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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.

More by this author

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 January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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