As founder and editor of The Travelista Blog, I’d be the first to admit that Travel Writing has to be one of the best jobs (and hobbies) on earth. Visiting new places, experiencing new cultures and reviewing luxury hotels for a living. It’s one of those things most people can’t even dream up. And I certainly didn’t when I was 21 years old and stuck in a mind numbingly boring job. This is my story of how I went from tea girl to International luxury travel blogger…
Three summers ago I graduated from Newcastle University with a 2.1 in Media, Communications and Cultural Studies. My love of writing and travel was stronger than ever and I had big dreams of making into the editorial team of a glossy mag. Writing has always been my passion and solace, but I was desperate to move down to London to be with my ‘then’ boyfriend. So I took the first job I was offered. It turned out to be a deathly dull job as a PA (otherwise known as office Biatch) that quickly quashed my graduate glow.
The offices were based on Dover Street in Mayfair. Home to The Arts Club, Rous Iland Boutique and a designer bag on every arm, it’s one of the most exclusive streets in London. Ironically, with terrible pay and a crippling rent , I was too skint to even afford my tube into work let alone an after work drink in a fancy bar. A month or so into the job I knew that it wasn’t for me. But it was also at this time that I met Andie, the chap that helped me to change my career forever.
The office space was small and we shared our open plan office with The Player Bookazine, an ultra high end Men’s lifestyle publication (well we were in Mayfair after all). Andie was the Editor in Chief of The Player and a down to earth, decent fella. After a bit of office banter I made a beeline and began to offer editorial contributions to The Player – free of charge of course.
After a while he had me writing about yachts, watches and other ‘boys and their toys’ wares until one day he said ‘you’re alright at this writing stuff, Jess do you fancy doing a review for me?’. Ever the opportunist, I jumped at the chance, thinking he meant a theatre or restaurant review in London. Little did I know, the ‘review’ was actually a Press Trip assignment to Marrakech to review two of the most luxurious hotels in Marrakech. An all expenses paid trip in – quite literally – the lap of luxury. As you can imagine, I died and went to Moroccan heaven. It was in Marrakech I had a taste of my dream job.
The trip to Marrakech was a huge opportunity for me and after impressing Andie with my review write ups, he then asked me to complete more press trips and officially become one of his freelance writers. By this time I had endured 9 months in the job I desperately hated, so triumphantly handed in my notice and jumped on a plane to Mauritius! I went on to complete press trips to Mauritius, La Reunion, Munich and more.
This was when I decided to set up The Travelista Blog. I wanted to tell the whole world about the amazing whirlwind travel experiences I was having, not just the niche readership of The Player Bookazine. Since showcasing my travel writing on The Travelista, I have been approached to complete other hotels to feature reviews on the blog. I am now expanding the blog and searching for guest bloggers and like minded travel bloggers to grow my network of Travelistas. (If you’re one of them, please get in touch!)
I suppose you could say that meeting Andie was my lucky break. But that break sure as hell didn’t fall into my lap. I saw what I wanted to achieve and I showed initiative, persistence and passion until it eventually paid off. I’ve still got a long way to go in my career, and I feel The Travelista could really help me get there. I love visiting the fancy hotels, but my job and hobby boils down to two passions: Writing and travel. And there is no better feeling than finding what you love, and going for it 100%.
Whenever I visit a new place, stay at a new hotel or complete a press trip, I blog about it. The Travelista is now a huge part of my life and has become somewhat of an addiction! I am so proud of it as I feel it defines my personality and my passion. It is now an extension of me and is a constant reminder that – boy – was I glad I stuck out that lousy job!
Written by Jess Gibson