Just last week, a survey by Skift revealed that 41% of Americans failed to take any vacation days in 2015.
And, 17% of us only took half our vacation days or less.
How crazy is that? Why are Americans so afraid of taking their vacation time?
The main reasons given by employees for these little to no vacations were:
1. Fear of the work that would mount for them while they were away
2. Not wanting to let their boss or colleagues down by taking time off
Meanwhile, a nine-year study of men who took at least one vacation per year concluded that those who took time out were almost 30% less likely to die from a heart-related cause compared with the men who kept their noses to the grindstone. (I’m sure the same can be said for women, too.)
So, in the year ahead, by all means do your work. But be sure to take your vacation time, too. You deserve it. Neglect it, and your health and happiness will suffer.
And, if you’d love the freedom to set your own schedule and enjoy more vacation time this year, remember that you have the power to make it happen. As a travel writer, you get paid to enjoy the adventures of your dreams… all year round.
Whether you go after it full-time, or part-time as a way of covering your vacation expenses (and then some), here’s what the travel writer’s life can give you:
1. It will expand your horizons. Not only does being a travel writer make it possible to visit other cities and countries, it also teaches you to look for things you might not normally notice. Instead of heading straight to common tourist destinations, you’ll develop an eye for places with something unique to offer. You’ll find it easier to directly interact with locals because being a travel writer opens an instant dialogue. You’re more likely to make international friends, note unusual customs, and take part in out-of-the-ordinary activities—like canoeing down the River Seine in Paris or reflecting at the Meji Shrine in Tokyo’s Yoyogi Park. In short, you’ll be more well-informed and sophisticated about the world.
2. You get to spend time doing something you’re passionate about. Birgit B., originally from Germany, never liked the idea of having a job. She hated having to report in at a specific time and place. It wasn’t her thing. Her love of travel led her to the Kimberley region of Australia, where she eventually immigrated. Now she spends her time writing about things to do in Kimberley. Not only are her “research” trips (camping trips) all tax-deductible, but she averages over $8,000 a month and writes only six months of the year.
3. You’ll experience incredible satisfaction and pride each time you see your by-line in a travel publication. Imagine the admiration of your friends and family when you hold up a well-known travel publication with an article you authored. Not only does it make you look like an expert authority, but every published piece becomes a stepping stone in your portfolio that can lead you to bigger, higher paying projects, and new, thrilling destinations.
4. Life as a travel writer is a blast. Steenie Harvey, a well-known travel writer for International Living, gets paid to travel the world on a regular basis. Her adventures reflect the thrill that comes with travel writing. Steenie has sampled puffin in Iceland … gone white-water rafting in Thailand… and trekked through Malaysian jungles. But she’s also breakfasted on fresh apricots and buttery croissants near the golden beaches of Corsica… watched bats flutter through the night trees in the balmy warmth of Palawan Island in the Philippines… and listened to monkeys chatter in the cashew trees of the jungles in southern India.
Any travel writer will tell you this hardly feels like work at all. How could it when you’re being hosted by Michelin chefs at their private tasting tables… treated to spa treatments “on the house”… and have the ability to “work” from a cafe in Paris, or the white-sand beaches of the Caribbean…
If you’d like a piece of the action, now is the time to get started. Make 2016 the year you enjoy more vacation time–and even make some money from your travels.