Selena Taylor, owner of the wildly popular and beautifully created blog Find Us Lost, has monetized her place in the travel blogger industry in an impactful and highly ambitious way.
Selena Is an excellent example of having an inner passion and using it to create a career that supports and exalts her dream. From teaching herself photography and photo editing to leaving her life behind and moving to another country, Selena leads by example, showing that whatever is calling out to you is attainable.
And when you’re passionate enough about something, you can figure it out as you go and still succeed.
The California native has built an Instagram following of 168k followers by sharing gorgeously curated travel content to inspire fellow adventure seekers to get out there and explore.
Selena also creates free travel guides on her blog that are meticulously done and extremely helpful for anyone who finds traveling somewhere new daunting.
This entrepreneur nomad additionally sells her own preset filters and prints on her website. Selena not only built a business from the ground up but gave it the proper foundation for it to thrive well into the future.
Selena has impacted the wanderlust blog industry by learning as she went, fueled by a passion for travel and exploration that she wanted to share. Her mission oozes out of her words and photos in a way that immediately causes you to catch the travel bug, making her extraordinarily influential and naturally good at what she does.
The way Selena talks about the cities she’s been to and how she captures the magic of the locations in her photos allows her to do precisely what she set out to do: to inspire others to get out and explore new places.
When I looked at her blog and saw the raw talent and passion behind it, I not only wanted to book a trip to Iceland immediately, but I also knew if I could interview her for Tailwind’s blog, then she’d be able to touch and inspire each of you too.
Selena’s interview is enlivening and entertaining. And she also gives great insight into why she started Find Us Lost and how it became so successful, which is an inspiring story all around.
Question: What made you decide to move to Europe?
Selena: It was always a dream of mine to live in Europe. My father is Dutch and my mother is Cypriot, so I grew up visiting family in The Netherlands and Cyprus most summers. When I finally moved in 2016, my husband and I packed our belongings in a rental car and road-tripped 8,000km through Europe before settling in Amsterdam.
Question: What was so special about Amsterdam that made you want to settle there?
Selena: It’s the perfect city: beautiful buildings, picturesque canals, green parks. You can bike everywhere. I fell in love with the lifestyle as the Dutch have a really good grasp of what’s important and strive to maintain a work-life balance. It doesn’t hurt that most everyone speaks English, as it’s one of the most international cities in the world.
What has been your favorite destination so far?
Selena: It’s impossible to choose a favorite as there are so many different reasons I want to return somewhere! For landscapes, cities, and incredible cuisine, Norway is high up on my list. On the other hand, a destination that is still relatively undiscovered and filled with beauty is Slovenia. Lake Bled and the city of Ljubljana are filled with charm and character. But if I had to choose one destination, I’d say the Greek Islands. I’m always planning a trip back as there are so many different islands to discover, each with a unique vibe (but all filled with friendly people and delicious Greek food!).
Question: Do you have any tips on jet lag and trying to get the most out of a vacation when there’s a big-time difference?
Selena: Lean into it. One of my best memories is when my husband and I were up at 2am jetlagged in Kyoto, Japan. We had been trying to fight it for a couple nights and I finally looked over at him and said, “Should we get ramen?”. We ended up at a hole-in-the-wall place an hour later, slurping a bowl of ramen with a few locals who were getting up for their work shift. It was hilarious — and the ramen was delicious.
Question: Your photos are breathtaking and your presets are so beautiful. Do you have a background in photography or have you been self-taught? If so, how have you gotten so good at taking and editing photos?
Selena: I took photography classes in high school, but they were all film photography classes. I didn’t really pursue photography in college because I didn’t know how to make a career out of it, and I wasn’t sure I could. On that road trip through Europe, I brought a camera and just started taking photos of everything because I was so excited to be traveling again. It re-ignited my passion and I started teaching myself everything I could in order to get better. My husband also loves photography, so we spent tons of time experimenting and learning new programs. I love the creative process so I was the one planning shots, coloring, and editing. It was challenging and rewarding, so I stuck with it.
Question: What events lead up to you making the leap and becoming a full-time photographer and blogger?
Selena: When I left in 2016 my current job in Los Angeles offered me a part-time, remote position. I took it and kept working while living in Amsterdam, but my schedule kept getting crazier. For a year or so I was waking up around 8am to work on my photography and blog, taking a break around 4pm, then starting my other job at 5pm when people were waking up in California and working until midnight. Plus, I was traveling for photography jobs on the weekends. I knew I had to give up one or the other, so I finally went for it full time.
Question: What’s your favorite part about your job?
Selena: I love the thrill of exploring a new city and culture. It still amazes me how a new destination can be so different from the next, yet I can always find a common ground with the people and way of life there.
Question: You’ve done a great job at monetizing your brand and being a reliable and trustworthy source for traveling. What advice would you give to someone starting out in the blogging industry today?
Selena: One of the best pieces of advice I can give is to stay true to what motivates you. Focus on how your content can serve others, but also the driving force behind why you started. There is a lot of noise out there, and it’s easy to get caught up in what others are doing — so trust in the process and don’t give in to distractions.
Question: How has Tailwind helped your business?
Selena: Tailwind has been key to helping me grow my audience on Pinterest. It’s helped me reach new people and cut back my time spent manually pinning.
Question: Which Tailwind features are your favorite and why?
Selena: I love the batch scheduler for a website page. I use it for every post that goes up on my site.
Question: Last but not least, what’s next for you and Find Us Lost?
Selena: I hope to keep using my platform to inspire others to get out there and explore the world. But I’m also taking it slow, focusing on a few projects I haven’t set aside time for in the past. Prints is one of them — I have so many photos from places around the world and I only recently started selling them. I’m donating a percentage of all print sales back to the destination featured, so depending on which print is purchased, you can directly support a cause in the local community. It’s something new for me, and a project that’s close to my heart.
Rapid Fire This or That
- Pinterest or Instagram
- Coffee or Tea
- LA or San Francisco (this one’s particularly tough, but I was born in Northern California so I have to go with SF!)
- East Coast or West Coast
- City or Country
- Beach Vacation or Mountain Vacation
- Sweet or Savory
- Pasta in Italy or Crepes in Paris
Where you can find Selena
If you’d like to follow Selena’s captivating journey abroad, you can read her blog here. And don’t forget to check her travel guides before your next trip! I know I’ll be following along and getting bit by the travel bug over and over again.
You can also buy her gorgeous prints (part of those proceeds go to a local charity in that city ) and purchase her beautiful image preset filters so your photos can look just as stunning as hers. You can also follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.