LIFE BEYOND THE LENS: TRAVEL BLOGGER BROOKE SAWARD REVEALS THE REALITY BEHIND WORLD OF WANDERLUST
The 24 year old who gets paid to see the world talks partying, social media and shares her secret to succeeding in a saturated market.
Words by Lizzie Mulherin
Many would say that Brooke Saward has the best job in the world, and the statement is pretty hard to argue.
At just 24 years of age, the Australian-born beauty has turned her curiosity and taste for adventure into a profitable business. World of Wanderlust is a digital destination for those who appreciate travel and seek new experiences; it inspires people to not only wonder what lies beyond their immediate horizon, but to go and find out what it is.
For those who aren't familiar with 'WoW', I suggest you treat yourself to an uninterrupted scroll through the crisp and colourful delights of its website and social pages. But be warned: you may be left wanting to quit your job and book a one-way ticket abroad.
"One of my favourite quotes is 'I'm too creative for a 9-5,'" Brooke says when asked if she could ever see herself in an office.
"I just love the freedom of working for myself and my own project every day."
And she works hard, despite what the glamorous images may lead you to believe. Brooke spends hours upon hours creating content, editing videos, writing blog posts and keeping her site updated. But after visiting six continents and nearly 50 countries last year alone, one might say it's well worth it.
Brooke started World of Wanderlust when she moved to London immediately after graduating from university, where she studied contract law. She has essentially been travelling - mostly alone - since January 2014 and documenting her adventures and learnings along the way. Needless to say, she hasn't looked back.
World of Wanderlust is the most subscribed-to travel blog, boasting over 800,000 social fans and over 500,000 unique visitors each month. In 2016, over five million people across the globe will visit World of Wanderlust to benefit from Brooke's first hand travel expertise. She has recently expanded and now employs five expert travel writers to help her reach others with restless feet from all corners of the globe.
But for the Tasmanian, who describes WoW's quick success as 'a wild ride', it's not about the numbers.
"I find success in the depth of how much a reader connects with the content/ethos of WoW... Whenever I run into a reader in the street and they say WoW has 'inspired' them or 'inspires' them, that is when I feel the notion of success," Brooke explains.
And in a market as saturated as travel blogging, success is no easy feat. So what's her secret?
"I'm always working on it!" says Brooke, who reveals she rarely goes out drinking and partying despite her age.
"I love my job, I love travelling, I love food, I love people... I love so much more than I love going out partying, so I just don't have a desire for it too often!"
Brooke's favourite social channels are YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat but she is careful not to be too consumed by social media, despite how easy it would be in her line of work.
"I just share when I want to share, don't when I don't want to, and take every day as it comes! I think the only thing worse than being on social media a lot is knowing how often you are on social media to know that."
And as for all of that competition? Brooke believes teamwork is key.
"I think the best way to move forward in any area of work, particularly media, is to act collaboratively and co-operatively. The bloggers that most inspire me are now a part of my team - it just makes sense!
"I have met nearly all of them now in person, and I chose them because I loved their work - be that writing or photography or both, and they are all positive, inspiring people I admire."
What's next for World of Wanderlust?
"Keeping it all under wraps!" Brooke teases.
We'll certainly be watching that space...