I Quit Full-Time Travel Blogging, and Here’s How it Went

I was only about a year into the professional, full-time travel blogging thing when I realized… it’s not for me.

Am I a failure?

Almost a year into my choice to ease off full-time blogging, here’s what’s up.

Travel Blogging in Puebla Mexico

happy in my first Puebla office – can you guess my favorite color?

To be honest: I still just don’t make much money off the blog directly, and the associated random freelance and consulting jobs that spring from it were just barely enough to sustain my life expenses when I was doing it full time, but are a nice little boost now. I felt stressed and pressured (from myself) while blogging full time, and was using visit statistics and revenue to judgeself-worthorth, which isn’t cool and I wouldn’t recommend.

I’m not cut out, career-wise, to be a freelancer.

Money is important, of course, but that’s not the only reason why I changed course.

Traveling had started to feel less like fun and more like a job (which it should: it was!), but I didn’t know how to turn off the blogger side of myself and enjoy. Every cool thing I did, I felt like I should be photographing, note-taking, and planning out future blog posts instead of just enjoying.

I never had a day off and my greatest passion had become my profession. They say if you love what you do, you never go to work a day in your life. What they DON’T say is that if you take what you love and make it what you do, you never get a day off, either.

The truth is, that while I love writing, photographing (more than I expected to), and obviously TRAVELING, I’ve found that the number one thing that excites me about blogging is connecting with and working with people. By taking the focus off making money, I’ve been able to put the focus back on people. Because I can write (and share on social media) ANYFRICKINGTHING I want, without a concern in regards to profits or statistics: I’m connecting more. I’m enjoying more. I’m meeting more awesome people.

From readers who message me for travel advice or just to chat, to thought-provoking comments left on somewhat controversial blog posts, to the family owned hotel operators that share their dreams with me, to the amazing friends I’ve made while on my trips – it is the human interaction and relationships that inspire me to continue blogging and honestly, even to continue traveling.

Tricks and Tips for Salar de Uyuni Visting the Salt Flats

what its actually all about: friendships like this

Beautiful places are pleasing to visit, but it is the human component – conversations, culture, history – that make a destination most memorable for me.

So…

I’ve realized that what I love most about travel isn’t actually the travel (as far as airports and new destinations and exciting foods go), it’s the people.

stephanie-south-america-15

fun photos with new friends in Salar

With this realization, I started paring down what doesn’t matter to me, and am still in the process (does it ever end?).

I quit all the freelance, entrepreneurial jobs that make money and feel exciting yet keep me constantly glued to my computer, and started contracting for just one bigger, better-organized travel publication and only taking opportunities that really light my fire (like the trip to the Galapagos, partnering with PeruHop, and my recent exploration of lesser-known destinations at ATMEX).

I want to spend more time living my life and less time on social media, to be honest, and this last year I have.

While I want to “do” travel blogging, I know I don’t want to “be” a travel blogger, because I just can’t find it in myself to study endless Pinterest courses and worry about analytics and write content just because it is SEO-friendly. But I will continue blogging because I love it, and I love you, my reader!

And as most of you know, I didn’t quit my full-time blog dreams to become a stay at home dog mom or a traveling trophy wife (HAHAHAHA).

shanti-and-mickey-1

I love these sleepy weirdos but I want to go back to school

Last December (more than a year ago now!) I started going back to school in pursuit of my master’s in psychology.

I’ve always loved helping people, by listening to problems and working together finding solutions to interpersonal (and inner personal) conflicts.

I had set my sights on psychology while at university (one of my bachelor’s is in psychology), but I let naysayers and projected salaries sway me from my passion. Why do we think 18 year olds should know what they want to do with their lives when they don’t even know who they are or more importantly – who they want to be?

After almost a decade and a long process of self discovery later, I wish I would have listened to the intuition leading me to psychology and working with people.

But then again, maybe the long and twisted road full of strange and seemingly unrelated jobs (nanny, marketing manager, infertility patient coordinator, salesperson, and now travel blogger and freelance content creator) was necessary to bring me to where I am now.

Maybe taking the scenic route to my career (and it’s a still-meandering route that I’m not entirely sure of yet), rather than jumping into it as an unknowing 22 year old, has helped me to better understand what I DON’T want to do… while being more appreciate of what I actually DO want to do.

Tequila in Teotihuacan Mexico

tequila helps with major life decisions

I’ll still be posting twice a week (unless it is exams week – yikes), and while I’ll still be living in Mexico (#expatforever) and exploring this gorgeous nation, I’ll be cutting down my international trips to just a few times a year, while focusing more on domestic travel.

I’ll also be scaling back my social media efforts – you’ll see me on Instagram every day because I’m loving it, but Twitter and Facebook will be less active. Less effort spent on the things that aren’t really serving me means more time on those that matter.

As always – feel free to share your comments, thoughts, advice, and questions below, or send me an email.

 Salar de Uyuni Me

Sending love, in joy and journey!

4 Comments

    • April 2, 2017 / 1:45 pm

      Aw thanks so much!

  1. January 15, 2018 / 6:05 pm

    Good for you for figuring out what really makes you happy! I have never heard of ATMEX, hopefully, I can get to the next one – looks like such a cool event! Maybe we’ll cross paths in Mexico one day!

    • Steph
      Author
      January 17, 2018 / 7:30 am

      I loved it! It was my favorite travel-related conference ever, partly because it focused on exactly what I’m interested in (sustainable adventure and eco-tourism in Mexico) and partly because the people it attracted were AWESOME.
      Let me know if you ever make it over to Puebla again! I would love to meet up!

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