Meet a MatadorU success story: Paige Smith


Paige first joined the MatadorU community in July 2014 when she enrolled in the Fundamentals of Travel Writing course. Since then she has published several articles for Matador Network, been selected to represent Matador on press trips to Norway and Montreal, and is part of the editorial team for media startup Sonderers Travel Magazine.

She’s currently taking on more freelance blogging gigs for B2C companies, pitching stories to travel magazines like crazy, and starting to transition into freelance writing full-time. She will be heading to Puerto Escondido, Mexico soon to take a month-long Spanish language course and do a bit of surfing. She is proudest of these two pieces: Why Americans Need to Slow Down and Make Travel a Priority and 8 Simple Ways to be More in the Moment When You Travel.

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MU: What course(s) did you take at MatadorU?

PS: I took the Fundamentals Travel Writing course.

What travel media projects and/or jobs do you have on the go at the moment?

I’ve been contributing to Matador, ramping up my freelance writing, and serving as content editor for a newly launched online travel magazine called Sonderers.

What accomplishment (inside or outside of the U) since joining MatadorU are you proud of most?

I’m really proud of being chosen for press trips to Norway and Montréal, as well as the feedback I got from people while on the trips. It was so gratifying to have the opportunity to do what I’ve always wanted to do — be compensated to travel and document my experience in the way I love the most.

How did MatadorU prepare you for those?

Being in the U and working with editors on a regular basis helped me sharpen my writing skills, understand the editorial process a bit better, and learn everything from what it takes to craft a killer headline to how to mesh your own voice with the voice of the brand you’re working with.

What was the most important takeaway from your experience at MatadorU?

You don’t get what you don’t ask for. Be professional and polite, but don’t be afraid to ask for opportunities.


What did you enjoy most about your MatadorU experience?

I love the community. Being part of such a supportive, motivated, and like-minded group really gave me a lot of confidence to just go for it in terms of pursuing what I want.

What was the biggest benefit of joining the MatadorU community?

Being able to surround myself with people who’ve done and are doing what I hope to do.

What would you say to anyone considering getting into travel media as a career, for supplemental income, or even as a hobby?

If telling stories about the world and its people — whether through video, photography, or writing — gets you excited and makes you feel like you’re doing meaningful work, go for it. There’s nothing better than that feeling.

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