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Why we quit our jobs

Read about why we decided to quit our jobs and start travelling properly. And what we plan to do afterwards.

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Mt Rushmore

To realise our travel blogging goals and travel like we want to travel, which is a LOT, we need freedom. So today we did what most people will never try.

We took a risk. We pursued a passion. We stepped out of our comfort zone.

We quit our jobs.

Seeing those four little words written down just sent shivers down my spine. Seeing them written down somehow makes it seem real. It now feels like a tangible item that we can reach out and grab a hold of.

For the last couple of weeks we have been talking about how we want to travel for a few months around Europe this summer from our base in Edinburgh. It always seemed like a bit of a distant dream. But the one thing that we knew was that there was no way that we could travel properly with jobs holding us back.

Sure we have been travelling around the world for over 2 years already and have seen a few sides of Europe. Including a long weekend in Paris, the madness that was Oktoberfest in Munich and even peep show in Amsterdam.

And even though the adventures were fun it wasn’t travelling like we wanted to travel.

Mt Rushmore

We like to travel slow.

We love to take in the culture and experience how locals live. Getting under the skin of a destination is what makes travel so special for us. By quitting our jobs to travel we now have the freedom to do it our way.

So in one week we are setting off on a trip through Italy and Spain. For six weeks we will travel through Italy with very vague plans.

We promise to outline our trip itinerary in more detail next week (with a few exciting announcements). But as a start we will be ticking off the ruins of Rome, trekking the Cinque Terre trails, winding through the waterways of Venice, eating pizza in Naples, cycling and get tanked in Tuscany and swimming on the alluring Amalfi Coast.

You think that after all that we would be looking to slow down and enjoy the siesta lifestyle of Spain. But you would be wrong. Three weeks of madness in Spain ensues from there.

We will be risking life and limb by Running with the Bulls in Pamplona. And when, if, we have survived that we will be surfing our way along the San Sebastian coastline for two weeks.

But then what…

To be honest, who knows?

Most likely we will end up back in Edinburgh as we have fallen in love with the place. Plus it is super handy to travel through Europe from.

But I am hoping that this is the end of the road for me sitting in a cubicle and working the normal 9 to 5 job. Four years I have toiled away as an Environmental Planner helping local farmers and businesses around New Zealand and now in Scotland construct Wind Turbines.

Adela has kindly offered to support me by returning to her cubicle while I pursue my newfound passion. I will try to take this travel blog to the next level and continue to grow it for you.

So thank you!

Because everything we have achieved so far has been as a result of you, our readers and passionate travel community. If you haven’t already then join the rest of us on Facebook and Twitter!

But not only will I continue to grow our blog I will also be pursuing a new career with all the skills I have learnt since we began this adventure travel blog. So if you are looking for a new Social Media specialist or blogger for your business then I am here to help. Just drop us a line via email or through our contact page.

Taking the plunge into the unknown is really exciting. And just a little bit unsettling.

Do I think I will end up back in a cubicle in a few months? Maybe.

But you know what? For now I am content knowing that we have two months ahead of us with nothing but our packs on our backs, jandals on our feet and a pocketful of opportunities in front of us.

Reader question: Have you ever taken the plunge or rolled the dice of chance on a dream? How did it work out? Any advice or tips for us?

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79 Comments

79 Comments

  1. Jools Stone

    June 1, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    Good luck gusy, I’m sure you won’t look back. Plus you have an in demand skill that I’m sure is pretty portable. I made the transition more gradually, through a combination of opportunity, timing and general frustration. I’ve been focussing on building my freelance profile up while doing the occasional trip, instead of a full time life on the road, whcih I’m not sure would suit me yet anyway. Anyway, well done and I’ll hoist one to you soon I hope!

    • Cole Burmester

      June 1, 2012 at 10:54 AM

      Thanks Jools! Its always nice to chat with the likes of you, Jane and Kash so that we can follow in your footsteps. Will need to pick your brain sometime soon on how to make all this work for us so will meet up for a drink in August hopefully when we are back!

  2. Lucy Dodsworth

    June 1, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    Congratulations to you both – sounds like you have a fantastic summer lined up! I’ve quit my job twice now to travel and the adrenaline rush never wears off! First time I did a 16-month RTW trip then came back and found another job fairly quickly. Second time was last year when I went freelance and have been mixing work and travel ever since. I always thought that the worst that could’ve happened was that I had to get another office job and that’s where I started off anyway! Hope it all works out for you and happy travels.

    • Cole Burmester

      June 1, 2012 at 3:35 PM

      Cheers Lucy. Great getting your feedback and showing us that it can be done 🙂 Will hit you up if we need any help if that’s okay!

  3. Andrea

    June 1, 2012 at 11:27 AM

    Good luck Cole! I’m sure you’ll never regret it and your site will really take off with the more time you have to spend on it. I can’t wait to seeing how things work out for you. 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      June 1, 2012 at 3:34 PM

      Thanks Andrea! Fingers crossed it goes well for us for the next few months 🙂

  4. Karen @ Trans-Americas Journey

    June 1, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    Feels great, right? Good for you guys and welcome to the world of untethered travel! Since finding a niche that will keep you productive AND on the road is part of the challenge I just want to point out that I’m fairly certain NGOs around the world would love to hire the services of an Environmental Engineer to assist with wind turbine and other projects around the world on your terms. Just sayin’.

    Congratulations!

    • Cole Burmester

      June 1, 2012 at 3:36 PM

      Thanks so much Karen. Having the support of the likes of you guys is a huge help! Will definitely keep the idea of working around the world with wind turbines in the back of my mind 🙂

  5. Erica

    June 1, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    Congratulations! Exciting isn’t? Sometimes you will just have to take the plunge and go for it! I am sure you will find a way to stay out of that cubicle.. Good luck!

    • Cole Burmester

      June 2, 2012 at 2:21 PM

      Hope I will be able to stay out of and thanks for the well wishes Erica.

  6. Lee Carter

    June 1, 2012 at 5:04 PM

    We did the same thing just over a year ago, Its an unconventional lifestyle but its what we want to do :). Fortune favours the brave.

    • Cole Burmester

      June 2, 2012 at 2:22 PM

      We were definitely inspired by you guys Lee! Thanks.

  7. Lindsay Hartfiel

    June 1, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    Excellent itinerary for Italy – Cinque Terre and the Amalfi Coast are two of my favorite destinations. The food, the wine, the people and the sights are incredible! Best of luck with your upcoming endeavors!

    • Cole Burmester

      June 2, 2012 at 2:26 PM

      Thanks Lindsay. We will post our full itinerary next 🙂 can’t wait to eat all the amazing food there!

  8. Wandering Educators

    June 1, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    yahoo!! and congrats! that is awesome – and scary, and life-changing, too! i am so proud of you, and excited to follow along on your journeys. we like slow travel, too. 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      June 2, 2012 at 2:28 PM

      Thanks so much for your support! Can’t do it without it 🙂

  9. Jarmo @ Arctic Nomad

    June 1, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    Good luck guys! That is a big decision, but like all the others have also mentioned, I’m sure you won’t regret it! And we should catch up in Pamplona then 😉

    • Cole Burmester

      June 2, 2012 at 2:29 PM

      Are you going to be in Pamplona for the last weekend? Definitely should catch up. And thanks mate.

  10. Ayngelina

    June 1, 2012 at 10:24 PM

    Oooh six weeks in Italy? Make sure you post lots of food photos.

    • Cole Burmester

      June 2, 2012 at 2:30 PM

      We will just have to remember to take photos before we stuff our faces haha.

  11. The Rowdy Chowgirl

    June 1, 2012 at 10:39 PM

    Oh wow, good for you! I’m particularly looking forward to hearing about your experiences in Pamplona–because running with the bulls really was one of those rare life changing experiences for me, and in San Sebastian–because it’s on our short list right now.

    • Cole Burmester

      June 2, 2012 at 2:33 PM

      Did you run in Pamplona? Adela is nervous as not many girls do it.
      Can’t wait for San Sebastian as we have heard such good things about the area.

      • The Rowdy Chowgirl

        June 4, 2012 at 3:20 AM

        Yes. I did! And she’s right, there weren’t many girls at all. I hope she goes for it!

  12. Caz Makepeace

    June 1, 2012 at 11:15 PM

    Awesome!! You will have such an amazing time. Good for you. It’s not easy to take the risk to pursue your dreams but you will never achieve them unless you do.
    Your Europe trip sounds so good. As we head into winter here I am so jealous!

    • Cole Burmester

      June 2, 2012 at 2:35 PM

      Haha your winter is so much nicer than the UK summer 🙂
      You guys are role models for us so thanks for helping us realise our dreams (without even knowing it). Should be a fun few months as we try it out.

  13. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures

    June 1, 2012 at 11:28 PM

    How exciting! Safe travels!!!!

    • Cole Burmester

      June 2, 2012 at 2:36 PM

      Thanks Andi! It’s going to be a long hard road but should be fun 🙂

  14. The Time-Crunched Traveler (Ellen)

    June 2, 2012 at 12:41 AM

    Good for you guys! I hope you’re able to pursue your passion long-term. I’ve also just taken quite a big risk of my own — I’ve given my notice, too! My last day will be June 29th at a job I’ve been at for four and a half years. I am leaving to pursue a second Masters degree and change careers AND so that my husband and I can move to China later this year for his job. It’s a time of big change for us and much is still unknown. I’m quite nervous, as it’s been so long since I haven’t had a job. So we’re in this together, I suppose! Cheers!

    • Cole Burmester

      June 2, 2012 at 2:41 PM

      So glad to hear you are shaking things up too! I am sure you will love the changes and moving to China will be such an amazing experience. Wish you all the best!

  15. Kash Bhattacharya

    June 2, 2012 at 12:53 AM

    WELL DONE!

    Congrats-big move but sometimes you got to step out of the comfort zone and then see how far you can go……I just went nomadic so I’m on a similar journey as you guys. Will be an interesting few months ahead. Look forward to following your travels and meeting you on the road sometime in the near future.

    Stay in touch and enjoy the freedom of the road.

    Kash

    • Cole Burmester

      June 2, 2012 at 2:38 PM

      Cheers Kash. You don’t know how great it is having a support network like you and Jane that we can call upon if we need to. Definitely looking forward to catching up again soon towards the end of summer.

  16. Safiya - Four Itchy Feet

    June 2, 2012 at 1:04 AM

    It’s a big step so well done for doing what you believe in. Taking a chance is what life is about. I quit my job to go to England, travel and be with Craig. We married the following year, he quit his job, we had a 1 year working holiday…now nearly 8 years ago. It was an experience I recently wrote about http://fouritchyfeet.com/relationshipsimmigrationpart1/
    There’s nothing better than being able to wake up together in a new place, explore and travel as a couple, without the constant stress and routine of 9-5 jobs. Good on ya both and we wish you all the best 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      June 2, 2012 at 2:43 PM

      Stories like yours just give us such an inspiration Safiya. It just goes to show us that it can be done! Thanks so much.

  17. Moss

    June 2, 2012 at 1:52 AM

    Proud of you bro! Awesome that you have got to this level and taking the next step! Can’t wait to catch up with you in Pamplona!

    • Cole Burmester

      June 2, 2012 at 2:44 PM

      Thanks bro. It’s only through watching you achieve all your goals over the last 10 years that has shown me its possible. Can’t wait to see ya!

  18. Sandra Foyt

    June 2, 2012 at 2:37 AM

    You might be quitting one job, but looks like you have a full-time career to focus on – travel writing. Happy travels!

    • Cole Burmester

      June 6, 2012 at 8:10 AM

      I think I have worked more on this blog than all my other jobs put together! But it has become a passion so the extra work is worth it 🙂 Hopefully we will see the success come from it.

  19. Steve Whitty

    June 2, 2012 at 7:24 AM

    I wish you both good luck for the future. It is good to see people living the dream.

    • Cole Burmester

      June 2, 2012 at 11:21 AM

      Thanks Steve. It’s scary to take this step towards our dreams but looking forward to it.

  20. Bret@ Green Global Travel

    June 2, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    Good on you, Cole! I walked away from the traditional life of employment more than a decade ago, and it’s definitely the best move I ever made. The freedom of being your own boss is at once terrifying and incredibly liberating, but as long as you recognize that true security comes from within, you should be fine. Congratulations on the big move!

    • Cole Burmester

      June 2, 2012 at 2:46 PM

      You don’t realise how big an influence you guys and other successful bloggers have on us so thanks Bret! Totally daunted and semi shocked that its all happening now but no matter what happens it will be one helluva ride!

  21. Michael

    June 2, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    Another great post guys and very inspirational. Here is my experience doing the same thing and I have included tons of great tips and helpful sources as well. I would love to hear your thoughts too!
    http://www.balifornian.com/blog/2012/4/10/the-blog-that-will-never-be-posted-or-how-to-be-a-location-i.html
    Warm regards,
    Michael

    • Cole Burmester

      June 6, 2012 at 8:21 AM

      Thanks Michael for your post. We read a lot of those blogs already and they have been helpful for us as well. Good luck with your continued digital nomad lifestyle 🙂

  22. Kieron

    June 3, 2012 at 4:51 AM

    Good luck mate, love that you’re taking the plunge! Really hope it all works out for you and we can use you as an inspiration to follow down the same path one day…

    My work contract finishes in 3 weeks time so hopefully we’ll be traveling through Europe during the summer and can meet up with the newest full-time bloggers!

    • Cole Burmester

      June 5, 2012 at 4:12 PM

      Cheers Kieron. Not sure if it will last but it will be a nice challenge to see how we go over the next few months. Great to hear you are hitting the road again! Let us know your travel plans because definitely keen to catch up with you both.

  23. Cheryl

    June 3, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    Congrats on taking the plunge! All the best. And enjoy the next 6 weeks, it all sounds amazing … two wonderful countries.

    About running with bulls, check out http://girlsrunwithbulls.com/. A bunch of female travel bloggers are going to do it … so Adela may like checking out their page or you guys could even meet up with them! 🙂

    I still owe you a response to your email. Will reply today! Sorry for my delay.

    • Cole Burmester

      June 5, 2012 at 4:14 PM

      Thanks so much Cheryl. Should be exciting, scary and fun all at the same time over the next few weeks.

      We have been in touch with the girls so might be able to meet up with them. Sounds like they are more keen to run than me haha.

  24. Sophie

    June 3, 2012 at 11:58 AM

    Good luck. It will no doubt be loads of work, but also loads of fun 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      June 5, 2012 at 4:14 PM

      Cheers Sophie. Totally daunted by the task ahead but hopefully it pays off in the long run.

  25. Raymond @ Man On The Lam

    June 3, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    I quit my job almost a year ago and haven’t looked back. I’m back home for a short blip right now, but come July 1st, I’m back on the road again.

    You are going to love Italy. And the Italians. I know I do. 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      June 5, 2012 at 4:15 PM

      We follow you very closely Raymond so really glad to hear it has been working for you! Just gives us even more inspiration.

  26. Laurel

    June 3, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    Congrats and how exciting! It’s amazing the different directions a travel blog can lead to and the skills it develops. Enjoy your travels and best of luck with your portable new career!

    • Cole Burmester

      June 5, 2012 at 4:16 PM

      When we started our adventure travel blog we had no idea it would lead to a life where we could take it full time. Whether that turns out to be the case or not we will have to see Laurel 🙂

  27. Laurence

    June 3, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    You’ll never know what might happen unless you try, so well done for giving it a go 😀 Have an amazing trip, and I trust that it will all work out for you – looking forward to continuing to read your adventures!

    • Cole Burmester

      June 5, 2012 at 4:21 PM

      I just wanted no regrets and our 2 months of travelling starting at the end of this week seemed like a good opportunity to grab it with both hands. And thanks for the inspiration Laurence.

  28. Jeff @ GoTravelzing

    June 4, 2012 at 4:27 AM

    I love to hear stories like this. You are on your way to living the life that you want. I recently got started with my own travel blog and am still trying to figure out what I am going to do with it.

    Good Luck. I look forward to hearing about your adventures.

    • Cole Burmester

      June 5, 2012 at 4:23 PM

      Thanks Jeff! Good luck with your new travel blog. Its a bloody frustrating and rewarding hobby 🙂

  29. Jesse

    June 4, 2012 at 7:43 AM

    Besides, best stories are told when you experience the most risky business in your life while you came out either strong or a changed man. As for me, it is also my dream to risk out from my office job and go adventuring out there but always “chickening out”.

    • Cole Burmester

      June 5, 2012 at 4:26 PM

      Hope you can join us and take the plunge as well Jesse! No time like the present to get started on your adventure 🙂

  30. Trudy Florence

    June 5, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    My boy and I did this! We quit our jobs in Australia and moved to Holland to travel around and now we are back to office jobs haha. But it’s totally amazing and we love it. Tom writes about our travels too on activebackpacker.com Can’t wait to hear more about your Italy trip – we are heading there in August and I can’t wait. Please share lots of food tips!!!

    • Cole Burmester

      June 5, 2012 at 4:27 PM

      Will be loads of food tips and photos Trudy from Italy 🙂

      And sounds like you guys had an amazing time in Holland! Nothing wrong with going back to your jobs to earn some more money and travel again!

  31. Andrea

    June 5, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    Very exciting, guys – and congrats! You’ll love your “new” life

    • Cole Burmester

      June 5, 2012 at 4:29 PM

      Thanks so much Andrea! Will see where the journey takes us over the next few months.

  32. Ali

    June 5, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    Congrats on your big risk! I’m sure you’ll do great and enjoy all the traveling along the way!

    • Cole Burmester

      June 6, 2012 at 8:16 AM

      Thanks Ali. Really nervous but woke up this morning and didn’t have to go to work so although already on the laptop and it is before my usual start time 🙂

  33. Rachel

    June 6, 2012 at 10:27 PM

    Nice one guys. It sounds like you’ve got some great destinations lined up and I look forward to hearing about your time there.

    I have no regrets about us quitting our jobs to spend a few months travelling earlier this year. It showed us a new part of the world and how much opportunity is out there. We’re back in the UK now and my other half is looking for jobs in other countries. So the digital nomad lifestyle isn’t one we’re going to be pursuing, but I’m looking forward to living somewhere else and having a new base for future travels.

    • Cole Burmester

      June 10, 2012 at 3:31 PM

      Sounds like you are still exploring though Rachel! We are loving the freedom at the moment but its hard work doing this while we travel. Shouldn’t complain though should we! 🙂

  34. Stephanie - The Travel Chica

    June 7, 2012 at 2:04 AM

    Congrats! It’s a huge step. I did it 1.5 years ago and have no regrets.

    • Cole Burmester

      June 8, 2012 at 5:43 AM

      Love hearing from people like yourself that have made it successful Stephanie! Fingers crossed we have the same success as you 🙂

  35. Bianca Remington

    June 11, 2012 at 5:00 AM

    looks like fun fun fun! Sometimes we need to decide on our selves whether we quit or stay and if we choose to put an end to our job, One Door Closes Another Door Opens.

  36. Jeremy Branham

    August 9, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    Definitely a big step forward! I’ve had to manage the blog and working full time and it’s very tough. I don’t sleep much and it can be quite stressful. Hope this works out for you and you have an awesome adventure!

    • Cole Burmester

      August 13, 2012 at 12:39 PM

      I still don’t seem to sleep much but hopefully it pays dividends in the future. Still working out how to make a living out of it but will see what happens.

  37. Pingback: Why I want to tear up your Bucket List

  38. Danielle

    April 19, 2013 at 5:40 AM

    Your blog is amazing 🙂

    I just started reading it so I can’t comment too much, but I do hope you guys wrote somewhere what you do to support the travelling-around-the-world bit. I am doing a 9-6, and it is also a dream of mine to quit a boring cubicle job and do something like what you guys do!

    Meanwhile, I’ll just slowly go through the archives. Great job Cole and Adela!

    • Cole Burmester

      April 19, 2013 at 11:25 PM

      Thank you Danielle for your comment 😀 We definitely support working and travelling around the world. It is a great experience and well worth doing! And I say just go out and do it! Good luck and safe travels.

  39. Anne

    November 21, 2013 at 4:41 AM

    Hey Cole!
    So happy to have stumbled upon your site – from Zara and Ashray of Backpack Me.
    Also – sorry to hear about the break up. 🙁 My boyfriend and I are leaving on our first big trip this upcoming January – starting in India and moving our way East. I lost my job back in July, but he’ll have to go through the whole quitting his job to travel thing sooner than later. We’ve been talking a lot about how that’s all going to go down… what a scary but liberating moment! I wish you all the best on “two jandals” and hopefully the job is going well – but that you’ll continue to stay traveling too. NZ is such a beautiful place to be!
    Anne 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      November 22, 2013 at 1:21 AM

      Hey Anne,
      Thanks so much for your beautiful message 🙂 Means a lot. Things are going great in New Zealand actually. I am loving being back home after 4 years of travel. Not sure what the future holds yet but it’s all amazing at the moment!
      Good luck with your travels and you will be glad once you start because all the stress will leave you.
      Cheers,
      Cole

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Travel Blogging Tips

How to Spend Some Quality End-of-the-Year Downtime on your Holidays

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While it may be tempting to fill your schedule with funtivities on your upcoming holiday, there’s nothing wrong with spending time with yourself and enjoying some downtime. It provides a great opportunity to do those things that you wouldn’t’t ordinarily get the chance to do.

To help you unwind and get ready for the year ahead, here are five tips on how to spend your downtime on an end-of-the-year holiday.

Take stock

Many people take stock of the past 12 months at end of the year. When New Year is around the corner, you have a great chance to reflect on 2017 and consider what you’ve learned and what you would like to improve upon. List the five accomplishments that you feel the happiest about and note any behavioural patterns that resulted in your success. It would also be wise to list five failures; and note behavioural patterns in those cases, too, to contribute to a better 2018. Buy a goal-setting journal and make some new goals or re-evaluate your old ones.

Connect

Your vacation downtime is also a great time to find those who will helped you succeed in 2018. Whether you are seeking new friends, a romantic relationship, mentors, employees, or business partners, this is the ideal time to do it. Keep your eyes and ears open. You may find some of these people on your holiday or you could find them by researching online.

Rebrand

The beginning of the year provides a great chance to start afresh. Whether in business or in your personal life, you have the opportunity to reposition yourself. Carry out an in-depth assessment of both your personal life and business activities, such as your finances and any marketing materials you may have. Make sure that your social media profiles represent you and your brand in a positive and truthful manner and that all of the information is up to date. Further, check to see that the image you are projecting aligns with your goals and values and that the message you are giving is compelling and clear.

Be entertained

There’s no shortage of entertainment available in your downtime, thanks to the internet. You can catch up on anything you’ve been meaning to watch via online streaming services, such as Netflix and Amazon Studios.  Whether you prefer movies or to binge-watch some of the more recent shows, such as Stranger Things, there are literally thousands of choices available. For those who love nothing more than getting lost in a good book, the likes of Kindle and iBooks make reading an easy choice, with a seemingly endless range of titles available. It used to be that you would pack one or two books in your suitcase- now you have access to thousands.

Find New Ways to Unwind 

Sometimes, we feel an urge for more active entertainment than books or series. While it may be a bit much to pack your video games console, there are online versions of classic video games, such as Command & Conquer and NBA Live. There is also no shortage of games available at online casinos. Sites such as Oddschecker provide a brief summary of some of the more popular bookmakers offering games, whether it is video slots or classic card games. Thanks to free bet and no deposit offers, you can try some no-commitment-necessary action at various online providers, to find new hangouts for your gaming in the new year.

Get back in touch

A vacation offers a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with those whom you haven’t managed to speak to in a while. Offer them an e-card or holiday wish to let them know that you’re thinking about them. You could even play the role of organiser for a reunion. Create an event on Facebook and get everyone on board. You don’t have to go crazy with a huge party; you can limit it to those whom you wish to spend some quality time with. Even if they can’t accommodate you into their busy schedule, they’ll be happy that you kept them in mind.

Relax

Of course, nothing says downtime like good old-fashioned rest and relaxation.  The first quarter of the year can be the most hectic and so you will want to recharge and regenerate. That way, you will feel positive, strong, and raring to go, to achieve your goals for 2018.  Whether it’s sipping a pina colada by the pool or relaxing with a good book while tanning yourself on the beach, there should always be opportunities to relax on your holiday.

We hope that these tips will help to make your 2018 a spectacularly successful year. 

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Travel Blogging Tips

Our Experience of Starting a Travel Blog

Every now and then we provide tips for new Travel Bloggers. Today we focus on our own experience of Starting a Travel Blog, to see if it’s right for you.

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Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland

We don’t often write about our experience of starting a travel blog as we know that most of our readers are not travel bloggers. However, every now and then we feel the need to dive into the Art of Travel Blogging to discuss a few things we have learnt, and provide tips for new travel bloggers.

If you aren’t interested in reading more then never fear, our regular adventure related travel articles and photos will be back soon. In the meantime here is a pretty picture and you should check out our top 5 most popular travel articles:

Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland

Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland

Our Experience of Starting a Travel Blog

I wanted to take the time to write about our experience of starting a travel blog because we just answered a really interesting survey from a research graduate student exploring the lives of travel bloggers. Specifically she is looking at why we create and maintain travel blogs, and how this relates to our leisure and work lives.

If you are a travel blogger, then hopefully it provides a little insight into how you can avoid letting the travel blog take over your life, and more importantly, your travels. Because if you want to make travel blogging your full time job, you will be in for a big surprise.

It all started of with the generic questions such as, explaining what our travel blog is about and why we started it. It was at this point that I began to realise how far we have come. Not to mention how our expectations and desires had evolved as well.

It also raised a few questions of my own.

We started this travel blog to keep a record of our own travels around the world. As well as keeping family and friends updated on what we were doing.

Cole and Adela Photos

After about 4 months we realised that other people were actually reading about our adventures.

This led us to research how we could turn this travel blog into a better travel resource for the general public. We realised that we wanted to maintain our travel blog to show travellers, especially couples travelling together, that you could quite easily step outside your comfort zone, in comfort.

By using our on the ground knowledge we could provide trusted and expert travel tips to our travel community, which was growing exponentially. And it wasn’t long before we were getting emails and social media mentions asking for specific travel tips.

As the travel blog continued to evolve it took over our lives. I started working full time on it which gave me the freedom to work independently anywhere in the world. This also gave us more opportunities and freedom to follow our travel and adventure passions.

For the next 6 months we dived into the travel blogging world with everything we had.

The next question I answered in the research made me pause:

“Do you consider writing and maintaining your travel blog part of your leisure, your work, neither or both? Why?”

It has been amazing to watch our site evolve over the last 18 months from a hobby into my full time work. But had we gone too far?

Travel blogging had became a full time job.

Her next two questions really made me stop.

How much time and energy do you invest in writing and maintaining your travel blog?

How much time and energy do you invest in other activities (besides writing and maintaining the travel blog) that support your travel blogging?  What are these other activities?

Those were the real eye-opening questions.

I realised that more time was now spent dealing with advertisers, tourism boards, travel companies and DMO’s than actually writing or editing photos. Not to mention all the hours spent on our various social media channels engaging with our very active audience on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram to name a few.

And the icing on the cake?

How important are your travel blogs as part of your leisure and/or work?

How important is it to you to maintain and continue writing your travel blog?  If you had to stop travel blogging how would this impact your life?

Before I realised it, I had already responded that our travel blog had basically become a part of every aspect of my life. Everywhere we go, everything we eat, everything we do, could be a potential story.

It was mind bottling.

Our travel blog had taken over our lives.

It was so obvious to us because I just went through a stage, very recently, where I nearly threw it all away. I absolutely loathed writing because it had become a chore. Our relationship was suffering and travel wasn’t even enjoyable.

It took a full month of not writing or working on the travel blog before I started to feel comfortable again. During that time I took stock of what I wanted in the future.

I realised that the reason I wanted to continue is because I want a couple of things:

  • I want to work remotely and have my own job independence;
  • An outlet to publish my photos and writing; and
  • To continue to inspire others to travel.

The last point was actually a surprise to me. But I realised it after I was asked:

What outcomes or results do you feel you receive from your travel blog (personal, social, professional and or financial)? How important are these outcomes to you? If you no longer received these results / outcomes would you continue travel blogging?

I have great pride in the work that I produce. I love seeing a photo or story that I have shared be “liked” or shared by others on social media. It is addicting. Every time you get a “viral” post it is like a high and you are always searching for the next interaction.

And every time we have an email come in from our travel community asking for specific advice, or thanking us, it is a real buzz knowing that we are making a difference to how someone travels.

While not every post or every picture makes a difference, I know that a lot of people have enjoyed reading our articles. Our most popular posts are visited on a daily basis by people searching for travel tips or information about certain places and experiences. People trust our advice. Even if we are just providing a person with 10 minutes of travel porn everyday to dream about, then I think we make a difference.

I realised that is what I want most from our travel blog. I want to continue to help those people that thank us.

Now I have managed to find a work/life/travel balance and I am back to loving writing. It was close and I was lucky to realise that I needed a break before I totally burnt myself out.

Clark Island, Whangamata Beach, Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand

Whangamata in New Zealand is where I spent a month collecting my thoughts.

And that is the ultimate point I want to make. Too many people start a travel blog for the wrong reasons. They think that it is going to be easy and they will be rolling in the money on a beach somewhere.

While the travel industry is one of the richest industries in the world, it is probably the hardest one to make any money in. And if you find that you are chasing after that fame and fortune, then starting a travel blogging probably isn’t for you.

But what do I know. There is definitely no right or wrong way to starting a travel blog. We get proven wrong everyday in this industry.

The only thing that is consistent, is that there are no rules, and you have to do it your way. 

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Travel Blogging Tips

Travel Blogger to Travel Vlogger Project

We are extremely excited to announce that the first Travel Blogger to Travel Vlogger Project workshop is kicking off this weekend, Email us to be involved.

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Cole and Adela, Four Jandals Adventure Travel Blog

From beginners with smartphones, to professionals with multi-thousand dollar set ups, everyone is doing it these days.

Video Blogging that is.

We even dabble in it a little bit ourselves with adventure travel videos from Running with the Bulls, Diving in the Red Sea and biking in Spain. Check out our Youtube channel for more adventure videos too.

However, much like our own, most travel videos really do suck.

With the rise of online video, businesses have begun to sit up and take notice of Travel Vloggers. But travellers want to watch great videos.

This is why we have created a new partnership called the Travel Blogger to Travel Vlogger (TB2TV) program. We have joined forces with the incredibly talented Greg Brand and his team at Travizeo, the travel video agency, and the wonderful Kelley Ferro from Tripfilms, the worlds leading travel video community.

Greg approached me initially to help get more Travel Bloggers to start Vlogging, as he thought that most already have half of what it takes to become a great Vlogger.

They are passionate about travel AND they know how to research a good travel story.

What we have done is create a Travel Blogger to Travel Vlogger workshop and online course (in the making) for any Travel Bloggers who are interested in learning how to create successful and engaging travel video content. The first workshop is in Brighton this very weekend!

If you are interested then all you need to do is send us an email to hello@travizeo with the subject “Travel Blogger to Travel Vlogger”.

Include a little about yourself and your Travel Blog, why you would like to be a part of this project, and what equipment you already have to work with. Remember, even a smartphone can be used to create great travel videos. There are no barriers to entry and the best part is that we are very glad to say it costs nothing at all.

All you need to do is get yourself to the venue every time we have a workshop. At the moment the physical workshops will be held in Brighton in the UK, every few months. However, we welcome anyone from around the world to enrol in our online workshop so send us an email today.

Finally, we are looking for interested Tourism Boards, DMO’s and Travel Companies who might be interested in hosting a Travel Blogger to Travel Vlogger workshop. Basically, we can host a workshop wherever you are with the invited Travel Bloggers (soon to be Travel Vloggers) to visit and explore your destination over a 2/3 day travel video course.

At the end of the course the Tourism Board, DMO or Travel Company ends up with very unique and incredibly awesome travel videos that they can use to promote their area. If you are a PR company or are interested in finding out more then please email us at contact@fourjandals.com

Follow us on Twitter with the hashtag #TB2TV to be kept up to date. We look forward to hearing from you and getting started on this exciting project!

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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