10 Questions With Caitlin Palumbo
When I was in college, I went through a brief phase in which I wanted to be a flight attendant. I quickly found out it was a lot of work and abandoned the idea, but the thought of being a world traveler always stuck with me. Who wouldn’t want to travel the world 365 days a year?
Instead, I get a lot of my travel inspo from bloggers. Caitlin Palumbo of My Darling Passport is one of them, and recently, I was lucky enough to sit down with her to discuss the life of a travel blogger.
Ok, so, you have one of the most coveted lifestyles of all time. You’re a travel blogger. How in the world did you start? If someone asks you how to become a travel blogger, what do you tell them?
I do still have my “9-5” job which I actually really enjoy. It’s pretty flexible so I’m lucky to be able to do that as well as my blog. My best advice is simple, just start. I spent a long time deliberating on what to name my blog, what content I’ll create, and worrying about what others would think. I could have started so much sooner if I just went for it! The truth is that you will probably make mistakes and changes as you go along. I went through two different names and concepts before landing on My Darling Passport. It is best to just start, learn what works best for you, and see where it takes you.
Can you give us some pro-packing tips?
Don’t overpack! I know it’s easier said than done, but I’m always happier on trips when I’m not lugging around an overstuffed suitcase. I also try to only carry on. I hate waiting to drop off and pick up my bags, and I’ve had stuff lost before so carrying on is best for me. IT Luggage makes some great very light suitcases. I would get the lightest you can to avoid going over baggage weight limits. I also bring a lot of clothing I can mix and match easily like a chambray button up, leather jacket, and solid t-shirts. I have also gotten laundry done on longer trips but don’t use the hotel service (it’s usually overpriced) and find a neighborhood spot to drop off.
Have you seen anything abroad that really changed your perspective on life?
In Cambodia, I hired a private tour guide who came highly recommended to take me around to some lesser known spots. He was truly an amazing person. He told me so much about his life and the lives of other Cambodians. It just really opened my eyes to see how many other people live in other parts of the world. He didn’t have much growing up and started his own tour company. It was inspiring to hear his story and to see what he was able to create when he had so little to start.
Since you’re constantly on the go, what does your creative process look like? How do you find time to actually sit down and create content?
When I have a trip coming up, I plan out my content, the shots I want to get, and the information I want to include in my travel guides and blog posts. I use google maps to plan out shoot days. I also keep a detailed list in the notes section of my phone and important information like business hours. I bring my laptop with me to edit on the go, pick out my selects, and then post to Instagram. I usually don’t write my blog posts until I’m home and have time to really sit with my computer to think for a few hours. Day to day, I try to make a lot of “in the moment” type content for Instagram stories.
Do you ever travel alone? If so, what is that experience like?
I have never traveled alone. I would like to try it!
Have you ever made friends from your travels?
I have, but I’ve made a ton of friends on Instagram. It really is a great platform to connect with like-minded people, share your upcoming trips, and see how you can link up.
If you could travel with any person in the world, who would it be and where would you visit?
I would love to do a tour of the locations where they filmed Game Of Thrones with either the location scout or someone else who worked on the show. I’m a major GOT fan!
On your website, it says your favorite travel destinations are Vietnam and South Africa. Why are those your favorite places?
Vietnam is such a diverse, beautiful country. The people were so kind, and I loved the food! There’s so much to discover in that country, and I’m really hoping to go back soon. South Africa really blew me away. The landscape is intense and so gorgeous. It kind of reminds me of California. I had a great time driving down the coast and also spending a day in the wine region outside of Cape Town. I could see living there! Also, both countries were very reasonable, and I felt like I could get a lot for my money.
What would you tell women who are thinking about pursuing a nontraditional career path? Do you have any tips or advice?
Like I said before, just go for it. Don’t be afraid to start and give something a try. Worse comes to worse it didn’t work out, but at least you know you tried. Also, don’t be afraid to ask others for advice and guidance. When I first started out, I didn’t really connect with many bloggers. Building connections and making friends is key. Once I started making connections, asking questions, and learning from others, I was able to find more success.
Who are some creators, artists, or female entrepreneurs we should be following right now? Who would you like to see us interview next?
I would say my friend Lauren, from @splorin.lauren. She's an amazing photographer and runs her own digital marketing agency. She's really inspiring, and we became friends over Instagram. She has helped me so much on my blogging/Instagram journey with photography.