Close the Laptop at Lunchtime and Head for the Beach

It’s almost lunchtime, which means it’s time for the work to end and play to begin. The beach awaits and the dive boat will be heading out soon, leaving just enough time to shut down the laptop and mosey into town.

Such is a typical day in Roatan, Honduras, for expat Rika Purdy.

Originally from Vancouver, Rika worked as a paralegal for years, obeying the clock, and working to make other people rich. But she came to realize there were new opportunities for earning online which could release her.

Travel blogging is one of them. Rika started blogging in 2012 as she planned her escape from her cubicle life. She took steps to ensure her finances were settled and that she was prepared to make the international move.

Once she arrived in Roatan, she began posting photos and giving details of her idyllic life. She became a certified scuba diving instructor and spent her days underwater or on the beach.

“It was easy to keep the blog going and to grow my audience once I moved,” says Rika. “I just talked about my daily life, my interactions with tourists and locals, and my diving adventures. People kept wanting to read more!

“After about a year, when my blog was getting around 5,000 views per month, some companies started approaching me wanting to pay for sponsored posts,” Rika says.

“Right now I don’t sell ad space directly to companies—I find most of them want between 10,000 to 25,000 views a month for static ad space, depending on the ad size. But using more general ad services, like Google AdSense, has worked well for me.”

Blogging earns Rika around $400 a month from the blog—which pays her rent with plenty left over for cocktails—and she knows she could increase that if she spent more time on it.

“I love that I now have a written record of the incredible adventures (and misadventures) that I’ve had in Roatan,” Rika says. “I also love the sense of community in the blogosphere, and how much bloggers support one another. I have met some really amazing people through my blog who I never would have connected with otherwise!

“I love the laidback pace of life in Roatan. Being able to set my own hours and determine my own workload is a real benefit,” Rika says.

“If one of my friends calls me and wants to go fishing or join a sunset cruise, I can generally re-arrange my work day to take advantage of that. The flexibility of online work means I get to enjoy all the amazing things this island has to offer.”

“If the weather is not too hot,” Rika says, “I’ll usually work out on my deck where I can get a bit of a breeze, sit in the hammock, and have a view of jungle trees behind my screen.”

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