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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 Content Strategist of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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