Almost two years ago, which is hard to believe, I left my career in the airlines to pursue one as a photographer and blogger/writer. It was an easy decision in some ways because I was ready to leave the stress of the industry and the constant struggle of the companies I worked for but it was hard giving up the money that allowed me to live on my own. As a result, I moved back home which wasn't my highlight but now, I realize the sacrifice is worth it. I know deep down, in the depths of my soul, that I'm going to make it. I'm going to make a career out of my travels, blogs and photography and that I'm going to live the life I've always dreamed of.
The sacrifices have its moments where I ask myself, "why" but then a reward is given and I'm going "that's why" and thank the Universe for it and continue to push forward. I've been able to spend time with my family and make up for the many years I was away from home living up and down the East coast trying to figure out where and what I wanted to do. It all came back to my home state and a passion I fell in love with as a child; photography and travel.
Travel writing, as I quickly found out, is a very competitive field to break into and everyone is scrambling for the one spot in a magazine that might be available every few months. The key is to get a niche and stay persistent, I've done both, and have had to publish a few without pay which is fine in the beginning but when it is always asked of you it is time to move on. I don't mind a sacrifice here and there but to expect it all the time is no way to make a living.
Which had me thinking about all the blogs I had written and moved them over to my Patreon account. These blogs have been up for a year, free for people to read and enjoy, now as my writing and photography continue to improve and social media followers are starting to increase it is time to make money and there is no shame in that. I felt it at first, but the deeper I get in to it the more I realize I am talented and have a great way of presenting things for the world to see. The many views of my blogs proved that.
I've also had to go back to work for commercial companies, again a sacrifice, because I wanted to be done with the commercial world and be self-employed making enough money to make it on my own. Well, that didn't happen right away. So I ended up working two tax seasons for H&R Block and using the unemployment between gigs to travel. Unfortunately, travel is more expensive then first realized so unemployment was short lived before I had to find another gig that would help pay for those trips. It can be expensive lifestyle even when driving but I wouldn't trade any of it for a moment. I love being on the road, seeing the country, taking photos and writing. I feel good, alive and free so the momentary debt that I have incurred is worth it and I know that this will all be paid off very soon.
The first gig I took was a housekeeper at a Marriott hotel in a town about 45 minutes away, thankfully, it was done before the snow fell but then I decided to go back to the tax office which increased the miles, decreased the pay and put me through one hell of a winter with a lot of snow storms. O.k. I get it! I'm not suppose to work here anymore! Don't worry, I won't. After tax season, and a few road trips later, I needed another gig.
Without even knowing what I was looking for I stumbled across a temporary position as an HR Assitant at a hospital, in a town about 20 minutes away. Heaven! A few weeks later I was off to their Welcome Day event and working the next day until Thanksgiving. The Universe is a crazy thing, always shuffling pieces to make things work out the way they should. I'm full believer but like any normal person I do get frustrated and get doubts but then something like this happens and I know, I know it is going to work out. I didn't come all this way to fail and go back to a work world I wasn't happy in.
The best part about this new career is I get to spend time with Aria, my dog. She enjoys the road trips just as much as I do and is able to experience so much. New scents, new scenery, the mountains and feel the salty ocean water on her paws. To see her run around in excitement, then stop and stare at the scenery around her as the mountains tower over us brings me joy and peace and excited about my new career.
In the end I have to say this to my followers. Don't give up. Its a cliche I know, but truly if you believe in the dream, especially as an artist or writer, keep pushing forward. Don't be afraid to ask for help, to do a little side work to make ends meet, this shows the Universe that you are willing to do whatever it takes to get to the finish line which is your dream...
You don't have to go far to have fun. Here are a few places I visit when I'm not driving across country or exploring the Rustic Roads.