I have many travel bloggers and influencers I go to when I need travel inspiration, but I won’t quit my job to mimic their unstable career. Maybe I’m just too risk-adverse. I mean, let’s get real here, the influencer doesn’t exist without me – the gal who works her butt off in a traditional industry, prioritizes travel, and opens her wallet to pay for experiences.
It’s simple supply and demand; I have the demand and the influencer has the supply of travel information. To really ‘WOW’ you with business jargon (thank you $100K+ MBA); the influencer’s ‘supply’ can be substituted. Any SWOT Analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) tells you the travel industry is saturated. There are many authoritative voices – just download any of the Lonely Planet’s apps or pick up one of their books. Better yet, get lost like Alice in one of your favorite travel blogger’s website.
I’ve listed 5 reasons to explain to you why I won’t leave the ‘Uck-I-don’t-want-to-go-to-work-today’ feeling to follow every millennial’s dream of getting paid to travel and take pretty pictures.
1) I WON’T QUIT MY JOB BECAUSE I NEED A STABLE INCOME
To start with, the most obvious reason why I can’t quit my job, is MONEY! I get it – most of the big travel influencers can make a comfortable living (scratch that – very comfortable), but they clearly have no other responsibilities outside of their business and personal bills. I can’t even imagine what that’s like.
Sure, I inflicted my very expensive Masters on myself (because I love school) and luckily it has propelled me in my career. But, anyone who has to take care of a family member or is the financial safety net for his or her loved ones (i.e., ME) knows that he or she needs a steady income.
I envy the freedom that some of these folks have but it’s not my lot in life and I wonder if others find themselves in a similar situation.
2) I WON’T QUIT MY JOB BECAUSE I NEED BENEFITS
That little thing called health insurance and retirement. Anyone who is from the USA knows the woes of securing affordable health care. Even if you’re in tip-top shape, health is nothing to take for granted.
I just watched an insta-story from Cassie De Pecol, who runs marathons on the reg. She ended up in the hospital because of she worked out too much! That, of course, won’t be my problem. Thankfully, my stable job will continue to make sure I don’t end up with thousands of dollars in medical bills if I happen to faint due to too much physical activity. Or eating too many Vanilla Wafers. You know, whatever happens first.
Same goes for retirement – these days you have to save 15-20% of your income into retirement just to live the same quality of life you’re living today! Playing retirement catch-up because I quit my job and stopped investing in my future is a big financial burden.
As millennials, we all know social security is in the shitter and we’ll be lucky to pay for our monthly food needs (read: Nilla Wafers) with it. Luckily, most stable jobs offer 401K matching and free investment opportunities. I don’t know a lot (or any) influencer jobs that offer the same. I am hopeful, you too, know all of this financial health 101 stuff and not going into a sheer panic.
3) I WON’T QUIT MY JOB BECAUSE TRAVEL BLOGGING IS SATURATED
I’ll never get noticed with so many look-alike girls, visiting the same place, with the same pose – which is exactly what I do when I travel to a new place.
The probability of Insta-fame and a strong blog readership is like getting drafted into the NFL; less than 1% experience success. Even if I get noticed, I was blessed with the genes of my short, chubby, Italian grandmother. What are the chances that I can fight off my pending umpa-lumpa body long enough to base my career off of me in a pretty dress?
Bottom line, it’s not uncommon to have 20K+ followers because there are billions of people in the world and more and more remote areas have access to the internet.
4) I WON’T QUIT MY JOB BECAUSE SUCCESS REQUIRES MORE THAN PRETTY PICTURES
I’m definitely not savvy enough to grow my Insta-fame into a long-term business. I was just in Bali at Peloton Supershop and I saw Elsa, from Elsa’s Wholesome Life, published a cookbook. I thought to myself, ‘you go girl, pivoting that ~600K following into a physical product.’ I happened to be with Michelin chef, Faustine Hug, at the time and she said this was more of a ‘plating’ book than cookbook, but that’s beside the point.
You may know other women who have turned their blog into a full-fledged company – Emily Weiss and a little thing called Glossier (I’m obsessed with this product) and Rebecca Van Dijk with We Are Travel Girls and Travel Girl Getaways. The point is, these women are entrepreneurs and influencers heavily rely on brand partnerships. However, they will become a one hit wonder if they don’t pivot into a ‘real’ business.
5) I WON’T QUIT MY JOB SO I CAN LIVE IN THE MOMENT
Lastly, it’s already difficult enough to live in the moment when our phones have become our life support. Now, what was once my vacation, has turned into work.
I know that the travel influencers who experience success have worked their tails off. Anyone who follows Alyssa Ramos’s, My Life’s a Travel Movie, knows that she has serious hustle. As she shares her behind the scenes footage, I think to myself, ‘Don’t you ever get to let loose in that lake without having to take a million photos?’
After attending the Travel Girls Getaways Bali Blogger Retreat, I realized how little a life the founders get to have while of turning their blog into a legit business. Oh, and all those perks you think they’re getting, really aren’t that great. You want to get a free night in a hotel? You’re working from sunrise to sunset to get all the right footage for your social media and postings.
My industry career allows me to earn points to upgrade to first-class flight and book a 5-star hotel for free. More importantly, my career allows me to take care of my family. Goofing around and disconnecting from the daily grind is my travel preference. Otherwise, the magic of travel is lost. You can learn more about me and my life here.
Have you considered quitting your job to be a travel influencer? Please share in the comments below! Read Next > 5 Reasons to Attend Travel Girls Bali Retreat