Travel on my Mind

Self PortraitWhen I wake up in the morning, all I dream about is traveling, taking photos, and sharing my experiences with others.  If that is all I can think about, that is what I should do.  Life is too short to be stuck doing something I don’t want to do.  I’m not afraid of hard work.

The question is how.  How can I find something I love while still making a living that can support me?  How can I balance this passion with taking care of my family and dog (who is part of my family)?  Lately I’ve been trying to brainstorm how I could transform this passion into a career down the road:

-Author/Photographer (Guidebooks?)

-Travel Blogger

-Tour Guide

-Personal Vacation Photographer (Never worry about missing that shot again!)

Right now author/photographer is most appealing to me, but that is not an overnight change.  I am hoping to have my first book published around the end of the year, so at least I am trying.  My dream job would entail Rick Steves hiring me to take all his tours and blog about them, but I’m not sure if that is in the cards.

Do you have any ideas?  Want to hire me?  Feel the way I do?  I’d love to hear your thoughts :).

19 Comments Add yours

  1. Sherrie says:

    I think there’s a place for a Rick Steves one-off. There are tours that could go to other areas in Europe that don’t have mass appeal and, thus, would never be a tour he would offer. So, you could do tours that have the same vibe as his but to a smaller clientele. For instance, I would love to explore more of Brittany and Bordeaux in France, but I am having a hard time finding a non-stuffy tour program.

    1. Sherrie, that is a good idea! A lot of those areas tend to be my favorite anyway. I’ve learned that the big cities can be so exhausting. I’ll have to do some research while I’m abroad next summer.

      1. Sherrie says:


    2. Heyjude says:

      Sherrie why don’t you do this independently? Or try and find a local travel company in France who may suit your needs better?

      1. Sherrie says:

        Heyjude, I am still looking. There is a tour that follows the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine in France that was suspended because a key place in her life was closed for renovation, but I think it is back on for 2014. I would definitely do that one. When I travel to large cities, e.g., Rome, Florence, Amsterdam I do go on my own; but if I have to cover a lot of ground, I prefer a tour company. I would love to find a tour that does ancient sacred sites in France (pre-Christian). If anyone reading this has a lead, please let me know!

  2. Kim says:

    I feel completely the same way you do! I am teaching during the day and I find myself sharing travel stories as part of my lessons. I would LOVE to find a way to teach AND travel! I am constantly planning our next trip. AND I have also dreamed about being a Rick Steves guide as well as a guide for Adventures by Disney. I think it would be great fun to take kids to Europe. I have watched my son grow and learn so much for the trips we have taken! If you find a way to travel and still have a family ( including the dog). Please share because I want to copy you!!!!!!

    1. My aunt is suggesting teaching travel classes with a local college. I don’t know if that is something you’d be interested in or not. I’ll keep you posted if I come up with any magical ideas that involve balancing travel and the rest of life.

      1. Sherrie says:

        The idea of guiding locally and teaching classes in adult ed or other venues are good ones. They can help establish your street creed while you are working on larger plans for international travel. I took a class locally at college taught by a woman who uses these classes to help build her clientele for her tours. Although her classes cover traveling the world, she only guides tours to the Galapagos Islands and Peru and makes a good living at this. I also met a woman who was at a wine tasting, who does these events to get clientele for her tours to Tuscany, which switch between food or wine tours. I live in an area where we have a large population of retired people with disposable income; so this helps these women tremendously. Whatever you do, ID your target market and determine the best way to reach them….

  3. Micheline says:

    Very interested in seeing your progress towards your goals. Lovely photography in the meantime and great writing.

    1. Thank you Mico! You are such a wonderful supporter :).

  4. Heyjude says:

    I don’t know where you live, but perhaps you could set up guided walks of your neighbourhood, like the ones you went on in Paris? Talk to local restaurants, shops, markets and organise a ‘food tasting tour’, arrange tours to nearby places. That way you wouldn’t have to leave the family and the dog, but you may not earn very much. The point is does it have to be abroad?

    1. I enjoy traveling in the states as well, but the midwest is not my passion. There is just something so unique about international travel. I appreciate the ideas :).

  5. Barb says:

    If you get the Rick Steves dream job, I would come along and carry your gear…lol!!

    Seriously, I hear you! I love, love, love to travel also!! My husband and I have travelled to Europe and quite a bit with our family in the states, mostly to the national parks, especially the ones out west. We love mountains! We also really enjoy Europe, and now that we are retired, we have the freedom to go when and where we want for as long as we want, but we have to find a way to do it economically. We’ve traveled in Europe using Rick’s ideas and advice in “Europe Through the Back Door”. In fact, we just returned from 4 nights in Amsterdam, a 12 night Norwegian Fjord Cruise on Celebrity, and 4 nights in Paris. We actually stayed in Haarlem instead of Amsterdam per Rick’s suggestion, and we were fortunate to share the hotel where two of Rick’s popular Best of Europe tours started from while we were there. Even though we had a fabulous cruise awaiting us, it was sad to say goodbye to such nice folks and not be able to join them. Maybe next year. I’m sure Rick does an awesome job with his tours. I’ve been on his website and it looks as though you get to see and do a lot for your money.

    Like you, I also love to take photos during my travels. Thanks for sharing yours. I always enjoy looking at them. The trouble is, especially when I’ve just returned from somewhere, like Paris, I get some good ideas from you but it’s too late to photograph them. For example, I like your photo of a piece of the arch + leg of the Eiffel Tower. When we were there in June, so much construction was going on under the tower that it was almost impossible to get a pleasing photo. Your shot was an interesting idea, especially with the clouds in the background. It gave me a sense of height even though you shot it while standing on the ground. Maybe it’s just because I’ve been there and I can imagine it all. Sometimes the challenge is to get the viewer of our photos to see the bigger picture when we can only show them a piece of it. I thought you did a good job!

    Would you mind sharing what camera and lenses you use? And, do you have any formal training in photography or just a natural talent? I’ve been shooting for about 10 years. I currently have a Canon 60D and mostly use an all purpose lens 18-200 mm 1:3.5-5.6 IS. This fall I’m hoping to buy a lens with a 2.8 aperture. It would be nice to have for the depth of field in portraiture shots and to let in more light without increasing my ISO. I’ve taken community classes, weekend seminars at a local college, and classes at the camera store where I buy my equipment, but I’m always looking for more opportunities to learn. Photography is creative, artistic, fun, and so satisfying to share with others who appreciate and enjoy your work! Keep shooting and sharing. Maybe I’ll see you on a Rick Steves tour one of these days!

    1. Barb, thank you so much for all the kind words. I do feel like travel photography is my niche. I’ll never be able to teach about the technicalities of photography, but I can provide practical advice to improve photography. I’ve taken a couple workshops, but that is all. I mostly just try to see places with a new perspective.

      I also use a 60D! My lens is a 18-135mm. I also have a canon point in shoot that I carry when I’m tired of the big DSLR weighing me down. I’ve found that photo editing programs like Lightroom is what can really help with creating the magic.

      Well, if I ever get that dream job, I’ll be sure to contact you to carry my gear ;). I do hope to meet you on a tour someday. I’ve never experienced anything like that (and I agree with staying in Haarlem vs. Amsterdam).

  6. Janey says:

    Now that the economy is growing, there should be an increase in the number of people wanting to travel. Many colleges and universities that discontinued Travel Abroad programs for adults (noncredit) may consider adding these back. You could prepare a “class” that includes travel & photography. The fee people would pay would cover your travel expenses.

    1. I really want to talk to you about this more. I’m hoping I can come down Columbus Day Weekend and maybe we can chat about possible ideas. I know I loved the idea when you first mentioned it to me in Paris.

  7. travelqeen says:

    I felt the exact same way about travel for years. Until I finally just said I would incorporate being a Travel Agent into my life as a way to not only feed my dreams of traveling and discovering the world, but also use it as a source of income to help pay for my passion. Your niche for travel photography is wonderful and you have some awesome photos here. Photos of all the different places and Landmarks around the world is what sparked my passion to travel. I think you would do well offering a class on what you do.

    1. I’m curious, what did you have to do to become a travel agent? Has it always been something you’ve done part time? Thank you so much for the compliments. The more I think about it, the more teaching travel classes makes sense. I mean, I am a teacher and I have a masters in curriculum and instruction, so designing and implementing travel courses would be right up my alley. Thanks for the confidence boost :).

      1. travelqeen says:

        OMG I just saw this reply post today. I have been going thru lots of additions to my family and then some. But I joined a Host Agency, which has all the suppliers and I can book travel for clients and the Host pays me commission and of course they take a small percentage for doing all the back office stuff, and of course for using their IATA and CLIA info. I also took a course with the Travel Institute to become a Certified Travel Agent and it is constant learning and growing in this field.

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