A woman with a high flying career in finance decided to quit her her job to travel the world after realising the corporate lifestyle didn’t fulfil her.
With a blog showcasing her sunkissed skin, flowing blonde hair and an array of exotic holiday locations – it is clear to see why traveller Kiersten Rich has become an internet sensation.
The 27-year-old Californian created the blog and Instagram account, The Blonde Abroad, which has a following of over 120,000 fans, and she now even gets paid to lead her globetrotting lifestyle.
From encountering ponies in Iceland, seeing starfish in the Panama San Blas Islands (pictured) to braving dizzying heights on Mt. Huashan in China, the explorer has had experiences many would dream ofThe American, who refers to herself as an adventure enthusiast, is proof that diligence pays off as she now enjoys plenty of income from her jet-setting lifestyle to places such as Whistler (pictured)
Her new life began in 2011 when Rich decided to leave behind her corporate job and went in search of beautiful destinations to document.
From encountering ponies in Iceland and sipping wine on yachts in Croatia to braving dizzying heights on Mount Huashan in China, the explorer has had experiences many would dream of.
Five years on, the photogenic wanderer recently managed to tick her 50th visited country off her list, celebrating New Year’s Eve in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with her mum, who had never taken an international trip before.
Rich told MailOnline Travel: ‘I imagined the first two years of my blog were going to be challenging and that I would potentially fail.
‘And by fail I mean nobody would read my blog. I worked my butt off, learned from the criticisms as well as the compliments and was open to evolving my brand to better connect with my audience.’
The 27-year-old Californian created a blog and Instagram which has a following of over 120,000 fans, and now even gets paid to lead her globetrotting lifestyle which has included sipping wine on a yacht off the coast of Pula, CroatiaHer new life began in 2011 when Rich decided to leave behind her corporate job and went in search of beautiful destinations to document. Pictured on a hotel water slide in Puerto Rico
In the first two years there was no sugar-coating her experience and she regularly had to blog and work for free.
‘If you want to start a blog to support your travels, you will most likely fail,’ she advised. ‘Begin with pure intentions, hard work and perseverance. So long as, in the end, you continue to love what you do you have succeeded.’
And the American, who refers to herself as an adventure enthusiast, is proof that diligence pays off as she now enjoys plenty of income from her jet-setting lifestyle.
Tourism boards, resorts or travel companies reach out to her to promote what their destination or property has to offer travellers.
‘In these situations, I’m paid to produce promotional content such as photography, videos or social media marketing for those clients,’ Rich enlightened. ‘But, I still travel to destinations to visit friends, or just for the sake of wanderlust.
‘As an entrepreneur or for any new business owner, there’s a saying that it takes at least two years for a new business to become profitable. But that success is not guaranteed.’
In fact her travel empire has grown so large, Rich now employs a dedicated content director who puts in 40 hours and more every week ensuring the website has interesting articles published daily.
The Blonde Abroad, which features travel tips, fashion, festivals and photography from around the world, also has a director of social media and a dedicated Pinterest expert.
But life on the road isn’t always rosy, and finding love can be tricky.
‘I am single. Dating is definitely one of the most complicated parts of being a digital nomad,’ she revealed.
‘Sometimes I get to hang out in a destination for a week or two. But often, on a campaign, I’m working the entire time and am only in a destination for a few days.
‘It definitely makes it hard to meet a partner, but it has introduced me to countless friends around the world.’
And over the course of the last few years, Rich hasn’t had a place to call home.
‘I actually only spent three months of last year in the USA (where I’m from), and of that, less than six weeks in my home state of California. Right now, I’m on the road so much that it doesn’t make sense to rent anywhere,’ she said.
The majority of her trips are solo but she has come to love travelling by herself despite initially thinking she would feel lonely.
More recently, however Rich has started a travel web series with a longtime friend, Courtney Scott, so they often get to tour different ‘girls trip’ destinations and share their experiences on their channel ‘Girls Meet Globe’!