GIRLS THAT TRAVEL AS WORK

GIRLS THAT TRAVEL AS WORK

Travelling the world has always been a kind of gap year dream to me. So when I got to planning this post, I never thought I would find it so effortless to find three inspirational women to interview that travel as their work.  Things have changed – travelling as your job isn’t just restricted to highbrow hotel critics or ragged nomads busking to afford their next airplane ticket. So while you and I are struggling to plan our summer holiday, these women are ticking country #40 (or more) off the list and making money from it.

What’s it like to make travel your work and how did can you make this a reality? And what about the practical things like living out of a suitcase and taking care of their health on the road (or more accurately 50,000 ft in the air?). Three online influencers tell me all about it:

 

Wood and Luxe Phoebe SilouKamara @euriental luxury travel blogger
Louise Digital Nomad girl

What did you do before you started travelling?

K: I worked in a few different sectors over 3 – 4 years: sales at Dior, writing for websites, hair modelling. All the while I was blogging for my own site. When I started Instagramming, I realised I could actually earn through social media, so began reaching out to more brands whilst my boyfriend and I travelled, which allowed me to build up my ‘portfolio’, if you will.

L: I worked as a freelance charity shop consultant for almost two years, and then finally decided to throw everything in and become a Digital Nomad with my partner. We both work online, running [various] businesses together and separately, and freelancing.

P: I worked for 12 years in corporate marketing across luxury, travel and wellness brands. I had always blogged – mostly about wellness trends and fads but after working for a travel company called Contiki, I soon added travel to my blog. Currently I am the CEO and co founder of London activewear brand Silou, I do life coaching and also teach yoga in London and retreats. 

phoebe woodandluxe swimming gopro greece

Did you plan all of these trips or does it just happen?

K: Most trips are planned quite far in advance, save some of the Europe trips. Sometimes we – my boyfriend Jarvis and I – book up to a year in advance.

P: I have been to every continent except Antarctica [and] I planned 80% of these trips and the other 20% have come about through invitations from brands and press trips. I think if you wait around for some free travel, it’s never really going to happen. You need to go out there and plan your own adventures! The best trips are the ones you’ve researched, planned and saved for. Much more satisfying then a free press trip.

Greatest lesson you’ve learnt ‘on the road’?

K: Don’t expect things to always go to plan. You have to be flexible and relax a little more. You’ll enjoy yourself a lot more if you just embrace it.
 
L: Be in the present – we are so lucky to be living this amazing life but it’s easy to take it for granted. Try to open your eyes to the small things and make memories constantly.
 
P: My biggest lesson is that we, as humans, don’t need much at all. Food, shelter, clothing and love. Travelling wide and far and seeing how privileged we are in the West, ​I often feel sick about how much “stuff” we have that weights us down. Literally and metaphorically.
 

digital nomad girl louise

Do you think anyone could do this?

L: I think anyone can, but I don’t think everyone would want to. A lot of people say they envy me, but I think they’re probably just suffering from “grass is greener” syndrome and actually wouldn’t want to give up the life they have. Some people like stability, routine, home comforts and a close small group of people.
 

K: As long as you have the means, I think most people could adjust to this kind of lifestyle with time. However to do it so often probably wouldn’t suit a lot of people. I go away at least once a month, sometimes twice, meaning I’m missing out on events and adjusting to different time zones. You have to be flexible with your time. Sometimes we’re in LA for just one evening before flying to Niseko for 3 nights and then coming straight back to London. It can be exhausting, physically and mentally (not that I’m complaining at all!).

 
P: ​It’s very taxing on the body and the mind so I definitely think you need to be resilient type of person. I’ve slept in my bed once in the last two weeks, slept in a tent, caught six trains, two flights, squeezed in a yoga workshop, six gym sessions and ran my business from my laptop/phone. You need to be organised, motivated and good with time management. There are no days off in this business! 
phoebe woodandluxe

What advice would you give to people who want to travel as their job?

K: If you want to [do it the way I did], you will have to start on your own dime. You need to build up an arsenal of posts that show what kind of content you can produce. We still pay for almost all of our own trips now, we just happen to occasionally get a free or sponsored stay or flight out of it, or the occasional press trip. You have to do it because you are truly passionate about seeing more of the world – if you think, “Sweet, travel the world and get paid? I’m in!“, you’re in for a bit of a wake-up call.
 
P: ​If you want to incorporate travel into your job, you need to be doing it already. I think the draw card for free travel seems great, but no one is going to send you on a free trip if you aren’t already sharing your adventures on your blog or social media channels. My biggest piece of advice is don’t compare yourself to others. I don’t have the biggest following, but I’ve been blogging for over 9 years, I’m professional and the offers keep coming in so it’s not a numbers game. It’s about creating quality content that is authentic and consistent.  
 
L: Have a few thousand in savings, or an existing flexible income. I had about £10k of savings when I first moved to Thailand and although I didn’t end up using any of it as I started earning right away, it was a great safety net. Finally, book a short return trip – for example, just 2-3 months in Chiang Mai. You can tell yourself it’s a trial and if it doesn’t work out you can just come back home and get a job…. but I promise you’ll love it and your life will be changed forever!
 digital nomad girl louise skiing

What are a few of the things you always bring with you, beyond the necessities?

P: I always bring a probiotic, chia seeds and herbal teas, and try to start my day with a hot water and lemon. If I’m on a plane, I don’t drink alcohol or eat the plane food.

K: My medicine bag. Haha, I’m a bit of a hypochondriac so always have to have all my trusted pills and tablets just in case. The other thing is SPF – no matter the destination, I’m forever trying to protect my skin. 
 
L:  I particularly like coconut oil for makeup remover and a hair treatment, and the Lush shampoo bar to avoid suitcase spillages!
 

Isn’t travelling all the time expensive? How do you work around that? 

K: Yes. It’s not cheap and I don’t try to claim that we’re budget travellers – I write about luxury travel, so it’s never going to be the most affordable option. However, we both hold status with most of the large hotel chains, even the highest level with a few through credit card sign up bonuses, status matching and just being loyal guests. When it comes to Business and First class flights, we’re also constantly amassing large amounts of air miles [acquired in the same way as our hotel upgrades]. I also think of it this way: we’re young, we don’t have a mortgage or any of those larger responsibilities. If ever there was a time to travel as much as we do, it’s now.

L: For us it actually ends up cheaper than just living in the UK! The countries we choose are often very cheap and by only moving every few months, it’s a lot cheaper than backpacking or non-stop travel. We get a medium term apartment rental so it’s much cheaper than hotels, and you also have the option to cook at home. We budget about $1000 a month for a pretty luxurious lifestyle.
 euriental kamara beach

What do you wish people knew about your lifestyle?

P: The common misconceptions are that I spend my life from one cool place to the next, taking photos, doing yoga and writing about my travels. I actually have more face time with my laptop and phone than any other person, which isn’t ideal. Yoga and eating healthy is the only way I can combat my hectic lifestyle. Sometimes I wish I just had one job, one pay check and didn’t spend epic amounts of time on transport. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have to pinch myself and count my blessings. Life is good.

K: I still fly Economy, mostly around Europe, I’m not a total snob! I just don’t blog about it because… well, who cares about my extra legroom seat on Ryanair?

 digital nomad girl louise
Check out what these girls are doing on their Instagram pages and as always, happy to hear your thoughts via DM or comment!
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