- Name: Elayna Carausu
- Age: 22
- Job title: Videographer/Vlogger
- Job description: Sailing around the world, documenting the voyage by video
- Location: On ‘La Vagabonde’ around the world
Tell me about the path that led you to where you are today.
I’ve always been a big dreamer and I suppose quite optimistic since I was a kid. Mum never doubted me and always encouraged me to pursue my dreams no matter how crazy some sounded. Cheers mumsy. So these two things were a big part of that path. Growing up on the coast of Western Australia, I spent a lot of time in and around the ocean. I spent a lot of my time scuba diving, which led me to working on the dive boats on the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland and the Greek Islands after I had finished school and was old enough to certify as a Dive Master. Did the typical ‘Euro trip’ with a best friend, a few trips to Indonesia, the east coast of Aus, and instantly I was well and truly hooked on traveling. Exploring new places, meeting new people, and taking the time to live how others live. Uni was never on the cards for me. At least not yet. I decided that before I see any other countries, I should see more of my own first. So I traveled around Australia in my van. Sold it in QLD and then headed back over to Greece to play music for a travel company (I play guitar and sing) for the summer. It was there I met Riley, who was single handed sailing at the time. He had just bought a yacht in Italy and quit his job in Australia. His plan was to sail La Vagabonde around the world, having no clue how to sail when he first bought the boat. ‘We fell in love’ blah blah blah, next thing I knew I had quit my job in Greece and we were sailing through the rest of Europe together. We learned a lot about sailing and became confident enough to head towards the Caribbean in La Vaga, filming the adventure as it unfolds to share with the world online.
How did you come to the realization that this is something you wanted to pursue as a career?
I’ve always dreamed of making a living while traveling the world. I wasn’t exactly sure of how I was going to do it, but I knew I had to try and make it happen before time slipped by. I figured I’d travel first and see what opportunities may arise. I’ve always had a lot of fun piecing together little movies of my travels, and so I thought I’d make a movie of our sailing adventures. Without even realizing, I had started a career in videography/Vlogging and earning a living online. The videos got a lot of interest after posting it online so I started making more for fun. When we made our first dollar from posting a video online, I guess I got a little bit excited (a lot). Something I originally made for my family and friends (and friends of friends) to watch back home and see what we were up to had quickly evolved into something more. I thought I’d give it my best shot and take full advantage of the opportunity. Riley was very happy for me, although he mentions how ‘he is the star’ of Sailing La Vagabonde and I shan’t forget it!
Tell me about your daily routine.
Each day is very different from the next. Sailing, and the sailing life we have found to be very unpredictable. But here is the average day:
I’m usually awake before the sun rises. If we are at an anchorage or mooring close to a decent beach or track I can run, I’ll scoot over in the tender and exercise for an hour. Riley likes to sleep in a little bit later than me when we aren’t out at sea (he says he doesn’t but he does… every day) so when I get back from my run I’ll wake him up. He usually does his weights and chin ups on the boom outside and I’ll make breakfast. We decide what it is we will be doing that day. We can either:
- Film on land. We try and find the beautiful places on the island. We jump on a few buses and see where we end up. Usually the further from civilization the better!
- Film underwater. If there are any dive sites around or fishing hot spots, we will jump in the tender and check them out.
- Checking out of the country at customs and sailing to a new place. So we will check the weather if we haven’t already, pull up anchor, hoist the sails and off we go!
- Whether we are sailing or anchored, I try fit an hour or two of movie making into each day. If we can find good Internet around, I’ll reply to emails and update all our stuff on social media. Play a bit of guitar. Listen to music. Jump in the water in the afternoon for a free dive and we usually take the spear guns to fetch dinner. Dinner by 6, maybe play some chess and were usually asleep by 8.
Tell me more about how vlogging works. How long does it usually take to produce a video? How does the payment process work?
‘Vlogging’ is basically a video form of a blog. So we share our personal thoughts and views on a place we visit and of course the sailing side of it. The idea is to try and make people feel like they are there with us. We are constantly filming: we pick up the camera and go pro whenever we feel there is something worth filming. This is good because I have so much footage to work with when it comes the time to knuckle down and actually make the movie, which is usually once a week.
It takes me about a day to go through all the footage and pick out the videos that could possibly go in the movie. Once I’ve done this, off I go onto land to find a comfortable cafe where I can connect to power and spend the whole day piecing together and editing the movie. I sometimes don’t tell Riley where I am so he can’t come and annoy/distract me “Elayna watch me do a hand stand, HAHA Elayna checkout this funny pug video on Facebook”. He is usually pretty good, sometimes putting my laptop on my lap and encouraging me to work and he has recently started blogging so he has been very busy online with me. He also replies to emails and out Patrons when he has time. So I’d say with the upload (which usually takes a whole day), 3 days total to make a movie and post it.
In terms of the payment process, check out Patreon, that is a crowd funding site where independent artists post there work online and fans can kindly donate. Really cool site. Anyway, we get paid ‘per movie’ we post. We post 2 movies a month and at the end of each month, our Patrons are charged for our work by credit card. Then from Patreon it is transferred to our bank. It is very generous of our followers to support us how they have and we are still very humbled by it all.
Who would you say your main audience is? What’s the reception like from your followers?
Our main audience (going by YouTube stats) is mostly between 18-35 years young. From reading our comments and private messages, I would say these people are adventurous, open minded, inspired people from all over the world. We also have a large following of the older kind, ‘salty dogs’ as we call them, who have retired and are sailing themselves, and then the oldies who are about to retire and set sail. We love these guys, as they like to send us tips and help us out when things go wrong with the boat. We need a pair of wise eyes watching over us every now and then.
The reception is generally positive. We have a lot of inspired people writing good comments and messages to us which we love reading. A lot of thumbs up and good feedback on the movies. We love our fans!! However, a fair few other sailors who follow our adventure are constantly commenting on our ‘safety’ on board. As we are both new to sailing, we are constantly learning new things they like to pick us up on things we are doing wrong. We take most of these suggestions into account. We thank them for caring and tell them we are working on it. But I’m not wearing a bright orange life jacket 24/7 for the rest of my time on board. Just forget it. Imagine the tan lines. I’m just as likely to get hit in the head by a coconut on land (and there are a lot of them, a friend actually saw a local get hit by one recently) than I am falling over board and getting lost at sea.
What is the best part of your job? What excites you the most?
Living and working on the ocean. Breathing fresh air. It’s where I feel the happiest and clear headed. What excites me the most is never knowing what tomorrow may bring.
What aspects of your job do you dislike? What is the biggest sacrifice that you’ve had to make?
Well those times where ‘tomorrow’ turns out to be terrible. We could have a really hard sail, lose, or break equipment and spend the next week repairing it. Or a cupboard hatch decides to unlatch when we’re on a lean and pasta sauce flies across the room and smashes everywhere. Then you spend the next week trying to find all the missing pieces of glass hidden around the galley. I dislike being on the laptop or social media for to many hours in a day. It makes my head and eyes hurt. The biggest sacrifice I’ve had to make was leaving my friends and family in Australia to sail the world.
Did you make any mistakes along the way that you think could have been avoided? What would you have done differently (if anything) to ensure a faster path to where you are today?
As for movie making and ‘Sailing La Vagabonde’ stuff goes, I don’t think I’ve made any mistakes as of yet (touch wood). But we’re only 12 episodes deep. I guess there are plenty of movie editing mistakes that I look back on and laugh at. Teaching myself how to piece together movies has been really fun and quite the lesson. I’m sure there are plenty of mistakes to come. Riley and I are just having fun with it at the moment.
What does success look like for you?
Success to me looks like doing what I love doing and earning a living from that. Sailing, traveling, and earning a living from the Internet. I feel as though this is just the beginning of something bigger and I believe I can make it in this industry. All I can do is try. So far, so good. I suppose it is here I am allowed to share an inspirational quote that I’ve always lived by. You’ve definitely heard it before, but here goes. ‘Life’s too short’. It really is. Find what it is you love doing and DO IT. Chase your dreams. Work hard and make it happen. Spend your life surrounded by the things and people you love. Break out of the system. You don’t need to be a sheep. Did you know sheep have excellent peripheral vision? Their large, rectangular pupils allow them to see almost 360 degrees. In fact, they can see behind themselves without turning their heads!
Is there anything else about your job or industry that you think people should know?
People should know that living on a sailboat has its own list of jobs itself. Getting things done, especially in foreign countries (like finding the right regulator for a gas bottle, provisioning, and a myriad of odd jobs that need to be done daily) can be very difficult and time consuming. Something as simple as docking up and filling the boat with fuel can take half an hour to an hour. So between jobs, sailing, filming, and movie making, it’s always a busy day and I go to bed fairly tired. I literally just put down the iPad I am writing this article on to help wind in the sails as some big rain clouds came over us. Just an example of what I mean by a job taking a lot longer than it should. I think I’ll be done with this entire article in another hour and I’ve only got one paragraph left…
Question from our last interviewee: What has been the most valuable experience of your life?
I think the most valuable experience of my life would have been learning to scuba dive and free dive at a young age. Learning the ways of the ocean, wind, waves and weather. In particular, the ability to stay under the oceans surface for long periods of time, exploring ship wrecks and night diving. The silence and peacefulness of it all. It’s a whole other world down there. That for me, I think, made me start seeing and thinking of the world in a different way. I felt the need to explore more and more after each time I dove in the ocean. In some way, scuba diving/free diving is what kept me motivated for years through school to someday travel and see what the rest of the world is like. Seeking other things that put me out of my comfort zone. The unknown!
What one question do you want the next interviewee on People With Cool Jobs to answer? (You can ask anything!)
After reaching all your goals in your career someday (if you haven’t already, and that’s something your chasing), do you think you will be truly happy and glad you have spent the time getting to where you are?
To support Elayna’s voyage, visit https://www.patreon.com/LaVagabonde?ty=h
For more videos from La Vagabonde, check out https://www.youtube.com/c/sailinglavagabonde
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