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So You Want to Become a Full-Time Travel Blogger

It's all sunsets and sandy beaches on Instagram, check-ins and new friends on Facebook, Snapchats from 30,000 feet. But what's the reality? Is it as good as it looks? Do you want to become a full time travel blogger?
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FRENCH POLYNESIA - FEBRUARY 9: Hauru point, Motu Fareone, Motu Tiahura, Mo'orea, aerial view, Society islands, French Polynesia. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)
FRENCH POLYNESIA - FEBRUARY 9: Hauru point, Motu Fareone, Motu Tiahura, Mo'orea, aerial view, Society islands, French Polynesia. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)

Is it just me or did travel suddenly get popular AF? Especially with twenty-something girls (guilty as charged). Is 'wanderlust' the most overused word? Is getting a tattoo of a world map on your back and filling it in one country at a time the new thing? It's all sunsets and sandy beaches on Instagram, check-ins and new friends on Facebook, Snapchats from 30,000 feet. But what's the reality? Is it as good as it looks? Do you want to become a full time travel blogger? Then lets delve in behind the scenes.

(Just so you know, floating pics are a prerequisite if you want to be a full time travel blogger!).

I've asked established travel writers and bloggers about their work. Surely it's not a real job is it? Do they make enough to earn a living? Is it as glamorous as it seems?

When I first decided I wanted to take travel writing seriously, I organized a coffee meeting with a travel editor. He told me straight up not to go into this industry if I was interested in making money. Sure, if you make it big as a full-time travel blogger the cash will come rolling in, but that's the wrong reason to do something. I've never been money-motivated, I value experiences more than things.

You've got to love traveling, I mean adore it. Enjoy being in an airport, be happy with your own company, accept delays, be prepared to find a solution when your phone has just died and you have no money. Always remain positive and learn to travel light. Sound like you? Then keep reading.

I spent a week sailing the Adriatic with full-time travel blogger Stephanie from TravelBreak and I'm still learning from her today. From the outside, it looks like non-stop fun, adventure and exotic locations, but Steph spills the beans on what it's really like on the road on your own as a full-time travel blogger:

My blog was successful from the start, growing fast, meaning I spent my time almost fully-nomadic; which came at a cost. Chauffeurs, body guards and yachts don't make up for the strain my lifestyle put on relationships. I met the most wonderful people in the world, but then had to leave. If you're always going somewhere, you're always leaving and that hurts. I will never forget what my first year of travel blogging gave me, but you can travel the world without starting a blog. If anything, now I value balance and that's hard to find when you're working while on the road.

I listened to Julie Falconer of A Lady in London on a full-time travel blogger panel at WTM. Her site ranked #3 travel blog in the UK by Yahoo! Here she dishes out some advice;

Professional blogging isn't always as glamorous as it sounds. It involves working 7 days a week, year-round, a lot of admin and non-stop negotiations. But it has the benefit of allowing you to be your own boss, set your own hours and have a career you're passionate about.

Monica Stott is the brains behind The Travel Hack, which ranks in the UK's top ten travel blogs. Here she shares an insight;

Being a full-time travel blogger is the best job in the world. I consider myself so lucky to do this. But it is just that, a job. When you look at a blog from the outside you see lots of glamorous holidays and think that's all there is to it, but blogging is just like any other job too. I work 40+ hours per week and that's not including travel time. That's admin and emails and putting together campaigns and reports and strategies and meetings. There's a lot of boring, behind-the-scenes work too. Plus, you also tend to work alone.

Fellow Irish travel writer Janet Newenham from Journalist on the Run featured in my 'Digital Nomad' piece on when she packed it all in to become a full-time travel blogger. It's not all fun and games though, especially with dodgy WiFi;

Since taking the plunge to become a professional travel blogger, it is hard to believe how many truths I've learned. There's no denying I love my job, but I've discovered that I need to work harder and longer than ever before. The truth about being a full time blogger is that it really is full time. I can't remember the last time I was able to have a digital detox, for fear that I would forget a writing deadline, miss out on a press trip opportunity or simply have too many emails to deal with once I logged back in. I can't remember the last time I took time off to relax and watch TV or read a book, opting to spend almost every day working on my blog and worrying that I have not yet done enough. When I end up in a place with no WiFi, I almost have panic attacks.

While I travel at least half of the year, it's not technically my full-time job, read here for more if you're interested. I was lucky enough to get my break from my (then) editor and (still) BFF, who wasn't able to go on a wine tasting trip to Spain - so I took one for the team, natch.

I'm not sure if I want to be a full-time travel blogger, while the perks are undeniable, there's a lot more work involved than you think. I'm not afraid of a bit of hard work, (I'm typing this at 9 pm on a Friday evening alone in my shared offices in Dublin). I just want to find the best option for me, but I'm having a lot of fun figuring it out.

Find me on Instagram and Twitter @nadia_dailyself and Snapchatting all over the world 'nadia_dailyself'.
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