blogging lifestyle travel

A Day in the Life of a Freelancing Full-Time Traveler

I feel a little silly typing the title of this post, because there really is no daily pattern I follow. But, there are some consistencies in my days at home, and on the road. Freelancing sometimes means rushing pieces for a deadline, even while traveling. Others, it means a dry spell where I have plenty of free time to work on my blog and my travel plans. No matter what the day brings, being a full-time traveler is an incredible opportunity.

In this post, I’ll share what a typical day can look like for me when I’m trying to get mass loads of work done before a trip. However, like I mentioned above, sometimes I work while I’m gone, and I can be cooped up in my Airbnb or hotel room for hours. Or, I’ll write and publish a blog post before going out to explore for the day, and wrap up work when I get back. This post describes what my days have looked lately, but who knows how tomorrow will look?

morning

8am — make a cup of coffee

Everything I said about schedule changes above doesn’t apply to my sacred coffee time. I don’t care where I am in the world–I’m getting that cup of joe. Period. End of discussion. Honestly, my favorite part of the day is writing while I sip on that heavenly morning brew.

8:30am — check email and social media

Just like the average worker, a key part of my work day is checking emails. When I used Upwork, which I no longer use for jobs, I also checked my messages on the platform. Once I catch up with contacts and respond to emails, I check social media. Sometimes, people use my social media channels to reach out to me about partnerships or collabs.

9am — brainstorm post ideas

When I wrote about how to start a blog and the prep work that goes into it, I mentioned that I sit down and pick my post the day-of. Granted, I do have a list in Google Docs of post ideas I came up with from a brainstorming session. But, I usually pick something on the fly. I only sometimes choose from the list. A good brainstorming session in the morning really gets the creative juices flowing!

9:30am — write, write, and write some more

After I choose the topic of the day, I write until all my thoughts are out. I try to optimize for SEO as I go, so that my editing doesn’t have to take forever. Since I publish new posts on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, I sometimes write on Tuesdays or Thursdays. But, most of the time, I write the day-of. Not the ideal writing schedule, but life gets in the way.

11am — find + upload photos, and design Pinterest + Instagram graphics for post

Once the writing itself and first edits are done, I shift gears and go to Canva, my photo files, and Unsplash. It’s time to get the visuals in check, from editing and uploading photos to the blog post itself, to designing my graphics for Pinterest and Instagram.

Most of my posts are about travel, since for the past few months I’ve basically been a full-time traveler. I also try to upload blog posts about trips in real time, so choosing which photos to include out of the hundreds I take can become a lengthy process.

light blue orthodox church with gold domes
one of the most beautiful churches I’ve ever seen (photo captured in Kyiv)

afternoon

12pm — publish blog post on website and social media

This part is easy. Just hit the Publish button, make social media posts, and move on to lunch! Sometimes it happens earlier, sometimes it happens later. But, I always try to get a post up 3 times per week!

12:15pm — hourlong break to eat, watch YouTube, and relax

This is the time I take 100% for myself. I was horrible at this in the first month of Sarah L. Travels, because I had so much work to do to get this blog up and running. Once those key pieces were finished (for now), I was able to take more time in the day for things like a real lunch break and YouTube.

1:15pm — work on pieces for guest blog posts, freelance clients, or publications

If I’m not out exploring, then I’m working on guest posts for other bloggers, taking care of deliverables for clients, or writing pieces to pitch to publications. I may also be on Perlu checking out collab opportunities, or researching potential partners to cold pitch.

There are tons of interesting brands, publications, and other bloggers in the world of freelancing that are great to work with as a full-time traveler!

I’ve had the opportunity to work with HappyCow, Nourish the Free Life, and other partners I can’t announce just yet…

close-up of plant with buildings in background
from a rooftop in Old San Juan

evening

5pm — check email for the last time

I learned this trick from a company, and I think it’s great advice. Try to only check your email twice a day, and have set times that you do so. That way, you don’t get sidetracked and waste time replying to emails once an hour.

I check mine around 8:30 to 9am, and then again when I’m about to close up shop for the evening. If my schedule is flipped around since I’m on the road, then I’ll check it right before I go to bed.

5:30pm — try to wind down on work

As a self-identifying workaholic, this is very difficult for me. Until I learned a realistic work schedule for a job where no one is controlling my day-to-day, I was on my laptop all day…and all night. Not a good setup to avoid burnout!

6pm — eat dinner and spend time with family

It’s time to eat, spend time with my Mom, and just chill.

7pm — run or do yoga

I try to work out as much as possible, but I don’t as often as I should. Yoga and running are my preferred ways to work up a sweat!

stained glass
stained glass in Glasgow Cathedral

night

8pm — travel plan for future trips

Whether I’m on the road or in Nashville, I spend a good amount of time each day planning future travel. After all, most of those great deals on plane tickets pop up in advance!

12am — bedtime

I try to fall asleep by midnight or get around 8 hours of sleep, but that doesn’t always happen. The next day, I might be packing for a trip, getting on a plane, or exploring something new. I need all the rest I can get!

fountain
pure gold at Barcelona’s Magic Fountain light show

Being a full-time traveler is awesome. Will I do this freelance and travel thing forever? Probably not. But, having the skills to advance a freelance writing business and turn a blog into a source of passive income are so valuable. I plan to maintain these at least in part even if I return to the “normal” workforce.

For now, I’m typing away, and turning my bucket list into reality!

*Cover photo by Kalen Emsley. Thanks, Kalen!

// Thanks for reading! Let’s connect on FacebookInstagramPinterest, and Twitter. If you would like to know when I’ve written a new post, you can follow me on Bloglovin’ or subscribe to my email list. I also have an Etsy shop for all my fellow design lovers out there. See you next time! 

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