Who? Travel blogger Sarah Miles @milesguide, 21-year-old blogger and YouTuber of Miles Guide , and co-founder of the non-profit organisation Mukkle Thrift. She's a lover of travel, locally made products, and an advocate for sustainability.
The back story... Miles Guide started on what seemed to be a regular winter night, sitting at my dining table in my university apartment in Montréal, scrolling aimlessly on my phone. To this day, I'm not sure what prompted the thought of creating a blog — let alone a travel blog. Looking back, everything that happened that night seems so spontaneous, but it definitely wasn't random. It's hard to put into words, but it just felt right and it all came so easily in that moment. I wanted to create a space that encapsulated my deep longing to explore the world and to learn about rich and diverse cultures, all while sharing tips and tricks that will help other travellers along the way. Miles Guide became the space where I was able to share these attempts at navigating the world, while celebrating my Jamaican identity and trying to leave an impactful mark along the way.
What's in a name... Everything truly happened within an instant. That same night, I started brainstorming names. Thankfully, it was helpful to have a fitting last name like Miles. It was a great place to start, and I began to combine it with any travel-related words the thesaurus could offer. When I came across 'guide', it spoke to me. It fit perfectly and conveyed exactly what I envisioned my blog to be. Thus, Miles Guide was born.
One of my favourite spots to visit is Bloom Café in Irish Town... It has a breathtaking view overlooking Kingston, and their ital food is truly amazing! It is such a welcoming and tranquil space, and I love that their food is proudly locally sourced. Indulging in local cuisine is an essential way to experience a country's culture when travelling. I would definitely recommend Bloom to locals and visitors alike.
There's truly been countless rewarding aspects of this journey... While it's hard to pinpoint just one, some major highlights have been discovering and strengthening my own voice, having the opportunity to work with cutting-edge brands, connecting with inspiring people and strengthening my love for Jamaica. Miles Guide has helped me come into my own and it's been such a gratifying experience.
My education has played a large role in... shaping what Miles Guide is today. Both my university degree in sociology and studying in Montréal's creative atmosphere inspired and influenced what Miles Guide is — and who I am — today. I've learnt that education isn't confined to the classroom. Miles Guide has taught me so much that I couldn't have learned traditionally. Following my graduation, I am committed to remaining teachable and never passing up an opportunity to learn.
Thoughts and lessons from COVID-19... Being able to gain lessons amidst this devastating and heartbreaking pandemic is definitely a privilege. This period has been one of change, and consequent growth, especially in the travel industry and community. It's been eye-opening to observe how travel, and our perceptions of travel, have adapted during this time. This pandemic has challenged travel norms — the necessity of travel, safety and health standards — and has reiterated how essential travel is to economies, like our own. Personally, it's taught me the importance of being a mindful and conscious traveller — recognising the impact of my actions in the spaces I visit. While it has been disappointing not being able to travel internationally this year, it is the perfect opportunity to indulge in “staycations” and explore locally!
Over the past few months... I've been able to reflect on Miles Guide's growth since that winter night in my university apartment, while also envisioning what's to come down the road. Today, Miles Guide is not only a travel and lifestyle blog, but also a YouTube channel, social media presence and identity that truly encapsulates my greatest passions. I recognise the importance of my platform and I want to use it to continuously inspire, educate and bring joy to my readers. Whether it be through finding hidden local gems, crossing off more countries from my bucket list or highlighting sustainable and locally made brands, I am very excited to bring everyone along this journey.