INFLUENCER OF THE WEEK: TAYLOR ELYSE
The influencer of the month is Taylor Elyse
Taylor is a self-proclaimed quasi-creative and business owner of Jubilant, a place where she assists creative entrepreneurs through brand strategy and business coaching. When she's not running her business, she enjoys hand lettering, photography, and writing. Her work has even been featured in Thryve Magazine, Blavity, The Free Woman, and Blog Society. To learn more about her blog, read on!
Tell me about your blog. Who is it for?
My blog is for people who are looking to live a life that matters.
What is it about?
My blog is a collection of thoughts about meaningful work, meaningful relationships, and creating meaningful change.
What purpose does it serve and how do you feel your blog has inspired others?
My blog is primarily an outlet for me to share my thoughts, but I've been told that my pieces, especially the ones related to meaningful change, have sparked tranformational conversations. That's such a humbling thought.
In your article “What Matters” http://taylorelyse.com/what-matters/ you mention that you’re moving forward with your purpose. What do you believe that is?
I believe that my purpose is to help people design a life of meaning.
What advice would you give someone interested in starting his/her own blog?
Just start. Tell yourself that you are going to write and publish a piece a week, every two weeks, or once a month. Then do it! And tell people about it. The people in your life will want to support you. From there, it’s just a matter of making tweaks to continually get better.
You told me you currently live in Chicago. Are you originally from Chi-Town (don’t know if people really call it that lol)? If not, where are you originally from….and would you ever move back?
I grew up in Oak Park, which is one suburb west of Chicago. My childhood home was literally across the street from the city. I had a really good mix of city experiences and suburban upbringing.
I’m a big foodie (and so are my readers). Any restaurant recommendations?
So many! I personally love Quartino. It’s a family style Italian restaurant that is great for sharing with friends. For a more date night, I’d recommend Two in West Town. My husband and I love donuts. Stan’s is our favorite. They’re all over the city! Ann Sather’s has a really hearty brunch. Their cinnamon buns are huge! For feel good food, try Bang Bang Pie or Honey Butter Fried Chicken. In the summers, I like to grab a drink at the Virgin Hotel rooftop. And on the rare nights that I go out, you’ll either find me at Untitled or East Room.
If I were to visit Chicago, what are the top three things you would recommend I do?
In the summer, I’d recommend being outside! We only get that kind of weather for three months, so you have to take advantage. We have beaches, free dance lessons in the park, bike paths, and concerts/movies in the park.
As for things to do, I’d go to the Museum of Contemporary Art or the Art Institute, depending on your taste in art. Going to the Sky Deck of the Willis Tower is really touristy, but the views are breathtaking. If you’re with kiddos (or you’re a kid at heart), go to the Museum of Science and Industry. I always have the best time there. My favorite parts of Chicago are the neighborhoods. You can’t go wrong with picking a neighborhood and spending half a day there exploring the bookstores, coffee shops, and vintage shops. I think that’s how you’ll get the most authentic Chicago experience. Wicker Park, Hyde Park, Logan Square, and Lincoln Square are neighborhoods that I’d recommend exploring.
I read your blog post, “This is Us” http://taylorelyse.com/this-is-us/ . In the article you mention that you were involved in a long-distance relationship with your then boyfriend/current husband…and that you moved quite often. Did your husband ever travel with you when you visited/moved to South Africa, Japan, and Spain?
I visited my husband while he was in Japan. It was such a treat for me to get to experience his everyday life.
If so, could you tell me what motivated you to move abroad?
I studied abroad multiple times during college. I always want to expand my view of the world, and traveling is one of the best ways to do that.
And if he wasn’t with you, could you still tell me about the purpose of moving? Was it due to school/education? Need of new scenery? Job? Etc. And could you tell me how difficult it was to remain in a relationship when you both were in separate countries?
Was it difficult? We were long distance for about 4 of the 7 years we’ve been together. It was really, really hard at times, but I think our relationship has a strength and maturity beyond our years because of it.
What lessons did you learn?
We learned to communicate with each other. When you’re mostly talking via voice calls, there are no visual cues and no easy way to give each other the silent treatment. You have to talk through problems to move forward.
And do you have any advice for couples in a similar situation? What are some tips to keep the romance alive when your partner is miles away?
Don’t let the fact that you’re in a relationship keep you from making decisions that involve moving. If the relationship is meant to survive, it will. Try to talk to your partner every day, even if it’s just for a couple of minutes. Keep a sense of intimacy by having something in common. You could both watch a show or read a book that you can chat about together. Learn your partner’s love language and, as best as you can, deliver that from afar.
DOMESTIC & INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL
When you reached out to me, you said you’re trying to see more of the U.S. I thought that was interesting, because most people are trying to leave the country (lol). What places would you like to visit in The States? And why are you so eager to explore the U.S.? I have so much that I want to see globally and in the U.S.
Realistically, it takes less time to travel in the U.S. A lot of the international destinations on my list require 1-2 days of travel time. In the U.S, you can get a great sense of a city in just a few days. I’d love to visit Austin, Joshua Tree, the Grand Canyon, lots of places in the Pacific Northwest, and Hawaii.
What’s one of your favorite places to visit in the U.S.? Somewhere you can visit over and over and over?
I went to school in Nashville, and I’ll never tire of visiting there. Everyone is so freaking talented. The food is amazing. It’s a dream.
Do you prefer to fly or drive? Explain.
I think there are perks of both. I like a good road trip when it’s broken into segments. One time my husband and I drove down to Birmingham, but we stopped in Memphis for a night for some barbecue and time with family. That was a lot of fun.
Window seat, middle or aisle?
Window seat all the way! I like having something to lean on if I decide to sleep. I also am mesmerized by looking out of the window. Sometimes I still have these moments where I realize, “Wow. I’m literally in a metal container that is traveling through the air right now.”
What’s the best meal you’ve ever eaten in the U.S. or outside the country.
I ate really well during my trips to Spain, especially when I was in cities by the water. I am a sucker for seafood.
If you and your husband could vacation anywhere in the world, where would it be?
We’re trying to get to Thailand within the next couple of years.
How can my readers reach you (include any links to your blog and social media channels)?
They can find me at taylorelyse.com and on Instagram at @taylorelysemorrison.