• Heather Mills Messner

Not-So-Young Travel Bloggers

If you are on Instagram, now and then a stranger will start following your page. You look at theirs and discover they have not hundreds, but thousands of followers, gorgeous pictures from the far corners of the world, and are wearing the latest fashions. Some are solo, others are couples, and many of the photos include an obscure plug for their sponsor company or perhaps the hotel where they are staying or a restaurant where they dined.The majority are young women in their 20s and 30s. Likewise, similar photos begin to emerge in all the familiar places; The pink flower fields of the Netherlands, the abandoned plane in Bali, swimming with the pigs in the Bahamas; these gypsy souls are traveling the world and getting paid for it. For many, traveling the world is a life-long dream, and women over 40 are finding new careers in the travel blogging business. They make money advertising on blogs, freelancing, social media consulting and managing, and through sponsored social media campaigns and sponsored blog posts. Ongoing campaigns as brand ambassadors and strategic paid partnerships, along with the occasional paid press trip, can round out a decent salary. Enough to keep going on to the next place at least. Travel blogging has grown vastly in the last six years and can appear as cliché, dime a dozen, impromptu and unprofessional, simply a world of selfies. The most successful (and interesting), travel bloggers, however, provide a unique ‘bent’ and offer up educational and provocative information and imagery. Women over 40 have a different perspective and often leave behind successful careers and children who have left the nest; still other bring the kids along. Behind the scenes, the lifestyle isn’t as glamorous as it seems. Many disciplined hours of editing and writing, not to mention the emotional toll continual travel can take, all crammed into a single blog post or photograph, is not as effortless as it seems. It’s work. The benefits are plentiful, however, getting to see and experience this wonderful world

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