California Dreaming with Liz Vaugin

Liz Vaugin

California based travel blogger and content creator Liz Vaugin, opens up about the struggles during the COVID-19 pandemic and shares the juicy scoop about the unknowns of the influencer culture. 

California based travel blogger and content creator Liz Vaugin (@exploringwithliz) has explored the world, to what it seems, inside out. From sunny Portugal to the famed island of the Gods, Bali, she has seen it all and so have her loyal Instagram followers that have been following her journey since 2015. 

Her dreamy and minimalistic Instagram feed, filled with gorgeous moments from her travels, causes nothing but envy, when you’re sat in a gloomy office writing up expenses in a diary you see more often than your own friends. 

It’s the moment you realise that it’s time to drop everything and leave, to an Island far, far away, where the sea is bluer than the sky and the sounds of the waves crashing against perfectly warm sand at the break of dawn brings more joy than the sound of ten alarms a day.

Lucky for you, you don’t have to go far to find the inspiration for countries to visit, places to stay or eat, because Liz has all of that covered in her Instagram feed. 

Liz Vaugin
Liz Vaugin opens up about the unknowns of the influencer culture

How it started…

Ever since Liz started posting travel and style content 7 years ago, especially after her travels to Europe and Asia, she has noticed a large influx of followers reaching out about “places to go, eat and stay”, and even “outfit details and links” where girls from all over the world would look for outfit inspiration for days out in the park or weekends away by the beach. 

Liz’s humble nature doesn’t see herself “as an influencer per se, just someone who posts their experiences.” Nonetheless, this travel and style brand that Liz has so carefully and masterfully crafted now has reached over 21k followers with engagement growing further every day. 

Full-time traveller only on the outside

Liz doesn’t have a lot of time on her hands to create content. She works “as a full-time mental health therapist at a private practice” and although she manages her own schedule, she typically works “long hours”, leaving content creation for “weekends and days off” typically when she is travelling. 

“The amount of work that goes into content creation and true growth” is completely misunderstood about influencer marketing according to Liz. “It all looks so easy, but the reality is that it can take a lot of time and effort, especially for someone who works a full-time job.”

When Liz does get a free minute in her day, she posts what she loves “to do, eat and wear”, and never “shares or persuades anyone to buy something or go somewhere where she wouldn’t go.”

Liz Vaugin in Korakia Pensione

Authenticity? What’s that?

To Liz, “authenticity is rare” to find, “authentic content is posting about a brand or item you truly believe in.”  That’s why Liz loves “working with brands that she already wears or uses.” To her, “it makes it so much more rewarding to advertise for them, it’s like a life goal that is accomplished.” 

Over the years she has “turned down so many campaigns” that she “genuinely could not see” herself “using or advertising”, even if it meant turning down “decent money.” Nonetheless, Liz feels contented with her decisions and is “okay” and “happy” with it if that means staying true to her audiences.

When asked about some of her favourite campaigns that she has worked on, Liz didn’t hesitate to name a few of her faves, including @dissh, @billyjboutique, @luckybrand, @14handswine and @lulus, which are all the brands that you can find on Instagram. 

The pandemic tomb

The last two years in the pandemic have shown to be the most challenging to Liz just like to many other businesses. The biggest setback to Liz was not being able to “travel and post new content for a while”. Despite that, Liz felt encouraged to learn to be “flexible and open to new ideas and ways of doing things” in order to keep up with the shift in the influencer marketing over the last few years. “There’s always going to be changes that everyone will need to keep up with to be successful” and although “it can be super frustrating” it’s the “reality”. 

Liz has focused on reels to grow audiences further like many other influencers out there, but she doesn’t deny that she wishes she had “hopped on them earlier”. 

Still, to Liz, the biggest benefit to come out of COVID was the shift of fake Instagram content to more real, unfiltered, and unedited content, which Liz “loves” as it has made her life, just like ours “so much easier”.

So, here’s to more real content, imperfectly perfect YOU and more dreamy destinations with Liz Vaugin. Check out her Instagram for all the travel inspo.

By Beata Gerasimovaite