1) Hi Georgina, and congratulations on being featured as a globelle gal in focus! Can you tell us where in the world we'd currently find you?
Thanks so much for featuring me! At the moment I’m at home in London. But it's not for long - next month, I’m in Switzerland and Albania, and last month you'd have found me hiking in Yorkshire.
2) What inspired you to first start travelling?
Holiday brochures when I was a child - I was in awe seeing pictures of far away mountains and amazing waterfalls.
I lived in France, Ireland and Australia as well as the UK before I was 19 so I’ve always loved being amongst different cultures and learning about new places. I constantly have itchy feet but I’m now trying to discover more places within the UK.
3) What's been your favourite place to visit, and why?
Oh so many places. I have a deep fascination with America, but New Zealand and Japan were both stand outs for very different reasons.
I went to NZ when I was 18 with my boyfriend and we camped and hitched around for six weeks before living in Australia and I miss that really simple, back to nature, don’t care what day it is experience, when you weren’t expected to pack your holidays with meaningful activities every day and just let the landscape soak into your soul.
Japan was a thrilling culture shock, I was in Kyoto, the ancient capital and it feels so incredibly alien to a western mind, but so refreshing as that’s what you travel for.
4) What's the worst thing that's happened to you since being on the road? How did you deal with it?
In the last few years? Trying to find Tampax in rural Cuba in 45 degree heat was something I wouldn’t like to do again.
I think that’s been the worst thing for a while, I’m a pretty seasoned traveller and although I panic about missing planes, I’m pretty laid back about everything else. You’re only ever a plane ride away from home and unless it’s sentimental, everything else can be replaced.
5) Obviously life on the road is about fewer possessions and more moments, but what is the one thing you can't travel without?
Right now? My awesome zero waste kit. pebble is all about living more lightly on the planet, and a lot of this right now is ditching the plastic.
So I have a hard bar shampoo from LUSH that comes in a little tin, a bamboo toothbrush and a bamboo cutlery set and a KeepCup and that makes me feel a little better about travelling.
6) You're the founder of pebble Magazine, a publication all about living a good life, full of adventures while tackling some of the probles the world currently faces today. You've also founded the pebble pod where your community can discuss their thoughts. Can you tell us about how pebble, and it's initiatives, came about?
pebble started because I saw a gap between what mainstream magazines and newspapers want us to read & the huge number of ethical brands and increase in people wanting to ‘shop their values’ and literature that encouraged that. I also wanted to use my media career to do something more positive than just write about luxury hotels.
I really believe in the power of positive storytelling – that’s how we inspire and encourage and I wanted pebble to be a place where anyone could find something to inspire them to live more consciously – whether that’s food waste or ethical fashion, cool eco hotels or plastic free suggestions.
In just over 18 months we have 40,000 readers a month and a really lovely and positive Facebook community, plus a new series of sustainable city guides which are free on your phone – we’ve got 2 UK cities so far (Nottingham & Bristol) and a third coming soon.
7) Setting up a magazine is far from easy. What has been your biggest challenge so far with pebble, as well as the nicest surprise you've had since it's founding?
Far from easy! I’m lucky in that I’ve been a magazine editor and publisher for 16 years - it's what I’ve built my career doing, with some really amazing household name brands. No doubt, these experiences helped a lot.
But I am new to digital marketing and navigating new income streams from content and video so that’s been a huge learning curve – which keeps on going. The boundaries between magazines, blogs, shops and other portals are blurring, which is incredibly exciting in one way and incredibly confusing in another.
My biggest challenge however is time – we’re a tiny team and we’re running a full on magazine, city guide series, Facebook community and we have a lot more plans for 2019!
On the upside, the whole sector is expanding and most people working in social enterprise and sustainability are incredibly supportive and collaborative – I’ve made some amazing friends and contacts in the last 18 months and it’s lovely for people to champion your work and you champion theirs back. We like to say #pebblesmakeripples and it’s true!
8) You've been working in the magazine space for many years, alongside the likes of Lonely Planet Traveller & BBC Travel. How has, in your opinion, the travel publication spaced in the past couple of years - and what do you think we should be aiming for in terms of direction we're taking it in?
I think it’s a challenging time. Especially because there are now so many places to get travel inspo, from blogs and Instagram through to the prestigious, leftfield titles like Cereal, so it’s hard for people to recognise what is really good advice. Sadly the role of the travel expert, people who have spent decades writing about one or two places or a region seems to be getting lost in favour of anyone who rocks up with a camera, but that’s not to say there’s not a place for both.
For me, sustainable travel is where it’s at. I think travellers want experiences over expensive suite and are starting to value hotels and destinations that give back and help the local community over the global brands with their glossy celebrities.
9) What are your plans for the future, and what do you hope to achieve through all of your hard work?
To change the world! I want to get as many people as possible thinking more about the consumer choices they make – because the power is in our pocket.
Which brands, hotels, places we support says volumes to the corporations and politicians. Every choice we make now can be an ethical one, from choosing train over plane or choosing a local diner over chain restaurant – pebble and me are here to show people there’s no sacrifice in living sustainably.
Our plans – we’re growing fast and want to be the destination for people online to get inspired about any aspect of green living and travelling. And we might have a very special pebble event being planned for next year – watch this space!
10) What does travelling mean to you?
Freedom. New horizons. Open space to think and reflect. Slowing down time and making new memories.
11) If you could offer one piece of advice to those travelling for the first time, either as part of a group or solo, what would it be?
Look up from your phone. Seriously, put it away and enjoy being where you are. Find random places to eat and drink rather than what’s recommended on social media.
Interact with people in front of you rather than half a world away and trust your memory to bank what’s going on rather than seeing everything through a lens.
12) And finally, how can girls get in touch with you, and keep up to date with where you're exploring next?
In lots of different ways! To keep up with all pebble’s sustainable travel stories, eco hotel reviews and lots more subscribe to our weekly issue (link below). And/or follow us @pebblemagazine on Insta, Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest. Our pebble pod community would be thrilled to welcome some more travel girls too .
You can also find more about us below: