Sunday, September 25th, 2016

Happy I-Quit-My-Jobaversary!

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One year ago today, I abruptly left my job and became a full-time travel blogger.

This wasn’t planned.  I had planned on working through mid-October, saving as much money as I could until leaving for Asia on October 20th.

But after seven months of struggling through a job that made me so miserable that I was ticking off every 30-minute interval that passed, I could barely hold on.  Every morning, I went in miserable; there was no repose at the end of the day, knowing that I had to go back.

Then on September 14, 2010, I simply picked up my things and walked out.  I drove home and promptly got back to work — on this site, my passion and my life.

The job had been a mistake from the beginning, for many reasons that are not worth discussing here.

But I’m not here to bad-mouth my old company.  The company was and is well-suited to a lot of people, a few of whom I like very much.  I just wasn’t one of those people.

Since quitting, my work life has become unrecognizable — to my great delight.

The New Office

I’ve had a lot of interesting offices since I started traveling.  My favorite was the one pictured above — on the beach in Koh Lanta, Thailand.

A few memorable ones: a drag sports bar in Legian, Bali; a stunning luxury apartment in Singapore; an art gallery on Koh Chang, Thailand; a milkshake place in Sayulita, Mexico; and my beloved Green House on Thanon Rambuttri, next to Khao San Road in Bangkok.  As soon as I book holidays in Egypt, I’m sure I’ll be in a cafe overlooking the Red Sea in Dahab as I click away at my laptop.

People are always asking me what I do for a living.  I own several different web sites; I do various freelancing (writing, SEO, tech stuff); I do a bit of affiliate marketing; I develop products of my own.  It’s constantly evolving, and I love that.

Here’s a tip: 99.99% of people will never sustain a living from just one web site, and even if you have a very successful web site, you’re probably not one of the 0.001% who will. 

I spent my post-college years thinking, “Maybe I’m just not a career person.”

I mean, that wouldn’t be the worst thing ever.  Despite the American your-work-is-your-life mentality, not everyone HAS to be enamored with their work.  I thought I was one of those people.

Well, the truth is that in the past year, I’ve been working harder that I ever have in my life.  I have become a total workaholic, and I am LOVING it (most of the time, anyway)!

Of course, I’m not making as much money as I was before.  Which is FINE.  I’m making less money but living the life of my dreams, and that is an extremely fair trade-off, as far as I’m concerned.

And I know that once I launch more projects, I’ll be making even more.

Entrepreneurship is feast or famine.

I’m not going to sugarcoat it — the past year has been difficult at a lot of times.  And shamefully, when times have been tough, I’ve taken it out on the people closest to me.  I feel terrible about that, and they don’t deserve that.

Entrepreneurship is a challenge.  You can’t be an overnight success.  You need to work your ass off to make it work.

But there has never been a moment when I’ve wanted to throw in the towel.  Why is that?

I have faith in myself.

Things have a way of working out, and I never forget that.

Like when I arrived in Sihanoukville for the second time, tired, dirty and worried sick about going broke…and I got an offer to do some tech work for a former coworker.  It breathed life into me (and a few hundred dollars into my PayPal account) and that kept me going until more offers came in.

Again and again, this has proven to be the case.

The Future

I fully believe that ten years down the line or so, online entrepreneurship is going to be tremendously more common than it is now.  Why?  Because it’s awesome.  And because it’s becoming increasingly easy and cost-effective (for both workers and employers) to work from anywhere.

Since college, my dream job was “getting paid to blog about my life.”  I used to think the only way I could do that would be by getting a book deal or something.  I know far better now!

If being an online entrepreneur interests you at all, I suggest reading up on it now.  I get a lot of emails from people asking me how to make money online, and I tell them the same thing: Learn how to build a site with WordPress.  Learn SEO.  Learn affiliate marketing.

Do not start with travel blogging as a way to make money.  It requires a lot of time and effort before you’ll see any money, and it requires quite a bit of upkeep in order to keep making money.  Look into passive income if you want something less time-consuming.

It all began with a leap of faith.

I’m proud to say that I’ve been a full-time online entrepreneur for a year now, even though I had no idea at the time that this would be my future.

Here’s to a year of success and cheers for many more in the future.  As I always say, we’ll see what happens!

Comments

74 Responses to “Happy I-Quit-My-Jobaversary!”
  1. Touteouïe says:

    Happy I-Quit-My-Jobaversary!
    Lucky you! Wishing you all the same for the years to come 🙂

  2. Shannon says:

    Happy I-Quit-My-Jobaversary, Kate! It’s been amazing watching your site grow with each new adventure! I am so happy for you, and you’re an inspiration. I hope to be celebrating a day like this someday soon!

    Cheers!

  3. Betti says:

    happy anniversary! hope you will have an even more enjoyable second year on the road.
    maybe I missed it but I don’t remember you ever mentioning what kind of a job it was that you quit. I’m sooo itching to know 🙂
    which beach is that in Ko Lanta? I never really got to see it at its best because it was raining relentlessly for a week when we went there. stayed at a place called “where else?”

    • Betti, my job was at a search engine marketing agency — you know those little ads on the side of Google? I wrote those, made tiny changes in the wording, measured the results, made more tiny changes, measured the results, tried to make the results sound good, etc…again, it’s a great job for some people, and it made me want to stab myself in the eyeballs.

      That beach was Klong Nin — the resort was Lanta Palace, I believe. We were there in November and it was definitely still rainy season, but we got a lot of sun, too!

  4. Lauren says:

    LOVE THIS POST!!!! Today is my last day at work! I wish I could say I have grand plans to start blogging full time but no. Instead, I think I will continue to work on and off to fund more travel! Keep writing!

  5. travelpology says:

    Isn’t that funny how it all works out? I ended up quitting sooner than planned, too. Two months early. I couldn’t handle it anymore either and so far it’s worked out fine! Congrats to you! My freedom started in April and I look forward to celebrating my one-year anniversary when it arrives.

  6. Jenna says:

    Happy I-Quit-My-Jobaversary! You are doing an amazing job; you are such an inspiration and are motivating me to follow my dreams as well. Keep it up and have fun in Europe and Egypt 🙂 Wish you the best!

  7. Amanda says:

    Congrats, Kate! What you’re doing really is inspirational — it’s always great to see people chasing their dreams and actually catching them!

  8. Ooooh this post is a bad influence on me. I also have a job that makes me want to put my head in a blender. I put in my resignation, planning to leave October 5th… but now I’m having dreams of walking off the job TODAY!

    As a new travel blogger, though, I really appreciate all the tips in this post!

    And Congrats, Kate!

  9. Dave says:

    Congrats Kate, I can relate to much of what you’ve written. I’m approaching the 4 year anniversary from when I quit my job to travel, and never did I expect to end up working for myself by the end of it.

    But here I am in Montanita, Ecuador, which I think you’d love by the way. 🙂

    “online entrepreneurship is going to be tremendously more common than it is now. Why? Because it’s awesome.”

    Amen. Here in Montanita, I want to take every hippie selling pizzas and necklaces aside and tell them about what’s possible in the online world.

  10. Something tells me that year number two will be easier, better and full of new wonderful moments. Keep living your dream Kate. By doing that you’ll inspire others to do the same. What a nice mark to leave behind you as you travel the world in search of the next adventure.

    Wishing you, sunbeams to warm you, Good luck to charm you.

    A Sheltering angel, So nothing can harm you,

    Laughter to cheer you, Faithful friends near you,

    And whenever you pray, Heaven to hear you.

    :•)

  11. fotoeins says:

    Congratulations, Kate – to many more journeys, adventures, and nourishing times in front of you! I want to let you know I’m very encouraged by long-term travelers like yourself!

  12. Erin says:

    What a great post Kate!!! I’m so happy for you, and you’ve really encouraged me to keep working my @$$ off. There is so much to do and to learn that I get really overwhelmed sometimes, thinking I should be a lot further ahead. I guess it just happens naturally and you learn as you go…trial and error…

  13. Sheryll says:

    Happy Anniversary Kate! You continue to inspire me. Here’s to much more travel, adventures, happiness and love!

  14. Zach says:

    Congrats Kate! Your blog posts are truly inspirational and hopefully a year or so down the road someone will be congratulating me on living abroad and constantly traveling and finally doing what I need and want to do. In the meantime I’m going to keep on loving your adventures!!

    Zach

  15. Jaclyn says:

    Congratulations Kate!
    You are an inspiration to me. Your posts are what keep me counting the minutes until my work day is over so I can save and start my own adventure!!! Thank you!

  16. Archana says:

    Congrats on an awesome milestone, Kate! I’m leaving for my first RTW trip in less than a week, and have been answering so many questions about why I’m leaving, how I’ll afford it, what was wrong with working and what I’ll do when I get back. In my case, I left a job that was wonderful. I just knew this RTW trip was so much bigger than a job. Your post is a wonderful answer to all those nagging questions – it all ends up working out in the end as long as you’re doing what you love! You seem so happy so obviously it was the right decision. Hooray!

  17. Awh reading your blog-it seems you’ve done some amazing things in just a year away. Keep doing what makes you happy!

  18. Alouise says:

    Congrats on your I-quit-my-jobaversary. It seems like when you take charge of your life things start to fall into place. I’m sure the future is gonna keep getting better and better.

  19. Barbara says:

    Happy I-Quit-My-Jobaversary!
    I’m reading this on my birthday, as I serve out my notice period. Eight days to go! I wanted to walk out months ago but I have a family to support. We’re off to Thailand at the end of this month to give this entrepreneurial thing a go. I’m hoping it works out for us as well as it did for you! Keep showing us the way, Kate.

  20. Well done, Kate, you truly are an inspiration…

  21. Nasstaja says:

    Congrats on your I-Quit-My-Jobaversary! I wish you more joy and sucess to come

  22. Congrats, congrats, congrats!! What an inspiration. Maybe some day I’ll be as lucky *AHEM* cough, just kidding… hard-working and determined and well-prepared to seize the day as you were.

    All best from Sweden 🙂 Kate

  23. Shaun says:

    Very inspiring Kate!

    When your passion comes together with your career it gives you a piece of that inner happiness every human loves to feel.

  24. Adam says:

    You’re amazing! And an inspiration.

  25. Lily Leung says:

    Hi Kate,

    Congratulations on your anniversary. What a beautiful celebratory post. I left my job back in April 2010 (18 months ago!) to take time off and to travel, and it was the best decision, ever. I didn’t leave to be an entrepreneur like you did, but many of the ups and downs that you mentioned above still apply, so it’s great to still share part of your journey.

    It was great meeting you in Innsbruck and all the best for your 2nd year as an entrepreneur!

    – Lily

  26. Congrats on following your heart, not many people do sadly!

  27. mazel tov, kate. Leaving everything is a bold decision, and few people regret making it. My first-year anniversary just passed in June. (http://www.wanderingnotlost.org/2011/06/five-things-ive-learned-this-year/), Unlike you, I’m at the opposite end of my career–which was also entrepreneurial (freelance writing). I did the financial roller-coaster for a long time, probably with less faith and grace than you–I was always a tad anxious at the end of the month. But I can attest that things ALWAYS do work out.
    Now on the road for the forseeable future, I no longer have the drive and desire to work so hard to be successful. (Not, mind you, that I don’t still need the money.) Been there for too many years–don’t want to go back. I was hoping to make at least SOME money from my site @wanderingnotlost, but heading into my first year, I agree that it will take more know-how and attention than I’ve given it. I’m hoping to change that cuz, while i really enjoy doing the blog, I don’t like to work for free.
    So–welcome to the entrepreneurial, traveling life. Quite a ride, hey?

  28. Candice says:

    Uplifting post to read today, thanks Kate 🙂

  29. Congrats on the jobaversary! That should become a part of the dictionary and you are right nothing is easy but you have to work hard to get the things in life you want. Cant wait to hear about some of the new projects.

  30. Great post! Very inspiring 🙂 Congrats and look forward to seeing what you do next.

  31. Ahhh, I cant WAIT until I get to quit and be a full-time travel blogger as well!! I dream f that moment every single day =) I am glad u are loving your new lifestyle and u took the plunge! Btw, Dahab is MY favorite place in the whole wide world, so if you need advice, contact me! I lived (Egypt & Morocco) and traveled throughout the Middle East for 16 months and went to Dahab several times so I know it as well as the palm of my hand =D here are some pictures to start getting you excited 😉

    http://travelthemiddleeast.com/2011/09/things-to-do-in-dahab-my-favorite-place-on-earth-photo-essay/

  32. Allison says:

    Hi Kate,

    I’ve really enjoyed reading your travel blog and would like to create my own but am stuck on how to do it. Any suggestions, ie. how-to websites? I’ve a blogspot.com website but am frozen with indecision on what kind of ‘theme’ to choose… Thanks!

  33. I’m so proud of you! Actually I’d love to change jobs and start getting money with my blog, but things here in Brazil are slower…People are just starting to understand the power of travel bloggers have. Anyway, I loved your blog! 🙂

  34. Lauren says:

    Awesome! Happy anniversary!!

    You sound like me in my last job… I used to get there and the first thing I would do is write 1 – 480, all the minutes I would have to work that day, and cross them off one by one!

    Hope you have an even more amazing 2nd year 🙂

  35. Anthony says:

    Great post matey, wishing you many more years of doing what you love 🙂

  36. I have done something rather similar to you – starting a website for myself and other similarly minded travel scribes and bloggers – and although there are days that I wonder if I’m completely mad – I think of the alternative … going back to a 9 – 5 newsroom having to take orders all the time. No thanks! Your post was such a wonderful reminder to follow your bliss. Thanks very much adventurousKate!

  37. April Wilson says:

    Hi Kate,

    Thank you for sharing this story. I left my job earlier this summer to pursue my dreams of being a fulltime freelance writer and editor. I hope a year from now I can say I’ve been as successful as you. Thank you for being inspiring and proving that dreams can come true.

  38. Michael says:

    Koh Lanta lives on as one of my best offices as well. So freakin’ beautiful.

  39. Hi Kate,

    I only need to look at that graph of the rise in Alexa ranking over the last 12 months to realise how much you are smashing it!

    Good job!

    Ive made a web app that rips some data from other travel bloggers website
    >> http://www.freelancebackpacker.com/travel-blogger-stats

    Ive put you in the ‘travel blogger’ category, but pretty sure you should be in the ‘digital nomad’ group!

  40. Happy I-Quit-My-Jobaversary! Today is mine. It’s been one year since I quit mine with no real plan other than getting out of the US and out of my life sucking cubicle. I’m now in Seoul teaching English and in 5 months will start my journey. It’s been fantastic reading about someone else who took the same leap. Thank for all the inspiration and congratulations on your success!

  41. Carlo+Geneva says:

    That is awesome! Happy I-Quit-My-Jobaversary! Me and the wife are quitting at the end of the year, and taking that leap of faith 🙂 Thanks for the inspiring writing.

  42. Erik says:

    It’s good you are following your dream and also realize how lucky you are. Continue to inspire more people to follow what’s inside them.

  43. Kate, I’m super late on replying to this post but had to throw in a few words and congratulate you on all you’ve achieved in this year! I remember meeting you literally a week or two before you embarked on that trip to Southeast Asia! Your advice about monetizing not one site, but multiple sites, couldn’t be more true… that statement really hits home with me because I realize just how many opportunities there are out there, and usually having multiple streams of revenue coming in is the best way to sustain a living!
    I actually just got laid off from my job on Friday, so I’m sort of in this weird boat where I need to have money coming in someway, somehow (and I just relocated to California, and obviously don’t want to move back!), so it’s stressful but also motivating. I feel comfort in knowing you were able to succeed and get through your rough patches!

    • Kinsey, thank you! I’m sorry to hear about your job. I know that you’ll be able to turn this into something amazing. It took four blows in a row to give me the kick in the ass I needed to go live the life I wanted. You can do it!

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