I’m going freelance!

Yes, that’s right. As of next month I will be a full time blogger and social media consultant. *Cue excitement and uncontrollable jumping up and down.

*Closely followed by wide eyed fear and a little voice at the back of my head that is asking what the hell I just did?

Before I begin I should let you know that I’m not doing a classic travel blogger thing and ‘quitting my job to travel the world’. I’m not ‘breaking out of my cubicle’. I’m not a lawyer or a banker with a well paid but unfulfilling job that I feel like I need to escape from. In some ways I wish I was. That would have made the decision easier!

You see, I love my job in social media. I work as the social media executive for one of the world’s largest independent travel retailers. It’s a dream job.

But I’ve had a niggling feeling at the back of my mind for months now and I know I need to give it a go.

I will be travelling more. I will be blogging more. And I will be doing more of what I love which is helping small businesses to effectively use social media.

I blame it on all these inspirational quotes on Pinterest that tell me to create my own dreams, be the person I want to meet, dare to dream. Yadda yadda yadda. You’ve heard them all.

As I work in social media I’m bombarded with these quotes and I thought I’d become immune to them, even irritated by any update that began ‘The world is a book….’

But one day, my colleagues at gapyear.com placed this quote by Jack Kerouac on Facebook and I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

“Because, in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.”

It stayed in my mind for weeks and made me feel uneasy as I saw the truth in it. It’s funny how some words will breeze over you without a second glance but others will hit a nerve and keep hitting it until all you can think about is climbing that goddamn mountain.

No matter how much I love my job, when I’m 90, am I going to remember all those years sat in the office, or will I remember the days I spent at the top of the mountain?

So after months of consideration, I’ve decided to put my walking boots on and start climbing.

What next?

I’m travelling a fair bit over the next few months. I’m going to Iceland, a yoga retreat, two trips to Dublin and lots of exciting European trips which I’ll tell you more about soon.

I’m staying on as a freelancer at Flight Centre, working with a few start-ups and also launching a new blog which will be ready very soon. It looks like freelancing is going to be very busy, very exciting and very rewarding but watch this space to find out more.

Why now?

This is the first question people ask me when I tell them I’m going freelance. It was also the question I was asking other freelancers when I made the decision. You want to know if there is some kind of trigger that suddenly makes up your mind.

In all honesty, it was something I knew I would do eventually so I thought, ‘why not now?’

I am young but it means I have no responsibilities. I have no mortgage to pay, no one relying on me and I don’t really have anything to lose.

well shit at least you triedBut, more importantly, I’m more scared about not trying.

If there is one thing that scares me more than anything else in the world, it’s growing old and regretting things. Or not even regretting things, it’s more about forgetting things because they’re unmemorable. I don’t want to have an unmemorable life. I think this is why I obsessively take photos of everything, I just don’t want to forget anything.

I always remember my dad telling me that the years fly by and with each year you grow older the time goes even faster. I’m not worried about growing old but I am worried about being filled with regret and unfulfilled wishes. So like the lovely lady in this picture says, ‘at least I tried’.


Monica is the founder and editor of The Travel Hack. She began the blog in 2009 when she left the UK to travel around Asia and Australia for two years. She's now a full time blogger and has travelled around the world in search of affordable luxury travel experiences.Monica lives in Wales with her growing family and now also blogs about travelling with young children!

SHOWHIDE Comments (73)
  1. CONGRATULATIONS!!! Now the question is; Can I have your job?!’ Joke, joke. But seriously, well done I’m sure you’ll do fabulously and I look forward to seeing your next adventures unfold!!

    Katie <3

  2. Wahoo! You explain so well the complexities and reasoning behind going freelance. I never even got it that clear in my own head before doing so.

    You’re going to be great. Enjoy climbing that mountain xx

    1. It took me hours to write that post and I think that was the problem – I needed to sort it out in my head why I was actually doing it in the first place. In my head I knew it was going to be better but I couldn’t quite figure out how or why!

  3. Good for you! Considering I’ve been working freelance the whole time I’ve been travelling, I guess you’d say I’m a freelancer, although I never thought of myself as that until just now! That said, I know that even when I stop travelling, I want to work for myself, as scary as that may be. Good luck with everything!

    1. Thanks Annabel. I was like that about a year ago but slowly started to learn and get my head around everything I’ll need to do. Once I started researching I couldn’t stop and knew it was the right thing to do.

  4. Wow, great decision, congrats! It’s inspiring to read your story. Congrats for following your dreams, in stead of just pinning them to a Pinterest board 🙂 Good luck and enjoy!

  5. Great decision! I am also in the same boat. I mean I have also quit my job and delved into full time freelancing. It’s wonderful to do what you are made to do!

  6. Am I the only male on here making a comment? Good grief! Am I on the wrong site? Maybe time for gender reassignment!

    Best of luck with your new journey Monica. It’s really heroic to jack in a job and say ‘fuck it…I’m free’. I hope that you can now travel more freely (without static work constraints) and look forward to your trip.

    Best of luck with everything.

  7. Wow ! Now here Freelance means that you can enjoy your life in your own style of working . Work and fun together . Best of luck . I wish i can also have this type of life 🙂

  8. It’s a tough road (tougher than the people who just sort of shout “Live your dreams! It’s easy!” But if it’s ever going to happen, it’s only because you gave it a go. There’s no other way.

    1. Thanks 🙂 Yes, I’m really conscious of all the people across the internet who are encouraging people to live their dreams. Sometimes it’s not that simple but we’ll see how I get on.

  9. Congrats, Monica! Taking the plunge is the hardest part – now it’s time to really explore and enjoy.

    Good luck and can’t wait to see your posts on Iceland.

  10. Congrats on the big and exciting decision! I’m sure you’ll do great, and like you said, you will never look back and wish you had spent more time in a cubicle.

  11. Just found your blog and I love it! Congrats on your freelancing adventure, can’t wait to follow along. (Those inspirational quotes get me every time too!)

  12. I have just read his post and even though it’s been already a couple of months since you quit your full-time job I’m just writing to wish you good luck! Happy 2014, hopefully your freelancing work will bloom this year!

    1. Hi Irene, thank you so much! It has been a few months and so far it’s going really well. It’s lovely to have the freedom to work when and where I like and work on some really exciting projects.
      I hope you have a fantastic 2014!

  13. Yaay for you!
    Can’t believe I missed this post.
    I’ve actually taken the step as well, well, partially. As of January 1 I officially have a side-gig!

    Wishing you all the best!

    1. I now have a side-gig too. I think you need a small one to keep yourself sane otherwise you’re always chasing new work and not really getting a lot of actual work done. I like having a side gig that I know will pay the rent each month and then I’m free to work on really fun and creative projects without worrying too much about money!

    1. I’ll be writing an update soon but to cut a very long story short, it’s going brilliantly!
      I’m very busy but I’ve found a great mix of busy travel weeks and chilled out weeks working from home and I love it.

  14. So how’d the freelance work out for you? Been reading your blog with interest for a while now.
    Just starting out myself with my own travel blog, so I try to get as much information about what I’m up against, the successes and shortcomings that people encounter.

    I hope your well Monica and still travelling safely!
    all the best /Wilfy

    1. I’ll be writing an update on freelancing soon Wilfys.I’ve been trying to write it for a while but things change and grow so quickly that I keep needing to edit it.
      Things are going really well. I love the freedom and creativity involved but it can also be stressful.
      The update post should be coming soon!

  15. Good for you! Can’t wait to see the new blog!

    It sounds like you already had a few ongoing gigs lined up which have meant you can take the leap into freelancing and still feel fairly secure? Would be great to hear more as you start up freelancing as to how you manage to maintain it, how to build relationships with companies which give you a little more security than just pitching every time etc.

    Look forward to hearing more!


  16. Good luck – I really hope it works out for you, you’re really inspiring! I love that Jack Kerouac quote – it’s so true. And like you say – you’re young, no mortgage or responsibilities and I can’t imagine anything worse than growing old and always thinking ‘what if I had…’
    Go girl!! x

    Victoria Ellen Lee recently posted: How to survive The Full Moon Party: Koh Phangan, Thailand

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The Travel Hack is a blog about stylish adventure travel and affordable luxury.

We believe luxurious travel can be affordable and isn't just for the rich. Follow along with our worldwide adventures as we share our trips and tips for incredible travel experiences on a modest budget.