Adventures in Vlogging: A Q+A with YouTube Travel Star Christina Pfeiffer
Christina Pfeiffer is a veteran travel writer and photographer whose work has appeared everywhere from the Sydney Morning Herald to the South China Morning Post. While she still maintains her writing and photography skills, she’s recently added a new skill into the mix – video blogging. Since having launched her YouTube channel TravelThereNext.TV last year, Christina has uploaded dozens of lively videos that provide a fascinating glimpse into life around the globe. We recently had the chance to chat with the wandering nomad about her new YouTube passion and about the various incredible adventures she’s gotten to undertake throughout her career. And naturally, we had to ask where her favourite Aussie hotel stays were as well 🙂
What inspired you to start a travel YouTube channel?
It has always been in the back of my mind to do something with video, even before YouTube existed. When I first started travel writing in 2003, my husband wanted to be more than the “bag man” while travelling with me on my work trips. Back then, I had my hands full taking photographs and writing notes but I’ve always had an idea that video might become important one day. So, we invested in a semi-professional HDV video camera and Roger filmed every trip he was able to accompany me on, from Europe to the South Pacific, from walking among penguins in Antarctica to helicopter fishing in British Columbia. We have years of footage we haven’t even got around to editing yet!
I’ve been keeping an eye on the changing media landscape and was inspired by the success of YouTube. So, last September I decided to get serious about video blogging. These days, we both film and edit. We produce at least three new videos each week to keep the content fresh.
What advice would you give people just starting to make their own travel videos?
Buy the best camera equipment and video editing software you can afford. Do your research on equipment before purchasing, as having the right gear makes a huge difference.
Is there a video you’ve produced that you’re especially proud of?
Well, we’re constantly experimenting with new techniques. One that we’re quite proud of is a video we filmed using green screen technology. We recently visited the Gold Coast and produced this video on their new travel app.
A recent hot air ballooning in the Masai Mara was fun to film using a combination of cameras including a GoPro.
Inner Mongolia last year was a turning point. I realised it’s possible to for me to film myself while travelling.
In addition to your YouTube channel, you’re all over social media with Facebook Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+ accounts among others. How important a role do you think social media now plays within the travel industry?
Social media is levelling the playing field. It’s allowing individuals to communicate to an audience that would have previously been out of reach. It’s re-shaping many aspects of life, including the way we choose and book travel. I think social media is only in its infancy and there’s plenty of room for its influence to grow.
Your blog features everything from spa getaways to adventure holidays. What’s your personal preferred style of travel?
I’m drawn to travel that allows me to immerse myself in a destination, whether it’s interacting with people, learning the culture, participating in an activity or sampling new food. Call it “experiential travel,” if you like. It usually involves learning something new and getting out of my comfort zone. Recent highlights include learning to ski in Canada, mahout training in Thailand and mountain trekking in Uganda in search of gorillas.
You’ve visited many of the top hotels in Australia and abroad. Any properties that particularly dazzled you?
In Australia, I like the quirkiness of QT Hotel Sydney, which is an imaginative re-design of a historic building. The Four Seasons Hotel Sydney has a fabulous restaurant, The Woods, and a room with a good view of the Opera House makes a stay really memorable. Peppers Broadbeach has a really cool Sub Penthouse and Southern Ocean Lodge on Kangaroo Island is impressive for its remote wilderness luxury.
You’ve pretty much been all over the globe. Is there any destination that’s still on your bucket list?
Where do I start? There’s the Arctic, Bhutan, Barbados, Botswana and Brazil. And we’ve only got to “B”! I’ve been to 56 of the 206 sovereign states in the world. I could go through the alphabet and come up with a list so long I wouldn’t be able to travel to all these places in my lifetime. But hopefully, I’ll get the opportunity to try!