How I can STILL afford a life of travel

What?! I can still afford this?!

I recently stumbled upon an article I wrote in 2014 entitled, How I can afford a life of travel and it gave me a few insights on how my life changed after three years.

Sure, I am still doing the same things (traveling and working as a preeminent fact) but I realised how much I grew and changed my income streams.

In reference to the post mentioned above, these are the things that I don’t do anymore:

  • Online job (as an employee)
  • Teaching English
  • House Sitting
  • Au Pairing
  • Couchsurfing
  • Translating files

I might not be doing the above anymore but I still have at least 10 income streams because it’s what sustains me on the road. However, in this post, the things I do now are more mature (*applause!!!*). 

I still don’t know how to save money, by the way. You will not see money saving tips in this post, I’m sorry. Money in my bank account come in and out frequently but now that I am 28, I am slowly journeying that path.

“Look mum, I’m a grown up!” I’m getting paid to see the world and I really love what I am doing!

Since I shifted to professional travel blogging, many components of my life have changed and I worked double. I had no idea how I am able to afford living in Tel Aviv (the most expensive city I have ever lived in) so I had to do a few reality check. Seriously, Trisha, how the feck can you still afford a life of travel?

I really hate it when people think I am just sitting down on my laptop everyday thinking I am posting on social media endlessly and chatting with my friends but to tell you honestly, it takes me three hours to come up with just one post: writing, images, post formatting – these things are not easy at all! Okay, to be fair, travel blogging is not recognised as a career yet but really, this is the job! This is what I (we) do!

I am writing this today to give you an idea on how exactly I am making money (thanks to you, btw. You’ve always been supportive of my blog) so this career idea will stop being blurred to you.

It takes a lot of time, effort, patience, energy and enthusiasm but I swear, you can do it, too! Anyone can take this road!

How I can still afford a life of travel

#1: Destination Marketing

“I’m a fixer” is what I tell people when they ask me about what I do for a living. I am continuously improving my writing (I read a lot, too!) and this skill led me to the career of convincing people to visit a country.

Tourism boards hire travel bloggers all over the world to create content for their tourism campaigns. The trip is always all-expense-paid and on top of that, we get a daily stipend for the duration of the campaign.

#2: Brand Consulting

Through my blogging experiences, I was able to understand the behavior of readers very deeply. I always think about what I content and don’t just post whatever.

This entails analyzation of how your readers respond. This opened my horizon to do brand consultation for companies and advertisers who are still struggling in this big social media terrain.

Nowadays, brands and advertisers overpay and underpay Influencers at the same time because they don’t have any means of measuring the relationship between the Influencers and their audience. Buying followers has become very rampant so it has been really hard for them to quantify.

#3: Brand Ambassadorships

I receive a lot of emails about this but I barely choose any of them because I want to work with someone I truly believe in. I don’t want to mislead my readers to “buy this product” if deep inside my heart, it’s a brand that is shitty as feck.

Thanks to you, I am really proud to say I was able to create a close-knit community that have been supportive of what I do. I will never ever journey into something I am not sure of just because of the income it may bring.

#4: Speaking Engagements

This is probably one of my favourites. Often (especially when I am in the Philippines), I am invited by organisations, Universities to talk about a myriad of things.

The topic covers mostly travel, life and dreams but I’ve had more talks about life. I also discussed blogging once. My most recent talk is by the prestigious TEDx. You can watch the video here!

Making a speech/workshop requires work, too. You don’t present anything just to say something. It should be well planned and efforts should be exerted in order to make it sensible and smooth. I did my speech for TEDx for almost 2 months!

#5: Travel Coaching

I owe the success of this blog to my readers and followers so I vowed to myself to be always generous with information with them.

Those who were curious have signed up for my Travel Coaching Programs where I talk to people one-on-one via Skype on what they want to know about (mostly on how to afford a life of travel).

Each human is different so I wanted to give a personal touch to the coaching sessions. I always try my best to give what fits best on the individuality of the client as not all methods apply to everyone. When I am staying in a city/country for a long time, I also hold travel coaching sessions for groups which are held in cafes or bookstores. The idea of interacting (in person) with people who read your stuff makes me super high!

If you are interested to know what other people think about this course, you can check this link.

#6: Volunteering

I think this is something I will never outgrow. I still do this all the time! My journey and belief in Girl Rising, a groundbreaking film and organisation that uses the power of storytelling to share the simple truth that educating girls can transform societies.

This thing, this love – it completely changed my life. The way the Universe has lead me to this strong feeling about women, girls and gender equality is such a gift. This thing makes me sane!

In this light, I would like to encourage you to take a step: don’t just fight for what you believe in by posting on social media.

Make a move. Travel the world with a deeper understanding and contribute to its goodness. Don’t just travel for the sights: find your purpose.

How do I manage to do all these?!

I have no idea! The lifestyle I chose means that I should always be able to afford a life of travel. It may appear to you that I am just traveling but seriously, this is the job.

Every day is a hustle because this kind of work does not have a stable income (I can have $10,000 USD this month and $350 the next). It really depends on how you hustle.

It requires hardwork, a constant update on technology, long hours on the laptop, no working hours (24/7) but despite all these, I am really happy with what I do. I am really happy with my job!

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38 Comments

  1. So happy that I met you. You always inspired me! <3 Thank you so much. You always have the FORCE with you. 🙂 Cheers to more great journey and to see you again with the travelpuffs.

  2. Thank you for this. I learned a lot. I was recently contacted to do a travel campaign (paid trip) but they did not push through with me. Perhaps they found other bloggers who have more followers. Still.. that doesn’t stop me from doing what I love and passionate about.

  3. I am still a University student. My savings are from the pay I get from working freelance (graphic artist and photographer) and from what I save from my weekly allowance. From that money I was able to fund my South Korea trip a few weeks ago (which I am writing about now!! Thanks for the inspiration!!). This post inspired me to keep creating and pursuing my life-long dream of traveling the world no matter what.

  4. You are an inspiring person Trish and thanks for sharing with us how you made your dream come true. It needs a lot of work but at the end, you do what makes you happy.

  5. Great article and great job, Trisha! You show how hard it is to actually pull off being a full-time professional travel blogger. I think anyone who’s wanting to start a blog should read this and understand it’s a 24/7 job.

  6. First of all, congratulations on being such a successful blogger. Being one is not easy at all as you well know and I think it’s more than a job, probably like 5 in 1. You evolution showcases how professional bloggers should work to reach their goals.

    And, what a great summary of things a professional blogger should do! As a profession.

    Whilst I’m also a blogger, my engineer job is my main income stream and I’m happy with it. If I were to become a blogger full time, I’d have to invest a lot on some of the things you thoroughly mentioned.

  7. I have not been on a Media Trip but that sounds pretty rough, I’m a fan of at least some sleep! It’s awesome that you are so busy and are able to do what you love

  8. Congratulations on becoming more “mature” 🙂 Seriously, as a mum and a travel blogger, I would be thrilled if my girls chose your lifestyle, even in the early days. I have yet to go on a famil outside of my own country (New Zealand). The information you provided to me was interesting and helpful. I am sure this post will be really valuable to a lot of bloggers. And I love that you discouraged people from working for free. I did at first, but I am way over that now.

  9. Wow..very impressive. I heard many bloggers give up in the first year of travel. You managed to travel and already 3 years passed. Your ways of earning matured. You are definitely on the right path. All the very best.

  10. So much great information here. It always amazes me that people think we, as travel writers, are just on a permanent vacation. They should only see us writing posts in the middle of the night!

  11. Being able to work independently and travel more is the dream! Congrats on being so successful and being able to make money while on the road. Love the “fixer” title…I might start using that!

  12. Such an interesting post. As a travel blogger, I’m always fascinating to see how other bloggers make this lifestyle work. For me, I’ve found blog ambassadorships are some of the most rewarding partnerships as they let you really get to know and promote a company you love. That said, I agree. You need to be picky. Thanks for writing this.

  13. Great post about what it’s like to make money as a travel blogger. I stand firm that it’s a real job. I’m doing it every day, and it’s harder than many of the jobs I’ve had previously.

  14. Great post Trisha, and I think it’s very clever that you’ve taken time to reflect and update your post 🙂 Because we do evolve and our income streams change as the years go by on the road. It’s nice to hear about how your career as a travel blogger has evolved. I think there’s a lot more acceptance of this as a proper career as there has been in the past, though it still does need to be explained to most people to make them understand exactly what goes into the job!

  15. Really enjoyable read and also quite encouraging for a fellow blogger. Certainly, at least in the initial stages, it is difficult to generate much attention but it’s always great to know there are still some people out there like you how have managed to make it work. Certainly, the advice about Twitter will hopefully come in handy

  16. I have been following your blog for quite some time now and you are one of my inspirations. I started my travel blog 2 years ago and I loved these tips and ways to monetize. Keep going, girl!

  17. This is very helpful especially for someone like me who wanted to earn extra by doing blog posts. I recently quit my job to pursue a life that’s not bound by employment system. I want free time. A free time like yours. I know it is busy, but at least you are happy. I hope to learn more from you as I start to follow you from now on. 🙂

  18. Hi Trisha, I am so happy to have read this article. It is very detailed and gives amazing information. I have tried to look at options of expanding my blog. It initially started as a place where I can document my travel journeys, today it is much more than that. I will take your advise and I will expand it to generate money. Thank you so much for this article.

  19. A lot of great information. So many people wonder these things and now they can see it all in one shot.

  20. I think one has to achieve some kind of heights before they can charge talent fee to brands. All new influencers will continue to work for freebies till then.
    Very helpful post for SM influencers.

  21. Interesting post especially for new bloggers or wannabe bloggers. Not many people is ready to share this kind of information so thanks a lot!

  22. Lovely post Trisha! You are right. Only pure blogging won’t pay us, we have to do something else as well. I love the way you have disclosed it all depending on your experiences.
    How do you deal with if you are offered a lump sum money for a FAM trip and you want it to be per post? Do you decide the no. of posts or them?

    BTW, I have just followed you on Twitter. 🙂

  23. I think it’s great that you’re showing people that what works for you at one point can evolve and change. I’m just now starting to research affiliate marketing, so I’m hoping it will help me fund some of my travels as well. Thanks again for the inspiration!

  24. Hi Trisha, you are really brave that you manage all of these! Your day must have 48 hours. For me, affiliate sales are interesting stream of income, and it is a passive one so that is even better.

  25. You truly are an inspiration! Nobody can exactly follow your footsteps because each their own right? It may be possible but rarely. The whole point is that you constantly inspire people like me to chase our dreams and just DO it (no buts or ifs). Thank you also for sharing and being honest about how you manage to financially support yourself and what you love to do – I need some insights about that haha.

  26. Well i dont like you. I still think youre just a rich brat who got tired of spending money here in the Philippines thus left and is now romanticizing “traveling” and setting a bratty/proud example among “readers”.

    Know what the people needs? Again, actual jobs that can feed families, siblings, etc. Not to get tired with “life” and just leave.

  27. Thanks for this site . I really enjoy reading this . I found a lots of useful and effectives thinks which can be highly benefit for me. Among these topics I liked “Photography Sales”. Because of my interest on photography. Thank u for this page.

  28. Hi Trish, just found your blog through cosmo.ph. I like how you detailed your source of funds for your life of travel and how you mention the reality of the hard work required to keep it up. I love travelling but I’m not brave enough to do as you do and actually move to a foreign country/ies to work. I think you mentioned you’re not yet good at saving money. I do hope you establish an emergency fund too, in case SHTF. Kudos to you!

  29. Thanks for the insight on destination marketing! I get these kind of offers often but they’re always a barter arrangement (we take you on the trip in exchange for content on your site + social media). That logic is completely flawed, and you’ve put across a great way to get a better deal. Thanks!

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