My Mental Health as a Travel Blogger

Being a professional travel blogger is weird. It’s this odd juxtaposition of personality types expected to roll into one. Most of us are creative people who started our blogs as an experimental outlet, of some sort. And then more people started to read, and then social media got big and video got bigger and then we started working with brands and then we went freelance – not necessarily in that order – and all of a sudden it became essential to be good at an infinite multitude of skills if we were going to survive.

Travel Blogger Mental Health

Not only wide reaching creative skills in writing, editing, social media management, videography and photography, but in marketing, web design, html, camera tech, business, negotiation, finance, project management, logistics, analytics – skills that people go to university for years to master. Or to at least have some knowledge and experience in.

To be honest it’s totally overwhelming.

My Mental Health as a Travel Blogger

I’m not speaking for every professional travel blogger here, I never could. These are my experiences as someone who’s had a travel blog for five years and lived off it for 2 and a half, travelling all the time with no fixed address. 

“Quit Your Job, Be a Travel Blogger, YOLO!”

Siesta Key Beach

There’s so much hyperbolic propaganda out there about how ‘amazing‘ it is to be a travel blogger and how you should totally give up your day job to do it. There are so many courses, ‘inspirational’ articles and instructional posts describing in just 800 words how you too can get paid to travel the world. And you can, I agree, I’ve written some of the posts myself, but as with anything in life, the harsh reality can be very different to the projected dream.

Look, I’ve had the most incredible 2 and a half years. I know I’m lucky. I know some people would do bad things just to have half the experiences I’ve had. I’ve been to more places I could ever have imagined, but living the life of a digital nomad, and largely by myself, has definitely had an effect on my mental health as a travel blogger.

For anyone thinking of becoming a travel blogger in the way that I’ve done it – blog as the main source of income, moving country every two-ish weeks, travelling solo – I just want to be realistic, and to show you how it can affect your life and wellbeing. And for me, I wanted to write down my feelings and thoughts at this stage of my travel blogging life, seeing as I’m swiftly moving into the next.

I’m not moaning, I’m not spoilt, or over privileged, I’m just telling it like it is.

Travel blogger burnout

Any travel blogger who’s been working at it for a few years and travelling will have had some experience with burnout, I bet you. Running a business on the road is tough and the thing with travel blogging is that there’s always something more to do. Generally the harder you work on your blog, the better it’ll look and read, the more people will like it and the prouder you’ll be. Travel blogging becomes an addictive loop that’s hard to step away from.

This is a really good post on travel blogger burnout by theroadforks.com, she cites loads of American bloggers who’ve travelled for a few years and then stopped from burnout. And below, I’ve included a few examples from some of the top travel bloggers out there, just to prove what I’m saying.

VickyFlipFlop

mental health as a travel blogger

“The ugly truth, the part that is hidden from most of the world, is that full-time work on top of full-time travel has made me stressed out, irritable, antisocial, and it has adversely affected my health.”

– AdventurousKate, Full-Time Travel, Full-Time Work — Is It Even Possible?

VickyFlipFlop

Mental Health as a travel blogger

“We say that we want to inspire people, show people how easy it is to travel the world, teach people how to save money or find affordable luxury or just show people how to be brave enough to go for it. It seems noble enough, but then so many bloggers are doing little more than posing for selfies in front of beautiful landscapes. Styling their outfits to match a famous landmark. Going on influencer trips and drinking cocktails on the beach and posting photos of it. I am one of these people, and sometimes, I hate myself for it.”

– Emily Luxton, Am I Done With Travel Blogging?

From the comments you can see how many travel bloggers agree with her points.

VickyFlipFlop

Mental health as a travel blogger

“I’ve really struggled with how to write this post, because the last thing I want to do is come off ungrateful for my life or unaware of how privileged I’ve been to lead it. But every lifestyle involves sacrifices. And this one, for all it gives me, does lack in some things I’ve grown to feel the absence of — the comforts of a routine, the depth of long term friendships and relationships, the stability of regular employment, a place to call home, a sense of balance. The truth is, for me, much of 2014 was spent on the brink of burnout.

– The Anatomy of a Burnout, Alex in Wanderland

VickyFlipFlop

Just a little bit more on that point, Alex links to this article in the New York Times: When Blogging Becomes a Slog

“… the Internet never sleeps, readers want fresh content daily and new social media platforms must be mastered and added to the already demanding workload. Add to that the economic challenges of blogging full time.”

See, travel blogger burnout is a thing.

And while I’d say I’m not burnt out quite yet, I could see it on the horizon.

The pressure to perform creatively every day is so difficult but when you commit to making travel blogging your career, and life, it’s something you have to get used to.

The criticism, from other bloggers

Barceloneta Beach

– me before I was VickyFlipFlop!

As I said, bloggers are creatives. Many of them aren’t even out there with the goal to make loads of money or have loads of Instagram followers. They just want to put out stories about their lives or the lives they see around them. For many bloggers I know, their blogs are their babies and they’re happy with what they’ve got out of them.

For other bloggers, this is a cut throat business.

Travel blogging is a small world, particularly professional travel blogging. It’s getting smaller while more people are trying to come in. I think it’s because of this that I’ve noticed jealousy and competitiveness at conferences where it’d never been before.

I went to a travel bloggers conference in Porto in September 2012 – never heard a bad or bitchy word about anyone. We all just had a lovely time. Same again in Dublin in October 2013. Everyone was friends and I have so many memories that still make me smile to think about.

Fast forward to one I attended in Stockholm in July 2016 and the amount of bitching against other travel bloggers I heard was shocking, especially when they were meant to be friends. It made me worry about what was being said about me behind my back, as if I was at school again. It was the same again at a conference in November in London, among people who have some power in the industry and should know better. Even worse, what they were saying was totally unfounded.

Bloggers gossiping negatively about other bloggers can be incredibly damaging to someone’s reputation in this small world, especially when it’s total slander and the blogger doesn’t have a chance to defend themselves. Incidents like these make me very distrusting and anxious.

The criticism, from others

Location of Yab Yum

People who don’t worry what other people think must have a really lovely life. I’m comfortable with strangers reading my blog, it’s when people who know you read your work. That’s when the paranoia steps in.

To be honest, no one I know has really ever criticised it, they mock it, sure. And sometimes, depending on what mood I’m in, that’s what I find quite hard to take.

It’s also difficult when you don’t know who exactly is reading. Like this post for example, I wanted to write it for aspiring travel bloggers, to show the other side of travel blogging, but I know when some people read it they’re going to think I’m some anxiety-ridden, paranoid person, and worst of all, ungrateful.

I know for some bloggers it can be immobilising; the fear that someone you know, or that someone, will read your work. Even worse sometimes, than no one reading it. What will they think of me? 

The criticism, from me

I’m my harshest critic I know, and I’m getting worse. I took over a travel company’s social accounts last week and nearly lost it from the pressure and paranoia that what I did for them wasn’t going to be right. I look now and the pictures were perfectly fine, but when that little voice of doubt comes through your airwaves and tells you you’re not good enough, despite what anyone else says, it can be really hard to recover.

Generally the criticism I give myself goes along the lines of the fact that my design is rubbish, I’m not a photographer, my videos are shit, I don’t have as many Instagram fans as my peers, too wrinkly and ugly for YouTube, voice too annoying for Podcasts, my readers think I do too many press trips, there’s too much advertising … you know… the usual.

The paranoia and anxiety

Cool street art near my hostel

Anyone who puts themselves out in the world personally in any way knows how hard it is. For some people it’s so hard that they don’t ever publish their work. I get newbie bloggers who are all shy about starting a blog wanting to know how to have the confidence to just hit ‘publish’.

I didn’t tell anyone about my blog for ages. In fact, it was only at Parklife Festival in 2013 after talking about it to my friends Chloe and Kellie, and they told me to stop holding back, that I went for it.

You’ve just got to do it, I know that. But still, the paranoia at every move is there…

  • Who’ll see it?
  • What will they think of me?
  • Will I offend?
  • What will the activists think?
  • What do they mean by that comment?
  • Have I put too much of myself in that comment? Not enough?
  • Should I be on Snapchat?
  • Oh gawd that client put a kiss, do I need to put one back?
  • Do I have enough likes?

It’s not just the paranoia of ‘publish’, on all social media and blog posts, but for me it’s also the paranoia when I’m networking and on press trips. Going to events and not knowing anyone, going to events and forgetting I know someone, them forgetting me…

I’ve also heard about people losing passports and missing their flights for press trips and that scares me too. I know the PR has put so much work in and if I do something wrong, they’ll hate me (I never have, but there’s time). I’m a conscientious and caring person and when I work with a brand I want them to be happy and to see the value in what I’ve done. Often this means I’ll go totally over and above board, meaning it’s exhausting and time consuming. And usually I didn’t need to.

See what travel blogging has done to me?


If you need help, check out the social network for learning, conscioused.org, for more on anxiety, communication and happiness. 


The ever present comparison

There’s a huge mental health problem around the world right now, we know that, and I’m totally in the camp that says it’s down to comparison. Comparison that has been made all the more easier and prevalent because of social media.

I’m very aware of this. I know I’m one of the annoying people posting photos of what is an unachievable life for some.

I follow a lot of my fellow travel bloggers and colleagues and even when I’m perfectly happy it’s hard to not feel a pang of jealousy over what they’re doing and where they are. I’m a travel obsessive and I want to be good at my job, and sometimes the only validation you can have for this is when brands want to work with you or people Like your stuff.

Zoe London isn’t a travel blogger, but I love her honesty and openness on her lifestyle blog, Here she is summing up what I’m saying…

mental health travel blogger

“I’m having a bit of a rough patch work wise at the minute, i’m worrying about getting older, my hair looking crap, my skin wrinkling up and generally not being as cool as I once was. I’m the wrong side of nearly-30 and i’m stressing that the youthful spark I once had in my blog is gone, and i’ve been replaced all over the internet with other teenagers with bright vibrant hair and that refreshed look on the world.”

– Zoe London, Why Must I Consistently Compare Myself?

The lack of control

The lack of control over my time is one of the main reasons I’ve decided to have a home base. Living from job to job and not knowing whether the next trip was actually going ahead, and what I’d be doing on it, sometimes until I was at the airport was literally driving me crazy. At one point I was going on trip after trip, potentially, but if one of the press trip dominoes fell, they all would. I was so on edge and checking my emails every hour just to see if there was an update.

I felt like I couldn’t pressure a company who was sending me on an awesome adventure, especially when they’re probably waiting on someone else, but I needed to know because I’d need to sort somewhere to live in between. It was a very last minute way to live, and put me permanently on edge.

All the skills

Being a travel blogger is not easy. Not any more. As well as the multitude of skills I’ve already listed about 2000 words ago, any travel blogger has to get used to being away from friends and family for weeks or sometimes for months at a time, they have to be excellent navigators, stay cool in a crisis, meet new people every day, be technologically savvy, miss family events, be prepared to work all hours, be able to promote themselves and to stay strong, among other personal attributes.

Keeping up with all ‘social media’ is insane – why do they keep bringing out new things?! – which is why a lot of the big bloggers have staff to help them cope.

You feel like you work the hardest but there’s no science to doing ‘travel blogging’ well. You could’ve been trying something for years not getting anywhere and someone else swans in and it works like magic. You could buy all the courses in the world, but they’re only written by people with a maximum of five years more experience than me, and often the reason they’re successful is because they got in early and so now all the algorithms favour them.

There’s no science to travel blogging and no way to get yourself to the top of the blogging pile – to be one of those lucky hard working, opportunist few who make a living out of it – no matter how many skills you gain.

Trying to get paid

God this is annoying, and one of the biggest threats to my mental health as a travel blogger. Some companies feel they can treat freelancers with no respect because we obviously don’t have a big company behind us. There’s always someone that doesn’t want to pay for the work you’ve done, and seeing as it’s creative you can’t take the work and time taken to do it back, so you need to keep pressuring until that cash hits your account. So far, I’ve always got it – although that’s looking to change with one selfish and disrespectful client right now – but sometimes it’s taken months, and hours of back and forth emails.

Going to work at a set time every day and getting paid on time at the end of the month is totally underrated – there’s absolutely no guarantee I’ll earn any money next month. I’m doing alright, y’know. This isn’t a plea for bread and tea bags. I can pay for my Dorset cereals and almond milk, but that worry is always there.

It costs money to be a travel blogger. I’d say 70% of my travels have been entirely funded by me, and I only get to go on the other 30% because I’ve proved myself on the 70%. Getting to be a professional travel blogger has been a huge investment and now I need it to start paying off. So for every person who tries to get something for free from me (happens every day) they’re insulting me and totally wasting my time.

Organisation

Checking the Field Day Line Up

I feel I’m very organised with work, as in, I have spreadsheets, I know what I need to do. There’s some sort of system going on there. I just need to do it. I was totally one of those teenagers who spent longer decorating my homework diary than actually doing what was listed in it.

I’ve travelled to over 30 countries in the past 3 years. Every day I was seeing new things. Some days everything would be new; from food, to drink, to roads, to people, to beds. I stayed in 114 different beds last year. Not like that. That kind of life is fun for a while but then it becomes exhausting. The amount of time I’d spend planning my life was taken out of actually living it. Even just booking a hotel for a night could take me an hour or more because I’d need to check the Wi-Fi, the location, etc, and when you’re moving every few days that’s a lot of time spent on organisational admin.

Keeping up with a home life

Obviously relationships comes into this. Friends my age and even younger are married, babies, second babies. People always want to know about my love life – from the students at the talk I gave at my university last week to the taxi driver in Barbados to the lady running the cooking class in Vietnam.

Just lately I’ve noticed the interest turning to pity though, as if I hadn’t chosen this life. I can only assume I must be looking older. Instead of ‘creative entrepreneur travelling the world as I please’, to them I’m more ‘ageing spinster who needs a husband’.

travel blogger mental health

“The worse thing with time though is sometimes feeling like as a traveller you’re losing track of ‘real life’ – people get married, buy houses, have kids…as a traveller you’re on a completely different scale of time where milestones are numbers of countries, visa runs and road trips.”

The True Cost of Travelling – Chris from Backpacker Banter

Alone time vs friends 

Spending so much time alone as I have would drive some people crazy, I know that but I’ve enjoyed it. In fact I find it kind of exhausting to be with people. I never used to feel like that though. I think it’s because when I’m with people when I’m travelling I’m getting to know them over and over again, with the same routine, rather than actually knowing someone and just hanging out.

It wasn’t until recently, when I was saying goodbye to another group of new awesome friends after my Vietnam trip that one of them said, “oh you must be used to this?”. And I realised that yeah, I am, I am used to saying goodbye and never really forming any kind of attachment… and I don’t want to be. Probably 90% of the new people I’ve met in the last two and a half years I’ve never seen again after we’ve gone our separate ways. That’s sad isn’t it?

I need friends that I’ve known longer than a week.

Just being honest

Porto cafe

I listen to people complain about work all the time, but if I say anything – about the way I travel the world and write about it for a living – I know I sound ridiculous. But the truth is this is a job, it’s a job with an awesome office.

As blogger Alex in Wanderland said above, I’d never want to appear ‘ungrateful’, but I do want to be honest. So here it is, all 4000 words of it, my authenticity.

The truth for me is that I need a break from the way I’ve been travelling and working. I could probably have done with it a few months ago, but at the same time I’m totally addicted to travel and find it hard to say no to amazing opportunities. So I’ve grabbed them, one after the other, whether it’s good for my mental health or not.

My friends see how hard I work, the toll of being everywhere at all times and making the most of every moment, and in the words of my friend Fiona the other week, who I’ve probably seen every time I’ve been back in England over the years; “I don’t know how you can be bothered”.

GOD I FEEL BETTER FOR WRITING THAT

Norwegian Getaway day

I love travel blogging, I love my life, you know I do. But I hope this post has given you a bit of an insight of what five years of blogging and 2 and a half of doing it as a digital nomad can do to you, and how being on the move all the time and trying to make money can affect your mental health as a travel blogger.

I think it takes a certain type of person to be able to live the travel blogger life in the kind of fast paced way as I have. It’s been great, but for the sake of my healthy mind, it’s time to calm down.

How I plan to change

Mental health as a travel blogger

So I think from that we can surmise that I’m an over anxious, paranoid, jealous control freak on the edge of burnout OR that I’m an honest realist and I want you to know what it’s really like to be a professional travel blogger living as a digital nomad. Take it as you will.

I know that there are different ways to be a travel blogger – step back from conferences, have a rich life away from travel blogging, don’t travel so much, have some routine, have a home to go back to – which is exactly what I’m planning on doing now.

And you can read about my plans for the next few weeks here: OH MY GOD, COMMITMENT.

Thanks for sticking with me. It was long, I know.
Let me know what you think of this post in the comments box below –
would love to know your thoughts on it all.

…Oh, one more thing. Living out of a backpack, when you’re as messy as I am, was not good for my sanity.

…And another. The never-ending quest for Wi-Fi, so that you can actually work. Many swear words have passed my lips. In fact, I can’t believe I didn’t mention this one before. Places that say they have Wi-Fi, but it doesn’t actually work, are the worst.

VickyFlipFlop

If you like to keep things Pinteresting…

Travel blogger mental health

Follow the festival fun on Instagram @VickyFlipFlop

More on life as a travel blogger

how-to-be-a-successful-travel-bloggerhow to start a travel blog
The Strangest Things About Being Home After Long Term Travel
8 Tips Every New Travel Blogger NEEDS to Know

58 Comments

  1. by Arianwen on February 27, 2017  6:21 pm Reply

    I've had a lot of these thoughts too! I just don't think it's sustainable full time year on year. I've only carried it on this long because I went back and forth between long trips and short-term contracts, and I'm super excited to finally be based in the UK. Good luck with the next phase Vicky!

    • by Vicky on February 28, 2017  4:04 pm Reply

      Yeah it's a pretty full on lifestyle. I think there are different ways to do it that could work for a long time – for example, staying somewhere for a longer time, with friends or a partner, or signing up to some sort of programme like Remote Year – but I didn't want that. I've had an awesome two and a half years, but now's the time to approach travel blogging in a slightly different way. Also very excited to be based here now – think it's good to have some sort of constant, just to keep you grounded and happy. My life is still going to be random and exciting, but I just know I've got somewhere to come back to :).

  2. by Clare on February 27, 2017  7:01 pm Reply

    This is a brilliantly honest post. I have to say I find I struggle even though I'm not a pro - so heaven only knows what it's really like to have your livelihood depend on it. I'm on the cusp of attending another conference and honestly, I don't know if I should. I don't know if I can cut it when things get cut throat - I can't stand it when people put each other down just to get ahead. Would my weekend be better spent away with my husband and little boy? The other thing I really suffer from is fear of putting my blog out there because it's not good enough (or I'm not good enough - they feel like the same thing!). The paranoia and fear is too real! Thank you for writing something so relateable x

    • by Vicky on March 1, 2017  5:58 pm Reply

      Hi Clare, conferences can be really good so I don't think you should put off going. I'm still planning on going to Traverse and WTM this year as they're so useful and a great way to meet other bloggers. I just found the July one stifling, but it was the people I was with and the headspace I was in at the time.

      On your other point, what IS good enough? I'm happiest with my blog when I'm just having fun with it and enjoying working on the writing, design and photography that I like to do, not trying to please everyone else. It's as soon as I start worrying about others that I don't enjoy it. Sounds like we both need to stop!

      I think at every level of creativity people have these worries, and I know I should follow my own advice, but we just need to work out what's important, focus on that, and with everything else just chill out and enjoy the ride.

      Thanks for reading and commenting :).

  3. by Chris on February 28, 2017  6:02 am Reply

    Enjoy the downtime Vicky - chill out, regroup and get ready for the next chapter :)

    • by Vicky on March 1, 2017  6:00 pm Reply

      Thanks Chris. I think that's what I need really. A chance to catch up on some work and get on top of things and then I'm sure I'll be ready to travel again. :)

  4. by Rebeka Bergin on February 28, 2017  12:39 pm Reply

    This is an amazing post. As a digital nomad I can relate to a lot of the feelings you have spoken about here. Especially when you spoke about friendships. Although I travel with my husband, I miss my friends at home a lot while I'm away, when you're always on the move it's so hard to build meaningful, long-lasting friendships. I always find myself just wanting someone to hang out with. I actually think it's the hardest part about travelling, it can be quite lonely at times.

    • by Vicky on March 1, 2017  6:04 pm Reply

      Thanks Rebeka. It's hard to be away from your friends so much isn't it? To not be able to just call up and hang out? I totally agree it's one of the toughest things about the digital nomad life. Living as the way we do / have has so many incredible benefits and really there are very few downsides, but I feel like the ones that exist run pretty deep and can't be replaced by anything. That's lovely that you travel with your husband though. Thanks for reading and commenting :).

  5. by Ian on February 28, 2017  4:14 pm Reply

    Really interesting read, Vicky. I'm in my 50's and travelling/blogging has become my full-time commitment for the past two years - albeit for personal enjoyment rather than running it as a business. Converting to a full-time professional travel blogger sounded like something to aspire to but I must admit your cautionary tale is certainly food for thought. Just the commitment to social media alone would drive me crazy. Really appreciate your honesty and best of luck with your change of direction.

    • by Vicky on March 1, 2017  6:06 pm Reply

      Ha, social media does drive you mad! I just wanted to present a different, tried and tested opinion, to all that I see on the internet about how amazing it is to be a travel blogger and see the world for a living. I mean, it is, of course, but there are the downsides above that are difficult to talk about because you sound like an ungrateful moaner. I hope I've presented the facts in a way that no one thinks that. As with anything in life, too much of a good thing is too much!

  6. by Beatrice on March 1, 2017  10:33 am Reply

    Love this post, and can find myself nodding many times. Even wishing that this was in print so I could highlight the parts that resonate with how I feel many times and what I wish I could explain to my friends and family and even my partner! And yet, I also feel they might think am ungrateful. I assume they'd roll their eyes and think yeah, right why should I care when I'm home doing chores and back to my cubicle tomorrow morning when you're off to see the Sagrada Familia. Haha.

    Thank you for writing this post. And thank you for being authentic. Thank you for saying it as it is and for taking the time to be gentle on yourself.

    Looking forward to your committed life :) and here's to the beginning of another type of travel blogging!

    • by Vicky on March 1, 2017  6:11 pm Reply

      It's hard to explain the downsides of this life to people who haven't lived it isn't it? I know that to some people I just sound like I've lost all perspective. I just wanted to show that there is another side to all the fancy trips and it can be quite hard, which is why so many travel bloggers have battled with burnout.

      I feel better for getting it all out, and not just showing the glamorous side to my life. Now it's time to move on to the next stage!

      Thanks for reading :)

  7. by Rob on March 1, 2017  10:37 am Reply

    Really interesting read, thanks for compiling all the other blogs too. I think it's crucial to schedule your posts as much as possible. If you make a commitment to posting every 2-3 days it's really easy to get stressed if you try and write and publish on the same day - especially when you're supposed to be travelling too! It definitely helps in this regard if you just love what you do!

    • by Vicky on March 1, 2017  6:17 pm Reply

      Yeah, totally. I think I need to just be at home for a while, catch up on some work, even try to get ahead and then go travelling again when I feel more relaxed and ready to do so. So much respect for people who manage to schedule – I'm pretty off the cuff to be honest :).

  8. by Steve Biggs on March 1, 2017  1:05 pm Reply

    HeyVicky :) Thanks for posting. It does of course seem like a "bed of roses" to many when a blogger's posting "Hey I'm in The Bahamas", "Follow me next week in Zurich", "Here I am now in Zanzibar" when the reader might be sat on the 07:23 into King's Cross station on a bleak February morning heading off to their '9 to 5' job, but then they're choosing to follow you :)

    Also I imagine you get all those questions on whether you're running away from something? and that you're simply delaying the mortgage/partner/kids and will end up being 10 years behind where you should be compared to everyone else. There's that "comparison" word again :) Readers never see the hardship and bad times as generally the blogger isn't posting that kind of stuff, just the cocktail glass at sunset on the beach ... until I read this article that is.

    • by Vicky on March 1, 2017  6:22 pm Reply

      Hey Biggsy, totally agree with your first point. I remember when I was stuck in an office and reading about one bloggers 'terrible train journey' and thinking how much I would love to be doing that train journey rather than what I was. I've really tried not to do that, but in trying so hard not to do that I felt like I wasn't giving a full picture of what life as a travel blogger was like, and it's definitely not all dreamy.

      Yeah, I think now that I've been doing it a few years and because I am obviously getting older people are like, 'errrrr babies much?'. Not that I really care, but it does happen a lot. Think I just need a break from it all. I'm still a travel blogger, always will be, I just plan on doing more blogging and less travelling from now on :).

  9. by Erin Southerland on March 1, 2017  1:17 pm Reply

    I think this is so important. As the nature of work changes and more and more people work for themselves in some way, it's important to be open about how much it can suck. Also, on a personal level, posts like these actually really help me have some perspective on my own life as a travel blogger. I meant to leave on a year+ trip in 2012, but I didn't because I got sick, very sick. And now, I can't figure out how to leave home for more than a few weeks at a time without skipping my medical treatments because they are so expensive and necessary. It's been heartbreaking in some ways, but in other ways, I'm really lucky. I still manage to have a travel blog that I love. Plus, I have a home base, a husband who is a real homebody, and pets of my own. You can't have those things and travel indefinitely, full-time (okay, the husband you can have if he loves travel too, but the home base and the cat, nope). I hope that you enjoy having a home base, it's a wonderful thing to have even for someone who is totally addicted to travel.

    • by Vicky on March 1, 2017  6:26 pm Reply

      Yeah definitely. I think that's why all these co working spaces are popping up. It's funny because people talk about how they want to escape the office, and escape the routine but a few months / years later they realise that as humans we like a bit of routine.

      The last few years have been awesome but it's just time to approach travel blogging a little differently for me. I can't imagine I'll ever go off again for so long – it just doesn't feel like me anymore.

      I'm sorry that you got sick, sounds like you've had a lot to deal with. That's great that you have some stability and that you can enjoy your travels on the side – that's the kind of balance I'm hoping to achieve over the next few months.

      Thanks for reading and for your comment. It's interesting to see how people have reacted to this post.

  10. by Steve Biggs on March 2, 2017  8:50 am Reply

    Yes I went off on an unnecessary tangent on the mortgage/partner/children thread. However additionally maybe humans are cave dwellers, i.e. they need a base with a certain amount of possessions? So if a digital nomad doesn't have that "place to call home" then this can affect their well-being?

    • by Vicky on March 3, 2017  8:48 am Reply

      I think it depends on the person, and their attitude and how they approach it. I've been travelling by myself for a long time, quite quickly, but I think if you opt to spend a significant amount of time in one place and make some roots and get to know people it can be different. I'd definitely still promote the digital nomad life – and even for me – I've done it for 2.5 years, which is the longest job I've had! I like change, but it was too much. Had such a good week having a home to go back to! :)

  11. by Vicki Winters on March 2, 2017  11:30 pm Reply

    Hi Vicky,

    There's no place like home. There's no place like home. I'll be at Traverse and will look forward to seeing you. Any recos on accommodations?? Any friends that have air bnb properties?

    • by Vicky on March 3, 2017  8:42 am Reply

      Yay, you're at Traverse? That's exciting. I just Tweeted you :). I don't really have any, sorry. Think about going a few stops out to save money as it's going to be expensive – but that's all I have. Obvious. See if you can team up with other bloggers maybe?

      I'm really enjoying having a base. Needed this :)

  12. by Deano on March 8, 2017  12:24 pm Reply

    Hi Vicky, I just found your blog and wanted to drop by and say hi and that I love it. I'll be returning next week, I promise! Reading this post, you've inspired me to start and write more. Your comment also about digital marketing agencies, I had one this morning who wanted to pay peanuts for several posts. They wanted to build a long lasting relationship but could only reply with one or two word answers. As you say though, they're a drop in the ocean compared the others who treat bloggers with respect. Anyway, just wanted to say hi and thanks for writing such a great blog. Speak again soon, Deano

    • by Vicky on March 16, 2017  11:11 am Reply

      Ah thanks Deano. That's great to have inspired you to write more – I didn't want this post to put anyone off, I just wanted to give a more balanced view of what it's really like to be a digital nomad travel blogger. I think in this life I guess you just have to realise that most people are out for as much as they can receive for as little as they can get. I'm sure we're all guilty of it at some point. Just got to play the game :).

  13. by Ed on March 8, 2017  2:05 pm Reply

    Hi Vicky,

    This has been my favourite post to read this year. Well done!

    Yeah, it is important to change and adapt as your values and mind set keeps evolving. But you've hit on a point about being alone. Lately, I prefer to be alone instead of being with other people as you've quite rightly said that 90% of all people you meet, you'll never see again. My emotional attachments have become weaker and I don't feel a sense of loss when I say bye to someone. Just a 'see ya later.'

    Very thought-provoking this, and I'll be thinking about this as well. I'll let you know my coherent response when I see you next instead of the random sentences showcasing my thought processes above.

    I'll stop talking now.

    Ciao.

    • by Vicky on March 17, 2017  3:19 pm Reply

      Thanks Ed, glad you found in interesting. Yeah it's sad isn't it? Maybe it's just part of getting older as well. Naturally you don't have as many friends, and maybe have weaker bonds with the ones you do have. It makes sense.

      Ok, hopefully see you soon. Maybe at something at Traverse?

      Thanks for reading and for your comment :)

  14. by Jessica on March 9, 2017  1:30 pm Reply

    Vicky, I always love your posts but I think this is one of your best ones. I totally share the feeling about my life nowadays. As a travel blogger/ digital nomad you're always on the road and I love my life, but a lot of people don't see the downsides of it. Thanks for sharing! :)

    • by Vicky on March 17, 2017  3:21 pm Reply

      Ah thank you Jessica. Yeah, I just wanted to show the other side to all the photos and cool experiences. There are definitely downsides to a life on the road, and these are some of them!

  15. by Helen on March 10, 2017  8:39 pm Reply

    Amazing post Vicky luv! xxxx

    • by Vicky on March 15, 2017  6:30 pm Reply

      Thanks Helen! :)

  16. by Virginia on March 14, 2017  6:19 pm Reply

    Vicky I feel stressed for you just reading this! I've always been impressed by your stamina to travel so, so much and consistently blog all along the way while living out of a backpack. I could never have managed it. Although I've also been very envious too, I'll admit! I hope you're enjoying Southsea now (I spent a lot of my childhood near Bosham, which you must definitely visit, and you must try out all the sailing & windsurfing & watersports when summer arrives!) But I agree with you on some points - I've definitely seen my blog move away from the typical travel blogger press trips and campaigns, partly because (like you) I really cannot be bothered to keep up with all the new social media channels! Really interesting post to read and I hope you manage to catch it before you get to burnout!

    • by Vicky on March 15, 2017  6:21 pm Reply

      Yeah when I look back it has been pretty crazy! I've enjoyed it but it was definitely time for a change.

      I'm loving Southsea, really loving it. It's been great to have less to think about with travelling and more energy to put into work and into fitness too. Ah I went to Bosham! Nice down here isn't it? Come visit again!

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  18. by Emily Luxton on March 22, 2017  10:09 am Reply

    About halfway through I genuinely started wondering if I wrote this for you and then just forgot about it!! This is literally everything I've been feeling and thinking for months. Really well put too! I especially get the bits about comparison and criticism. My family often take the mick because that's just what we do, but sometimes it's really damaging. Like when my sister peed herself at my first ever video and I started thinking I should just give up and never make another one. She also said I walk like a Teletubby. Cow.

    And the bit about being alone. Totally feel you. I've turned into a recluse! I think what we need is a sense of community - that's the thing you miss out on by being a constant traveller. I miss hanging out with people I already know - getting to know new people all the time is exhausting!

    Anyway, this is amazing. You are amazing. I'm moving to Southampton for a while so let's hang out. Nearly bbq on the beach season! Xxx

    • by Vicky on March 23, 2017  11:07 am Reply

      Aww that's so mean of your sister. I think jokey comments from friends and family can hurt, depending on your mood. I always get things like 'who reads it?'. 'I don't get it', 'Who'd want to know what you ate' – I want to reply that its' because you're a dinosaur and you don't understand. Run along to your office job. But I don't. I think we just need to remember that Casey Neistat video in times like that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jG7dSXcfVqE

      WE ARE THE ICEBERG!

      Anyway, yes, we need a community. Move to Southampton and we can own the coast and get lots of other people to move here and meet cool people and have fun BBQs and all will be great :). xx

  19. by Anna on March 24, 2017  7:19 am Reply

    Thanks so much for writing this Vicky! I feel the same, I already cut back on press trips and conferences and prefer to do my own thing but it still gets lonely. I feel better knowing I'm not the only one who feels this way as I'm scared to say anything as I'll sound like a spoiled brat because on the outside it looks like the dream job and the perfect lifestyle. Thanks for your post and your refreshing honesty :)

  20. by Vicky on March 25, 2017  8:24 pm Reply

    Hi Anna, thanks for your comment. I think like with anything in life as soon as it stops being fun or what you want to do you need to make steps to analyse and change what's gone wrong. Travel is exhausting, especially travelling and running a business. Taking time out to take stock is nothing to be ashamed off and will usually do the world of good!

  21. by Nikki Godwin on April 7, 2017  8:40 am Reply

    So glad I stumbled across this article! Very honest and refreshing outlook on the blogger life and something I feel most of us bloggers can resonate with! I decided some months ago to be one of those bloggers that do it as more of a hobby (which maybe brings in a little income from time to time). The stress of maintaining it and keeping up with all the latest trends was just getting too much and other areas of my life were just getting neglected p.s. loving the new look of the website by the way! Keep up the good work lady!

    • by Vicky on April 11, 2017  8:27 am Reply

      Hi Nikki, thanks for your comment. Glad you're enjoying my work :) Yeah, there are definitely hidden issues and downsides to doing this job full time. I just feel like I couldn't do anything else right now though! Maybe that will change in the future – who knows. Until then I'm trying to change the way I work a bit, to make it more mental health friendly. Just needs a shift in my thought and work process I think!

  22. Pingback : When One Door Closes... On Becoming a Full-Time Travel Blogger - Helen in Wonderlust

  23. by Clazz - An Orcadian Abroad on May 1, 2017  7:39 pm Reply

    Great post, and it sums up much of why I don't feel like I'd want to be a digital nomad! (which is actually my most recent blog post funnily enough)

    I'm just amazed at the number of people who can keep up with their business and/or freelance work as well as all the different social media. But then I wonder what kind of life they're really experiencing on their travels? I just don't think it's for me. I was perfectly happy to travel for 18 months, I spent a year of that working in Australia and loved it. It meant I really got to know places too, rather than hopping place to place like I did for the other 6 months. I don't think I could travel non-stop for years.

    Such a shame that the blogging industry has become more cut throat. I feel like perhaps that's because it's become SO competitive? Or maybe it's because the industry is so overglamourised now that too many people are in it for the wrong reasons?

    • by Vicky on May 6, 2017  10:30 pm Reply

      Yeah, I think both of those points are true. It looks like the most glamorous job ever but behind the scenes is actually pretty complex. I had a great time travelling and working for 2.5 years but I'm so glad I recognised when it was time to go home as it does all get quite overwhelming. To be honest, I think it used to be easier. Once upon a time you used to just be able to be a writer, but now there's just so much more to cover with YouTube and all the social media that it's got too much.

      Still a great job though and I think every blogger has the luxury of working out what works for them and how they can make their mark in the industry. I hope it all goes well for you :)

  24. Pingback : When One Door Closes… On Becoming a Full-Time Travel Blogger | Travela's

  25. by Melissa on July 29, 2017  4:27 pm Reply

    I just stumbled across this post and it sums up exactly how I'm feeling right now - Thanks for sharing this!

    I've always loved following along on your blog and a lot of the advice that you've provided on how to start up as a Travel Blogger and Digital Nomad really helped me in the beginning. I absolutely cannot blame you for wanting a home base - I was certainly one of the people who thought that being a Travel Blogger was living the high life but after a recent press trip where I was trying to balance full days of exploring with evenings of writing, I was like jeeze how do people do it? The last thing I wanted to do at the end of the day was sit down and start blogging. Everything I tried to write came out looking like something a ten year old had written - ha!

    I'm surprised by how bitchy people can be too. I've written articles that have been shared around expat groups (I write a lot about about travel/expat life in South Korea), only to find another Korea based blogger has decided to write an amended version of the same article a few days later, I've had bloggers inquiring about how I managed to land a particular freelance gig and then going off to try and contact the publication to do that project themselves, AND I've even had bloggers approach me about sponsored posts I've done to say that they wrote about the topic for the sponsor first - as though once one blog has reviewed something, it's illegal for anyone else to!

    Anyway I'll stop ranting now - sorry! Hope you are enjoying life back in Blighty! xx

    • by Vicky on July 30, 2017  7:31 pm Reply

      Hi Melissa, thanks for your comment. I'm glad someone else feels the same way. It's weird isn't it? You think that travelling and writing is everything you want, but then you change, and that's absolutely fine. It's difficult to explain to anyone who hasn't been in the situation, but travelling and working is hard!

      Press trips can be hard can't they? And when you're not getting paid you're taking days out of your life, and then even more to come back and write about it, and you're not getting paid. Sometimes this works out, but you really need to assess whether it's right for you and not just accept any opportunity that comes along.

      Wow, sounds like you've been around some mean bloggers! I think the industry has just got so much more competitive that it's turning in on itself. Need to ignore the haters and just do your own thing. Yeah, really enjoying it here. Hope you're having fun with your blog and don't let anyone ruin the love and passion you have for it xx

  26. by travaux electricite on August 23, 2017  2:49 am Reply

    cool travel

    • by Vicky on August 29, 2017  9:24 pm Reply

      Thank you :)

  27. by slope game on January 8, 2018  9:43 am Reply

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  28. by Mick on February 12, 2018  11:37 am Reply

    I had an experience with bloggers bad mouthing other bloggers, and it's so sad. But I'm wondering if this is more common practice among female travel bloggers? Regardless, it would be much better if everyone in this industry support each other considering it's a small community, as you said . :(

    • by VickyFlipFlop on February 21, 2018  2:53 pm Reply

      Oh yeah I hear that a lot. I guess it's the same in any industry though – as soon as people feel threatened they feel the need to knock the other person down. I just try to stay positive and not listen to people being mean about each other. It's usually the people who have nothing better to do anyways!

  29. by Akhil Arya on October 6, 2018  7:10 am Reply

    Thanks for sharing with us this informative knowledge with us.

    • by VickyFlipFlop on October 18, 2018  3:16 pm Reply

      No worries! Glad you enjoyed the post.

  30. by happy wheels on June 3, 2019  6:29 am Reply

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  31. by Heena Cruz on July 23, 2019  6:55 am Reply

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  32. by happy room on July 29, 2019  3:29 am Reply

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  33. by Margaret on September 16, 2019  11:47 am Reply

    Traveling is a lot of fun. Travel is one of the means of freshening up the mind.
    Almost everyone likes to go on the fence.
    So travel is good in mind. Hard is good, removes mental thoughts.
    To know about travel and which place is beautiful then visit our page.

    • by VickyFlipFlop on September 17, 2019  9:27 am Reply

      Absolutely. I think travel really opens your eyes to your world and gives you more ways to think about things than just the obvious. Without a doubt, travel changed my life for the better and I'm so glad I took that first step to get out there and see for myself.

  34. by Whitney on October 30, 2019  1:26 am Reply

    Great post! It can be challenging and overwhelming to be a travel blogger, and it can be lots of fun and rewarding.

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