An Outsider’s Look into Vilnius: An Interview with Postcards by Hannah

paupys in Vilnius

Over the past five years, Vilnius has attracted more and more international influencers and media attention. The Internet still hasn’t been an exact and comprehensive source when painting the picture of the city, but luckily, the primary social media platforms have helped showcase what local life looks like here on a broader scale. 

We recently had the pleasure of speaking to Hannah, a well-renowned UK-based travel blogger, who shared her background and impressions of our beloved Vilnius.

VP: Introduce yourself to someone from our audience who might not know you – who are you, and what do you do for a living?

Hannah: I’m Hannah, and I’m a full-time travel content creator who lives in a small cottage in the English countryside with my dog, Baxter. After growing up in rural Northamptonshire before flying the nest to London, I felt like it was time to return home to my roots and family. I love it here and never see myself leaving!

I’m the youngest of six children and have always loved to travel. We had a family home in Brittany, France, where we would spend a lot of time each year. My mum took me to huge travel agents when I was about 9 to book a holiday to Disney World, and ever since then, I have been obsessed with travel.

I remember taking home as many travel brochures as I could carry, flicking through the pages for hours, dreaming of all the faraway places. I decided I wanted to be a travel agent and studied geography at university. 

After leaving, I found a job in a luxury African safari company before moving to Hertfordshire and working for Kuoni as a personal travel expert. Then, I got a dog, moved back to the countryside, and have never looked back!!

VP: Could you share the story of how Postcards by Hannah was born? 

Hannah: when I was working for Kuoni, I had no free time to travel; I was always at work! I decided to open up an Instagram to share my local area. I was living on the edge of London at the time and a little bored of life and my circumstances, so I decided to tap into the creative side that I had always enjoyed since being a child but didn’t have a reason to make the most of.

I started sharing photos of pretty villages and cities in the UK. There were a few international photos, but I was only travelling once a year at the time. My Instagram started to snowball quickly; it seemed people loved these cottages. I was gaining a large UK and US audience and, within a year, had 40,000 followers.

Brands started reaching out to me, inviting me to places, and it soon got to a point where I had to choose between these opportunities and working my regular job; I didn’t have time for both. I decided to take a risk and follow my heart, becoming a full-time content creator in 2016, and the rest is history.

Hannah: Before each trip, I will do hours of research into what to do, where to go, the best places to eat, beautiful hotels, etc. I then create an itinerary that is packed from sunrise to sunset!

I wake up at the crack of dawn, capturing sunrise and exploring locations before they get too busy. I map everything out on Google Maps, adding each location to my favorites so I have a plan of where to go.

I walk a lot, always walking between locations, as I don’t want to miss a thing. I rack up around 30,000 steps on content days. I then head to lunch, where I capture the content of the restaurant and my food; there’s not much time to relax as in between this, I am editing the videos on my phone so I can share them with my stories.

I then head back out to explore; this could be visiting museums, monuments, beautiful hotels (I often arrange in advance to spend a couple of hours shooting at beautiful hotels, even when I’m not staying there), more restaurants, and rooftop bars! It all depends on where I am traveling to.

Before I know it, it’s dinner time, and I’m trying to catch up on emails and correspondence that I haven’t had time to check during the day. I also spend a while replying to comments on Instagram and responding to messages. I find it’s essential to chat with my audience to continue the rapport. In doing this, I have built a loyal and engaged audience who often feel like friends rather than strangers!

After dinner, I edit content from the day and create my posts for the next day. I run three Instagram accounts – travel, home, and lifestyle, and two TikToks, so it is very time-consuming. Before I know it, it is 11 pm and time for bed!

VP: Do you have a travel philosophy? 

Hannah: Having spent the last few years traveling like crazy and fitting in everything I possibly can, I realized it wasn’t a good way to travel. It was exhausting and causing major burnout. My philosophy now is to travel slower, take in the atmosphere of a location, and spend a few days immersing myself in the culture rather than moving on to the next place so fast.

VP: Have you had an impression of Vilnius prior to your visit? How has it changed afterward?

Hannah: I had seen a few videos online of Vilnius but didn’t know what to expect. From what I had seen, I imagined a tiny city with old buildings. I was surprised when I arrived to see the city was larger and even had a downtown area with skyscrapers!

The old city was how I thought it would be, with beautiful streets lined with historic buildings; I loved it! Vilnius was also greener than I thought, with lovely parkland and nature trails.

VP: What did you like the most about the city? 

Hannah: I loved the Bernadine Gardens. Right in the city’s center, it felt like I was out in the countryside. I walked along the river as the autumn leaves slowly fell from the trees, and it was so peaceful. I also loved watching the locals enjoy their time here, spending quality time together and playing games like checkers along the side of the river.  

VP: What’s the next big destination on your radar?

Hannah: I have a few trips lined up. I’m going to New York to see the Christmas lights, and then in the New Year, I will be visiting friends in Australia. In May, however, I will be ticking off my dream bucket list destination – Bora Bora!

VP: Where can our audience follow your adventures in the digital sphere?

Hannah: You can follow my travels on @postcardsbyhannah on TikTok and Instagram. I also have a website of the same name, which includes travel guides, reviews, and general travel tips.

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