Last Updated on April 7, 2022
Connect with Olivia
Girl With Blue Sails travel blog
Olivia Blodgett is a travel blogger, photographer and content creator from Southern California. Olivia runs the travel blog and Instagram account called Girl With Blue Sails. Olivia seeks new experiences, destinations and products to recommend to her followers and encourages them to set sail on a journey of their own. You can find travel resources, packing lists, travel insurance information, recommended booking sites and more at girlwithbluesails.com or follow Olivia on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background, including what led you to start your blog Girl With Blue Sails?
Thank you. And thanks for having me. I’m so happy to be here. Yes. I’m always excited to talk about my travel blog. I always say I’ve always loved two things in life, travel and writing. Ever since I was little, I grew up just exploring the US on road trips with my family, got the love of travel from my parents, and I’ve just always been a writer my whole life. I majored in creative writing in college. So naturally, during the pandemic, I thought I want to do something.
I finally want to take the leap and combine my two passions of travel and writing. So I have a travel blog where I travel all over and I do blog posts writing about my past travels, my current travels, and just giving the readers tips on what to do, what to avoid, when to go, best tips. And I’m loving it so far.
Your imagery is stunning and you’re also featured prominently within much of the imagery. So do you partner with a photographer when you travel and do you take a lot of the imagery yourself?
My husband is my photographer, the begrudging photographer. He goes with me on my trips everywhere. And I plan the photo shoots. Usually I’ll plan a location. I’ll look ahead of time online. And like that place would be great. I’ll get dressed up and everything. And so we’d go out there and I’m like, “Shoot it like this. Shoot it like this.” And he’s a sport. He does it so well. And he comes up with his own ideas too. And then I love editing photos. So I love just making them look super cool. Good contrast, good lighting. And it’s a fun thing that we share.
Well, that is a fantastic collaboration. Kudos to him. He does a great job as well.
Of the 17 countries you visited and many of the destinations that are featured on your site, it seems like Yosemite is a location that stands out. I mean, it’s prominently featured on your top nav. Can you tell us a little bit about your experiences at Yosemite?
Yosemite is my most favorite place in the world. I love to feature it prominently on the blog. Yes. Like you said, it’s one of the top things click on Yosemite and there I’ve got travel guides, travel tips, packing list, just all of my information. And I’m still adding to it as we go.
The short story for you is I’ve been going to Yosemite every year of my life with my family. Every summer we’d go. So it has a nostalgic place in my heart, right?
And when I met my husband, it turns out he and his family went to Yosemite every summer growing up as kids. And we’re like, “Oh, my God.” So we started going together every year. And then that’s where he actually proposed, in Yosemite with the falls in the background at the beautiful Ahwahnee Hotel. So it just holds a very special place in my heart. And anytime anyone asks me, “Where do I go in California?” Go to Yosemite National Park.
Did you say that the blog came out of the pandemic or did you have it before?
It came out of the pandemic. Yep.
It’s unreal. Because it looks so established and I mean, I guess we have lived through two years of it, but still!
Absolutely. And it’s probably a question you get all the time, but what have been some of the most memorable destinations beyond Yosemite that people should check out on the blog that you feature?
I always say my two favorite destinations are Ireland and Italy. The two Is. They’re both so different, but the one thing that they have in common is the people. The people are the most welcoming I’ve ever met in the world. The food is great in both places, but oh my gosh. So full of culture, so beautiful. But I’ve been back to each of those countries several times. I love them so much, so I can’t get enough. So that’s what I recommend every time.
Along the way, what are some of your favorite brand collaborations to date?
Good question. My favorite one I think was I did a collaboration with RTIC products. R-T-I-C. They do the coolers and insulated products. They sent me awesome cooler, a small cooler bag, and insulated water container. It inspired a trip to Joshua Tree, which turned out to just be one of the most beautiful trips I’ve taken because we went to the Cholla Cactus Garden at sunrise.
Oh my gosh, there’s a post on it on my blog. One of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. I don’t know if you know cholla cactus. They’re really fuzzy. They call them teddy bear cactus.
We’re based in Scottsdale, Arizona, yeah.
There you go. Well aware. Yeah. The teddy bear cactus. When the sun rises it gives them an orange glow and it was so beautiful. We took so many photos and we wouldn’t have planned that shoot if it weren’t for the sponsorship with RTIC Coolers. So that was my favorite to date.
They are beautiful. Hopefully, you stayed away from them because they’re called teddy bear for a reason.
I came out unscathed. Yes.
Wonderful. I still want to check out Joshua Tree. I go back and forth between Palm Springs. I’m always like, “I should get up there and see.” I need to do it. So between working for a tour operator, traveling the world, and creating stunning content for your social media and your blog, how do you structure your average day, or maybe it’s easier to break it out by week, to accomplish all your goals?
so I have a great company that I work with. I work nine to five, so I work 40 hours. And I luckily have a nice early shift. So I get a couple of hours in the evening to myself, which is going straight to the blog, straight to travel planning. I try and do one blog post a week. And I’ve been keeping to the goal several weeks. That’s this year’s 2022 goal. I’ve been doing well, but one blog post a week. So I spend sometime every day on that. And then also sometime in that timeframe planning new trips.
I’m planning a trip right now to Catalina Island to do some content soon in May. So it’s just a lot of fun. I think my brain is always going in that bit of free time I have between work and making dinner, for example. And then I take that time in the evening to just spend me and my husband having a nice relaxing evening. And that works for me.
We’ve seemed to move past the worst of this pandemic. How does your travel schedule look for the rest of the year?
It’s looking good. I have some trips planned right now to see some family soon and we won’t be doing much content creation there, but we are planning the Catalina trip. Let’s see. I think we have a Las Vegas coming up. I’ve been trying to do stuff that’s close within driving distance and that’s mostly outdoors. Less chances of it being canceled because of pandemic. And also it allows me to get there and back on a long weekend. So other things for the summer include probably Yosemite because I mean, I can’t stay away. And just other California trips.
You mentioned Palm Springs. I’ve driven through Palm Springs, kind of a backward story to what you were saying. I’ve been through, but I’ve never stopped and explored the area. So Palm Springs has been on my list as well. So just sort of California stuff. My job’s really great. They’ll give me a Friday off so I’ll do a three day weekend. Drive up, stay up a couple nights, take a bunch of photos, see as much as I can. And then recently I just discovered Austin as well. I went with my friend and we just created so much, saw so much, took so many photos, and I want to go back with my husband and do more, explore Austin. So that’s sort of the big one that maybe we’ll save for the fall.
Note: Influencer Spotlight interviews are edited for time and clarity.
Andrew is the Head of Client Services for Intellifluence and has a background in communications. He is committed to helping brands get the most out of their campaigns and is the co-host of the Influencer Spotlight series.