ANYTHING GOES, Except BORING!
A few days ago we did a post on the top 10 Sexiest Travel Bloggers. Coming in at the top of our list (well almost the top, We modestly put ourselves at number one) is the all American, all time hottie, Kiersten Rich. For starters, she seems to love bikinis almost as much as we do, and we just can’t get enough of her or her blog. This girl just doesn’t stop. I had been trying to track Kiersten down for the past 2 weeks to do an interview with her. First she was in Australia traveling through the outback, apparently chowing down on some creepy crawlers, then headed straight to Coachella, and rumor has it she is now leaving yet again for a tour around Europe. All in a 2 week period? We cannot wait to see what she has in store for us next!
Misha: People often ask me how I can afford to support my travel lifestyle. I am going to ask you the same question (especially at such a young age!)
Kiersten: At 24 years old I’m definitely not bringing in the big bucks from my blog. That is probably the most asked question that I get, “How can you afford to travel so much?” The reality is, travel doesn’t cost as much as people think. I’m not taking exotic “vacations” every month. Most of the time, I’m staying with friends or in hostels (usually under $20 a night) and eating at inexpensive cafes or cooking for myself. The biggest bank account buster is airfare, which is why I try to take longer trips. I’ll save for my flight and budget my entire trip on what is left over.
In the US, we are raised on the idea that living paycheck to paycheck is a bad thing. While I mostly agree, I say take a chance while you’re young. I’ve reduced all of my expenses back home in the US and moved back in with my parents to save on rent. (Also a big cultural no no). By reducing my cost of living and making a modest income, I can travel on less than $2,000 a month. Back when I worked as a professional in Finance, my rent alone in LA was $1200 a month! I’ve found that by going against the “American Dream” of a house, car and kids I’ve been able to create my own dream lifestyle. It’s all about compromise.
Misha: What is your long term goal with your site? Are you hoping to get picked up by a travel show, or advertise and make money off of your site, or is it purely just a hobby?
Kiersten: I’ve always aspired for The Blonde Abroad to be something much more than a blog. I hope for the brand to inspire others to live a fulfilling life, whether it incorporates travel or not. I want my blog to forever remain a credible source for others to gain inspiration and to get genuine advice. Which is why my blog is ad-free. I want the blog to benefit my readers so, in the end, I can’t make it about money. Any product or company I recommend will always be one I would use myself, not because I’m getting paid for it.
My dream has always been to host a travel show. Whether on TV or online. I love making people laugh and I believe the best way to bring people along on my journeys is through video. Hopefully you’ll be seeing The Blonde Abroad on television or a web series soon!
Misha: Who do you usually go on your travels with? Do you ever go alone? How do you feel about women traveling alone?
Kiersten: I typically always travel alone. The worst mistake you can make is waiting around for someone to book a flight with you. Sometimes you just need to book it and go. This may be shocking, but there are people all over the world. No matter where you go, you will meet people and make friends. We are never “alone.” I always tell people to try traveling solo. Use common sense and always practice caution, but you’ll find the solo experience to be incredibly empowering. You’ll meet more people, see and do more things and be surprised with your own capabilities at the end of it.
Misha: Do you make all of your own travel videos, web content, etc?
Kiersten: Ah, yes. I wear many many hats. My blog posts, social media and videos are all me. It’s a lot of work, but it’s also my creative outlet. The most challenging thing is trying to not spread myself too thin. You can imagine it’s a never ending commitment.
I’m most passionate about my videos though it’s something really challenging to do on my own. I’ve taught myself to film, edit and produce all of my own YouTube videos. It’s been a long process of trial and error but it’s definitely my favorite thing to do.
Misha: How much time do you spend on your website? Is it a full-time gig for you?
Kiersten: The Blonde Abroad is like trying to keep a machine well-oiled. There are so many aspects of blogging in today’s digital world that I find myself not “blogging” as often as I’d like. I’m on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Mobli sharing photos and videos every day. I’m producing videos for YouTube and photographing on every trip. I’m also journaling along the way to then write compelling blog posts. It’s definitely a full-time gig but it keeps me busy and gives me purpose. I love what I do. What I’d really like are more hours in the day!
Misha: Do you have a favorite travel blog of your own?
Kiersten: There are so many travel blogs out there it’s hard to pick just one! I actually am a big fan of fashion and lifestyle blogs at the moment. We always want what we can’t have! www.ABeautifulMess.com is one of the quirkiest, cutest and craftiest blogs I’ve ever seen. I could spend hours digging through the site!
Misha: For all our male readers out there, describe your dream guy. Is he adventurous and wild, like you, or does he balance you out by being your opposite?
Kiersten: I will have to let you know when I find him! I can’t say I have a type; unless tall, dark and handsome with broken-English is a type. In all seriousness I’m a bit all over-the-place myself (pun intended) so it’d be great to find a partner in someone that understands and respects my lifestyle. He could be wild and adventurous or subdued and mysterious. I just can’t do boring. He needs to be passionate about something.
Misha: Amen to that!!! We have no room for boring in our lives.