Where are you from?
I’m originally from the great state of Kansas (please no Dorthy or Wizard of Oz jokes). But, I’ve been known to answer this same question with responses of Louisiana or Houston as well. I’ve lived in Louisiana and Houston each for a very significant amount of time, so I feel like they are a part of me as well.
Did you go to college?
Yes, a few times. To be honest, I took the scenic route but I eventually finished. I went to school, left school, worked, went back to school and etc. (you get the picture). I have a bachelor of science degree in psychology with a minor in business administration from the University of Houston. I also have an associate’s degree in general studies from McNeese University. Go Coogs and Geaux Pokes!
What did you do before blogging?
I did everything from retail buying to working in the financial industry. But my last gig was a Sales Director for an international speciality sports brand.
How did you become a travel blogger?
Years ago, I had this crazy idea to start a travel blog based off of the places I traveled for work. Life and a lack of courage got in the way and it never came to fruition. Fast forward to 2016. I took the plunge and began a blog about fashion and lifestyle (not travel.) And as much as I LOVE a killer outfit and a sale, writing solely about my outfits just wasn’t my passion. After some much needed introspection, I knew that traveling, storytelling and creating beautiful pictures was my passion. So in mid 2018, I made the conscience decision to switch from fashion and lifestyle to travel. And here were are 🙂
Who takes your pictures?
Oooooh, that’s the great mystery. To be honest, anyone and everyone (within a certain radius) and myself takes my pictures.
In the beginning, when my blog was fashion based, I worked with a photographer. But as my blog and vision evolved to travel, having a photographer on location isn’t always feasible or cost effective. So I began a combination of taking my own pictures (via tripod and remote) and asking complete strangers or friends to help a sista out. I set my camera then kindly communicate to them (stand here, shoot from this angle and etc) what I’m looking for in the shot. 80% of the time the picture comes out great. And as for the other 20%, as long as I’m actually in the frame and in focus, I can usually edit and clean up in Lightroom.
Who do you travel with?
Currently, I travel with my friends. But I plan on taking a solo trip soon.
How do you pack for your trips?
Would you believe that I’m a carry-on girl? Majority of the time I prefer to carry-on but from time-to-time I will check a bag. You’d be surprised how much I can get into a carry-on suitcase and a backpack.
Maybe I should do a post or a video on my packing tricks and tips? Stay tuned . . .
How do you afford to travel?
My secret to being able to travel is a mixture of a few things: First and foremost, I paid off ALL of MY DEBIT. Every last penny of it and I continue to remain debit free (this is very important). Second, I quit my job. Whoa, weren’t expecting that one, eh? Definitely not suggesting you do this but I was inspired to do so by someone very special to me (read more about why I walked away from my corporate job here). I also utilize Johnny Africa’s system of traveling hacking through the use of credit card airline miles (read more in detail about travel hacking here). And I’ve become savvier in the art of scoring some pretty fabulous airfare deals. My best score so far, was roundtrip tickets to Paris, France, on a major airline, for $217. HELL YES! Some of my favorite sites for air fare deals are Scott’s Cheap Flights (I highly suggest signing up for the premium version to have access to mistake fares and the best deals) and Skiplagged.
Where’s your next trip?
Well, I don’t always know. Sometimes I’ll plan trips up to 3 months in advance and sometimes it’s only a few weeks. It’s safe to say that spontaneity seems to be a key driver in my selection process.
I hope I was able to answer all of your questions. Still have a question that wasn’t answered above? No worries. Just leave your question in the comments below and I’ll be happy to answer.
-xoxo Melissa ✌🏽❤️
Photography by: Jordan Davis
Edited by: Yours Truly