I’m often asked by travel bloggers who are starting out how I manage my time whilst overseas, especially since I tend to travel for long stints of time before having a few days or week off at home in Tasmania. When my blog started taking off I travelled for a full 12 months, so I soon learned how to blog while you travel the hard way: jumping in head first!
The first four-five months taking this approach lead to burn out, which escalated in South Africa when I was taken to hospital for exhaustion and juiced up with an IV to refill my body of everything it was missing out on.
After that scare I pledged to take better care of myself, come up with a better plan to blogging (rather than just working round the clock to take photos, edit photos, video, edit video, check-in, check-out, train, plane, bungy… you get the deal.
So after a few years of blogging I think I’ve finally found a routine that works… and I’d love to share it with you to let you know how I travel upwards of 80% of the time and still maintain my blog, socials, and keep up with the business side of blogging overseas.
Work Hard, Play Hard
I’m sure you’ve heard this one before… but for the sake of clarification, lets take a deeper look into my #1 philosophy when it comes to blogging full time whilst you travel.
Whilst building a successful blog takes a lot more hard work than people will ever likely realise (or credit you for), it is important to remember that the only useful measure of success is to ask yourself: how much am I enjoying this? Lets put the stats and figures aside for a second and remember what truly results in a successful blog: your own enjoyment.
Its pretty simple. If you are having a good time, your readers are having a good time reading about your good time. If you are unhappy, overworked or lacking inspiration, this will (regardless of how hard you type away on the keys of your keyboard) seep through your posts and readers will know. Be sure to work hard, yes. But also have fun!
Enjoy the Little Moments
One thing I didn’t do enough of when I started out blogging was to live in the moment and just appreciate that moment for what it would be if I didn’t have a blog to share that moment with thousands of readers across the globe! When you start thinking about the workload and start writing for the sake of writing, your blog stops being about you and your journey and you lose sight of what is important. So be sure to take time to smell the roses… or the dandelions!
Explore through sunlight, Work in darkness
Finding a routine that worked was the most difficult part to turning my passion into my career. Whilst I wanted a successful blog that reached lots of people around the world, I didn’t want to sacrifice my own travelling experience to get that, so for a long time my blog writing completely sucked and was way too sporadic as I didn’t have a set routine to make sure I got my writing done (and gave it the time it needs to actually be worth reading!)
As I travel most of the time and hardly have a day “off”, I decided the answer was to rise early, answer emails quickly over breakfast, explore all through the day, and return early in the evening to write about what I had just enjoyed and experienced.
Writing is a completely personal thing but for me, I work best when my experiences are fresh in my mind – right on that day, to be exact!
Never Take it too Seriously
One thing I’m not proud to say I was guilty off in the early days of blogging was starting to take it all too seriously, too quickly. Whilst I’m extremely proud and humbled by what I have built in the short space of a few years, I can’t express enough how important it is to never take yourself or your brand too seriously. The minute you start to prioritise work over having fun (so much that you become anxious about your workload) is when things start to go pear-shaped. At around the same time I burned out in South Africa, I realised I was trying too hard to create something that took time – and in order to grow organically and effectively, I needed to give it the time it so needed.
Accept that some days are dedicated to Adventuring
Blogging while you travel full time is never the same day twice, just as travelling in general is never the same day twice. As mentioned earlier I am quite strict on myself to ensure I write about my experiences at the end of each day when they’re fresh in my mind, but some days I don’t feel like writing at all. On these days, I simply explore, experience, and enjoy. No more – no less. Some times I won’t write about these days for weeks or months to come… but by taking lots of photos I can always spark my memory of everything that happened that day!
Invest in the Tools of the Trade
Over the last few years blogging I would say the biggest hurdle I overcame that has saved TONNES of time and effort once getting it right, was investing in the right gear to take the photos I wanted and stay on top of the business side of blogging online.
For my photography gear I have settled with an Olympus PEN E-PL7 for video blogging and an Olympus OM-D EM-5 Mark II for photography. I use a tripod to take my photos (yes I take my own photos!!) and a mini tripod if I’m trying to be inconspicuous! I also travel with a few 32GB memory cards, batteries and chargers. For underwater photography I use a GoPro Hero 3+ with an underwater housing. I keep my post-editing process pretty simple, relying on iPhoto and iMovie for basic edits and PicMonkey for graphic design.
For blogging gear I use an Apple Macbook Air as it is light and easy to travel with, as well as an external hard drive to store all my photos and videos. I also never travel without an external phone battery charger – a life saver now that Snapchat has been invented!