Clare Appleyard is a remarkable lady. She calls Johannesburg, South Africa home when she not traveling about the world. Her Twitter profile tells us she is a Diamond Entrepreneur.Travel Activist. Photography. Cooking. Internet devotee. CrossFit & Paleo newbie. Straight talking. Good for a laugh. Catalyst for change. She reveals even more in this MidLife Road Trip interview.
1.What led you to blogging, Twitter and Social Media?
I’ve always been an internet junkie. From the early days of chat rooms and ICQ, I’ve loved chatting and interacting with people, building relationships. When I quit the corporate world in 2007 to start my own business, I figured that Facebook would be a great way to create brand (and self!) awareness. It took me a bit longer to cotton on to Twitter, so much so that I thought the boat might have left without me, but thankfully, that appears to not be the case. Blogging has kind of happened as a by-product of being an entrepreneur active in social media – being requested to blog on one of South Africa’s entrepreneurial platform was the start of it. When I got into Twitter I felt the need to be “part of the crowd”, hence the travel blog!
2. How has Social Media changed YOU, the way you interact with, or do business with others?
My online personality has always been a true reflection of my true self, or “real life” personality. What is has allowed me to do is come out of my shell more and grow into the person that I’ve always wanted to be – funny, smart, sharp and entertaining. At least I hope that’s how I come across, right? It’s taught me the value of relationships first, business second – a golden rule that too many people on social media tend to ignore, to their peril. Having watched online “trolling” and slanging matches, I’m also always very aware of steering clear of being rude, objectionable, offensive, biased or a Negative Nelly. Once you put something out there on the Net, it’s there to stay, whether you like it or not.
3. Where do you get your inspiration from? Who/What inspires you?
Hot damn, I never know how to answer questions like this. I strongly believe that you really have to be your own inspiration. If you’re relying constantly on other people to inspire you, what do you do when they have a bad day? I’m motivated by the possibilities out there in the world – doing things better, inspiring more people, creating a better life and so forth. I’m inspired to help more people see that there is life outside a grey cubicle, there is a way to earn a living through fun, you can do what you want to do and make a fortune doing it. Helping people see that…THAT inspires me. Oh, and getting to Antarctica. Selfishly, that’s what it’s all about of course 🙂 I’m also fortunate to have a group of Millionaire Mentors who never cease to encourage me to be doing greater things.
4a) My Favourite Recipe
Just one? Ok, I’ll go with Gordon Ramsay’s Hot Chocolate Fondants – delicious!
* 50g unsalted butter, plus extra to grease
* 2 tsp cocoa powder, to dust
* 50g good quality bitter chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids), in pieces
* 1 free range egg
* 1 free range egg yolk
* 60g caster sugar
* 50g plain flour
* Icing sugar to dust
* Vanilla ice cream to serve
Method: How to make hot chocolate fondant
1. Preheat oven to 160˚C/Gas 2.
2. Butter two large ramekins, about 7.5cm in diameter, then dust liberally with cocoa, shaking out any excess.
3. Slowly melt the chocolate and butter in a small bowl set over a pan of hot water, then take off the heat and stir until smooth. Leave to cool for 10 minutes.
4. Using an electric whisk, whisk the whole egg, egg yolk and sugar together until pale and thick, then incorporate the chocolate mixture. Sift the flour over the mixture and gently fold in, using a large metal spoon. Divide between the ramekins and bake for 12 minutes.
5. Turn the chocolate fondants out on to warmed plates. Dust the tops with icing sugar and serve with a spoonful of vanilla ice cream.
4b) My Favourite Travel Story
One of my favourite travel stories is also one of my youngest travel memories. I spent the first 6 years of my life in England and my parents were (still are, actually) avid campers. One summer we headed off to Wales, with our big blue tent and some good family friends and their daughters. Across the road from the campsite was a church with a graveyard and having sneaked into the church yard a few times we came to the conclusion, naturally, that the church was haunted. This didn’t stop my (older) friend and I (all of about 5yrs at the time) playing in the graveyard – I can still see and hear the gravel amongst the tombstones. At one stage my (older, and therefore theoretically wiser) friend thought it would be a good idea to leave our mark – on a tombstone. Picking up a piece of gravel, she carefully etched out our names on the back of some poor person’s tombstone. Knowing we’d been naughty, we sprinted back across the road to our campsite. It was hardly a day later when the local policeman came looking for us, wanting to know who was responsible for defacing the tombstone! Luckily, our age saved us and we got off with a stern wag of the bobby’s finger!
4c) Most exciting adventure I’ve ever had
I count myself lucky to have experienced as many travel adventures as I have and it’s difficult to categorise the “most exciting”. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been obsessed with snow, mountains and the thought of skiing. 15 years ago (yikes!) I was fortunate enough to take my first skiing holiday in San Cassiano, in the Italian Dolomites. Landing in Italy, taking the bus to the resort and stepping out onto the snow in skis for the very first time was an unforgettable adventure. I slipped, I fell, I careened out of control, but I loved every moment of that holiday. Snow, ice and skiing still excites me, and always will!
5) Top 3 Travel tips
a) Drug yourself on long-haul flights. Take Tylenol PM, sleeping tablets, whatever you need to get as much sleep as possible. Then, when you get to your destination, keep to local time as much as possible.
b) Always know at least how to say “Hello”, “Goodbye” and “Thank you” in the language of the country you’re visiting.
c) Get out and hit the streets. Find out where the locals hang, get off the beaten bath and discover what really makes the country tick. Don’t be such a tourist – be a traveller.
6) What’s on your bucket list?
c) The Arctic