A Distant Mentality Turns One!

This is been quite a year! I started this blog mainly as a travel diary and a much-needed creative outlet, but it turned into so much more.

Over the past year I've been able to share my family's previous trips, I've highlighted my favorite places in and around Los Angeles, and the blog also became a career advice column of sorts. When I started out, I knew that I wanted to teach others how to incorporate travel into their work but this outlet has really allowed me to do so much more in that area; inspiring others to pursue the field of psychology.

The year's highlights for me have been a road trip through the Southwest, exploring the far-flung Pacific Northwest and Alaska, a work-turned-family trip to Denmark, and collaborating with other creatives and academics.

I've learned so much this year and I thought I would share with you one of the biggest tricks to travel blogging; how I go about scoring travel sponsorships. Really it's a healthy mix of things I already do in my real work life, networking, good writing skills, and being dedicated to the effort. Here's the step by step:

  1. Once you have a travel spot in mind (in my case it usually revolves around a conference), start making a list of accommodations in the area. If you want to know which ones have worked with bloggers before, Google something like "Copenhagen hotel blog" and follow the blog sites for hotel names. 
  2. Next you will need to reach out. This is going to happen via email so scour the hotel sites for email addresses, preferably those for media or public relations associates. In your email, you will want to include the following: dates of travel, number of occupants, your blog's niche, and who your target audience is. Specify what you will highlight in your posts/ social media (museums, hotels, outdoors activities, etc.) and lastly inquire if they "work with travel bloggers." Include links to your site and social media under your signature so they can check you out and see if you are a good fit. If you want a sample template- email me! 
  3. Leave plenty of time for communication and research. I try to reach out as soon as I have secured my travel dates. There can be a lot of back an forth communication with a hotel and they don't like to accommodate discounted rates with short notice requests (plus it lacks professionalism). 
  4. Be ready to book within 48-72 hours after you are given a rate via email. Once you have committed to a hotel, try not to back out. Keep the rest of the travel community in mind and help encourage the positive working relationships with the blogging world! 

This technique absolutely worked for my first international trip as a travel blogger and I stayed in some lovely places in Denmark for next to nothing. I don't think I even had 300 followers on Instgram at that point! 

In closing, big thanks to my readers and I hope you are looking forward to some more valuable content and gorgeous photographs in our sophomore year! 


Cali Corner: My Favorite LA Sports Venue

I know, I know. Shocking that my favorite Los Angeles sports venue is not Dodger Stadium. It should be pretty obvious that I love baseball and I have been spending a lot of time near the Dodgers' home field lately, but when I think of my all-time favorite place to spend the day (and I mean all day), Santa Anita Race Track has my heart.

Nestled up against the San Gabriel foothills, the Santa Anita Race Track is a spectacular sight. Despite being in the midst of the great depression, the race track opened in 1934 to keep Southern Californians entertained. Many racing legends have been made here and you can still see celebrity trainers and jockeys on a daily basis.

But the aesthetics of the buildings are my favorite part. Green and yellow and properly Floridian, you truly feel like you are on a fancy vacation as soon as you walk through those gates. Additionally, the inside is over the top with tropical birds, golden chandeliers, and palm fronds wallpaper. Part indoor and part outdoor, the experience has something for everyone. There are shady benches next to sculptures and fountains and play areas for the kiddos in the center of the track (by way of underground tunnel, of course). 

My best suggestion for spending time here? 

Either come get breakfast early in the morning at Clocker's Corner where you can get table service while watching the ponies during their morning workouts. Or, arrive an hour or so before the first race and wander the grounds. Grab the "best turkey sandwich ever" in the clubhouse and choose your daily double.


The Saguaro Mommy & Me Getaway

I already wrote about why Palm Springs is so special to me and how it scorched its way into my heart throughout my childhood. It is for those reasons that sharing this special place with my daughter is all the more fulfilling. She's growing to love it too. What kid doesn't love splashing around in the pool all day and staying in a cozy new bed? My daughter used to refer to Palm Springs as "the white hotel" after we stayed in, you guessed it, a minimalistic white hotel when she was quite young.  But that all changed when we decided to do a mid-week getaway right before everyone descended on the area for Coachella. She now prefers "The Rainbow Hotel."

For a travel blogger, the Saguaro seems like an obvious choice.  I mean, hotels don't get more Instaworthy than the colorful and chic Saguaro Hotel & Pool (you can get day passes to the pool if you are staying elsewhere) situated a bit away from the main boulevard of Palm Springs proper. But before it hosted creative retreats and gave fashionistas bright backdrops, it was a place that my father and I spent many lazy days. The hotel is big enough to engage with many other desert rats, but feels like a boutique property with so much detail given to its aesthetic. Days at the pool fill the best parts of my memory. I remember live steel drums and BBQs around lunch time. Now the scene is great for adults and kiddos with a full bar and an excellent menu. The hotel provides a load of pool floats (think lobsters and flamingos) and people like to bring and share their own! 

The Saguaro makes it easy to stay contained at the property without wanting for much more.  Sure we ventured out at night for an entertaining teppan dinner and went for breakfast at The Ace Hotel, but we never felt stuck at the Saguaro throughout the day. There are bikes to rent to explore the area and a stellar Mexican restaurant on the property. Honestly I can't think of many places where I would go with the family, a group of girlfriends, or by myself but the Saguaro may just be it!

Age 12 at the same property

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