Long-Term Travel FAQ


Lauren at Tulum

Wondering who on earth I am and how the hell I manage to travel so much? Here are some of my most frequently asked questions, divided up into the following sections:

Travel | Finances | Travel Blogging

Travel

How long have you been travelling?

Nine years and counting! I left the U.K. on a one-way ticket in July 2011, never in a million years thinking I’d be able to keep going for this long. I originally planned to take a one-year trip around the world, but when I unexpectedly started to make money from this travel blog, I realised I could just keep going. 

And, well, I still am! I never let myself forget how fortunate I am. 

Where have you been so far?

You can see a full list of every country and city I’ve visited on my travel map.

As of November 2020, I’ve visited around 90 countries across five continents, spending the majority of my time in Southern Africa, Southeast Asia, North America, Europe, and Oceania.

In other words, I’ve sorely neglected Latin America, the Middle East, West Africa, and Central Asia. I’ll get to them eventually!

Which is your favourite country?

My top five countries are India, Mozambique, Namibia, Portugal, and Thailand. Don’t make me choose just one!

What about your favourite region?

I absolutely adore tiny South Pacific islands, exploring colourful villages in Eastern Europe, backpacking my heart out in Southeast Asia, and being spellbound by everything in East Africa. 

What’s your least favourite country?

I’ve yet to visit a country that I truly hated, and I always try to keep in mind that experiences within a place can be so situational. I contracted cholera in Malaysia, for example, and had one of the worst trips of my life there — but that doesn’t mean that Malaysia sucks and I should never return.

Still, if you really forced me to answer, I’d go for Brunei as my least favourite country. It was so boring!

Where do you most want to visit?

At the top of my list at the moment are Botswana, Brazil, Ethiopia, Pakistan, and Senegal. I’m hoping to get to all of these once the pandemic is over.

What’s Your Focus When You Travel?

When I first started travelling, I kept my flip-flops firmly on the well-worn backpacker trail. I was going to explore Europe and Southeast Asia and Australia, like every other person on their gap year. I couldn’t even comprehend doing anything different. 

Gradually, though, I learned to step outside of my comfort zone and began to venture into some of the lesser-travelled countries of the world. Destinations like Tonga, San Marino, French Polynesia, Liechtenstein… I absolutely adored them. I love visiting places that few tourists opt to check out and it has fast became my sole focus when I travel. 

Where are you going to be visiting next?

Who even knows?

I had so many travel plans for 2020, which included visiting my remaining countries in Europe, finally heading to South America, checking out the Caribbean for the first time, and overlanding West Africa. 

I expect I’ll be taking these trips in 2021 instead, depending on what happens with the pandemic.

Once the pandemic kicked off, I hurriedly applied for a New Zealand partner visa through my Kiwi boyfriend, and took off for one of my favourite countries in the world! I’ll be safely travelling around New Zealand until the rest of the world opens back up again.

Why haven’t you visited [country] yet?

I get this question a lot. All I can say is that I’m just one person with a limited amount of time! I can’t visit everywhere in the time I’ve been travelling, so some places are still on the list. It doesn’t mean I don’t want to visit them eventually — just that I haven’t got there yet.

Do you have any tips for [country]?

Take a look at my destinations page. You’ll be able to find every post I’ve written about the places I’ve visited there. Most of my blog posts have an information box at the end that features my top tips for visiting that place.

When are you going to stop travelling? Are you going to stop travelling?

Never say never, but at the moment, I have no plans to stop travelling entirely. I work online and therefore have to freedom to work from anywhere. Why not take full advantage of it?

However, after many years of continuous travel, I found I missed being in the same country as my family, as well as the ease of living somewhere where I understood the culture and language. I love immersing myself in an unfamiliar land when I travel, but that’s the opposite of what I need when I’m taking a break, recovering from time on the road, writing about my travels, and trying to live a normal-ish life. A comfort zone is kind of appreciated then. 

I therefore aim to spend four months of every year in Bristol, in the U.K., four months in Melbourne, Australia, and the remaining four months travelling to a mix of new countries and old favourites. During the pandemic, I’m holing up in New Zealand, as it’s the safest country I have access to right now.

Do you want to visit every country in the world?

It’s not something I’m actively pursuing, but I do tend to visit between five and ten new countries every year. If I ever reached the point where I’d visited something like 150 countries, I think I’d make an effort to visit the remaining fifty or so, but it’s not something I’m working towards. Let’s just say, I don’t want to visit an entire country just to say I’ve been there. I’m not a fan of country-counting and prefer to spend time in the places that genuinely fascinate me.

For now, I’m happy checking out the new countries that interest me the most and not feeling shame over returning to old favourites.

Don’t you ever get lonely or homesick?

Sometimes, but not often. After spending so long on the road, it feels strangely normal to me; almost as though home is wherever I lay my backpack. I do travel with my boyfriend for around half of my travels, so loneliness is hard to come by. Fortunately, we both have the freedom to plan our trips around where our friends are, so if I happened to be missing hanging out with anyone in particular, I know they’re only a plane ride away.

I do miss my family when I travel, but fortunately, they live in London: a major travel hub. Since deciding to base myself in Bristol for half of the year, I see them every couple of months.

Why don’t you travel with your boyfriend all the time?

Because we’d probably end up killing each other.

Because we both work online, we often spend 24 hours a day together. Literally. There isn’t ever anyone heading off to work because our work is nearly always in our hotel room or apartment. Even when we do make an effort to carve out some alone time, things can get pretty claustrophobic. On top of that, I’m more into travel than he is, so I don’t want to feel like I’m dragging him around the world with me. If he doesn’t want to head to Mozambique with me, that’s cool; I’ll just go by myself.

Are you a budget traveller?

Absolutely! I’ll nearly always opt to stay in a guesthouse or hostel over a hotel, because they tend to have a little more personality. And because I opt to pay for 100% of my travels myself rather than having my trips sponsored, I tend to have to worry more about my finances than other bloggers.

One of my favourite things to do, however, is splurge for special occasions, like when I treated my boyfriend to an overwater bungalow in the Maldives for his birthday! I find it means so much more when you save up and splash out, rather than travelling in luxury non-stop.

Do you travel with travel insurance?

Yes! I’m a firm believer that if you can’t afford to buy travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel. I don’t care too much about the personal belongings cover, because I can afford to replace anything I lose, but the emergency medical coverage is absolutely essential. The last thing you want is to break your leg in rural Laos and have to be airlifted out to a hospital, racking up a hospital bill in the hundreds of thousands as you do so. It’s happened to friends of mine, so it’s not as rare as you think. I don’t want to take any chances.

I use World Nomads for my travel insurance and I’ve been extremely happy with them. They’re the best option for long-term travelers because they allow you to renew while you’re outside of your home country. It’s hard to find a company that allows you to do that!

How do you find accommodation to stay in?

It’s dependent on many factors! If I’m travelling solo, I’ll usually opt to stay in hostels, because they’re cheaper and make it so easy to meet people. I book all of my hostel stays through HostelBookers, because they’re consistently cheaper than anyone else. I’ve run a lot of tests and HostelWorld is nearly always the most expensive accommodation site, so I steer clear of them.

If I’m travelling with my boyfriend, I’ll steer clear of hostels, because guesthouses work out to be the same cost per night as a dorm room in a hostel if I have someone to split my costs with. I book all of my guesthouses and hotels through Agoda, because they’re consistently cheaper and have amazing customer service. When I got sick and had to cancel my trip to the Seychelles, they worked so hard to get me a refund for all of my booked accommodation, which they really didn’t have to do. I can’t say enough great things about them.

What about long-term accommodation, for weeks or months?

In that situation, I’ll book a hotel for a few nights and spend those days hunting out a long-term stay at a hotel or apartment (there’ll usually be signs advertising places for rent).

In Southeast Asia, for example, everyone who regularly comes into contact with tourists speaks a little English, so the hotel staff are used to tourists booking places for several months and will usually offer long-term stay discounts. In Chiang Mai or Saigon, I usually end up paying around $500 a month for an apartment that would be $1500 a month if you paid the day rate!

Do you have any tips for finding cheap flights?

I sure do! I wrote a detailed resource as to how I manage to score cheap flights without relying on collecting points or miles.

Finances

How much money did you save before leaving?

I saved up $25,000 for my travels.

How did you manage to save up that much?

When I left to travel, I wasn’t intending to work from the road, so I knew I’d need a healthy bank balance to keep me going for an entire year, maybe two. The first thing I did was make travel my priority.

I was studying full-time at college/university, so couldn’t get a full-time job to help fund my travels. Instead, I picked up multiple part-time jobs and worked as a sales assistant in a garden centre, a pharmacy, and a supermarket. You don’t need an amazing job to build up your bank balance — I was earning just $7 an hour! I took every opportunity to work extra hours that I could. At one point, I took on a two-month internship at university while working every weekend and didn’t have a day off in eight weeks.

In addition to working every hour possible, I sold everything I owned that wouldn’t fit in my backpack. Drastic? Yep, but I’d read about how travel can transform you into a minimalist and I was hoping the same would happen for me. I sold the old clothes I barely wore, my CD and DVD collection (lol I’m old), and college textbooks. I sold anything I thought I could make money from and decluttered my life in the process. I’m pleased to say that nine years later, I haven’t missed any of it.

Finally, I cut out all unnecessary spending from my life. Cutting out the $5 sandwich I used to buy every day saved me around $7500 over five years. I didn’t buy any new clothes or shoes unless I needed them, I took packed lunches to work and college, I used blankets instead of switching on the heating over much of the winter, I turned down nights out with friends that’d cost money and arranged movie nights at home instead, and I bought the cheapest food options I could find.

For me, the sacrifices were worth it.

How Can I Make Money as I Travel?

There are so many ways for you to make money as you travel — you just have to get inventive! I suggest sitting down and making a list of your skills and figuring out a way for you to get paid to do them from anywhere. It could be some type of freelancing — graphic design, coding, copyediting, developing apps, social media marketing, translating, consulting… You could also see if your current job would allow you to work remotely. Many jobs that you can do from home don’t mind if you are in a different timezone, as long as you get your hours of work done.

If you don’t fancy sitting in front of a laptop, there are options like working as a surf instructor or divemaster, working in a hostel, and teaching English.

You can also get working holiday visas in Australia/New Zealand/Canada, where you can live and work there for a year or so.

And, of course, there’s always travel blogging. It’s a tough gig, but it’s definitely possible to find success from it.

How much does all of this travel cost you?

I usually spend between $10,000 and $15,000 a year on travel. Each year, I’ll choose to split my time equally between countries that are more expensive — the US, Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand — and more affordable areas, such as Mexico, Central America, Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia. I wrote a detailed breakdown of how much it costs to travel with a mid-range budget here.

How much do you budget per month?

Typically around $30-$50 a day while I’m travelling.

How do you manage your money while overseas?

I’m huge on personal finance, so I’m pretty good at budgeting and investing my money, whether I’m travelling or not.

When I travel, I use a Starling debit card to save on ATM fees — it’s one of only a couple of U.K. banks that doesn’t charge you to use your card overseas. If you’re British, I highly recommend getting your hands on one.

In the U.K., credit cards aren’t as exciting a prospect as they are for my U.S.-based travellers out there. Points and miles bonuses are rubbish, so I don’t bother with a credit card at this point.

On the road, I usually just head to an ATM to withdraw around $300 when I arrive on a country, spend it on everything on the ground (a lot of places in the countries I visit only accept cash), and then get some more out when it runs out. It’s that simple. No travellers cheques or prepaid travel debit cards for me, and definitely no money belts — I hate them.

I also carry a spare back-up debit card for a separate current account in case of emergencies, but I haven’t had to use it so far.

What do you do about taxes?

Never Ending Footsteps is registered as a limited company in the U.K. and I pay both personal and corporation tax there.

Are you planning for retirement?

You bet! I aim to max out my pension allowance in the U.K every year, then let compound interest work its magic. While I hope to continue working online for the rest of my life, I think it’s important to plan for the future, and I’m skeptical that travel blogging will still exist in its current form in 2050.

I therefore focus heavily on building my savings and preparing for the worst to happen. It’s unlikely that it will, but I’d rather be over-prepared than the alternative.

Update 2020: Yuuuuup. I’m pretty glad I was preparing for something unexpected to happen. I just didn’t quite foresee a pandemic in my future when I wrote this!

Travel Blogging

I want to start a travel blog. Do you have any tips for getting started?

Yes! I have an enormous post about how to start a travel blog. In it, I cover how to choose the perfect blog name and the best hosting company to use, along with screenshots to take you every step of the way. I show you how to install WordPress, find a professional theme and logo, share my top plugins, and give advice on how to start making money.

How do you even make money as a travel blogger?

Right? I still can’t believe I’ve managed to turn my blog into a business. Here’s how I currently make my money.

  • Advertising on the site, via display advertising with Mediavine (ads in my posts and sidebar)
  • Affiliate sales (where, for example, I pay to stay in a hotel, mention it on my site and link to it, and if you decide to stay there, I make a commission on that sale).
  • My Patreon (I save all of my craziest stories for my Patreon, where I charge $5 to gain access to 100+ of my private long-form travel narratives)
  • Course sales from my Overcome Travel Anxiety course
  • Coaching bloggers through my travel blogging mentorship program
  • Licensing of my travel photos

One thing I no longer do is freelance writing. I hated it! It was so much work, required me to deal with regular rejection, and there was little consistency to my income. And I don’t work with brands or companies, so you’ll never see anything sponsored from me. 

How much money do you make from your travel blog?

It varies, but it’s almost always around $10,000 a month. Here was my average income breakdown in 2019:

Advertising: $3,000 a month
Affiliate commissions: $9,000 a month
Blog coaching: $3,000 a month
Patreon: $500 a month
Photo licensing: $500 a month
Book royalties: $300 a month
Course sales: $100 a month

How long did it take for you to start making money?

I sold my first ad on my travel blog when I was four months in. I hadn’t even started travelling at that point! By the time my blog was a year old, I was making around $2,000 a month — enough to live in cheaper parts of the world indefinitely. In year 4, I finally started making more than $5,000 a month, and year six saw me hitting an annual six figures for the first time. It takes a lot of work to make money from travel blogging, but it’s definitely not impossible!

How much do you spend on running a travel blog?

As my site income has grown, so has my expenses.

  • I pay over $2,000 a year to host my site with Performance Foundry.
  • I spend $700 a year for newsletter services with ConvertKit.
  • I spend $600 a year to schedule pins on Pinterest with Tailwind.
  • I pay $400 a year for accounting software with Xero.
  • I pay $250 a year to host my travel photos online with Crashplan.
  • If you include my travelling costs as a necessary expense to run a travel blog, that’s around $15,000 a year!
  • There’s also fees for accountants and lawyers, which is around $3,000 a year.
  • Plus taxes! My corporation tax bill is five figures a year, and then I pay personal taxes on top of that. 

Why don’t you take press trips?

There are several reasons why I pay for absolutely everything myself. And I’m super strict about it, too, guys. I don’t take press trips, and I don’t accept free hotel stays or activities. I don’t even accept free travel gear to review. Here’s why.

First of all, I know that my readers prefer to read a blog that is sponsorship-free. Whenever I’ve run reader surveys, you guys have told me your favourite thing about this site is that I pay for everything myself. Conversely, I know that the vast majority of travel bloggers find their readers claim their frequent comps to be their least favourite aspect of their sites.

Secondly, I want to show you that travel is an attainable goal and I can’t do that if I don’t pay for everything. Sometimes this sucks, because damn, will I ever get to Antarctica if I have to pay $10,000 on a trip? And how about the fact that last year I went to Rwanda, where a permit to trek with mountain gorillas costs $1500? Bloody hell. It’d be nice to do as other bloggers do and get it all for free. But that’s the thing, though: If I took a comp and hiked to see the gorillas, I’d most likely say it was worth it because I hadn’t felt the pain of that money coming out of my account. When I’m paying for it myself, I’m going to make damn sure it’s worth every single penny of my hard-earned cash.

Finally, it made me feel kind of uncomfortable to jump on sponsored trips. I don’t want to feel as though my readers think I’m only giving something a positive review because I didn’t have to pay for it, so it’s easier for me to not do it altogether. That way you never have to question whether I’m being honest or not.

After dabbling with taking comps for a few months, I decided I’d much rather build such a successful business that I could just afford to go wherever I want and write about whatever I want. Fortunately, I succeeded!

How much do you work?

It varies quite a lot from month to month. I’m grateful that the vast majority of my income is now passive, which means the money rolls in whether I’m working or not. Because of this I work far less than I used to.

Before I moved to a more passive form of income, it wasn’t unusual for me to pull 90-hour weeks in front of my laptop. Now I’d guess that it averages out at a 20-hour week. The fact that my income is passive and I can take a month off whenever I need to has been a game-changer for me. As someone who suffers from occasional anxiety and chronic pain, it’s made a huge difference to my mental health to know I don’t have to push through the panic attacks to work non-stop.

How do you find freelance writing work?

Here’s a thoroughly unhelpful answer: I don’t. Ninety-five per cent of the freelance writing gigs I have ever taken are due to the client finding this site and dropping me an email to hire me. But I guess my answer kind of is helpful, as well, because it shows the importance of building a portfolio. That you don’t have to spend every spare minute pitching magazines and websites; that sometimes you’ll be so inundated with opportunities that you’ll be able to pick and choose the ones that suit you best.

But let’s go back to the start, when I was having to find all of my freelancing jobs myself. I bookmarked several major sites that I knew regularly hired freelancers and checked them once a week — that was how I landed a gig at About.com. I checked the Problogger jobs board every day along with Freelance Writing Gigs, and that was about it! I was able to score well-paying gigs every few days through those sites, which helped me to build my portfolio during those first few years.

Steer clear of sites like Upwork, where the pay is typically terrible, and you’ll be competing with 1000 dudes in third world countries who’ll work for 0.1 cents a word.

71 Comments

  1. The Scuttlefish
    July 5, 2014
    Reply

    Wow Lauren, you’re the most awesome and helpful traveller I’ve come across on the web in a while! Glad to have found your blog, and excited to read more about your travels in Nepal. It makes my top 5 list for sure, and I’m dying to go back to trek the Annapurna Circuit.
    This month though my journeys will be around your home country, the Great Britain! :)

    • Lauren
      July 9, 2014
      Reply

      Thank you so much! :-) I hope you have a wonderful time in the UK!

  2. Kat
    August 13, 2014
    Reply

    Hi Lauren. I just wondered how you planned your travel. I’ve got a fair amount saved up already – and I plan to continue – but when I start looking at all the places I want to visit, the planning aspect overwhelms me and I put it off time and time again. Any tips on your planning? Also, anything about how you found cheap(ish) transport around the world would be amazing!

  3. Britt
    August 14, 2014
    Reply

    Reading this was quite helpful! One of my good friends has recently inspired me to start my own blog and now I can’t get enough of it. Hopefully flourishing into something that will take me on adventures around the world!
    But I do agree with you Lauren, do it for yourself at first, this way your committed and passionate about if from the start.

    • Lauren
      November 13, 2015
      Reply

      Good luck, Britt! :-)

  4. grasya
    August 21, 2014
    Reply

    This is helpful coz I’m planning on a RTW trip soon… I may not have saved such huge amounts of money but I’m sure there’s a way to figure this out ^_^

    • Lauren
      September 1, 2014
      Reply

      Glad you found it helpful! :-)

  5. Kristin from MN
    October 2, 2014
    Reply

    I am a huge fan of your blog. It is so easy to navigate and I like your writing style. I’m in the planning stages of starting my own travel blog. Do you use mailchimp or aweber, or which do you recommend? I have read not that milchimp doesn’t allow affiliate links. Could that be problematic? Thx!

  6. Marg
    October 22, 2014
    Reply

    Just happen to come across your site.Just love it. Great to hear about your travels. Such great reading..Im addicted !!!
    Safe Travels.

    • Lauren
      October 22, 2014
      Reply

      Awww, thank you so much, Marg! That means a lot to me :-)

  7. Louis
    November 12, 2014
    Reply

    Hey Lauren, any recommendations for a good backpack brand or model?

    • Lauren
      November 18, 2014
      Reply

      I love Osprey and always buy their packs — they have a lifetime guarantee! :-) I’ve used an Osprey Exos 46l and an Osprey Farpoint 55l so far.

  8. sam
    May 26, 2016
    Reply

    This is one of the most awesome blogs I have ever come across and i regret that I just stumbled upon this today. What i’m curious about is though,how old were you when you decided to quit your job for traveling full time?

    • Lauren
      May 27, 2016
      Reply

      I was 23 when I left. Eighteen when I made the decision to travel.

  9. Lea
    June 18, 2016
    Reply

    Hi Lauren
    I notice you quote $ for all your expenditure – is that US dollars?
    I wondered why you don’t use £ UK pounds? Is it just to do with your readership?
    My girls, both early twenties, would love to travel and your site has a wealth of info – thank you :-)

    Lea

    • Lauren
      June 18, 2016
      Reply

      Yep, it’s US dollars. My audience is something like 50% from the U.S. and 20% from the U.K. so I switched the U.S. dollars to please a larger percentage of my readers.

  10. Shauna McErlaine
    June 28, 2016
    Reply

    Hi Lauren!
    I stumbled across your blog today and you are so inspiring! I love the honesty and your hard work ethic! I prefer to read your blog & positivity than listen to others who say ‘You are so lucky to travel’….Do you ever get this phrase? I get it all the time and I respond ‘ You have a passport right?’ The rest is an individual choice, money, savings, making sacrifices! P.s You are more than welcome here in Ireland!
    Good luck!
    Shauna

    • Lauren
      July 1, 2016
      Reply

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Shauna!

      I am told that I’m lucky quite a lot, but I wholeheartedly agree with the people saying it! So few people have the means to the travel in this world. I’m lucky that I have a British passport and that it means I rarely have to apply for a visa. I’m lucky to have been raised by a middle-ish class family. To have a university education. That I could get a job to save for travel. That I’m healthy. To have started a travel blog at the time I did. To have a supportive family.

      And sure, if someone was brought up in the exact same circumstances as I was, and has savings and the means to travel then yeah, you’re correct. Make travel your priority and go see the world — it’s not as hard or as daunting as you think. Sadly, for 99% of the population it isn’t just a case of choice and sacrifice — it’s luck and circumstance.

  11. Lucía
    August 10, 2016
    Reply

    Hey Lauren! Do you take your photos with your phone or with a camera? Just found your website and I’m binge reading all of your posts! Love your way to write about your travels, you’ve surely inspired me!

    • Lauren
      June 3, 2017
      Reply

      I travel with a Sony A7ii and take 95% of my photos with that. The rest are snapped with my iPhone.

  12. James World Travel Chef
    August 15, 2016
    Reply

    Well done! I see you’re British, same as my wife. We’ve been on the road over 3 years now, the funding part is finally coming good. And as you say, it’s about priorities, ours is travel and giving the kids amazing experiences. Good on ya!

  13. Joshua
    September 26, 2016
    Reply

    I’ve never really been one to read a blog before…frankly aside from reading my ex’s while she was abroad working, I don’t think I ever hav. I came across yours looking for some information for my next trip and wow… All I can say your blog is great and has definitely been bookmarked! It’s very insightful and written in a light and fun manner. Thanks!!

  14. Jen
    January 18, 2017
    Reply

    Hi Lauren! I am planning to move to Indonesia and travel from there…my parents are so worried and they are requesting that I establish contact with someone who can meet me once I get off my plane and into my accommodations. Any suggestions? Thanks a ton!!

    • Lauren
      January 28, 2017
      Reply

      Hmmm. Not really. What type of person? Just a random local? I mean, you can arrange airport pickups through your hotel that will get you from the airport. If you don’t know anyone in the country, though, I don’t know how you’d go about it. Or why it would be safer than you being on your own — they’ll be a complete stranger after all. There’s always texis you can take, too — they’re perfectly safe in Indonesia.

  15. Pamela Gregory
    March 13, 2017
    Reply

    Gosh Lauren… your book on how NOT to travel is the only book on travel I’ve ever read that almost matches my own except my effort was late 60’s & 70’s! Big congratulations!!!!

    • Lauren
      March 13, 2017
      Reply

      Thank you so much, Pamela! :-)

  16. Grace
    May 17, 2017
    Reply

    Hi Lauren! I love reading your blog, soooo inspiring.
    Keep writing please, you’re amazing!

    • Lauren
      May 17, 2017
      Reply

      Ah, thanks so much, Grace! :-)

  17. Roman
    May 23, 2017
    Reply

    Hi Lauren! I just wanted to ask about your map “where I’ve been”. Can you tell me name of the plugin you’re using? Thank you!

  18. Scott
    August 24, 2017
    Reply

    Hi Lauren, Your blog is incredible!
    I’m starting my travels at the end of February. I wanted to start a blog to see if i could make my travels last longer, could you recommend a good laptop?
    Thank you.

  19. Giorgina
    August 24, 2017
    Reply

    Hi Lauren! I have just finished reading your book and enjoyed every single page of it. I have now discovered your website and started reading your blog. I think you have been very brave and determined to follow your dream to travel the world in spite of your anxiety problems and what you have been able to do is amazing! I have always loved travelling and wanted to travel more. At the age of 39 and having only started doing some travelling a few years ago, I think it is too late for me to try a new life travelling but I am very inspired by your stories. I look forward to reading many more!

  20. Tae
    November 15, 2017
    Reply

    WOW! this is soooo inspiring. I want to travel to so many places. But I have been scared to do it alone. I am so tired of waiting for somebody – i.e. friends, family, future boyfriend – to do this kind of stuff with! I finally got the gumption to get my passport and now all I need is funds. You just motivated me to pack up and leave with or without a companion!

    • Lauren
      November 17, 2017
      Reply

      Yay! I’m so happy to hear that, Tae. Good luck!

  21. Daniel
    December 1, 2017
    Reply

    Hi Lauren, got some silly question here :-) where where you right now? and who look after you when you’re sick?

    • Lauren
      December 1, 2017
      Reply

      Japan. And my boyfriend usually, although I’m fine looking after myself.

  22. Asia Strong
    January 16, 2018
    Reply

    This has become one of my absolute favorite blogs. Your honesty has inspired me in so many ways. You have inspired me to get out and travel and start my own blog as well. Please keep up the fabulous work!

    • Lauren
      January 17, 2018
      Reply

      Thank you so much, Asia! Best of luck with your blog! :-)

  23. Tswelelo
    February 5, 2018
    Reply

    30 mins into you website and I am loving it. Hopefully, one day you will make it to The Okavango Delta/Kasane, Botswana Africa. I cannot wait to read on it! Keep it up Lauren.

    • Lauren
      February 25, 2018
      Reply

      Thank you so much! I so desperately want to visit Botswana! It’s very high on my list :-)

  24. Gabriela
    March 15, 2018
    Reply

    Hi Lauren, I stumbled across your book in a hostel in Luang Prabang. As I am travelling myself for a couple of months in Southeast Asia, the book draw my attention immediately. I loved reading it and was happy that you still have your blog. Wish I could live a life like this too. Maybe one day… As for now I am also writing a blog (in German though) and still travelling for some months. If you need any suggestions for South America, feel free to ask :) All the best and safe travels!

  25. Katie
    August 26, 2018
    Reply

    Hi Lauren,
    Your website is great. I have started a wordpress.com blog but want to change to self hosted as you suggest in your blog post however I am concerned about how much time it takes to run all the behind the scenes stuff as i have no tech knowledge.
    Can you give me a ballpark of how much time initially and how much now established?
    Thanks
    Katie

    • Lauren
      August 27, 2018
      Reply

      Hmmm. Well, once you’re up and running and comfortable with how to maintain a WordPress a blog, you’ll be looking at around 2 minutes a week. I think I’ve spent about 10 minutes total on it over the past year.

      For when you get started, it’s tough to say as it depends so much on what choices you make as you get set up and also what your definition of behind the scenes tech stuff.

      If you choose a reasonably simple theme and add a handful plugins that don’t conflict with it, there won’t be much behind-the-scenes stuff to do. When I first started out, I chose a basic theme, installed it on my site and it looked exactly how I wanted it to. I then added some plugins, got a logo designed, and was good to go in under a day. For other people, they might spend weeks tweaking the theme to get it how they want it to look, editing code to add features, resolving plugin conflicts, researching which settings to use, learning SEO…

      I guess I’d say that you should maybe expect to spend a week or two working solidly on all of the back-end stuff and learning how to run a WordPress site. Once you’ve get it all set-up, there won’t be too much to work on going forwards — you’ll likely just be publishing posts and pages, replying to comments, and updating plugins.

  26. Toni
    October 26, 2018
    Reply

    This is the most thorough and honest FAQ I’ve ever seen. Thank you for sharing!

    • Lauren
      January 8, 2019
      Reply

      Thanks for reading :-)

  27. Eric S
    November 28, 2018
    Reply

    Maybe a weird question but when you’re traveling alone, how do you take pictures of yourself? (For example the pictures on the How To Start A Travel Blog). Do you setup a tripod and set the camera to take pictures at an interval or do you ask a stranger? Also, on that note, are you taking pictures with your phone or another type of camera?

    • Lauren
      November 28, 2018
      Reply

      Hi Eric! Every photo in that post was taken by my boyfriend or a friend I met while travelling. If I’m travelling solo, I’ll either ask a stranger to take my photo, take an awkward selfie, or not bother to get one with me in it. My photos are half and half taken with my iPhone XS and Sony A7ii. I don’t travel with a tripod because I don’t care enough about photos of me to justify carrying one :-)

  28. Mea
    March 10, 2019
    Reply

    Your whole life now revolves around travel, and I assume, your identity.

    That said, when you say, share photos on social media, how does it affect you when many people like to comment on them? And vice versa, if you make posts that NO ONE likes or views or comment, how does that affect you? Do you ever get annoyed or angry? Do you post even more to try to count up?

    I ask just because I’m curious since you don’t seem like a DO IT FOR THE GRAM type of traveler. But we are all human, and your income is dependent on such views.

    Personally, after about 2 years on IG and many travels I got so annoyed with having to ORDER, edit, post, caption, and tag photos of travels AS THEY HPND, even on a diff time schedule and on bare internet connectivity during said travels that I just gave up. Last year I visited 7 countries and posted only about as many times, maybe less. I no longer give af who seems bc it was just too exhausting. If I post it is more of a timeline–like 1-3 per vacation, rather than every awesome photo I took, which is hundreds! I regained quite a bit of sanity that way! I nearly deleted the damn thing!

    • Lauren
      March 27, 2019
      Reply

      Actually, I deleted my Instagram account several months ago and stopped sharing many photos on social media. So it doesn’t affect me any more! I don’t really like social media and want more privacy in my life — since stepping back from social media, my traffic and income have only increased, showing that it’s really not as important as people believe.

  29. Aimee Engebretson
    March 14, 2019
    Reply

    Wow, I love your website! All this info is super helpful and inspiring that you really can travel full-time. Are you changing anything about your lifestyle in 2019 or business as usual? Do you have any tips for travel bloggers hoping to do well on YouTube?

    • Lauren
      March 14, 2019
      Reply

      No, I don’t think so. I’m dealing with a few health issues at the moment, so I’m probably going to travel less until I’ve got them under control, but once that happens, I plan to spend half of my time in the UK and half on the road.

      I’m not an expert in Youtube, but I’d recommend spending a lot of time working on your thumbnails, making sure to let your personality shine through, and investing in decent lighting/microphone.

  30. Andrew
    May 21, 2019
    Reply

    Hi Lauren, I’m curious if you use any specific software to draft your blog posts? Thanks!

    • Lauren
      May 22, 2019
      Reply

      Nope! I just write them in the WordPress editor.

  31. Corritta Lewis
    May 29, 2019
    Reply

    I found your site through the office hours with Nomadic Matt. You have such great content and your interview was very helpful.

    • Lauren
      May 29, 2019
      Reply

      Ah, thank you so much, Corritta! :-) Best of luck with the launch of your blog!

  32. Christopher Kilcourse
    June 27, 2019
    Reply

    Liked your review of Lourenco Marques (Maputo) Lauren. You didn’t mention roads, water, electricity or internet. Reliability of these is very important for me. My least favourite capital city is Asuncion in land-locked Paraguay. Reason being terrible infrastructure, diabolical traffic and fumes from unregulated vehicles. Spent 15 years visiting Paraguay and retired there. Friendly people and relaxed rural lifestyle except for Asuncion, Ciudad del Este and Pedro Juan Caballero. Encarnacion is fairly large too and has recently been made into a reasonable river resort. None of these places are more dangerous for tourists than anywhere else, despite what you may read. The buildings you showed in Maputo compare extremely favourably with anything in Paraguay. One town I lived in the local council didn’t operate a rubbish collection service. You can imagine what the locals did with their refuse!

  33. Linda
    June 29, 2019
    Reply

    I love how openly you address everything, especially in regards to numbers. I mean, there’s tons of blogs giving tips out there, but none of them ever address what you can make and what you have to spend, so this FAQ was very insightful. Thanks!

  34. Andrew Patterson
    August 1, 2019
    Reply

    Hi Lauren,
    Great website….well done!
    I recently clocked up my 60th country and like you I share a passion for travel.
    I wondered if you might include a section on your website detailing those very special travel moments, particularly in developing countries, where you’re able to do something for somebody.
    On a recent trip to Madagascar I met a young guy on a taxi-brusse (tightly packed minivan taxi) who told me he hadn’t been home to see his family for seven years because he couldn’t afford the $70 bus fare. I’m always aware of scammers but I could tell he was genuine. But just to make sure we went to the bus station and I brought him a return ticket. He was totally overwhelmed and a few weeks later he sent me a beautiful photo of himself with his family. It’s moments like these that always make travel special for me…
    Have you had any similar experiences?
    Andrew

  35. Mike
    August 5, 2019
    Reply

    You are a gifted writer! I’ve read numerous articles you wrote covering a number of countries visited. The China tea scam escapade has to be my favorite. Reread it with my wife and both laughed our asses off until we were in tears. As we had a similar experience in Beijing. You’re creativity, tenacity, and desire to travel the globe, coupled with financial discipline resulted in a successful business. Congratulations and look forward to reading about your next adventure.

  36. Darren
    September 5, 2019
    Reply

    Hi Lauren,

    I wish I’d found your site before now !!
    It is excessivley well written and informative… I’m working on reading cover to cover. (and I’ve subscribed to your monthly emails)

    Do you ever just go on holiday ? All this travelling and experience malarky is wonderful … but I was just wondering if you like to go somewhere to do nothing but eat drink and chill (and not write about it) or is it all the same thing for you?

    I particularly liked the candid financial breakdown in the FAQs and all the info on Travel Anxiety.

    Simply …I like it all … well done and thank you (it’s a tough job but you’re the right one to do it !! (and Dave))

  37. S M Sajjad Hossain
    September 10, 2019
    Reply

    Hi Lauren,
    I’ve found you through internet surfing on travel blog. Lately I’ve been educating myself on travel blogging.
    Well, I am Sajjad from Bangladesh. You are most welcome to visit my country. I think, you have a tour plan to visit India in upcoming December. May be you can drop by for a couple of days in Bangladesh. I’ll be happy to host and guide you. Till then, happy traveling.
    Rgds,
    Sajjad.

  38. Matt
    October 12, 2019
    Reply

    Hi Lauren – this is a really great site. I take my hat off to you!

    Random question but what software did you use for your travel map? It looks great and the interactivity of it is just what I am after.

    Regards and safe travels,
    Matt

  39. Kieran
    November 20, 2019
    Reply

    Hi Lauren

    I just found your site as I’ve just finished reading your book. Really enjoyed this as I love reading travelogues (I’ve written one myself.) Found your book very refreshing as I feel that it very accurately reflects what it is like to backpack round the word. No, hype, no crazy made up stories, just real experiences.

  40. Barrie Blum
    February 6, 2020
    Reply

    Hi Lauren,

    Just learned about your incredible journey. Very inspiring!! My wife Cristy & I are in the early stages of our travel journey. We’re a tad older. I’m almost 66 & Cristy’s 61. We’re hoping to launch our adventure in 3-4 years from now, maybe sooner, who knows! We’re calling our adventure, HavePulseWillTravel. I have one question, are all or some of your travel expenses tax deductible as business expenses?

    Thanks….Barrie & Cristy

    • Lauren
      February 6, 2020
      Reply

      How exciting! Yep, everything is tax deductible: accommodation, transportation, tours, visas, vaccines, travel gear, travel insurance, and all of my meals while away from home.

  41. Annien BOTHA
    February 12, 2020
    Reply

    I’m not a traveler at all and live in South Afica!! But I did bacpacking for 2 years, long ago!! I just want to say I stumbled on your site and really admire your financial skills, You sound very sorted. Thanks very much for the free blogging advice AS well. I’m busy setting up a blog. Wish me some of your luck please!

    • Lauren
      March 15, 2020
      Reply

      Thank you so much, Annien! Good luck :-) You can always drop me an email for advice at any time, too!

  42. Dee
    February 27, 2020
    Reply

    Hi!
    I stumbled across your blog as I was doing research and trying to decide on my next travel destination, and found myself instead pouring through many of you posts.
    As a solo female traveler, I find your blog to be especially helpful, because so little of the travel information I find is geared toward solo female travelers.
    I lived a few years in Taiwan (and, Saudi) and now in New Hampshire, so I really enjoyed reading your posts from a visitors point of view – nothing ever makes me happier than to see other people appreciate New England as much as I do!
    I see a trip is being planned for Brazil – if you’re open to suggestions, I’d highly recommend Colombia. I’ve been twice (Bogota, Santa Marta, Cartagena, and La Providencia areas) and it continues to be a favorite of mine for beauty, affordability, and hospitality.
    Thanks for the great work!

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.