I’ve been shipwrecked in Indonesia. I’ve taken a boob to the face in Istanbul. I’ve hit on Jon Stewart in New York City, which got me subsequently mocked on The Daily Show, and I’ve been an extra in a really, really bad German movie.
That’s my life. If there’s an adventure available, I’ll go for it — and even if I end up punched in the face and bleeding from the eye (yes, it’s happened), it will make a good story later!
I’m a 31-year-old girl originally from the Boston area. After four years of establishing a career in online marketing and a lifetime dreaming of traveling the world, I decided that it was time to make it happen.
In September 2010, at the age of 26, I quit my job to travel Southeast Asia for six months. Six months turned into 4.5 years across more than 60 countries.
While in Southeast Asia, I worked on developing this site along with building a freelance work portfolio. After returning to the U.S. in May 2011, I realized that I was making almost enough money to support myself full-time. With a little ramping up, I wouldn’t have to go back to a conventional job. So I ramped it WAY up — and I haven’t looked back since.
In early 2016, I decided it was time to slow down — so I moved to New York City. I’ve downsized my travel from 80-100% of the time to more a modest 25% of the time.
How Do I Make the Money to Travel So Much?
I’ve been making my entire income online since 2010. Over time, my earning methods have changed significantly. Today my income comes from several areas.
On the blog, I make money through the following methods:
1) Affiliate marketing. I link to products I recommend and earn a commission if people buy them, at no extra cost to you.
2) Campaigns. Campaigns are organized paid initiatives for brands, both travel and non-travel, that may include anything from sponsored travel to site advertising, social media promotion, public appearances at events, and more. Any campaign post is disclosed as being sponsored.
3) Branded content. Branded content posts are paid posts that promote a certain product. All branded content posts are disclosed at the top. I only choose products that I think will interest my readers, mostly travel contests, and limit them to two per month, max.
4) Products. I’m now running tours and I’m currently developing new products for release later this year.
5) Freelance writing and consulting. I rarely freelance in either area anymore, but in the past I’ve done freelance writing for publications including The Boston Globe and was once the Asia travel writer for Answers.com. These days, most of my consulting is limited to advising on apps and startups within the travel industry.
6) Public speaking. I speak at a variety of events on travel, blogging, and women’s empowerment.
Know this: making a full-time living as a travel blogger is an extraordinarily difficult thing to do. This is in no way passive income — it requires an immense amount of time, work, and networking.
For a realistic look at what it’s like to be a professional travel blogger, read this post (published April 2012); for a more recent update, read this post (published August 2013); for the most recent update, read this post (published January 2015).
My Travel Philosophy
In many parts of the world, it’s common for women to travel solo and independently. In my home country, the United States, it’s not. I started this blog to show what it’s like for women to travel solo. There is a lot of bullsh*t out there designed to scare women away from traveling on their own; I’m here to clear up those myths.
While these days I travel quite a bit with friends, I almost always add on solo extensions to my trips and I continue taking trips on my own. I don’t travel solo because I have to — I do because I love it.
I believe that it’s best to teach by example, and my ultimate goal is to show women that independent and solo travel can be safe, easy, and a lot of fun.
Much of my travel is done on a budget, though my definition of “on a budget” has evolved over the years, and I’m committed to showing you how to find maximum value in your travels — where to splurge, how to save, and plenty of secrets I’ve picked up along the way. Oh, and funny travel stories, musings, and cool travel photos. Like anyone else in the world, I have good times and bad times, but I promise to show you reality — with honesty and humor.
Choosing to live a life of travel is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and I’m glad you’ve come along for the ride.
Thanks for visiting.
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