Three Years Without A “Real” Job – Status Update

Matt Long2

Every year since my old job and I parted ways, as I like to say, I provide a yearly update to share my thoughts and feelings about this new profession I’m in, what I’ve learned and about my next steps in life. Writing those words though give me pause – three years. That seems like a really long time and yet it seems just like yesterday when, while touring around France, I received the call that I no long had a 9-5 job. I could’ve just gone and found another, soulless job. A job that provided me an income and health insurance, but which would also slowly steal away my energy and ultimately my life. No, I used that moment instead as an opportunity to try something different, to take an incredible and frightening leap into the abyss, hoping that my parachute would open.

And open it did. I won’t lie, it hasn’t been an easy path and when asked I don’t usually recommend it, but I honestly couldn’t be happier than I am at this moment in my life. Initially the biggest struggle for me was income, a need all of us have obviously. Unlike some of those young backpackers or location independent types, I couldn’t move to a beach in Thailand and live off of a few hundred bucks a month. I have a partner, house, cars, dogs – the whole suburban kit and caboodle and instead I had to match or exceed my old salary and in short order.

Well, it admittedly took me longer to do than I had at first hoped, but I didn’t just match my old salary, I nearly doubled it. How? Well, in many different ways. I am a freelance digital guy I usually say, doing everything from writing and editing to consulting and more. It’s all centered around my love of travel and involves many different facets of social and digital media – and that is why I am so happy.

Many people tell me that I have the best job in the world and I certainly can’t disagree that it absolutely is a good one. But I think many people could also say the same thing and it comes not from what they get to do, but how they feel while they do it. It is so incredibly important in life to find that one thing you love doing more than anything else and once you do find it, to do it to the very best of your ability. That’s what makes folks like me lucky, not that I get to travel but that I found my true passion and get to do it everyday. Whether you’re a traveler or a lawyer or a barista, if you love it then you have the best job in the world, at least in how you feel and that’s all that matters.

But I also work in a very fast moving industry, where innovation and change is common. With that in mind I have a lot of projects that are in the works, from doing even more consulting work to leading tours around some of my favorite parts of the world. No matter what though, my activities will always center around my passion for travel and it is for that reason more than any other that I believe I will always be happy, no matter what comes my way.

Every year I learn a few more things that help move me forward, tweaking my approach to life in small ways that come together to affect tremendous change in how I live my life. So, here are a few more that I thought I’d share.

  • Being healthy doesn’t just mean eating better, it means thinking positively as well.
  • You are your own greatest cheerleader, don’t be afraid to share your good news but don’t be a jerk about it.
  • Success is how we define it, not how others define it for us.
  • Life is too short to do anything that doesn’t bring you joy.
  • Trust your gut, it knows more than your head.

As always, thank you all for supporting me through all of the many trials and tribulations of my life. This hasn’t been an easy road, but it’s been the most gratifying of my life. I have all of you to thank for that and it’s a debt I’ll never be able to repay.

By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer.

12 thoughts on “Three Years Without A “Real” Job – Status Update”

  1. Happy 3-Year Anniversary Matt. I’m amazed at how well you are doing in such a short period of time Bravo!!! I’d love to hear more about your path and how you make this work, it’s really a huge accomplishment. Best of luck for year 4.

  2. Congratulations! I remember when you first started blogging and the day you made the move from lobbyist to blogger.

    AND… I can’t agree with you more! All your bullet points are spot on.

  3. Congrats Matt! We share your sentiment on how hard it is to make your way as a blogger here in the Western Hemisphere. It’s easy if you are living somewhere super cheap and don’t need as much to survive, but if you can make it as a blogger and afford to live in America, you can be successful anywhere. Happy Travels my friend!

  4. Hi Matt,
    Congratulations! You have such a nice easy style that connects with a wide range of people, so I’m not surprised you are rising to the top.
    Wishing you many more years of traveling success!

  5. I remember watching your blog when it first launched and grew and then your transition away from your former day job. So happy for you that it’s worked out so well and that you’ve been able to use your skills to make it into something sustainable and something that makes you happy. Your success is a good example for others of what can happen when one is professional, consistent, and determined.

  6. Inspiring as always. It happened the same to me last year, I got more serious with my blog but not enough to make a living out of it… Too bad! But I’ll keep trying!

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