First off, I want to say thank you to Jan for letting me write this guest post! I enjoy writing blog posts on other websites to new audiences.
This article is a brief overview of how I got started with travel blogging. I just realized that I haven’t even explained how I got started on my own blog, but hopefully this post will be an inspiration to other aspiring bloggers out there.
To quickly recap my childhood – I grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona until I graduated high school. Throughout my childhood, I always traveled domestically with my family or for hockey tournaments, but I never took a trip overseas. I was always obsessed with geography and learning about the world ever since my parents bought be a globe for my birthday present when I turned 10.
For my college years, I moved across the country to attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I didn’t know a single person when I moved there, and that was exactly the point. I wanted to start a new chapter in my life, and I had an amazing 4 years. Looking back, I wouldn’t change anything about my experience in college.
During my junior year at school, I took my first trip overseas when I studied abroad in Prague and lived there for 5 months. I always say that if I never studied abroad in Prague, then I wouldn’t still be traveling today. That was the best decision of my life, and I traveled to some 20 countries in Europe that semester and following summer.
After Prague, I went back to Wisconsin to finish my studies and I graduated with a degree in Economics in May 2013.
At the time of graduation, all of my friends were getting job interviews and applying for corporate positions, but I knew that wasn’t in the cards for me. So, my best friend came to me and asked if I was interested in teaching English in South Korea for a year.
The very next day, I sent in my application and I started studying Korean.
I knew that was the best choice for me and my future. And after all, I wasn’t going to take a job that I didn’t really want to do. I had never been to Asia before and I figured this was a PERFECT thing to do right after college at 22 years old.
In August 2013, I moved to a suburb of Seoul, Korea called Pyenogtaek, and started teaching English at a public middle school.
At that point, I had already traveled to some 25 countries in the world and I wanted to share my experiences with my friends. So, I had the idea to start a travel blog and I decided to fully commit myself from day 1. I knew this was a good idea because previous English teachers in Korea told me that I would have a lot of free time on my job.
Truth be told, I worked my butt off on my blog (about 40 hours a week) for the first year. I taught myself how to make a website from scratch watching Youtube Videos. I wrote so many articles until my fingers were numb to type. I reached out to popular travel bloggers for advice. I started growing my social media channels.
The first year was rough. I was working SO hard and seeing little return. But then I realized that success wasn’t going to happen overnight. It needed time to grow — and that’s what happened day after day.
I also traveled around Asia quite a lot during my 18 months living in Korea. I visited over 25 countries, so I always had fresh content to write about on my blog.
When I left Korea in February 2015, my blog readership and social media following was starting to take off. And I knew what I was going to do with it – keep going.
I pretty much did everything in my power to avoid going home and finding an average job, so I monetized my blog and took it to the next level. I wanted to travel the world for a living.
And today, I’m proud to say that for the last 8 months I have been traveling and blogging/doing social media as my full-time job. It’s a LOT of work, and sometimes I just want to drop everything and give up. But in the end, this job is so much better than working any 8-5 job in my opinion.
My office consists of any place in the world where there is a wifi connection. I spent about 4-5 hours everyday working as I travel– writing new posts, building my social media channels, pitching myself to travel companies for sponsorships and making videos. It’s not as easy as it appears from an outsider’s perspective, but I do enjoy it.
So, what’s my plan for the future?
I plan to continue blogging and traveling for the foreseeable future. I already have plans to go on an African safari next year and take a 3 month backpacking trip through South America. Out of the 70 countries I’ve visited, those are two continents that I haven’t touched!
I feel like I’m just getting started in the travel business, and that’s the most exciting part about all of this!
Thanks for reading my story, and please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or comments.
Drew – http://thehungrypartier.com/