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A Letter to Those Who Ask Me When I’m Going to Get a “Real Job”

A Letter to Those Who Ask Me When I’m Going to Get a “Real Job”

I'm a travel blogger, a travel blogger that makes a full-time income off of my blog and some freelancing work on the side, yet people continue to ask me when I'm going to get a different job. I explain it all and break it down for those who are confused as what travel blogging actually is. #travelblog #travelblogger #blog #travel

I'm a travel blogger, a travel blogger that makes a full-time income off of my blog and some freelancing work on the side, yet people continue to ask me when I'm going to get a different job. I explain it all and break it down for those who are confused as what travel blogging actually is. #travelblog #travelblogger #blog #travel

Recently I was talking to my Opa (grandpa) and he asked me straight up, “So when are you going to get a job as a producer?”

He knew that when I was in film school I grew a talent and liking to the producing side of things and was simply wondering when I was going to quit my hobby as a travel blogger to pursue my big dreams of making it in the film business, aka a job that is deemed semi-normal.

It seems that every time I come home one of my parents’ friends or a relative asks me or one of my parents when I’m going to get a “real job”, meaning a job that involves me:

a) sitting at a desk
b) earning a regular paycheck
c) is something that they deem a good way to make money aka a “normal way” or
d) all of the above

My “desk” while I was on the island of Nusa Penida just off the coast of Bali.

The one thing that all of these people have in common is that they are middle-aged or older and have grown up with learning about traditional ways to make money.

Well I’m here to clarify that the traditional ways to make money don’t interest me, not since I’ve discovered that I can make money following my passion, make money passively (yeah, I’m making money even when I sleep or am on a plane to a destination where winter is a Canadian summer) and be my own boss making my own work times and doing things when I please.

Being a travel blogger is a real job.

Was it a hobby at first? Absolutely.

But once I decided that I wanted to make money with it, I settled in and put all my efforts into finding a way to bring in cash all while I was building a business, because that’s what this blog is, a business.

This was work. I was working with a tour company and got to see Petra!

I currently still work my freelance writing gig because I’m not fully comfortable without it quite yet but this blog, this “hobby” of mine earned me most of my income this year which was just over $40k (CAD) in 2018.

Yes sir/ma’am, you read that right. My “hobby” is my job and it makes me pretty good money too.

I’m not even one of the top bloggers, many pull in three figures a year (that’ll be me soon, don’t worry) so you won’t need to worry about me being okay because what I earn, though it’s not a ton, is enough to live on and enough to fund my dreams of travelling the world (I visited 15 countries this year!).

There are even travel blogging conferences that involve days exploring the country and even gin tastings like above.

I apologize if I sound sassy, I’m just a little tired of people always asking when I’m going to find a “real job” and thinking that I’m living out my travel fantasies on my parents’ dime.

Sure, they let me stay at home when I’m in Canada but they give me nothing to travel, that’s all me and they are super proud of me for doing what I love and supporting myself while I’m at it.

Perhaps why so many people ask about my upcoming non-existent “real job” is because they don’t understand what I really do so I’ll break it down.

I created a blog that has a voice (me) that people seem to like (yay!). I write helpful articles to help people travel too. I use techniques such as SEO (search engine optimization) to get my articles shown on Google so that my articles are put in front of more peoples eyes and I have developed skills for social media to get my articles in front of even more people.

I decided to take a work break in Malta this year…the area I lived is in the back of this picture!

I get over 65,000 people visiting my blog a month. Sometimes I still can’t believe that many people want to read what I write.

People then read, if they like what I have to say they return, some don’t, but more and more are returning. Brands want to partner with me because they understand that after three years I have a following and that I have built trust with my readers. Brands sometimes pay me to talk about a product, place, etc.

There are dangerous parts of the job too, like visiting Komodo dragons…in the wild.

I work with an ad company which works with other companies to put ads on my site which makes me $$$. I also have affiliate links on this site so that when I recommend a product that you can’t travel without or a book that I adore and think you should read or suggest a hotel to stay in, I earn a commission if you make a purchase after clicking.

While this may all sound simple it’s really a number of jobs that includes being a:

  • writer
  • marketer
  • social media manager
  • photographer
  • editor (for articles and pictures)
  • accountant

….I could go on.

My point is that the jobs I do for this one job are pretty much endless and I do freelance writing on the side.

Me, living my best life in Hallstatt, Austria.

While I don’t expect everyone to truly understand what I do (it does get complicated) I do ask that you at least try to understand that there are other ways to make money and that it’s possible to do it an untraditional way.

It’s possible for me to be making money while on the beach, it’s possible for me to get work done with a glass of wine in hand (seriously, sometimes I write better with wine), it’s possible for me to work less so I can live more, even at the age of 26.

The internet has opened an insane amount of doors for people around the world. The world wide web has done wonders not only for people in western and well-off countries but also for people in developing nations too, giving all of us access to more tools and clients.

Getting to travel with my other blogging friends is one of the many perks.

So before you ask me or anyone else who doesn’t have a “real job” when they’re going to get one, consider asking how their current job is going, what their plans are for their business or how they managed to make this mysterious and totally fabulous job that everyone in the world wants to have actually make them money.

We aren’t afraid to share our secrets, we’ll tell you how we got started, that is wasn’t easy and that we have big plans for the future that don’t involve a career change.

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