Personal Growth / Uncategorized

Why I Blog Like It’s My Job

I’m feeling an intense amount of love and pride for this blog and I’d like to tell readers more about why I’m doing this and how you, too, can start creating something you love, today. 


While studying abroad in Melbourne, Australia, I wrote a blog about my personal experiences. I posted as often as I felt inclined for the four months I was there, then completely abandoned it when I left to backpack around the country. For that I’d now like to apologize to all three of the followers I had; that means you, Mom.

I didn’t realize until the end of my trip that travel blogging could be a legitimate job, and that there are heaps of people out there using their travel blogs as a source of income to support their round-the-world travel. You heard me; these people travel the world and write about it as a full time job.

I was staying with a couch surfing host in Chiang Mai, Thailand when he showed me Michael Tieso’s blog Art Of Backpacking.

“I hosted this guy,” he told me, “He manages this website and it makes him enough money to support his never-ending travels,”

“That’s genius,” I said, “My two greatest loves are writing and travel. To think I could do both all the time!”

(Not to mention work for myself, create my own hours, and escape the dreaded American fate of becoming a slave to a boring, corporate 9-5)


I became intoxicated with the inspiration to jump start my travel blogging career.

I learned that once you build a following and have the statistics to prove it, you can sell advertising space on your blog. That’s where most of the money comes from.

This knowledge was exciting, but it came a bit too late. I was nearly down to zero dollars, and had just received news that I needed to have surgery on my wrist which I’d broken in a motorbike accident a month before. I was terrified to go through surgery by myself in Thailand, not to mention I had no travel insurance. It was time to go home.

Since I’ve been home, with the exception of one week stoned silly on anesthesia and percocet, I have made it my job to learn everything about travel blogging and develop this site. My goal is to be making money from it within six months from now and to be traveling long-term again within a year.


I started following Art of Backpacking and other travel blogs like The Runaway GuideTwenty-Something TravelNomadic Matt and Wandering Earl. I now use these blogs as inspiration and mentor-texts as I develop Fly Away World.

I lust over these websites daily. They are not run-of-the-mill travel blogs; they are legitimately professional and really attractive.  I’m so impressed with the amount of traveling these people have managed to do, using their blogs for income. They are my heroes and I am determined to join their cool-kids club.


My whole life I’ve wanted to be a writer, but until recently I couldn’t figure out how to organize that dream into a reality. I had so many ideas of things to write, but they were completely scattered in my brain, with no particular topic, genre, or place to put them. Deciding to become a travel blogger helped me focus on one project. Now I’m posting polished pieces twice a week and the best part is people are actually reading it (and not just my mom).

Although I’m not making any money yet, I feel so grateful to have this blog as my project. I know that if I stay dedicated, it eventually will sustain me financially.

I’m creating my dream job out of thin air, and you can too.

If you have a creative passion like writing, visual art or music, and you’re not currently creating anything, I strongly urge you to start creating, right now. Your passion is your calling and it’s about time you answer it. Make your art, and put it somewhere for everyone to read, see, or hear. The internet has revolutionized this process and made it so very easy, we really have no excuse.

I know you just thought of some excuses. “But I have no money,” or “But I’m too busy,” or “But I’m just not feeling very creative lately.” Stop making excuses and find a way to start doing your artwork immediately, as in the moment you’re done reading this. Even if it’s a really small gesture each day. Write a list of words. Mix some colors with paint. Sing in the shower. Creation is creation, no matter how small, and the small steps will lead you to the big ones.

The same goes for traveling. If you’re considering going on a long-term travel, MAKE IT HAPPEN! Start saving, talking about it, reading this blog more, or do whatever you need to do to create that reality.


You can support me in my goal to become a professional travel blogger by becoming a follower, visiting my page often, spreading the word, and connecting with me about any knowledge or advice you can offer. If you have any money to offer me so I can travel and get new material, that would help, too (Mom).

In return I can support you in achieving your goals. Write a comment below about what work you’re trying to do and what challenges you are facing. I’ll respond and do my best to offer you advice. Feel free to respond to each other’s comments, too. 

*This post was inspired by a great book I just read;  The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield. I highly recommend it!

Doing yoga and feeling free in the outback of Australia, July 2012

21 thoughts on “Why I Blog Like It’s My Job

  1. I want to consolidate my student loans and figure out a plan to save responsibly, maybe for a home in 10 years. Will you help me take the right steps? So far I just think about it a lot. Then I get tired.

    -Not your mom, but your adoring big sis.

    • Hi Jenni,

      As you know, I too am dealing with managing my student loan payments, and you are more experienced in this than me. I am willing to encourage you to make the steps towards consolidation, though I don’t know what they are. Maybe we can work on it together? In regards to saving money, I’m actually quite good at this. I would suggest creating a weekly/monthly budget and commit to eliminating some avoidable spending from your life. Then total up what you would save by doing that, and start moving it into a savings account. Keep your eye on the prize. Thinking about how much I want to travel the world makes it easy for me to give up shopping. Maybe it’s the same for you and owning a home.



      • May I suggest instead of having a budget having a spending plan. I always fail at budgets and thats why I haven’t left the USA for 2 years. 😦 Now that I have a spending plan where I make my travel savings a bill that must be paid first before all other bills I think I am going to have enough to travel soon. Best of luck on your savings.

      • That’s a cool idea! I like the concept of adopting a mentality of spending travel funds mandatorily as if they’re bills. So could I say “I have a $6,000 dollar travel bill to pay in 2013” rather than “I’m trying to save $6000”? I guess for me I have so little money (never worked full time in my life yet) that it makes little difference how I phrase it. Either way I need to work hard to make the money and hold on to it. Am I getting you? Or missing something? Don’t you feel an obligation to pay “real” bills first?

  2. Emily you are your mothers daughter! I’m a friend of your mothers and now I’m going to be a follower of yours. What a unique and exciting life you’ve already experienced at such a young age. Keep on keeping on! I’m writing a book and I’m at it every day. All of sudden my “voice” comes through and I have to take a different path which makes it better but more to think about and rewrite. So hang in there kiddo I will follow you and send it to people who I think can benefit from your smart words and wonderful spirit! Good luck, the website looks great!! Cheers…. Nancy Bella

    • Hi Nancy,

      Thanks for reading and for your comment! Congratulations to you on writing a book. I will do the same one day, soon. I view blogging as practice for writing my book. I’d love to hear more about yours and to read it when it’s done.



  3. Emily, you wouldn’t know me if you saw me nor I you but when you were a little girl you played at the buffalo colony. I can not write well but I paint bunches and I remember we had an artist connection even though you were just a little, innocent, sweet but very inquisitive and contemplative person’s oh a writer is what you are !!!. I wish you luck in this adventure. I enjoyed the guest yoga stories…or was it you? Put up a donate now button if you dare. You write so well:-)

    • Hi Debbie,

      I remember you and I think I would recognize you if I saw you. I remember your house, your birds, and your cats. It was a magical place to me. Thanks for reading and for your postive feedback 🙂 The yoga story was a guest post by a friend of mine. Check back soon for more entries about yoga festivals and spiritual destinations. I have a donate button! It’s on the bottom of this page: I’m going to make it more quick to locate soon.



    • Hey Em!

      I understand and know this feeling so well. You may not feel creative at the moment, but you and I both know that you ARE a brilliantly creative person. In moments like these, that creative extraordinaire is napping inside of you and you need to wake it up! If you push yourself to start creating, it’s very likely that something good will come out of your attempt. Kick yourself in the butt to TRY writing or making music. The key is to not worry about whether it’s good or not at first. Just write, or play guitar, or sing. See where it takes you. Then go back in later and craft it to make it better.

      You can do it! Good luck.


      • thanx gurl, i’ll get butt kicking soon i promise. after my nap. har har. anyhow your blog looks fantastic and i am reading it up

  4. I enjoy this and will be back. You, I think, that Matt Harding is the ultimate success story in my book, stumbling into the discovery that people all over the world like to dance badly together. He’s gotten to do a lot of travelling to celebrate that.

  5. I only just found this article now. You definitely have the right idea. I’m excited for you 🙂 Thanks for the shout out again too!

  6. I don’t know whether it’s just me or if perhaps everyone else experiencing issues with your website. It seems like some of the written text on your posts are running off the screen. Can somebody else please comment and let me know if this is happening to them as well? This might be a issue with my internet browser because I’ve had this happen before. Kudos
    First of all I want to say great blog! I had a quick question that I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your mind prior to writing. I have had trouble clearing my mind in getting my ideas out. I truly do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are generally lost simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or tips? Cheers!

    • Maya Angelou said “What I try to do is write. I may write for two weeks ‘the cat sat on the mat, that is that, not a rat,’…. And it might be just the most boring and awful stuff. But I try. When I’m writing, I write. And then it’s as if the muse is convinced that I’m serious and says, ‘Okay. Okay. I’ll come.”

      I’ve read similar quotes that say something like “Inspiration comes, but it has to find you working.”

      I, too, seriously struggle to start writing. I procrastinate it like crazy. Then I agonize over where to begin. Then I begin and I, too, have trouble clearing my mind and getting ideas out at first. My first 10-15 mins of actually writing are also in a sense “lost” to struggling. I think this is where most writers have to begin.

      I think the best advice is to set aside enough time in the day to write that you can throw away those first 10-15 minutes on just warming up and then you will hopefully get into the better stuff.

      Thanks for reading and for your comment. Best wishes.


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