Five years ago I walked into my boss’s office with sweaty palms and a cracking my voice and handed in my resignation. I wasn’t going to a competitor. I wasn’t moving companies. I was DONE. I was done with working in an office. I was done with feeling unfulfilled in my work. I was done meticulously counting my vacation days like a kid counts pennies.
It took a long time but I had finally mustered up the courage to recognize my true passions and things I really wanted to devote my energy and time to. I wanted to live abroad and become a writer and photographer. I wanted the freedom of working for myself while being able to inspire others. I was full of passion and excitement.
And nerves. LOTS of nerves.
I had the big picture all laid out but there were a lot of unknowns and a lot of trial and error. Five years ago, I didn’t have the luxury of endless online support and blueprints. I was fumbling my way through the dark trying to make sense of it all, learning from my mistakes and trusting my gut and following my intuition.
After a lot of hard work and too many sleepless nights, I finally began realizing it was working. I was living. And traveling. And completely self-sustaining. The life I dreamed of was becoming a reality and I knew I had made the right call.
Like so often in life, all it takes is a leap of faith. And a whole lot of trust in yourself.
You hear so often these days about bloggers quitting their jobs to travel (hello!) but I’m not saying you need to quit your job to pursue blogging. In fact, today I’m going to argue you don’t do that.
Just because it’s what worked for me, doesn’t mean that my path should be the same for everyone. Writing and photography isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and behind the glam and pretty photos, it’s a lot harder and much more time consuming than anyone could imagine. Success as a blogger is never guaranteed, and it takes a lot of hard work, stubbornness and creative thinking to make it work.
But listen, just because you’re not interested in a blogging career doesn’t mean your chance at a fulfilling career that lets you travel is out of reach.
Blogging is one of the hundreds of ways to be self-employed and travel the world while working remotely. I don’t know about you guys, but my life goal has always been to work less and travel more.
And you’re in luck because it’s 2018 and there’s literally information EVERYWHERE about exactly how to do this and be successful. One of my biggest secrets is that I’m all about upskilling, and trying to teach myself new tricks, hacks, and lessons that I can apply to make my business infinitely better. There is always something new to learn beyond what I have figured out on my own.
Not into blogging? Don’t sweat it. Here are five other ways to quit your job and travel without ever setting up a blog.
1. Make it as a freelancer
When people think of working in travel, the most common answer that first comes to mind is usually working as a freelance writer or photographer. Let’s call it the more traditional path. It’s certainly a part of what I do as well, but not all. But how do you start?
I get it. Freelancing can be an intimidating world. With ever-increasing competition, it can be hard to make yourself stand out from the crowd in a busy digital market. And if you do stand out, what next? How do you determine your prices? How do you track invoices? How do you make your business run as efficiently as possible?
The good news is there’s a lot of information and courses available to you to kickstart your freelance career. Hundreds of entrepreneurs and freelancers have paved the way for you and are willing to share their insider tricks. You’ll need a little perseverance and determination but even new freelancers who aren’t quite ready to take the leap and commit full time can find the resources they need to get off the ground.
If you’re determined to make it as a travel writer and find yourself near Australia this June, on June 30th, my business partners and I are presenting our 5th Travel Bootcamp workshop on the Gold Coast, and Georgia Rickard is leading the sessions on writing and freelancing.
2. Build your own online business that doesn’t suck
If you were to ask me where to focus on in 2018, this would be it. There are so many amazing ways to make it online. Why be tied to an office with limited vacations when you could be living like a king on the beach in Thailand?
But it’s not easy. So many people have business ideas that never come to fruition. Only those who have both the end vision and the blueprint to get there see success and believe me, I know it’s hard to see the path when you’re the one creating it. But at the same time, I know people who make it.
The easiest way to get a roadmap to success is to find and join a community of like-minded people who will share with you their ideas and opinions. That’s what I did when I joined Super Star Blogging. Finding a community to bounce ideas off of is crucial to your growth and professional development.
Finding a community will help you make that giant leap, giving you concrete instructions and practical ideas to get your business off the ground.
3. Travel hacking with frequent flyer points
One of the biggest barriers to travel is the cost of flying. Sure, Europe has those cheap airlines that practically charge you if you sneeze on their aircraft but that’s not the only way to travel on the cheap.
But there’s a new way to travel on the cheap: hacking frequent flyer points. There are endless amounts of blog posts and online courses on this topic which will teach you exactly how you can fly around the world for $100. Making travel more affordable and accessible = location independence in your work. Win-win!
No, travel hacking isn’t necessarily a career job, but if it saves you thousands and thousands and allows for free (or basically free) travel, wow, then that is worth it, isn’t it?
4. Podcast your way to success
Podcasting has seen a huge increase in popularity over the past few years and for good reason. People are always looking for inspiration and entertainment through their earbuds while the face the daily commute or while they’re out for their morning run.
Who doesn’t love gushing about the things they love? Your friends and family only have so much capacity when you won’t shut up about your passion projects but good news! If you’re truly passionate about it, odds are there are tons of others out there who are also equally passionate about that particular topic. Create the content and you will find your kindred podcast spirit audience!
I have become obsessed with Podcasts this past year, usually true crime and self-help ones, an odd mixture I’ll admit, and I am hoping one day I can even start my own! That is, when I come up with a creative idea for one, and also get over the sound of my own voice.
Seriously, who is that breathy child on the phone? Oh, it’s me. SHAME.
5. Become an influencer like me!
Now hear me out. I know that the word “influencer” might be the douchiest word out in existence but it also happens to be an epic career path, if you’re willing to make it work. Perhaps it’ll even be Oxford word of the year in 2018 (disclosure – I just made that up).
But I digress. Perhaps one of the newest ways to make money while traveling is become an influencer. I know, I know, you’re shaking your head and cursing millennials right now, but bear with me.
People build entire careers out of creating and cultivating a brand. It’s very likely you have at least one hobby or interest that really gets your blood racing. Something you can talk about for hours. If you can pinpoint what exactly you love doing, you can learn to build a brand around what you love, motive it and reap the benefits of building your name within that industry.
It’s the idea of making yourself an authority on your passion and being able to spread that passion to other people. If you can build an audience, you can pitch yourself to brands who want to reach that audience. Learn your brand and stay true to yourself and eventually, you’ll build an audience who respects you and goes to you for advice on travel, food, clothing or whatever it is you’re passionate about!
So there you go. You don’t need to be a verbose blogger to make a career out of travel.
You can have your cake and eat it too but, as with any new venture, be prepared to work for it, not give up and don’t take no for an answer. Surround yourself with positive and supportive influences who will help you identify the tools you need to succeed. Joining groups will help you when you get stuck (and you will get stuck). Confused about embedding links? Not sure how to pitch yourself? No idea what you’re worth? Joining groups like Super Star Blogging will be the difference between success and defeat.
My blogging career hasn’t been luck. I have poured every ounce of passion and energy into this world for years, and often with no hope or thought of money, and you should be prepared for that too. It takes effort to study and learn and grow but I promise the handwork will be worth it. You just have to figure out the right path for you to take and with these tools, you’ll be in an amazing position to figure out how.
I believe in you! You can do it!
Do you dream of traveling the world and working remotely? Any tips to share? Spill!