On Writing

Why I am not (yet) a full time travel blogger

Ever since last year’s Asian Women Empowerment Conference, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about my ‘work’. Those who did’t know me personally assumed that I was like all other bloggers out there, those that made the decision to ‘throw it all away to travel full time’, and were seemingly disappointed to learn that I am just like them, I still have an office job, and I just travel whenever I can.

So, let’s clear this up. I do still have an office job, the one I call my ‘day job’, but I am not ashamed of it. In fact, I quite like what I do and because of that, I am good at what I do, and for that I want to continue to do.

In reality, no matter how much others paint it to be, not every one has the desire to ‘throw it all away’ to travel (yet).

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The Truth About Full Time ‘Travel’

Sounds glamorous doesn’t it? But many of us (bloggers, writers…) have written on this topic over and over, on the challenges and the hardship that a full time ‘traveller’ or full time ‘blogger’ and ‘writer’ will face.

Why?

Essentially, it is still a job. There are still work to be done and deadlines to meet. Motivation can sometimes be the biggest issue when you are not faced within a office hour framework. On top of that, there are still bills to pay, and the truth is, while many of us do get sponsored trips, majority of our trips (with the exception of the lucky few) are funded by ourselves.

No one really travels full time, but rather many become location independent, but it is still work. The only difference is, it is the sort of work that we don’t mind doing, because we love it so much that it is no longer considered work, no matter how hard we must work at it.

Which brings me to another point…

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That Work / Life Balance Thing

If you have been following Footprints and Memories Facebook feed, you would have read a wise comment from one of Australia’s top executives. The outgoing iiNet founder and CEO Michael Malone was interviewed by the Australian Financial Review about work life balancing. This is what he said.

“I think the whole work / life balance thing is bullshit. You’ve got to do what you enjoy, and I think (at the same time) you’ve got to be mindful of the impact that (working on what you enjoy) has on other people…. I really like my job, and I like the stuff that comes with it.”

Right now, I am comfortable with where I am in my life. I have a day job that keeps me very (very!) busy, but it is something that is challenging, and I enjoy every aspect of it. It allows me to apply my intellect and creativity, and no day is ever the same. Then there’s my night job, blogging and freelance writing, which is an extension of that creativity and a way for me to express my personal self.

It is true, I am always working one way or the other, but as Michael Malone said, if you do what you enjoy doing, then it is in fact, work life balance. The only thing I need to be mindful of, is the effect of my work on other people, such as my husband, who must endure our travel days ‘working’ with me.

So really, you could say I like both jobs equally that I haven’t made up my mind which one I would like to sacrifice. So I decided to do both at the same time.

Amy McPherson

Why Do I Keep Myself So Busy?

Everyone gets 24 hours a day. No more, no less. Do you ever wonder how some people can do so much more with their time than others? It isn’t because they have less to do. It is because their physical and mental state is so active that they are able to accomplish more in a shorter period of time.

It has been proven that those who keep an active life can stay more focused and functionally sound than those who are… let’s say… a little more relaxed. The reason why I keep myself busy is because I have two jobs, and I need the focus and alertness that comes with an active mind to keep up with my two jobs.

I know for a fact, that I am luckier than many other bloggers and writers out there as money isn’t an issue for me. Writing is a lonely exercise as well as a financially unstable one. If you do not output, you do not get paid. It is a career that requires the utmost self determination and discipline, and to achieve my ultimate goal to be a full time writer I am going to have to start to learn this discipline.

For me, nothing teach more discipline than to try to juggle two or three things at the same time and not fall apart. I know, if I can do this now, I can do this when I am a full time writer. I can do this forever.

Besides, we are all only on this world for a short period of time. Why waste it by sitting around doing nothing? Might as well do something with this life of mine!

So. That’s why I am not (yet) a full time travel blogger.

Why the (yet)? Because one day I might want to.

Just not right now.

9 thoughts on “Why I am not (yet) a full time travel blogger

  1. It is because their physical and mental state is so active that they are able to accomplish more in a shorter period of time. It has been proven that those who keep an active life can stay more focused and functionally sound than those who are… let’s say… a little more relaxed.

    Haha, is true; is why going running is good for the mind as well as the body.
    My problem (and why I rarely *blog* never mind have blogging as my full-time job) isn’t so much that I don’t have an active life, but that I don’t have an active ‘mind’. Actually, that’s not precisely true; in fact my mind is often *too* active, but almost never on the job at hand …

    Basically, I’m easily distracted, especially if what I’m easily distracted by requires less mental effort and time (‘work’, basically) than what I should be doing. This is why, instead of blogging, I end up on Wikipedia reading about 12th century British kings, or lists of people in the USA who have mysteriously disappeared. And yet, if I were writing a story, or blog, on those subjects I’d probably find myself idly browsing Google Maps instead of some obscure Japanese island. I’m also a very “good” procrastinator, so always have the firm and provable belief that ‘oh it’ll get done, it always does, I don’t need to do it now’. There’s an occasionally-brought-to-mind half-finished fiction story I started writing 20 years ago that kind of suggests that I’m right, and therefore wrong, about that point.

    Many successful bloggers, whether they do it full-time, or just, like yourself, do it as an enjoyable moonlighting venture, don’t have these problems. I don’t know if that’s something they train themselves out of, or if it’s an issue they never had in the first place. I’m absolutely fully in awe of them, of people like you, who are able to do it.

    It is a career that requires the utmost self determination and discipline, and to achieve my ultimate goal to be a full time writer I am going to have to start to learn this discipline.

    Good luck, and I’m sure you can/will learn it. That I’m typing this entry at my desk in my day office job because it seemed a better (ie, easier) use of my mind/time than working out why my code isn’t pulling out the right results does suggest to me that I’ll probably never get there! :)

    1. I like running. It refreshes your mind after being ‘closed in’ by the office and by the study…

      I am easily distracted too! Getting better at this discipline now. :) Actually, most bloggers / writers (full time / part time) have this problem, I know a few of my writing peers would start with one thing and end up spending hours on something else, it’s part of the creative mind! Many of us have trained ourselves to focus – I had to, it was really hard but having deadlines help, because if I don’t meet a deadline for a commissioned article, it has devastating effects on my future chances with the same editor, of getting paid and dent my professionalism as a freelance writer.

      So don’t worry – you are not alone :) Good luck with the book – focus and it’ll come through!

  2. very inspiring. I really like your life stile. I don’t know If I could keep up with such a rhythm but your life sure is far from boring :) Whenever i travel, I always book a nice and cheap hotel and try to relax and recover from work, but I’d love to do longer travels and really take my time to see and learn.

    1. Hi Nikole – thanks for your comment. I think everyone dreams of long travel, myself included! It is all about priorities isn’t it? One day you will :) If you want something badly, you’ll make it happen!
      Happy travels!

  3. A nicely written piece, Amy! I’m struggling with that too, been toing and froing with the idea of being full time travel blogger/writer. So far I haven’t convinced myself to make the jump “yet”.

    1. Thanks Noel!
      Well, everyone has different priorities right? The same reason why there are people who love being in business and wouldn’t consider a different direction. I really liked what the iiNet CEO said, and it puts work/life in a different perspective. The most important thing is that you are happy with what you are doing!

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