For years, I dreamed of living on a tropical island. I even asked Santa each year. My favorite screen saver was a wide white-sand beach complete with solitary palm tree bent over at 90 degrees, fronds almost touching the turquoise waters lapping gently against the shore.

You know the pictures I’m talking about, we’ve all seen them. We’ve all spent time daydreaming looking at those pictures and wishing we were there instead of being stuck in the office. Especially during winter. So, when Christmas came around, I asked for my dream travel writer’s life.

Now, I have it and the wonderful freedom that comes with it.

My main motivation for becoming a travel writer was to have total freedom. The kind of freedom that allows you to work anywhere in the world. My choice: a Caribbean island. Where you can walk down to the beach, sit on that white sand and watch a sunset. Or swim in the warm crystal-clear waters daily then relax while the salt dries on your skin.

A beach on Cozumel Island, where Bel lives.

You can have it too. It’s easier than you think. Plus, expanding your skill set is fun and can help you achieve your dream.

I didn’t have any experience. I didn’t have ridiculous amounts of money. I didn’t have any fancy degrees. All I had was a dream and some determination. I was willing to learn and to invest in myself to build the skills needed. It’s that simple. Here’s what you need to do… 

Expand your skill set. Have fun learning complimentary skills that boost success in your writer’s life. Like photography, a very important skill for travel writers.

Invest in yourself. Get that thing you have been wanting but maybe didn’t think was affordable. Perhaps a camera. A course or guide. Some upgraded gear. These are investments in you.

It’s the perfect time to splurge, as everyone does at Christmas. We all tend to go a little overboard during the silly season so why not make it an investment? In you. In your dream. To obtain your dream life.

Buy that photography course you always wanted. It’s an invaluable skill to every travel writer. With the added bonus of helping increase the chances of your articles being accepted and published.

Over the holidays is the perfect time to start practicing your photography.

Your friends and family are the perfect subjects. Capturing those heart-warming moments around the fire or on family vacation is an easy motivation. Or, capture the dog chasing squirrels around the backyard. It doesn’t cost anything and is fun, making for great pictures and treasured memories.

Investing in yourself and expanding your skill set to include photography puts you one step closer to living your dream life.

[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, Three Fun Ways To Get Paid To Travel: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]

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