Traveling for a career used to sound like a fantasy to me. I had always been captivated by the lifestyle of travel writers and influencers who were able to explore the globe and get paid for it. Most of me thought that it would be the coolest job ever, but a smaller, quieter part of me believed that traveling for a living might be lonely and isolating. As I've racked up many miles trotting around the globe for work, I now know why you should travel for a living in your 20s.
Before I even graduated college, I spent a lot of time hopping between cities. I went to school in Boston, would often go to New York for meetings, job interviews, auditions, and gigs, and flew home to Tampa as much as I could to see my family. Since I graduated, I've been doing a lot of the same. I'm currently splitting my time between NYC and Los Angeles, I often go back to Boston for gigs, I visit my family in Tampa when I can, and travel all over the country and the world to write about various destinations and experiences.
Living a nomadic lifestyle has been a dream. And even though it's hard at times (getting up at 5 a.m. to work East Coast hours on the West Coast isn't the most glamorous thing I've ever done), I honestly wouldn't change it for the world. If you're thinking of dropping your 9-to-5 to try traveling for a living, here's why I think you should go for it.
1. You Can Cross Destinations Off Your Bucket List
This is an obvious one. Everyone has a travel bucket list, and my job has made it possible for me to start chipping away at mine (even though it's pretty extensive). I always keep my eye out for assignments on places that I'm dying to visit.
2. You'll Go To Countries You Never Thought You'd Visit
I never knew that I wanted to go to go sailing around Croatia before I actually went sailing around Croatia (and now I can't stop talking about it). Something that I've learned through travel writing is that you're often offered opportunities to go on assignment to places that you didn't know you wanted to visit, and you'll be so glad you did.
3. It's A Good Way To Meet People
I can't even count the number of people I've met (and kept in touch with) while traveling. Bouncing between cities has offered me the unique opportunity to build a global network; I now have friends from all over the world. From little day trips to giant group tours, I've started conversations with people I wouldn't have met otherwise, and now we keep in touch and hope to end up in the same city again.
4. You Can Work From Anywhere
Need to answer emails from a sailboat in the middle of the Mediterranean? No problem. A perk about traveling for a living is that you can literally work from anywhere and everywhere, provided you have a solid internet connection (and some serious discipline so you don't fall behind). Although it can be difficult to motivate yourself to work when you're trying to enjoy a relaxing day on the beach (tough life, I know), once you get the hang of balancing your responsibilities with your playtime, it all works out.
5. You Might Get To Travel For Free (Or Really Cheap)
A huge perk of what I do is being offered discounts to travel. Airlines, tourism boards, and hotels value travel writers and media promoting them. Traveling as often as I do wouldn't be sustainable if I were paying full-price for everything, so I get a little help from sponsors, when I can.
6. You'll Learn How To Pack Light
When you're perpetually living out of a suitcase, you learn to hate checking a bag. Learning how to pack light has been one of the biggest things I've had to adjust since I started traveling a ton, and I still slip up every once in a while. (Sometimes, I just really need that extra pair of shoes.) But for the most part, I've been able to finagle some packing hacks that are able to get me through my trips.
7. You'll Get To Visit Your Family More Often
Contrary to what you might think, I actually get to travel home to see my family often because my job schedule is so flexible. Granted, I have to sit out of some family festivities to get work done while I'm home, but I still get to see them and spend time with them.
8. You'll Get To Work In Different Fields
Because of the flexibility of my job, I can continue pursuing other interests and hobbies, including traveling to play music gigs. Outside of editorial writing and playing music, I also work at a yoga studio — all to enable my well-rounded freelancing experience and to add some diversity to my days.
9. You'll Have A Newfound Taste Of Adventure
Traveling for a living has taught me a lot about accepting what comes your way and jumping at opportunities to try something new. Swimming with whale sharks in the Philippines? Easy peasy. Eating a stew that was cooked in a volcanic pit? Totes. I've always been a pretty adventurous person, but traveling has opened my eyes to what the world can offer and I have a newfound thirst for unique experiences.
Traveling for a living has completely changed my life. If you're considering taking the leap and making the switch, I say, "What are you waiting for?"