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, the street food and the jade market.
As New Zealand is in the southern hemisphere, I got to experience three weeks of Kiwi summer. If fishing trips, coastal hikes, days at the beach and vineyard visits sound like your kind of thing, you’d love being here at this time of year.
I don’t want to sound blasé, but New Zealand was just another destination on the trip schedule.
In December, I was in Germany’s Black Forest. Spa towns and fairytale villages—and they really do look fairytale when roofs glisten like snowy Christmas cards, Weinachtsfest markets are in full swing and the air is redolent with the aromas of mulled wine and sizzling sausages.
Last month, it was Paris, France. The City of Light is a joy to visit at any time of year, so I’ll never complain about going when the winter sales are on.
Now spring has arrived. And in just over a week, I’ll be flying to Dubrovnik and taking a meander along Croatia’s island-dotted Adriatic coastline…visiting walled towns that date back to the days of the Venetian maritime empire. I’ve been to Croatia before, so I know the food is wonderful. I can already taste the squid risotto, the stuffed eggplant and the pasta topped with truffle shavings…
After that, it’s off to England’s West Country in April before Mexico in May. But when you’re a travel writer, there’s nothing unusual about that kind of schedule. It’s my job to explore the world.
But here’s the thing…it could be yours too.
Although travel writing is a full-time job for me, that’s not the case for everyone. It can be a sideline that brings in extra spending money or a way to fund your next adventure. When you’re a freelancer, you can arrange your life to suit yourself. There’s no boss or manager to decide the hours you work. Unless there’s a plane to catch, you’re not a slave to an alarm clock.
Getting to see so many fascinating places in the world—and enjoying the upgrades and free treats that come the way of travel writers is the glamour side. But for me, one of the most appealing things about the lifestyle is the freedom it brings.
A 9-to-5 schedule doesn’t suit everyone. I know exactly what that’s like, I did it for years—and it certainly wouldn’t suit me now. Things are different when I’m on the road, but I’m more a creature of the night than the day. Every writer has a different body clock, and I always work better when it’s the far side of noon.
See the world and choose your own work hours? If “job” is the right word, I can’t think of a better one.
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