Talkin' Full-Time Travel with Lauren Carey of Girl Gone Abroad
Did you catch my #desIGnLIVE this week? If yes, then you met travel blogger Lauren Carey (aka Girl Gone Abroad). Lauren and I met traveling in Costa Rica (as roommates! Read more: 6 Highlights from 6 weeks in Costa Rica with WiFi Tribe), and now she’s living her best life all over the world. She dished all the deets about the travel blogger life, from her best travel advice to how to create engaging content for instagram and lifestyle blogs.
Here’s some of the highlights from my interview with Lauren!
Q: What is Girl Gone Abroad and why did you start it?
Girl Gone Abroad is my travel blog and instagram account name. I started Girl Gone Abroad at the end of 2014 right before I left to teach English in Thailand. I initially started it as a way to keep friends and family updated on my travels, and it since has evolved as a way to document my travels through photography and blogs. Since then, I have been to 45 countries!
Q: How can you afford to travel so much?
I work full time (40 hour work week) for a tech start up called BublUp, and keep east coast working hours. My work is 100% remote, so instead of paying rent to live in one place, I will travel all over and stay from hostels, bnbs, coliving spots, housesitting, staying with friends, etc. Being flexible with my schedule allows me to book cheaper flights and look for deals to cheaper countries I want to visit.
Q: When was your first solo travel trip?
A: The first two major trips I took, I traveled alone without knowing anyone. It was a semester abroad in Sydney, Australia and teaching abroad in Thailand, but knew I’d have people to meet there. When I was in Asia, I did short solo trips all the time to countries like Singapore and Cambodia. South America was probably the biggest giant I’ve taken on alone to date.
Q: What’s your best tip for traveling on a budget?
There are so many! For cheap flights, using Skyscanner’s “everywhere” search feature has been a lifesaver. If you have the flexibility, search the dates of an entire month.
In terms of where to stay, hostels and private rooms in Airbnbs (get $40 off your first trip with Airbnb right here!) are great options for cheap accommodation.
If you’re trying to stay somewhere long term, consider housesitting! *PSSST! Lauren’s got some great resources for accommodations advice on her website:
Q: You’ve grown your Instagram pretty significantly in the past year (doubled from 10K to 20K)… What are your tips for creating engaging content?
I think there’s a few factors at play. Posting photos of a similar aesthetic consistently is the first thing. You have to find your niche, and mine is pretty simple- me traveling around the world. But you won’t find things like selfies or food shots in my feed- it’s either me in a scene, or the scene itself.
Getting a LOT of content all at once will save time, and allow you to stretch content over a few days or weeks instead of going out to shoot each and every day.
My workflow usually goes: Shoot photos, upload to laptop, keep the ones I might want to post and throw them in a folder, edit in Lightroom with Presets, upload to my phone, then organize in a feed planner call UNUM. *I (Michelle) use UNUM too! Read More: All the Apps I use for my Freelance Design Biz
Per taking photos while solo traveling - Remotes and self-timers 🙌🏼 🙌🏼 🙌🏼 I set my camera up in all kinds of crazy places to get shots, and hook it up to either the Wifi on my phone to use as a remote, or I use a small Canon remote. If I don’t think there’s any way they can possibly screw it up, sometimes I’ll ask a stranger.
Crafting captions are also very important - as exhausting as it can be. Writing something that provokes a response really helps engagement.
Q: If you could be BETTER at something related to GGA, what would it be and why?
I would like to blog more content on my website, and give more context to my travels and my photos.
I would also like to get better at stories. Believe it or not, I actually don’t really like to talk on camera, so I have shied away from sharing too much on IG stories.