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.
- 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.
- Laid-Back Líbano: A Simple Life in Colombia’s Coffee Country
Posted on March 25, 2013 by Michael Evans
Atamales vendor rides through town blasting his sales pitch over a bullhorn, zipping past rings of children playing marbles on the sidewalk. An old woman sits in a doorway enjoying the cool breeze, as smitten teenagers walk hand in hand to an ice-cream parlor.
New Zealand is one of the most scenically gorgeous countries on earth. For most people, it’s either the trip of a lifetime or a destination to only dream about. Not for me. I went there for the second time last November. A long way to go—but it’s not too bad when you can break the journey. This time around, I chose to stop off in Hong Kong—and of course I had to take in the harbor light show…
My prior career as a tax preparer meant I was used to navigating endless flowing rivers—of paperwork—and I always seemed to be going against the current. I’ve since had a river-related experience in my new career as a travel writer…but it was a lot more fun. Here’s how it happened. My destination was the rugged Toledo District in southern Belize where an Indiana Jones-worthy cave begged exploration.
Some work days are more memorable than others. For me, standing at the Peace Wall in Belfast reading the messages of peace and encouragement written by dignitaries like Bill Clinton and the Dalai Lama while composing my own message was definitely a memorable work day. Let me explain. For many years military checkpoints were dotted all over the city of Belfast.
When you decide to go overseas, you don’t just get to enjoy your new host country—you also get the opportunity to experience all the other nations in the neighborhood. So, now that I’m staying in Buenos Aires in Argentina, I recently decided to use the opportunity to take a short trip to nearby Uruguay. It was a country that took me by surprise.
I never tire of Bangkok. I’ve been coming here for years and although the city itself has changed, a new building here, a shopping center there, the essential feel of the place hasn’t changed at all…and that’s what I love about it. There’s something in the air in Thailand’s capital. It’s a city for city lovers…partygoers…travelers and adventure-seekers. It’s crammed with exotic, bustling markets…17th-century temples…art-deco hotels and has fast-food stalls on every corner. For 24 hours of the day, people are living and making a living all around you.
With the Maya Calendar coming to an end this year, speculation on the fate of the world is rampant. What better time to visit Belize and learn about this ancient culture? I decided that a good place to start was with a visit to a Mayan ruins site. Belize has many sites to explore, but I chose to travel to the far southern reaches of the country to a site often overlooked by tourists.
For travel writers, sampling local food specialties is part of the job. So to ignore the Antiga Confeitaria in Belém, Lisbon’s ancient maritime suburb, would be criminal. Decorated in blue and white azulejo tiles, this bakery/cafe is a shrine to the world’s most heavenly custard tarts—Pastéis de Belém. Famed throughout Portugal, these are pastries with history.
- A Glamorous Job That Could Take You All Over the World
Posted on October 4, 2012 by Steenie Harvey
A travel writer gets to visit so many wonderful places. It’s easier to pick out the disappointing trips. And in truth, in all of the 20 or so years that travel has been my ‘job’, I can only think of three that were less than stellar. At this moment, I’m putting together an itinerary for a return trip to New Zealand—with a stopover in Hong Kong. From Auckland, the City of Sails, I’m headed to the Southern Alps where much of Lord of the Rings was filmed.
Last summer, I spent an action-packed month flitting around Europe following my lifetime passions of travel, history, and track and field. How did I pay for it? I found 11 different magazines willing to send me checks in exchange for articles about my experiences. I visit Europe every year for four weeks by selling enough articles in advance to pay for the entire trip. I even manage to bring in a good income over the following year…
Matt Kepnes of Boston, Massachusetts found a way of ditching the 9-to-5 grind by harnessing the Internet’s income potential. Today, he’s a travel blogger who travels the world while making a full-time living from writing for the web. Right now, home is the cut-price beachside paradise of Sihanoukville in Cambodia. Matt got his start as a travel blogger.
After a somewhat bumpy and dusty drive, passing by small pueblos, burros, and sombrero-wearing farmers, we arrived at Mexico’s most unique set of “waterfalls.” Around 40 miles from the colonial city of Oaxaca, is Hierve el Agua—The Water Boils. This bizarre formation is one of only two found anywhere in the world; the other being Pamukkale in southern Turkey.
Pub life is the center of Irish culture. It’s a place to gather over a pint, listen to music and tell tales into the wee hours of the morning. Literary legends aside, Ireland has given us famed drinks like Guinness, Jameson and Baileys which can be found in any bar worthy of the name anywhere in the world. To experience the origins of some of the favorite Irish tipples, head to Dublin.