Want to try your hand at travel blogging? Hear about how one TV host got her start.
There are many ways to make your dream of having a job that involves travel come true. While studying as a law student, La Carmina took her desire for travel to the internet by starting a travel and fashion blog, http://www.lacarmina.com/blog.
Today, La Carmina is an alternative travel blogger and journalist, author of three books, and host for travel TV shows on networks like NBC, Food Network, National Geographic, and Discovery. She began her La Carmina travel & fashion blog in 2007 as a creative outlet while she went to law school. Since then, she’s been working full-time on her site and related work, especially travel TV hosting and production, and collaborations with tourism boards and companies worldwide.
“I've been to over 60 countries,” said La Carmina. “This year's adventures include speaking at an Istanbul tourism forum, filming with Myanmar punks, popping into Hobbit holes in New Zealand, and staying at a Buddhist temple in Japan.”
When she started my La Carmina blog in 2007, blogging as a career was a rarity. “I was studying law at the time, but wasn't keen on practicing,” she said. “I loved expressing my passion for Japanese subcultures and fashion on my site, and connecting with others around the world. My site took off and led to two books (with Random House and Penguin), which caught the eye of Travel Channel TV producers.”
From there, she appeared on Andrew Zimmern's Bizarre Foods, and received offers from production companies to work on a variety of travel TV shows as fixer (local producer) and host, including appearances on Taboo, Better Late Than Never, The Doctors, World's Weirdest Restaurants, and on an Anthony Bourdain promo.
“Travel has always been a big part of my life, as my family took one or two trips a year, usually to Asia,” she said. “I grew up prioritizing travel, and sought out opportunities to visit new countries. However, I never imagined I'd end up working in the travel industry, let alone be a travel TV host and writer/influencer. It was always difficult to get into these fields, but the landscape changed completely with blogs and social media. I'm grateful that I have these opportunities today, and 10 years ago, I could never have pictured a career like this.”
She said she is careful to only work with partners that fit her readers and mission. “For example, this year, I was a guest at World Tourism Forum Istanbul, featured a women-run tour group in Tulum, visited New Zealand with Contiki, filmed stories about art and culture with Brussels Tourism, shot virtual reality in Slovenia, traveled throughout Japan with J Rail Pass, and flew to Yangon, Myanmar with HK Express Airline,” she said. “I average one to two destinations a month in locations around the world.”
When asked what skills she needed for the job, she said to “always keep learning, stay curious, and be willing to experiment and evolve.”
“Instead of being stuck in one idea of a dream job, find ways to evolve them with new technologies and opportunities,” she said. “For example, if you're keen on travel TV, explore and adapt to the possibilities of new media (such as Facebook Live and Snapchat, and virtual reality filmmaking).”
Whatever dream job you want, La Carmina said to go get it. “Don't wait for someone to hand you a job or opportunity,” she said. “In the beginning, it's up to you to create it yourself. Make videos, team up with friends, find opportunities to travel and create content. You'll quickly improve your skills, and put together a portfolio. With this strong basis, you'll be in a great position to go far.”