I did a thing! Aka I'm creating an interview series that features talented travel bloggers who also work full-time. They know how to hustle and make the most of vacation days better than anyone. If you're looking for travel advice that is the most relevant for 9-5ers (think getting the most out of limited time), they're your go-to travel bloggers.
My first interview is with Angelina Zeppieri of Where Next. She has a beautiful Instagram that you need to follow ASAP. Angelina's always traveling to beautiful destinations while dressed the part. Funny enough, Instagram is actually how we met! Continue reading to learn more about her.
If you're interested in contributing to an interview of your own, get in touch!
Tell us about Where Next.
My blog is a little bit of everything, and mostly anything that I would personally be looking for in a blog about travel. There’s some adventure (like sky diving and hot air balloon riding), travel tips, food recommendations, and hotel experiences. I also love to write about what to do in the places I visit, so that my readers can be guided on where and what to experience when visiting any of the same destinations.
Where did you grow up and where do you currently call home?
I’m a born and raised New Yorker!
Describe your travel style.
Because I work a 9-5, my travel style is basically the opposite of slow travel! I cram as much as I can into all the PTO days I'm using and make the most out of my time exploring the new city I'm in.
"Affordable luxury" could also describe my travel style. I learned from dirty hostel experiences that I'm not really a fan of roughing it. But that's not to say I'm a hotel snob, I do love a good Airbnb or Bed & Breakfast, and I'm dying to go glamping!
What do you do at your 9-5? how did you start your career?
I’m a travel publicist for a PR agency in NYC. We represent hotels, destinations and a slew of other fun things.
I actually went to school for marketing and started my career at a marketing and radio advertising agency. But because I loved travel so much I knew I needed to work in a related field. I ended up finding a PR agency that specialized in travel and real estate PR, and I’ve been there ever since.
How did you start your blogging journey?
I started blogging about 2 years ago as my creative outlet – to talk about travel, share my experiences, and ultimately encourage others to get out there and see the world too. In addition to my 9-5, I’ve also been a freelance travel writer for the last few years. So having a blog was a way to get more personal in my writing and share things without it being edited.
Does your 9-5 influence your blog at all or help you on your blogging journey?
My 9-5 does help me on my “traveling” journey. As a travel publicist, I occasionally get to visit the clients I represent. My job has brought me to some pretty places that I may not have visited otherwise, like St. Kitts and Anguilla in the Caribbean and Mexico City in Mexico.
How are you able to travel so much with a 9-5?
Fortunately as a travel publicist, I get to travel for work at least a few times a year. For personal travel, I get creative with my PTO days and do a ton of research to find the best deals!
What's the best and worst thing about blogging with a 9-5?
The best is that I can have a steady paycheck from my 9-5, but still come home to something that is 100% my own creation. The worst is the lack of time I can really dedicate to it!
What's the biggest accomplishment you've had in your professional career? As a blogger?
Being able to spear-head a lot of the social media work within the agency was a huge goal of mine, so it felt great to be able to accomplish that in my 9-5 life. Having my blog featured in Refinery29 (read the post here!) was probably my biggest blogging accomplishment to date!
Have you been able to monetize your blog? If not, do you plan to?
I've been working with like-minded travel brands for my blog, my freelance writing gigs, and now for my podcast. I haven't exactly made cold cash from any of it, but I've gotten some great experiences and perks, which is just as good to me.
What piece of advice would you give to new bloggers also working a 9-5?
Be authentic. Blogging has become such a business, and it’s easy to become overwhelmed with all the things we bloggers “need” to be doing or portraying. I view blogs as a passion project that should make you feel good, not like it’s a second job. That’s just too stressful!
What destination has been your favorite so far and why?
Greece will always hold a special place in my heart. It's the destination that ignited my love for travel. I've never been the same since that trip five years ago! Plus it's so damn beautiful.
Where is your next trip?
TBD! I’ve been dying to explore some countries in Asia, and would love to see more of the U.S. — there may be something exciting happening in the near future that will hopefully give me a chance to see some new destinations. Stay tuned ;)
What are you working on next?
Drum roll please… I’m launching my debut podcast later this year! It’s a travel podcast (naturally!) called Unmapped, and I’m working on it with Uncover Studios. You can expect lots of adventures and raw emotion and plenty of wanderlust.
Do you have plans to take your blog full time? Why or why not?
No plans to go full-time at the moment, but I believe that what is meant to be - will be. So if my destiny is to go pro, it’ll happen.
Describe a day in your life.
Most days I’m up at 6:30am and immediately make a cup of coffee while I check emails and Instagram. I catch the number 6 subway train from the Bronx and take it to Grand Central, which usually takes an hour, so I write blog posts or articles in the notes on my phone during the commute!
My office is a short walk from 42nd Street and once I get there I dive right into emails. My day pretty much consists of emailing journalists, mining the internet for cool travel stories, and handling client calls.
Then I’m either heading to an after-work event or spin class, before finally coming back home, where I’ll upload a blog post, edit some photos or work on my podcast scripts.