So You Don’t Want to be a Full-Time Blogger?

December 23, 2015

We’ve all read those articles: the ones proclaiming that the time is now to carpe diem, to thrust that resignation letter at your boss, to untether yourself from the desk where you’ve been slowly rotting for years, to pack a suitcase and fly off into the unknown. The ‘job for life’ concept is now dead amongst our generation and the traditional 9-5  is sneered at. Who actually wants a day job? In the blogging world, admitting that you show up to an office Monday- Friday is just not cool. In fact, there’s an entire generation of girls out there whose goal it is is to create a career akin to Zoella’s. Call us old fashioned, but it’s a phenomenon that sits uncomfortably with us.

In 2007, on a cold autumn morning, with hands trembling and stomachs fluttering, we both opened small white envelopes that confirmed that we’d both been accepted to Oxford University to study for our Master’s degrees. I can still remember now, jumping up and down in my pyjamas in my student room feeling like I was about to burst. This moment was a game-changer; with that ‘yes’ transporting us to environment where we were surrounded by nothing but solid academic ambition. Being a geek was the norm and striving for careers that would ultimately improve the lives of others was a common goal.

Fast-forward a number of years and we both find ourselves working in the charity sector. It’s a satisfying feeling looking back at the last eight years or so, having worked numerous jobs to get us to the point we’re now at. We’ve put in the long hours and have both got jobs that we find rewarding and genuinely enjoy going to each day. Working for the benefit of others and knowing your work will directly improve the lives of others, as cliche as it sounds, brings us happiness. And we’re not sure we want to give that up.

It’s not just the jobs themselves that we enjoy but also that sense of camaraderie and community within the office. We couldn’t imagine waking up each day and shuffling downstairs to the sofa for a day of blogging, with just the cat for company. We revel in office gossip and have met some of our closest friends whilst tackling the highs (Friday) and lows (Monday) of working life together. As depressing as it sounds, the routine of getting up to Radio 2, saying my usual ‘good morning’ to the neighbour I can’t remember the name of and making my round of tea for colleagues, is one I would genuinely miss were it taken away.

When we were taking our fledgling steps into our careers, the pressure was on us to get jobs in London. Somehow, having a career based around where you grew up was deemed second rate. In the blogging world, this pressure is taken one step further: working for anyone other than yourself is selling yourself short. In this world, your career success is measured by social media numbers, blog comments and number of Instagram likes. It’s a world we would be very hesitant to submit ourselves to entirely.

So, as our blog has grown and opportunities have arisen, it’s not thoughts of handing in our notices that fill our minds, but: ‘how can we do both?’

Contrary to what some may argue, travel blogging is ultimately a selfish past time. Yes, there’s a point to be made that you’re inspiring others to travel, but let’s be honest, unless you’re working in conjunction with an NGO or charity, travel is ultimately for individual gain. Of course, we are huge promoters of travel and the way in which it can enrich your life, but to do this full-time, away from your loved ones, is not something everyone wants. Our day jobs provides us with a satisfaction that travel blogging does not, and vice versa. It’s a dilemma that we have no answer to for now, other than trying our best to juggle both.

Ultimately, a job or career choice is not one that can be judged on location, working patterns or job title. For a full-time travel blogger out there who finds fulfillment in what you do, we admire you. The presumption, however, that opting for a traditional career means opting for the mundane, is incorrect. Not all of us are chained to our desks, wishing our lives away. Contentment can be found in many more places than high up on a mountain or on a beach.

So, to all of you office workers reading this – juggling careers with blogging – turn up Dolly Parton’s ‘Nine to Five’ that little bit louder. We salute you.

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22 Comments

  • Reply Alanna December 23, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    Great post! I’m with you…I have studied hard, have a great job and love to travel. I’m still figuring out how to do it all, because some days it’s a little much.

    I love your candid writing style and your willingness to portray exactly who you are on social media. I also feel a certain kinship to you girls – I am very close to my sister, we spend a LOT of time laughing (with and at each other), and we love to travel together….that is how I picture you two. Right now our battle cry is ITALY 2016!!!! 🙂 Can’t wait to go…

    Keep being you, and have a beautiful Christmas – wherever you spend it!

    • Reply The Twins December 26, 2015 at 9:58 pm

      Thanks Alanna! See you in Italy next year 🙂 xx

  • Reply Alice December 23, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    I love this post and agree wholeheartedly. While I love travelling and have just begun a month of unpaid leave in order to travel (and my blog provides no income so certainly not enough to live from!) I am really against this idea that we all / all sensible people hate their office jobs and would be doing something else if they could. While my job does not give me the moral satisfaction that yours gives you – I am a financial lawyer – it gives me a huge amount of mental simulation and enjoyment, plus I really like my colleagues and the different challenges we face together every day. Plus – travel is my hobby! If it was my job as well I would run the risk of being a less well -rounded person!!

    • Reply The Twins December 26, 2015 at 9:59 pm

      Yes, I think it’s definitely an element of mental stimulation that we’d miss! Have a great time with your month off! x

  • Reply Jess December 23, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    Well said girls! I totally agree- blogging is great and if you can earn some money to justify the time it takes, then even better, but for me it doesn’t match the feeling of knowing that you’ve given something back to society and hopefully helped a few people along the way. It’s a nice feeling to know you’re doing something good and I’m not sure how sarltisfied I’d feel with my life without a day job i classify as ‘worthwhile.’ I don’t think I could ever quit doctoring completely , but with one post on my new blog I hardly think that’s something I have to worry about anytime soon!! Haha. Happy Christmas girls! Xxx

    • Reply The Twins December 26, 2015 at 10:00 pm

      Hahaha, no lady – you are doing great things for society, keep it up. Just combine it with plenty of Italian food and visits to the homeland 🙂

  • Reply Cassie Sereda December 24, 2015 at 8:38 am

    Ladies, I love this so much! I’ve only recently started blogging and I also have a full-time job in London and at my very first blogging event I attended (in which I had six posts under my belt) I was getting challenged as to why I work full-time (in Finance no less!) and why I wasn’t at least thinking about moving in a career in travel writing.
    I’m having a blast with my blog, but I also really enjoy my day job. Love the sentiment here.

    • Reply The Twins December 26, 2015 at 10:01 pm

      Yep, we’ve had that too – ignore them! xxxx

  • Reply Ellie Quinn December 24, 2015 at 10:02 am

    Another great post girls!
    I’ve said to people before that yes although I enjoy long term travel (3-5 months) I also love getting back into a routine and getting back into an office job!
    I also agree with liking having colleagues and not just working on my own from home or a hotel room!

    What companies do you both work for? X

  • Reply Brian December 24, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    Great post! Thank you for sharing this perspective, as it seems like so many posts one reads these days is about quitting your job to travel. It’s good to see that there are still those who relish the opportunity to do both!

    • Reply The Twins December 26, 2015 at 10:02 pm

      Thanks Brian! It’s definitely a challenge, but for now at least, we want both 🙂

  • Reply Lara December 26, 2015 at 8:55 pm

    I salute you ladies.

    I have a 9-5 and I love travelling. Some days I feel like my 9-5 drags me away from my love for travel and I have just the usual 20 working days leave in year. But I know full time travel blogging is not for me. My personal mantra, “to each his own”and what ever gives you profound happiness is what you should do.

    Happy holidays .

    • Reply The Twins December 26, 2015 at 10:02 pm

      Amen! Happy holidays to you too, Laura 🙂

  • Reply Alissa Salvatore December 26, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    Hi girls! Not sure how I stumbled upon your Instagram account but I am very glad I did! I love travelling and I travel a lot with both my sisters and myself ! Your posts at every genuine, not for the sake of showing off, but for sharing And I love that! I also really enjoyed this article because I LOVE travelling, but as an actress/performer I always try to balance staying stable here in NYC making connections and building up my foundation and enhancing my personal life through travel. During the months I’m stationary I get anxious that I shouldn’t be doing so, that I am wasting my youth staying and working in the place I grew up (even if it’s just a month or two!) but there is an enormous pressure on our generation to be living this no strings attached life and if you aren’t doing so you aren’t really “living” I appreciate this post so thank you! Xo from NYC
    Alissa

    • Reply The Twins December 26, 2015 at 10:48 pm

      We know – perhaps all the pressure on us to be “free” and break from routine is actually somehow making our generation, ironically, more stressed than previous generations…!

  • Reply Michaela December 29, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    What a refreshing point of view, I’m just starting off my travel website, but I kept feeling as though, because I don’t travel full time, my blogs weren’t as ‘valid’ as other travellers – you made me see differently! I love my job and I love travelling, why not be selfish and enjoy my life just the way it is!

    • Reply The Twins December 29, 2015 at 3:04 pm

      Thanks Michaela! Who says you can’t have it all?!

  • Reply Erin December 31, 2015 at 2:23 am

    I love this post. Even though I just quit my job and have now decided to pursue blogging and coaching full-time, I totally get the impulse to have a 9-to-5. In fact, my husband has one. His life goals were to find a stable 9-to-5 with a nice paycheck and a decent number of vacation days and to get married. Success! And I can honestly say he’s happy.

    However, I was raised differently. My parents are entrepreneurs. They’ve never worked the traditional 9-to-5 lifestyle and they raised me to be like them. They were always their own boss and I don’t know how to function well when I’m not my own boss. I work 9-to-5-like jobs for 3 years and even though I worked for two incredible organizations during that time, it kills my spirit to be on that kind of schedule.

    9-to-5’s aren’t for everyone and the entrepreneurial lifestyle isn’t for everyone. And for that I’m grateful. I have friends in both worlds and we inspire each other.

  • Reply Jennifer January 20, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    Y’all, this is such a great post! As a new travel blogger, my friend and I are still learning how to juggle everything. Y’all are an encouragement!

  • Reply Charles McBryde January 31, 2016 at 10:32 pm

    I could not agree more! I have seen a lot of friends in this world lead wandering (and frankly, aimless) lives waiting for the next sponsored trip to the Bahamas or the Pacific Northwest. I’m often ridiculed for trying to balance the two, rather than abandon my studies and pursue travel photography full time. This was an encouraging perspective. Did you finish your Oxford education? I begin the application process soon.

    Warmest regards,

    Charles McBryde

    • Reply The Twins February 1, 2016 at 8:35 am

      Hi Charles – oh thank you! Yes we both finished our Masters and are very glad we did! Good luck with your application!

  • Reply Jim Mils July 12, 2016 at 2:52 am

    To each his/her own I guess. It is funny, when people I meet ask what I do and I tell them my 9-5 job they give me a weird look indicating its a “boring” career. However, it is one that pays extremely well. I have changed it up now and just told people about my travel site (which consequently is just for fun and makes no money) and they are really impressed/interested. If I didn’t have that “boring” 9-5 then I could NEVER afford to go to half the places I do around the world.

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