At least once a day I’m met with the words, “You have my dream job! How do I get it?” and the answer is no cookie-cutter response. It takes hard work, dedication, guts, confidence and a unique, untraditional lifestyle. I guess you could say I took the road Les traveled. But with all of these great questions come some excuses of why the individuals on the other end of the emails can’t make their dreams a reality, and they’re right. Pets make it harder to leave. Mortgages do too. For everyone reading, however, there are ways to travel part-time, or even full-time if you can manage it. Study abroad, teach English overseas, become a tour guide or find seasonal work as a nanny, ski instructor, or something of the like.
What exactly is my job?
I’m a luxury-adventure travel blogger. I’m paid to visit various destinations and share them with the masses. This is my dream job because I love experiencing new cultures, new cuisines, different views and viewpoints. I enjoy discovering the big things just as much as the small things, photographing them and then writing about them.
To me, this career path is very rewarding because I see it as a form of education, allowing readers the sense of wonder and awe and notion that they can, in fact, do the same thing and replicate my trips, as some have already done.
Traveling expands your thinking, contacts, memories, and livelihood. If people didn’t allow the grass to grow under their feet and got out more, the world just might be a better place. It’s a great way to avoid misunderstandings, war and suffering. It’s simply a matter of not having a preconceived idea of what something or someone is, but rather going to see what something or someone is.
Passion for a Passport
For the wanderlusts and adventure seekers out there, it’s absolutely possible to live out your dreams and dream jobs. I think if you want something bad enough, you’ll make it happen. My unique path of how I got where I am today doesn’t necessarily need to be someone else’s same path.
I don’t have a dog, a mortgage, kids or anything holding me back from going where I want to go. When I previously explained that I’m now a full-time travel blogger, I told the tale of how I grew up with a large adoration for travel. It’s always been a fundamental part of my being, and it will always remain a constant. I think that’s one of the most important factors: Passion. Throughout the long flights, the airport delays, the never-ending drives and the mind-boggling inefficiencies along the way, frustrations absolutely arise, but the passion always outweighs them. When I’m not on a plane, I crave being on a plane. When I’m going on night 7 in my own bed, I can’t sleep due to the thoughts that fill my mind of places I want to discover.
Travel Blogging Advice
For those of you asking how, simply start! Whether it’s a side project blog to begin with or a full fledged career path, the first step must be taken. My very first post for The Road Les Traveled talked about how hard it is to start something. So go on. Start it. Work hard. Learn from your mistakes. And evolve.
I created my own blog, which took a lot of work, research and patience. My background in communications with a B.A. in Journalism (and B.S. in Psychology) has definitely been an aiding factor. Luckily, I was able to broaden my skills while working as a marketing manger for a luxury hospitality company for a year in Buenos Aires, learning the ins and outs of how to maintain a website. This gave me the tools I needed to break out on my own. It was a risky move, but I had the confidence, tools and wits about me to follow through. Point blank period: Not everyone can have a career where they are paid to travel and write about their experiences, just like not everyone can be a financial analyst, doctor, teacher, etc. There is a give and take aspect here. I have far fewer physical assets than many friends back home, but such is life.
They have stuff, I have experiences.
Money & Partners
I’m very fortunate to partner with hotels, airlines, tourism boards and brands in order to fund my travels. Additionally, in some cases my relationships and agreements with these brands go beyond my actual stay. I have experience advising brands on social media marketing and online content strategy. I also serve as a freelance journalist on travel and adventure related subjects. I’m sure it looks glamorous on the outside, but I budget and save just like most people do. I have my priorities in check.
There exists a large difference between a vacation and long-term travel. Vacations are often times seen as a celebration, a time when you can throw the 6 letter word ‘budget’ to the wind and splurge on flights, hotels and meals. Perhaps you’ve ‘earned it’ and if so, more power to you! Long-term travel is more of a lifestyle. It requires budgeting, conservative spending habits and planning ahead. It’s a balance just like it would be in my home country, except I’m living overseas, and the 9-5 Monday-Friday doesn’t exist. It’s a full-time (weekends too!) job that takes strategic consideration and determination.
When I was growing up, I’ll never forget my dad always telling me how important it was to find something that I loved getting up for every day. I’ve watched him for the past 26 years have a drive unlike any other human being I’ve ever met. In 26 years of work, he hasn’t missed a single day. I wonder how many people can say that? In my case, growing up with a superman of a role model is right up their with passion. Like I said, everyone’s path is different.
I have a long-term love affair with travel and discovery.
I expanded my marketing skills by taking a job overseas. Win-win.
I took the plunge, threw any judgement from others out the window, and started a blog.
I partner with brands, hotels, airlines and tourism boards that cut costs.
I live in Buenos Aires where the cost of living is incredibly low. It’s also a great hub from which to travel to different areas of the continent.
I budget just like most do.
I’ve learned important lessons from a loving, hard-working family.
Priorities, priorities, priorities.