Q: Please kick things off with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I’ve known for some time that I wanted to get into the blogger/content creator industry. A little over eight years ago, I started seeing my sorority sisters from college post their outfits to social media. They got to travel with brands and share their experiences. While I am not a fashionista, I knew I wanted to do something similar.
I think the wheels started turning in 2016 after my first big overseas trip to Dubai. A few months earlier, I quit a job I wasn’t happy in and without a backup plan in place. I was unemployed for a little over a month until I started working random office assistant jobs that didn’t make me happy either.
My best friend had moved to Dubai and knew I was going through a tough time and needed a reset. She told me to visit her, and her dad would book my flight — I could stay with her and just explore the country. It was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up and an experience I will be grateful for forever. I was there for two weeks, and I enjoyed documenting it all, from our visit to the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi to driving to Oman and having the beach all to ourselves.
About a year later, I changed my handle to what it is now, @greetingsfromjenn, inspired by the postcard-style murals you find welcoming you to its respective destination. I flirted with the idea of starting a blog and taking my social media to the next level. Still, I kept putting it off. My imposter syndrome was starting to kick in. I kept thinking how all these more successful travel bloggers visit far more exotic places on the regular compared to my mostly domestic trips and maybe one international trip a year — if I could afford it.
2020 rolled around, and the pandemic was what finally gave me the push to launch my blog and be more intentional with my Instagram account. First, I wrote about navigating unemployment after being laid off from my hotel sales and catering role in August. Then, when travel picked back up, I took a few road trips and “social-distancing” vacations, all of which I blogged about, slowly getting more traction.
Then in May 2021, I visited El Salvador for the first time, and a reel I posted of our Airbnb on the side of a cliff got over three million views, and my account grew by 10,000 followers in less than a week. That gave me the confidence to pitch myself to brands and build relationships with them.
I’m far from where I want to be, but I’ve enjoyed learning and growing these past couple of years. My success in my personal social media ventures has also allowed me to find a career in social media marketing, and I’m slowly building my portfolio currently working with clients in the beauty, medical and fitness industries. I also have a tourism and event management background, which I hope to incorporate into my own business.
Q: Why would you encourage international travelers to visit El Salvador during their tourism boom?
I enjoy encouraging people to travel and helping them curate an itinerary. During my trip to El Salvador, I had so many Salvis reach out to say how they’ve never been, or it’s been years since they last visited the motherland, and seeing my blog posts encouraged them to go. The main thing that kept them from going was fear, thinking it was too dangerous to plan a trip with their family there. But seeing my trip live on stories visiting the colonial town of Suchitoto, [seeing] the amazing view from our balcony in La Libertad and enjoying countless pupusas from roadside stands reminded them of how beautiful our country is despite the stories they might hear.
Q: Have you ever experienced creator’s block?
Yes. Sometimes I get in a funk and don’t feel like posting or get discouraged when a reel doesn’t perform as well as I thought it would and constantly compare myself to my peers. That’s just something I need to get past and focus on creating quality content that people can use as a resource for inspiration, education or entertainment while staying authentic.
Q: Are there any areas of content that you’d like to focus on in the future?
I want to work with more hotel brands, tourism boards and travel leaders this year. I would also love to host a group trip at some point!
Q: Do you have an inspirational creative process that you currently use to balance the content you post for your projected audience?
Be kind to your mind and listen to your body. It’s so easy for us to get caught up in life and feel guilty for not being productive all the time, but letting our body and mind rest is vital. When I get in those funks, I find myself feeling like every waking moment needs to be content for me to post, and thinking about it that way takes the fun out of it. So when that happens, I take some time to disconnect, reflect on the “why” and develop a fresh strategy. Some of my go-to’s include practicing yoga, spending time outdoors, reading a book, journaling and going to therapy.