9 min read
Victoria is the author of the travel blog Pommie Travels and online fashion magazine Fashion’s On Vacation. She has travelled to over 50 countries across 6 continents, most of the time solo. After graduating from university in 2008 she decided to pack her Broadcast Journalism degree into her suitcase and embark on a life of adventure, documenting her experiences online and the rest, as they say, is history.
We spent a little time speaking to Victoria about why International Women’s Day is a day for empowerment, how we can make the most of it to boost the role of women in society, about her work in web media and travel journalism, and of course, flowers.
Victoria Brewood: Being a woman is an incredible thing. But first of all, I’m a human.
FQ: What kind of woman do you consider yourself?
VB: I’m an independent woman who isn’t afraid to pack a bag and explore the world on my own. I’m not embarrassed to eat alone in a restaurant or to strike up conversation in a bar when I’m in a new city. I can be strong-willed and determined at times and I will never, ever give up. However, I would say I’m quite empathetic and self aware, and I love to take care of people.
FQ: Who is the most important woman in your life?
VB: The most important woman in my life is my best friend Elle. She’s always there to listen and she’s someone who is always serene, no matter what’s going on in life. She definitely has a calming influence and is someone who I love to invite on my adventures.
FQ: What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
VB: It’s a day of empowerment and if it can do one thing, it should inspire women out there to be their absolute best selves and realise the sky’s the limit.
FQ: Do you like to receive flowers?
VB: I love to receive flowers, it definitely brightens my day, no matter who they’re from.
FQ: Would you give flowers on International Women’s Day?
VB: I hadn’t really thought about it but maybe I should!
FQ: Do you like to send flowers to friends and family?
VB: I occasionally send them to my Mum since I’m often away and it’s the easiest thing to send when you’re not in the country.
FQ: How should it be celebrated in your opinion?
VB: International Women’s Day should be celebrated by sharing encouraging and inspiring stories and being kinder to each other. Spend it with your best female friend or go to dinner with your favourite girls.
FQ: Do any famous women inspire you?
VB: Meryl Streep, she’s a fantastic actress and a class lady. I met Deborah Meaden the other day from Dragon’s Den, she’s done very well in business and gave quite an inspirational speech. She said if you have an idea, “just do it”.
FQ: How do you see the role of women in web media today?
VB: Actually it’s nice to see so many women in web media. There’s an enormous number of female bloggers and Instagrammers. However, I also think that it’s important for us to think about the messages we’re sending across. I see so many images on Instagram of girls posing, wearing clothes that perfectly match their surroundings. It feels like there’s so much emphasis placed on beauty and it worries me that what is being displayed on social media isn’t really ‘real’.
FQ: What is the message you want to convey to women today?
VB: You can be whoever you want these days. There’s nothing stopping you! The only limitations you have are your beliefs. I would encourage all people, of either gender, to keep working towards their goals and believe that anything is possible with hard work and determination. I watched a motivational video the other day that said successful people ‘decide’. They make a decision on what they want to do and who they want to be first, then they keep working towards that.
FQ: What messages about being a woman would you try to pass on to girls growing up in today’s world?
VB: My main message would be, don’t look to social media and what other people are doing. Don’t feel like you need to contour your face or cake yourself in makeup. Don’t look at all these influencers and obsess over their lifestyles, since so much of it is a very warped portrayal of reality. Focus on your passions, focus on what you are doing and most of all, be classy! Be the woman who doesn’t gossip, be the woman who does her own thing and always be graceful.
FQ: Do you think that today’s women are treated the same as men?
VB: To be honest, I embrace my femininity and I don’t want to be treated like a man. For instance, I like having doors opened for me and I quite like it when the guy pays on the first date. I think there are aspects of gender roles that should be embraced. I don’t think we’ll ever be treated exactly the same as men but would we really want to? In some cultures, the women hang out with women and the men hang out with the men. Women communicate differently and I think that it’s nice to be treated like a woman.
FQ: In what areas / aspects do you think women are treated differently?
VB: I read a lot about gender pay gaps, which I don’t know much about since I’m self employed. There have been situations in my life where I’ve thought that if I were a man people might not try to mess with me so much. For example, in negotiating situations with contracts and money.
FQ: What are your hopes for women of the future?
VB: I hope that women continue to achieve great things. I hope women continue to innovate, start businesses, excel in sports and all avenues of life. But I also hope that we aren’t still discussing gender in the future. At the end of the day we are all people.
FQ: What inspired you to start your blog?
VB: After graduating from university I wasn’t really sure what job I wanted to do and I seemed to be having trouble finding jobs at that time. So I did some travelling around Europe and met a boyfriend from California who happened to be a web designer. He told me that I could make money from blogging online and helped me to set up my site. The relationship ended but the blog did not!
FQ: What are your biggest passions?
VB: Aside from travel, I love to act and I love to sing – it makes me feel happy. Even though I’ve not made a career out of it (yet), I love to take film acting classes and write scripts. I also love to cook and if I’m stressed it definitely helps me unwind.
FQ: What is your biggest day-to-day concern?
VB: My biggest day-to-day concern is usually finances and how I’m going to juggle all my work. As a blogger you don’t get a steady salary so you always have to deal with invoices and being more careful with money management. I get inundated with emails every day and I also need to write blog posts, edit pictures, handle SEO, make videos and promote myself on social media, so it can be a bit exhausting sometimes, even though it looks really glamorous.
FQ: What has been your favourite travel destination so far?
VB: Up until now I had always struggled with this question but then a few weeks ago I went to Cape Town and I loved it. It is without a doubt the best destination I’ve ever visited. The food is incredibly healthy and fresh and the scenery is absolutely stunning. Where else can you see penguins at the beach in the morning, then head to the top of a mountain in the afternoon? Everywhere you go, the views are just spectacular, particularly from the top of Table Mountain.
FQ: How has your experience in Bali and Australia changed your life?
VB: It’s funny because it seems so long ago now that it’s easy to forget. But I think that the experiences have definitely changed my life. Australia taught me how to travel solo, to meet people and to have confidence. It was a rite of passage for me – it taught me how to budget with money and I had some incredible experiences staying in hostels. Bali was a different experience as it taught me about living abroad and that island life is great for a holiday but not something I necessarily want every day.
FQ: What has been the most fun experience on your travels?
VB: Gosh I’ve had so many fun experiences. I loved my trip to South Australia. I swam with sea lions in the wild, attempted to dive with Great White Sharks (they didn’t show up that day) and experienced a hair-raising ride in a tiger moth plane.
FQ: And what is something that you have said or did that you regret having done or said?
VB: I regret the mistakes I made in relationships. When you’re used to travelling solo and then you travel with a partner, it’s not always easy. Travelling can definitely create stress and I look back at the times we argued and it all seems silly now. I regret trying to ride a scooter in Bali too, as I had an accident that left me with pretty bad scars on my legs. I see the positives that came out of it – it taught me to care less about appearances – but if I could go back in time I wouldn’t want to go through that again.
We’d like to thank Victoria for taking the time to chat with us about this important day of the year and we really recommend you check out her work on Pommie Travels and Fashion’s on Vacation. Be sure to let us know what Women’s Day means to you and how you will be celebrating it yourself in the comments.
There’s still time to send a last minute bouquet of beautiful International Women’s Day flowers to a woman in your life who makes everyday special to you. Even if you are far away on March 8th we can send your flowers to over 100 countries with our International Flower Delivery service.