Some realities about travel blogging that you must ponder over.
“Before you quit your job to travel, you must plan it well. The salary cut down isn’t easy to handle, so you must be mentally prepared for it.”
“You will not regret your decisions only when you know the consequences.”
“People often don’t realise the seriousness of freelance work or travelling for work. The general notion is that if you are not doing a 8 to 5 job, it means you are not doing serious work.”
PENDOWN is a brand born out of the passion for blogging. I have grown my blog over last 8 years. It has been an amazing journey. And with time, I have carved a niche for myself. Travel is what I love most but more than that I enjoy blogging about my experiences. When I had decided to quit my job 2 years back, I knew why I was doing it and I had my personal reasons. With a focussed approach, I have come to do better as a blogger, as a writer. And now, there is no looking back. This Sunday, I was quoted in Sakaal times for talking about the seriousness of my passion for travelling.
A lot of bloggers are often tempted to quit their job to travel without weighing down the realities. Many of my friends think I have the most glamorous job because I get to travel the world for free. My family members wonder what makes me so passionate about travel and blogging when it doesn’t pay as my job. And a lot of others envy my regular updates on social media. Well, the grass may look greener on my side, but I always say that it calls for lots of sacrifices.
Some of my honest views are featured in the article above. To add on to it, here is more.
I quit my comfortable and well-paying job as a telecom engineer because of many reasons and they were my own. My job had become monotonous. I always wanted to be my own boss and break the shackles of 9 to 7 job. I had been blogging for seven years and my inclination towards writing had grown exponentially. Lastly, I was getting amazing opportunities to travel and write. The thought of quitting my job got more power when I won three international trips through blogging contests and travelled with Malaysia Tourism, Oman Tourism and Skyscanner in 2014. I was tempted tp quit just after that but I analysed my decision for a whole year. Managing leaves from my regular job were difficult but my first familiarisation trip brought a lot of change in me. On my personal front, I was travelling all the more. I The whole idea of discovering the world and getting a chance to see it differently was a game changer for me. And finally, one day, I could take my decision because I had freelancing assignments and my family as a strong support.
In the last two years, I have been travelling almost every month or alternately. No doubt, I love exploring places. I confess, my job is a glamorous one. My friends often get awed at my life but I must clarify, it isn’t easy to go for trips every month, balance freelance assignments, take care of two homes (my parents and my in-laws) and blog about places that I visit. For me, travels are not my holidays. Sometimes, I have to miss my family events. I don’t have Sundays and Saturdays. I have deadlines and I must work every day. People often don’t realise the seriousness of freelance work or travelling for work. The general notion is that if you are not doing a 8 to 5 job, it means you are not doing serious work.
Money is an issue. You must be prepared to cut down your expenses the day you decide to travel and more when you decide to quit your job. Though I get offers to travel, most of them are not sufficient to pay my bills. So one cannot just travel and have no fallback plan. I have my freelance assignments which support me. I must clarify that travel writing is not at all rosy. You will travel a lot but you will miss your home at the end of long travels.
I wouldn’t deny the low moments that often haunt me because I do not earn as much as I used to. It is tough to convince people that why I need to carry my laptop for my travels. It is hard to explain why I blog. The more curious ones also want to know how much I earn. A few are still waiting to see me return to my regular job.
Everyone will ask for a ‘Plan B’
Before you quit your job to travel, you must plan. The salary cut down isn’t easy to handle so everyone must be prepared for it. You will not regret only when you know the consequences. So I wouldn’t say don’t follow your passion but be ready to work really hard. Always remember, you can’t do a travel until you earn well to spend much. The perks of my job are that I get to travel for free. I do not earn as much as my engineering job but I know I am not going back there again.
You must quit your job for travelling only because you actually enjoy and love travel. If you have decided to travel just because your friend travels a lot and you love his/her life, please think again. Most of the times, you may not get home cooked food. You may fall sick in certain places. You may not like few places but you don’t have the choice to complain. There will be many times when you will not get your luxury indulgences. Also, travelling calls for adjustments. One must be prepared to respect the sensibilities of the place and its culture. When you are visiting a different country, you have to follow their rules. Travelling means you got to adjust. The best for me was wearing burka in Riyadh.
Trust me, it needs a lot of courage to hold on to the thought that travelling for passion will become lucrative someday.
Just before you quit!
Don’t jump in the decision of quitting your job by getting influenced by others.
If you really want to do it, start working towards it from today.
Take a year to prepare where the first thing should be cutting down on your expenses.
Do your travels on weekends and see what you enjoy and what you don’t.
Start doing some freelancing work or diverting your time towards your passion.
Keep your finances clear in your head before you say goodbyes to your monthly paycheques.
If you really feel that your priority is to travel and you know how to achieve a balance between other demands of life, then just go ahead.
Do read the above link to know what other bloggers have to say.
By Manjulika Pramod
An engineer who loves to be called a blogger more!
Traveler, short-story writer, voracious reader, foodie is the better me!
Reading, eating, traveling, exploring, observing and blogging are the beautiful highs of my life.