LOOKS Travel Diaries

How to get the job of your dreams

Hello my dear travelers!! How is been your June so far? It’s incredible that we’re halfway through the year, right?

Since we are mid-year already I thought this will be a great opportunity to share my first ever interview as digital nomad. As you all know after my trip to Africa I spent almost month and a half in my lovely Panama where I had the opportunity to be interviewed by my friend Julissa Rodríguez from “Create the life of your dreams”.

This interview was a special one for me because I had the opportunity to share my experience about these past months. How did I got the Africa opportunity, what motivated me to follow my passion and quit my dream job, tips for Instagram and many other advices I give in this video.

As the video is in Spanish I’m putting here all the questions and answers for my English readers so no worries:

  1. During what time of your life did you decide to be a blogger and why?

Blogging was not something I planned. I started doing it for fun and maybe motivated other women’s out there. I’ve always been passionate for traveling. With my family, I used to travel a lot and when I started working for Ralph Lauren I use to travel nonstop. I worked for the brand almost 9 years. So, while traveling I use to post my daily outfits, my travels pictures and share it in my personal Instagram account. I remember my friends telling me why don’t you open a blog? But at that time I had no idea what a blog was! Overtime I started investigating and decided to open a fashion blog and it was a part time thing since I didn’t have much time because I used to work full time at Ralph Lauren. About 6 months ago I decided to be a full-time blogger and start discovering the colors of the world.

  1. At the beginning of any project is very common for people not to know who you are. Can you tell us how did you advertise yourself as a blogger?

I think working for Ralph Lauren was a great push for me and I would lie if I say it didn’t open any doors for me. I started making contacts in Panama and all around the region because I used to manage the Marketing and PR for the Latin America region. But I also have to say if you have your own DNA and people know your style they can recognize who you are and your work. I remember when I use to meet people in business meetings some of them automatically recognized me. Some of them weren’t sure and ask me like: Don’t you have a blog? Are you Marcy Yu?  Even in the elevators or bathrooms. I did felt a huge difference of people knowing who I was when decided like 2 years ago to change the focus of my blog. When I started, I was a fashion blogger (which now days this field its over saturated) So I decided to focus my brand and my blog fully as a travel blog. I think the respond from the people have been immensely huge. I think the reason why is because its more aspirational and you can connect in a better way with the audience. Some how they feel more identify because they can see themselves also traveling to the same places and they ask you for tips, etc

  1. How did you market yourself as Marcy Yu – Travel Blogger?

I think the quality of your content it’s what really defines you. I think I was also lucky enough to be the first in my country -region to do this field. Everyone was doing fashion content so it did open lot of opportunities for me and been a little different from the rest.

  1. We know you quit your dream job at Ralph Lauren to follow you adventure as a travel blogger. What made you make this decision?

I had with the brand almost 9 years and I still love the brand and probably will continue buying it forever lol. The reason why I decide to quit was because by January of last year I was given a great opportunity with National Geographic for a project in Asia. But at that time, I was still working in RL and I didn’t want to quit my RL job because the Asia project was for a short term. So, I ask my RL human resources department if they could be like a licensee (like a permission to work outside the office) but they denied this. I tried every possible way to keep my RL job and also do the Asia opportunity but it was not possible since RL is a big corporate company and they do have their own rules. I had to choose one of both. In the end, I kept my RL work and refuse the Nat geo Asia opportunity. After this moment, I knew I had to do something and I started asking myself: what I’m going to do in my life? I knew I need to make a decision: Do I want to keep working for a great company and pursue my career in the fashion industry or just follow my dream as a travel blogger and work for myself? Then by November of last year the Africa project came along and after what happen with the Asia project I didn’t want to have any regrets in my life so I quit my job. Honestly it was one of the hardest decision in my life! I was so depressed and sad all the time because after 9 years this was my home. I still have a huge love for the brand and my coworkers. But after 5 months seating here I can say I don’t have any regrets of anything of making that decision because it’s been such a great experience.

  1. Did you had fear of leaving your job and making that transition of not receiving your paid check every month to paid the bills?

Yes, of course! That was one of my biggest fears because I was worried how can I paid the bills. I remember telling my mom about leaving RL and she ask be how are you going to live and keep affording your lifestyle? My respond to her questions was I’m going to live of a blogging career LOL but she still doesn’t understand very well how does the blog thing works. But yes, it’s a big step because when you are almost 9 years in a company you feel yourself in your comfort zone. You know no matter what you will get paid. But been a blogger it’s like establishing your own company. At the beginning is very challenging is not easy but over time the good things will come along.

  1. About Africa I bet its such a great experience. Even some people from our audience ask how did you get this opportunity. Can you tell us about this trip and what this experience meant to you?

The experience is just amazing!!! I mean who doesn’t have in their bucket list do a safari? The Africa trip began because me and Robert where doing a campaign project with Kenya Tourism board where we were hired to capture content about their country- culture. It took us about a month to explore every corner of the country. After our experience in Kenya the Tanzania tourism board reached out and see if we could do something similar and we accepted. We spent 2 months there, after that we did Madagascar, Seychelles and Reunion.

  1. And the work was to review the hotels and the places you visited?

Ideally, we were hired only to capture content for Instagram but Robert and me created an Instagram campaign with other partners not only with the Tourism Board. If you have other partners in the campaign the chances to be more successful are higher. So, we also partner with hotels, airlines, tourism companies, etc. Where we did a cross promotion between all the account reaching to all partner’s audiences promoting their brands.

  1. Is it easy to get all these partners to make the campaign?

It’s actually very challenging to make any kind of marketing campaign. Anyone that had working in marketing will understand that is not easy lol! You need a lot of planning specially because Africa it’s a very difficult country in logistics. It took us more than 2- 3 months to plan and is very far away from home. For example, you need to get certain amount of vaccines, visas, transportation locally is not easy. But even though its hard it worth’s any time and penny spent because it’s just beautiful and a once in a life experience.

  1. Is there anything in this trip that made you change as a person?

Yes, my first destination in Kenya was Amboseli where you can see the best views of Kilimanjaro. And the first thing we did was visit the Massai village (where the African native people live) and I have to say it’s a experiences that change my life. Seeing with your own eyes their culture, their home, their dances, their singing and how they live is just amazing that literally change the way I use to see things in life. When I use to leave in Panama and I was still working in RL you are so focus and worried in you daily task and responsibilities that sometimes you don’t realize things around you or what’s happening in other countries. I remember that after work I use to go to the mall and just going shopping and spend money in stupid things that we actually don’t need. After visiting and seeing this with your own eyes you realize what’s happening in our world and that there’s a lot of people living worst things. That money could be used to spend to buy real things like food or water. So yes, this trip opened my eyes in other way and show me how I should be grateful to God for my life and to give more to people. I actually have a better sense of my expenses now than before.

  1. Climb Kilimanjaro, been with wild animals, and been outside of home are experiences that you find challenging?

Kilimanjaro was extremely challenging because was 8 days of camping. I mean I had done camping’s before but not under the snow lol!! So, it definitely changed my life but it did also challenge myself.  I remember almost at the top of the mountain I almost didn’t make it but thankfully my guide and Robert push me to do it and I did it. It’s was such a great and painful experience lol but sometimes challenging yourself it’s a good thing so after we climb down I felt so proud of myself.

  1. I saw your videos in IG and I saw you were so close of the animals. Weren’t you afraid?

Not really! We were always with our guides and the animals never felt threatened to you unless you do something crazy or show them your scare. Sometimes on safari some of the animals didn’t even care about us or some of them were just like very curious like the giraffes. But is very beautiful to see each of them in their natural habitat.

  1. How do you make hotels or companies invest in Marcy Yu? How do you get hotels to call you and wanted to visit their hotel?

I think been strategic I always try to choose places that not everyone is doing. Everyone is doing Paris, NY, etc.. I think choosing new places gives me a new exposure to get to a new audience and maybe been one of the few that have captured first. Sometimes the hotel find out I’m in the region because they saw my photos probably from their competitors and they contact me lol

  1. Do you make the approach to them or them to you?

It’s both ways but I have to say it’s more me that is making the approach to them. But I have also been approach by people that notice I was near the region for example Tanzania almost everything was because they saw our work in Kenya and they wrote to us. Instagram is such a powerful social media tool specially in Africa is been very effective. Having the opportunity to be in the region at that time was great because we were offered great deals.

  1. What challenges have you face on the path during this trip?

Hmmm I have to say my outfits LOL! I left Panama only with 2 suitcases for 5 months and I was literally telling Robert I had no more outfits because I couldn’t repeat looks but it was something that was worrying me even thought I didn’t repeat looks. Another one was spending my first Christmas and New Years without my family. Was extremely hard and sad for me. Instead of been in Costa Rica with my family I was with Robert doing safaris but at the end my family understood this was important for me so it was a sacrifice I need it for my blogging career. And the last one was by February that I was depresses of leaving RL. The all reason why I started thinking about it was because February is the fashion week month and all my Instagram was spam with Fashion week things and I started remembering my fashion week experiences and how would be my life if I still be working at RL. But as soon Fashion week ended my depression ended an I was back to the safaris lol!!

  1. What about your visit to the Massai Village? Didn’t you felt this experience a challenge?

Yes of course! Been able to visit and experience this make you realize how grateful you should be with your life. The Massai community sometimes don’t even have water where they live so those are problems that they may face every day. But at the same time no matter the issues they have I’ve to say the Massai people are the most grateful and caring humans I’ve meet in my life. The way the afford and live is by doing jewelry, furniture’s by hand and sell them to the tourist.

  1. Let’s talk about the followers!! I have seen people it’s been very obsess to growth their account that sometimes they buy the followers. Why do you think this happen?

I think people that buy followers is because they feel they can get better deals or collaborations with brands to invest in their media. However, I think companies are putting more attention to the followers or the numbers because I think no matter how many people follow you I think the real question to them is who is following that account? Are the followers from that account the right target? This happen a lot with accounts in the television industry where they have millions of followers but probably a big percentage of their followers are people that maybe cannot afford to spend that money to buy those brands or stay in that hotels. I think growing your account is very important but doing this in the organic way. You can tell when someone have fake followers by the number of followers times the amount of engagement. If your engagement is extremely poor but you have millions of followers then something is wrong. Overall, I think it’s still a learning process for many companies. I think some of them don’t care who is the target and they just want the account with the bigger following but honestly the world and many countries are facing difficult times so they think double before investing in a media. If you work in marketing at the end you need to make a ROI report (return of investment) and you will see the investments and results after the campaign are probably not good. When I used work in RL I had do all these things and choose carefully the right media and make these reports. So, I do think brands and companies are paying more attention in who should they invest.

  1. For the persons that want to growth their accounts in an organic way what recommendation can you tell them?

I think great content, reciprocate with your audience and been active at least post one every day. Sometimes I have posted 3 times a day I already feel I’m spamming my followers. I would also recommend do giveaways (not too many) but once in a while its’ an organic way to growth your account. Before I left Africa, I was in maybe 25k and now I’m up to the 50k. I think doing giveaways will introduce you to a new audience, even though you will probably lose some following after the giveaway ends (which is normal), you will also have gained lots. For example, there’s been several occasions where some people that enter the giveaway I posted on my account leave me a comment or DM me that says “The best thing about entering this giveaway was discovering your account”

  1. For the giveaways, I bet there’s some people asking about this. How does it work? Do you make the approach to others bloggers? Do you organize them?

It really depends I’ve only organized one last year and it’s a lot of details you need to plan and coordinate and after my first experience I didn’t do more. All the other giveaways I’ve posted on my account are because others bloggers approach to me to see if I want to participate. Basically, you choose a certain group of bloggers where each one paid a fee and with that money you will buy the gifts and get the sponsors. If you have big accounts participating in the giveaway (accounts over +million which are the sponsors) the chances to be more successful are higher. Then you set a date and hour where each of the bloggers will post a picture on their accounts at the same time. The audience participating that would like to win the giveaway have to follow the rules in the caption of the picture to enter your participation. Once the giveaway ends we choose the winner randomly but we make sure that person followed the rules.

  1. Marcy, do you see yourself ad a travel blogger on the long term? Do you think you will make a transition someday to another field?

Hmmmm I have not thought about that yet hahaha I think my goal is to travel to every country in the world lol but I would love to settle down, get married and have kids but even if I do that I will continue traveling for sure.

  1. What is your next adventure?

My next adventure is Madagascar and Maldives

  1. Which one are you more excited about?

I think both. I have been to Madagascar before but we had to stop the project because it was rainy season and many of the national Parks we were supposed to shoot had to close. But I’ve to come back in July- August. Maldives I have seen pictures and I’m a beach lover so I’m sure I will love it.

  1. Which have been your favorite destination from all the countries you have visited?

So difficult to choose because each one is so beautiful in its own way and each offers something very different. But from my top 5 I will have to say Seychelles I was just there a few days ago and really loved it. Madagascar is such a beautiful country it’s like a mini Paris, even though its consider one of the poorest countries in the world is just beautiful. San Francisco is my favorites city of the USA, Belize it’s also very beautiful and as well for Barbados.

  1. What advise can you give to someone that want to be a blogger?

I will recommend if any of the bloggers out there is doing this as a part time thing and have a job like I used too DON’T be afraid to risk it all. If you are young, and don’t have any commitments go for it. Remember nothing ventured nothing gained!

  1. From everything we have talk about is there’s something you like to share with the audience?

Don’t be afraid to take any risk!!!From my experience I can say that for example this year I’m turning 30th and the reason why I decided to took a risk and give a chance to my blogging career was because I’m not married, I’m still young, I don’t have any kids, I don’t have any commitments and I LOVE to travel. I wanted to do something else with my life than just work in the same company for many years. I just hated the feeling and the idea of been in a certain age and just have that doubt deep inside you of wandering what would my life bee if I ever did …. When I’m older I don’t want to have any regrets of the chances I didn’t took. I want to share all my experiences and adventures with my grandchildren’s.


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  1. Vanessa says on June 19, 2017

    Marcy, que increible! De verdad si que tienes el trabajo perfecto, el sueño de cualquiera! Me encanta tu blog, tus fotos son siempre maravillosas. Es impresionante la manera en que transmites la belleza y riqueza de cada lugar y destino que visitas. Los cuales son lugares magicos.
    Te felicito y que sigan los exitos, porque tu trabajo no es mas que el reflejo del esfuerzo y la dedicacion constante.

    Un abrazo



  2. KATE TIK says on June 15, 2017

    Thank you for sharing this!! It is so inspirational to see how you can truly live the life of your dreams. I absoltuel love your content and can’t wait to see what’s next for you.



  3. Christine Kong says on June 14, 2017

    Thanks for sharing this amazing interview. It is always nice to hear what other bloggers are doing and how they started and I love hearing their stories. You are such an inspirational blogger and I truly admire you for what you decided to pursue. Your travels are a dream and seriously one that people can only imagine doing. I know it is also hard work but you make it look so easy which means you are doing something right! Keep on creating amazing content! xoxo, Christine


  4. Candace says on June 14, 2017

    I really enjoyed this interview! I see so much of myself in your responses! I am actually leaving my corporate government job to pursue blogging full time; Friday is my last day! Yes, I have worries, but I know God has me taken care of and will provide. I will be ok and it’s nice to read that added motivation from you! You’re an amazing travel blogger 🙂



  5. Mariann Yip says on June 13, 2017

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I loved knowing about your job at RL and how you made the delicious to become s full time travel blogger. So glad you took that leap 🙂