Back in January I wrote about how our lives had changed in a year and a half since moving from Los Angeles to Amsterdam. The post covered how we got to where we are now, with a month-by-month progression of how we turned travel into our full-time job. Since you all loved the timeline (it turned out to be one of our most popular blog posts!) I thought I’d continue with the same format as we approach the 2-year mark.
Since officially becoming a full-time travel blogger in January, my schedule has definitely shifted. I’ve freed up a lot more time to focus on writing for our blog and creating more photos and videos. I no longer have conflicts because of another job, so we don’t have to turn down travel opportunities (yay!). On the other hand, we travel so much that our schedule lacks any consistent structure.
It’s difficult to get work done when in reality, our “longer gaps” between jobs are one week. During these gaps we basically hole up in our apartment in Amsterdam and only look at our laptops. There have been days where we’ve ordered online food delivery for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I wish I was exaggerating (but I’m not).
Which brings me to a decision we made last month, that will turn our lives upside down again. In addition to being full-time travel bloggers — we’ve decided to become full-time travelers.
Here’s what that really means:
- We have no home base. We’re saying goodbye to Amsterdam (for now!).
- Gone are the days of round-trip flights. Any gaps in travel, we fill with wherever we want to go. Maybe that’s a hotel in London one week, or a cheap Airbnb in Croatia the next. We find Airbnb to be more cost-effective. Here’s our link for $40 off if you’ve never used it before.
- Everything we travel with is packed into 3 suitcases and 2 backpacks. I wish it was even less, but we have a fair amount of camera gear. All our other belongings are in a storage unit.
- We don’t pay rent. It’s actually amazing how life-changing this is. For instance – in August we have 2 weeks of photo and video shoots already booked, and 2 weeks of ‘free time’. We’ll either fill that time with another job, or hole up in a new destination to edit and blog.
Since I promised a new timeline — here’s what we’ve been up to the last 6 months. And what led us to make the full-time travel decision:
FEBRUARY — After officially going full-time with our blog, I enlisted some help. I now pay a monthly fee to a company, Chloedigital, for help with website requests that range from small design tweaks to data monitoring.
Jacob and I took a weekend trip with friends in Lech, Austria for some skiing, fondue, and all-around great vibes. We still shot photos while there and I also put together a guide from the trip. Though we did some of our own work for the blog, it was so relaxed and felt like the perfect way to reset and refresh before another shoot we had the following week in Davos, Switzerland.
MARCH — We visited London and Manchester with the UK tourism boards and other bloggers and photographers. We also brought someone on to help us with contracts and answering select emails so we could spend time on the creative aspect of our jobs. I coded and sent out my first ever email newsletter this month through Mailchimp. Being a perfectionist, this took me waaay too long! In our email newsletter I share unique destinations and new travel guides. If you aren’t signed up yet, click here to subscribe. We ended this month in Paris.
APRIL — We shared our first blog post about photography and camera tips this month, a topic we’ve been wanting to cover for awhile. Jacob has more knowledge about photography equipment than anyone I know (he even ran his own equipment rental company in Los Angeles before we moved!), so we co-wrote this one. We’ve since written another post talking about how we shoot and edit photos. By the way, send us a message if there’s a topic you want us to cover! We hit 150k followers on Instagram at the very end of this month.
MAY — We spontaneously booked a trip to Israel after craving warmer weather. Whenever we book trips on our own we always prefer to go somewhere a little less ‘trendy’. While there we shot photos for an accessories company and a luggage brand by bringing the products along. I dove into our Pinterest page to promote our travel guides and boost our blog traffic this month too.
Then, we flew to Nassau, Bahamas for a job with the tourism board. We shared a lot from this trip, including a video on our Youtube page. Afterwards we went straight to California to visit our family for the first time since our wedding! We also talked about creating a career in travel through our friend Ryan’s podcast series (who also happens to write an amazing series on starting your own blog). Finally, we received our first-ever blog nomination via Blogosphere UK. Unfortunately we couldn’t attend the awards ceremony, but it meant so much to us to be recognized. This oftentimes still feels like a dream to me.
JUNE — While in Southern California we flew to the Cook Islands with the tourism board, and completely fell in love with it. I’d highly recommend it to anyone looking for the ultimate vacation in paradise.
We spent less than a week back in Amsterdam before heading to the Faroe Islands. We’ve been wanting to go to the Faroes since visiting Iceland a few years ago, so it’s been on our bucket list for quite awhile and did not disappoint. It was on this trip that we made the decision to move out of our apartment in Amsterdam (eek!) and travel full-time.
JULY — We arrived back in Amsterdam early July, and subsequently packed and moved all our things into storage in a matter of 12 days. Honestly, it was pretty hectic. We had to find a way to bring our photo and video projects with us on the go (we always take these solid state hard drives with us). We also used this time to say goodbye to our friends in Amsterdam.Making the decision to leave was a hard one, but after arriving to our first stop (an Airbnb in London) just a few days ago, we’re filled with excitement for the next few months. We’ve never traveled full time before — the closest we previously got was a 3-month road trip through Europe. Even then, we had a car and plans to move to Amsterdam at the end!
These last few months have shown us how little time we were really spending in Amsterdam and how doable it is to travel full-time if you have a base schedule to work with. We’re still young, and lucky enough to have the freedom to make up our own lifestyle. I’m looking forward to sharing our experience of traveling full-time here — ups and downs included.