I'm just a girl trying to have a cup of coffee all around the world. This is a blog about travel, expat life and our adventures living an international lifestyle, with two kids and a dog.

Andrea Fellman of Wanderlust Living Travel Blog

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Andrea September 5, 2017 posted by

Twist Travel Magazine Fall Issue

Twist Travel Magazine Fall Issue

It’s here!! OMG I am sooooo excited for the Twist Travel Magazine Fall Issue, but first let me start by being really honest. Putting together a magazine over the summer was a bit of a b*&%@! Producing a travel magazine in the midst of prime travel time for our team, well let’s just say next year we’ll need to be WAY ahead of the game;)

However, my partner Keryn and I were able to kick it into high gear and fight through the stress, a few mistakes, and the chaos – making it all SO worth it. The Twist Travel Magazine Fall Issue is a beauty, and I am extremely proud of it. This issue is the biggest yet, (80 pages) and it only keeps getting richer in content and substance. You may also notice that our logo is brand new too!

The fall issue of Twist will take you to Scotland not once, but twice. We have a special design + destination feature with Tea Collection, taking you behind the scenes of how the designers take the inspiration and culture of a destination and incorporate it into their beautiful children’s clothing line. Then continuing on in Scotland we have a great guide for traveling through the highlands with kids.  Then we have a special interview with a road schooling mom of four that gives you a better understanding of how road schooling actually works. There is a neighborhood guide to Chicago, an African Safari and my personal favorite, the Spotlight on India. We also have a very informative piece on how to snap better travel photos as well as travel safety tips, packing hacks, fall fashion and even a few fun fall recipes.  Oh and did I forget about the pre-season ski guide? Well that’s in there too…

Flip it, Read it and Share it! 

 

 

A HUGE thank you to everyone that contributed to this issue! 

What’s next for Twist!?

Well, for anyone that wants to know…. we will be launching the website soon and with the website will come a few changes on how you can view the magazine. Don’t worry, Twist Travel Magazine will still be available for free digitally but you will also be able to purchase a print copy!  Yup, a real life copy to hold in your hands and flip through with your morning coffee.  Starting with the winter issue you will be able to purchase single copies of the magazine, or sign up for a 1 year subscription and have the four issues automatically mailed to you! This is what we are working on now and hope to have ready just in time for Thanksgiving. Stay tuned!

 

Twist Travel Magazine Fall Issue
Andrea April 7, 2017 posted by

Tweens and the business of Instagram

Nice through the eyes of a tween!

I let Mckenna take over the Twist Travel Magazine Instagram feed while we were in Nice for the weekend. She has a great eye for photography and editing photos. She also told me about the VSCO photo editing app and an Instagram layout app called Preview. Which lets you place your photos and come up with a visual plan before you post! Yes people do this, and I get into a little bit about the business of Instagram below.

I once heard Gary Vee say something similar to this; “If you don’t understand the hottest trend, social media or what’s happening online, just ask at 13 year old girl!” And this is so true.

I know that there is a balance of tweens and technology and when traveling and spending time as a family. However, this is one way that McKenna and I connect while we’re traveling. We both like to take photos, it’s a creative and fun, it also makes walking around cities a little more interesting for her. So here what Nice, France looked like through a tween’s eyes!

The Business of Instagram

As you may have read, I started a new collaborative family travel magazine called Twist, it’s definitely still in “beta” but with any business now, you need to have your business in the social media game. Love it or hate it, social media is not going anywhere and it’s where the people are. If you are in business, I assume you want to attract clients and customers. I also assume that you know one way of doing that is through community, networking and socializing right!? Well then you better be on social media being social.

Social media is not hard for me, I’ve been at if for a looong time and it’s fits my general personality. I am a social person offline, so being a social person online is not difficult. This is not the case for everyone and I get the love hate relationship with social media, I have to turn it off some days too. It can be VERY overwhelming and yes, sometimes down right annoying. But as they say, don’t hate the player, hate the game.

If you can’t handle social media for your business, then you should consider hiring someone to manage it for you. Yes, there are plenty of awesome people that understand online engagement and this can be hired out – carefully! Many of these people are social media savvy bloggers who have now turned all their experience and knowledge into a very lucrative business of social media management.  It’s a serious thing.

Instagram is a great business tool and it’s a great way to engage with people that you might be able to do business with, collaborate with or even learn a thing or two from! It helps continue your branding, spreads your message and gives you access to thousands of people!  I realize to most of you I am not telling you things you do not already know, but I guess my point is, that when starting a new business or an idea I am a very visual person. I need to SEE it in order to believe it. I create inspiration boards, and a single image can launch an idea for me.  I’m a person who loves color (which I have to tone down from time to time) so figuring out and playing with the Twist Instagram feed was a fun way to see what people like and respond to. With any new creative endeavor you have to make room for play.

Letting Mckenna take over the Twist feed opened my eyes to a different visual style. I also liked the fact that we had a kid who travels a lot showing people her version of our trip. We travel to show our kids the world, so why not let them show us how they see it!  

Obviously, we do not want to be too calculated in all of this “branding”, it should still feel like a person and a conversation, not just a machine cranking out content just for the sake of cranking out content. I don’t think Twist is trying to be the Encyclopedia of travel. And sometimes I go to those Instagram feeds that look too perfect and over styled that it actually turns me off. Those feeds are gorgeous and I appreciate eye candy (some call it#VisualPorn) from time to time, but I appreciate the real, flexible and not so perfect feeds and photos too. They bring it all back to reality, ya know!?

Okay so this post totally went in a crazy direction!

I did not intend to go this route, but it’s what came out today! 
If you ever wanted to get inside my head, you just did.

How do you feel about social media, Instagram, branding and all of the above!?

Tweens and the business of Instagram
Andrea May 24, 2016 posted by

How to sell a mom blog like a boss.

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On February 1st I was alone at a bar, sipping a vodka martini when I text messaged my husband that “I’M DONE.” I’m done with Savvy Sassy Moms, I am going to wrap things up but my last day is February 29th. It’s over and I am moving on. February 29th, no more savvy sassy for me.

To which he replied, “Well um – honey we’re gonna sell it then.” To which I replied “Fine, but I’m done February 29th.”

The very next morning I got a friendly email from a guy named Rob Toth, saying that my husband, Harris, contacted him and that he would like to possibly represent and sell my website. (Harris Fellman moves quickly.) He asked me a few basic questions about my website, my business and why I wanted to sell. Hyped up on two cups of coffee, I fired back a loaded email to him and two days later we were on the phone talking about how this was all gonna go down.

Harris also told Rob a little bit about what was happening with my mom, as if to warn him that I may be highly erratic and emotional right now. So I sensed that he was also making sure that I was serious and that I really wanted to do this. After our phone conversation, I’m pretty sure he got the impression that I was the type of woman who, when I make up my mind, you either get on board or get the hell out of the way.

Rob knew my end date of February 29th. He said that it was going to be a tight turn around to actually close by that date, as we had a lot of work to do, but he was up for the challenge.

After his initial evaluation of my website, and based on his 13 years of experience in business, deep knowledge in digital media and experience selling many online properties he came up with the value and a positioned price. Then his question to me was; How much do you want to sell for?  What number would make you happy, what number would you be okay with and what number would suck. This was to gauge how far my number was from his evaluation.

To my surprise, Rob thought he could definitely get me my happy number, maybe even a little more. So we got to work.

We worked for two solid weeks gathering data to build the presentation. Harris and Rob worked on the back end of things, gathering all the stats, traffic history, demographics, financials, tax returns etc., while I gathered all the administrative items: how the business is run, what my revenue streams were, how I paid my writers, past contracts and partnerships, ongoing business partnerships, business perks and opportunities, potential revenue and partnerships, business expenses, my marketing budget (ha, ha, ha) services that help run my business, memberships, blogger networks, affiliate networks, business contacts, influential relationships, social media channels and all other assets.

I also talked to Rob for an hour and a half on what he calls a Founders Call. Where he really drills down on some of the hard questions, that are easier to get answers to over the phone than in email. Then we scheduled a Founders Interview, which would be recorded. This was for the purpose of potential buyers to listen to me explain the business better.

By February 18th the presentation was finished and we were officially FOR SALE. It was in Rob’s hands and we let him go and do his thing. I honestly did not know where people list websites for sale or how he gathers potential buyers, I wasn’t sure if there was some internet underworld of website-hungry people just waiting for fresh meat or what. I just hoped that wherever he put it, we wouldn’t just hear crickets chirping. That someone, somewhere would be interested.

After a few days I had not heard anything from Rob, which made me nervous because we had exchanged over 100 emails (for real) in the last three weeks. So the radio silence for even one afternoon was a little concerning. But sure enough, there were lots of interested parties and he was “busy fielding all the inquiries.” OMG. He was busy with so many inquiries! Fast forward to March 3rd – I got an email with the subject line: Proposal to purchase SavvySassyMoms.com.

Not bad, Rob.

Three days after my target date of “Let’s get this shit done!” we had four quality offers. Let me repeat. FOUR QUALITY OFFERS.

One of my favorite shows is Shark Tank. I have watched that show for years, thinking that if I stood in the tank, the sharks would certainly laugh my business right out of the room. This was my shark tank, and 4 pre-qualified buyers were sitting at the table all wanting to buy my business. Holy. Shit.

The next step was narrowing down the potential buyers and jumping on the phone with them to see who was the best fit to take over Savvy Sassy Moms. I was not going to sell it to just anyone. I wanted to sell it to the right person. I knew that I only took Savvy Sassy Moms so far, but it had potential to be so much more – even if I wanted to opt out of this specific niche, I believe I laid a solid foundation and there was plenty of room for someone to keep it going and maybe grow it even bigger.

After my round of interviews and conversations with Rob and my husband, we decided on who we wanted to sell Savvy Sassy Moms to and then more work began.

The APA. Asset Purchase Agreement. This document was no joke.  This is where Rob really earned his money;) This document was all handled by Rob. Once it was completed, it took almost two weeks for all parties to finalize. There were some items to be negotiated and some clear non- compete items to be worked out as well as details about payment, setting up an escrow account and transferring of the domain and all agreed upon assets and accounts. There was a lawyer and a financial expert looking all this over. You don’t just hand over your WordPress and Twitter password and wait for them to Paypal you. This was legit.

The final closing date was March 25th and then I began to train and transition the new owners for 30 days, as per the purchase agreement. I was actually happy to do this, I knew there was A LOT to learn about the business of blogging and the social media world, so training them was going to be very important for their success. I had bi-weekly calls with the new owners and it took some time to get all business accounts transferred.

April 30th was my official last day, but a few days later when my face came down off the homepage – that was when everything truly became final.

I realize we are not talking about a million dollar company here, but that doesn’t matter. I started a business, made it profitable and sold it. How many people can say that? And not only that – I had accomplished my original goal – to sell it. I have learned SO much over the past 7 years, but these last three months have really made me realize just how much I accomplished. Part of me feels that this was an accidental business, that I just stumbled into it, figured some shit out and made it happen. But that’s being an entrepreneur, and I never really felt like one until now.

So now, after some of the dust has settled, I can’t help but think  “Well that was fun. Maybe I should do it again!”

 

Rob Toth can be found circling the globe and interwebs making shit happen. (And now trolling mom blogs)

How to sell a mom blog like a boss.
Work November 13, 2015 posted by

Online relationships

I just returned from two weeks back in the States. When you’re an expat these trips home are fun and exciting, but they’re also a bit overwhelming. I needed to be in the States mostly for work, to attend the ABC Kids Expo in Las Vegas and then head to the Travel Bloggers Exchange Conference (TBEX) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

There were a few days in between these events, so instead of flying back and forth I went to Minnesota to spend some quality time with my mom. My trip was packed to say the least. I thought going to Minnesota would be the buffer, and I’d get some work done and sleep, but even in Minnesota it was go, go, go.

After two weeks of getting up and getting ready every day — shower, get dressed, blow dry hair and put on make-up — to meet with business contacts, my Savvy Sassy Moms team, friends, family, networking, socializing and meeting new people, I came home and felt like I had just been hit by an 18 wheeler truck.

When you live outside the US, it can be very overstimulating to go back. This might be because we don’t live in a city, but rather a very small beach town. I also work from home and am at my desk most of the day, so walking around and “being on” for two weeks when I’m usually alone made my head spin. I, of course, shower here and get dressed — some days — but not to the extent that I did while I was in the States, that’s for sure.

Andrea and Katie Savvy Sassy Moms

ABC Kids Show – Las Vegas, NV

I have been attending this show for many years now. It is where a lot of my business contacts and brands I partner and work with are, so it is a very important and productive show for me to attend. Last year I was not able to go, and I sent my managing editor Katie to cover the show for Savvy Sassy Moms. This was the first time I trusted anyone to represent me. It was a big step, but something I had no doubt Katie could handle. Since moving to Costa Rica, I have had to learn to let go and delegate a lot more, which has been a very valuable asset in my business progression.

This year we were there together and it was the FIRST TIME we had met IN REAL LIFE.  (Yes, I am shouting.) Seriously, Katie has been working with me for 2+ years, and we had never met offline.

This was a thrilling moment for me, and I hope for her as well 😉  Hiring people you’ve never met face-to-face is not new by any means, but it still shocks people. What I was really more happy to hear was that people could not believe we had never met before. People thought we had been friends our whole lives, that we’ve gone back years and that we’ve been BBQ’ing in each others back yards and having sleep overs!

That proves to me that our working relationship is spot on.

That is the thing with online relationships; they’re just like any other relationship: they grow, you build trust and over time you learn to depend on one another. Just because you start out behind a computer screen doesn’t mean the relationship is any less valuable or special as a relationship in real life. If you are who you say you are online, then meeting people in real life should not really be that awkward at all. Of course there are online relationships that do not go as deep and personal as mine and Katie’s, and that’s not to say I’ve never had any awkward encounters, but for the most part the people I’ve really connected with online have been a perfect match offline.

For me, it was finding someone that got what I was trying to do, believed in it, wanted to help and felt a sense of ownership. It was also about finding someone that could keep up with me — but more importantly, pull me back once in a while, too.

Scout Weekend Las Vegas 2015 Savvy Sassy Moms

Not only did I meet Katie in real life but I also met Angela, another friend that has been writing for me for years and is now my editorial assistant and social media manager (third from the bottom). Without these two, I’d be curled up in a ball under my desk most days.

And then! I met five other women who are apart of my Product Scout program on Savvy Sassy Moms. (Two of the other women pictured I have known for a very long time in the blogging world.) These women took time out of their hectic lives and flew to Las Vegas for a mini “Scout weekend,” which was really nothing more than a fun girls trip for us to meet face to face and get to know one another better. Again, I am not close with these women other than online, but meeting these women was so easy and natural.

Since moving to Costa Rica, I don’t get as many chances to meet up with my online friends and peers like I used to, which again has helped keep my butt in the chair and get shit done without as many distractions or events and meetings pulling me in a million directions. However, I will say — real life, person-to-person interaction will ALWAYS be more meaningful and rewarding. It’s very important to make the time to get offline and make the effort to meet up in real life. I felt very fortunate sitting around the table at dinner with these women, to see the smiles and hear the laughter. I can’t always feel that behind the computer screen.

Yes, being back in the States and connecting was exhausting but also refreshing, fun and exhilarating. It restored trust in myself, my decisions, my work, my life, and more importantly my relationships.

How have your online relationships helped you grow?
Online relationships
Andrea April 20, 2015 posted by

Where to find me and my travel writing…

I realize that I can go weeks without posting here on Wanderlust Living, but in order to live in Costa Rica and travel a lot I need to work and make money – this lifestyle and these trips don’t always pay for themselves!;)  I also have a few other reasons for not posting here…

I’ve recently been published over on Huffington Post Travel and Flights.com blog and have been populating the new travel app Findery and leaving notemaps all around the world! I am SO excited about these recent travel writing opportunities so I thought I would round them up and share them with you here.


Findery Travel App Wanderlust Living

Findery Travel App

The Findery app is a social network for travel content that let’s you create “notemaps” for places you have been all around the world, from your favorite neighborhood Mexican restaurant to the beaches of Brazil. Under each main notemap you create — which are usually cities or countries — you can create individual notes about things to do, where to go and what to see in that area. You simply upload a photo, write a description, add tags and mark its location. It’s like posting a digital postcard and sharing it within the Findery travel community.

Documenting your travels with Findery

One of the best things I have realized about this app, as a travel writer, is that it can literally function as my own travel notebook when I’m on-the-go. Say you are visiting Chicago and eating at a very unique wine and tapas bar, you can literally snap a photo of the restaurant, upload it to the app and leave a note about your experience, your favorite tapas or the brand of wine from Spain you loved. This can help when you get home and start writing about your trip because you already have some of the main pieces of the story written down in your Findery notes.

My latest Notemaps:  Taking the Kids to Guatemala,  Living in Costa Rica, A weekend in Granada, Nicaragua, Southern Road Trip and I am currently working on Favorite Places in Orlando!

Findery Travel App

Follow Wanderlust Living on Findery

 

Huffington Post Travel

Being an ambassador for the Findery app has also allowed me to create travel content for the Huffington Post Travel section. My travel articles are based on my notemaps that you will find within the Findery app, but gives more information and travel tips on these specific destinations.

Check out the four that have been feature so far!

Taking the Kids to Guatemala on Huffington Post Travel

The life of a Nomadic Family living in Costa Rica on Huffington Post Travel

Granada, Nicaragua: Two days, one lesser known town, countless marvels on Huffington Post Travel

Road Trip through the Sweet South on Huffington Post Travel

Flights.com Blog

I also just wrote about the 5 Best things to do in Costa Rica with Kids over on the new Flights.com Blog. I love the style of this blog because you can sort by which type of traveler you are with categories like Family, Bargain Hunter, Food Critic, Fashionista, or Adrenaline Junkie. The blog also keeps the content short and sweet, gets to the point and features a lot of 5 of the Best type posts. I like these because when I travel I am always looking for a few great recommendations that are easy to find and just pick out a few so it is not so overwhelming.  I also like the Flights.com Blog travel tips that they include throughout the blog posts.

With this partnership I also wrote a more in depth post, Tips for Traveling with Kids to Costa Rica over on Savvy Sassy Moms to compliment the piece of Flights. com Blog. This post gives you some insider tips, my personal recommendations and why Costa Rica is a great destination for family’s looking for a little adventure!  I realize  that some people are nervous about going international with their kids, but Costa Rica is the perfect place to start!

I love taking people with me along on our journeys and giving them a snapshot of our nomadic life as a family. I am grateful for these new partnerships that allow me to express my intense love of traveling and seeing the world. If you ever want to know where I am or what latest adventure our family is on – you can follow me over on Instagram! We just got back from Cuba and cannot wait to write about that experience!!


Instagram Andrea Fellman Travels Wanderlust Living

Where to find me and my travel writing…
Andrea February 11, 2015 posted by

Podcast: How to Date a Mom Blogger

Podcast How to date a mom blogger on Wanderlust Living  from Savvy Sassy Moms
We have uploaded our second podcast and in this episode we dive deep into my inbox. {insert scary music here} My email inbox would make your head spin, it is a mix of editorial pitches, new product announcements, press releases, brand & product promotions, contests, book releases, new apps and opportunities for Savvy Sassy Moms to be a part of a million online campaigns. Mom Bloggers like myself receive hundreds of emails a day, but trust me, it’s nothing to brag about. It’s just the truth.

This is how I describe it:
“Opening my inbox is like walking into a room and having toddlers throw paint at you”

So how do I get through all of them and weed out the emails that are not relevant to me or my business? I’ll tell you what works and what does not, by reading two pitches from companies that reached out to me. Why I liked their approach and why I didn’t. We also talk about affiliate marketing and the popular monthly subscription model for making money online.

In this Podcast: How to Date Mom Blogger

Affiliate Summit / Affiliate Marketing
Influencer Networks and Blogger Outreach
Good Pitch / Bad Pitch
Fantasy Box {xxx}
Aqua Ball
Monthly Subscription Box Model

 

Tell us what you think below!? Or leave us a questions to answer on our next Podcast!

Podcast: How to Date a Mom Blogger
Podcast January 7, 2015 posted by

What the hell is a Podcast?

Andrea and Harris Fellman Wanderlust Living

What the hell is a PodCast?

And is Pod Cast one word or two?

Harris and I have conversations all the time that make us argue, laugh and a little bit of both – we’re married, it’ll happen. But we also share the same office, it’s our home and therefore we only have each other to bitch and complain to (it’s just not in the budget to hire someone to be the complaints department…yet).  I often think of Harris as my tech support and spell check, but he does not. He tells me to Google it – daily.

We both work online and to many people that dumps us into the category of “we do the same thing”, but our online worlds are very different from one another.  However, running our own small online businesses are not all that different from one another when we start to discuss the challenges we’re both having as solo entrepreneurs. And solo entrepreneur just means you wear a lot of hats and do a lot of shit yourself.

We have been wanting to put together a video series or show about working abroad, working for ourselves, managing family life and all that goes along with it, but neither one of us has the time to edit video.  So when discussing what we should do, doing a Podcast came up and we recorded our conversation… this is what happened.

Listen to our first ever Podcast by clicking the Play Button Below:


Leave a comment!

Do you listen to Podcasts? If so, what are some of your favorite Podcasts?

Did you like this Podcast? Do you have any questions for us that we could answer on our next one? (if there is a next one.)

What the hell is a Podcast?