If you love to travel and share stories with the world, then being a travel blogger is a dream job.
If you’re a reader of travel blogs, then you see photos and read stories that make life seem like one big, beautiful adventure.
Which it is. But as with any big, beautiful adventure, there are some downsides that sometimes go unspoken.
Lately, however, we’ve been seeing plenty of articles that attempt to shine light on the downsides of travel blogging, along with digital nomadism and long-term travel. The workload is unmanageable. Couples crumble. Loneliness ensues.
“It’s not all beaches and mojitos,” says this article from USA Today.
Of course, it’s important to offer perspective. These articles all do a great job of bringing the expectations back down to Earth. It’s absolutely true that the life of a travel blogger (or any variety of traveler who works from a laptop) involves a lot more work and a lot less glamour than Instagram might suggest.
But that doesn’t change the fact that if you’re willing to work hard and be persistent, travel blogging can be a fulfilling passion, a lucrative profession, and in the best of circumstances, both!
So let’s celebrate what IS great about a life that’s lived in celebration of experiencing the world. We might work long hours and find ourselves sitting alone in quiet hostels, editing photos while other travelers hit up the beaches and mojitos, but eventually, we’ll join them. And then we’ll write about it.
If you love travel and blogging, then the life of a travel blogger is one that is absolutely worth pursuing. If anyone was doubting that, let’s remind ourselves of why we do it…
1. You’re always meeting new people.
Meeting people from new places introduces us to different perspectives, cultures, and opinions. We’re constantly learning new things about the world and about ourselves when we travel and interact with people whose lives are completely different from our own.
When we write about it, we get to go even deeper and share the many lessons we learn from new people with our readers.
And let’s not forget all of the fellow travelers we meet on the road. This might sound self-congratulatory, but people who travel are interesting. We have great stories, weird backgrounds, elusive plans, and a thirst to experience the places and the people around us.
When we meet other weird, random, awesome people like us, good times ensue.
2. Dressing down is totally excusable.
If you’ve spent any time in Southeast Asia, the billowy pants and tank top look is probably one you’ve rocked on more than one occasion. And at least one of those times, you weren’t in Southeast Asia. But hey, you work hard and travel a lot. You deserve to be comfortable.
Many of us work from home when we’re not on the road. Whether we become full-time bloggers, freelancers, or we work on our blog at night, after work, comfy clothes are kind of a necessity.
3. You can work from (almost) anywhere.
“The sand? The glare? The risk of injuring the one piece of technology that actually is necessary in order to be a digital nomad? No one would risk that to have a tropical office,” points out Diana Edelman of D Travels ‘Round.
Her point is very valid. Steer clear of the beach when you’ve got expensive technology in hand. But overall, our office options are pretty open. As long as there’s wifi, caffeine, and reasonable protection from the elements, we can usually make the magic happen.
4. You develop skills that will help you in other career paths.
It can be overwhelming when you’re the only person running your business. (Or even if you’re one of just a few.) Travel bloggers and other entrepreneurs have to wear many hats. We’re constantly learning and teaching ourselves new things.
Need to edit that awesome video you took while four-wheeling through a rainforest on your iPhone? Time to learn how!
It’s a lot of work, but when we’re the writer, designer, editor, marketer, and more, you develop skills that can lead to work in all of the various fields. And when we don’t know how to do something, we figure it out.
Basically, bloggers are the MacGyver’s of the internet.
5. You realize the importance of experiences over stuff.
While your friends back home might be saving their money for a new car, you’re like, “Oh hey, I just booked another impromptu flight! Now who wants to give me a ride to the airport?”
When you’re regularly hitting the road with a backpack or suitcase, you realize how few things you really need. And that the stuff you bring or buy isn’t going to stick with you like the memories you make on the road.
6. Plans change quickly and keep you on your toes.
Whether you’re waiting on last minute confirmation for a press trip or just spontaneously booking your own, when travel becomes a part of your life, you realize that planning every single detail can really drain the fun out of it.
Travel bloggers have to be flexible. They must adapt to unexpected situations, go with the flow, and still get the work done.
Delayed flight? Lost reservation? Didn’t make a reservation? No problem. You’ll figure it out.
7. If you want to stop and chill, you can.
Not every travel blogger is constantly hopping from one country to the next. And even the ones who do travel indefinitely will find themselves burning out from time to time.
But when you have the freedom to work from your laptop, you can always choose to stay in one place and relax for awhile. A short-term apartment rental can quickly become your new home sweet home.
And because we get to be our own bosses, we can give ourselves those breaks when we need them.
8. You have the best stories.
As a travel blogger, it’s part of your job to have great stories.
When you’re traveling and collecting experiences from around the world, that job requirement isn’t hard. You’re cruising around Indonesia, exploring the Amazon rainforest, scuba diving off Koh Tao, or some other crazy adventure.
Not only do you have great stories to share from the places you visit, but you also realize that every travel disaster comes with a silver lining — it’ll make a great blog post!
So when you survive a shipwreck, get sick from a hallucinogenic cactus smoothie, or lose a toenail and need surgery in Thailand, at least you know it will make for some interesting content.
9. Your family will never understand what it is you do.
It doesn’t matter how many times you sit down at the dinner table with extended family and they grill you on what it is you actually do with that blogging thing. Some people just won’t get it.
We might suggest throwing a bunch of technical terms in the air, like SEO, ROI, and FAM trip. Just confuse them further and keep things interesting. It’s more fun that way.
10. You might never be rich, but you know that’s OK.
It’s important to be realistic about your travel blogging goals. Not everyone is going to make money at this, and even fewer people are going to make A LOT of money at this. But that’s also not everyone’s intent.
When you’re doing something you love, developing valuable skills, and creating something you’re proud of in the process, it can all be worth it, regardless of whether you get rich in the process.
If you want to see the world and blog about it, we promise you that you’ll become rich in experiences. And if you dedicate yourself to turning your blog into a business, you can earn a respectable living along the way.
Travel blogging isn’t all fancy vacations and free stuff. And it’s important to acknowledge the realities of life as a traveler and blogger. But if you’re passionate about establishing yourself as a travel blogger and working hard to make it work for you, then the good will almost always outweigh the bad.
It’s a wonderful feeling to follow your dreams, work hard, and see the world… and we bet you’ll agree.
Do you love being a travel blogger? Tell us why!