Last May I was in France, traveling and enjoying myself as I explored new parts of the country. I was standing on the banks of a river in Rochefort looking up at something called a transporter bridge when my cell phone rang. I saw with dread that it was from the office and I reluctantly took the call. Within five minutes I found out that I no longer had a job and my life was forever changed.
I think intellectually I had left my job long before it left me, but the salary and benefits were attractive reasons to stay. As I learned though no amount of money is worth losing one’s spark, one’s soul to a thankless job. And the job was indeed soul sucking and that impacted every other part of my life. I think that’s a major reason why I started LandLopers in the first place back in 2010; it was a last ditch effort to do what I want to do. I had no doubts about my love of travel last May, my doubts were all centered around whether or not I could make this work as a full time job.
There’s a lot one takes for granted in a traditional, 9-5 type job. A regular paycheck, massive benefits and a certain security that one doesn’t notice until it’s ripped away are just a few. I could have looked for another job, I could have found another security blanket but to what end? It would have just been a replacement, another soul sucking job that would make me as miserable as my last one. I couldn’t do that, I couldn’t subject myself to that torment again. Was it selfish, you bet, no question there. But I feel as if the universe was sending me a not so subtle message and I know it was a defining moment in my life. It was an all too rare crossroads that if ignored, I would regret forever. So armed with conviction and a very understanding partner, I set out to make my passion my job.
I saw a survey recently that said 80% of all Americans are not happy with their jobs. I hope that number isn’t entirely correct because it that’s true, that’s an incredibly depressing statistic. And I also realize that not everyone has the luxury of choosing a job that makes them happy, that fulfills them. But surely there are many other people out there who can change their lots in life, who can pursue something that they love but just don’t. As I learned last year, life is far too short not to do something that makes you happy.
The past year has been hard, no doubt there. I’ve never worked harder in my life but I’ve never enjoyed working more either. I put in many, many hours each week on a variety of projects but I love it and wouldn’t change it for the world. Still, it took nearly a year after losing my job for things to finally start clicking into place.
I’m now proud to say that I’m a professional travel blogger. What does that mean? Well I think anyone who decides to do this full time is 1) always trying to define what that means and 2) is finding their own path. I work with sponsors and brands in order to bring great content to my readers. Mostly though I work as a freelance social media adviser helping companies work more effectively with bloggers. It sounds simple, but it’s a lot of work and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
So life is good. It’s more complicated than it’s ever been, but not in a bad way. I don’t know what my next step is but I do know that I’m exceptionally lucky to have found my true professional love (travel) and I will continue doing everything in my power to make this a lifelong profession.
Thank you for reading, none of this would be possible without you guys and I’m glad you’ve stuck with me. Together we’ll see what the future holds!