Travel advice, information and inspiration
Breathedreamgo is an award-winning travel site dedicated to “the kind of travel that changes you.” It is one of the world’s leading independent travel blogs about India; one of Canada’s leading travel blogs; and a leader in championing female solo travel.
Breathedreamgo offers inspiration, insight and advice for people who want to experience authentic, adventurous and meaningful travel. Breathedreamgo was founded by Canadian travel writer Mariellen Ward.
Mariellen is a well-known expert on travel in India and an outspoken advocate for female solo travel. She has spoken at travel blogging conferences and at the first Women’s Travel Festival.
Both Mariellen and Breathedreamgo have won many awards, have been on many lists on top bloggers, and have been featured in many of the world’s leading publications.
To learn more about Breathedreamgo, including awards, stats and demographics, download the Breathedreamgo Information Kit 2016.
Traveller of the Year
Mariellen was named Traveller of the Year by Outlook Magazine in the first annual Outlook Social Media (OSM ) Awards, October 2016. The awards were given out to “the czars of social media” in India, including superstar Amitabh Bachchan, sportswoman Saina Nehwal, and movie star Priyanka Chopra, among others. Read: How it feels to win Traveller of the Year in India.
You can learn more about Mariellen Ward on the About Mariellen page, which includes a travel writing portfolio. Mariellen has been writing and blogging about travel since 2005. For profile pictures of Mariellen on her travels, please visit this Flickr album.
Breathedreamgo was launched on August 23, 2009 and it has grown over the years to become one of the top two “India travel blogs” according to Google search.
Mariellen writes with a passion few other bloggers can reach, and with an honesty few people can take pride in. She is bound to India, physically, emotionally and spiritually, but this doesn’t mean she doesn’t take trips in other parts of the world. Her stories have a certain Oriental exoticism, a charm and a finesse that cannot leave anybody indifferent to the beauties and experiences seen through her eyes. It is not only about the author’s traveling tips, useful, necessary, but about the way she tells her stories, a modern Scheherazade who intertwines magic and beauty in her tales. TenMania’s 50 Travel Bloggers to Follow
The motivation for Breathedreamgo
Several years ago, after a series of devastating losses, I fell into a deep depression and yoga got me out of it. I literally “breathed” my way back to health. Then I started “dreaming” about what I wanted to do. I had recently lost both my parents (one to heart disease, the other to cancer), and I felt time was of the essence. If I didn’t start living my dreams now, I never would. My first dream was to do a yoga teacher training course; my second dream was to go to India for six months; and my third dream was to become a full-time writer.
“Breathing” and “dreaming”gave me the motivation to “go.”I went. Traveling in India for six months re-ignited my enthusiasm for life, inspired me to become the writer I always wanted to be, gave me a passion and a purpose — to share the beauty of India’s culture and wisdom — and even gave me a new family and a new home. It was the best thing I have ever done.
In June 2009, I was about halfway through attending a four-day conference for writers, editors, authors and magazine publishers and I was feeling very demoralized and discouraged. The traditional media was shrinking, writers were struggling, editors seemed to have all the power, publishers seemed to be devaluing the written word … I came home after the second day feeling very low. I was wondering if I would ever be able to achieve my dream of being a full-time writer / travel writer in this economic climate.
The next morning, I didn’t even want to go back to the conference. I was in the shower, when I suddenly got the idea of starting my own blog, online magazine and/or community. And the name came to me instantly. I turned it over in my mind and realized that it perfectly summed up my experience. It was one of those rare moments when an idea hits like a thunderbolt. In fact, it was an epiphany.
Breathedreamgo is a mantra. Breathe is the wisdom of yoga and the importance of prana, breath. Dream is knowing who you are and where you want to go. Go is doing it, taking the steps: creating, studying, volunteering, traveling, giving.
So, breathe, dream, go is a summary of my experience — but it’s also a formula. If you are feeling stuck, if you want more from your life, if you feel you haven’t achieved your potential or met your destiny … try it. It doesn’t have to be yoga and a trip to India. Maybe for you it will be running and art classes. Or hiking and overseas volunteering. Or therapy and learning Spanish. Whatever it is that gets you breathing, gets your heart pumping and motivates you to “follow your bliss.”
Mariellen / Breathedreamgo has successfully completed many campaigns with organizations such as Costa Rica Tourism, Kensington Travels, Fairmont Hotels, Emirates airline, Scotiabank American Express, India Tourism, Nova Scotia Tourism and Ireland Tourism. Here are a few highlights:
- First travel blogger to be hosted by India Tourism: visited Darjeeling, Sikkim and Kolkata.
- Embedded blogger at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel during the IIFA Awards.
- Ambassador for Emirates airline flights to India and Dubai stopover program.
- Scotiabank American Express travel rewards card helped fund a family roots road trip.
- Covering the Titanic disaster centenary in Halifax, Nova Scotia — and a case study.
- Year-long campaign leading up to visit to Ireland for The Gathering.
- Week-long trip to Costa Rica with Costa Rica Tourism and the EcoAdventureMedia team.
- Kensington Tours: private guided trip to Costa Rica, member of Explorers-in-Residence program and recipient of Explorer’s Grant to undertake cultural expedition in north India.
- Corning Gorilla Glass 4 and Samsung Galaxy S6 “Tough Drops” Tour of the Pacific Northwest.
- Attendance at the Uttar Pradesh Travel Writer’s Conclave 2015, Varanasi and Lucknow
- Campaign to promote Zostel Hostel and the Pushkar Camel Fair
Sponsored press trips:
- Kolkata, Darjeeling and Sikkim, India Tourism (March 2010)
- Uma Paro, Bhutan (April 2011)
- Niagara Falls, Ontario (December 2011)
- Halifax, Nova Scotia (April 2012)
- Lake Superior, Ontario (July 2012)
- Kanatal, India (October 2012)
- Odisha, India (December 2012)
- Ottawa, Ontario (April 2013)
- Ireland (September 2013)
- Prince Edward Island (September 2013)
- Costa Rica (December 2013)
- Explore Canada road trip (June 2014)
- Ladakh, India (September 2014)
- Mirabai Expedition (October 2014)
- TBCAsia in Sri Lanka (November 2014)
- Sirpur Dance & Music Festival, Chhattisgarh, India (2015)
- Oregon (2015)
- My Ottawa (2015)
- Varanasi (2015)
- Pushkar Camel Fair (2015)
Media coverage for Breathedreamgo / Mariellen Ward
Times of India, Sunday magazine: cover story, The pursuit of Happiness
BBC Travel: How I quit my job to travel
CN Traveller India: Tips and advice from a solo woman traveller
The Hindu: No place for strangers
The Logical Indian: How India changed my life
Verge Magazine Q&A:
SheThePeopleTV Interview: Women, adventure and solo travelling
Girl About the Globe Expert interview: Solo travel in India
On the list of The Best Conscious Travel Blogs 2016
DailyMail Online: Best Luxury Travel Bloggers on Instagram
Grabr interview: How culture shock makes you a better person
India Top blogs: Top Indian Bloggers
Solo female traveller inspire millions
Daily Mail Online: Best travel hacks for female solo travellers
Five Dollar Traveller: Tips for visiting Varanasi
Best Asian Blogs to Follow
Daily Podcast Interview: Overcoming Loss in India
Adventurous Kate: Is solo female travel in India safe?
Quikrpost: Top 21 India travel blogs
Top 51 travel blogs of India
Travelocafe: Top 50 Travel Bloggers 2015
Digital Innovation Asia Awards: finalist
VIDAFX Blogger of the Week
Top 80 female travel bloggers of 2014
Top 7 Must Follow Indian Travel Blogs
Interview with Wall Street Journal
Attacks on women rattle travelers to India
Interview: Ladies with Luggage
India packing list
Top Bloggers talk sustainable travel
Top 100 Travel Blogs
Shopping Avoca in Dublin
US City Traveler
33 Travel Bloggers Speak Out
India Today, featured article
India breaks your heart on every street by Mariellen Ward
Travel Coffee Break
Eco Adventure Media
Why travel? What these travel bloggers will tell you
Storyteller of the year long list 2013
Hop Around India
Top 31 Professional Indian Travel Bloggers
Want 2 Discover
50 awesome travel blogs everyone should read
BBC World Have Your Say, August 2013
Discussion on women’s safety in India
India Today, Independence Day issue cover story, August 15, 2013
Mariellen Ward, Publisher of Breathedreamgo
Deccan Herald interview, August 2013
Women can travel safely in India
Women’s Health Magazine, online, July 2013
Solo travel for women
Top 100 Canadian Travel Blogs
Top 51 Travel Blogs and Magazines in India
Hostelbookers / WeGoSolo
Solo Travel Dream Destination Contest
Our Insurance Canada
Top 10 Canadian Vacation Blogs
Introducing Delhi Travel Massive
The Wellness Vacation
Travel Safety discussion
NBC News travel
Female Tourists Steering Clear of India
Responsible blogging and the forest of traveling
Huffington Post / Vacay Canada
Why you shouldn’t travel to India
USA Today Travel
Is India safe for travellers?
NBC News Travel
Ireland invites the world to come home for The Gathering
The Weekly Voice: interview
India is still safe for travellers
Huffington Post Canada
International Women’s Day Wisdom
Flight Network Blog
Recognizing Inspiring Women on International Women’s Day
Asian Global Impact interview
Alone in India
Quoted in Lonely Planet Storify
Where did you fall in love with travel?
Interview with Wall Street Journal “IndiaRealTime” blog
The solo female traveller
11 Canadian Travel Blogs That Inspire
Indo-Asian News Service
Interview: How one woman found solace in India
Canadian Living – Change is a process, not a destination
Akshara Yoga blog
Of breathing, dreaming and blogging
Indo-Asia News Service
Raj Kapoor Martini story picked up by all major news outlets in India
CBC radio interview
Covering the IIFA Awards in Toronto: Bollywood stars land in Toronto
Song of India (publication of book about travel in India)
Authors Promoting Authors
The author experience: Mariellen Ward
Author! Author! Mariellen Ward
Women Doing Literary Things
Song of Myself
Wandering Carol’s blog
Important travel books
Masti Magazine – Song of India review
- Finding your niche in a digital world with TechSoup and NetSquared 2016
- TBEX Thailand 2015: Status of blogging in Asia
- Women’s Travel Fest/ Speaker, NYC, March 2014
- Social Media Week panel: Getting serious about travel blogging 2010
- PWAC panel on Travel Writing, October 2009
- “Eyes on India” Panel, Masal!Mehndi!Masti! (Indian cultural festival), August 2011
For YouTube video of my speech click here.-
- India information session at Kama Indian Cuisine, September 2011
- Meet, Plan, Go, October 2011
- MagNet: The Niceties of Niche, June 2012
- Travel Blog Success: Travel Writing for Bloggers