Hiking to the top of a volcano…scuba diving in crystal-clear turquoise waters…long walks on vast golden-sand beaches…these were the kind of adventures I would have almost every day while living in Fuerteventura, one of the seven Canary Islands off the western coast of Africa. The island—known locally as the “island of eternal spring” because the temperature rarely dips below 68 F—is a veritable modern paradise and was my home for over a year.
To fund my life in Fuerteventura, I sold short travel videos of the island to local companies who would use the videos to advertise online. I was able to sell these simple videos for $300 for a 30-second video, and $900 for a 90-second video. But the real beauty with this kind of job is that it gives you the freedom to choose where you want to live—it’s an open travel ticket.
Life on the island was idyllic. I would often watch the sun set over the wild blue Atlantic, spend large portions of the day sunbathing, swim in one of the natural pools I discovered on a hike, or take a nap right in the middle of the afternoon (napping is practically the national sport).
Since I was often filming, many of the activities I enjoyed during my time on the island were free of charge. I filmed the zoo from the back of a camel, took multiple Segway tours around the island for free, and was offered surfing lessons in exchange of a short video sequence. Once, I even got to film a musician sailing a boat for a promotional video for his music.
Despite being a popular vacation destination, the cost of living in Fuerteventura was surprisingly affordable. Eating out was nearly cheaper than buying my own food, and I rarely cooked during my time there. My new friends and I were always trying new tapas restaurants or one of the numerous fish restaurants with a sweeping view on the sparkling ocean. The cost of a meal would vary between $8.50 to $16 per person, including wine. Renting a one-bedroom apartment in what they call an “oasis” (a collection of apartments with a swimming pool, gardens, tennis court, etc.) cost approximately $450. I used to live right in the middle of the island, with the closest beach just down the road and almost always empty.
If I had one tip to give to anyone wanting to do this job it would be to just go for it. Everywhere is a destination for someone, and it’s likely that there are plenty of opportunities to get started right in your home town. A great way to kickstart your travel video business is to offer your first video to a local company for free—it will help you build a portfolio and you’ll have a sample to show to your next customer.
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