Lifestyle

How To Be A Travel Influencer During A Pandemic: Kellie Paxian

November 11, 2020

With, for the first time ever, a female vice-president in office in the U.S., we’re continuing to celebrate the wonderful women in our lives with our influencer series! This time, we’re proud to introduce you to Kellie Paxian, who hasn’t let the global pandemic dampen her entrepreneurial spirit! —Vita Daily

Hi Kellie! How do you use your platform to impact those who follow you?

I am so grateful to be able to say that I’m truly living my dream life. After years of working at office jobs in Vancouver (which I loved at the time), I am now able to follow my free spirit across the world and travel and work as a digital nomad and travel content creator. I haven’t fallen into the routine that society nudges us toward and I haven’t settled for anything less than a life of adventure, and most days I spend pinching myself that this is real life! I am very open and honest and real on social media—people say I “write how I talk”; I share the good and the bad, and I talk to my audience like they’re my friends (well, they are!). I think people see that I am authentically living life on my terms. I know the life I want and am hustling to make it happen every day, and I also am a very positive and appreciative person. I believe the universe rewards good vibes with good vibes, and I think my audience resonates with that in the content I share on social media. I hope I am inspiring them to live their dream life and never stop adventuring as well!

Whats your personal style/beauty mantra?

Au naturel, baby! My personal style has completely evolved since I became a diehard traveller about four years ago. I used to spend so much money on my appearance and material goods—colouring my hair, designer purses, the latest styles at Aritzia. I used to get my nails and eyelashes done and, although I’ve never worn heavy makeup, I used to wear eyeliner, eye shadow and eyebrow pencil on the reg.Since I’ve been mostly living out a backpack the past few years, I have adopted a minimalist, low-maintenance lifestyle that has saved me so much money. I let the sun colour my hair and get $3 haircuts in countries from Vietnam to Guatemala. I only use one purse. I got it about three years ago for $40; it’s the perfect travel purse, with multiple zippers, fits my water bottle and a light jacket, goes with everything. My clothes are all neutral and casual; in fact, I’ve started my own travel apparel and gear line via my business Adventurelust, where I’ve created comfy, cosy, practical clothes that are perfect for a lifestyle of travel. I only wear one colour of nail polish (electric blue—it’s my only superstition, but I can’t travel without it) and I ride out each coat for about a month. I don’t wear any make-up except for mascara. I usually put my hair in a loose braid so it gets wavy and that’s about the extent of my routine! The low-maintenance lifestyle is the best lifestyle.

You describe yourself as passionate traveller; how so, and how has the pandemic impacted your wanderlust plans?

After my family and friends, travel is my main source of happiness in life. I thrive off of meeting new people, gaining new experiences, getting out of my comfort zone, challenging myself to new adventures and soaking in the incredible beauty that this world has to offer. I’ve built and manifested a life where it is possible to do this all the time, while making money as a travel content creator, writer and editor, along with Adventurelust. With the pandemic bringing travel to a halt, I, like many people all around the world, felt stunted, unmotivated, uninspired and lost. I was blessed to be able to spend time with my family and explore more of my beautiful country (like my road trip through the Rockies), but my adventure-lusting soul couldn’t stay put in a place that doesn’t fulfil it for much longer. Not to mention that my income is directly related to travel, so it was time to move on. I relocated to Mexico for the fall and it didn’t take long for me to start feeling that inspiration, motivation and magic again. Travel isn’t the same as it once was, but it’s not impossible, and I am back out in the world being as safe as possible while still pursuing my life, career and dreams.

Favourite place you’ve ever travelled to/visited and why?

Cape Town, South Africa, is my spirit city! I’ve been three times in the last three years, including from January to March of 2020 (leaving one day before South Africa’s lockdown set in) and I will be going back ASAP. Every day in Cape Town I wake up knowing that, at the bare minimum, I will get to see some incredible mountain and ocean views, eat some yummy food at a cute cafe or restaurant, and soak in the African sun and perfect blue skies. That’s a normal day. But because good vibes attract good vibes, I often find myself coming across some type of magic in Cape Town: a fiery sunrise hike atop my favourite mountain in the world, Lion’s Head. A text from a friend that leads to a two-seater plane ride over Cape Town’s stunning landscape, paragliding over the city while whales frolic in the distance, or a free diving adventure in the ocean. I’ve been able to experience the most dreamy safari in Kruger with Brett Horley Safaris and a peaceful escape to Roam Game Reserve in the Great Karoo. I’ve journeyed across the Garden Route, where I went on some breathtaking hikes and jumped off the world’s highest bungee bridge. Cape Town is magic and although it’s just about the furthest city in the world from my home of Vancouver, it will always own a piece of my heart.

Favourite “local” destination?

The Okanagan is my happy place! My family has a cottage on the lake between Kelowna and Vernon and we spend as much time as possible there every summer—I even did my 14-day isolation there after returning from Cape Town in April. The Okanagan is the place where I can kick back, relax, go for runs, do yoga, go for boat rides or golf cart rides and just spend time with my family. I love the laid-back Okanagan lifestyle, and the wine ain’t bad either.

Where can we find/follow you?

Follow my personal adventures on Instagram at @kelliepaxian and my website/blog, kelliepaxian.com. For additional travel inspiration and services, follow my brand Adventurelust on Instagram at @adventurelust.travel and online at www.adventurelust.travel, where you will find travel apparel and gear, trip planning and an on-call travel buddy, travel content creation course and coaching, and epic adventure meet-ups (starting with a seven-day gorilla safari in Uganda!). Thanks so much for reading, and happy adventuring!

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