It's pretty much every twenty-something's dream to quit their day job and make the travel blogging side hustle a full-time gig. After all, who wouldn't want to spend time nurturing their Insta aesthetic to show off a life of sun, sea and the classic 'candid' blogger shots? And though we all know that social media isn't real life, the always-on-the-go lifestyle just looks so damn good we want to know the secrets to accomplishing it.
Enter Flying the Nest, an Aussie couple so cute they take travel blogging and vlogging to new levels of jealousy-provoking. Because we're a fan here at VIVA, and because we want to know exactly how to make the effortless-looking digital nomad thing a reality, we had a little catch-up with one half of the traveling twosome, Jess. Here's how it went:
First off, why did you initially leave Australia and your jobs there?
We started to feel the pressure from the world that we needed to settle down, get a mortgage, beginning popping babies out (seriously!) and that we needed to start the rat race…this scared us. Being afraid of sitting at a desk job from 9-5 every day to buy things for a house that would be empty most of our lives is what pushed us to follow our passion, and that was travel.
In Feb 2015 we quit our jobs and bought a one-way ticket to the US; somehow we went through the States, Canada, Central America and Europe before ending up in Africa. We managed to travel full-time for an entire year and it was absolute the best decisions we have ever made.
So you guys travel the world full time. What's your primary source of income?!
Our primary source of income would be from content creation; whether its photographs or videos that we create for brands to use for their own marketing purposes.
What's the biggest misconception you face about being travel bloggers/ vloggers?
That you don’t do anything, haha!! Video editing takes hours, photo editing takes hours, blog writing takes hours and that’s before you slot in emails and pitches to keep us on the road. That casual photo looking out at Victoria Falls had hours of work behind it to even getting to click the camera shutter.
Just like any profession you have to put the leg work in before the rewards start to come in.
How did you start out in the competitive blogging/ vlogging world?
We have noticed in the last 12 months that blogging and vlogging has become very competitive. Even when we started a couple of years ago there were big names out there who had already placed their pieces on the board. For you to stand out you need to be putting in more work than anyone else. When we first launched our blog back in 2014 we put a blog post out every single day for a full year, where most of the bigger named bloggers were putting one out max 3, maybe 4 or 5 but never 7 times a week.
However, Stephen did study marketing and SEO which is a huge help and a huge factor in the success of a blog. In terms of blogging we learnt everything on the go, by doing competitor research and looking up free resources. I am sure there are things we do that is totally wrong but hey it works for us.
What other advice would you give to wannabe bloggers/ vloggers/ digital nomads?
Just start. If we didn’t start, we wouldn’t be here. You don’t need to push time back by saving up for a more expensive camera, the one you have will do. You don’t need that better time in your life to start, now is the time.
Are you guys able to actually enjoy yourselves and soak up the country's culture when you have to record so much?
We have been working on this, certainly at the start we felt this huge pressure. The first time we got a free trip or even paid to travel we had this massive weight on our shoulders to over-photograph and film, to ensure we got everything. However, with time you learn when to film, when to photograph and when to just stop and enjoy the moment.
What's the most difficult thing about being on the road all the time?
Mostly spending time with friends and family. Travel is great and its incredible what we get to do, but nothing beats your relationships you have back home. Also its really nice having time for yourself, just doing normal things, going window shopping or even getting a haircut from a barber you trust, not $9 one in a foreign Chinatown.
Do you ever get really sick of each other?!
We have been dating for almost 10 years, so we are very used to each other in our highs and lows. We know when to give each other their space and also when to give each other company. We have had plenty of time being sick of each other!
Most overrated place you've been to?
Miami; I think this is mostly because of it being over-hyped. Everyone said the beaches were incredible, the area is unforgettable and you will have the best time of your life. We spent three days there and couldn’t wait to leave, but I think travel is subjective – everyone can have a different view on a place and that’s what makes it special.
Quick fire round:
Fav city for food? Paris – we love desserts
Fav city for culture? I know this is cheating, but Asia as a whole
Fav country for landscapes? Canada
Fav country for the people? Canada
Where are you off to next, travel-wise?
As its quite early in the year we are still discussing our travel plans for the year but we can confirm that we will be checking off a very big bucket list item of ours – Japan. We are heading there with Geckos Adventures and we just cannot wait to take in the culture, food and cityscapes.
What's the long-term plan?
We would love to have kids and still be able to travel. There’s a whole lot of tips, advice and learning to be had when traveling with kids. We want to show others that when you have a baby, that doesn’t mean travel needs to stop. We may fail at it; but we want to experience it for ourselves.
Where can we follow your adventures?
Follow our travels on our website Flying the Nest, or on social media: Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest! Check out our personal accounts too: Stephen's Twitter and Instagram, and my Twitter and Instagram.