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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:
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.
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’?
Do you think anyone could do this?
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!).
What advice would you give to people who want to travel as their job?
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.
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.
What do you wish people knew about your lifestyle?
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?