Spotlight: Travel, Wellness and Business Tips from the The Blonde Abroad
Imagine spending your days travelling to the most stunning locations in the world, experiencing new mesmerising cultures…and being PAID to do it. Welcome to the life of travel blogger Kiersten Rich of The Blonde Abroad, who we’ve had a slight obsession with for years. Six years to be exact! Back in 2011 Kiersten made the huge decision to turn her back on the world of corporate finance to travel the world and, understandably, has never looked back!
“I soon realized I was living someone else’s dream. I realized that true happiness, for me, would not be found in a cubicle… so I quit my job.”
The 27-year-old Californian girlboss created The Blonde Abroad blog at the start of her travels and has now amassed over 120,000 followers on the blog, over 377,000 on Instagram and has been featured in countless travel and lifestyle publications across the world. And whilst this is all ridiculously impressive, we were particularly inspired by the amount of volunteer projects Kiersten has been part of on her travels and her passion for helping provide young women with access to education.
As the blonde beauty continues to take on the globe at a rate of knots, we were hugely excited to chat about travelling solo, staying healthy on the move, new projects planned this year and so much more.
What words do you live by?
Live a life you love
We’ve been inspired by your travelling adventures for many years - how did it all begin?
Like many people, I was taught to go to college, get a job, get married, have kids and live happily ever after. Not once did I consider that chasing the societal idea of “success” would lead me to an unfulfilling and unhappy life. After graduating with honours and getting a job at a prestigious financial firm in LA, I soon realised I was living someone else’s dream. I realised that true happiness, for me, would not be found in a cubicle… so I quit my job.
Following the change in my career direction, I packed my bags for a four month trip to anywhere. I had saved very little money and I had no idea what I was doing. I simply booked a flight in June to Australia and a return flight home from New Zealand in October. Summer 2011 turned into a grand tour of Australia, Southeast Asia, and New Zealand. I started keeping track of my adventure on my blog, and when I came home from my first big trip, I immediately started to plan my next trip. And I haven’t stopped since!
How do you stay fit and healthy on the move? Do you have a regular wellness routine?
I do tend to eat very healthy, so I gravitate towards veggies and fruit for most meals! I am a big foodie and love to indulge, especially when I’m trying a new cuisine, but I do make an effort to keep my meals very balanced while on the go.
You’ve visited over 50 countries - what an incredible achievement! What are some of your favourite travelling experiences?
I think that my top four travel experiences have been: trekking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, volunteering in Honduras, exploring Cambodia, and cruising through the Galapagos islands. All three offer very different adventures, but really incredible, unforgettable memories.
At Coconuts + Salty Kisses we worship the beach and the ocean! Can you tell us your favourite beach in the world?
That is such a hard question because I love so many beaches that I’ve been to! I’d have to say that the most pristine beaches are definitely in Florianopolis (Brazil), the Maldives, Seychelles and the islands of French Polynesia.
There are so many inspiring women that we admire, who do you look up to and why?
One of my biggest influences in business is Ellen Degeneres. She's turned positivity, humour and having fun into a business that inspires people around the world.
We’re hugely excited to see that you have recently launched a blogger mentorship retreat in Bali - what are the key learnings a blogger can take from the retreat?
I’ve been wanting to set up a Blogging 101 program for over a year, but I’m so excited that it’s finally happening. I’m be partnering with Institute of Code to offer a 10-day all-inclusive retreat where I’ll be sharing my all expertise on photography, social media, content creation and creating a successful brand.
Do you have any tips for travelling alone as a female?
Well, I have a ton! ;) I’ve written quite a few blog posts on solo female travel, but I would say my biggest tips are to be confident, prepared and use your street smarts. You can check out more of my solo female travel tips here!
You’ve been involved in some incredible volunteer projects around the World - what’s the most rewarding experience you’ve had?
I’ve definitely done a lot of volunteering throughout my travels as well as back home. It’s something that has given me a stronger connection to the people and place that I’ve been. I’m particularly passionate about literacy programs and organisations dedicated to the educations and advancement of young women around the world. One of my most memorable experiences was helping raise over $5,500 for college scholarships for young girls in Cusco, Peru, and spending Christmas with the girls in Peru. You can read more about my fundraising experience here!
What are your travel plans and personal goals for 2017?
I actually planned to slow down on travels a bit in 2017 but it hasn’t quite worked out as planned. I started the year by moving to Cape Town to base myself there and explore more of Africa. So far I’ve explored The Seychelles, Morocco, Namibia and Kenya with plans for Afrikaburn and Victoria Falls in the next month.
In early June, I'm heading to Bali for the summer to hold my blogging workshop retreats! Anything could happen after that ;)
If you'd like to find out more about Kiersten and her incredible adventures, check out:
All images and videos courtesy of The Blonde Abroad on Instagram and YouTube.