It’s the kind of news you dream of hearing but don’t think could actually happen and then when it does, it’s hard to believe it.
I found out earlier in the year that Lonely Planet was expanding their brand ambassador programme and I was one of the lucky few that had been chosen. I made the most embarrassing shriek of my life in my New Zealand hostel common room and celebrated with a can of tuna (the pot noodle just wasn’t gonna cut it).
And now, it’s all official and announced, I’ve had my induction in the office (and, I’m starting to believe it)!
If you don’t know my backstory, I only started travelling properly in 2014 and over the last couple of years, I’ve self-taught myself photography, videography and web design to keep my life on the road going.
To now be able to work with a brand I respect so much and who really share my passions and ethics when it comes to travel is beyond exciting!
What does being a Lonely Planet Trailblazers mean for me?
To quote Lonely Planet: ‘These Pathfinders have graduated to become fully-fledged ambassadors for Lonely Planet – so you can expect to see a lot more of them on lonelyplanet.com and beyond from now on.’
Over the past eighteen months, I’ve had some incredible assignments with Lonely Planet and I’m hoping to have more of the same as this partnership expands. I love that they are such an open team to work with and pitches go both ways meaning any destination, idea and story is open for discussion.
Personally, it has given me the confidence to really commit to photography, videography and blogging full time from January. By choice, I generally pay for all my own travel which can rack up the costs when it is 365 days a year. The plus side of this is I can pick where I go and what I cover, the downside is I’ll spend a lot of time doing web design work to make ends meet. As of January 27th, I’m moving to Portugal, making a base and excited for the extra time that will allow me to focus on making quality travel content.
What kind of stuff will I be working on with LP?
The best thing about being a Pathfinder is the variety of projects I’ve been able to work on. From presenting videos about the culture in Queensland to filming the epic Lares Trek in Peru, I’m really hoping to focus on video next year more.
I’ve also penned some posts on the website from places such as Singapore, Edinburgh and Montenegro. Taken the LP Snapchat to explore Taranaki, Japan and The Bellarine Peninsula. Dished out a few Instagram takeovers from Oman, Portugal and The Balkans and been able to get involved with plenty more cool travel stuff.
Essentially, it’s varied, exciting and rewarding – three of my favourite things. The best part? The team at LP are awesome and really do take the time to help the Pathfinders community develop their talent and style.
What you won’t find us doing? Writing Guidebooks. The LP authors are experts in their destinations and spend months creating the famous blue book, as well as the years previously they have spent exploring/living in that country. You want a pro writing those bad boys and the reality as bloggers is we generally don’t stay in one place long enough to know the whole country inside out.
How you can join the Lonely Planet Pathfinders family…
If you are a travel blogger, Instagrammer, YouTuber/Videographer or a travel photographer then come join the lpPathfinders team.
Taken straight from the LP site: ‘We want to foster the best talent out there and help share your incredible stories with a global audience. As a Lonely Planet Pathfinder you’ll be able to take on a range of tasks, from writing content for our website and sharing tips and advice with the Lonely Planet community to becoming an official brand ambassador. Whether you’re new to the scene or a seasoned pro, there’s a place for you with Lonely Planet Pathfinders.’
It’s not all about big numbers at LP, they want to find people with a passion for travel who can share stories from the road.
The programme has three stages. Community, Assignment and Trailblazer but it’s not set in stone, some people jump up or get assignments early on. Initially, at community level, you can get involved by sharing your work on the monthly round-ups and get noticed by the team at LP. After that, all of the above is a possibility.