always on the lookout for the next big destination or cultural event as well as products we shouldn’t travel without. We don’t do sponsored posts for things we don’t absolutely love and don’t have time for things that won’t rock our world and that of our fellow travellers! It’s a selective process with honest evaluations so please get in touch and introduce yourself and your brand before sending anything via post to email@example.com.
Work For So She Travelled
I have a small and amazing team here at So She Travelled who help me produce content for the site and we’re excited to support travel content from you too! If you want to submit a story, an idea or destination we should follow up on or share your mobile content please email a pdf with a brief outline and/or imagery to firstname.lastname@example.org. Only pdfs can be accepted, please keep them under 8MB.
In terms of trips, I either work solo or hire assistants and fixers at each destination. I’m sorry, I cannot take assistants along currently.
Consultancy & Workshops
With a PR & marketing background in luxury travel and property before specialising in fashion and travel photography, I have 10 years of experience producing high-end content, design and websites as well as my vocation creating evocative stills and moving image campaigns for international brands and publications.
If you would like to engage my services in these capacities please contact: email@example.com with a brief outline of your brand and project goals or design requirements.
We will be running workshops and mobile photography meet ups so do get in contact specifying your location and what you’d like to improve upon we’ll see what we can do in your area!
Life is fast paced and both work and family commitments can make deciding how to spend precious holiday time a last minute nightmare. Planning the trip of a lifetime is easier with a little insider knowledge and expertise and we do have a huge network of specialists around the world to make dreams happen in next to no time. Send your destination desires or simply your budget and requirements to firstname.lastname@example.org for tailor-made travel assistance.
If you’re starting a travel blog or website and want some advice or help do get in touch and we’ll assist if we can – a connected world is the world we want to live in!
Thank you so much for being part of the journey. Let’s travel connected!