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Around the same time I launched Well Traveled Mile, I was in the midst of mailing off applications for graduate school. In some ways I was hedging my bets, continuing my education while building a travel blog on the side as a platform to share one of my biggest passions.

After making the decision to go back to school for a Masters of Landscape Architecture I told myself, “if one day Well Traveled Mile grows enough that I can sustain a lifestyle and work full time on it, I will weigh out the options between staying in school or following my passion of travel and writing.”

Over the last year there were many long nights of splitting time between two-full time endeavors, but today was officially my last day in school (for now at least). Although school rarely turns out to be exactly what you expect it to be, there were many aspects of my program that left me frustrated or wishing I could put more time into my blog.

After completing a full year, there was obviously a lot to consider before making the move, after all I did just pay for a full year’s tuition towards a degree that I may never use. Along the way I made a lot of new friends, learned new ways to view the world, and worked A LOT. For now I’m going to take the opportunity to dedicate my full energy into the blog, and after a year I will sit down and re-evaluate where things are at.

One of the most rewarding aspects of writing the blog is hearing from readers through emails, comments, etc. I always appreciate the feedback and questions people send me to help them plan out their credit card strategies and travel plans. So always, if you ever have a question please feel free to shoot me an email and will always respond to emails personally.

With the year to come I am truly looking forward to the opportunity to make Well Traveled Mile what I want it to be. There are many goals I have yet to achieve and valuable content that I will set out to cover. I’m a true believer in taking life by the horns, and at 27 years old I currently have nothing tying me down. Sure the risk is there, but I see the potential return from such a lifestyle to be much greater. After all, I can always return back to school and pursue being a landscape architect.

I have always enjoyed working for myself and watching something grow that I have put a lot of work into. Of course there are uncertainties of how much the website can bring in and everything falls on my shoulders, but this is true with many things in life. The blog has allowed me to earn some income and continues to grow, so lets hope that I can continue to make it work. After all, I couldn’t imagine a better job in the world!

Photo of Angkor Wat: From Flickr by Bruno (BRA)

Angkor Wat, Cambodia. Source: Flickr by Bruno (BRA)

How Will I Afford to Travel

There are several ways that I make money from the website, and obviously some revenue channels bring in more than others. Even after a year, I am learning valuable lessons about monetizing a blog, but for now I have used a combination of:

Google Adsense. Website ads through Google Adsense display on the sidebar and I get paid per click or page impression. This is a small part of the total income from the website, but everything helps.

Amazon affiliate links. If you shop through Amazon.com and want to support the blog, click through here or my sidebar.

Credit card affiliate links. This is the bread and butter as far as income goes, and I’m grateful for the supports if you decide to apply through any of my affiliate credit card links. I’ll always share the best offers even if they don’t pay me, such as the IHG MasterCard.

Other affiliate links. I will be adding a separate travel blog section to publish more content based on my travels and adventures. I will likely add some reviews of my favorite travel gear and how it has held up after being lugged around the world (several times over).

Award booking service. I will possibly launch an award booking service within the next year. There are a lot of people who don’t know how to use their miles or get the most out of them, this is where an award booking service can help.

Plans for the Next Year

Over the next year I plan on working and traveling full-time with breaks back home in Oregon to recharge. Traveling slow will be key and I will likely stay put in one place for one week to a month. Starting this June I will head off to SE Asia for several months. Then I’ll return home to the states for a month before departing back to Argentina and potentially setting up a home base in San Martin de Los Andes or another town along the Andes for several months. Any advice is greatly appreciated!

I will also be tracking all of my mile and point uses along with general travel expenses on a public Google docs spreadsheet. Here is a sneak peak and it will be updated along my travels and linked from the blog (more on that later). You’ve got to practice what you teach, so I plan to burn through a lot of miles and points through a year of continuous travel.

That said, I am very excited (and anxious) for the path ahead. I’m looking forward to being able to take the opportunity to take Well Traveled Mile where I envision it can go, and you can expect a lot more content and more in-depth analysis of miles and points. This will include more infographics, ways to maximize your miles, trip reports, and a separate travel content page. Hopefully I can turn the site into the first blog you view everyday.

Here’s to an exciting new journey and life! And thanks for reading!

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23 Comments

  • Congrats — but please try not to turn into a 100% credit card pusher like some in travel blogosphere…

  • Congratulations! I was really surprised at the detailed manner in which you responded to my credit card question and I’ve really taken the advice to heart. On my first card that you recommended: Chase Ink Bold + Thanks a bunch Rand! Let me know if you need anything! I specialize in internet marketing

    • Thanks Yoshi, glad you found it useful and feel free to shoot me a email whenever you have any questions. I will definitely get in touch if I need any help with marketing!

  • Way to go–Congrats! Excited to see where this will take you and am looking forward to being able follow along as a reader. Thanks for always sharing the best tips!

  • I’ve felt for a while that you are one of the up-and-comers of the travel hacking blog sphere. I’m glad your making the plunge.

    • Thanks for the kind words Jordan, I’m really looking forward to putting more time into the blog and seeing where it can go!

  • Takes balls to make such a big and risky decision… Good luck where your travels may take you brother!

  • also, if when you start your booking serving, I like to be first in line, would like to start planning summer 2015 trip. please make the anouncement soon. thanks

  • congrats…look forward to seeing where the blog goes from here. I do like the idea you touch on about slow paced travel and setting up a home base. This is a philosophy that I travel by and I feel its the best way to really stretch that dollar kwai, plus the experiences will be much more memorable and in the end that is what traveling is really about. I feel I need a couple weeks just to “acclimatize” to a new setting, and then having the home base is key, a nice spot that you are familiar with rather than trying to find lodging in a foreign city in the middle of the night. Keep it up with the blog, I’ll definitely be using your referral links in for any new apps.

    • gman, thanks for the support and advice! I completely agree with your approach of having a home base, the way I look at I will be living ‘mini lives’ in the places my travels may take me.