What It's About
Travels abroad lead to a side hustle that really goes the distance.
Words of Wisdom
When everyone is going in one direction, don’t be afraid to look the other way. Some people are probably being left out, and you can profit from that gap. Not only that, but you also might find it to be easier than trying to be another me-too in a pattern or trend that so many other people are chasing.
Kristen has visited 50+ countries in 6 continents and partnered with 30+ tourism boards across Europe, the US, and Latin America to promote destinations around the world.
Notes from Chris
Kristen Schoeck had always felt the call to travel. She knew there was a whole world outside her borders, and she wanted to immerse herself in it. However, her life wasn’t ready to be packed into a rucksack and carted off around the world. She had a full-time job as a web developer that she enjoyed, a partner she loved, and a life she wanted to keep living at home. Kristen wasn’t ready to give it all up for a life on the road. In her position, it would be easy to resign travel to just a pipe-dream, promising to get to it when we’re older or we retire. But not Kristen. She chose to see the restrictions of her day-to-day life as challenges to embrace. They weren’t reasons not to travel, but obstacles to overcome. She wanted to see how much of the world she could fit into the time she did have. Kristen began to use vacation time from her job tactically. She’d utilize weekends to visit closer destinations, like Mexico, and her two-week vacation time to explore further away places. And, in her first year, she became so good at this that she was able to visit 13 countries without taking extra time away from work! While researching and planning her trips, Kristen noticed a trend. There were lots of websites and travel guides suited to the long-term backpacker with oodles of time to explore their destination. But, there were very few to help the time-strapped, weekend adventurer looking to eek every second out of their trip. Kirsten felt she couldn’t be the only person looking to see the world at the weekend. She decided that if nobody else was going to do it, she would create the content that people needed. She was doing the traveling anyway, so why not document it? So, she took her camera on her next trip to scenic Iceland. And Kristen documented everything. From the hotel she booked and the tour she’d planned to the gorgeous landscapes and the food she ate, every little detail a weekend traveler could need was recorded and featured in the video. When she got home, she edited it using iMovie, and uploaded to a YouTube channel she called Run The Atlas. On April 27th 2016, Kristen uploaded her video to YouTube and found it was an instant success. It quickly amassed 136,500 views—more than the population of Reykjavik where she was a few weeks before—and confirmed her suspicion that there were other people out there who wanted this kind of content, too. Kristen decided she would create one of these videos for each of her trips. She also invested in some tools to help her better understand her audience. Although she never quite replicated the success of her Iceland video, she was slowly beginning to accrue subscribers and views on the other videos she created. In addition to the free trips, all of this has lead to a yearly income of between $7,000 and $10,000. According to Kristen, the best way to start and grow a travel business is to create valuable, shareable, and unique content. Find out what your audience is looking for and cater to that, but with your own take on it. There are so many people vying for attention—it’s on you to stand out! Looking to the future, Kristen wants to expand into creating travel guides, products and merchandise. All the while continuing to see the world at the weekend!
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Run The Atlas: If you're like Kristen and have to squeeze as much travel as you can "at the weekend," head on over to her blog!
- iMovie: The tool that Kristen used to edit the videos she uploaded to YouTube
- Travel Blogger Gets Paid via Pinterest and Guidebooks: A nomadic employee writes a guidebook about Iceland and earns $10,000 after promoting it on Pinterest
- Food and Travel Writer Creates Food Tours in Marrakech, Earns $60k Annually: In the North African city of Marrakech, an American expat starts a project that she hopes will earn $200/month in spending money. It ends up earning more than $5,000 a month
- ESL Teacher Turned Travel Planner Sends Clients on Surprise Vacations: An elementary school teacher creates a for-profit service to “whisk away” travelers to surprise destinations
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