I am a big believer in fate. With every bone in my body, I believe that everything happens for a reason, and every now and then I seem to be dealt a hand in life that turns my world upside down. When I first launched The Travelista, I wrote about how a combination of hard work and a stroke of luck took me ‘From Tea Girl to Luxury Travel Blogger’. The post tells my story of how I got a foot in the ever-so-narrow door of print travel writing, which also kicked off my blogging career. The post had an overwhelming response and to this day still receives high traffic and comments. I now want to tell you…’what happened next’, so sit back, read on and consider this ‘part 2’ of my career and blogging story.
After leaving the elusive ‘tea girl’ job behind back in 2011, I met the most valuable contact of my life so far, the editor of a men’s luxury lifestyle publication. I began writing the travel features for his publication on a freelance basis (offering my articles entirely for free at first). In the two years I have worked for him, I’ve travelled to Marrakech, Mauritius, La Reunion, Sardinia and Munich, with further trips to Rome and Zambia also lined up in 2014. These trips allowed me to establish myself as a credible travel writer, with a print portfolio as well as an online blogging outlet to showcase my work.
This new credibility landed me a new job doing digital content for a travel company, working on their blog, social media and website. For one year, I blissfully lived and breathed travel content from the moment I woke up to the moment I went to sleep. At first, blogging for The Travelista went along hand in hand perfectly with my job. I was shortlisted for a Cosmo Blog Award and continued to do press trips in my annual leave. I was thrilled to have to many increasing opportunities to work with different travel brands, but when I realised I wanted to grow my blog by working commercially with other brands, I knew it was time to leave the company.
Coincidently, this was the same time I received a random call from the editor I freelance for, telling me he thinks he has found a perfect opportunity for me down in London and wanted to introduce me to a friend of his. Was I interested? Hell yes I was interested.
With my blog continuing to grow in terms of traffic and followings, as well as financial and travel opportunities, I realised the only way for me to move forward in my career was to become freelance. This way there could be no commercial conflicts. I couldn’t believe my luck when I learned that the new opportunity was a job as a freelance Group Editor for a new luxury publication of a private members club. With features to write on lifestyle, restaurants and luxury travel as well as opportunities to travel (first stop Monaco Grand Prix in May), it was a job I couldn’t even have dreamt up. Needless to say, I made damn sure the job was mine.
Since starting my role, I have enjoyed some of the most fun-filled, exciting and glamorous weeks of my life. I am meeting so many amazing people, visiting London’s hot spots and ultimately working on new publication that I truly love and believe in. I also keep up the blog in my spare time and am working with travel brands, spas and PRs on a regular basis to keep my content fresh and exciting. I’m self employed now, and whilst I work full time hours in my new job, I have control over when I work and what I work on.
This opportunity came at the perfect time, and I am so glad I stuck to my guns and didn’t give up what I love doing for a company that didn’t believe in me or my blog. Blogging is my #1 passion that has opened up so many doors for me, and I don’t intend to give up for anyone. I never really planned to move back down to London, but I believe you need to let opportunities lead the way. I took a leap of faith and I am absolutely loving it, safe in the knowledge that I can continue to work, blog and travel in perfect harmony!
Have you been in a similar situation juggling work and blogging? If you’ve enjoyed this post, please leave me a comment in the box below. I’d love to hear your thoughts, and make sure I reply to every single one! x
I came across your blog on the Cosmo site and I’m so glad you’ve been nominated (& I’m sorry it’s too late for me to vote now)! I’ve just read parts 1 and 2 of your blogging and freelance journey and you’ve really inspired me! It’s exactly what I needed on a rainy Monday morning haha!
What an inspiring read! It’s so bubbling over with passion and your enthusiasm is infectious – it’s fabulous to see people living out their dreams. Andrea x
Hi Jess, I’m a travelling bird too and I’ve just set up my new blog site: firstimeworld.wordpress.com
I would love to be able to grow it like you have done with yours. Do you have any advice about blog linking etc – I’m very new to this. So I’d be VERY grateful for any comments on my blog or advice or shares/linking. If you want to take this offline for advice, my email is email@example.com
Thanks a MILLION 🙂
It all sounds perfect, lucky you! Great story. That would all be a dream come true for me! Jane x
This is so inspiring! Well done to you!
Thanks Virginia, very sweet of you. We should try and arrange a bloggers meet up in London soon 🙂 x
Yes definitely – I’m living in Madrid for a couple of months at the moment but I’m back in London from time to time and would love to meet up! x
Wow! Madrid, how is it? Are you studying out there? Would love a guest post on Madrid if you fancy doing a blog exchange. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to discuss x
Anna Roberts says
Ahh this is such a great story! You’re an inspiration to many. And good on you for keeping your blog going. Looking forward to reading about your future travels x
Thanks for your kind comment Anna! It’s so nice to get feedback like this from my personal stories. Please visit the blog again soon 🙂 x
This is such an inspirational post, thank you for sharing your story. It just proves that a bit of self-belief and hard work pays off in the end. 🙂
Hi Kate! Thank you for your comment. Glad to provide a bit of inspiration for you. Self-belief is essential in this game, as is persistence! Keep up what you’re doing. I love your blog and am now following 🙂 Looking forward to reading more of your posts
Woah. I can’t believe that company asked you to shut your blog down! Are they insane??! Obviously they didn’t know how lucky they were to have you onboard. God, I’d love to earn an income with travel writing… got quite an archive with travelettes.net & BBMLive.com now so just need to figure out how to take the first step…
Hey hun! Thanks for your comment. Glad it’s not just me that thought they were insane. I wondered if I had done the right thing when I walked away, but now there isn’t a doubt in my mind! Sounds like you’re doing all the right things by building up an online portfolio. Keep it up and I am sure your lucky break will come along soon. Just take every opportunity that comes! 🙂 x
Congratulations! And what a wonderful opportunity. So happy you didn’t give up your blog – it really is one that I love and has inspired me to move into travel blogging next year when I go travelling. Wish you all the best for the future x
Thanks Lucy! I am so pleased I didn’t give it up either, not that I ever even considered it. So happy to inspire you, how exciting about your travels! Please keep reading, there will be plenty more inspo to come x
Your new job sounds amazing! I’m so glad you kept this blog up! Hard work and a little luck work wonders.
I’m so glad too! Best decision I ever made. Thanks for your comment 🙂 x
Congratulations to you and continued success in your career.
Thank you for your comment SKEdaddle. Wishing you all the best in your ventures too x
Congratulations! What an amazing opportunity. I love hearing about the opportunities and success from travel blogging – goes to show how the world is changing, we can create jobs now!
Can’t wait to follow on and get travel and blogging inspiration!!
Hi Nicola! Thank you for your kind comment. The opportunities may not jump out at you at first, but if you persevere and show passion and love for the industry, your hard work will pay off. We can create our own destiny 🙂