Alumna Travels the World & Blogs About It
Amanda Williams, a 2013 Kent State University graduate with a master’s degree in hospitality and tourism management, is a traveler, blogger, photographer and all-around adventure seeker. The Canfield native has dog sledded in the Arctic Tundra, kayaked in Vietnam, swam with sharks in Belize and South Africa, hiked across glaciers in New Zealand, and volunteered with elephants in Thailand. Williams, 29, who recently return from a trip to South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, said she launched her blog A Dangerous Business in 2010 because of her love of writing and travelling. “I was working full time as a copy/design editor at a small newspaper, and while I’ve always loved to write, my editor job didn’t offer much opportunity for me to do that,” she said. Currently, Williams makes her living from a variety of activities centered on her blog. “My blog brings in money via advertising and affiliate marketing, and I also make money doing freelance travel writing, teaching blogging courses, and occasionally doing consulting and social media work. Additionally, I often work with tourism boards and travel companies to promote their destinations and/or products.”
In fall 2011, she decided to pursue her master’s degree in hospitality and tourism management because she wanted to learn more about the industry. Her experiences at Kent State have made her look at her travels much differently, especially when she travels to less-developed countries. “I spent six weeks traveling through Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia. Cambodia was a tough place for me to travel. The country is filled with corruption and poverty, and yet it also is home to beautiful places, such as the Angor Wat temple complex, which brings in many tourists every year. Experiencing Angkor Wat and the nearby city of Siem Reap really made me think about everything I learned at Kent State about tourism development. In most parts of the country, Cambodia is not developing in a sustainable way, and I could clearly recognize it.”
Williams’ future plans include travelling as much as she can for as long as she can. “This year alone I will probably be away about a third of the year. I hope to be lucky enough to continue building my blogging business, so that I can continue working for myself. When you are your own boss, and can work from anywhere with an internet connection, it makes traveling much easier. If, and when I decide to slow down, I can see myself eventually working for a convention and visitors bureau in its marketing or public relations department,” she said.