Alicia Haque is the trailblazing blogger behind Go Live Explore. Her blog encompasses a variety of lifestyle topics, accentuating both style and adventure. Alicia took some time from her busy schedule to share the origin of her blog, her favourite collaborations and the sweet treats she misses most from her home across the pond.
What inspired you to start your blog?
I first started blogging in 2014, when Matt (my boyfriend) and I went travelling around Southeast Asia. While we were prepping for the trip, I noticed how little information there was online about getting to and from different destinations and the practicalities of backpacking. In a bid to keep my mind active and productive while we were on the go, I decided to start Go Live Explore, and provide travel tips and guides to fellow backpackers and travellers around the world.
We then moved to Vancouver and things shifted in a more lifestyle direction, and now, it’s a nice blend of travel, fashion, fitness and lifestyle, with an emphasis on luxury and adventure. The one thing that hasn’t changed though, is my desire to create informative and inspirational content. I’ve always wanted people to find my content valuable and to educate in some way or another, and that’s something that will always be important to me.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
It’s a lot less glamorous and adventure-filled than you might think! I usually start my day with an early SoulCycle class. Since I work from home, I like to get out of the house early and kick start my day by doing something active, so it’s either a spin class, a run or a gym session.
A lot of my days are actually spent sitting in front of my laptop, editing photos and videos, writing blog posts, brainstorming projects, responding to emails and planning content or trips. I could easily spend 3-4 hours a day just responding to emails, that’s for sure! Other days are a lot more exciting, attending cool events and dinners or shooting content and meetings with brands; it’s really just a mix.
And then, obviously, my favourite work days are those that involve travelling, creating content and exploring new places. That said, those days wouldn’t exist without the laptop time and planning, so it’s really a balance! For a long time I found it difficult not to work 24/7 – a struggle for anyone who’s self-employed I think – but now I try to set clear working hours in the day so that I can have some offline time and truly switch off.
What do you miss most about the UK?
Family, friends, clothing stores, cheap flights, chocolate, pubs and TV – in that order! We love our life in Vancouver and I wouldn’t change it, but it’s definitely tough sometimes being away from everyone at home. Fortunately, I get to see my family a lot; we’ve had plenty of visitors and it’s always nice getting to share our life in Vancouver with our family and friends from home.
And then, of course, I miss the shopping – SO much. Style really isn’t the same here and the clothing options and trends are completely different in the UK. The shoe options are so much better there too. I miss pub gardens in summer, dry British humour and banter, Sunday roasts, TV shows (especially around Christmas time), the affordability of flights and the chocolate and biscuit aisles in the grocery stores! You can find some of the same foods here, but they are quite literally five times the price and somehow they just don’t taste as good as they do back home. Maybe it’s just me?!
What’s your favourite hike in B.C.?
Oh! Tough question, there are so many. Panorama Ridge in Garibaldi Park has to be my favourite. At 30km long, it’s a little – just a little – on the challenging side, but the views are phenomenal. I also really like St. Mark’s Summit on the North Shore, and Elfin Lakes in Squamish is beautiful as well.
What do you look for when choosing to collaborate with a brand?
Authenticity and alignment are the two most important things for me. It has to be an authentic partnership, otherwise, I won’t do it. And what I mean by that, is that it has to be a brand or product that I would happily buy or use myself, and willingly recommend to my best friends. My audience will know instantly if it’s not a genuine partnership; the last thing I’d ever want is to promote something that I don’t believe in or that I’m not proud of and lose their trust. It also has to align with my brand and my core values. Sometimes it means declining cool projects and opportunities, which can be a tough call when content creation is your full-time income. Regardless, I’d never want to compromise my values or promote something I don’t actually like or use. I’m always strict on that.
What has been your favourite collaboration thus far?
I recently worked with Hong Kong Airlines which was a really cool partnership! The trip took us to Indonesia! Matt and I spent a couple of weeks exploring Bali and Komodo, creating content as we went along; it was wonderful. We also got to travel Business Class and that’s been one of my goals for a very long time, so it was a huge milestone for me.
I’ve been fortunate to work with some amazing partners during my blogging career and it’s always great to work with brands that I’ve loved and used for years. This year I’ve worked on some really interesting campaigns with brands such as Google, L'Oréal, Ford, Philips, Longines, H&M, Sport Chek, La Roche-Posay, and Telus. They’re all amazing partners that four years ago, I would have never imagined having the opportunity to work with.
What would be your dream collaboration?
Honestly, the collaborations that allow me to create beautiful content, travel and explore, express my creativity and do what I love, are dreams come true for me!
What are some of your favourite apps at the moment?
Spotify is a firm favourite; I use it every day and there’s a playlist for every mood. I also love Adobe Lightroom for mobile. Though I much prefer the desktop version, the app is great for editing images on the go. Oh, and Instagram of course – that’s a given though, right? I mean, would I even be a proper influencer if it wasn’t one of my faves?!