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: Travel Specialist Taylor Taverna
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?
Gosh, I’m not even sure where to start with this question. I guess you could say the “who I was in a past life” answer is defined by my studies and plans at the time. In college, I studied Psychology, with an emphasis in Linguistics and Education. I was passionate about the foreign language, and the benefits of studying new languages on the brain, especially in children with special needs. I focused a lot of my work on the Autism community and went into Behavior Therapy after college. However, it didn’t take long for me to realize that this wasn’t the career that I imagined for myself. I did what I always do in times of uncertainty, I packed a bag and set off on a 5 month solo trip through Asia.
It was during this time that I realized that my other passion, traveling, could be more than just a passion. I began offering personalized itineraries to friends and family, quickly expanding my customer base as a travel specialist. At the same time, I dove off the deep end into the world of social media. I was building my presence on Instagram (@tavernatravels), and helping other small companies to do the same.
Who am I now? I am a travel-obsessed workaholic. I continue to pursue my passion of entrepreneurship at every opportunity. In the meantime, I also work for a major US brand full time to help manage their social accounts.
Where are you from originally?
I grew up just 30 minutes outside of NYC, and I now live in Brooklyn, NY.
What are the things you’re most passionate about currently?
I am a traveler who loves social media, and I find a way to intertwine those two passions in everything I do. I am passionate about making travel accessible to the broader public. This includes encouraging badass solo females to explore the world on their own, regardless of their relationship status.
When did you first get interested in traveling?
I think I was born a traveler. My mom has been a flight attendant for over 35 years, so frequent travel has always been in my blood. I went on my first “solo trip” when I was only 8 years old, when I started attending sleepaway camp in Germany.
When did you realize that you wanted to make travel a lifestyle? Was there a trigger point?
I think for me it was less about making travel a lifestyle, and more about making travel my career. I will elaborate on this a bit further down, but I am not location independent. What most people don’t know about me is that I went back to a full-time 9-5 desk job just under a year ago, and I have no regrets! My travel has always come in bursts, taking 5-6 months off to travel between studies or career opportunities. Now, I’ve just learned to maximize my vacation days!
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 feel like I do a million things! I run a travel Instagram account (@tavernatravels) and a travel blog (www.tavernatravels.com). On my Instagram I am fortunate to work with a number of travel and lifestyle brands to create sponsored content, as well as assets for their own marketing campaigns. On my blog you’ll find plenty of city guides and travel resources, as well as guidance on starting your own blog. I also sell my Lightroom presets, which can be purchased in my shop. Use promo code PRESETS50 for 50% off!
As far as my services go, I provide my clients with personalized travel itineraries. Having traveled to upwards of 65 countries, I have a good lay of the land. You can think of me as a travel specialist, or better yet, a travel coach. I particularly love working with solo females who are planning long-term adventures. If this sounds like something that you might be interested in, send me an email to set up a free call. I also lead small group trips to destinations such as Mexico and Bali. Stay tuned for new trips starting in 2021.
All of this work that I do is fully location independent. Perhaps one day I will go back to the full time travel lifestyle but for now, I am based in NYC. I work in social media for a major US airline, and pursue my own work as a travel specialist in the early mornings and evenings.
How do you manage working and traveling? Are there any specific apps you use to manage your work and lifestyle?
This is always a difficult balance, but traveling is a priority for me. I am an early bird! So I love to wake up early to get my work in as a travel specialist business, whether I’m traveling or at home. I don’t use any apps, but I most likely should. Right now my to-do lists are scattered notes and random thoughts.
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 am fully based out of NYC, and have been since my last five month trip ended about two and a half years ago. At this point, my trips are frequent, but shorter and packed with activities.
What seasons, if any, do you prefer to chase?
I’ll forever be chasing the warm months!
What destinations do you consider to be the best for digital nomads/location independent lifestyles? Why?
I absolutely loved Bali, Malaysia, and Vietnam for my stint as a digital nomad. The lifestyle is relaxed and affordable. I was able to create a great network of other inspiring digital nomads in these locations, which made getting my work done so much easier!
How do you go about making new friends/dating while traveling?
I often stay in hostels, which makes meeting other people super easy. I’ll choose a private room, if possible, if I need to get a lot of work done and need the space and privacy.
I’ve also met tons of my travel buddies through Instagram. It is an amazing platform for building a travel community.
How do you keep your long-distance friendships/relationships alive?
I talk to my friends and family all of the time, and factor seeing them into my travel plans as much as possible. When I was traveling long-term I wasn’t in a relationship, although my boyfriend is someone that I met while solo traveling. I continue to travel solo, even now that I’m in a relationship, but not for more than a few weeks at a time.
What is it that you like most about the traveler lifestyle?
I loved the travel lifestyle when I was traveling full-time. The constant adventures, and the ability to explore so many new places was amazing. I loved meeting new people and fueling my curiosity. I loved setting my own schedule and doing what I was most passionate about.
Is there anything you dislike about the traveler lifestyle?
When I was traveling full-time I struggled with the lack of routine. I worked hard to develop a routine for myself, but I was moving around often, which made this difficult. It was also tough constantly saying goodbye to the amazing people that I met along the way.
What’s something that’s currently missing from your life? Is there something stopping you from getting it?
Right now my life is exactly the way that I want it to be. Although I’d probably take an extra 5-6 hours in the day to get even more work done!
Is there something you know now about the traveler lifestyle that you wish you knew before making the switch?
If I were to switch back to a traveler lifestyle, rather than my shorter, more frequent trips, I would do a better job of actually staying in places for longer to get more work done. I am often entranced by new destinations, and am guilty of doing a whole lot more travel than work. If I were to go back to being a full-time traveler, I would create a better work routine for myself.
Do you see yourself living this lifestyle forever? Or will you go back to a more “traditional” life at some point?
I actually went back to the more “traditional” lifestyle about a year ago. It is a great option for me right now, and I am grateful to work at a company that I love. Of course, now that means that I just work double, as I have no intention of giving up my own work as a travel specialist! I do plan to go back to a more location-independent lifestyle at some point, but for now, this is the right place for me in my current life!
What’s your best advice for someone wanting to transition to a life of travel?
Just do it, and don’t let anyone pressure you into thinking that it’s an irresponsible decision. If creating a travel lifestyle is something that you are passionate about, find a way to make it happen. But plan appropriately before leaving or quitting a job. It is super important that you are financially secure if you want to leave a more traditional lifestyle and pursue a travel lifestyle. You never know what could happen, so I recommend saving 3-6 months worth of living expenses before starting your adventure. Ideally, you will create a lifestyle traveling that allows you to make a consistent, steady income, and you won’t need to rely on those savings at all.
Where can people connect with you?
People can connect with me on Instagram at @tavernatravels or they can shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.