Nomadic Samuel runs one of the most successful travel blogs on the Internet. He’s recently taken the decision to make a new life on the road with his girlfriend Audrey. I caught up with him to talk about his travel plans and discover the secret of his blogging success.
This first question’s in two parts: You’ve been running a very popular blog for a long time now, but have only just decided to focus solely on your businesses/ blogging. Has this been a long term goal that you have been working towards?
That’s a great question! In the past, I’ve always alternated between teaching English in Korea and backpacking; however, I grew tired of watching my funds get depleted on the road knowing in the back of my mind I’d have to teach again. In many ways this is a dream come true because now I’m on the road and I’m able to cover my expenses doing something I love – taking photos, making videos and writing stories.
What gave you the motivation to make this change away from a regular job and why did you feel it was the right time?
Having completed several major backpacking expeditions in the past I’ve come to realize I love being nomadic and on the road. This is the right time for me because I’m pursuing my passion for travel and trying to make a career out of it.
In one of the recent posts on your website you were talking about how you have been working hard to establish and develop various revenue streams that you hoped would give you a stable income. Can you tell us about some of the projects you have been working on and how you see them developing into the future?
These days I’m trying to monetize several YouTube travel channels through adsense. It’s a form of passive income that will continue to grow even if I don’t create new content all of the time. In the future, I’m planning on writing ebooks and delving more into stock photography. It’s an exciting time because there are so many potential opportunities.
Do you see yourself going back into a normal 9 to 5 job again or do you want to be forever self employed?
I honestly don’t see myself going back to a 9 to 5 job. I’ve worked hard – and saved even harder – to get myself into a position where I won’t have to do that again. I just love the freedom of being on the road and I’m going to try my very best to continue on this path I’ve chosen.
If you had to give a person advice to get to where you are now as a blogger and as an entrepeneur (if I can use this word), what would it be?
I would suggest in the first year that you put all of your attention on your main site trying to grow it by creating great content, networking, guest posting, commenting and getting your name out there. Once you’ve become more established it’s a prime time to expand your projects creating more niche sites and working on other things that will allow you to create more income streams.
Refocusing the interview a bit. What are your travel plans over the next six months?
I’m planning to travel in SE Asia, Southern China and parts of India, Bangladesh and Nepal. I’m basically planning on covering a country per month and then moving on to the next one. I’m loving being back in Asia where I’ve done most of my previous travels.
Where do you want to go to?
I’d love to visit Turkey in the near future. I’ve always been fascinated by the country. I love how it has both a European side (influence) as well as an Asian side. I’ve also heard the architecture is stunning on a level that is on par with Greece.
What are you most looking forward to?
I’m most looking forward to continuing my nomadic journey with my girlfriend Audrey. It’s been an amazing new experience traveling with her as opposed to going solo (which I’ve done on all of my previous trips) that’s added another dimension to my journey.
When you travel you can end up in all kinds of situations. So I wanted to ask; Worst travel experience?
The worst experience I’ve ever had was experiencing a terrorist attack in Varanasi, India. It really shook me to the core because I’ve always felt like these kinds of things were only on the news.
Funniest moment while travelling?
Well, this likely qualifies as most embarrassing as well, but I have an uncanny ability to rip my shorts while on the road. A lot of that has to do with being a photographer and bending down often to get low vantage point angles. I’ve split my shorts during some rather inopportune times, including once being on the outskirts of Bangkok where I had to bus it back to my guesthouse more or less in my undies.
Top three travel memories?
1) Traveling with my girlfriend Audrey (this has been more amazing than I ever expected)
2) Backpacking in SE Asia for the first time in 2008 (where I truly gained my appetite for travel)
3) Backpacking in South America in 2010 (this was a challenging but ultimately very rewarding trip)
Samuel Jeffery is the wizard pulling the string behind Nomadic Samuel travel blog and Smiling Faces Travel Photos. He’s also known as the lesser half of Backpacking Travel Blog, a site he runs with his girlfriend Audrey Bergner of That Backpacker.