Journey blogger reveals what it is wish to be paid for holidays and ideas for stepping into th | Journey Information | Journey
Vacation is a hot topic right now, and dreamy British dream of the day when it is safe to explore the beauty of the world. While, according to ABTA, 86 percent of Britons go on vacation every year, it can often involve months of hard work and savings. The idea of getting paid to travel may sound like a fantasy to many, but to a world explorer, it’s a reality.
Tom Bourlet, 32, is the driving force behind the SpaghettiTraveller blog, and says there are still times when he has to “pinch” himself as he pursues his career.
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, he gave an insight into what it’s really like to make a living traveling.
Tom stated that his career was something he accidentally got into.
“I was working in marketing for a travel company when I decided to take a group of friends on a three-month road trip across the US,” he said.
“The stories I took home and the experiences I had, from seeing a stingray to a party in New Orleans, losing my passport in Miami, and being surrounded by coyotes, were sure to be some of the funniest and most most bizarre moments of my life.
“When I returned home I wanted to write down the stories so I wouldn’t forget them, and I wanted to learn HTML and CSS too. That’s why I decided to start a blog.
“I stayed in the office until 8pm every day working on the blog, but I didn’t expect it to be such a big part of my life.”
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As you can imagine, the opportunities presented were enough to push Tom forward despite long hours behind the computer.
From luxurious stays to wildlife encounters, his newfound career has brought some unique experiences with it.
“My biggest stay so far was at the Ammatara Pura Pool Villas, by far the most luxurious stay of my life. I pinched myself every five minutes, “he said of his trip to Koh Samui in 2017.
With the opulent gift, Tom enjoyed a stay in one of only 18 exclusive villas that are reminiscent of traditional Thai palaces.
From private pools to daily brought baskets of fresh fruit, Tom’s job was to relax and enjoy five-star service before it was shared with the world.
However, he’s also not afraid to get active, and he’s been known to climb some epic peaks to include avid travelers in the experience.
“My best moment has to be hiking to the top of Machu Picchu. The view will stay with me forever,” he added.
It’s not just the jet set life that a travel blogger offers.
As Tom points out, it also opens a lot more doors closer to home.
“One of the best parts is local events,” he said.
“It’s great fun to be invited to restaurant introductions or private events, and the free liquor is a winner too.
“The other part that I love is being able to see the other side of events.
“Instead of visiting a theme park, they may invite you for a time when it is normally closed, walk you through the park’s history, facts that many people don’t know, and allow you (who don’t) love the ride a jump in the queue). It’s those moments behind the scenes that always fascinate me. “
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Surprisingly, however, it is the relationships he has built that have made the hard work really worth it, regardless of the giveaways and adventures.
“The most important thing is the community feeling among travel bloggers. I’ve met hundreds of them. We chat regularly and meet at numerous events and conferences around the world,” he says.
Despite the excitement, Tom’s career isn’t always the free and frivolous vacation you might expect.
“Who can say no to a free vacation, even if it sounds so shiny and exciting, there is a lot of work in these trips and I spend most of the time taping on my laptop or taking photos,” he explained.
“We recently flew into Kenya on a two week safari and the cost was close to zero. However, after a full day safari, I did seven hours of work every day. So it never feels like a vacation. I often come back more tired than when I left. “
Despite so much experience, Tom says he still has a lot to learn.
From photography to video editing to software and marketing skills, it’s about more than just getting on a plane.
“I’m fortunate that I already have in-depth marketing skills, which often help put Spaghetti Traveler in a strong position. The educational aspect, however, is an ongoing struggle and means many tough weekends that I’ve overworked and trained” , he says.
In fact, becoming a travel blogger is apparently not for Lackadaisical.
Tom says success depends on “patience, dedication, and the ability to write even when you don’t want to”.
“The sacrifices you have to make, like working all weekend and evenings when you get home from work, will be exhausted and most bloggers will quit within the first three months,” he continued.
“If you are interested in becoming a blogger, I would mainly recommend writing 12 articles before attempting to blog.
“This way, once the blog is live, you can schedule them to be published once a week and then focus on building your social channels, improving the look and functionality of your blog, and getting featured wherever possible . “
Of course, there are also unpredictable moments like the current pandemic that can make work difficult.
“My customer work has decreased by 70 percent, while my advertisers via Spaghetti Traveler have decreased by 85 percent. So it’s a scary time, ”he explains.
However, he used that time to gather content and focus on other projects – including an impressive three additional blogs and hosting a marketing conference.
Productivity, drive, and lots of sacrifice are key, but it’s all worth it for Tom.
“It’s all a bit manic and no day seems to ever be the same,” he says.
“I think it’s the bizarre moments that I experience that do my job like no other.
“These are the moments that I will look back on and laugh at.”