In May 2013, I graduated from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, with a communications degree specializing in public relations. At the time, it was a goal of mine to get a job at one of the top PR agencies in New York City and live the “American Dream” that I was taught to do. It’s funny because we also had the former CEO of California Pizza Kitchen speak at our graduation, who told us that the subsequent phases of life would be work, marriage, house, kids and retirement. In that exact order.
Even at 21, I knew that wouldn’t be how my life unfolded. I was never fascinated by the “American Dream.” Even though I long for some of those things in life, I don’t feel the need to complete them in that order and by a specific age.
After graduation, my story started with me working for a year in the public relations agency world. It was exciting at first! I met great people, many of whom I’m still friends with. That period was also when I started to fully experience NYC as a post-grad and it was much fun!
I worked with top brands in public relations, from Simmons Mattresses to Chobani and SK-II to Samsung. I also got invited to work on a few press events, one allowing me to escort Kate Bosworth to an interview and being on Good Morning America to introduce a toothpaste brand.
All these exciting projects I was doing in PR were “cool,” but I knew deep down that I was living someone else’s dream. Every day, I would come home feeling nothing but exhausted and unfulfilled.
I worked in the PR agency world for a year until I switched to marketing at a New Jersey corporation closer to my hometown. I started to resent being in Manhattan, so working in New Jersey was a well-needed change. Even though I do a lot of work in NYC now, I enjoy it more because I do things I’m passionate about.
Additionally, working in-house was a more enjoyable experience for me than being at an agency. In general, I like marketing more than public relations because it allows me to utilize more of my creativity. Please know there’s nothing wrong with working in public relations; it just wasn’t for me.
When I switched to marketing, the first company I worked for was a Japanese sewing machine brand; it was much fun and where my story in the content creation world began! I made a lot of great friends and memories, worked on many fantastic projects and even became an influencer manager, where I was introduced to the world of blogging for the first time. This job contributed a lot to my blogging story!
In early 2017, I was yet again yearning for a change. I was comfortable at my corporate marketing job and loved what I did. I needed more, though! I wanted to make better money, be challenged more and even move to a new city. I started applying to jobs nationwide, but mainly in the NYC area and Southern California since I always dreamt of living there.
I went on many awesome interviews but landed a marketing communications position that was a step up the ladder at a medical supply company in New Jersey. I knew deep down that the job wouldn’t be for me, but I figured it was a great salary to help me save up money to eventually move to California and even start my own business one day.
After accepting this new position that provided me with a $20K raise, I ended up even more unhappy than I was beforehand. My new position had me doing work I wasn’t skilled in, nor were any of the duties included in my job description. I only lasted at that job for three months before I resigned and was left figuring out what I wanted to do with my life.
At that time, I became depressed, lost and had no direction. All I wanted was to be happy and live my best life. I was sure working in Corporate America wouldn’t give me the fulfillment I longed for! Don’t get me wrong; many people work corporate jobs, love what they do and live fulfilling lives. I had to accept that I wasn’t the same person they were, which is okay!
When I was in college, I minored in Human Resources Development and even though I never did anything with HR post-graduation, I participated in a study abroad program through the JMU Learning Technology and Leadership Education Department, where I visited Europe for the first time and got to live in Salamanca, Spain. Thanks to that study abroad program, I fell in love with travel and unknowingly (at the time) adopted a passion that would change my life forever! This is where my travel story began.
When I graduated college, I had the idea that travel was only for the rich and famous and that I had to focus on my corporate career and moving up the ladder to have the privilege to explore the world beyond domestic borders. I knew deep down that I was longing to see more of our beautiful planet after my study abroad trip to Spain, but I wrote off the idea of travel since my career at an office was supposed to be far more critical.
It wasn’t until the summer of 2016, four years later, at 25, that I hopped back on an international flight to Europe. This time, I would explore the Greek Islands with my cousins and a few friends. That trip also changed my life! I got bit again by the travel bug, but this time, I didn’t look back.
Everyone has their own spiritual views, but I believe in the Law of Attraction and manifested much travel within that year after my Greece trip. In one year, I went on numerous trips around the United States, did a winter adventure in Iceland with coworkers and college friends, celebrated my 26th birthday in Sicily and Malta, traveled to Asia for the first time (Thailand), and also visited Banff, Canada, Ireland and Finland.
Because I was traveling a lot in 2017 and sharing my travel photos on my Instagram and Facebook accounts, my cousin, who owns a luxury travel agency in South Florida called Crawford Concierge, reached out and introduced me to the world of travel blogging – an industry looked at as “up and coming” at the time. I became familiar with travel bloggers like The Blonde Abroad and Nomadic Matt, who were making a living by traveling the world and sharing their experiences.
Shortly after that, I started a blog on my cousin’s website and fell in love with it! That’s where my blog story began. Three months later, in March 2017, I started my own blog, which was a travel diary, at first, called Travels with Taylor. I wrote at least one blog post weekly for a year while still working a corporate job!
I knew deep down that I wanted to become a full-time travel blogger like Matt and Kiersten, but I didn’t know where to begin with the business side of it. I had the slightest idea of how to start monetizing!
After beginning a new job in women’s retail, which ended up being the last corporate job I ever had, I purchased an online course and began learning the business behind blogging from Nomadic Matt, which helped me jump-start my blogging story. Discover every travel blogging course for success. I hustled a lot from late 2017 into early 2018, and around March of that year, I felt it was best to start the next chapter of my life. On March 20, 2018, I officially became the business owner I dreamt about.
Shortly after leaving Corporate America in March 2018, I knew I had a LONG way to go! I rebranded to Brown Eyed Flower Child, educated myself on the business behind being an Instagram content creator, hired a web designer to redesign and rebrand my website, learned SEO and got my blog posts ranking on the first page of Google, discovered the ins and outs of using Pinterest for my blog, learned all about affiliate marketing and how to earn passive income, hired a Pinterest manager as well as a website developer and I can go on! I also attended numerous networking events, including a blogging retreat in Bali, Indonesia, and got comfortable with solo traveling.
My true blogging story began when I started making money off my blog in late 2020. Being a travel blogger is difficult and money doesn’t fall into your pocket overnight. It takes a lot of patience, consistency and hard work before you start seeing results and financial success. Since becoming a travel blogger, I’ve worked with brands from the Four Seasons to Chevrolet and Luxembourg tourism to NASDAQ.
My favorite destinations are Japan, New Zealand, Iceland, the Mediterranean countries in Southern Europe and the Canadian Rockies. I’ve done the Salkantey Trek in Peru to Machu Picchu, completed part of the Camino de Santiago in Northern Spain, hiked Acatenango Volcano in Guatemala and recently conquered Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa.
The places and travel experiences on my bucket list are seeing the pyramids in Egypt, visiting my seventh and final continent – Antarctica, staying in a luxurious overwater bungalow in the Maldives or Bora Bora and reaching 20,000 feet above sea level on Aconcagua in Argentina.
My hobbies include learning about different manifestation practices, skiing and ice skating in the winter months, hiking in the warmer months, discovering new restaurants, visiting various wineries and breweries and spending summers at my family’s shore house in Lavallette, NJ. Additionally, I’m currently relearning French!
I hope you all enjoyed reading my story. I’m excited for you all to follow along on my journeys and get inspiration for your next trip! If you have any questions, please email me at email@example.com.