“Travel is like an escapeism. No matter what is going on in your life, travel can allow you to escape from your situation and feel more free to be yourself.”

— Courtney VanAuken
Full-time Travel Vlogger
Courtney VanAuken is a big dreamer who began travelling at a very early age. She is passionate about living life fully while serving her community in her pursuit of full-time travel vlogging. She hopes her audience can learn and grow with her.

Can you please share with us what stands out about your childhood and how it relates to your life today? Did you find yourself traveling a lot?

Timestamp: 1:18

“I have been traveling full-time for the last two years which is crazy, because in my childhood it’s something I dreamed of doing. When I was six years old, my parents got divorced so I knew what it was like, growing up, to go from place to place on the holidays and in general throughout the year. When we were younger, with divorced parents and two different families, I moved a lot and would have to go back and forth between homes. I knew from a young age how to travel by myself (going from New Jersey to visit my grandparents in Florida). By the time I entered college, I knew I wanted to explore more. I wanted to do something different and studying abroad became that thing for me. Originally, I went to college to become a teacher, changed my major to chemistry and then finally ended up settling on a finance degree. By year two of my studies, I decided I wanted to study abroad – and I went to Spain with my then roommate and sorority sister. I was there for six months and that fueled my passion around a future of meeting new people, traveling and learning about other cultures. That experience was game-changing for me.”

Can you share more about getting your travel blogging (online presence) setup? What risks did you have to take to get stared and to achieve the success you have today?

Timestamp: 10:33

“So there are a series of things in my life that just lined up, becoming a travel vlogger was never my intention – it was divine alignment. I didn’t even know what I wanted my major to be in school. I just started doing the things that made me happy. I never said I wanted to be a travel vlogger, I simply said I wanted to just have fun on social media. I started being super consistent in showing up online – which led to me maybe getting paid to go places (through collaboration opportunities). Network marketing really helped me move away from being shy and I began documenting more of my life. The passion for talking to people and serving them fueled by extrovertedness.”

How can people move from where they currently are in their career/life to a place where they are doing what truly aligns with their core values?

Time stamp: 13:37-15:44

“In your life, you can love (and be) multiple things. You can be an amazing mom and love to go out on a Friday night with your girlfriends. You don’t have to be at one company your entire life. When there is a pull toward a new opportunity, listen and do what is in your best interest. Follow your gut feeling. When everything seems to be coming together and you are hearing the same thing more than once, you might see the same thing more than once, you start to realize things are meant to happen a certain way and you should listen and follow that passion and journey. I always say ‘faith over fear’, everything is scary. Take the scary step forward into something completely new and keep the faith that you will be successful. Look back at your track record of the things you have previously been successful in.”

What are your top three things you do to show yourself love?

Timestamp: 17:05

“For me, I have to take these steps…

  1. I have to move my body – when you move your body, you change your mind. When you start to change your mind, you also change your bank account.
  2. To change your mind – I do a lot of personal development, which is a non-negotiable. I listen to several podcasts like Ed Mollette, Jesse Lee or Tony Robbins. It’s important to see things from a different perspective so you don’t get stuck. Hearing from someone else edifies that you’re seeing things wrong.
  3. Affirmations is also a big one. I put post it notes in my bathroom and repeat them when I see them!”

Give us an insider secret on how to grow on social media…

Timestamp: 19:30

“Video content is so important. Be consistent at least posting every single day for 4-6 weeks, and you will see results. Also remember, people want to see small, digestible content. It can take a little while, but just keep being consistent in posting. Take people on a journey with you and tell a story, share 7-15 second long videos, use language like ‘come with me’ and also move away from talking to everyone and speak to one person. Get away from language like ‘hey guys’ and start speaking like ‘hi how are you,’ instead. Video content is so incredible for growing your accounts on Instagram and Tick Tock. Around six weeks, I saw my accounts explode.”

What’s one thing you’ve learned being a travel vlogger?

Timestamp: 30:00

“So I have learned that brands love people who are authentic to their audience. If this is something you want to do one day, be yourself and speak to your audience. Stop trying to talk to millions of people at once. Identify who your ideal person is on the other side of the screen and talk to them. Begin sharing content for the person who is in your ideal audience. For a while I spoke to millions of people and in the past couple months, I’ve started thinking more about who my audience is and speaking to them. “

Do you have a favorite place that you’ve travelled? What stood out to you about this place? Also, where else is on your bucket list?

Timestamp: 32:00

“I love Utah. They have five national parks, they are amazing. When we started this journey, we couldn’t really go to many places because the state of the world (in 2020). National parks were the only places that were open, so we bought a motor home, sold our home, and began traveling to all the national parks. Utah was one of those places we loved so much.

Alaska is also on our bucket list, and we’re going there this summer. We are going on a cruise this summer, as a gift from my mom for our wedding anniversary.”


Take a listen at these additional insights from Courtney…

34:19 – Listen to the special projects she’s working on right now and learn how she’s partnering with Thousand Trails

36:51 – Learn what she’s most excited about for 2023 and how she’s pumped about her new biz, starting a family and a new home

37:30 – Will they have a permanent home?

40:39 – Dive into how you can afford to travel…find deals…and travel domestic or internationally

42:16: – Hear Courtney’s favorite quote/mantra and how you can connect with her