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Aurelia Paquette ’17

I met up with Aurelia Paquette, creator of travel and lifestyle blog The Golden Age, in Café Pamplona on a cold, bright day. Aurelia, a rising senior and Sociology concentrator living in Mather, is wearing a beautiful top she picked up at Thailand’s Chatuchak Weekend Market, the largest open-air market in the world, and has her thick blonde hair pulled back in a loose braid. She jokes with me about the typically confusing Boston weather we’ve been having, orders a ginger lemonade, and we get started.

Her Campus Harvard: If you had to pitch your blog to someone, how would you do it?

Aurelia Paquette: I would say The Golden Age is a travel and lifestyle blog primarily directed at young women, with content on global trips, weekend getaways, interior design, productivity, personal wellness, holiday celebrations, and gift-giving. The name of the blog was inspired in part by my name, Aurelia, which means “golden one” in Latin, but it is also meant to reflect an optimistic spirit and an appreciation for each phase of life as something special and beautiful to be lived to the fullest. 

HCH: When did you first come up with the idea to start your blog?

AP: The idea for starting a blog evolved from attending the Advertising and Media career fair this fall… Not the most interesting answer, I know! [She laughs.] People I spoke with at the fair were discussing the importance of social media, and I hadn’t really had a strong online presence until that point. For professional reasons, I started getting involved on different social media platforms, and I thought I’d add casual blogging to the mix. I quickly realized that blogging casually wasn’t something I could do. I got really invested in it, and now it’s my main hobby.

I’m actually surprised I hadn’t thought to do something like this sooner—when I was little, I loved reading cooking and interior design blogs. I also made magazine content for myself in the style of American Girl Magazine, and my off-and-on dream job was art direction. Sometimes I wonder where I’d be now if I’d started way back then. I could have been such an early adopter! But then again I would also have posts I’d written as a 7-year-old to reckon with.

HCH: So it seems like writing and design has always been a major interest for you. Is there a reason you chose not to go to a more specialized school for that kind of thing?

AP: While the arts have always been a central part of my life, my career goals have shifted a lot over the years. In addition to art direction, I considered everything from engineering to consulting to nonprofit work, and now I’ve found a great fit in marketing. Partly because my interests are so broad, I always knew I wanted to go to a liberal arts college.

HCH: How do you see the blog evolving as you go into your last year of college and beyond?

AP: I definitely envision The Golden Age as being a part of my life after I graduate, for a few years at the very least. The blog is in an interesting spot right now because I have to maintain recurring themes while adapting to a lot of life changes. For example, as a Boston native I have so much to say about Boston and New England, but while I’ve written a few posts about them, I can’t make them the central feature of the blog because I plan on moving to New York when I graduate. Wherever I live, and whether I’m in school or not, the blog will continue to be a place where I share explorations of my surroundings and ideas for creating joyful moments at home.

HCH: How many hours a week do you think you spend on your blog?

AP: It varies! Anywhere between 5 and 20 hours a week. I ended up writing four posts in the week leading up to Valentine’s Day, and, of course, doing all of the accompanying promotions across my social media accounts and email newsletter… I was so wiped the next week, I barely did anything! I’m still learning to make shorter posts instead of writing extensively about everything that excites me so that I can have a regular posting schedule.

HCH: What blogs do you turn to for inspiration?

AP: I love Gal Meets Glam. Its author addresses a large range of subjects while still maintaining a very cohesive brand, which is something I really admire and hope to emulate, and the photos are gorgeous. Lauren Stephanie Wells, Bon TravelerApartment Therapy, Note to Self, One King’s Lane (especially its Weekend Decorator feature), Colossal, and Lemon Stripes are the other blogs I check most often for personal and blogging inspiration. 

HCH: All of these blogs seem to focus on a certain aesthetic, one that is light-filled, organized, and beautiful. How does that inspiration contribute to your blogging and your travel?

AP: I’m a very visual person, so blog posts that center on images are what I most like to consume and create. And blogging has definitely affected the way I travel. In addition to inspiring me to explore more, reading blogs and writing one has led me to more intentionally seek out visually beautiful places.

One of the favorite pieces of advice I found for people who want to travel and blog is to plan trips using Pinterest. Essentially, I plan my trips now by doing a preliminary Pinterest search of a place, its hotels, restaurants, and scenic spots, and then finding all those locations on a map. Planning this way has helped me find scenic, lesser-known places to explore. For example, I went to Newport recently, which I’d been to so many times before, and through this trick I found a lighthouse that you have to go through woods and clamber down a cliff to access, and that was incredible.

HCH: Do you take all your own photos for the blog?

AP: I really enjoy photography, so I take most of the photos I’m not in (Until a couple of months ago I was using my iPhone, but now I have a Nikon D3000.), and either my boyfriend or my roommate or whatever lucky friend of mine happens to be around to be enlisted does the rest [laughing]. Now that I’ve started this blog and have had to ask people to take photos of me traveling, I’ve gone of out my way to offer to do the same for others I encounter in my travels. I’ve learned to appreciate how nice it is to have people looking out for you like that.

~

Love Aurelia’s style and thoughts as much as we do? Here’s where to find out more!

Blog | Instagram | Facebook | Email Newsletter | Pinterest | Snapchat: aureliapaquette  

 

all photos in this article c/o the golden age

Zoë is a senior at Harvard studying English, French, and Classics. She is an active member of the theatre community as one of the few specialized stage makeup designers and artists on campus. When not in the dressing rooms and at the makeup tables of the various stages available at Harvard, she is reading anything she can get her hands on, drinking endless cups of tea, and exploring new restaurants in the Boston area.
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