Life As A Vlogger: Aileen Xu tells us what is like
Doing an Erasmus or living abroad will inspire you to write, sing or draw…
Aileen Xu explains to us how is her life as a vlogger and how living abroad changed her.
1) Who is Aileen Xu?
I am an artist and lifestyle vlogger from LA. I create videos on my YouTube channel, Lavendaire, where I share my ideas and experiences in personal development and lifestyle design. I also love music, film, and writing and constantly dabble in creative side projects with other awesome people.
2) Why did you choose Business major?
It was the most practical choice because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life at the end of high school. Also, I always knew in the back of my mind that I wanted to own my own business someday, so it made sense to study the concepts of the trade. I loved my education (I went to the USC Marshall School of Business, *proud alum*) and I don’t regret a thing.
3) Have you studied abroad? where? would you recommend it?
Yes! I studied in Milan, Italy and I absolutely adored it. I loved the city and the country for its food, fashion, art, and architecture. I was so much creativity and beauty to soak in for a young college student; I didn’t know what to do with myself. I was overwhelmed in the best way possible. I also loved traveling around Europe and seeing so many different cities and countries during my stay.
4) What shocked you the most once you arrived there?
What shocked me most was hard how it was to find a place to live in a country where I didn’t know the language; I didn’t opt for student housing because it was 40 min away from the city center and school; I wanted to live walking distance from school and be near the city center. It was really hard to find feasible apartment options online beforehand because I didn’t know where to look, I didn’t know the language, and I wasn’t sure it was credible to book this stuff online in advance. So, I thought I would wing it and figure it out when I got there. I booked a hostel to stay for my first week and set forth to find an apartment during that time.
I spent the first week scavenging the classified boards at school for housing, calling numbers and asking around on Facebook groups, etc. It was so hard to communicate with potential landlords because my Italian was so basic, and I learned when I got there that most landlords didn’t want to rent out their place to people staying only half a year—most wanted a full year lease. The first week came to an end, and I was crushed that I still didn’t lock in an apartment. I would sadly go up to the hostel front desk and ask for one or two more nights there… This happened twice.
Finally, I was able to get connected to other international students who were apartment hunting and we found the perfect place right down the street from the Duomo in Milan (the city’s center cathedral). Oh my goodness, it was a lot of luck and fate that brought us together, and I’m so thankful to have found a landlord who accommodated international students because it takes more work to do so. It was such a difficult experience that hit me right when I arrived, but it really developed my strength and perseverance for the rest of the semester.
5) How old were you when you started blogging and why did you start?
I started blogging in junior high—back when Xanga was huge. I blogged throughout my teen years and college, moving from Xanga to Tumblr to WordPress. I started seriously blogging when I started Lavendaire, which was in the Spring of 2014.
I’ve always loved to express my ideas in writing. I love to read and learn, and when I do, I get super excited about what I’m learning, and I have a deep desire to share it with everyone I know. I’m also a bit on the quiet side if you put me in a social group; I won’t really say much unless you ask me a question. Blogging online is a way for me to truly express everything that’s going on inside of my mind without having to have someone else prompt me to.
6) Did you learn by yourself to edit your videos etc?
Yes, I started editing videos in high school when I decided to record myself singing and playing the piano. I learned by necessity because I wanted to share my creativity, just for fun. Over the years, I’ve gotten a lot of practice editing videos, and I’ve also worked as a video producer and edited videos for other companies, so I’ve grown a lot with my editing knowledge and style.
7) Would you say blogging is your passion? When did you realize that you want to be a “vlogger”?
My passion is creating. I love putting ideas on paper or bringing something to live. There’s something magical about knowing that “Yesterday, this didn’t exist, but today, it does. And wow, I did that!” That’s so cool to me.
Also, I love blogging because it’s a platform to share my ideas, inspirations, and experiences. To express myself is already a simple joy. But to also be able to add value to someone else’s life or make a positive impact through that is a great bonus.
8) What does working as a “vlogger” taught you so far?
So many things! But a big one is this: there are so many people out there who are interested in the same things you are, even if you might not know. On the internet, there is a community for every unique niche. It’s bizarre. But it’s so amazing because if it wasn’t for the internet, you’d just think you’re a crazy person who’s different and weird. But because the internet brings people together, you know that you are never alone.
Also the work ethic of being a “vlogger” is not as easy as it may seem. To build a real online brand, you need consistency, commitment, quality, and authenticity in your content. Nothing comes easy. You have to be extremely patient and perseverant or else you won’t make it.
9) What advice would you give a younger you?
Stop being so anxious about the future! Enjoy your life as it is, right now, and life will unfold as you live it. Trust the timing of your life. You will be okay. Have more fun, please. (lol)
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