Writer and philosopher Alfred D. Souza said that “Happiness is a journey, not a destination.”
I loved being a nurse, and I did that for over 34 years. But in the last few years before I transitioned to full-time travel writer, I dreaded that Monday morning 5.30 alarm.
That’s when I knew it was time for a change.
2014 was game-changer. That’s when I attended the Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop in San Diego. I knew then that travel writing was for me. And I was determined to make it work.
I made the transition, and, a few short years later, I retired from nursing. As a result, I don’t dread Monday mornings any more.
Less than a month ago, I woke up on a Monday morning, poured my coffee, headed to my home office, turned on the computer and… hit the trifecta!
- A story I wrote about Ketchikan, Alaska was the top featured story of the week for a publication with over 1.5 million readers.
- I was invited on my 15th all-inclusive press trip of the year (which only selected 8 writers).
- And… a Maui sunset surfing photo I submitted in a vacation club contest won me first prize—a trip for two to Maui.
This all happened the same day and I have to be honest—I don’t ever recall waking up this happy on a Monday before, starting the day which such great news!
Here are a few other reasons I now love Mondays—and the independence that comes with my job as a freelance travel writer.
I set my own schedule
I am no longer at the mercy of the time clock. I can work when I want to work and take breaks at my own leisure. I don’t have to attend long drawn-out meetings. I can even stay in my pajamas until noon if I choose, or work in cut-off shorts.
I dictate the flow of my workday
When I worked in the hospital, patient workload controlled my day or even the unit I was assigned to. As a writer working from home, I’m completely in charge of my workday.
Whether I submit an article, send a query, or use the day to research new publications, the decision is mine and mine alone.
I control my vacation time
As a nurse, I always had to compete for time off, especially around the holidays. Each day off or vacation had to be approved by a supervisor. That doesn’t happen now.
I decide when and where I travel and for how long. I just returned from a 13-day trip to Italy, Croatia, and the Greek Islands. Next, I’ll be planning my itinerary for a month in Mexico. And here’s the great part—I no longer need anyone’s permission.
I have freedom of choice
In the four years I’ve been a travel writer, I’ve found some great publications to write for. I’ve developed warm relationships with my editors who now come to me asking for stories. So, I pretty much get to choose who to write for and what to write about. And that makes for a super-fun job!
With my portfolio of publications, I also have the choice of press trips I take. The 15 on the books so far this year have included destinations in Mexico, Hawaii, Colorado, Arizona, the California Central Coast, New Orleans, St Augustine, and more.
I mix work with pleasure and still get paid
Not many jobs out there pay you to travel. And even when I’m on assignment for a publication, I’m having fun.
Then there are the perks—the thousands of dollars in free travel. Staying in luxury oceanfront villas, enjoying five-course gourmet dinners with wine pairing, sunset sails, ocean kayaking, zip-lining, and city tours. Pretty incredible, right?
I can work from practically anywhere
My “office” in the past year has been in locations overlooking the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, on the balcony of a cruise ship in the Mediterranean, and on a private patio watching balloons rise over California vineyards.
As a travel writer, I can work anywhere, any time, any place. And that, hands down, beats a cubicle or shared office space.
Becoming a travel writer not only allows me to wake up happy on Monday morning (or any day for that matter), but I’m truly the master of my own destiny.
And what could possibly be better than that?
But, think about this… It can happen for you, too. You have to be like Nike and “Just do it!”
[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.]