We caught up with Chelse Hensley, a southern girl who's got it all figured out. She talks about everything from running her own facebook marketing agency, to traveling with curly hair, and how travel itself inspires her to be more productive in her work.
When did you first know you were a traveler?
When I was 25 and took my first trip abroad to London. The sights, sounds, energy, and freedom clicked with something inside me and I knew this was what I wanted to do.
What did you love most about London on your first trip?
My first trip to London was coincidentally my first trip abroad so I was enamored with the ability to keep it simple and experience what I could in addition to the typical tourist sightseeing. I vividly remember sitting in a cafe across from my hotel, drinking a cappuccino just watching the double decker busses and people go by.
It was such a simple moment, but one that I love most.
Where have you traveled so far as a solo traveler? What are your favorite locations and most impactful trips?
I tend to really dig locales that are of the opposite sides of the spectrum touristically. I love the gritty vibes of Thailand as well as the sparkling streets of Copenhagen, because each of them leans in to their unique character. What I don't like are cities that still haven't "found themselves" I guess you could say. I recently spent a month in Sofia, Bulgaria and felt that way. Although the history was incredible, the mood was very "meh." It's something that's difficult to articulate, but you know when you're in a city with magic and in one without.
What are your favorite items that you always travel with?
I couldn't live without a travel sized hair gel. I have crazy curly hair and chasing summer around the world also means chasing the frizz. I also cannot get on a plane or train without my eye mask so I can tune the world out and get some sleep. It works wonders when you're on a layover or cramped in coach on the train.
I CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT MY BACKPACK It's the best $100 I ever spent. It's theft proof and the perfect size for traveling via plane or train. I take it to dinner, to da clerb, on beach days it comfortably fits a towel and sunscreen.
It's probably the most well-traveled backpack to ever exist haha. For some reason, I don't even take it off for pictures, which I'm just now noticing? Here's me and my backpack in full glory. 😉
Tell me about your packing style:
I like to pack just enough, and all in a carry-on rollerbag.
What do you do for work?
I am a Social Media Marketer who specializes in Facebook Advertising campaigns for small to medium businesses and international e-commerce stores.
Do you find it hard to do the kind of work you do while traveling?
Not at all! I find that I'm most inspired and productive while traveling. As a Social Media Marketing specialist, I get the opportunity to talk to other businesses about how they use social media or what they're looking for so that I can take that knowledge and apply it to my own clients.
Do you keep a daily routine?
That's a negative. I mean, daily routine as far as --> wake up, eat some meals, go to bed at the end of the day. <--- That's about the only routine I'll stick to. It is TOUGH when you travel to keep a routine, so I just lean into the uncertainly and let the day take me wherever it goes.
Do you tend to work in cafes or at home?
I'm pretty distracted so when I work, I WORK. I pick a spot at home, hunker down with a cup of coffee, and zone everything out for as long as I can. If I need to do non-computer work like brainstorming or mapping out ad funnels, I'll take a notepad to a cafe or co-working station and let the ideas flow in.
Can you tell us about what kind of outfits you pack with you to keep cute in photos and not be an overpacker? Are you into capsule wardrobes?
I tend to buy mostly secondhand anyways for ethical/minimalism reasons, so what I'll do is pack my carry-on with clothes that I'm aaaalmost finished with, then replace those along the way with unique finds in whatever city or country I'm in. So I'm constantly rotating my clothing, thereby making my little ole carry-on an endless wardrobe.
See: this shirt came from a little store somewhere in Spain and I wore it EVERYWHERE! I think I left her somewhere in Germany when it was too cold, but she served me well. 😉
|Exploring Historical Xàbia and it's beautiful churches and winding cobblestone alleys today 🇪🇸|
How do you make friends while traveling?
Making friends is very hard while traveling for short periods of time. In the beginning of being nomadic, I spent two months in Thailand which is a nomad hotspot that I chose on purpose knowing I'd meet people. I met a few girls at a weekly Digital Nomad Girls lunch and even ended up visiting them around the world afterwards!
Now, I tend to only go to places where I know I already have friends who will be there. The Digital Nomad Girls retreats are also an amazing investment to meet like minded women and spend a week having fun together. Those retreats have been life changing for making friends!
What advice would you give to a new traveler?
Don't overpack! Starting out, you'll be excited and imagine all the instagram photos you'll be taking around the world and you'll want to pack the most adorable outfits with matching shoes. Stop right there because you will hate yourself about 3 days in when the weight of the suitcase overcomes you and you spend more time sifting through clothes than what it's worth. Minimalism - is - your - friend.
You can learn more about Chelse and her team on her website Recharge Social Media.
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