Linda Malys Yore is the 67 year old travel blogger making waves on Instagram
They say 60 is the new 40 and Linda Malys Yore couldn’t agree more.
When you think of a travel influencer, you probably picture a millennial digital nomad sat in a hammock on a Balinese beach. Instead, consider the ‘retirement gap year’. Enter Linda Malys Yore, the 67 year old blogger who’s here to change the game. Thanks to her adventurous nature, active spirit and glamorous wardrobe, a hearty 60k people follow Linda’s every travel move on Instagram @lindaontherunofficial.
But age is just a number for Linda. We spoke to her about her inspiration and motivations, travel blogging, how to grow your Instagram, brand collaborations and opportunities, tips for travelling solo, and life as a travel influencer. And not just for a gap year but for life.
How long have you been interested in travelling for?
I have been travelling all my life. One of my first travel memories is suffering motion sickness on a road trip with my parents. I was just 5 years old!
Travelling was always important to my parents. My father worked several jobs to provide our family of six the luxury of travel. The first time we drove across the Peace Bridge from the USA into Canada as a child it took my breath away. We were in another country! And yet everyone looked the same and acted the same. Even though I was in a different country, we shared a lot in common. At a very young age travel impacted my thought processes greatly. Travel made me more understanding, more patient and more thoughtful of others’ circumstances. I realised we, as global citizens, have much more in common and fewer differences than we realise!
From those very early memories I’ve never stopped travelling.
What motivated you to start documenting your travels?
I took the love of travel into my marriage and shared it with my husband and two daughters. For several years we toured North America in an RV pulling a Jeep. Pre social media I shared the privilege of our extraordinary experiences via email, sending regular updates to several hundreds of friends and family.
“For me, travel and stepping outside of my comfort zone is my way of living my best life. I want to be an example for everyone.”
— LINDA MALYS YORE
Did you intend for your documentation to be seen by such a wide audience?
In order to share my travels further, my daughter Victoria, of Follow Me Away, set up my website and related social media platforms and gifted them to me for Christmas 2017. I did not know much about ‘influencing’ or the technical aspects of a website so it was a little overwhelming. But after a while I got the hang of it with the support and assistance of my family and friends.
Being supportive, being positive and most of all being responsive to those who reach out to me is a large part of my success. My goal in life is to motivate people to live their best lives. For me, travel and stepping outside of my comfort zone is my way of living my best life. I want to be an example for everyone. I believe this resonates with people of all generations: male, female, young and old, and why so many identify with my brand.
Has being an influencer changed the way you travel?
Oh gosh yes. First of all, I am a better person now, more patient with others and more tolerant of the system. This attitude shift has made all the difference in the world. In other words, I don’t sweat the small stuff. I leave extra time to negotiate airports, grab an Uber, etc. I feel I have more realistic expectations now than before. We are all humans and unfortunate things happen sometimes during travel. And while they are always inconvenient, I feel I handle the unexpected a lot better.
What are some of your most memorable brand collaboration opportunities that have come about from your Instagram platform?
I have been blessed with numerous opportunities. I have cruised the River Danube with Crystal Cruises, Italy, Croatia, Greece, Montenegro, and Malta on a Mediterranean Cruise with Holland America Line and Russian and European river cruises with Viking Cruises. Each of these brands offer cruises to parts of the world I would sail again in a heartbeat, using my own money.
I also had a fantastic and memorable mother/daughters retreat at Waldorf Astoria Orlando. It was relaxing, fun and full of surprises. They offer such a wonderful service and are a brand I would also support with my own dollars. This is how I benchmark collaborative opportunities.
What do your family think of your expeditions and Instagram following?
My immediate family is very proud of me. They are happy that I am travelling and celebrating life as much as I can throughout this chapter. They also realise just how much goes into this crazy-fun business. When we are not insanely travelling around taking tons of Insta-pics, my two daughters and their beaus, simply think of me as “Mom!”
Do you travel differently now from when you were younger? If so, how?
100%! Now I share with my honest opinions with followers on Instagram and my website; where I visited, what I did, where I ate etc. I hope to be an inspiration to others and provide information for when they are planning a special trip. I pay for a lot of my own travel as well as travelling for companies or brands. I receive a lot of questions from my followers about finances, itineraries and what I wear and I share everything either way.
Which places really stand out from your travels?
To be honest, just about every place I’ve visited I’ve found outstanding in one way or another. I love to learn about different cultures and see how people live all over the world. In 2019 I traveled to Eastern Europe, including Hungry, Montenegro, Slovakia and Croatia, and was very impressed with the history and the resilience of the people who live there. I’ve visited incredible countries in the Mediterranean that have artefacts as old as antiquity, such as Italy, Sicily and Malta. Russia really impressed me too. The architecture, the food, the history, and most of all the warm and friendly people. London is my favourite city in the entire world (we just clicked!) and Alaska is my favourite destination for return visits. I have been there 3 times and I love it because it is so remote, and jaw-droppingly beautiful!
And where is still on your ‘must-visit’ list?
My short-term wish list includes Egypt, Antarctica and various countries in Asia.
What are your travel ‘must-haves’ when packing for a trip?
My red lipstick of course! It’s become my Instagram trademark.
Seriously though, the majority of my photos are taken with my iPhone, so I bring along an external battery charger to use during the day to recharge, or else I’d be in big trouble. I pack a tripod, gifted to me by my daughter, to take my own pics when travelling alone. I’d also recommend packing cubes, they make life so much easier. I wasn’t much of a fan until I started using them after a recommendation from a random travel agent, so I’m paying it forward. They help me stay organised while traveling, big time!
What advice do you have for solo travellers?
Ask. Ask. Ask. Ask questions. If you are unsure of anything, ASK. People are a lot kinder, a lot gentler and a lot more helpful than we give them credit for. The majority of people I have experienced on my travels have been friendly and willing to assist. Especially with advice. My first solo trip will always be memorable and unforgettable though; it definitely made me step outside of my comfort zone.
What advice would you give to other travellers in later life?
My advice to travellers in later life is the same as I’d give to anyone at any time in their life: go for it!
Do not go into debt to travel. Have a plan, save some money, prioritise. Make a sacrifices in everyday life (do you need the mani/pedi or do you want to travel?) and the pennies will add up. Prioritising looks different for everyone.
Research your trip and know your limitations. I took an excursion labelled ‘advanced’, the destination was up a steep cobblestone street at the top of a hill, and we needed to climb a steep cobblestone street. Women of all ages wore sandals which were highly inappropriate. Educate yourselves to make wise choices while travelling.
What’s next for you, Linda Malys Yore and @Lindaontherun?
My goal is to continue travelling for as long as I can. I get a lot of questions from my Instagram followers. I love reading and answering them as quickly and as honestly as I can and want to continue building this relationship and social media community. To me, it is an honour to be trusted, and I do take that very seriously.
I want to be an ambassador for travel, to be an example to others: “if I can do it, you can do it too!”
– Interview by Bethany Silcox
– Follow Linda as she travels via her Instagram account: @lindaontherunofficial
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