In my series of interviews with travel blogger, I look for travel bloggers and influencers with interesting lives who can share some inspiring stories and useful advice from their experience. This week we have Brittany from Life of Brit blog.

Brittany Varano - Life of Brit

An Interview With Brittany From Life of Brit

Tell us a bit about yourself

Hello! My name’s Brittany, but all my friends call me Brit! I’m originally from Wisconsin, USA and I’ve always been in love with travel even as a kid. Growing up my parents often took us on weekend trips around my home state as well as national US road trips to visit family, which kick-started my love for travel.

In university, I spent a year living and studying in Copenhagen, Denmark and really enjoyed my time traveling around Europe. After coming home and graduating from uni, I got a job working at a marketing agency as an account executive. I was in charge of copy writing, event planning and client relations and really enjoyed the creative and technical side of the job.

But after nearly three years, I decided to quit my job in marketing in 2017 to move to South Korea to teach English. I’d always wanted to live and travel Asia, and figured it was now or never before I really settled down! 

The two years I spent in South Korea were incredible. I met many lifelong friends, saw so many beautiful sights, and established lovely relationships with my students. While there, I actually picked up travel blogging and created my own website lifeofbrit.com . What started initially as just a hobby, actually grew into something much bigger than I ever could’ve imagined!

Today, I’m a location independent, freelance writer, travel blogger, and online English teacher and have had the opportunity to travel to more than 35 countries and counting.

What’s your biggest achievement as a Travel Blogger?

I’d say my biggest accomplishment as a travel blogger has just been the massive international network and community I’ve met through all of this. It’s helped me jump start my career as a freelance writer, it’s provided a small little side income for me, and has just helped me grow as a writer in general.

While I’m still growing and trying my best to get my name out there, I’ve had the pleasure of being noticed by some big publications! I’ve not only procured numerous sponsorship’s with travel brands, but I’ve also been featured in publications like the Discoverer and the iTTT Blog who named me as one of ten female bloggers to follow this year. I’d consider myself a small blogger still but definitely growing! 

Brittany Varano - Life of Brit

You have an unlimited travel budget for 24 hours. Give me your itinerary.

With an unlimited travel budget, I’m headed straight to the Maldives to stay in one of those beautiful villas perched above turquoise ocean waters. And that’s it! I usually prefer mountains over beaches, but visiting the Maldives has always been a dream of mine and one that’s unattainable because of just how expensive it is. I’m a major budget traveler and the Maldives doesn’t fit into the ‘budget’ category sadly! 

How do you fund your travel?

While traveling in Asia, I funded my travels while working as a full-time English teacher through the EPIK Program. Today, I earn an income as a travel blogger, freelance writer, and online English teacher. 

What is the single most effective strategy that a blogger can use to bring traffic to a blog?

For me personally, I have found that a killer SEO and keyword strategy coupled with my personal voice has really helped my blog grow into the website that it is today. I think a lot of people can relate to a solo female traveler trying to see the world on a budget because of a lack of funds or hefty student loan payments. 

I show people that travel doesn’t have to be expensive and that ‘normal’ people can do it too! I also swear by Pinterest as a fantastic marketing platform that is totally free! About half of my traffic actually comes via Pinterest which is insane.

Brittany Varano - Life of Brit

What tools do you use to monetize your blog? Which works best for you?

At the moment, I’m a member of a few affiliate programs like Booking.com, iTTT TEFL course, and World Nomads and have found decent success with them. But just this past year I’ve started really focusing on growing my blog into more business than a hobby. Hopefully, after the terrible hit the coronavirus has taken on the travel industry, I can take life of brit to even higher heights!

 

What is the first trip you remember taking and how old were you?

The very first exciting trip I can remember was a massive road trip my family and I took to New York to visit my grandparents. Air travel was pretty expensive for us then, so driving the full 12 hours from Wisconsin to New York was our go-to, usually once a year! My brother and I would play games together, eat tons of snacks, stop to visit landmarks along the way, and we just loved the excitement of driving across the country! 

It definitely opened my eyes and made me want to see more of the world, outside of the US!

 

Have you been anywhere which turned out to be totally different to how you imagined? If so, how?

I think this is an unpopular opinion, but I was a little disappointed with Thailand. All throughout college, I dreamed of visiting Thailand because it looked like such a unique cultural place to visit with amazing nature and world-famous food.

However, when I got my chance to backpack around Thailand for three weeks last summer, it was much more touristy than I ever had imagined and you could feel the western influence in everything. It didn’t feel like the authentic Thailand that probably existed even just ten years ago. I still really enjoyed my time in Thailand but had a more memorable experience in places like India, Sri Lanka, and Laos, countries that didn’t feel so heavily catered to tourism.

 

Have you had any bad experiences whilst travelling?   

As someone who has been traveling for years, I have definitely had my fair share of bad experiences. Everything from my friend missing our flight, to myself missing a flight (even while at the gate which is a tad embarrassing), a minor scooter accident and a little theft. I’ve been through a lot of misadventures.

But I don’t let those experiences stop me from traveling or seeing the world and today they actually make me laugh or look back in awe that I was able to survive what at the time felt like a scary and stressful situation. These bad things can happen anywhere, so if you just trust your gut and do your best to stay safe, travel is not much different than life at home.

Brittany Varano - Life of Brit

Where is your favourite place in the world?

That is such a difficult question! I’d have to say my top two favorite places in the world are Copenhagen, Denmark and most of India. Living and studying in Copenhagen was such a pivotal moment in my life and is a big reason that I’m the person I am today. I learned a completely different way of life and saw how taking care of the community can help everyone thrive together. Not to mention the history, architecture and overall Scandinavian culture, there is a lot to love about Denmark!

And India, there is nowhere else in the world like India. I spent almost two months backpacking around starting in Mumbai and working my way north, and I have never felt such intense culture shock, seen such breathtaking beauty or experienced such a vibrant culture. Not to mention the diverse landscape and ancient history. I’d love to return to India one day.

Do you have a bucket list? If so what is on it?

I love a good bucket list!! It’s always changing as I cross things off and find new experiences I want to try, but at the moment these are my top three items:

  • Spend at least a week trekking somewhere in Nepal.
  • Travel to Brazil.
  • Backpack around eastern Europe.

If you were not travelling what would you be doing instead?

Well sadly at the moment because of the virus I’m stuck at home in full transparency! BUT, if I wasn’t a freelance writer, I think I would be settled at home, still working in marketing. However, I know that I would still be traveling to some degree. Even when I worked full time, I made it my mission to visit two new countries every year with small side trips to different states! It’s just something that makes me happy and always has.

Brittany Varano - Life of Brit

What has travel taught you?

Travel has truly taught me a lot. It’s taught me that there are a million and one different ways to see and experience the world and that coming from America, I have a great deal of privilege. It’s also taught me the importance of empathy and keeping an open mind when meeting a new person, visiting a new place, or hearing a different point of view. 

 

Who, in your opinion, is the most successful travel blogger? Why do you think that is?

I look up to big bloggers like Nomadic Matt, The Blonde Abroad and Against the Compass. I think they are the shining example of uber-successful travel blogs that everyone aspires to become. I only wish one day to experience half of the success they’ve found for themselves!

You can follow Brittany Instagram |  Blog | Pinterest

 

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Author sumit

Sumit Sharma is a full-time digital marketer who finds his passion in traveling and blogging about his experiences.

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