1) Tell us a little about yourself. What are you doing now and where do you come from?
Hi everyone, I’m Chelsea! I’m a travel blogger with a special interest in smart travel, currently based out of my lovely hometown, Toronto, Canada! I started blogging a year ago, which is pretty crazy for me to think about now, because it feels like I just began yesterday. Right now, I’m in Beijing, China, trying to take some nice (not smoggy) photos of the Temple of Heaven and juggling being a student and a travel writer, but who knows where I’ll be in a few months! To me, travelling is an adventure where the journey is the destination. I love everything about travel, from hotels to meeting new people to airplane food (I know what you’re thinking). My passion is sharing information, experiences, and advice, and I decided to combine my two loves to create a space where I could help and inspire others to achieve their travel dreams. My niche is a bit of an amalgamation; I call it “smart travel”, where I take the best bits and pieces of every element of travel, and put them together to create a system designed to help travellers get everything they can and everything they want out of their adventures.
2) What are your topics of interest? What do you post on Instagram the most?
Most of my Instagram photos are landscape and travel shots, with or without me in the frame but I have done countless flat-lays, architecture, outfit and jewellery, animal, and food and drink pictures as well. I haven’t done everything out there yet, but it’s on my list. Some of my favourite subjects out there are grand landscapes, majestic animals, and clouds. To sum it up, you ask me for any photo, I will find a way to do it!
3) How did your Instagram name come about?
For me, travel isn’t just a temporary activity; travel is a lifestyle. I’ve found that the lessons I’ve learned and memories I’ve made while travelling are just as applicable in my normal at-home life. As well, travel is a reminder to me that life is, in a word, wonderful. I made my handle a portmanteau of the words live, wander, and wonderfully so that I could share my worldview with others.
4) What are some apps you use to edit your photos? Share with us your photo-editing routine!
First, I snap about a gazillion shots of the same thing from different angles with different camera settings so that I can choose the optimal shot. That’s usually the fun part. Then, I upload and choose the pics I want to use. I use the heavily underrated Windows Photos app to edit most of my photos. Sometimes I’ll use Photoshop if there’s a lot of problems with the photo, and if it’s an especially artsy shot, I’ll use VSCO just to get the perfect filter. Afterwards, it’s onto Instagram for some last minute minor tweaks, and then it’ll be uploaded to the whole world!
5) Any Instagrammers whom you really like? Which Instagrammer inspires you the most?
Wow, just off the top of my head, I can think of a bunch! Some of my travel favourites are chaufornow, polkadotpassport, muradosmann, and trustedtravelgirl, but I also love a lot of accounts from other niches, like momosface, and christopherraunleth. The Instagrammer I’m most inspired by is Brooke Saward who runs the account worldwanderlust. Not only is her feed my photo goals, but the fact that she has created a blog as comprehensive as World of Wanderlust, written a couple of books, and is now opening a dessert shop is so crazy and awesome to me.
6) If there’s one thing your fellow Instagrammers just gotta try now, what’s it gonna be?
The Gorillapod. I just bought the Gorillapod Hybrid and as of right now, all is right with the world. It’s not as expensive or cumbersome as an old school tripod, but it does just as well, if not better, at capturing photos in odd and unique places, plus it’s so easily detachable that if I’m in a fast paced situation, I can just press a button and pop my camera right off.
7) What’s your favorite part about being an influencer?
I really enjoy sharing information and experiences to my readers and followers. Travelling is only half the fun, because once I get home, I can share what I learned from my trip, give advice about travelling, and share photos to inspire others. It always puts a smile on my face when I turn on my laptop or phone and there’s a comment or message waiting for me from somebody who tells me that something I did inspired them or helped them with their travels. In my opinion, being an influencer is not about “me”; it’s about “us”
8) What are some of your top tips to brands for running campaigns? How do you maintain authenticity?
To me, campaigns are two parts of an agreement that the brand and influencer enters into with their audiences where they pledge to promote something that adds value to the lives of their audiences. Personally, as an influencer, I only participate in campaigns for brands that I wholeheartedly believe in, brands that do good in this world and brands that offer products that would be genuinely loved by my audience. When I promote products, I do so because i really want to. Brands need to find these influencers, the ones that will love their products and rave about them. Often, these influencers are the ones that have the smaller followings and who might not have even asked the company for sponsorships, because they don’t think that they’re big enough. Brands need to find these influencers, versus the ones that have massive exposures and years and years of experiences, because a rave review to a smaller audience always beats out a lukewarm one to the masses.
9) What would your advice be on the importance of quality and original content?
Quality and original content are so important on Instagram, because when people go on Instagram, it’s not because they want to see what they’ve already seen, it’s because they want to be blown away with the awesomeness of the content. My advice would be to not be afraid of being out-of-the-box. Change things up a little, and who knows what might happen!
10) What do you like best about partnering with brands?
I love being able to promote a product that I really believe would add value to my audience. It’s super fun to be in charge of creating original and out-of-the-box content and when my audience responds positively to my endorsement, it’s an awesome feeling.
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