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In the Hot Seat: The Travel Blogger

In the Hot Seat: The Travel Blogger

It used to be that when we thought of celebrities, we imagined glamorous movie stars and pop icons on the Red Carpet. Thanks to social media, we have a whole new breed of famous people. Online influencers use Instagram, blogs, YouTube, Facebook, and other platforms to amass substantial followings.

Being a social media influencer can quickly become a full time job. As you become more popular, companies offer you endorsements, sponsorships, and other opportunities.

Travel bloggers are some of the most visible influencers. They’re prolific content-creators who document their exotic travels for all to see. We might feel amazed and envious of their lifestyle. How great would it be to get paid to travel? Is professional travel blogging really as glamorous and exciting as it looks?

In the hot seat today, travel bloggers give us the inside scoop behind those Insta-worthy shots we so often see.

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Things are not always as they appear

Lifehack: How long on average can one spend being a travel blogger?

You only get out of travel blogging what you put into it. For some people, it’s just a hobby. I’m my own boss, and this is my full-time job. I put in some long hours.

Lifehack: Is this your full time job?

I get this question a lot. People think I’m on vacation all the time, but my lifestyle is similar to most freelancers’. I’m always working to manage periods of feast and famine, and I consistently network.

I definitely believe that having multiple streams of income is the key to making a full-time income. I’m working on an e-book, and I also do limited business from affiliate marketing. I get paid to be a brand ambassador, and sometimes I get to travel for free. Traveling for free isn’t the same as getting paid, though.

Lifehack: How long do you see yourself doing this?

I can see myself doing this for the rest of my life, but only if I can learn to strike a better work-life balance. I’m lucky that I can hire people to help me, and that’s making this more sustainable for the long-term.

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Lifehack: How long does it take to get that ‘perfect’ shot?

Way longer than you think! My job is to make travel appear beautiful and glamorous. Real life does not always look Instagram-flawless.

Lifehack: Share some ugly truths about this lifestlye.

It’s hard on relationships. Finding someone that understands that I have to be away a lot, and that I won’t always be in the same time zone or have access to a phone is challenging.

Lifehack: Describe a typical day of travel blogging.

Usually, I travel overnight and try to sleep while I’m in transit. I get set up in a hostel, and then I try to find an angle for my destination that hasn’t been explored yet.

I’m always thinking about time zones as I go through my day. I try to schedule posts to hit during peak times so I can reach the widest audience. I am often on the prowl for wifi.

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While I explore, I try to find exciting photo opportunities. I also jot down ideas for my blog. After an exhausting and exciting day, I either head back to the hostel, or I find wifi again to do more work.

Lifehack: What goes on behind every post?

For Instagram, the most important thing is getting a stunning photo. There’s a lot of setting up tripods, taking advantage of good light, and fighting the elements.

Blog posts require brainstorming, which I usually do as I explore. Making sure your content is outstanding is essential in this line of work. I only post things that I’d want to read.

Lifehack: What are the consequences of having a post that isn’t well-received?

It depends on why it’s not well-received. This hasn’t happened to me, but posting something potentially offensive could result in an online uprising. I do my best to be sensitive to others in my work.

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If a post doesn’t get as many views as I’d like, I analyze why. One bad post isn’t going to end my career, but a string of them could.

Lifehack: What are some of the cons of being a travel influencer?

This job can be competitive since there are many influencers going after the same resources. I also find that I can’t enjoy travel as much because I’m focused on work.

I feel that the pros outweigh the cons. I get to see places I’ve never seen and meet incredible people. I get paid to do something I’ve always loved. I couldn’t ask for more.

It’s not all stunning sunsets and perfectly-plated meals

Travel blogging sounds like a great job, but it’s definitely more work than we thought it would be. So before you get all envious now, think again about what really goes on behind that one insta-worthy post.

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Anna Chui

Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the editor of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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