CrowdInk had the opportunity to sit down (virtually) with Ryan Biddulph, the mind behind Blogging from Paradise, a travel blog that has worked with the likes of Virgin, Forbes, and NYU. Ryan gave us a little insight into what it’s like to live the dream and make it sustainable.
CrowdInk: How did you start travelling? Which came first, the trip or the business?
Ryan Biddulph: I started traveling after running my blogging business for a bit, but left the 9-5 and started the biz after getting axed in my security guard job. The pink slip was the turning point in my life. In truth, the pink slip was a green light to help me live my dreams.
The business came first but the real business growth happened on the road. I dove into my blogging and eBook selling business when faced with uncomfortable situations I faced in the tropics. Like the diving into scary, but freeing moments gave me the gumption to be bolder on the blogging front.
CI: Being a travel blogger, you’re always on holiday and you’re always working. How do you separate out genuine travel/life with taking care of business (emails, writing, business development)?
RB: I separate online and offline (travel stuff) activities by staying offline as much as possible each day. I work/play some online then get the hell offline. I have no phone. Only clients have my Skype handle. I check email every 2 to 7 days. I write eBooks. I publish blog posts. I network on twitter. I get offline.
Cutting myself off from the myriad of potential distractions (frequent email checking, phone, Facebook obsession) allows me to do what I have fun doing online so I rock it out with my biz, then, I go offline to do the travel stuff. I will likely never buy a phone because it’d simply draw my attention from Fiji to my Facebook, or from Bali to my Blogging From Paradise blog. This “no phone and limited internet time” approach explains why I’ve been able to enjoy my travels while writing and self publishing 125 eBooks on Amazon. I also take breaks every 60 minutes to stay focused, to act effectively and to manage my energy and time.
CI: Was there ever a moment when it didn’t seem worth it?
RB: No. Honestly, no. Never. Through any tough situations on the road, I always remember the 23 years I went without a vacation, or the fact I didn’t fly until I was 36 years old, and that quickly reminded me how this was my most freeing, fun path, at this moment.
CI: Was there ever a moment when it all seemed incredibly worth it?
RB: Every day. Every day I travel, it’s inspired. Whether living in Fiji for 4 months or Bali for a year, or in Thailand for 1 year, or whether speaking about my blog and travel and eBooks at NYU or whether I’m on Virgin or Forbes, or whether I’m being attacked by wild men (yes, 2 of ’em) in Kathmandu or lazing on one of the world’s most beautiful beaches in Koh Lanta, Thailand, it’s not only worth it, it is the ONLY way for me to live.
Building a travel blog so you can spend not weeks, not months, but collectively, years, in some spots, is an incredible blessing in this internet age. If circling the globe seems fun to you, gorge yourself on blogs and eBooks and products from people who are doing it. Invest in your freedom. Invest in your fun. Follow the globe-trotters, I say.
CI: Do you have a singular piece of advice for anyone ready to pack it all up, get on a plane, and make a go of travel blogging?
RB: Check your driver. If traveling feels like it’d be super fun and super freeing, go for it. Those fun, freeing drivers help you enjoy the ride, because it will get choppy at times. Don’t travel to duck your problems; they’ll follow you across time zones.
Follow your fun. This fun energy will help you detach more and more from travel blogging outcomes (money, readership, social shares, etc) which lets your success-building, inspired energy to flow freely through you. Don’t travel blog because you’re a traveler; travel blog because you love traveling, and because you’d have a fun time sharing your travel stories with the world.