"Looking from our balcony I see the valley with the green mountains that touch the clouds in spring and summer. Our village below has stood through time and the fields above our house are filled with Alpine wildflowers of every color," says Lisa Chiodo, who, together with her husband Sam and their two children, Carina and Luca, now lives in Piedmont, Italy.
Samantha Wei lives on Costa Rica's northern Pacific coast, just inland from the surfer hotspot of Tamarindo, with her boyfriend, Yeison Kim. But you never know where the couple might be on any given day.
Like many expats living La Pura Vida in Costa Rica, Ania and Tom Dudek—and their two sons—first visited the country on vacation. "For years, we would come for a month and rent a house in a different area each time," says Ania.
When I started blogging, it was a just passion project. I loved to travel. I loved writing. Starting a travel blog was a no-brainer. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I dreamt about the potential perks and benefits of having a travel blog, but I tried not to get my hopes up.
Most folks dream of ditching the boss...enjoying more freedom in life...and not being ruled by the clock. They want the freedom to travel...to take a lazy lunch on a hillside...to savor fine wine and fresh olives in an outdoor café...to spend weeks exploring warm, white-sand beaches.
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.