When I called my boss and quit my dead-end job in the States, I was in The City of Lights, Paris. It was the best decision I ever made, in the best place I could have made it.
At the time, I was on an eight-day trip with my best friend. We explored the entire city, walking everywhere we went. In fact, we opted out of renting a car at all, choosing to explore Paris and take in the sites on foot. We didn’t want to miss anything. We walked over 45 miles that trip.
At night, we ate dinner at charming local restaurants, outside in the cool night air. We bought original paintings from Parisian street artists—years later, those paintings are still a welcome reminder of this incredible life-changing trip to France.
In the Musée de l’Orangerie, I stood among a small crowd, transfixed before Monet’s Water Lilies. You could have heard a pin drop. It’s a stunning landscape of water, peppered with delicate water lilies, branches of willow trees, and reflections of clouds on each mural’s surface.
I made certain to take several photographs—of the masterpieces, the rooms, and even other visitors. I knew I’d easily be able to sell these as stock and fine art when I got back home to Saratoga.
The Eiffel Tower was an emotional stop for me. It made me think of my mother, who always wanted to visit the famous landmark but never had the chance. It was here, at the foot of the famous monument, that I was inspired to call my boss…and change my life forever.
Before going on the trip, I had enrolled in an online photography workshop. I had no idea where it would take me. But, in the almost four years since, I’ve traveled all over the world—to places like Ireland, France, Fiji, and all around the United States.
Some of my images have sold for as much as $600 apiece. When I returned home from Paris, a matted and framed image of elaborate doors at the entrance to Notre Dame Cathedral sold for over $500. And I sell editorial images on several different stock sites, cashing in on the royalties from old photos every single month.
And that’s not all.
When I’m traveling, I stay in five-star hotels and upscale vacation rentals. I linger over five- to seven-course meals prepared by world-renown chefs in the area. I’ve been on private ghost tours and food and wine tours on every single trip. Massages, opening nights at the theater, and more museums than I know what to do with.
All on someone else’s dime. Amazing, right?
This year, I’m returning to Ireland and London, with Spain and Germany on my radar for 2018. More often than not, I’m sent to these wonderful places on assignment. I can’t wait to see where I’ll end up next.
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