She lives out of a suitcase, visits three continents a season (on average) and 2016’s Top Travel And Lifestyle Blogger winner has the geotags to prove it.
Santorini? Tick. Ibiza? Done. China? Checked off the bucket list. Em Sheldon might live in a ‘teeny weeny village’ in Yorkshire (there’s a move to London in the works), but she’s seen a lot of the world. Starting her blog back in 2012, Em has treated her 67k Insta-followers to sun-soaked bikini pictures, early morning cityscapes and enough #poolporn to keep us going until next summer – and, yes, there were inflatable flamingos involved. Em also offers up a healthy dose of fitness, fashion and food, too.
How did you get into blogging?
I was going to study a science for my degree, then decided I wanted to do something more creative. I looked at the degree a brother's friend did and saw that it was creative, which was what I really wanted to do. I called Leeds University and asked how I could get on to the course, and they said start a blog.
What sacrifices did you have to make?
The past four years have been difficult because I essentially had a full-time job alongside a degree. I had to miss out on a lot of opportunities, and broke up with my boyfriend because I just didn’t have time. I’d rather work hard on my blog and make myself proud than go out.
What’s the biggest myth about what you do?
People think bloggers go on holiday all the time and get free things, but it is difficult to be the journalist, the photographer, the videographer and the face of your brand. I’m on social media 24/7, and if you are on a date night, you do have that awkward moment of having to post an Instagram at 9pm and looking unsociable.
What don’t you show on camera?
I’ve done a few blog posts where I’ve touched on abuse, bullying and being cheated on - I cried writing that one - so I never hide things from my readers. But there are a few things I don’t feel ready to talk about yet.
What’s a typical day for you?
If I’m not in London for meetings, I go to the gym for a 9.30am spin class, that’s my hour of the day where I don’t look at my phone. Then I do e-mails and start planning my next trip, shoot some fashion content or write posts.
How often are you actually in the country?
Well I travelled for 30 hours to get to this shoot, and I’m flying for another 20 hours afterwards! I try to travel once a month but I’ve had to start turning things down, last year I was only in the country for a month.
What’s the key to living out of a suitcase?
Take everything with you! You’ll always feel at home if you have your pamper products with you. I always have a hair, eye and face masks and an undereye cream. I’m not a light packer – I took 40 bikinis to the Maldives for 10 days.
How do you keep an eye on your diet when you’re travelling 24/7?
I’m very much 80/20. Life is for living and food is a huge part of that. I don’t drink my calories and I always choose hotels with gyms. I would always say yes to pizza and work out more.
To see all the Project 13 winners, click here