I couldn't possibly be a regular tourist again after living the travel blogger life. I'm spoiled rotten. I've gotten used to all the complimentary hotel stays...free meals...and gratis attraction admissions...and behind-the-curtain access.
Six years ago, I was a lobbyist. It was a stressful job, and let's face it, politics is like watching sausages being made—you really don't want to know what's inside. So, I came up with an exit plan. I wanted to create a better lifestyle for myself. I wanted more adventure. I wanted to travel more. I wanted to be in control of my own destiny.
Blogging is one of my favorite portable incomes. Done right, a blogger with just a few hours a week can make a tidy side income from their blog. But it's also a business that can be scaled up to earn you as much as $100,000 per year or more.
This past year was my most profitable ever as a globetrotting writer...and it's been a lot of fun too. I spent long summer days in Portugal, Spain, and Italy, played digital nomad—traveling and working as I went—for five weeks in Argentina, and explored the jungles of Bolivia.
Slinging an old camera around your neck can turn any trip, vacation, or walk down the block into an adventure. Even places you've seen a million times before can become new and exciting when you look at them through a lens...even more so when you know that you can turn these photos into an income when you get home.
You don't have to go to Italy to find the Renaissance man inside you. Live somewhere you love, where the cost of living is low and the weather is fine, and you'll find yourself surrounded by opportunities to grow.
A twist of fate brought Cason Gaither from South Carolina to the golden-sand, surfer's paradise of Tamarindo, Costa Rica. "I heard about a job opportunity managing a restaurant in town through a friend on Facebook," says Cason.
From the first time Steve Reyer visited the trendy Costa Rican beach town Nosara—way back in 1992—he was smitten. A lifelong surfer, he instantly fell in love with Nosara's breath-taking Pacific coast, spectacular surf, and laidback atmosphere.
The room was lined with food stations offering tantalizing dishes—hot lamb in steaming bread pockets...crispy Peking duck in delicate savory pancakes...and waiters carrying out a seemingly endless variety of hors d'oeuvres.
It was close to sunset. My tripod was set up, my settings were dialed in on my camera, and I was relaxing on a bench in a park along the river, eating delicious Basque pastries while watching busy people go by. I was waiting for the light to change.