“Finding beauty in the way people live” has become Aylin Marie’s gift. Her love for others and their experiences is showcased in the forward thinking travel platform, One Young Traveler. Come learn and explore about this fearless entrepreneur as she gives voice to a generation in our exclusive interview.
Name: Aylin Marie
Hometown: Everywhere. I grew up in the military.
Current Whereabouts: Atlanta but work in NYC during the weekdays for the time being.
College Major: BS in Accounting / Masters in Business Administration (MBA)
Spirit Animal: Lion
Previous Job: Came straight out of college into a financial consultant role.
What was life like before beginning OYT? How has it changed since then?
Truly it’s been the same except I started sharing my message online instead of just talking about it. It helped me expand my network and relate with people of the same interests. It’s also helped me give back to people in a different way.
How do you feel your childhood has shaped + inspired your life?
It has made me everything that I am! I truly hold pride in growing up as a “military brat”. I went to 9 schools and moved 11 times. I grew up speaking 3 languages and lived in Germany for almost 9 years before I was 18. Moving and traveling taught me to not be judgmental. It taught me to accept differences in people and learn from different perspectives.
OYT features various content for the multi-faceted individual. Why was it important for you to appeal to millennials with diverse interests?
The world is diverse. It would be wrong for me to not include everyone or every interest. In life, I refuse to have tunnel vision. I carry the same concept with OYT. People with different backgrounds can only grow if we learn from each other by sharing our different experiences.
How did the concept for OYT come about?
It started out as a blogging platform to share with people about my travels and culture.
Throughout college, describe the lifestyle you imagined yourself having and if that’s changed through travel.
Well before college I truly wanted to be a translator for some government official but I imagined living a free and open lifestyle. Minimal. Comfortable. Not too lavish but just enough. Only because I didn’t think I would be home enough from traveling to enjoy it.
Tell us 3 places on your travel bucket list.
In that order.
Do you feel OYT be different if it had been a solo start-up? In which ways?
It started as a “solo” brand from me just using it as a blogging platform. Involving friends and other people with their ideas and perspective just helped it expand and reach more people.
What do you do to challenge your underlying beliefs, paradigms and assumptions?
I introduce myself to new things, new people and new ideas. There’s no growth in revisiting something you already know.
Why is creating an honest perception of the world important to you?
Because it shows the world who you truly are. And why would you want to show the world anything else?
What is your favorite city you’ve visited and why?
Hm, I don’t have a favorite only because I enjoy that each place is different. The ones I truly enjoyed on a cultural experience were Amman, Jordan and Petra, Jordan. The humbleness and kindness in the people stuck with me.
What can women do to better empower one another?
Be supportive of each other. Partner with each other. Work together. Being successful doesn’t mean doing it alone. We have to learn to lean on each other for our expertise + our network and make those networks into real relationships. There’s no use in competing with each other when we can leverage our skills to build something great.
Do you have any tips for securing a cheap flight?
Research research research. You have to understand flight fluctuations, seasons, glitches, etc. What seasons are the cheapest? What days are the cheapest to buy? All of these things will help you find a cheap ticket. My favorite for searches is google.com/flights. Purchasing and searching for tickets are typically cheaper on Tuesdays and Wednesdays due to traffic. Try not to fly out Thursday evenings or Monday mornings. These are high traffic times for consultants or people who travel for work. Sign up at www.theflightdeal.com to catch glitches and deals.
Through your travel experiences, what has surprised you most about yourself?
How loving I become over a new culture. How anything unordinary to my customs seem so beautiful in another. I find beauty in the way people live. I learn appreciation. I learn humbleness. Every trip is a new lesson for me. Less about myself. More about someone else.
What’s your go-to jam?
Ironically, any type of “coffee shop blend” music or indie music. Gives me motivation when working, writing, or drawing. Not much of the turn up type unless it’s at the gym.
What is your favorite travel blog or site?
My favorite is theflightdeal.com for travel deals, google.com/flights for flight prices and research, and travelandleisure.com for ideas and light reading.
Do you have any wise words for the Millennial that might be afraid of the unknown?
This generation is known to willingly face the unknown! I’ve seen so many people my age and younger who have made brave and bold decisions in their careers and lives. Don’t be afraid. Life is too short to make the safe move. You are young.
It’s better to fall now than to fall when you don’t have responsibilities and other people (family) to take care of. It’s okay to be selfish when it comes to your happiness and passion at this age.
Currently, are there any special projects in the works and what can we expect in the next year from OYT?
Yes! We are currently working on an HBCU Passport Campaign. OYT + givesback is the community service corner of our brand at www.oneyoungtraveler.com . Any projects, service or freebies we provide will be to help someone in need. Whether it’s helping someone afford their trip or helping someone in another country go to school. Our first #OYTgivesback campaign will pay one lucky student’s passport application fee! Applications are up May 15th. I will help the winner through their process and plan for their first trip. The winner must be a current student attending an HBCU.
How do you live with purpose and do you feel you’ve found yours?
Living my life is living with purpose. I don’t like to believe anything I do goes on without purpose. Whether I’m in a job I don’t like or a place where I don’t want to be: I’m building towards something great. So the whole in between process is purpose. You have to blend purpose with everything that you do. I won’t “find” purpose. I have to live it continuously.
Interview by Storm. Storm is Style Editor at Las Morenas de España. As a lover of travel, writing, fashion, fitness and meeting new individuals, this Austin dweller is constantly fantasizing about her next great adventure that incorporates all of her interests. Storm is currently completing her last year as an International Studies undergrad while battling reminiscences of Spain.