Travel Entrepreneurs, Peter and Kia of Atlas & Boots Community, Travel, What the Club is Talking About Travel entrepreneurs Peter and Kia of Atlas & Boots have lived a life of adventure. With over 70 countries visited, long-lost family friends tracked down with just a 40-year-old passport photo and a name, hundreds of travel photos sold, and coverage in National Geographic, Lonely Planet, and Business Insider, Peter and Kia would certainly make for entertaining dinner party guests. We sat down to learn more about their journey together and their favorite travel tips… Kia and Peter, Photo By: Atlas & Boots Since you two met and launched your incredibly successful travel blog Atlas & Boots, how has your traveling evolved? Kia: My travel style changed a lot after I met Peter. Before that, I would usually stay put in a single resort like I did in Barbados, Thailand and Tunisia. Peter showed me that even with 10 days you can see large parts of a country, but you have to travel! You can’t just sit on a beach. Peter: Since starting Atlas & Boots, we’ve had to think about the ‘balance’ of travel a lot more. We want to enjoy travel for what it is – not spend half an hour at every stop arranging the perfect Instagram shot, so we’ve had to be mindful of not crossing that line. What’s been your favorite part of Atlas & Boots since launching? Kia: Hitting 100,000 users per month was a highlight. That validated the effort we’ve put into Atlas & Boots and proved that we’re making something people want. Peter: Launching our ebook was a highlight for me. Don’t Offer Papaya: 101 Tips for Your First Time Around the World was launched in mid-September and getting our first few sales was pretty special. Photo By: Atlas & Boots What’s been the biggest challenge? Do you feel like travel feels a bit more like work now that you have a blog to consider? Kia: The biggest challenge for me has been going from ‘here’s my little project’ to ‘here’s my business’. Peter has always been the bolder one. We lived in France for a while last year and on meeting our neighbours, he told them that we run a small business. I immediately tempered it with ‘Oh, that’s overstating it a bit.’ I’m no wallflower but it took me a long time to shift from ‘I’m a writer’ to ‘I’m an entrepreneur.’ I still feel strange saying it. Photo By: Atlas & Boots Peter: Travel doesn’t feel like work because we love it. There are challenges in running a blog of course but we enjoy them. The dreaded ‘monetisation’ is our next big challenge. That’s what we’ll be focusing on in the coming year – but we promise not to plaster the site with ads! What do your readers seem to engage with most? Kia: The most engagement comes from our outdoor guides, whether it’s a niche subject like hiking in Patagonia and climbing Nevis Peak or something more generic like the best hiking apps. We call ourselves ‘outdoorsy-ish’ because Peter is very outdoorsy and I am a city girl, so we meet in the middle. That resonates with a lot of our readers who enjoy nature and adventure but also a hot shower and nice bed at day’s end. Photo By: Atlas & Boots Any bit of travel advice that’s particularly special to you and or that you wish more people knew? Peter: The thing we’ve said all along is that it’s not as hard as you think. A lot of people say to us ‘I wish I could travel the world’ and they can. It’s not even about courage and derring-do; it’s about conviction. You just need to make the decision, then approach the rest from a practical point of view: ‘I need to save X amount of money in Y months and I’ll go to A, B, C’. It really isn’t as hard as you think. Are there any travelers you both look up to or are fond of? Kia: We both respect Simon Reeve who seems to have an honest style of travel. That may be a strange word to use – honest – but so much of the travel experience we see in print, online and on TV is manufactured to fit a brand. Whether it’s ‘the bumbling Englishman just muddling through’, or ‘the bold explorer who thrives on danger’, the brand acts as a lens through which we see their travels. Honesty is refreshing. If you could transport to anywhere in the world today, where would you go? Kia: That’s just an unkind question to put to a traveller! There are so many places I want to see. On the top of the list are Derweze in Turkmenistan and Baffin Island in Canada. Peter: Put me on a mountain or an ocean and I’m happy. Photo By: Atlas & Boots When packing for your travels, are there any items and trusty go-tos you won’t leave home without?Kia: Earplugs for noisy bus journeys and wet wipes so I have some semblance of cleanliness on long hikes! Peter: My compass, penknife and a solar charger. Photo By: Atlas & Boots If you could have coffee with any 5 people, who would they be? Kia: I’ll stick to people who are alive to make this question easier! I’d have coffee with Israeli historian and author Yuval Noah Harari so I could ask him more about Sapiens, one of the most fascinating books I’ve read in recent times. I’d also choose Edurne Pasaban who’s the first woman to climb all 14 eight-thousander mountains. Jason Fried, founder of tech company Basecamp, because he always thinks innovatively about business. Novelist Jeffrey Eugenides to steal some of his greatness. And I’d throw in Ryan Gosling because I hear he’s an excellent conversationalist… Peter: Most of my heroes are dead so I’ll choose a mix. I’d start with Roald Amundsen, the greatest Polar explorer in history. Ernest Hemingway who is a wonderful storyteller and has inspired me to travel. I’d be tempted to choose George Mallory to find out if he summited Everest but I’d rather the mystique intact, so I’d opt for Bertrand Piccard instead. He was the first to complete a nonstop balloon ride around the world and championed green technology. Amelia Earhart because of her achievements in aviation. Finally, if Kia gets Gosling, I’d like Zoe Saldana please. Photo By: Atlas & Boots Find Kia and Peter at atlasandboots.com, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and buy their ebook, Don’t Offer Papaya: 101 Tips for Your First Time Around the World, at Amazon UK or US.