Most people dream of being a travel writer—imagine getting paid to travel the world. Travel writing can become a full-time passion if you like, or merely something you do on the side…a way to justify a vacation and defray some of the costs, maybe write off your trip on your taxes.
With this career, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to get out and see the world…in a way you never could as an ordinary tourist.
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How would you like a trip to Cancun, at no charge, where you and your spouse would be wined and dined over a long weekend at a new, luxury hotel?
Or maybe you’d be more enticed by a complimentary rafting expedition down the Amazon in Ecuador’s untamed rain forest?
Perhaps a no-charge cruise to Europe’s most romantic cities?
Those trips might sounds like daydreams, but they are all money-free travel perks freelance writers have taken advantage of.
And not only did those writers travel without paying a dime, they got paid to write about their experiences, too.
If you’ve ever dreamed about living the romantic life of a travel writer, you don’t need to wait years to enjoy it.
See the articles below for more information on the travel writer’s life.
A symphony of monks chanted as we sat kneeling on the grass. I held the wire rim of my enormous cylindrical paper lantern and waited for the cue. Finally, in one synchronized movement, a sea of hands—belonging to individuals from countless countries and cultures—let go.
Although my wife, Suzan Haskins, and I write a lot about retiring overseas, we’re not officially retired. We write for a living, and even after we do reach official retirement age, I’d be very surprised if we didn’t continue our work writing, editing, and traveling. We know more and more folks in the same situation. They have no intention of retiring in the traditional sense and will probably work at something well past any official retirement marker or milestone they may pass.
- The Never-Ending Storyline of a Better Life Abroad
Posted on February 24, 2014 by Dan Prescher
I’m very lucky to be doing what I’m doing. I’m even luckier to be doing it from where I’m doing it, which right now is Ecuador. I’m a writer, and I trained a long time to do this, although not really on purpose. And I never thought it would lead me overseas. My undergraduate training was in journalism. Just the facts, ma’am. Who, what, when, where, how, and why…and maybe a job at the local newspaper. (Remember newspapers?)
- The View From My “Office” — I Get Paid to Do This!
Posted on February 21, 2014 by Terri Marshall
I pull back the curtains, feel the crisp refreshing air, and look out over the waterfront at the colorful buildings of this Art Nouveau town…excited about the “work” day ahead. I’m in picturesque Ålesund, Norway. This jewel-like coastal town is the gateway to Norway’s spectacular Geiranger Fjord making it the perfect base from which to explore the region—and that’s my job for the day.
As a travel writer, I am constantly seeking to discover hidden gems, places the majority of travelers don’t know about and unique adventures. My recent trip to eastern Germany was no exception. Everyone knows about German beer, but did you know Germany’s State of Saxony has an 850-year-old wine-making history?
One advantage of living in Europe is that cheap airfares make the rest of it so accessible. I’ve just got back home to Ireland after an unofficial three-day jaunt to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. This tiny country holds the title for the highest per capita consumption of wine in the world, so there was a good reason to go bar-hopping.
There is no time clock but you work 24-7… No cubicle but you must have a computer… Your commute occasionally takes 10 to 12 hours, and sometimes it takes days off your calendar. You must be fluent in hand gestures and you better have a strong stomach and a good memory.
- Make 2014 the Year You Take Control of Your Retirement Income
Posted on January 21, 2014 by Winton Churchill
How would your 2014 be different if you had a portable income? For a start, you would have a lot more choice and options for living overseas. You could decide to live by the beach or in a quiet mountain town in your favorite country abroad—part-time or full-time. Or, you could fund your travels around the world.
Like many, I have said that someday I would like to write a book. The idea remained just that for years. There was never enough time to squeeze anything else into an already hectic schedule, making it easy to keep on postponing. As
soon as I made way for a new freer lifestyle, I decided to see if I could be a writer.
On a lazy weekend afternoon when I was 13, I thumbed through my school geography text book, pausing from time to time to admire the amazing photographs of some of the wonders of the world. I was inspired. So began my dream fantasy to visit these wonderful places myself. Today that’s exactly what I do.
“Follies are the only things that one never regrets,” said Oscar Wilde. Agreed. But travel writers needn’t look far to find excuses for their follies. After all, writers have a reputation for eccentricity. Whatever bizarre situation you find yourself in—and if any awkward questions arise—you can always blame it on the job. Why were you buying contraband from gypsies in the Czech woods? (“It’s my job.”) How come you spent half the night in a Berlin anarchist squat? (“It’s my job.”)
The ocean breeze blows in through the open door as I sit in my rocking chair—a surprisingly favorite Nicaraguan furnishing. Sunlight glitters on the ocean, almond and coconut trees sway in the wind. This is my office for today, a four-bedroom house right on the beach that we rent for $350 a month. Previously we spent time on the shores of Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, beneath the shadow of three majestic volcanoes…swimming in one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, shopping in the local markets, and interacting with the indigenous people who still wear their traditional clothing and speak Spanish as their second language.
- How to Make Money Online (You Don’t Even Need a Laptop!)
Posted on December 20, 2013 by Michele C. Hollow
Earlier this month, I spent a long weekend watching birds and Monarch butterflies. I took part in a few hikes, went on a boat tour, and attended a few lectures—all centered around birds. Being close to hundreds of birds and thousands of butterflies was a thrill…but also how I make a living. Being around animals and interviewing experts about animals is joyful. Then sitting down to write about my findings allows me to relive the experience all over again.
- Living a Queenly Life as a Writer in Cuenca, Ecuador
Posted on December 9, 2013 by Susan Schenck
After doing some research online, which included International Living, I moved to Cuenca at age 54. I planned to travel throughout South America, but I just loved it here, feeling no need to go farther south. Then, six months later, at age 55, my teacher’s retirement kicked in, so I could qualify for a pensionado visa, living off my retirement income.
It’s a weekday morning in the early fall and I’m standing on a mountaintop in the Swiss Alps. I’ve been hiking all morning, passing through tiny villages with dark-roofed homes and small chapels whose bells sing out every hour to remind us of the precise time. I’ve walked through fields of wildflowers that overlook snow-capped peaks and past a dozen waterfalls both small and large. And for the past hour I’ve been navigating thin pathways that wind across a barren high-altitude landscape dotted with leftover snow.
- Living My Dream Life as an Author in Cuenca, Ecuador
Posted on November 18, 2013 by Susan Schenck
Three years ago I was working up to 60 hours a week as a public-school teacher in San Diego, California. The stress was killing me and depleting my joie de vivre. I didn’t want to work until the day I died, so I decided to escape the hectic and unaffordable U.S.
It’s possible to pursue your hobby and bring in some cash before and during retirement. These hobbies can help you to fund your life as a retiree overseas. If you’re dreaming of an apartment in Paris…a beach house in Ecuador…a farmhouse in Italy…and the only thing holding you back is lack of capital…then read on. Your interests can turn into a career that you love…
We’ve all seen the phrase “new and improved” countless times. It’s on everything from cereal boxes to cosmetics. No doubt someone in a lab somewhere tweaked the latest wrinkle cream and declared it new and improved. I think I should have a “new and improved” tag on my life—it has certainly had some tweaking in the last few years!
Since writing was something that I’d always loved, it seemed reasonable that it could become my ticket to traveling the world. I spent a couple of months researching the best way to get started on this new career, and then submitted my first story about Costa Rica to International Living. You can’t even imagine how excited I was when they agreed to publish it!
My wife Suzan and I used to get dressed to go to work. No, really. Although we’re writers and have been for most of our professional lives now, there was a time when we’d have to put on the nylons and skirts and ties and slacks and sit in offices for hours on end. Flash back about 15 years. The clients we wrote for had Big Offices where they did Important Stuff that we would turn into brochures…
- Thousands of Jobs That Pay You in Ecuador, Panama, Paris…
Posted on October 22, 2013 by Winton Churchill
There is a tidal wave of opportunity coming your way… Opportunity that could pave the way quickly for your live-abroad move. In fact, whether you want to live in Cuenca, Panama City or Paris, that move could now be financially more comfortable…and you could make it with greater mental satisfaction than you might otherwise expect.
This has been quite a year. It started in January with a weekend in West Virginia riding all-terrain vehicles on the Hatfield & McCoy Trails…hand-feeding black bears…and dancing to bluegrass music. In February I drove a reindeer sleigh through a winter wonderland in Roros, Norway. I kept myself warm by sampling aquavit along the newly developed Aquavit Trail around Trondheim.
Did you ever want to go abroad but weren’t able to fund it? That doesn’t mean that your trip is doomed to never happen. Imagine instead getting paid to travel the world. It is possible to fund your trip and even make a profit by writing about your adventures.
- Meet the Expats who Set Up Low-Cost Businesses – and Prospered
Posted on September 23, 2013 by Suzan Haskins
Imagine the place you want to be right now. Maybe it’s swinging in a hammock overlooking turquoise waters, your toes dug into silky-soft, white sand…perhaps you’re sipping wine in a sidewalk café in Paris…or you’re walking in the path of the ancient Incas in an Andean mountain valley.
The earrings are from Hong Kong’s jade market. I bought the fedora hat at a Christmas market in Berlin, the boots from Malaga in Spain, and the shimmering scarf at Otavalo market in Ecuador—one of the largest indigenous markets in South America. You might call it eclectic fashion indulgence. I call it research.
- No Such Thing as a Free Lunch? Try This in France…
Posted on August 21, 2013 by Steenie Harvey
For grilled squid, lavender ice cream, and a glass of chilled local white wine, I know a waterfront terrace restaurant at Cassis that’s perfect.
I’ve always been one of those people who won’t settle for “ordinary.” Sure, I have done my share of everyday things…but if I can find a way to step beyond the run-of-the-mill, you can bet I will! One of the ways I left “ordinary” behind was with my career. I spent many years working as a tax accountant—I knew there had to be a better way to spend my time.
I stayed at the best resort on the island where I lounged on their spectacular man-made, white sand beach with infinity pool, and shopped at Le Marché Municipale—the public market which covers a city block labyrinth of bargains.
- Four Days on the Eastern and Oriental Express, Out of Bangkok
Posted on July 29, 2013 by Keith Hockton
If your idea of a dream vacation is traveling by train in absolute luxury, through some of the most romantic, historic and visually exciting cities in Asia, sampling the best local food along the way, then the Eastern & Oriental Express may be just the ticket.
- How I Turned a Crisis in Florida to Lazy Days in Brazil
Posted on July 8, 2013 by John Clites
I awoke this morning to the sound of birdsong and breakers. Usually I like to begin the day with a brisk walk along Leme beach—only one block from my home in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
I wake up and glance over at my wall calendar—no deadlines for the rest of the week. Time for the beach! Or maybe I could work on my novel. But it’s such good weather, what about another day trip? Welcome to the life of a freelance writer where every day is wide open, and every day is yours.
- The Secret to Instant Upgrades, Hotel Gifts, and More
Posted on April 18, 2013 by Suchi Rudra
I love to travel…but the experiences I have tend to be a little different from the usual vacation. That’s because these days, I get special treatment wherever I go.
All is quiet in the condo where we’re staying on the paradise island of Ambergris Caye, Belize. I’m up early. The world hasn’t yet come to life. When my five children wake up we share a breakfast of fresh mangoes and pineapple with black beans and rice seasoned with coconut oil. We wash it down with some cold coconut water. Locals call it pipa and it’s cheap and plentiful on a palm-fringed island like this one. After breakfast, it’s time for the pool where we laugh and splash and play until lunchtime.
- Have You Really Got What It Takes to Earn Overseas?
Posted on April 2, 2013 by Paula Pant
I travel a lot and spend time in some incredible corners of the world. It’s a lifestyle a lot of folks want, but most don’t realize they can have. I make my living by writing online about the places I visit. It’s a great way to share my experiences, stories and opinions with the world. It’s a fun way of connecting with people, and it can also be very lucrative. Online writing is now my number one source of income.