By: Lauren Oliver
Professional blogging is a somewhat new industry that has in ways revolutionized the ability to make a living off traveling full time. After personally following multiple travel blogs for years, I started to notice a pattern. Most of the bloggers started out in a job they weren’t enjoying, saved up anywhere from $8,000 to $15,000, and then went on a 6 to 12 month long trip. During these trips the bloggers traveled through many countries, some even hopping form continent to continent. During these trips each of these people had started a blog for family and friends at home to keep up with their travel, with no intention of continuing to travel full time as their jobs. Through these newfound jobs and as the blogs continued to grow, others got to watch their process of growth through endless setbacks. Most of these bloggers kept up this traveling style for at least 5 years, and some continue to travel full time. But for most of them they reach a point where they feel burnt out. Traveling full time often means sacrificing their health, alone time, financial stability, and close relationships. This got me thinking; what about full time travel or blogging drains people? Was it an obvious answer or something deeper and more hard to put a finger on? I decided to delve into the world of travel blogging and see for myself.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have to opportunity to have a good amount of international travel under my belt before the age of 25. I quickly and easily identified with the travel blogs I read as my insatiable desire to travel was impossible to quench. I read blogs voraciously, especially when my favorite blogs would explain their method on how to become a travel blogger. Articles such as 9 Ways to Become a Successful Travel Blogger and Is it Too Late to Make It as a Travel Blogger? helped influence my decision to try travel blogging for myself. To sum up my experiences, I understood after blogging my trips why I consistently saw bloggers burning out after 5 or so years. The compulsion to document everything and break my experiences down drained me quickly. I quickly realized that documenting my trips on social media drained the experience, and made it feel far more shallow. After returning from my European backpacking trip that I blogged throughout, I realized travel blogging wasn’t for me. While I understood what drew people to it, my experience of travel is far more important than profiting from it.