Dream Chaser is a new series on The Wellist profiling people from all over the world in different professions specifically on how they’ve chased after their dreams and are enjoying a life well-lived.
Kelly Mazur is the brains and beauty behind the travel blog Kelly Ella Maz. She is a full-time travel blogger exploring the world with her handsome boyfriend Paul who is the marketing whiz and photographer for her blog. Besides the fact that they are just about the cutest couple ever, Kelly is an incredibly gifted writer.
Polish decent, Canadian raised and now travelling full-time, Kelly’s sense of adventure is ever-growing. Fed up with the typical 9-5 job she convinced her boyfriend Paul that they should both quit their jobs and travel full-time. It was the best decision of her life, and so far they’ve lived in Barcelona and Sydney… and visited countless other cities. She’s always looking for new ways to find the cheapest flights, and loves sharing her latest budget tips with readers.
I’ve known Kelly for about a year now and am continuously captivated by her articles and posts. She is always coming out with new ideas and content to keep her blog interesting. We bonded over the fact that we are both what you would call “budget luxury travelers” and five-star hotels are where we prefer to rest our heads.
What inspired you to start a travel blog? What were you doing at the time when you started your blog?
I really wanted to start a blog and travel quickly became the obvious category for me. I love travelling, it’s a huge part of my life and I really love sharing my travel knowledge and experiences with other people. I started my blog at the craziest time of my life…. I was working full time, I was a full time student (nights, weekends & online) and I was in a long distance relationship. I was already so busy but it was an escape for me!
When did you decide to quit your desk job in order to travel?
I was really sick of working 40 hours a week at a job I hated, just counting down the weeks until my next vacation. I was tired of only enjoying 10% of my life and wanted to change that – in a big way!
What was the most difficult thing about leaving your job?
Nothing. Absolutely nothing!
After you quit your job, you went to Spain? Why did you pick Spain and what are your thoughts on expat life there?
The first time I went to Barcelona I felt at home. There was a part of me that instantly knew I’d be living there one day. My boyfriend laughed at me at the time, but two years later we took a one way ticket to Barcelona. We both really loved living in Spain, the lifestyle was amazing. It was such a healthy mix of fresh foods, beach trips and outdoor yoga everyday. It was just incredible! We left Spain because there’s more we want to see in the world, but I’m positive we’ll return.
What has been the most difficult part about being a travel blogger?
The tech-side of things. I thought I’d just be doing what I love (writing!), but instead I spend half my time worrying about SEO, HTML and Google Analytics.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to quit their job to travel?
Don’t waste time thinking about it – JUST DO IT. If you want something bad enough you can always find a way to make it happen.
As travel bloggers we get some pretty cool perks. What is the best free perk you’ve had to date?
That’s an easy one! The complimentary hotel stays are definitely the best perk. Hotels can be pricey and having this expense eliminated has been essential in allowing us to travel as much as we do. I love each and every one of my hotel sponsors for allowing me this lifestyle, and I work my butt off for them in return to show my appreciation!
After Spain, you went to Australia. What is life like there?
To be honest, life in Australia didn’t meet my expectations. I expected a laid-back, fun city and Sydney is the opposite. But, we’re moving to Queensland next so maybe I’ll like it there better! I also think I set the bar too high by living in Barcelona first.
What are you working on now that has you particularly excited?
For 2015 my motto is “Do Less with More Focus”, so I’m slowing down a bit. I’m focusing on improving my writing skills, pumping out killer content and planning some kick-ass press tours. I have plans for two more books but those are on hold until the end of this year.
Lastly, what are your plans for 2015? Are you staying in Australia? When do you plan on going back to Canada?
The first half of 2015 will be spent in Fiji and Australia and the second half will be in South East Asia. Right now I think we’ll return to Canada in April or May of 2016.
Some Fun Questions
- HOMETOWN: Guelph, Ontario, Canada
- FAVORITE DESTINATIONS: Paris
- TOP OF YOUR BUCKET LIST: Maldives!
- STRANGE TRAVEL HABIT: Re-organizing hotel rooms. Seriously, why are there signs, books and brochures all over the room? The first thing I do at a hotel is stick all that junk in a drawer. I need a zen atmosphere to work and relax!
- IN YOUR CARRY-ON: Mostly electronics. Between my laptop, iPad, hard drive and three cameras there isn’t much room for anything else. Water, a few toiletries and usually a versatile cotton dress incase my suitcase is lost.
- PLAN IT OUT OR WING IT ON THE GO: Bathroom breaks are included in my daily itineraries…
- YOUR TRAVEL HERO: Fashion blogger Jessica Stein for sure. Not only has she made a huge career out of her blog, but she also travels to some of the most beautiful places in the world. Maldives one week, Jamaica the next, then off to London. What impresses me about her is that she literally jets from one side of the world to the other, then back again – and she looks flawless doing it!
- TRAVEL PACE: Full-time, although we often rent apartments for 3-6 months at a time so that we can explore certain areas at a slower pace.
- COUNTRY & CONTINENT COUNT: A surprisingly low amount: 13 countries and 4 continents. It’s hard to get those numbers up when you travel as slow as we do!
- STRANGEST TRAVEL EXPERIENCE: Accidentally using my boyfriends passport on a flight (he has two) and the custom agents never noticed.
- I TRAVEL BECAUSE… I’m addicted to exploring new cities and exotic beaches!
Be sure to head on over to Kelly Ella Maz for more on Kelly and to read some of her amazing articles. Be sure to follow Kelly on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on her travels.
A big thank you to Kelly for taking the time to let me interview her. All photos used in this post are courtesy KellyEllaMaz.com.
If you are interested in being featured in the Dream Chaser series, please get in touch with me via the contact form on this page. Let it be your time to shine… and brag a little!