In my second installment of The 9-5 Grind, I interviewed Kristin, a digital nomad working full-time while traveling the world. Kristin uses her background in marketing and love of fashion to inspire others to live the best life they can. This means leaving a job you don't love. Continue reading to learn more about her.
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Tell us about Pink Neon Lips.
There are SO many travel blogs out there, but I like to think that mine is different in that it's from my point of view of having to still be working while traveling. I like to provide tips of places to go and things to do in short time periods or on a budget, things that cater to people who work and travel.
At the same time, I just hope to be an inspiration to anyone, especially those stuck in 9 to 5 jobs that they hate, to just get out there and see more of the world!
Where did you grow up and where do you currently call home?
I grew up in upstate New York, about six hours from the city, in the middle of nowhere. Currently, I would technically still call this “home” as it is my only permanent mailing address. Though, my “home” is really where I feel like living at the moment, whether it’s LA, NYC or Europe.
Describe your travel style.
I do long trips, all in a carry-on bag so it can be hard to pack a lot of stylish clothes in such a small space. The method to my packing is having a lot of cute basics that can be mixed and matched (summertime travel is SO much easier).
I love taking photos so I try to make sure I have a few different eye-catching outfits as well, hoping to not repeat them too much! I’m also guilty of buying new clothes in pretty much every city I’m in so I prepare for that too by leaving some room. But overall, I pack as as minimal and practical as possible, while still having cute pieces.
What do you do at your 9-5?
My 9 to 5 job is working for a social media agency doing marketing and content creation. We not only do custom work for clients, but we have our own social media management software. It’s a start up so the work we do changes day to day and I get to have a part in all of it, which is fun! Oh, and it’s a remote position, which is the ultimate luxury.
How did you start your blogging journey and how many years have you been blogging?
I started blogging about 3 years ago with some personal style posts. I always loved following my favorite fashion bloggers and wanted to do it too. Then one day I decided, why not me? I got a camera and started sharing my personal style. I always had more to say beyond outfits though so it’s slowly evolved more into a lifestyle and travel blog.
Does your 9-5 influence your blog at all or help you on your blogging journey?
I shifted my main focus of my blog from fashion/lifestyle to travel because of my 9 to 5 job and the fact that I can work from different locations. I love traveling and decided to take full advantage of being able to work from home. Once I started traveling and living as a digital nomad, I wanted to document it, which is where the shift started occurring to be mostly a lifestyle and travel blog.
How are you able to travel so much with a 9-5?
Time wise, it’s easy for me since my job is remote. I’m a full-on digital nomad so I moved out of my NYC apartment last September when I got my job and started Airbnbing everywhere I went. Not having monthly rent bills lets me afford my travels. Plus, I travel on a budget and don’t exactly stay in luxury resorts or anything like that. However, because I need to stay working on US hours, I can’t really leave the Mexico or Europe areas because I don’t want to be up all night working.
What's the best and worst thing about blogging with a 9-5?
The best thing is, my 9 to 5 allows me to travel which gives me content to blog about and money to pay for it! The worst thing about it is never having enough time. Once I’ve explored a city and had a full day of work, I just want down time. It’s really hard to find the balance between taking a little break and creating content. It’s a lot more work than I ever could have imagined!
What's the biggest accomplishment you've had in your professional career? As a blogger?
In my professional career, it’s probably being promoted within a company, which shows that they value you enough to give you more responsibilities!
As a blogger, I think I’m always trying to hustle to get noticed, but it always feels good when someone is willing to pay me for my work or even just messages me with a genuine compliment.
Have you been able to monetize your blog? How so?
I’ve been able to monetize it in a couple of ways, but in no means could I live off of it, which I would love to be able to do one day. The ways I make money from my blog is by adding linkbacks to other company’s articles or doing product promotions with brands on my blog and my Instagram.
So many people will ask me and other bloggers to promote their product for free, which is fun when you’re first starting out. But then once you’re actually trying to make money off of your content, it can get frustrating that not many brands are willing to pay you for the work you put in it.
What piece of advice would you give to new bloggers also working a 9-5?
Just do something. I get so caught up in my post or my video not being good enough, that I just sit on it and don’t post. That’s even worse and wastes more of the little free time I do have. Just share what you have. I’m sure it’s much better than you think it is, especially if you’ve put that much work into it already!
What destination has been your favorite so far? Why?
This is a really hard question, but I think I would have to say pretty much anywhere in Italy. I love the culture and the food and the people the most! It’s a country I feel comfortable in and would go back to time and time again.
Where is your next trip?
I’ve been traveling pretty much non-stop for the past year so right now my plans are to take a small break in New York and then I’d like to do some traveling in the United States. Honestly, I’m signed up to sites with airfare deals and if I see something that interests me one day, I just may book it!
What are you working on next?
Right now, I am working on my YouTube channel. I have so much video content from my two months abroad this summer that now I just need to sit down and put it together. I feel like so many things are going the way of Youtube and video and I’d like to switch up how I do my content.
Describe a day in your life.
It totally depends on where I am! If I’m in New York staying at my parent’s house or my friend’s house then I am on lazy mode. That’s generally when I’m recharging from my trips and I will sleep right until I have to be online for work at 9 am. I work a full day for my job and then at night I like to either unwind or work on my blog! It really depends on my mood. I need to get better at disciplining myself to be honest.
The days I’m traveling though, my life is a lot more exciting. When I’m in Europe, I work evenings (New York time) so I’ll get up early, spend my day exploring the city, then come home to work my full time job. It’s definitely exhausting, but I love having the whole morning and early afternoon to myself to see places. That timing works out well! Overall, I am just learning how to balance my full time job and my sanity with my blog side hustle and trying to figure it all out a day at a time.