Leaving a life of guaranteed monthly pay, free tea and coffee and employee rights can seem a little scary, if not terrifying. But the freedom of being a full time travel blogger could make all those risks worth it. If you’re thinking about making the jump from blogger hobbyist to travel blogging full time I’m guessing there’s a qualm or two stopping you from making that final decision.
If there’s one thing I know it’s my travel bloggers and whatever your quandary, there’s a full time travel blogger out there to prove your argument irrelevant.
… I’ve got no money
The obvious answer is to save up. Hannah from Further Bound went from having been £15k in debt for years, to saving up the money to go travelling within 18 months.
Alternatively you could look at working abroad. Turner Barr has developed his whole blog from the idea of trying different jobs abroad at aroundtheworldin80jobs.com and reporting back. I’ve done a few Workaway experiences where you work for five hours a day in return for your bed and board – leaves just enough time for blogging and sightseeing too.
Dalene and Pete from Hecktic Travels housesit to save money. They’ve written a guide to house sitting and can use their positive record to save money yet explore the world at the same time.
Many travel bloggers live in super cheap places like Bali and Chang Mai so they don’t actually even need to save or earn as much to start. Dave from traveldave.co.uk has just moved to Chiang Mai for this very reason so I’ll be following him to see how he gets on.
… I’ve got a great job
I had a great job too. A few months before I left gapyear.com I went to Australia and New Zealand for work, in my first week I went to Toronto and New York, and the people I worked with were awesome. The thing is though, it’s a job. I still had to do the 2 hours 30 return commute every day, work for someone else and not work on my passion when the chance was in front of me to pursue it.
As a travel blogger you’ll reach a make or break point where you either need to go for it or be happy with what you have. As awesome as my job was for 18 months I didn’t want to do it forever and I knew that I could take all the good parts of my job and make them an every day, around the world, rather than an incredible nice to have every so often.
Knowing that I left on great terms and keeping up contact by working with them a few hours a week gives me confidence that they’d help if I needed it in the future.
There’ll be other great jobs; you don’t have the only one in the world. And being a full time travel blogger – when you’re good and ready – is the best one out there.
… My partner has a job
Monica from The Travel Hack is a very successful travel blogger and has a lovely boyfriend who she lives with in Chester. Before she had little baby George she was travelling a lot and working with different brands on their social media too. Now she can still work for those clients when George is sleeping, and I’m sure she’ll be back travelling again asap. Having a base has allowed her to follow her other passions alongside travel, which include knitting, interior design and cooking.
Same goes for Jayne from girltweetsworld.com, although a different circumstance. Her fiancée and her decided to move to Australia so he could pursue a new stage in his career and so she had a new stomping ground to work her way around. Jayne’s launching a guide to Sydney which combines her love for travel and her new, more permanent location.
… My partner doesn’t want to
Is your partner that good? Really? Better than hot air ballooning over Burma, scuba diving in Belize or joining the carnival in Brazil? Make like Ayngelina from Bacon is Magic and sack them off to pursue a life of freedom. After a few years of travelling the world she’s recently met someone else, revamped her blog and looks happier than ever.
If firing them from all duties isn’t really an option I’m afraid you’re going to have to look at the previous and try and make the best of the situation. Blog about travel in England maybe?
… I have kids
Obviously when there are little people involved it’s a bigger decision. There are many, many travel bloggers out there successfully pursuing the career with children though. Caz and Craig from ytravelblog.com had their children after starting their blog and are currently travelling round Australia in a campervan. Lainie (48) and Miro (15) from raisingmiro.com have been travelling together as mother and son for the last six years. And Talon (dad) and Tigger (kid) from 1dad1kid.com have been travelling since 2011. Check out all the blogs and you’ll see they’ve had ups, downs and acrosses, but they’ve all done it.
Travelling with children is definitely possible but will take a lot of preparation and planning before you start. I’m sure as a parent you’d have a better idea of things you need to consider travelling with children than me, but schooling, finance, friendships, their future and safe accommodation would be a good start.
… I’ll miss home
As a travel blogger you don’t have to go away for long periods of time. This decision is a job and a lifestyle, not a gap year. In the 9 months since I became a full time travel blogger I’ve done three different trips.
- Eastern Europe from July to September
- Central America from October to December
- Asia from January to April
I’ve come home in between each one to catch up with family and friends and have learnt that 3-4 months is the right amount of time for me to be away to keep energy high and homesickness non-existent.
… I’ve only just started blogging
It’s impossible to quantify when you’re ripe for the freelancing, and there’s no fixed amount of time to have been working on your travel blog before you’re ready. It’s more about having things in place. Even if you’ve only been blogging a month, so long as you have some sort of income or savings from somewhere else, you could go freelance tomorrow.
But, if you’ve only just started and you’re all bright eyed and bushy tailed fresh back from registering your domain name, I’d hold off a bit. You need to make sure you can keep up with blogging, that you actually enjoy what can be solitary work and that you have the drive, enthusiasm and creativity down the line to keep at it.
… I’m too scared
What if I run out of money? What if I get sick? What if I don’t like it? What if I don’t make any friends?
What if I never find out what I could’ve seen and achieved?
All these questions plague any hobby travel blogger soon to become full timer. It’s natural to be scared about changing a comfortable life for the unknown. For me it was all part of the excitement. I’d been working on my travel blog for 2 ½ years before I quit the day job so emotionally I was definitely ready. I had some freelance clients lined up, I’d been networking for a while and I had some savings as support if it all went wrong.
Terms and conditions apply
- Travel blogging is still hard work and pay is not guaranteed.
- Don’t leave until you’re at least 75% prepared.
- Don’t leave until you’ve got some sort of income from your travel blog already.
- Don’t give up the day job unless you’ve got enough to survive at least six months.
- Have plans for income, food and shelter before you hand in your notice.