Last Updated on September 9, 2020
Meet The Traveler is a series where each week we interview one lifestyle traveler from around the world. These travelers range from being digital nomads, location independent entrepreneurs, or simply so passionate about seeing the world that they’ve fully integrated travel into their lifestyle. Our travelers will bring us into their world, sharing their transition story, what they do to support their lifestyle, and giving us insight into their life as a traveler.
If you’re looking for inspiration to transition to this lifestyle, want to meet other people in the community, or are simply curious to know how others live and split their time, then you don’t want to miss this series! A new interview goes live every Wednesday so be sure to set a reminder.
Meet The Traveler: Content Creator Brittany Cohn
We like to start things off by knowing the behind-the-person story. We love getting intimate and learning about what drives a person to be who they are. Let’s skip the small talk, and head right into some more passionate questions.
Could you tell us a bit about your journey? Who were you in a past life, and who are you now?
In a past life I worked in film and television doing props for some incredible shows like 30 Rock, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and Orange is the New Black. Now I’m a full-time freelance brand photographer/content creator and world traveller.
Where are you from originally?
I’m originally from New York, but I spent my formative years in New Jersey so I consider the Garden State to be my home.
What are the things you’re most passionate about currently?
Currently my focus is on sustainability and working with small brands who share that mindset and ethos. It’s all about reducing waste, eliminating single-use plastics, and taking a stand against fast-fashion.
When did you first get interested in traveling?
My mother took me travelling abroad from a very young age, so it’s always been ingrained into the fibers of who I am as a person. But it wasn’t until high school when I went on my first solo trip to Europe that the world really opened up to me.
When did you realize that you wanted to make travel a lifestyle? Was there a trigger point?
About four years ago, I was confronted with a failed marriage. I assessed my life and realized I was living for others and not for myself. When I asked myself what it was I really wanted to do, travel was my only answer. Slowly I delved back into photography (which I had always seen more as a hobby) and started to travel as much as I possibly could just to get myself into a more positive headspace. I knew I needed a drastic change so I packed up and moved to the Netherlands for the summer. I took that time to regrow my soul and I wouldn’t trade that time for anything in the world.
How did you go about making the transition to a lifestyle traveler? Was it a seamless transition or a bit difficult?
It definitely hasn’t been seamless! I started by going away during breaks between seasons of the shows I was working on. It was a struggle to find paid work as a photographer/content creator in the beginning (travelling, not surprisingly, costs a lot of money), so I continued working my day job until I could support myself, while building the brand I have today.
Could you elaborate on what you do for work? Do you work remotely for a company, freelance, or have your own location independent business?
I primarily work as a freelance photographer/content creator for brands across the world. Sometimes I pitch to brands I love, and sometimes the brands find me. I also run a thriving vintage and designer depop shop – @somegirlbrittany on depop – where I sell all of the amazing things I find from my travels. Mention you saw this interview in my messages and get 20% off any item from my shop!
How do you manage working and traveling? Are there any specific apps you use to manage your work and lifestyle?
I’m fortunate enough to have my best friend as my personal manager and she helps me organize my work schedule and keeps me on tasks. Sometimes, you just need another person who loves you to gently push you a little to get the job done! Thankfully, the work I do and travel goes hand in hand and I have a remote cloud storage set up so we can access my photos from anywhere in the world. I edit all of my photos in Lightroom, which has been a game changer for me. I also use the Preview app to pre-plan my instagram photos to ensure my feed looks cohesive.
What is your preferred method of traveling/living? Do you move constantly/stay at a few places for a few months/have a base/multiple bases?
I have two home bases, an apartment in NYC and a house in rural Pennsylvania. I like to bounce around, as I’m very much an on-the-go type of person. The extent of my travel stays depend primarily on who I’m travelling with, how much I can afford, and where I am going. Some trips are quick 2-3 day jaunts to Miami or the Bahamas (which are close to my home base and pretty easy to find a quick cheap flight), but I like to take month-long stays when I’m going far, like to Europe or Asia.
What seasons, if any, do you prefer to chase?
I’m perpetually chasing summer. Give me the sun and the sand and I’m in my happy place. Thankfully I work with a lot of bathing suit brands!
What destinations do you consider to be the best for digital nomads/location independent lifestyles? Why?
There are a lot of wonderful countries where you can see and do a ton of stuff on a tight budget, like India, the Philippines, and Indonesia. Also, they have lush landscapes and incredible culture to soak in.
How do you go about making new friends/dating while traveling?
I’m an extremely extroverted person and I just love people. It’s not uncommon for me to make a friend in a tiny grocery store in Albania. I’ve never understood the whole “don’t talk to strangers” thing, as all the best people I have met through my travels started as strangers. I have found that a smile is the same in every language.
How do you keep your long-distance friendships/relationships alive?
I’m a huge fan of Facetime! It has completely replaced normal calls for me. I’m also lucky that my boyfriend loves travelling just as much as I do and will often come along on my trips. I travel with my mom multiple times a year and also try and travel with my best friend as much as possible.
What is it that you like most about the traveler lifestyle?
I never feel more alive than I do when I’m seeing new places and meeting new people. I have a deep appreciation of history as well, which is constantly feeding my desire to learn about the world. Walking on ancient ground is something that you only can experience through travel (when you’re from the US, of course).
Is there anything you dislike about the traveler lifestyle?
I have a boxer-mix named Leopold who lives at home with my mother in PA when I’m away. It’s hard to leave him, but he’s a terrible traveller. He’s a good boy who gets lots of good pets when I’m home, and I try to find him fun foreign treats to try.
What’s something that’s currently missing from your life? Is there something stopping you from getting it?
I am always chasing a solid base tan! (Haha)
Is there something you know now about the traveler lifestyle that you wish you knew before making the switch?
Always pack less than you think you need! Also sometimes, travelling can be an extremely lonely experience. I didn’t realize this and found myself wondering why I was alone in Thailand, overwhelmed with the feeling of pure isolation. But I learned to lean into that feeling, and through that I found independence.
Do you see yourself living this lifestyle forever? Or will you go back to a more “traditional” life at some point?
I never see myself going back to a traditional way of life. I’ve never been a very traditional person to start, so I don’t even know where “back” would be. I’ve always been a nomad and I always will be.
What’s your best advice for someone wanting to transition to a life of travel?
Save as much as possible and be flexible with your plans. Sign up for miles & points programs as soon as you can, as they will save you literally thousands of dollars. Take photos of everything your eye catches. If you’re having a bad day during a trip, it’s okay to take a break and not do anything. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to see everything – you can always go back!