In short, I started blogging for a hobby in 2007, and was travelling non-stop for 7 of the last 13 years so I have always had a lot to write about. Through my blog, I changed from being a hobby blogger to become a professional travel blogger. This means all my income now comes as a result of me being a travel blogger. There are many ways in which I make money now – planning itineraries, doing travel apps, advertising on my websites, writing for companies, copywriting, sponsored posts, selling e-Books, affiliate marketing etc. I also do work in exchange for free things. For example, I’ll promote a hotel that gives me a free night, same with hostels, restaurants, hotels and spa complexes. I work closely with tour companies too and I help review their tours. Often I am invited on sponsored trips, most recently in Poland and in Senegal.
It doesn’t take away the spontaneity of the experience at all, as I am my own boss and I go where I want to go. I don’t respect the travel bloggers who are only in it for free trips and freebies dictate where they go – that’s not travel blogging, that’s taking advantage of companies and not being passionate. I am passionate about my writing and my travels and that shines through. I’ll go where I want to next and won’t be dictated by others.
Having said that, when I get to a hotel, restaurant or new city, sometimes I spend a lot of time taking photos, making videos and hash-tagging about it. That is the nature of the job, so I definitely lose some of the time and the experience to that. But I can’t complain about that as this is the path that I have chosen in my life.