Six months ago, I was a backpacker who didn’t even own a laptop.
Now I am a professional travel writer.
I’ve always loved to travel and spent much of my life working to save for my next adventure. So a couple years ago, when I received a redundancy package at my job, I hit the road.
The money lasted me a while when I was traveling like a backpacker. But I soon realized I needed a new plan.
I had flirted with the idea of travel writing before, but apart from the odd article over the years, I never fully committed myself.
This time, I decided, I was going to take things seriously. I bought a laptop, did some research, and got myself organized. I created a list of approximately 100 travel publications, both online and in print.
I never dreamed I would make the transition so easily. Within a couple of weeks, I had received a commission from a major travel website to write guides on Leh and Hampi in India and my hometown of Brighton in the UK. This was quickly followed by nine more guides on various destinations.
I’ve also had several other articles about my travel experiences published online, and have been featured in a book written by adventurer, Alastair Humphreys. All of this in only six months.
To be totally honest, I don’t see myself as a great writer, or even a particularly good one.
Sure, I can put a sentence together and I think that my passion for travel comes through, but I’m no Freya Stark. During the six months that I’ve been pitching and submitting my work, the majority of my time has been spent researching and marketing. That’s my strength.
When I started out, I knew that to become a travel writer, I’d have to be resilient and retain motivation, but I have to admit that I have been pleasantly surprised as to how easy it has been to build up a portfolio. Although I initially thought that I may have to offer some of my work free of charge, I have been paid for the majority of articles and guides I’ve had published.
I’m now close to being able to support myself while I travel full-time, which was my original goal.
The countries that I tend to enjoy traveling in, such as those in South East Asia and Central America, tend to be cheaper to live in anyway. Not only is seeing my writing in print and online hugely satisfying, but I’m living the life I’ve always wanted.