In Personal

People Over Brand

Map and Passport

Map and Passport

Last week I was applying to work on a paid campaign and the company asked “do you post about politics on your blog or social media accounts” as a way to disqualify bloggers. And in that moment, I was shocked. On one hand, I completely understand why a company would not want to work with a brand that doesn’t align with them politically – hell, I don’t want to – because they obviously risk being associated with that brand’s viewpoint. But it also kind of shocked me; I don’t think that I would be willing to work with a company that doesn’t want to work with bloggers or brands that endorse the values that I hold dear.

So I’m choosing people over brand.

Living my values is the most important thing. As Will mentioned in a recent post, “we don’t lose our personal voice and beliefs for the sake of a ‘brand’ or business. Influencers must not lose sight of what is right and fair simply for the sake of having a sanitized social media feed.” I agree – living by and standing true to my values, especially compassion for all living things, is far more important than a perfectly curated instagram, super positive twitter feed, and blog posts that only showcase my travels.

A lot of people who read this blog do so for the travel posts. But to me, travel means more than just hopping on a plane and ending up at another destination. It’s about being respectful of cultures (be it in Atlanta or Australia), and taking the time to step back and learn. It’s about being a global citizen. The policies enforced in the new administration will have lasting consequences for us as American citizens. They will impact our ability to learn from our brothers and sisters, both abroad and at home. It will keep families apart. It will make us afraid of the ‘unknown.’ It will change the way we live our lives.

I’ve seen a lot of people complain on social media about an overload of political posts. Truthfully, I have a difficult time understanding that point of view (which can easily be solved by unfollowing or muting accounts)*. When I see posts like that my first thought is usually, as bad as it may sound, it must be nice to be in a position to complain about politics instead of fearing about how politics will change/impact/endanger your life. Think that I’m being an alarmist because you don’t know anyone that is already affected by the current administration? Head over to read posts by Casey and Nadine.

I want this blog to be a space to talk about these issues, such as being a more conscious global citizen, and brainstorm ideas on how we can take action especially here at home. Over the next month or so, I am going to be sharing some ways that I would encourage people to get involved domestically. But I am also going to be looking for your help and ideas. Specifically, I want you to share what should we be mindful of before visiting (e.g., are there local organizations that we should try to support with our tourism, or ones that we should avoid)? Think of it as a less funny “Better Know A District” segment.

I will do my best to keep the things nonpartisan, but you’ll have to excuse me if I occasionally let me liberal freak flag fly (it’s difficult for me to contain).

If you’re interesting in doing a spot on your city or country, please send me an email:

And if you’re itching to get started on taking action, head over to Amanda’s post to get some ideas and consider #PressOn.

*While it is a difficult point of view for me to understand, I do see the need for taking the occasional break from news and politics. I think that we all should do it from time to time. My point is that we shouldn't cut it out completely.

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Nicole is a treasure hunter and pup mama located in Seattle, Washington. Loves travel, politics, lifestyle, TV, & wine. She's an unapologetic SJW & feminist AF.

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  • YES to this, Nicole! And to staying true to yourself, your own code of ethics, and for standing up/speaking out! It’s more important than ever right now.

  • I’m upset that a campaign asked if you blogged about politics/beliefs but not totally surprised. You should be so proud for staying true to yourself and standing up for what you believe in! (I loved Nadine’s post too!)

  • Will @ Bright.Bazaar

    Excellent post, Nicole. Thank you for linking to my post, too. I really hope the influencers that are speaking up and encouraging positive action and dialogue will inspire others to do the same.

  • Good post. I may not completely agree with you on some things, but I like that you’re respectful. I don’t like seeing political things on Facebook because most of the time it’s people from both sides spewing uninformed hate. I do my own research on things that are posted and about 85% of the time it’s not true. I wish there were more respectful discussions about things, but unfortunately that is not the state of facebook right now.

    • Thanks for saying that, Jenn!
      I absolutely agree – sometimes it’s really difficult when it is just hate spilling out on social media, especially facebook! I wish people were more willing to do the research before posting!

  • AMMMMMEN. You know I appreciate this, and you!

  • That question they asked is a perfect example of the compromises that are made for commercial purposes. I agree that you should always stand up for what you believe in, and of all places to do so you should be able to do it on your own personal blog.

  • Steph Gregerson

    Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes. It’s important for us to have conversations about this. I appreciate you sharing. My liberal flag is flying higher than ever recently.

  • Yup. I get that my politics make me a little unpopular in my area and demographic, but I’m living the effects every day. I must be a voice for others. I’m annoyed by people who want it sanitized from their life… Because chances are, someday they will be impacted by it and need others to speak for them. Unfollowing works well. ;)

    • Thanks for sharing, Sara. You are so right – at some point it will absolutely impact them. It always surprises me as well when people want to sanitize it from their lives!

  • Good for you for standing up. Kind of says something about our world right now when advocating for human rights, environmental conservation, sustainability, and the things we as responsible travelers SHOULD be advocating for falls into the “political post” category instead of just being good global citizens. But, hell with it, count me as political, too, then.