Turning my love for travel into paid travel experiences...Years ago, I spent the majority of my days and hours in an office preparing tax returns. I often wondered what it would be like to break free from the incessant sedentary grind of life in a windowless office. I wondered what it would be like to spend my days doing something I loved and enjoyed.

Because of a life-long love for travel, I began to think about ways to bring more travel joy into my life to offset those tedious accounting days. Ultimately that led me to Great Escape Publishing, where I learned about travel writing and the endless possibilities it could bring to my life.

When I decided to pursue life as a travel writer, I imagined it would introduce me to new places, people, and experiences. And I was right about that. When I began my travel writing career, I didn’t even have a passport.

Now I’ve been to 29 countries across 5 continents.

I’ve fished for piranha in the Peruvian Amazon, driven a reindeer sleigh in Norway, swam through ancient caves in Belize, walked alongside penguins in Antarctica, and even followed a nomadic tribe on a hunt in Tanzania.

Along the way, I’ve collected well over 1,000 bylines for published articles. And I’ve expanded my circle of friends immeasurably.

Each year on my birthday I delight in receiving wishes from every continent—except Antarctica, of course. But, I’m quite certain if those penguins were on Facebook, they’d send their wishes, too!

I’m not surprised that travel writing has changed my life in these ways, but what I didn’t realize is how travel writing would bleed into my everyday routines making me smarter, healthier, and more alive. Travel writing has made me realize the importance of fitness.

I’ve learned that keeping fit and being healthy go hand-in-hand with travel writing. As I globetrot across the world, my efforts to eat a healthy diet and put in time at the gym have enhanced my travel experiences.

I can stroll the cobbled streets of Europe’s medieval town centers for hours, soak in the views from the top of majestic cathedrals and keep up with the grandkids when they tag along. I’ve even lost weight since I shed my sedentary lifestyle. Who knew travel writing would be the catalyst for that change?

As I look back on it all, I realize travel writing is so much bigger than collecting passport stamps and bylines. It has given me confidence in ways I never imagined. It can do the same for you. It’s all about taking the first step toward the life you want to live. And after that first step, take another one… and another. Before long you’ll be looking back realizing just how much your life has changed—in ways you never imagined.

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[Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can fund your travels and make an extra income with photography, travel writing, blogging, and more in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel. Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Five Fun Ways To Get Paid To Travel: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]

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