The Bahamas

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The Bahamas

Picture perfect beaches is what makes the Bahamas such a popular travel and insta-worthy destination. Every year for my birthday, we try to take a trip somewhere in warmer temps, especially since my birthday is in December and it’s usually cold.

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What to do and what to see

DOWNTOWN, BAHAMAS: We stayed at the Riu hotel, a short taxi ride to downtown. Downtown was filled with lots of shopping and places to eat. Definitely a place to find great food.

EXUMA, BAHAMAS: The Bahamas is also known for swimming with pigs and sharks. That’s exactly what George and I did: the Exuma excursion, which I highly recommend anyone traveling to the Bahamas to do. We took a 30 minute plan ride to Exuma, where we then took a short boat ride to our first stop: the swimming pigs. The pigs were not shy at all, which is why our tour guide recommended we be careful when feeding them. They were super comfortable with people, especially if you had food (obvi).

We then took another short boat ride to our second location: swimming with nurse sharks (insert nervous emoji here). I was super nervous and anxious just because… well SHARKS, duh!don’t freak out, don’t freak out. Again, our tour guide made sure we understood the rules when swimming with these sharks because they could bite. Luckily, I made it back with all limbs, phew. It was honestly not as bad as it seemed. Now I can say I swam with sharks.

Third location was the sand beach – one of my favorites. It’s one of those places where it just looks better in person. Photos just didn’t do it justice. It was beautiful. I could’ve stayed there all day. Lunch was next, and it was ah-mazing! I had the chicken sandwich and George had the fish burger. It was so fresh and delicious.

Our last stop for the day was the iguana beach, where we got to feed them. They were also very friendly and not shy at all. So glad I could check this off my bucket list!

ROSE ISLAND: We also visited the Rose Island, a secluded island where we got to swim in the ocean, snorkel, have delicious Bahamian food, and see more pigs.

This trip was definitely one for the books, and a birthday trip to remember. It was so much fun and I had a blast. Spending it with George and close friends. What more can a gal want? Amirite? 😉 Best birthday EVER!

 

xo

What it’s Really Like on Blogger Trips

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What it’s Really Like on Blogger Trips

Before I get into this topic, I wanted to start off by saying how very thankful and blessed I am to be a part of this blogging community that once didn’t exist nor was considered to be a real job. I meaaaan, is this real life?! I am very fortunate and grateful that I have turned a hobby into my career. And all of this would not be possible at all whatsoever if it weren’t for the continuous support of my blog and social media friends – YOU! Thank you.

Now where were we…? Oh yes!

 

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Social media is really funny. While no one most do not like to share anything negative on social media (speaking for myself as an influencer), it’s really easy to judge someone based off what they choose to share on social media. This goes without saying, don’t believe everything you see on social media – DON’T! Especially when you see all these amazing trips bloggers go on. Wait – let me rephrase that. Blogger trips ARE indeed fun and am forever grateful for every opportunity I have had as a blogger, however; it isn’t always what it seems to be.

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photos: Ryan Chua

Allow me to break it down for you.

Here’s what really happens behind the scenes on these blogger trips that we don’t talk about…

Before blogger trips:

  • Work on media kit and proposal letters. Outreach to brands to partner with me during my trips. Whether this is for complimentary stays in hotels, accommodations, or sponsored post collaborations. I love a free trip just as much as the next person, however, free doesn’t pay my bills. At the end of the day, I gotta eat.
  • Style my outfits beforehand. Taking photos of each look will help and make your life easier when shooting back-to-back photos.
  • Have inspiration photos to make sure I capture the content I and/or the brand is asking for.
  • Pack the essentials: camera (very important), chargers (very very important), the product I am shooting, etc…
  • Scout the location and area I am traveling to: hotel, outside of hotel, restaurants, shopping centers, etc. for outfit photos. Backgrounds are key.

During blogger trips:

  • Start documenting EVERYTHING on SnapChat, Insta-stories (because if you didn’t snap it, didn’t even really happen?!), Instagram, Vlog, and Blog.
  • Start creating content: outfit photos, product, etc.. depending on the collaborations.
  • Make time to eat in between shoots.
  • Then begin editing content, and start posting on Instagram.

 By this time, I have yet to enjoy the hotel, location, beach. To be completely honest with you, I have yet to really enjoy the hotel pool when I travel. Every Most photos I have shared on social media laying out on the beach or lounging by the pool have only been for a quick second or for the gram. I’ve never actually done any of the above in “real life” during my trips – lol. Sounds silly when you think about it. Sounds even more silly as I’m typing this post. But that’s blog life. That is my life when traveling for work.

After blogger trips:

  • Unpack.
  • Catch up on real life for a little bit. Then get back to work.
  • Begin uploading all of your content, and start editing.
  • On top of that – catch up on other work: respond to emails, follow up, prep for upcoming shoots and other collaborations, etc.

Although I have yet to master this whateveryouwanttocallit, I have learned that setting aside a few hours in the morning to shoot everything, has definitely helped me enjoy the rest of my stay. And as much as I try to set a plan and shoot all content first thing to get it out of the way, things always come up and not everything goes as planned. Life, right?! There’s a lot of work that is put into all of these trips and vacations. A lot of people don’t understand or realize that these trips are a lot of work and a huge part of our jobs. Creating content isn’t just taking a photo. It’s not as easy as point, shoot and upload. It’s so much more than that. It’s a lot of work but a lot of fun, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 I love posting in real time on social media as much as possible because it feels more authentic and right for me, but that’s not how it always works out when traveling. So one thing I have learned and would advice any other influencer is to post all your travel content after your trip to fully enjoy your stay. This will make it feel more like a vacation and less stressful. As a creative, you always have to make sure you are in a happy place and stress-free in order to produce and create amazing content.

PLEASE NOTE: this post is in no way of me complaining. I am simply sharing with you all what happens prior from posting vacation photos on Instagram, and during these trips, and the amount of work behind it that you don’t hear about. I love what I do, and my goal was to turn what I love doing into a career. Beyond blessed.

I’m pretty sure I left out a few other things, but this is just to give you an idea of what goes down behind these blogger trips and vacations. If you have any questions or feedback on this topic, feel free to leave a comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts, tips and what works for you when traveling.

xo

Overnight Getaway – Be Right Back!

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photo: Ryan Chua

Overnight Getaway – Be Right Back!

Happy almost Friday my kitty-cats!

I am headed to the Pala Casino Resort & Spa today for an overnight getaway. I’m super excited and cannot wait, because a little R&R is definitely in order.

To find out what I’ll be doing there during my stay, follow along on Instagram @melrodstyle, and Snapchat (username: melrod1206), where I’ll be sharing all the behind the scenes, fun activities, and so much more.

xo