I just returned from a 3-month trip through Southeast Asia. This was the first time that I traveled while maintaining my blogs, both Bohemian Traveler and GoMadNomad.com. It was a lot of work and I had to adjust my travel style, but all in all I liked this working-while-traveling-trip better than any of my previous trips.
Now that I was blogging and writing from the road, I had a purpose while traveling. I was not just journaling each night for the sake of getting down notes and stopping to visit places just out my own curiosity. I felt that readers of the blogs deserved to know about these places, the way things were as I saw them.
If you decide to blog or freelance from the road, you will be writing, editing, publishing frequently to share your experiences with the curious world.
When working while traveling, I travel much more slowly. This is something I knew ahead of time which I factored into my plans.
Every week I needed a few days to catch up on writing and publishing, so I made little bases along the way: Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Luang Prabang. I got to see what it might be like to live in these places, and that’s always a good thing. It’s nice to experience a place as a local, albeit a temporary local. You have your usual shops, cafes, street cart vendors and make friends accordingly.
If you’re working from the road you’ll need to bring more equipment. But it’s OK because even though it might be heavier, you’ll be settled in more places for a longer time. This also forced me to pack even lighter for all my other gear because I knew I’d be lugging it all around on my back.
I took a netbook computer, a back-up drive, one camera, and a voice recorder. Many travel bloggers are going with a full laptop, a camcorder and more than one camera. Carrying all this expensive and important equipment means I had to take extra care from the elements and unsavory characters on the road. Luckily, southeast Asia is one of the safest and crime-free places to travel.
At the time I started my trip in April of 2011 and announced Why I was going to Borneo, my blogs weren’t mature enough yet to be directly funding my travels. So the reality of this trip was that blogging from the road would only supply about half of my monthly expenses. I would still have to had worked to save up before my trip.
My next trip I hope to experiment with not saving up beforehand and earning 100% of my travel expenses from blogging/writing while on the road. This will be difficult and risky, but it is a challenge worth facing.