We had the good fortune of connecting with Becky van Dijk and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Becky, how did you come up with the idea for your business?
When I started We Are Travel Girls, I had a career in banking in London and had recently taken 6 months off to travel through South America. The break from my banking career had inspired me to start brainstorming business ideas in the travel space to fulfill my desire to have a more creative outlet and potentially create something that would allow me to leave my banking role for good! In 2015 I came up with the idea for We Are Travel Girls early one morning on a trip to Scotland, I had been searching for a female travel community or group and could not find anything in my age range, so without a plan in place I quickly came up with a name (within 3 minutes of the idea!), bought the web domain and started an Instagram account! Over the next few months, I fleshed out ideas and goals for the community and in early 2016 my friend Vanessa Rivers joined me to start the travel blog WeAreTravelGirls.com with the mission to create a go-to travel blog for women, created by women!
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I have a couple of businesses, We Are Travel Girls and Travel Girls Getaways. We Are Travel Girls is a female travel community and blog, and Travel Girls Getaways is our bespoke affordable luxury women’s group trips company. I think what sets us apart from others in this space is that our trips are all about community, building lasting friendships and creating truly once in a lifetime experiences for our guests. My second business is an online education and coaching business, under my own name BeckyvanDijk.com. After hosting several business and blogging retreats I realised a huge passion of mine was to teach others so I created an online course The Blog Elevation Program. The course teaches bloggers how to take their blogs to the next level by monetising and turning their passion into a full-time business. Each business I have created has taught me so much, there have definitely been challenges along the way with each of them! Most of all I would say the biggest challenge is keeping going even when you are only making slow progress. Many new small business owners give up because success and income can take time, but if you truly believe in what you are creating and are confident in your product your preserverance will pay off!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I currently live in Newport Beach, California. If someone were to visit this area I would suggest they stay near the peninsula. I recommend spending a day on Balboa Island, your can spend a day wandering around admiring all the beautiful houses, shopping on the main street and stopping for a famous Balboa bar! On day two pack up a picnic and rent a Duffy boat to sail around the harbour, once you have explored by boat you can hire paddle boards or surf boards and get into the water! Then take a day to drive down to Laguna Beach, visiting the famous Victoria Beach with a lighthouse built into the rocks and 1,000 steps beach. If it’s the right time of year you can spend an evening at the famous Pageant Of The Masters.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would not be where I am today without my husband Ryan. When I worked in banking I always wanted to quit and pursue something I was more passionate about, but I wasn’t ready to push the button until I met Ryan. We met in Croatia and started a long distance relationship from LA to London, the distance, plus both our desires to leave our corporate jobs is what gave me the confidence to take a huge risk to quit my job with no plan in place! We spent 6 months travelling through South America, enjoying the freedom but also brainstorming business ideas every day, reading start-up books, launching a blog (that no longer exists!) and immersing ourselves in the idea of starting our own company. It didn’t happen right away, but over time we both started our own businesses – always helping one another throughout the journey. To this day Ryan and I work from home together and never stop discussing new ideas for our businesses and how we can continue to grow. Ryan has been a huge help to me in both my businesses and I attribute many of the initiatives and successes to his involvement!
Becky van Dijk