Interview by @_latoyaallen || Images by @bri.youmetravel

Would you please introduce yourself?

“I’m Briona, a food & travel addict who spends way too much time on Instagram. I’m currently doing social media and events for an international hotel brand. My side hustle is creating custom itineraries for clients of my travel company, You Me Travel Co (@youmetravelco). Formally, I worked remotely doing social media and marketing at Yelp. I miss it a lot and am trying to work my way back to the remote/digital nomad life.”

When people think about remote work, they don’t often think about working in social media marketing at large companies like Yelp.  How did you find that role? What kind of work did you do?

“That’s true- it was a really good catch. Yelp actually started as an internship for me and I just found it by looking for large media/digital companies with internship programs. Upon graduating from college, I was promoted from Marketing Intern to Marketing Coordinator. I worked mostly remote, but would be in person for monthly meetings or events. My boss was really awesome and spoiled me by allowing me to hop around Europe for three weeks while working.”

“I did social media for our local market, planned and executed monthly Yelp events and worked with local businesses to optimize their business listings on Yelp. It was a really great first job and the best internship I’ve ever had. I still wish that I was there all the time.”

 “I worked mostly remote, but would be in person for monthly meetings or events. My boss was really awesome and spoiled me by allowing me to hop around Europe for three weeks while working.”

Favorite place you’ve traveled to that I can add to my bucket list?

“My favorite place that I’ve traveled to has been Marrakech, Morocco. The feeling I got instantly from stepping foot in Africa for the first time is irreplaceable. Also, the experience that I had there connecting with the locals was seriously life-changing.”

When I first reached out to you, I didn’t know you create custom itineraries for clients.  Let’s say someone is reading this and is planning a trip to Marrakech.  What kind of advice, or travel tips, would they get from your itinerary?

“Aw, yes I do! For every itinerary (Marrakech included)  clients get tips on the best places to see like Jardin Majorelle, where to buy the best souvenirs, immersive tour experiences and accommodation recommendations. Every itinerary offers opt-in travel (safety) tips for black travelers. The Marrakech itinerary even includes a discount at a really beautiful riad.”

What is the one piece of travel advice you wish you would have had 5 years ago?

“I wish that someone would’ve told me about all of the options there are for traveling and working abroad. I studied abroad in college and that sparked my love for travel, but I wish someone at my high school was telling me to go see the world and how to do it

 

Screen Shot 2018-01-24 at 7.28.26 PMOne piece of career advice you wish you would have had 5 years ago?

 “My career is less than five years old as I just graduated from college earlier this year. Although I’ve been working since I was 14, I wish someone had explained to me that entrepreneurship isn’t just reserved for an amazing, incredibly innovative idea. My teachers never made entrepreneurship seem attainable. It was this grand thing that they made seem like you had to invent the wheel to achieve. There was no one telling me back then that I could use my creativity and skills to be a freelancing entrepreneur.”
“Although I’ve been working since I was 14, I wish someone had explained to me that entrepreneurship isn’t just reserved for an amazing, incredibly innovative idea. My teachers never made entrepreneurship seem attainable.”

 What do you do for work-life balance?

 “I use travel as a means to achieve work-life balance. In my current role, I’ve figured out ways to swap days so that I can have a long weekend without using PTO or not getting paid. Rituals like meditation, occasional yoga, spraying lavender in my room and lighting candles really help. Also, cooking and drinking wine really make me feel like I have a life outside of work. Luckily, my commute to work is only twenty minutes so I never really feel burnt out in that regard.”

 

 

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