Laura Begley Bloom is a travel editor turned entrepreneur who recently made the switch from the corporate world. After working at companies like Yahoo, Travel + Leisure, and Conde Nast, she decided to start her own company in 2016. Begley Bloom Media is a content-strategy agency that works with travel, luxury lifestyle, and media brands. Her media clients include Forbes, Food & Wine, and Family Traveller, where she’s the chief content officer. On the corporate side, she has worked with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Holland America cruise line, The Shops at Columbus Circle in New York, Lincoln Motor Company, and more. Her life never gets boring.
What’s your typical day like?
Every day brings something different, and that’s what I love about what I’m doing now. One day I can be power writing and editing. The next day, I’m running around New York City, doing interviews and being interviewed. The next day, I’m meeting with a client to talk about content strategy. I also travel quite a bit — and that can range from doing a story on a cool new destination to speaking at an industry conference on travel trends. One of my career highlights was working with Four Seasons to create content about their private jet. I spent three weeks traveling around the world on the company’s super-glamorous 757, and one of the videos went viral. I still pinch myself: It was the experience of a lifetime.
Did you always know you wanted to go into entrepreneurship?
Not really, but market forces presented this exciting opportunity. After Yahoo Travel folded as part of Yahoo’s big sale to Verizon, I was getting tons of calls about full-time jobs, and I assumed that was the path I would take. But I was also getting tons of calls from brands wanting to tap into my editorial expertise. My husband — who is an entrepreneur himself — was the one who said, “Wait a minute, you have all these great leads. Why don’t you start your own business?” It was the right move.
Tell me about your ForbesWomen column, “Transformative Travel,” how do you see travel change women’s lives?
I write a regular column about women in travel for ForbesWomen, which is part of an exciting division of Forbes that is all about helping women take the next step forward in business. I look at how travel can change women’s lives, whether that means leaving a corporate job to see the world, finding a dream job in the travel industry, or just taking trips that open your horizons. I get emails from women all the time, telling me how the column has inspired them to take a risk and pursue their passions.
What is the travel trend in 2019 for women?
I think solo female travel will continue to grow in popularity, but women will be approaching it differently. The other day, I was interviewed by Fox 5 New York on JOMO (“the joy of missing out”). This is instead of FOMO (“the fear of missing out”), which we’ve seen so much of in recent years. Now, people are trying to escape the digital rat race and head to places where no one has been. And instead of shouting it out all over social media, they want to keep the experience to themselves.
What advice would you give to a young person who wanted to enter travel journalism?
Go for it! The industry as we know it has changed. It used to be that you had to fight for a job as an editorial assistant, pay your dues, and work your way up the corporate ladder. Now, there are so many ways to become a travel journalist. For instance, you can easily start your blog or website and share your voice with the world.
Which country or city you recommend to visit before it gets big in 2019?
The place I’m always excited about is the place I’m going next. And my next trip is with my family to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, which is the perfect little ski town. There are great new restaurants, cool shops, and stylish hotels, and it’s gorgeous in winter and summer, thanks to its proximity to national parks. We’ll be staying at the Four Seasons and going stargazing with the hotel’s in-house astronomer, taking a nature safari in Grand Teton National Park, and hanging out with Tillie, the resort dog. And of course, we’ll be doing lots of skiing, since the hotel is located right at the base of the mountain in Teton Village.
Which book changed your life?
Where do you begin? There have been so many books that have impacted me over the years. Andy Warhol’s quirky autobiography, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again, inspired me to move to New York City. Jack Kerouac’s On the Road inspired me to explore. Linda Ellerbee’s And So It Goes helped me decide to be a journalist.
Fireside chat: What three things that you always bring when you travel?
I always want to bring my 6-year-old daughter Lucy. She is my travel sidekick, and I’ve been loving seeing the world through her eyes. She’s been everywhere from the running of the bulls in Pamplona (she didn’t run!) to Morocco. Unfortunately, I can’t take her on every trip. For practical reasons, I always bring my computer: My life is on there. Lastly, I always carry a cozy cashmere shawl. It’s the perfect travel companion.