An interview with my spirit animal in Ireland
A few years back at a launch in Spain, I had the honour of meeting the wonderful Caroline Kidd, editor of one of Ireland’s leading motoring blogs called Changing Lanes. Not only is Caroline just the most fantastic person, but she also happens to do the exact same thing that I do (she just does it far better). I also think we look rather similar, but maybe it is just the blonde hair?
Caroline contacted me to do an interview for her blog and I thought, “Oh my gosh, here is my chance to feature her on mine!” So here is the interview I conducted with Caroline. If you pop over to her website, you will see my face smiling back at ya.
1. Can you introduce yourself in a couple of sentences?
Hi, my name is Caroline Kidd. I’m a motoring journalist and the editor of Changing Lanes, one of Ireland’s leading motoring blogs! I’m also a juror for Irish Car of the Year since 2016.
2. How did you start your career testing cars?
I studied journalism in college and when I graduated I was looking for writing jobs. An opportunity to write about cars for an online magazine presented itself to me and the rest is history! I’ve loved cars since I was a small child so it turned out to be a perfect fit for me. I set up Changing Lanes in 2014 and the site has gone from strength to strength ever since. As well as reviewing cars for my website, I also write articles and motoring content for a number of publications and make the occasional video for YouTube. I love my work and feel really blessed to have this as a career.
3. What inspires you?
For me every car that arrives in my test schedule is an opportunity to tell a new story. Through words, unique photography and a few cheesy selfies I try to convey something different with each car. I love the variety of my career and particularly the creative side of creating content for my site and social media. I want to make people feel something when they interact with my content – from “whoa I really want that car” to “that’s the ugliest car I’ve ever seen”! It’s all good in my world if I can move someone somewhere to feel something. Creating art in my small way is what truly inspires me. As well as good cars, good roads, good wine, good books, good music and good chocolate!
4. What would be in your dream 3 car garage?
Well this changes all the time but right now if money was no object I would be running out the door to order a new Audi A6 (black, S line, 3.0 litre V6 diesel), a Hyundai i30 N and a Mazda MX-5 RF. I think I’ve everything covered there.
5. Favourite music to drive/sing to?
In the car I love to hit the high notes along with Kate Bush. There’s loads of dodgy cheesy stuff in my playlist along with some cooler indie, pop and rock.
6. Best moment of your career so far?
Meeting Peter Schreyer was pretty awesome. I’d spent years reading about his career. He’s a superstar of car design. His influence is apparent on some of my favourite cars like the first generation Audi TT and Volkswagen Golf IV and I love what he has done for the Hyundai and Kia brands. Then one day I was given an opportunity to meet and interview him. That was a pinch yourself moment for me. I created Changing Lanes in my bedroom in a little corner of Ireland and it’s brought me some amazing opportunities. This creation of mine continues to surprise me with the cars and people it gives me access to.
7. Favourite place in Ireland for a road trip?
Ireland has a lot to offer keen drivers. We have some stunning coastal routes and national parks. My favourite is the Wicklow Mountains National Park. After I pick up a test car in Dublin, I sometimes take a sneaky detour home through it. I’ve had some memorable driving experiences on these roads, the most recent being with the Renault Mégane R.S. Trophy.
8. What advice do you have for anyone who wants a career as a motoring journalist?
Start writing or practising whatever your medium is. Work hard. Celebrate the small victories. Stay grounded. Be consistent. It’s not enough just to like cars. You’ve got to be able to communicate effectively and tell a story. Have an opinion. Know your value. Be passionate, enthusiastic and ambitious. Enjoy it. It’s the most magical ride you’ll ever take!