I have a series on my blog called Ask Me Anything and I keep track of reader questions that I get over and over and slowly answer them with a full blog post. So, many of you email saying something like, “I want to travel the world! You’re so lucky! How do you get to travel so much?” I want to break it down here and start with how I get to travel so much plus how you can too.
It seems weird to say this, but travel is the “it thing”. Everything online is about cool hotels to see, great places to travel, and Instagram is full of “travel-inspo” getting you pumped for your next trip. In fact, Forbes says the following are true:
- Seventy percent of millennials identified travel as their primary reason to work.
- 5% of millennials identified themselves as digital nomads.
Not only are young people saying “I want to travel the world”, but they are saying “I want to travel the world for a living”.
There are even viral articles about how us millennials are traveling too much and wasting money rather than buying houses that we can’t afford. A study showed that travel was more important to millennials than buying a house, a car, or even paying off debt. Many of the travelers I’ve met are in huge debt from college still. The same survey also looked into how millennials choose their location for the next trip and 75% of those surveyed said social media made their decision.
Many people see travel bloggers like myself on Instagram and Facebook traveling the world for a living and they think: I want to travel the world for a living, where do I start?
How I Get to Travel So Much
I’ll start with how I get to travel so much and how I got “lucky” enough to have this job as a travel blogger/influencer.
I started this blog four years ago on a whim, with no background knowledge of what a blog was. Now, I have over 1 million page views each month on my blog. Travel blogging wasn’t new when I started, but it wasn’t as saturated as it is now. Please check out this article which explains how exactly I got started with travel blogging personally.
I didn’t just become successful overnight and my parents/boyfriend aren’t paying for it (as so many people comment to tell me they think is the case!). It’s competitive and you have to work really hard. After I left nursing and moved to India, I was a masseuse for some time and sold candles on the side while my blog grew into a career. After six months, I made it into a list of top 50 bloggers and I felt like “wow this was easier than I thought” but shortly after that, travel blogging became HUGE and there were millions of travel blogs created – I dropped off the list (and eventually got back on it, currently at #7). They say one is created every half-second! Bloggers were offering retreats to come learn how to travel like them, and people were eating it all up – not that it was bad, but things changed. Travel blogging became a lot more saturated and it was a question of how to stand out. I worked my butt off on the blog and social media, learning everything I could about SEO, Pinterest marketing, photography, you name it! Now, four years later, I make a lot more money than I did as a nurse and finally feel at ease. I don’t work in a hospital anymore and can pick up and travel at any time, while earning money online. I know what people want to know and that is how I make money online, so just click that link and you can read the exact streams of income that I have.
Do I travel for free? Sometimes. I could travel for free all the time if I put the effort into pitching airlines, hotels, and tourism boards or took every press trip offered to me. I don’t, though. I don’t like to be constantly traveling. I’m actually a homebody! I take trips I want to take on my own dime and I go places I hadn’t really considered when I’m invited, like Finland where I got to dogsled with Huskeys! As a blogger, I work with brands to promote them on my travels and not only do I then get to travel for free, but I often get paid for it. That is because I have readers, like you, and followers on social media.
So, the short of it is that travel blogging is my job, and that is how I get to travel so much. It wasn’t handed to me and I didn’t have a background in tech. I learned everything from YouTube videos and had my boyfriend help me set up my website. I love my job but with my work all being online and based on the fact that people are obsessed with travel and social media later, I know that blogging might not be forever, so I always keep a backup plan.
If you think that starting a travel blog is something you’d like to do, then go for it. You can start a blog in 10 minutes for as little as $2.95 per month. Here’s a blog post on exactly how to do that, step by step, with screenshots so you can’t mess it up!
Option #1: “I want to travel for free too!”
Well, the way I do it is blogging, and like I linked above you could blog so that you earn money while you travel. That’s one way! You can read this article on how to start a blog (step by step) for $2.95 per month.
Another way is if you are super hot you can be an Instagram celebrity lol, they travel for free everywhere and don’t even have to make websites! Kind of joking on that one, but not really.
I have a blog post with 14 ways you can work abroad and earn money while you travel, and they aren’t all online jobs, so check that out.
In general, you have to hustle pretty hard to travel for free or you have to have a skillset or job you can do while you travel which can offset costs.
Option #2: “I want to travel the world, but accept I have to pay for it.”
This is a more achievable statement.
I know that you see me traveling for free or getting paid, so therefore you want to do that same thing, and you CAN if you start a travel blog but try to keep in mind that it doesn’t come easy and I pinch myself sometimes to see if it’s all real. It really is amazing.
If you want to travel the world but accept the fact that you have to PAY FOR IT then let’s talk about the steps you can take and options to consider
- Save money
- Choose a job/major in college that allows travel
- Study abroad if you are in school
- Consider a new career if you feel stuck (that’s what I did)
- Teach yourself a new skill to earn money on the side and eventually switch to that skill being your new career. Off the top of my head:
- Graphic design
- Video Editing
- WordPress Design
- Making a product: candles, clothing, crafts
- See if there are options in your current career to travel more
- Look into volunteer projects that offer free housing and food
- Think about becoming your own boss and following a passion of something you are good at, like these possibilities that you could do on the road
- Become a yoga teacher
- Become a masseuse
- Become a fitness/pilates instructor
- Think about moving abroad and starting as an expat somewhere
- Start taking weekend trips
- Start traveling in your own country first
- Use sites like Next Vacay or the Anywhere Tool with Kiwi.com to fly somewhere really really cheap
- It’s important to cut expenses while you start out. Check out these tips from some of the top travel bloggers out there, about how to save money while you travel.
Those are just some ideas off the top of my head, but basically, you should think about what’s holding you back from traveling. Is it your job? How can you fix that? Is it that you have a pet or child? Can you take them with you? Is it lack of money? How can you earn more?
Think about the obstacles in your way and how you can overcome them.
It’s not easy. It looks easy on Instagram, but it’s not easy to give up whatever you are doing and start traveling. So, you can do it two ways: you can start small by doing weekend trips and build on that momentum or you can do it big, quit your job, move abroad, find work in a restaurant. It’s possible. I meet travelers every week here in Goa who are broke and working random jobs to keep traveling.
You have to think about what works for you and if you actually feel the calling to travel or consider if it’s just FOMO because you on Instagram and see others doing it. Travel isn’t always roses, so don’t base it on Instagram!
I hope that you do start traveling and wish you the best of luck! Leave a comment if you are going to start a new journey.
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