You call me “Lucky”? I am self-made…How I created a job that allows me to travel full-time

You call me “Lucky”? I am self-made…How I created a job that allows me to travel full-time

Many times, friends, family and people I’ve met on trips tell me, “Wow, you have the dream job! You are so lucky!” And I think to myself, “You’re calling me ‘lucky’?” Well, I’m here to clarify, nope, I am not “lucky.” I went for it, I worked very hard, spent many sleepless nights (and still do!) to create a profession from what I love – traveling! Moreover, it is not easy to live out of a suitcase. Nothing was giving to me; I am a woman who is a self-made, full-time traveling digital nomad!

I arrived in New York City at the age of 18, speaking no English and with family far away. I created my career out of wanderlust, a passion for different cultures, the desire to support community and inspire others to live life to the maximum. Allow me to tell you about my early beginnings and how I now get to travel full-time.

 

After so many struggles in NYC over the years, working two jobs, going to business school at night, learning a new language, culture shock and financial struggles, my idea of a balanced life was to be living in The Big Apple, while having one stable job (not necessarily 9 to 5, but I did have one for many years) with great health benefits and enough pay to have a social life (going to many events, cool rooftops, and meeting new friends), then eventually start my own business in Public Relations, buying a home, create an emergency savings, have a solid meaningful relationship and, most importantly, travel a lot. Guess what?! I almost had it all.  At first, I was working a 9-5 job with excellent benefits, I could see the empire state building and the Manhattan skyline from the rooftop of my building in Long Island City, I attended fashion week events, volunteered to help causes and non-profit organizations in my spare time, met my partner during fashion week and married him, eventually leading me to start my own small business (a fashion/beauty public relations boutique firm).

 

Those times were awesome, helping clients with their image, attending prestigious events, meeting celebrities, riding in limousines, and even getting requests to write some articles for several magazines (since at that time my blog was focused on fashion/beauty). I even ended up as an associate fashion editor of an online magazine and eventually fashion editor of a print one, which I truly enjoyed, at first. Fashion was my middle name, while now it is style. Style can be yours too. Everyone has their own style.

While I still enjoy fashion/beauty, it was a little too superficial and, in the end, it didn’t totally fulfill me. What kept me happy was helping causes, which I did it many times through organizing events, partnering with designers and my annual birthday/fundraiser for a cause party. It was then that, having mixed fashion and philanthropy, I won some awards, including one naming me one of the Next Generation Latina by Mastercard and Latina Magazine. I remember the exact moment when I realized that it made me more happy to fundraise, meet new people, explore new cities, or share tips on where to go and what to do…it was like I had finally found my place in the world. This is how I started focusing on developing my blog and writing for publications (which at the beginning was totally unpaid work). I still accepted those first few opportunities to build connections and my portfolio. After all, I noticed that while fashion/beauty was awesome (like wearing a designer gown to The Oscars, or sitting front row in NYC fashion week/Miami Swim Week or meeting designers) it was much more exciting to see the world!

The-Oscars-Hollywood-LA-Glamour

That world out there fascinated me, and I later realized how a study abroad opportunity to Spain (at 19) and later a trip to China that included visiting 5 cities, then finally the opportunity to attend ColombiaModa in Medellin, Colombia, all changed my life! I realized that I wanted to see more of the world and even if at that point my blog was more fashion/beauty, I could still rebrand it to make it possible.  Unfortunately, as all of this change was taking place, I also grew apart from my husband (though we remained friends) and became a divorced woman. I could still do anything that I put my mind to, even solo. This is how my solo female travel journey really began in earnest in 2014. Today, I want to share with you some tips and insights about how I eventually found my dream job (and ways that you can too).

Covadonga Asturias Spain
Old Photo from Asturias Spain (19-Year-Old Olga)

 

Personal Branding

I cannot even begin to express or emphasize how personal branding is so key for anything that you do in this world. You are your own brand! To begin, answer the following questions: Who am I? Where am I going? What makes me unique or different? What is my passion? Clear, honest answers to these questions will help you to establish a strong identity.  Remember that you must always stay true to yourself.  Also, consider the power of why (why do you do what you do)!

 

Additional Suggested Reading: Personal Branding, done right!

Having a Niche or Focus

After you’ve established your personal branding, you need to think about your niche or focus. What makes you special? What do you love to write about or even do the most (even if you had to do it for free?). Consider how can you add value to others through this niche. These are some questions that you must ask yourself before moving forward.

Develop a unique style and voice

After defining your identity, purpose, vision and ‘why’, now you need to find your brand voice for a specific audience. The brand voice is not what you say but how you say it, and how you communicate your message to your target market. It is what will make you stand out from others.  Whom would benefit most from your experience?

Build your portfolio

Find ways to gain experience. Guest post on other websites, freelance for other publications, collaborate with other bloggers/people in your audience and begin to build an authority in your niche. A portfolio is part of the image of your brand and will be a representation of your work.

Not only write quality content but learn how to market it

Write your heart out, write things that people want to read but, more importantly, learn how to market your posts. Marketing is critical. You could write great content, but if people don’t see it, what’s the point? Keep up with the trends and check out different ways to promote your brand; maybe consider Facebook groups, Pinterest, stumble upon, or a great SEO optimization…there are so many options out there.  Find those that work for you and be consistent.

Treat your brand as a business

If you do not treat your brand as a business, nobody will ever take you seriously. Create a media kit, rate sheets, a business plan, a vision board, use several ways to organize your business as an identity. Find out the tax legalities and eventually, if it is convenient, make your brand an LLC and/or open a business account. It is better to have your finances and the expenses of your business separate from your personal spending. TIP: Be organized with your records. It will save you a lot of time down the road.

The power of social media and of Networking

Utilize your resources wisely. Social media opens up your world to many opportunities. Interact with others, ask questions, be attentive, attend events and conferences in your field. Basically, never stop learning and developing yourself. Knowledge is power! Do not forget to ask because if you do, you could receive!  Ask nothing, you’re guaranteed to get nothing too.

Get a mentor or lifecoach

Mentors are so important in anyone’s life. Honestly, I would not have made it to this point without my mentors. I had different kinds of mentors during different stages of my life: From school mentors, writing mentors, lifestyle coaches, to friends who became family and supported me along the way, etc. You need to find people who make you stronger and better. A strong circle will support you during the good times and bad (we all have bad days). I have fallen many times, but I always got myself back up (or I did so with a little help). Being a self-made entrepreneur is not easy and you will have many lonely times. Just ask for help. Find your circle of support and treat them well! Showing appreciation is very important and always good karma.

Take spiritual mind breaks

We all experience burn-out at some point, thus we all need breaks. As a writer, you might even experience writer’s block (has happened to me a few times). Do not panic! Just take some time for yourself. Breath, relax, eat healthy, do yoga, exercise (even when traveling), meditate a few times a day…what ever works for you, just do it! We need to keep a healthy balanced lifestyle in order to be successful. Especially if your passion is travel.

If you want to become a full-time blogger/writer, you do not need a degree in Journalism

Many people are afraid to try, because they feel that they need a degree in whatever they want to do. The key to great writing is research, reading and writing. The more you write, the better you will be. I can tell you that from experience. I used to be an ESL student. I did not speak nor write in English. I failed the last ESL class once. I was about to give up on writing. But guess what? I had a mentor who pushed me to get help by connecting me with the tutoring; I passed the test and got to English 101. The best part, which I never forgot, is something one professor told me that changed my life, “You can always learn grammar, but never perspective, Olga Maria. And let me tell you that you have a very unique one.” Those words changed my life and, who would have predicted then that I would become a full-time writer, and in what language? English!

Find Freelance opportunities: Upwork, etc.

There are so many websites where you can find your first freelance opportunities. You can also apply to write for many magazines. I have done all of this. Do your research, ask around and find your way. If your best skill is not writing, what about graphic design, web development, social media marketing, etc. Use what you got!

Watch tutorials, read blogs and keep up with industry trends

Last, but not least, many of the skills that I later acquired, I learned from tutorials online, not from my college classes. I also learned a lot from other blogs and websites. Many times, you find hacks, tips and those help you to get better and better by the day. Never stop learning!

 

This is a small overview on how I created my own job (self made entrepreneur and digital nomad), and capitalized on my interests and strengths so that I could travel the world full-time, simply keep striving to become a better person, and to inspire others to do the same! You too can create your dream job. Go ahead and take your first step today! Don’t wait to be lucky, make your own luck!

 

Do you have more questions for me? Anything I should add or write more about? Do not hesitate to ask by leaving your comment below.

 

Additional Suggested Reading: 10 things this Latina Digital Nomad learned by being on the road for over a year

 

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You call me “Lucky”? I am self-made…How I created a job that allows me to travel full-time

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By | 2017-08-03T08:17:25+00:00 June 29th, 2017|Musings, Popular, Travel Tips|22 Comments

About the Author:

Dreams in Heels
Dreams in Heels is a Trendy Blogazine focusing on Fashion, Beauty, Travel, Culture and Lifestyle. Dreams in Heels was created for those adventurous souls that travel to be free, to enrich their mind, body and soul. For those dreamers who are wondering if traveling is for them and/or where to go on their journey. Brought to you by a free spirit traveler fashionista that is living her dreams in heels. Dreams in Heels adds a touch of fashion, glamour, flavor and passion for life. It delivers budget tips, exclusive deals, elite festivities and worldwide culture!

22 Comments

  1. Anonymous June 29, 2017 at 5:25 pm - Reply

    4.5

  2. Carmen C Pacheco June 29, 2017 at 5:26 pm - Reply

    L♡ve this, thanks for sharing♡♡♡.

    • Dreams in Heels
      Dreams in Heels June 30, 2017 at 2:54 am - Reply

      Thanks so much Carmen, xoxo <3

  3. Sofeena Yates June 29, 2017 at 7:45 pm - Reply

    Ok, your blog is one of the best travel blogs I’ve come across so far! I hope one day I’m able to quit my job and travel the world blogging 🙂 From now on I’ll be a regular reader. Good Luck!

    • Dreams in Heels
      Dreams in Heels June 30, 2017 at 2:55 am - Reply

      Awwww thanks. You are too sweet. I appreciate the comment. Keep going no matter what! The sky is the limit.

      Xoxo,

      Olga Maria

  4. Anonymous June 29, 2017 at 7:49 pm - Reply

    3.5

  5. Jen June 30, 2017 at 12:06 am - Reply

    Wow you are very inspiring! I am still on my way to having a kind of life that you have now. It’s not easy but i know it will be worth it

    • Dreams in Heels
      Dreams in Heels June 30, 2017 at 2:56 am - Reply

      Thanks so much. It definitely will be worthy! Do not give up. Consistency is key.

  6. Anuradha Manjul June 30, 2017 at 12:52 am - Reply

    Superb Post. Most of us dream of such a thing but only very few can dare to do so. Great tips to help take the plunge.

    • Dreams in Heels
      Dreams in Heels June 30, 2017 at 2:59 am - Reply

      Thanks so much. I am glad that you enjoy it. It is all about taking those first steps and having a plan.

  7. Marina June 30, 2017 at 5:12 am - Reply

    Wow! You are amazing! I have been trying to be a digital nomad but I am still struggling with the work-life balance. I am still trying to grow my blog tho!

    • Dreams in Heels
      Dreams in Heels July 3, 2017 at 7:06 am - Reply

      It is a process. It takes time. You can do anything you put your mind and efforts to. Good luck on finding that balance Marina! xoxo

  8. Carolina June 30, 2017 at 10:41 am - Reply

    OMG! I love your blog! And your Instagram account!
    Thank you for this post because you’re living my dream 🙂
    Thanks too for the insights.

    Cheers.

    Carolina of myglobalattitude.com

    • Dreams in Heels
      Dreams in Heels July 3, 2017 at 7:04 am - Reply

      Carolina, thank you for your sweet comment. I appreciate the love and support. I hope that you are living your dream too, Xoxo

  9. Part of that world June 30, 2017 at 7:42 pm - Reply

    Great post. Very encouraging. Many of us want it – quit their jobs and travel the world but only thr brave ones did it. Thanks for this post.

    • Dreams in Heels
      Dreams in Heels July 3, 2017 at 7:04 am - Reply

      That is so true. It is also not for everyone. 🙂

  10. Clare July 2, 2017 at 3:43 pm - Reply

    Great post and so inspiring for those starting out! Love your blog!

    • Dreams in Heels
      Dreams in Heels July 3, 2017 at 7:02 am - Reply

      Awww thanks for your comment. I am happy that I am able to inspire others. The journey is not easy, but worthy. I love what I do! xo

  11. Aga July 7, 2017 at 7:38 am - Reply

    Thanks for a post, great read!
    One things that I’d like to ask you about though is – in which way are you actually making your travelling to be your job? Is it mostly contracting with brands and promoting through the blog, or affiliate marketing or maybe something else?
    It’s a great inspiration for me, as I am not a native English speaker as well and I was always a bit unsure if writing in English is for me 🙂
    Thanks,
    Aga

    • Dreams in Heels
      Dreams in Heels July 11, 2017 at 6:35 am - Reply

      Hello! I am glad that you enjoy my article. I mentioned some on this post, such as affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, working with brands, social media marketing, etc. I also write for different magazines. I am writing another post about ways I make money online. Subscribe to our newsletter to be notified. Keep going. English is not my first language as well. I am glad to inspire you.

      Xoxo,

      Olga Maria
      @dreamsinheels

  12. Tamara Torres August 29, 2017 at 11:07 am - Reply

    Amazing article thanks for sharing it definitely has motivated me to keep going!
    Tamara Torres recently posted…LesbosMy Profile

    • Dreams in Heels
      Dreams in Heels October 11, 2017 at 11:26 am - Reply

      Thank you for the sweet comment Tamara! The sky is the limit. Keep going no matter what <3

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