Taylor-Melide2

My Story on Being Lost and Finding Myself

Pin the Below Image to Keep Handy

What led me to become a travel blogger. My story on being lost and finding myself.

Life as a Travel Blogger

What led me to become a travel blogger. My story on being lost and finding myself.

Whenever I tell people what I do, one of the top things I need to explain is what led me to become a travel blogger. Now, embrace yourselves for a long story ahead, but there are a quite a few reasons why I chose a career in the travel industry. From being bullied in my childhood and teen years, to being lost in my early and mid 20s, I am excited to finally start getting real with you all on here and I hope this blog post inspires and encourages those who may be going through what I’ve dealt with in the past. (Click here to also read about my journey on As Told by Women.)

What led me to become a travel blogger. My story on being lost and finding myself.

Before I dive deep into this blog post, I want you all to know that there is no right or wrong way to do life. If you are from a developed country like I am, it is pretty common to be brainwashed into thinking that you need to go to college and graduate by 21, get a 9-5 office job right out of school, find a husband or wife by 25, have your first child by 30 and purchase a home in a suburban white picket fence neighborhood. All of that is BS to me! First off, you don’t need to get a college degree to become successful, I know plenty of people who didn’t go to college and make six or seven figures and have mastered a craft that they could teach others; you don’t need to have it all figured out by 30, it’s never too late to go back to school, start your own business or follow your dreams; you will not miss the boat on experiencing true love if you surpass the age of 25, you could meet your soulmate at age 13 or age 60; you could most definitely still have a family after the age of 30 (even after the age of 35), anyone that tells you otherwise has an old fashioned mindset and there certainly is no age limit to purchase your first home, some people like to invest in a business or continue their education before they buy a house. Whether you want to live your best life out of a suitcase and become a six-figured online business owner (or travel blogger for that matter) or you prefer the traditional white picket fence lifestyle with a 9-5 office job; if you are happy, you are doing it right!

What led me to become a travel blogger. My story on being lost and finding myself.

Now, onto my story! I hope you all enjoy reading about my journey to where I am at now as a travel blogger.


My Childhood:

What led me to become a travel blogger. My story on being lost and finding myself.

Growing up in the 90s, I guess it is safe to say that I had a pretty decent childhood. My mom was able to stay home and raise my brothers and I until I reached middle school, which is usually 6th grade here in the United States (around 11 years old); I experienced the last of the “good ole days”, where everyone used to hang out on the cul-de-sac after school without a worry in the world; I competed in dance for 13 years and spent every weekend at my grandparents beach house at the Jersey Shore.

What led me to become a travel blogger. My story on being lost and finding myself.

On the outside, everything seemed fine and dandy, but on the inside, I was always a lost soul. I had a handful of friends and tried other sports (besides dance) like softball, basketball, tennis, volleyball and cheerleading, but nothing ever seemed to be for me. I was shy, insecure and never felt good enough. I blame this for growing up in an upper middle-class area, where people were just cruel and close minded, but who knows right?

My Preteen Years:

What led me to become a travel blogger. My story on being lost and finding myself.

It seemed like you could get away with being shy and introverted until you reach middle school. That is when it was considered to be “social suicide” for others to include the quiet ones in their friend groups. Now, you’re probably wondering why I was shy and introverted. Well, my answer is that there really wasn’t any reason; being quiet was who I was! Over the years, especially through college, working several different jobs and traveling, I have become a little more extroverted, but I do consider myself to still be a naturally quiet chick compared to many others. Not only was I super quiet as a teen; I was also a super late bloomer. It was the early 2000s and as most girls started to wear makeup, do their hair, dress in Abercrombie and Fitch (or Hollister) and hang out with boys, I was over to the side still wearing Limited Too (now Justice) and glitter eye shadow from Claire’s. I was just being a normal kid!

My Teen Years:

What led me to become a travel blogger. My story on being lost and finding myself.

During my middle school years, kids were just terrible! I would go to school afraid of what the next mean person would say to me to make me feel even crappier about myself. To make it even worse, I started to not fit in at dance as well. (The girls at dance were much nicer than the kids I went to school with, but they were all super wealthy and got any and everything they wanted and we just were not on the same level, since I came more from a middle class background.) It was horrible and I really only lived for the summer.

What led me to become a travel blogger. My story on being lost and finding myself.

Not only was my middle school years bad, high school was even worse! It wasn’t only because people were still being cruel; I started to feel very lonely for the first time in my life. I remember walking into that high school feeling so small. No one ever noticed me, I barely had any friends because everyone formed their group in middle school and I would get cold stares from both guys and girls. I kept thinking to myself that my college years couldn’t come quick enough. I even reached the lowest point of my life during my junior year of high school at the age of 16. (Click here to read more about my background on being bullied on Not a Standard.)

My College Years:

What led me to become a travel blogger. My story on being lost and finding myself.

After four brutal years of high school, I finally made it to college where my whole world changed! I met so many amazing people; I formed lifelong friendships; my creativity blossomed; I not only got smarter, but also wiser and I also had the time of my life! It was a total whirlwind from my middle and high school years and I couldn’t have been happier!

What led me to become a travel blogger. My story on being lost and finding myself.

Now, don’t get me wrong, college wasn’t all perfect and fun 24/7. I went through a point halfway through my undergraduate years where I decided to take a complete U-turn in my education. I started college as a business major with a concentration in accounting. Why? It was because that was what my parents wanted for me – a great education where I would graduate walking into a high salaried job and be set for the rest of my life.

What led me to become a travel blogger. My story on being lost and finding myself.

Well, needless to say, accounting was definitely not for me and I even got my first D ever in a class. I remember walking into the Career and Academic Planning office at my university, right before winter break my sophomore year, in a panic. I needed to graduate on time since I was trying to avoid student loans as best as possible. (I was very thankful my parents were able to provide me with an undergraduate education at an affordable state school for four years. If I had to go longer or even do graduate school, I would’ve had to pay for it myself and I didn’t want to go in debt.) I remember the staff at the Career and Academic Planning made me take some type of test to see where my interests and passions lied. Based off of my results, it was pretty clear that I was a creative person, so I needed to change my major right away to start taking the proper courses. I decided on communication studies with a concentration in public relations and I remember thinking that all of my problems were solved and I finally figured out the rest of my life…

What led me to become a travel blogger. My story on being lost and finding myself.

One of the best parts of college was that travel was first introduced to me. Now, I definitely have had a sense of wander, but because I came from a typical white picket fence upbringing where travel wasn’t a priority and only for the rich and famous, I never left the East Coast of the United States prior to 2012. Studying abroad was definitely not encouraged for me either since I should’ve focused more on finding an internship in a 9-5 job during the summer… Whether my parents wanted me to study abroad or not, I knew that it was definitely going to be something I would do regardless. My minor in college was in Human Resource Development and even though I never went into the HR world, I remember an advertisement was emailed to me for a Maymester study abroad program in Salamanca, Spain. I hopped on the opportunity right away and have never looked back. That trip changed my life in so many different ways (my parents even came out to visit me and they loved it). I remember taking photos of everything, trying foods that were foreign to me, partying the night away until the sun rose, meeting new friends and continuing to ramble about my experience abroad way after the trip. I knew from there that I was going to try and do everything I could to travel and see the world. (I never knew I would become a travel blogger though!)

My Early 20s and Going into the Workforce:

What led me to become a travel blogger. My story on being lost and finding myself.

I ended up graduating college on time in May 2013 with a decent GPA and a wonderful public relations job in New York City! At the time, it was a dream for me. After a month of working in this position, I got a new supervisor who knew right away how to make my life a living nightmare. I thought my days of being bullied were completed on my high school graduation day in June 2009, but it definitely crept back into my life at age 22. I was being forced to work early mornings, late nights, weekends and even holidays at such a low, unlivable salary, with no paid overtime. Mind you, I had to commute into New York City from my suburban hometown in New Jersey. She would even belittle and humiliate me in front of my coworkers! (In case you didn’t know, working for a PR agency is very stressful and there really isn’t any room for learning. You have to always be ready to conquer a task and do whatever is told of you because the client comes first.) My anxiety was at an all-time high and I shortly became depressed, mentally exhausted and started to question a lot of things such as “Is this the hell I have to deal with until I retire?” Thankfully, I had the strength to quit my first full time job (without another job lined up) and I eventually found a role, with an amazing manager, who helped me gain confidence in my career and shaped me into the content creator I am today.

What led me to become a travel blogger. My story on being lost and finding myself.

For two and a half years, I worked in that amazing marketing assistant position that allowed me to be a social media and project manager for bloggers and influencers. (So I know what it is like to work on the brand side of the digital marketing world.) Unfortunately (but fortunately), there was zero room for growth at this job, so I left in March 2017 to pursue another corporate marketing role that was paying me $20K more to only find out that the job I applied to was totally different than what I was actually doing every day. Once again, bullying came back into my life at age 25 and my manager would begin to humiliate and scream at me for not understanding something I didn’t sign up for nor was properly trained on (oh, corporate). I, yet again, quit my job without a plan and started to really consider what made me truly happy.

The Transitional Period and My Mid 20s:

What led me to become a travel blogger. My story on being lost and finding myself.

March 2017 was a very significant time during my journey to finding myself. During summer 2016, after a very hard year, I took a memorable trip to Greece. It was my very first time traveling abroad since I studied abroad in 2012. That trip was everything I needed and it rekindled my wanderlust. Since July 2016, I have been avidly traveling around the world since. Because I was traveling a lot, my cousin who owns a successful luxury travel agency in South Florida reached out to me to see if I was interested in helping her start a travel blog as a side hustle. I was so excited when she asked me because I always wanted to work in the travel industry and I was honestly not interested in any other industry I have worked in previously. I said yes right away and began following big travel bloggers such as Kiersten from The Blonde Abroad, Brooke from World of Wanderlust and Matt from Nomadic Matt. They inspired me so much to see even more of this beautiful world and they also proved that you could travel, become a blogger and make a successful six and seven-figure business out of it. Since I have always wanted to be a business owner, I started to take blogging seriously. (I also want to thank my 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training that I did in fall 2016 for helping me get on the right track in a spiritual way. I owe it to what I learned during those three months for helping me figure out what I wanted.)

What led me to become a travel blogger. My story on being lost and finding myself.

Because I quit the job that gave me a $20K increase in salary, I had to take a step back and refocus during spring/summer 2017. I remember thinking to myself that if I wanted to live a happy life and eventually become successful, I needed to get money out of my head and ignore what others expected of me. It was my life, not theirs, and I needed to make the most of it, doing what I loved!

What led me to become a travel blogger. My story on being lost and finding myself.

Since I started to guest blog for my cousin’s travel agency as a side hustle while I was figuring everything out, I discovered that travel writing was something I truly enjoyed doing on a daily basis. Also, travel in general makes me feel alive. It also helps me get out of my comfort zone, find myself, gain better insight on the world, escape a bubble, heal, learn and connect with others. The only things I had to figure out was how I was going to make a career out of being a travel blogger. Two months into guest blogging for my cousin’s travel agency, I eventually created my own blog and website, started taking online courses and attended networking events in the travel industry (such as TravelCon) and began exploring more! The courses I took were on the business behind blogging, Pinterest, Instagram, affiliate marketing, vlogging and SEO. (I have taken all of those courses spread out over time within the last few years.)

What led me to become a travel blogger. My story on being lost and finding myself.

Even though I wanted to pursue travel blogging as a career, the idea of not getting a steady income started to stress me out and I had really bad anxiety over it. Unfortunately, I let my anxiety get the best out of me, so I decided to go back to working at a corporate job, while doing blogging on the side. I figured I would grow my blog until the point where I was making enough money from it to permanently leave the corporate world for good!

What led me to become a travel blogger. My story on being lost and finding myself.

It only took a few months into my very last corporate job that I began to realize that the whole 9-5 world wasn’t for me at all. I constantly thought about my blog and how I could be growing it during my long days in the office. (Growing a blog is a long and time consuming process and I did not know that prior to becoming a travel blogger.) Eventually, anxiety started to creep back into my system and I fell sick of really bad acid reflux from all of the stress of trying to make it all work. In March 2018, I decided that it was best to pursue what I truly wanted to do, which was blogging! I left my last corporate job and haven’t looked back. I was able to put forth the time and effort that my blog and social media accounts really needed from me.

I am Now a Travel Blogger for Real!

What led me to become a travel blogger. My story on being lost and finding myself.

In March 2018, I was 26 and I couldn’t have been happier. I knew that I made the right decision and I was ready to move forward with everything. Growing a blog is a long process that definitely tests your patience and it isn’t a career you go into if you’re looking to make good money right away. I was completely okay with that because I was finally happy and doing something I loved! Since then, I have been taking my blogging career one day at a time. I had to sacrifice a lot such as staying home and living with my parents until I truly get on my feet where I could afford business expenses, travel and a rent/mortgage altogether; staying home on the weekends and eating out less. I have also sacrificed friendships as well. Unfortunately, not everyone is going to understand your situation when you decide to become a full time travel blogger (or a blogger in general). Many people think all I do is be on Instagram all day and they also think I’m super rich since I travel a lot… Starting a business will definitely make you realize who is truly meant to stay in your life and it will show you who to let go. Being a business owner does not allow you time for negativity and toxic friendships/relationships! You have to focus on yourself and put your work and priorities at the center focus. (Also, don’t be afraid to celebrate your wins!) What is awesome about being a travel blogger is that you make so many new, like-minded friendships out of it and I realized those are the people who are the most supportive (including my parents).


Moving Forward as a Travel Blogger

What led me to become a travel blogger. My story on being lost and finding myself.

What I have learned through all of this is that sometimes you need to get lost in order to find yourself. You also may need to take a step (or even a few) back to reconnect and focus on what you are truly meant to be doing in life. It is important to always be true to yourself and not let what others say get the best of you. Everyone you talk to has their own dreams in life and it isn’t up to them to impose their opinions on you. If you are feeling lost, do what makes you happy and always practice self-love! I always find motivation and inspiration by reading self-help books, meditating, tuning into my spirituality and connecting with likeminded people or those who have been in my shoes before. Please know that you are never alone with what you are going through, trust the process and that there is always someone out there to help. Try different things, get out of your comfort zone and find what works and doesn’t work for you. Eventually, you will find your tribe as well as your place in this wonderful world. The beauty of life is that each of us has our own purpose. Being different from each other is a gift and that is what makes this world go around.

What led me to become a travel blogger. My story on being lost and finding myself.

As I write this, it is January 2020 and I have been blogging for over two and a half years and taking it seriously for over a year and a half! I have had many blog wins, worked with incredible companies and hotels/tourism boards. I am looking forward to the future and to see what lies ahead for me. In the meantime, stay tuned!

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18 Comments

  1. Kim Deer on January 6, 2020 at 10:50 pm

    Very inspiring for young people who may be going through what you went through for years. Your strong and positive attitude has kept you balanced and focused throughout your high school, college and early 20’s years. Your creativity, independence and sense of wander has made you what you are today ~ a successful writer and world traveler. I know you had trying times in your life but they were life lessons that made you into who you are today ~ an amazing, unique beautiful person on the inside and out. All those people who bullied you through the years, wish they were you now. You have done more in a year and a half then people do in a lifetime. Keep reaching for the stars ~ you were blessed with the full package huge heart, beauty, smarts, creativity, adventurous and fashionable ~ I am so proud of you ~ love you tons, mom ♡XO♡ 😘💕♥️

    • Taylor Deer on January 6, 2020 at 10:56 pm

      Thank you mom! Love you so much! <3

  2. Emma Erichsen on January 7, 2020 at 3:06 pm

    This is so inspiring Taylor, thank you for sharing! As a new travel blogger who has been wondering if I can actually make it work full time, this has inspired me! Your story is so wonderful & I am so happy to have connected with you 💕

    • Taylor Deer on January 7, 2020 at 5:59 pm

      Of course and I’m so happy it inspired you Emma! Thank you so much and I’m happy we have connected as well. 🙂

  3. World of Lina on January 8, 2020 at 3:28 am

    Taylor you are SO inspiring! You made it sooooo far!
    I can relate with so many things you mentioned. I’ve always been a shy and introverted person at school. I didn’t get bullied tho, I’m really sorry you had to get through this 🙁
    Also how you describe the way people should go (college, 9-5 job, 25 and married,…) that’s so not the right one for me and that’s also why I decided to quit my studies and work on my dream while having a great part-time job I like. Reading this gave me soooo much motivation because I know I’m not the only one who thinks like this. Thank you so much Taylor and I wish you all the success and happiness you deserve 🥰

    • Taylor Deer on January 8, 2020 at 9:05 am

      Thank you so much Alina! It really means a lot and I’m so happy it gave you motivation! I’m also glad you understand too. That is what is so great about the blogging world, it brings like minded people together. 🙂

  4. Gina on January 8, 2020 at 3:39 am

    Tay!!! I’m so happy you found something you love & I’m so proud of you! Owning a business is not easy & most people don’t understand some of the sacrifices or lengths you have to make to stay & be successful – missing birthdays, dinners, occasions etc. I’ve lost a lot of friendships myself but at the end of the day, they weren’t your real friends! I love youu & no matter how much time goes by or how many summers we miss each other at beach 9, I will always be proud of you! Take me with you on your next trip lol

    xoxo gina

    • Taylor Deer on January 8, 2020 at 9:06 am

      Gina!!! Thank you so much. Seeing this made my day and I’m so glad you get it too! <3 I miss you so much and let's get together soon! 🙂

  5. Brittany Sneller on January 8, 2020 at 10:25 am

    Loved learning a little more about your story, Taylor! You should be so proud of the shy girl for sticking through it and not giving in or giving up on your passion. We can see that you truly enjoy what you do and I wish you all the best moving forward in 2020! Better yet, I hope our travel blogging paths cross one day! xx

    • Taylor Deer on January 8, 2020 at 10:45 am

      Thank you so much Bri! That really means a lot and I hope your travel paths cross soon as well. 🙂

  6. Donna Casino on January 8, 2020 at 12:22 pm

    That was an incredible story/journey! It says a lot about your strength and determination. Wishing you continued success! Keep it going!
    I really enjoy reading your blogs!

    • Taylor Deer on January 8, 2020 at 9:31 pm

      Thank you so much Donna! It means a lot to me. 🙂 I hope you are doing well.

  7. Elena Pappalardo on January 9, 2020 at 5:21 pm

    I SO admire your courage in sharing this post, Taylor. Although it was difficult to read about your painful past experiences, I truly believe that they shaped you into the kick-a**, inspiring woman and traveler that you are today! It’s so inspiring that you were able to totally reinvent yourself in spite of everything. Not everyone can say that! <3

    • Taylor Deer on January 9, 2020 at 7:14 pm

      Thank you so much Elena! Your words mean a lot to me! <3

  8. Catherine on January 9, 2020 at 7:38 pm

    Wow I absolutely loved reading this! Thank you for being so open and sharing your life, it’s so inspiring! You are so stunning and I love all your photos!! Really hope someday we can meet in person, but for now so glad we connected online <3 Look forward to more amazing blog posts Taylor!!

    • Taylor Deer on January 9, 2020 at 7:39 pm

      Thank you so much Catherine! That means a lot to me! Also yes, that would be absolutely wonderful! 🙂

  9. Eric on April 21, 2020 at 11:30 am

    Thanks for sharing your story! This was a great read.

    • Taylor Deer on April 21, 2020 at 1:36 pm

      Thank you so much Eric!

Leave a Comment





Taylor-Melide2

My Story on Being Lost and Finding Myself

Pin the Below Image to Keep Handy

What led me to become a travel blogger. My story on being lost and finding myself.

Life as a Travel Blogger

What led me to become a travel blogger. My story on being lost and finding myself.

Whenever I tell people what I do, one of the top things I need to explain is what led me to become a travel blogger. Now, embrace yourselves for a long story ahead, but there are a quite a few reasons why I chose a career in the travel industry. From being bullied in my childhood and teen years, to being lost in my early and mid 20s, I am excited to finally start getting real with you all on here and I hope this blog post inspires and encourages those who may be going through what I’ve dealt with in the past. (Click here to also read about my journey on As Told by Women.)

What led me to become a travel blogger. My story on being lost and finding myself.

Before I dive deep into this blog post, I want you all to know that there is no right or wrong way to do life. If you are from a developed country like I am, it is pretty common to be brainwashed into thinking that you need to go to college and graduate by 21, get a 9-5 office job right out of school, find a husband or wife by 25, have your first child by 30 and purchase a home in a suburban white picket fence neighborhood. All of that is BS to me! First off, you don’t need to get a college degree to become successful, I know plenty of people who didn’t go to college and make six or seven figures and have mastered a craft that they could teach others; you don’t need to have it all figured out by 30, it’s never too late to go back to school, start your own business or follow your dreams; you will not miss the boat on experiencing true love if you surpass the age of 25, you could meet your soulmate at age 13 or age 60; you could most definitely still have a family after the age of 30 (even after the age of 35), anyone that tells you otherwise has an old fashioned mindset and there certainly is no age limit to purchase your first home, some people like to invest in a business or continue their education before they buy a house. Whether you want to live your best life out of a suitcase and become a six-figured online business owner (or travel blogger for that matter) or you prefer the traditional white picket fence lifestyle with a 9-5 office job; if you are happy, you are doing it right!

What led me to become a travel blogger. My story on being lost and finding myself.

Now, onto my story! I hope you all enjoy reading about my journey to where I am at now as a travel blogger.


My Childhood:

What led me to become a travel blogger. My story on being lost and finding myself.

Growing up in the 90s, I guess it is safe to say that I had a pretty decent childhood. My mom was able to stay home and raise my brothers and I until I reached middle school, which is usually 6th grade here in the United States (around 11 years old); I experienced the last of the “good ole days”, where everyone used to hang out on the cul-de-sac after school without a worry in the world; I competed in dance for 13 years and spent every weekend at my grandparents beach house at the Jersey Shore.

What led me to become a travel blogger. My story on being lost and finding myself.

On the outside, everything seemed fine and dandy, but on the inside, I was always a lost soul. I had a handful of friends and tried other sports (besides dance) like softball, basketball, tennis, volleyball and cheerleading, but nothing ever seemed to be for me. I was shy, insecure and never felt good enough. I blame this for growing up in an upper middle-class area, where people were just cruel and close minded, but who knows right?

My Preteen Years:

What led me to become a travel blogger. My story on being lost and finding myself.

It seemed like you could get away with being shy and introverted until you reach middle school. That is when it was considered to be “social suicide” for others to include the quiet ones in their friend groups. Now, you’re probably wondering why I was shy and introverted. Well, my answer is that there really wasn’t any reason; being quiet was who I was! Over the years, especially through college, working several different jobs and traveling, I have become a little more extroverted, but I do consider myself to still be a naturally quiet chick compared to many others. Not only was I super quiet as a teen; I was also a super late bloomer. It was the early 2000s and as most girls started to wear makeup, do their hair, dress in Abercrombie and Fitch (or Hollister) and hang out with boys, I was over to the side still wearing Limited Too (now Justice) and glitter eye shadow from Claire’s. I was just being a normal kid!

My Teen Years:

What led me to become a travel blogger. My story on being lost and finding myself.

During my middle school years, kids were just terrible! I would go to school afraid of what the next mean person would say to me to make me feel even crappier about myself. To make it even worse, I started to not fit in at dance as well. (The girls at dance were much nicer than the kids I went to school with, but they were all super wealthy and got any and everything they wanted and we just were not on the same level, since I came more from a middle class background.) It was horrible and I really only lived for the summer.

What led me to become a travel blogger. My story on being lost and finding myself.

Not only was my middle school years bad, high school was even worse! It wasn’t only because people were still being cruel; I started to feel very lonely for the first time in my life. I remember walking into that high school feeling so small. No one ever noticed me, I barely had any friends because everyone formed their group in middle school and I would get cold stares from both guys and girls. I kept thinking to myself that my college years couldn’t come quick enough. I even reached the lowest point of my life during my junior year of high school at the age of 16. (Click here to read more about my background on being bullied on Not a Standard.)

My College Years:

What led me to become a travel blogger. My story on being lost and finding myself.

After four brutal years of high school, I finally made it to college where my whole world changed! I met so many amazing people; I formed lifelong friendships; my creativity blossomed; I not only got smarter, but also wiser and I also had the time of my life! It was a total whirlwind from my middle and high school years and I couldn’t have been happier!

What led me to become a travel blogger. My story on being lost and finding myself.

Now, don’t get me wrong, college wasn’t all perfect and fun 24/7. I went through a point halfway through my undergraduate years where I decided to take a complete U-turn in my education. I started college as a business major with a concentration in accounting. Why? It was because that was what my parents wanted for me – a great education where I would graduate walking into a high salaried job and be set for the rest of my life.

What led me to become a travel blogger. My story on being lost and finding myself.

Well, needless to say, accounting was definitely not for me and I even got my first D ever in a class. I remember walking into the Career and Academic Planning office at my university, right before winter break my sophomore year, in a panic. I needed to graduate on time since I was trying to avoid student loans as best as possible. (I was very thankful my parents were able to provide me with an undergraduate education at an affordable state school for four years. If I had to go longer or even do graduate school, I would’ve had to pay for it myself and I didn’t want to go in debt.) I remember the staff at the Career and Academic Planning made me take some type of test to see where my interests and passions lied. Based off of my results, it was pretty clear that I was a creative person, so I needed to change my major right away to start taking the proper courses. I decided on communication studies with a concentration in public relations and I remember thinking that all of my problems were solved and I finally figured out the rest of my life…

What led me to become a travel blogger. My story on being lost and finding myself.

One of the best parts of college was that travel was first introduced to me. Now, I definitely have had a sense of wander, but because I came from a typical white picket fence upbringing where travel wasn’t a priority and only for the rich and famous, I never left the East Coast of the United States prior to 2012. Studying abroad was definitely not encouraged for me either since I should’ve focused more on finding an internship in a 9-5 job during the summer… Whether my parents wanted me to study abroad or not, I knew that it was definitely going to be something I would do regardless. My minor in college was in Human Resource Development and even though I never went into the HR world, I remember an advertisement was emailed to me for a Maymester study abroad program in Salamanca, Spain. I hopped on the opportunity right away and have never looked back. That trip changed my life in so many different ways (my parents even came out to visit me and they loved it). I remember taking photos of everything, trying foods that were foreign to me, partying the night away until the sun rose, meeting new friends and continuing to ramble about my experience abroad way after the trip. I knew from there that I was going to try and do everything I could to travel and see the world. (I never knew I would become a travel blogger though!)

My Early 20s and Going into the Workforce:

What led me to become a travel blogger. My story on being lost and finding myself.

I ended up graduating college on time in May 2013 with a decent GPA and a wonderful public relations job in New York City! At the time, it was a dream for me. After a month of working in this position, I got a new supervisor who knew right away how to make my life a living nightmare. I thought my days of being bullied were completed on my high school graduation day in June 2009, but it definitely crept back into my life at age 22. I was being forced to work early mornings, late nights, weekends and even holidays at such a low, unlivable salary, with no paid overtime. Mind you, I had to commute into New York City from my suburban hometown in New Jersey. She would even belittle and humiliate me in front of my coworkers! (In case you didn’t know, working for a PR agency is very stressful and there really isn’t any room for learning. You have to always be ready to conquer a task and do whatever is told of you because the client comes first.) My anxiety was at an all-time high and I shortly became depressed, mentally exhausted and started to question a lot of things such as “Is this the hell I have to deal with until I retire?” Thankfully, I had the strength to quit my first full time job (without another job lined up) and I eventually found a role, with an amazing manager, who helped me gain confidence in my career and shaped me into the content creator I am today.

What led me to become a travel blogger. My story on being lost and finding myself.

For two and a half years, I worked in that amazing marketing assistant position that allowed me to be a social media and project manager for bloggers and influencers. (So I know what it is like to work on the brand side of the digital marketing world.) Unfortunately (but fortunately), there was zero room for growth at this job, so I left in March 2017 to pursue another corporate marketing role that was paying me $20K more to only find out that the job I applied to was totally different than what I was actually doing every day. Once again, bullying came back into my life at age 25 and my manager would begin to humiliate and scream at me for not understanding something I didn’t sign up for nor was properly trained on (oh, corporate). I, yet again, quit my job without a plan and started to really consider what made me truly happy.

The Transitional Period and My Mid 20s:

What led me to become a travel blogger. My story on being lost and finding myself.

March 2017 was a very significant time during my journey to finding myself. During summer 2016, after a very hard year, I took a memorable trip to Greece. It was my very first time traveling abroad since I studied abroad in 2012. That trip was everything I needed and it rekindled my wanderlust. Since July 2016, I have been avidly traveling around the world since. Because I was traveling a lot, my cousin who owns a successful luxury travel agency in South Florida reached out to me to see if I was interested in helping her start a travel blog as a side hustle. I was so excited when she asked me because I always wanted to work in the travel industry and I was honestly not interested in any other industry I have worked in previously. I said yes right away and began following big travel bloggers such as Kiersten from The Blonde Abroad, Brooke from World of Wanderlust and Matt from Nomadic Matt. They inspired me so much to see even more of this beautiful world and they also proved that you could travel, become a blogger and make a successful six and seven-figure business out of it. Since I have always wanted to be a business owner, I started to take blogging seriously. (I also want to thank my 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training that I did in fall 2016 for helping me get on the right track in a spiritual way. I owe it to what I learned during those three months for helping me figure out what I wanted.)

What led me to become a travel blogger. My story on being lost and finding myself.

Because I quit the job that gave me a $20K increase in salary, I had to take a step back and refocus during spring/summer 2017. I remember thinking to myself that if I wanted to live a happy life and eventually become successful, I needed to get money out of my head and ignore what others expected of me. It was my life, not theirs, and I needed to make the most of it, doing what I loved!

What led me to become a travel blogger. My story on being lost and finding myself.

Since I started to guest blog for my cousin’s travel agency as a side hustle while I was figuring everything out, I discovered that travel writing was something I truly enjoyed doing on a daily basis. Also, travel in general makes me feel alive. It also helps me get out of my comfort zone, find myself, gain better insight on the world, escape a bubble, heal, learn and connect with others. The only things I had to figure out was how I was going to make a career out of being a travel blogger. Two months into guest blogging for my cousin’s travel agency, I eventually created my own blog and website, started taking online courses and attended networking events in the travel industry (such as TravelCon) and began exploring more! The courses I took were on the business behind blogging, Pinterest, Instagram, affiliate marketing, vlogging and SEO. (I have taken all of those courses spread out over time within the last few years.)

What led me to become a travel blogger. My story on being lost and finding myself.

Even though I wanted to pursue travel blogging as a career, the idea of not getting a steady income started to stress me out and I had really bad anxiety over it. Unfortunately, I let my anxiety get the best out of me, so I decided to go back to working at a corporate job, while doing blogging on the side. I figured I would grow my blog until the point where I was making enough money from it to permanently leave the corporate world for good!

What led me to become a travel blogger. My story on being lost and finding myself.

It only took a few months into my very last corporate job that I began to realize that the whole 9-5 world wasn’t for me at all. I constantly thought about my blog and how I could be growing it during my long days in the office. (Growing a blog is a long and time consuming process and I did not know that prior to becoming a travel blogger.) Eventually, anxiety started to creep back into my system and I fell sick of really bad acid reflux from all of the stress of trying to make it all work. In March 2018, I decided that it was best to pursue what I truly wanted to do, which was blogging! I left my last corporate job and haven’t looked back. I was able to put forth the time and effort that my blog and social media accounts really needed from me.

I am Now a Travel Blogger for Real!

What led me to become a travel blogger. My story on being lost and finding myself.

In March 2018, I was 26 and I couldn’t have been happier. I knew that I made the right decision and I was ready to move forward with everything. Growing a blog is a long process that definitely tests your patience and it isn’t a career you go into if you’re looking to make good money right away. I was completely okay with that because I was finally happy and doing something I loved! Since then, I have been taking my blogging career one day at a time. I had to sacrifice a lot such as staying home and living with my parents until I truly get on my feet where I could afford business expenses, travel and a rent/mortgage altogether; staying home on the weekends and eating out less. I have also sacrificed friendships as well. Unfortunately, not everyone is going to understand your situation when you decide to become a full time travel blogger (or a blogger in general). Many people think all I do is be on Instagram all day and they also think I’m super rich since I travel a lot… Starting a business will definitely make you realize who is truly meant to stay in your life and it will show you who to let go. Being a business owner does not allow you time for negativity and toxic friendships/relationships! You have to focus on yourself and put your work and priorities at the center focus. (Also, don’t be afraid to celebrate your wins!) What is awesome about being a travel blogger is that you make so many new, like-minded friendships out of it and I realized those are the people who are the most supportive (including my parents).


Moving Forward as a Travel Blogger

What led me to become a travel blogger. My story on being lost and finding myself.

What I have learned through all of this is that sometimes you need to get lost in order to find yourself. You also may need to take a step (or even a few) back to reconnect and focus on what you are truly meant to be doing in life. It is important to always be true to yourself and not let what others say get the best of you. Everyone you talk to has their own dreams in life and it isn’t up to them to impose their opinions on you. If you are feeling lost, do what makes you happy and always practice self-love! I always find motivation and inspiration by reading self-help books, meditating, tuning into my spirituality and connecting with likeminded people or those who have been in my shoes before. Please know that you are never alone with what you are going through, trust the process and that there is always someone out there to help. Try different things, get out of your comfort zone and find what works and doesn’t work for you. Eventually, you will find your tribe as well as your place in this wonderful world. The beauty of life is that each of us has our own purpose. Being different from each other is a gift and that is what makes this world go around.

What led me to become a travel blogger. My story on being lost and finding myself.

As I write this, it is January 2020 and I have been blogging for over two and a half years and taking it seriously for over a year and a half! I have had many blog wins, worked with incredible companies and hotels/tourism boards. I am looking forward to the future and to see what lies ahead for me. In the meantime, stay tuned!

18 Comments

  1. Kim Deer on January 6, 2020 at 10:50 pm

    Very inspiring for young people who may be going through what you went through for years. Your strong and positive attitude has kept you balanced and focused throughout your high school, college and early 20’s years. Your creativity, independence and sense of wander has made you what you are today ~ a successful writer and world traveler. I know you had trying times in your life but they were life lessons that made you into who you are today ~ an amazing, unique beautiful person on the inside and out. All those people who bullied you through the years, wish they were you now. You have done more in a year and a half then people do in a lifetime. Keep reaching for the stars ~ you were blessed with the full package huge heart, beauty, smarts, creativity, adventurous and fashionable ~ I am so proud of you ~ love you tons, mom ♡XO♡ 😘💕♥️

    • Taylor Deer on January 6, 2020 at 10:56 pm

      Thank you mom! Love you so much! <3

  2. Emma Erichsen on January 7, 2020 at 3:06 pm

    This is so inspiring Taylor, thank you for sharing! As a new travel blogger who has been wondering if I can actually make it work full time, this has inspired me! Your story is so wonderful & I am so happy to have connected with you 💕

    • Taylor Deer on January 7, 2020 at 5:59 pm

      Of course and I’m so happy it inspired you Emma! Thank you so much and I’m happy we have connected as well. 🙂

  3. World of Lina on January 8, 2020 at 3:28 am

    Taylor you are SO inspiring! You made it sooooo far!
    I can relate with so many things you mentioned. I’ve always been a shy and introverted person at school. I didn’t get bullied tho, I’m really sorry you had to get through this 🙁
    Also how you describe the way people should go (college, 9-5 job, 25 and married,…) that’s so not the right one for me and that’s also why I decided to quit my studies and work on my dream while having a great part-time job I like. Reading this gave me soooo much motivation because I know I’m not the only one who thinks like this. Thank you so much Taylor and I wish you all the success and happiness you deserve 🥰

    • Taylor Deer on January 8, 2020 at 9:05 am

      Thank you so much Alina! It really means a lot and I’m so happy it gave you motivation! I’m also glad you understand too. That is what is so great about the blogging world, it brings like minded people together. 🙂

  4. Gina on January 8, 2020 at 3:39 am

    Tay!!! I’m so happy you found something you love & I’m so proud of you! Owning a business is not easy & most people don’t understand some of the sacrifices or lengths you have to make to stay & be successful – missing birthdays, dinners, occasions etc. I’ve lost a lot of friendships myself but at the end of the day, they weren’t your real friends! I love youu & no matter how much time goes by or how many summers we miss each other at beach 9, I will always be proud of you! Take me with you on your next trip lol

    xoxo gina

    • Taylor Deer on January 8, 2020 at 9:06 am

      Gina!!! Thank you so much. Seeing this made my day and I’m so glad you get it too! <3 I miss you so much and let's get together soon! 🙂

  5. Brittany Sneller on January 8, 2020 at 10:25 am

    Loved learning a little more about your story, Taylor! You should be so proud of the shy girl for sticking through it and not giving in or giving up on your passion. We can see that you truly enjoy what you do and I wish you all the best moving forward in 2020! Better yet, I hope our travel blogging paths cross one day! xx

    • Taylor Deer on January 8, 2020 at 10:45 am

      Thank you so much Bri! That really means a lot and I hope your travel paths cross soon as well. 🙂

  6. Donna Casino on January 8, 2020 at 12:22 pm

    That was an incredible story/journey! It says a lot about your strength and determination. Wishing you continued success! Keep it going!
    I really enjoy reading your blogs!

    • Taylor Deer on January 8, 2020 at 9:31 pm

      Thank you so much Donna! It means a lot to me. 🙂 I hope you are doing well.

  7. Elena Pappalardo on January 9, 2020 at 5:21 pm

    I SO admire your courage in sharing this post, Taylor. Although it was difficult to read about your painful past experiences, I truly believe that they shaped you into the kick-a**, inspiring woman and traveler that you are today! It’s so inspiring that you were able to totally reinvent yourself in spite of everything. Not everyone can say that! <3

    • Taylor Deer on January 9, 2020 at 7:14 pm

      Thank you so much Elena! Your words mean a lot to me! <3

  8. Catherine on January 9, 2020 at 7:38 pm

    Wow I absolutely loved reading this! Thank you for being so open and sharing your life, it’s so inspiring! You are so stunning and I love all your photos!! Really hope someday we can meet in person, but for now so glad we connected online <3 Look forward to more amazing blog posts Taylor!!

    • Taylor Deer on January 9, 2020 at 7:39 pm

      Thank you so much Catherine! That means a lot to me! Also yes, that would be absolutely wonderful! 🙂

  9. Eric on April 21, 2020 at 11:30 am

    Thanks for sharing your story! This was a great read.

    • Taylor Deer on April 21, 2020 at 1:36 pm

      Thank you so much Eric!

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