Planning to Make Travel into Work

Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Isn’t travel all about getting away?

My husband and I are planning our trip to Asia in 2015–2016. Still planning . . . it seems that we’ve been at it forever, and we don’t even have much of an itinerary. Right now we’re debating whether to start in Japan or the Philippines. We think it might be best to meet up with someone we know and get a soft introduction to Asia. But if that doesn’t work out, we could always find a tour or stay with a family somewhere.

Today I was reading articles by female solo travelers. There are a lot of them out there, including Solo Female Traveler, which appears to be on hiatus; Adventurous Kate; the Gypsy Gals; and others. There are also many blogs about married travelers: Married with Luggage; Beers and Beans; and my personal favorite, Almost Fearless, about a couple and their two kids.

All these sites offer travel advice and resources for travelers. But what I was thinking about was more personal: How am I going to turn travel into work or, to put it more pleasantly, into a living? Adventurous Kate’s description of her work life made me think that if I haven’t made any money as a travel blogger yet, I probably won’t. Perhaps that’s too negative, especially since I haven’t been traveling all that much in the years since I started this blog in 2008.

Wait, you say, what about those six months on the road in 2011 and the three in 2012? The housesitting in 2014? The only solo trip I’ve ever done—to High Island, Texas, and back, in 2007? I know that’s more travel that many people manage in six years. But it’s still not as much as I want, and I definitely have a huge list of places to see! So what kind of work could I do to satisfy my urge to travel? I can think of several options.

1. Keep on copyediting. Meh. I’ve been doing that for more than twenty years, and I’m good at it, but I really want to move on.

2. Get a job in between travels and save money for, say two years. That might work, especially if I got a well-paying job, but it’s been a long time since I’ve had a full-time office job, and I would really rather have a job that keeps me moving. Copyediting involves far too much sitting and looking at a computer.

3. Make money as a photographer. So far this hasn’t been working, though I have not been promoting my photography site, Beth Partin Photos. I am excited about taking photographs while we’re traveling and promoting and selling them, but I don’t know how much money I will be able to earn.

4. Make money as a freelance writer. This is not as easy as it used to be (not that it was ever easy). I think I could make money this way, but again, it takes time.

5. Become a kind of green consultant. One of my big dreams is to combine travel and restoration (see the tagline of this site), by seeking out groups in other countries that are restoring their local environment. I’m especially interested in women who are doing restoration. If I could become an expert on this subject, I might be approached to write articles or even go on trips. At home, I could do things like helping people move without creating a lot of trash.

I know Todd would really like it if I could make more money, a lot more money, so that he could explore what he wants to do as well.