Tara Foster is an Australian TV producer who has taken off around the world as a travel blogger, including a period of time cycling around Ireland. RTÉ Travel spoke to Tara to get the lowdown on her life on the road for this weeks Travel Thursdays.

Who are you and what do you do? 
Hello!  I’m Tara and I’m an Aussie-American network TV producer who just went #AroundIrelandOnAPushie. I write, edit, produce and direct talent and also advise on branding campaigns for clients. I’ve worked with shows like Home and Away. I’m also a social media specialist and motivational speaker.

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Why do you do what you do? How did it start?
A few years ago, I thought it would be really cool to start a travel blog. I was about to go around Australia and figured, “Hey, why not”. Since starting the blog, I’ve been given pretty cool access to things: my favourite would have to be when I spent time at both NASA and the ESA reporting on space stuff.

Describe your audience
I think my audience is a mix of Irish, space fans and general travellers who enjoy humour. I also banter a lot on social media so I guess it’s anyone really.

What’s your media diet? 
When I hear about something, I always go to Twitter first to see what people are writing about it. Then, I always check with different trusted news sources just to follow up on the story.

What excites you right now and why?
The universe: basically that means, I have put my trust into the universe. I’m not exactly sure where I’m going to end up yet - but it’s been pretty good to me so far.  I guess what I’m trying to say is, I’m not exactly sure where in the world I might end up. I could be back in Ireland in no time. I think I’d really like that, too.

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Proudest post?
My proudest post would have to be that one time I went to the Australian Embassy in Dublin and asked to use their washing machine. It’s true. All of it.

Tara Foster with the Australian Ambassador to Ireland Richard Andrews

I was on TV3’s Seven O’Clock Show and the Ambassador had seen me on the show. He was interested in learning more about me and #AroundIrelandOnAPushie, so I was contacted via Twitter.

Now, me being as casual on social media as I am in normal life, I asked a very simple question: “When I come in tomorrow, can I use your washing machine at the embassy?”

Now the Ambassador and I have been joking about that day ever since.

Finest moment to date?
Wow. This was amazing - my finest moment was probably when I was invited by Trinity College to speak about #AroundIrelandOnAPushie. The Aussie ambassador and team were in attendance too.

Tara Foster speaking at Trinity College


Most embarrassing moment to date?
My most embarrassing moment would have to be that time I face-planted into a car when I was cycling from Cork to Cobh. I had an Irish friend from Cobh that I met in Sydney who influenced me to go #AroundIrelandOnAPushie. We met up in Cork and we were going to bicycle back to Cobh together.  Everything was grand, until…we went in for the high five. Mind you, weren't even halfway to Cobh - and let this be a life lesson - to never celebrate until the end of the ride, because when our hands slapped, I went flying to the left and face planted into a car’s retractable mirror. 

Panniers went flying, I bounced off the car.  It was hilarious. I couldn’t stop laughing.  

What social media channels are your favourite and why? 
Twitter is my social media spirit animal. I love chatting with new social media friends and bantering away.  It’s just fun. People on twitter are really helpful too.

What’s the masterplan/dream? 
Is it weird to say that I'm in love with Ireland? I don’t really have a master plan just yet. I’m a firm believer in just going with the flow in life and seeing what happens. I was very lucky when I was on a flight from Los Angeles to Sydney for a holiday in Australia. The person sitting next to me offered me a job. I’ve been living in Australia for over 12 years. So, I guess what I’m trying to say is…I’m just gonna see what happens next and where I wind up. 

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Do you think social media has a positive or negative effect on mental health?
Social media has been amazing! When I set out to do #AroundIrelandOnAPushie, I was toying with the idea whether I should tell the social media world or not. I did and I’m really glad I did because I believe that I was much safer that way. 

Four and a half million Irish people knew I was in Ireland and I was completely looked after.

If I had a problem on the road, I knew that I could always call the local radio station for help because they already knew I was around thanks to social media. 

Social media also allowed me to do challenges whilst in Ireland. I fought as a medieval knight in Galway and I also got to do space stand up comedy for Space Week. I also got to attend black ties and red carpets all because of social media.

Tara Foster as a medieval knight in Galway

How do you think the blogging scene is growing in Ireland?
I come from Australia and I gotta say that Ireland is awesome. I am so impressed by Ireland’s digital media world. I feel really at home here.

Where can we find you online?
If you do a search for Taraustralis across Twitter, Instagram, Periscope, Snapchat, Facebook and as well as my blog Taraustralis.com, we can connect!  I’m always happy to chat and banter with people and answer any questions they may have.