Most people feel lucky if they can go on a nice vacation once a year, but one very lucky traveler managed to go on 12 exotic vacations in 2015, all while holding down a London, England-based job.

Jess Gibson is a 25-year-old travel blogger who's living a life she never dreamed she could have just a few years ago. And, she says that you can do it too - though that doesn't mean it doesn't take some hard work to get there.


Jess Gibson

Gibson, known online as the "Travelista," went on adventures that included everything from a safari in the Serengeti to diving in the Maldives.

Before enjoying a luxurious jet-setting lifestyle, she was working in a "deathly dull" job as an office assistant - but now gets to try anti-gravity yoga in Bali as part of her job.

Jess Gibson

Gibson says she moved to London when she was 21, shortly after graduating from college. The office job she took "quickly extinguished her graduate glow," and her hopes of "living the London dream."

She was too poor even to pay for television, and high rents meant she could barely afford to actually enjoy the city.

Jess Gibson

But as luck would have it, she discovered that her offices shared floor space with a men's luxury magazine. Taking the initiative, she immediately volunteered to write for free in her spare time.

Gibson found that she not only was interested in the luxury sector, but that she had a natural talent for writing, and decided to turn her passion into a career - that's when she created her blogging site, The Travelista.

Jess Gibson

In its three-year existence, her blog has gained a multitude of fans, and has even won a number of awards.

Gibson secured the Best Blogger/Journalist prize at the SATOA Blog Awards 2015 for her Travelista blog which features her adventures in locations around the world, along with colorful images.

Jess Gibson

She works as a freelance social media manager three days a week, specializing in luxury travel and hotel brands. The rest of the time she's running her own website or traveling.

Gibson gave a bit of advice via the U.K.'s Daily Mail for those that hope to do something similar.

"To build a following you need to develop an online identify that people can relate to.

"Be human and allow people into your world. If people buy in to you as a person, they buy into your blog and they will keep returning to your site and social media to see what you're getting up to."

Jess Gibson

"It's also really important to engage with all of your followers whenever you can; if someone shows you love, show them some back!" she added.

"I aim to travel once a month to a different overseas destination. There's no time to lie on the beach though! I hate routine, so for me, I love the feeling of waking up every day knowing it will be completely different from the last."

Jess Gibson

Gibson takes trips that are both paid and unpaid. She either travels on group press trips or is sometimes lucky enough to be able to take a plus one. She says that networking and maintaining contacts in the industry is key to securing the best trips.

Her hard work paid off last year, allowing her to achieve a goal of one trip each month, which included visits to Barcelona, Cape Town, Tuscany, Dublin, Cancun, Tanzania and the Maldives.

Jess Gibson

She says her favorites were the Maldives and Tanzania.

While she may be enjoying an extravagant jet-setting lifestyle now, it didn't come without a lot of hard work. Gibson had no contacts at all when she arrived in London, and worked very hard to get her name "out there," and build her own network, she said.

She also built her career with zero financial support.

"I got my social media work off the back of running my blog, so it's proof that launching a blog can really help your career," she explained.

And, Gibson has no plans to slow down - she hopes to visit another 12 countries in 2016, and eventually launch an online magazine based on stylish, luxury travel for women.

Jess Gibson

You can follow her latest adventures on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook as well as her website: The Travelista.




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