People Connected By Similar Obsessions

Hannah Rheaume

Meet the publicist turned travel blogger

First, there was a life-changing trip to Alaska. Next, Hannah Rheaume found herself fresh out of college with a job in public relations for which she was tasked with working closely with Instagram stars. It didn’t take long for her to connect the dots. “I saw lifestyle influencers working with different companies as they traveled the world and thought, Wow, that’s pretty cool,” she remembers. “I spent a year mapping out a content plan for a blog to see if I could follow a similar path.”

When she felt confident with her concept, she clicked launch: The Sunny Side of Things was born. What started as a fashion blog quickly evolved into a travel blog with a focus on style, and since November 2016, it’s been Hannah’s full-time gig. “Quitting my job to do this was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done,” she says. “But the confidence came from my overwhelming passion for travel. And the uncertainty of walking away from a steady paycheck gave me the drive to really take this on with every ounce of my being.”

Five months in, Hannah is working with a variety of brands and traveling monthly to places like Cuba, Tulum and New York. She credits the quality of her content as the reason different companies have come knocking. Plus, she had another useful skill in her back pocket: her experience in PR. “I worked a lot with influencers on brand messaging,” she says. “That taught me how to hone my voice, build a platform and come up with a social strategy that was all in sync.”

On how she plots out her travels. “I create Pinterest boards for every new destination I want to go to or am planning to visit. For example, I have a trip to Tulum coming up, and I’ve been looking on Pinterest and Google for weeks and saving cool photos of places for inspiration. In addition to that, I’ll use Google Maps to make something called ‘My Map’ and categorize it by type of place—say, hotels, restaurants, sights or murals. I’ll even add the airports and then color-code it, so that way I know exactly how long it will take me to get to all the destinations I want to see while I’m there.”

On how to successfully pack a suitcase. “I’m a huge fan of storage bags—the kind you can suck the air out of—when it comes to organizing and streamlining my suitcase. I typically use about four per trip. I’ll have one for my T-shirts and tank tops and one for anything linen since it helps decrease wrinkles as well. The other two bags depend on the destination and what I need to carry. They’re space-savers for sure.”

On how she stays calm while flying. “When I was little, I used to never be able to look out the window, but now I always get a window seat so that I can peer out as we climb to 35,000 feet. I think it’s all about finding something that calms you down. For me, that’s music. I have a playlist on Spotify called ‘Takeoff Tunes’ that is so soothing. I pull it up the moment I get on the plane to distract myself.”

The coolest place she's visited recently. “Cuba. It’s so unique because obviously Americans haven’t been able to travel there for quite some time so it’s totally untouched by American tourism, which makes for a really authentic experience. The people are so friendly and the culture is rich and colorful. You have Havana, the city, but you also have the country with places like Vinales and Trinidad. It’s everything all rolled into one place and it’s absolutely beautiful.”

On where she goes to feel inspired. “My happy place has always been the ocean. Maine has such beautiful coasts. If I’m stuck on a collaboration or need to get the creative juices flowing, that’s where I go.”