I first went to the Women in Travel Summit in 2016 and I’m not even exaggerating when I say this conference played a role in sending me down the path that led to me quitting my job to pursue my love of travel full-time. Yep, sure did. Let me tell you the story.
In 2016, I was determined to take blogging more seriously. My Instagram account had just started growing rapidly, which made me feel like I was on to something. As much as I love photography though, video has always been my first love—and yet for some reason, I was hyper focused on Instagram and not YouTube. That’s because I didn’t know travel vlogging really existed until I stumbled upon YouTuber Hey Nadine.
THIS VIDEO GAVE ME CHILLS BACK THEN
My mind was blown. Here was this 20-something year old girl with a massive audience that enjoyed watching her document her travels. This was a thing? This was…my dream job. I can’t believe how late I was to this whole curious world of travel vlogging. I knew there were big-time beauty and fashion vloggers but not travel vloggers.
After subscribing to her channel, I ended up watching a video of her announcing that she’d be speaking at WITS in Irvine, California. Long story short, I was compelled to buy a ticket and hightail my ass over to Cali! Best decision ever.
Being surrounded by so many amazing women in the travel industry was priceless. I had finally taken that step towards taking my blogging career seriously and it felt empowering. The icing on the cake was hearing Nadine’s keynote speech. I knew then that if she could make a living from making travel videos, so could I. Video production and travel have been my two passions for a long time, and this young lady had just inspired me to merge them together.
That summer, I started uploading my travel videos to YouTube consistently, starting with my Peru travel guide series. Once a week I’d release a new video, and I started to feel like my brand was truly starting to take shape. It wasn’t long before my small taste of producing my own personal content without having to go through layers of corporate approval—turned into an appetite for full-blown creative freedom in both my personal and professional life. I decided then and there that I was done trying to climb the ladder as a video professional in corporate America. I wanted to build my own ladder. Serve my own clients. Create amazing content for my own audience. Full-time. So I did.
The following year, I quit my corporate job in April 2017. And as fate would have it, everything came full circle in the most ironic way. Women in Travel Summit ended up being my first client after my corporate exit. A few days after unapologetically bidding farewell to my employer, I filmed and edited together this promo video highlighting why WITS is so awesome. I even added a snippet of my own story to the promo! So go ahead and check out my work below to see what the Women in Travel Summit is all about—and to see an example of how following your dreams really does pay off. I took a leap of faith and now I’m doing exactly what I set out to do. Enjoy the video and I hope to see you next year at WITS in Canada!