Frequently Asked Questions
While I’d love nothing more than to chat with you guys 1-on-1 about some of the most interesting aspects of life on the road, the reality is, there just isn’t enough time to respond to 100+ daily messages and emails, so I’m hoping this quick list of questions can either address your concern or point you towards more answers! Here we go!
Q: How do you afford to travel?
A: This answer is now completely different than what I would’ve said a year or two ago, because I’m now in a position where I’m paid to travel, write, and take photos of my experiences around the world. This is my job, my lifestyle, and something that has taken many sacrifices, risks, and networking to not only build, but sustain.
Inversely, while starting out, I was traveling on a shoestring budget, never having more than $500 to my name, and on an endless pursuit of one-way tickets to anywhere.
If you have time, check out this sarcastically enlightening piece I wrote for The Huffington Post here which is a wake-up call for some and punch in the gut for others whenever this question was condescendingly thrown my way.
But in short, a combination of things afford me this lifestyle that some don’t account for. Not having a mortgage or rent payment already allocates a good portion of money for travel. That, combined with my favorite travel and money-saving apps you can find here (sorry, hosted on my ancient blog site), helped me put a nice chunk of my income towards what I love doing most.
When it comes down to it, any traveler will tell you it’s just a matter of budgeting and prioritization. You won’t find anything worth more than $30 in my wardrobe and I sure as hell won’t be at Coachella, because the expensive experiences and material items most people my age spend money on, I spend on traveling.
Q: Who takes all your pictures?
A: Before I caved and bought a selfie stick (which yes, I fully accept your judgements), I relied on the expertise of strangers near and far to lend a hand. I wrote a blog post about this here that explains everything in detail and I promise you it’s worth a read. I list the camera equipment I use, as well as ways to help you make sure you’re about to place your camera in trusting hands.
But more often than not, I’m propping my camera on some rock or ledge and using the self-timer function to get the exact shot I want. It’s a process to master, but I’ve come to love it!
Q: How do you make money travel blogging?
A: First and foremost, if you’re getting into travel blogging for the money, you’re in the wrong business. Because the money won’t come until after a few months to a year of being established, probably more. It’s really not about the money that travel bloggers get into this lifestyle. We genuinely have a passion for traveling and sharing our experiences.
The truth is, most are willing to take the inconsistent and sub-par pay in the beginning, because the life you lead will be remarkable anyway, and being able to travel (usually for free) is something you can’t put a price on.
If not a single dollar came out of this blog, I’d still be doing it because it’s what I love, and your passion is what gets you up in the morning when your alarm clock won’t. And that keeps you motivated to continue creating and sharing your magic with the world.
While every travel blogger is different, the ways I make money through my travel blog is a combination of sponsored posts, selling articles, freelance writing, social media management, social media takeovers, photography assignments, brand ambassadorships, affiliate marketing, e-book/print book sales, and speaking engagements.
Honestly, you gotta get creative! Truth is, your blog isn’t necessarily what will earn you the most money. It just makes a great platform to showcase your portfolio and influence to potential sponsors.
I’m now also opening up slots for blog coaching every month, so if you’re a newbie blogger looking to get some advanced tips about ways to catalyze your success and growth, e-mail me (GlobetrottinGlo@gmail.com) for my rates and we can discuss more.
Q: What’s the cheapest country to travel to?
A: Eastern Europe and Balkan countries will always be my go-to spots when I want to hide out for a bit and live locally and cheaply.
Poland, Hungary, Romania, Montenegro, Serbia, and even a non-touristy gem like Albania are great countries to travel to if you’re wanting to stretch your dollar as far as possible.
When you think about the cost of living in these places, your main expenses will be food and accommodation.
You can easily find decent accommodation for $15/night (hostels, AirBnbs, etc) and filling meals for $5 or less all around Eastern Europe.
And by far, nothing beats the cost of living in Southeast Asia. If you’re able to score decent airfare to countries like Thailand, Vietnam, or Cambodia, you will be living like ROYALTY! I’m talkin’ beers as cheap as 25 cents in some parts of Vietnam and full plates of fried noodles and chicken in Thailand for $1. Check out my “Ballin’ On A Budget in Bangkok” post for more insight on that!
Q: What’s your biggest travel hack or secret?
A: BE FLEXIBLE! It’s not necessarily a hack, but hear me out.
When I’m traveling on my own dime, I only book my trips on one-way tickets, because I know how easy it is for plans to change or things to come up, so I try and go with the flow.
Not to mention, a lot of times airlines or train tickets will go up and down depending on whether they need to fill seats, so I try and get a last minute deal on my way back, or re-route my journey towards another place that’s super cheap. It’s a win-win, because I’m exploring for cheap and I’m able to keep traveling onwards.
This is also starting to become a well-known trick, but search for flights in private or incognito tabs. Websites and search engines are collecting the cookies of your browsing history and raising flights to build urgency to get you to book the ticket! Don’t get stuck paying more than you need to!
Also try and visit super touristy places in the off-season and match your budget with places that allow you to live comfortably on the low.
Q: Where are you going next?
A: I don’t always publish my upcoming trips until I’m on my way there, because I’m quite spontaneous and sometimes plans change. But you can always rely on my Instagram to give you my most current location or next destination.
At the moment (August 2016), I’ve been to 38 countries across 4 continents, and have been enjoying re-visiting some of those same countries to dive deeper into the culture, reunite with friends, or just make more memories.
I’m not on a mission to visit every country in the world, but I do try to have an expansive resume so that I can truly be a resource for those who have questions or need firsthand insight about a place.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
A: I greatly despise the 5-year plan because I think it really limits the ability to diverge outside of the route you have in mind to explore other opportunities. I truly live for my todays, because it allows me to take advantage of opportunities as they come.
If I planned out my life 5 years ago and stuck to it, I’d be miserable, probably still living at home with my mom in Arizona, and constantly questioning where I went wrong. I go with the flow and trust God in all my decisions that His plan will always far surpass mine. And His plan for my life right now is to inspire and be inspired by the kind, happy, and incredible souls this world is blessed with. I feel so fortunate every day.
Q: When will your book be published?
A: If you’re new to the program, my e-book has already been published and you can read all about it here. It includes everything you ever needed or wanted to know about jumpstarting a life of more travel, location-independence, and ultimate freedom.
And because the e-book sold so well, I’ve got a print publishing deal which the dates for its release is coming very, very soon! Wish I could share more, but just watch this space!
Thanks so much for listening and I hope I answered some of your questions! If not, feel free to drop by my Contact page and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can! 🙂