I live on a Spanish island where the pace is relaxed and life is blissfully simple. In summer, I wake up early before the heat of the day sets in and head to the coast for my daily swim followed by a coffee at a beach bar.
In winter I switch things around, taking long walks in the afternoons, and working once the light fades.
My work enables me to choose the hours I work and the location I work from—sometimes it’s my kitchen table, other times it’s a bustling little cafe or even the town library.
When I quit my safe, steady job with a regional newspaper a year and a half ago, it was with no well-defined plan for the future. I just knew that I wanted to live life on my own terms. I no longer wanted to work the hours I worked and have my travels limited by the vacation time I was permitted to take.
And I knew I wanted to take time out and explore Spain at my leisure.
For five months I traveled from the north to the south of the country, more often than not staying with people who ran B&Bs or small boutique hotels, or who operated vacation rental properties.
I often found these people were so busy with the day-to-day running of their businesses that they didn’t have time to update their websites and social media profiles, post on their blogs, or send out newsletters.
So they asked me to do it.
It was easy work, and fun to do and it quickly dawned on me that if all the people I had encountered lacked the time or inclination to attend to this aspect of their businesses, there were bound to be others.
I set up a simple website. I began to contact other small tourism-related operations that looked like they could use some help.
Two businesses got back to me right away, one requesting a re-write of their website, the other needing a regular newsletter.
Eight months on, I’m settled into self-employed life specializing in writing promotional material for travel and hospitality businesses. A fair number of my assignments are the result of my making direct contact with the kind of businesses I want to work with; others come via referrals and from agencies.
Now I work with clients in the U.S., Canada, Caribbean, and U.K. I blog for cruise ship companies, write copy for hotel websites, and recently landed an ongoing assignment with an independent small-group travel company.
I’ve also just received an enquiry from a resort company in the Middle East asking if I can spend a few weeks working with them in Dubai as they prepare to launch a new website.
Best of all, although I am based in Spain, there is nothing tying me to a desk here. I only need a computer and an internet connection to do my work, so when I feel like taking a month off and visiting Sri Lanka (which I did earlier this year) there is really no reason not to!
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