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Travel Writing, a great way to make a dishonest living

Yesterday, Wade Shepard, the owner, and travel Blog writer for published a discouragingly honest explanation of Travel Blogging. This is a post reeking of frustration, discouragement, it is his admission he has failed to earn sufficient income by travel writing to support his vagabond journey with his family.
Vagabond Travel for Work Must Diversify Income

I wrote a comment on his post, in a moment of honest clarity.
Travel writing is a horrible way to make an honest living and a great way to make a dishonest living.
Andy Graham
Ivory Coast, West Africa --- Friday, February 25, 2011


Andy Graham Travel Writer
I am technically a travel writer, which is a distasteful label to accept. The only escape from this description would be to stop traveling and writing.

I am sitting on a hard chair, one of them upright wooded ones, typing slowly into my laptop computer in the dark at 5:00 am, whereby my Ivory Coast girlfriend can continue to sleep. We are living in the stereotypical Hotel room, which dominates the Hotel industry, a concrete room, one light, and an adjoining toilet. This description accurately describes 90 percent of the travel rooms on planet earth.

1. Concrete walls.
2. Small shower and toilet connected.

The difference between my 10-dollar room and a 100-dollar room:

1. Number of light bulbs
2. Number of electrical switches
3. Price, there is an extra zero.

Many people say, I would never sleep or stay in a room like this photo, and 99.99 percent of travel writers support your decision. However, it is not possible, if you travel the world, I guarantee you will often live in this exact Hotel room. The travel writers continuously lie, allowing hotels to collect 50 dollars for the same room, it some Ju Ju marketing magic, a travel writers voodoo.

I can live comfortably on 15-20 Dollars per day, Wade has a wife and child, and the travel math says to me, he needs about 40-50 Dollars per day to be happy. I am writing this book, explaining that living in Paradise starts at 500 dollars per month, this is for one person. If there are two of you, the number is 1000 dollars, please be open minded, if you have more money, that is also ok, however the starting price to live the dream is 500 Dollars per month.

Two People Family --- Needs 1000 per month / 30 days per month = 33 US Dollars per day is needed to be comfortable and happy.

Wades three person family needs 1500 / 30 days per month = 50 US Dollars per day is needed and he is earning approximately 20, it is easy for me to understand why he is discouraged.

Converting a 10 Dollar Room into a Five Star Room
Ok, I exaggerated, it is not that easy, but for sure my Hotel room is 2-3 stars, I always convert my Hotel room into a 50 dollar room.

I first choose a great location to construct my travelers nest. I look for good neighbors, convenient shopping, quiet and enjoyable people outside the door. I then arrange my travel eggs in the proper order; it takes approximately two hours to do a room conversion.

If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it is probably a duck. And if it looks like a 50-dollar room, feels like a 50-dollar room, maybe you arranged your travel eggs in the proper order.

I Pay 10 Dollars for my Hotel Rooms
I always have hot water for bathing. I always have adequate lighting. I normally have Internet access in my room, it sometimes take 2-5 days to set up in each country, after that, I have Internet in my Hotel room.

Cost of Hotel Room Conversions
To do the room conversion, I need to carry about 50 dollars in specialized gear, stuff not sold on travel gear sites. I can do these room conversions very fast, in the past, it would take me 5 days to convert a room, with practice I have it down to about two, the first day of discomfort is the price I pay for this dream life.

The world is an ugly duckling
If you want never-ending clean, quiet and an organized lifestyle, I recommend you move to Switzerland, Sweden or Germany. The real world is ugly, noisy, polluted and full of brutes called humans. The beautiful swan revealed by traveling the world is truth. I wander around the planet, and I continue to wonder if people can see that real life full of authentic people is truth, and that truth will set you free. I can only guarantee one thing certain about being a traveler, you will feel free, all the other aspects of your life is your responsibility. With travel there is no guarantee of happiness, only a feeling of freedom.

Walking down the road in New York City, Africa, Central and South America, Asia, any place other than my Indiana hometown is uncomfortable, because only 100 percent familiar faces and places are comfortable. I am grateful today, each day I open the door to my Hotel room, I look around, and a new movie is playing, I am an actor in this movie, and I have the lead role.

I make my living by being a great webmaster, not by Travel Blogging, writing a daily journal though is a great way to learn to write books…
"Life is good, a life less normal…"

Please Wade, having a wife and child is a great thing, but so is having money. To be a travel writer is often some form of ugly joke, please never aspire to be a travel writer, aspire to write about travel. I want to chronicle real life, this is not how a travel writer makes money.

Travel Writing, a great way to make a dishonest living

Phil J

Andy I do not remember when I last read something so concise, correct, and to the point. You really explained a lot in just a few words. It certainly helps me put a lot of life in perspective. It was World Travel 101, day one in a few paragraphs. I sincerely hope our paths will cross again sometime.Thanks so much.


I have driven around so called professional travel writers around Central America, very US few spoke Spanish well, nor understood local culture and customs, in 1990 one, a stringer for the NY Times, joven y sabetodo, young and know it all, came to Antigua, Guatemala, then much cheaper than now, but the NY times made a typo in the article which stated one could rent a 'Colonial Mansion' with live in maid and gardner for $125 month US up, of course the actual price was $1,250 US month upwards then, well we got a lot of visitors the next month in Antigua looking for their $125 dream homes in paradise!!!!!!! At the time my roomate and I were paying about equiv. of over $100 USD month for our 2 br apartment, same apartment today in Antigua goes for $300 month upwards, unfurnished, no parking, hotel rooms come furnished, household goods and vehicles tie one down, and I have known many ex pats who left Antigua, costa rica, et al after a year or so when the honeymoon was over and the charm was gone, of course I stayed at high end hotels and resorts when the client paid, usually found more interesting people in the low end hotels,
Accredited or whatever 'travel writers' get free food and lodgings from 3 star up places, good deal for them!!!!!!!! I am a lousy writer, so never claimed to be atravel writer and no one wants to hear the downside anyway, they learn by experience. saludos.


Hello John,
Yes, I have a hold on 35 plus domains, but only use TWO to make money. and There are dozens of reason to hold a domain. I have, with TWO L, so when a person types in the wrong URL it comes to me.

Hello Terry Landis,
"Specialized Gear"
You want me to explain, and I do, the problem is there are over 5000 post and how to find them.

I wrote the post yesterday, and thought about my specialized gear that allows me convert a 10 dollar room into a 50 dollar room. I need to write a book just about the gear, arranging the gear, how to use the gear.

This coupled with good choice is what allows me to work overseas, travel from place to place in comfort.

Bottom line, it will one day be written down with photos in a book.

Andy Graham