I’m Not Lucky — The Sacrifices I Make To Travel The World

hofit kim cohen in Florence Italy hotel

When people often ask me what I do for a living and I tell them I’m a Travel Blogger, I often get the usual, “You’re so lucky!” or “WOW! What a cool job! I wish I had your job” as a response. But what they don’t realize is the sacrifice I make to live this amazing life of seeing the world. Luck has nothing to do with it.

JOIN MY NEWSLETTER
Travel the world with me! Join over 300,000 readers and get updates, travel tips, giveaways and more in the Vanilla Sky Dreaming monthly newsletter!
*We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

bikini in bahamas hofit kim cohen

I’ve never been one to believe in “luck”, luck is a word used to describe random success. One of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite movies, V for Vendetta is “I, like God, do not play with dice and do not believe in coincidence”. I believe that hard work, combined with devotion, a vision, being a good person and sacrifice, can often times make you “blessed”. So yes, I am very blessed and fortunate to live the life that I do, but I also give up a lot of things that most people don’t consider.

mykonos hofit kim cohen

Choosing A Life Of Travel, Doesn’t Make You “Lucky”

The truth is, in this game of life we all have the free will to create our own destiny and become whatever we want to become. Some of the biggest millionaires came from very poor homes, like Oprah, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. They didn’t become millionaires and successful by “luck”, they became successful because of the things I just listed.

I am not rich, although many people seem to think so. For the past 9 years, I haven’t asked for my parent’s help financially, not even once. I’ve always been very goal oriented. When I set a goal, there is nothing in the world that can stop me from making it happen and I don’t care what people think. I’ve worked very hard for everything I ever had and chose to spend my money in my passion, traveling.

hofit kim cohen in greece santorini view oia

Traveling the world as a job or a lifestyle is indeed a luxury, people often times don’t get to experience. My good friend Lee Abbamonte, who is the youngest American to visit EVERY country in the world, often says that in order to travel the world you gotta have 2 things, time and money. Most people that have the money, normally don’t have the time to travel because they are busy making money. Others have the time, but not the money.

I love my life and I love traveling. But believe me when I say that I work very hard for this lifestyle and I give up a lot of things for it. This doesn’t make me lucky, it makes me a person who believes in a dream, works hard, sacrifice things for it and makes it happen.

gondola ride venice hofit kim cohen

The Sacrifices — Giving Up A Life Of Comfort

When considering a life on the road, most people need to realize that you’re also giving up a life of comfort. Of course luxury hotels, room service and seeing the world has its perks, but it doesn’t give you “normal” day to day comfort. Most people I know, couldn’t live this kind of a lifestyle because of their fear of leaving their comfort zone. I don’t mind playing with my comfort zone because I know how much more I gain by risking it.

I love traveling, I really CAN’T live without it. I have been traveling my whole life and at this point, if I stopped traveling, I think I’d go crazy. But there are a lot of things that I have to sacrifice to live this kind of a lifestyle.

view of prague hofit kim cohen vanilla sky dreaming

HOME-

First and foremost, a house is a basic essential that every person needs. But what if you’re more out of the country, than in the country that you actually live in? Where is home then? If I look back at the last few years of my life, I can easily tell you that I spend more time out of the country or city that I live in throughout the year, than I actually do living in it. I average more than 6 months of traveling every year, which makes it very hard to have a home.

Then I think of money, why would I pay rent for something I burly use? Sure, a good response would be comfort, but I could use that money on more travels. One month’s rent in Los Angeles, can be the price of an international flight and hotel, every month.

This year, I have plans to travel to different countries almost every month until 2016.

View of the western wall Jerusalem

People often times say, home is where the heart is, but what if you left your heart in so many amazing cities? The more of the world you see, the harder it gets to pick just ONE place to live. Every time I visit a new city that I love, the thought of moving there definitely crosses my mind, along with what I would do for money, what kind of a house would I live in and what would my lifestyle be like.

So for these reasons, I don’t think having my own place is the smartest thing to do at this time. At the same time, I have to give up on a LOT of my freedom, comfort and independence. Which may not be a big deal to some, but I have lived on my own since I graduated high school, freedom and independence are very important to me.

atlantis bahamas

SHOPPING- I love fashion, what girl doesn’t. But when I picked this lifestyle, I also knew I would have to give up on my shopping addiction, in order to make more traveling possible.

NIGHTLIFE- Not that I’m big on going out and partying, but if I once was, I’m far from that nowadays. Going out can get pretty expensive and I’d rather save that money on traveling or attractions. At night time is when I usually do most of my blog work. On the random occasion that there is something going on, I most of the time have to pass on it, because I have to finish working on the blog.

bikini girl miami hofit kim cohen

TRANSPORTATION- When you can’t pick a place to live or again traveling more throughout the year than actually living in a city, having your own car just doesn’t make much sense. So I usually rent a car when I’m “home”. Which isn’t the cheapest thing and is always such a headache, when I come back from a trip.

SLEEP- What is sleep? I can’t remember the last time I had a normal sleeping schedule. When you travel as much as I do, sleeping doesn’t come so easy. When you’re traveling to a city, sometimes you can’t quite get on the time zone schedule of the place you’re visiting. Even more so when you’re traveling to a few different countries on one trip. You’re always jet-lagged, even when you come home and get inspired at random hours of the night. When I am at home in Los Angeles, I normally go to sleep at 5am, sometimes even 6am-7am, it’s when most of my writing takes place (like tonight).

sleep

PET- Traveling the world, means I have to give up on my time spent with my puppy, Peanut, which never gets easier with time. Leaving him behind and traveling the world makes me feel like a bad mom. There are times that I miss him so much and would love to just call him up and ask how is doing, but I clearly can’t do that.

EVENTS- When living a life on the road, you miss out on a lot of things that you often wish you couldn’t but sometimes have no choice. I miss a lot of weddings, bar mitzvas, birthdays and other fun events that most people get to attend. I wish I could be everywhere at once, but sometimes I just can’t and people get upset all the time.

lake garda hofit kim cohen

FRIENDS- On one hand I make friends all over the world and on the other hand, I also lose touch with a lot of people because I’m never in one place all the time. Things happen, people change, the people you once shared so many things in common with, you don’t anymore. It’s also hard to remember which friends live where, as odd as that may seem. I’m obviously not the only one moving around, many of my friends move to different countries all the time and it’s hard to keep up with all of that.

RELATIONSHIPS- While most of my friends are getting engaged, married or having babies, I travel the world. Having a long distance relationship with such a hectic schedule just doesn’t work. I don’t find it suitable in the lifestyle that I have to also maintain a relationship.

kim cohen

Being Grateful

So there you have it…the reality of a life on the road.

Yes, traveling the world is amazing, but sometimes all I want is just a freakin closet with ALL of my things in it!

I never take anything for granted. The small things in life to most people, are the big things I get excited over. This lifestyle has humbled me in many ways. I cherish every moment I get to spend with my family, close friends, at my favorite restaurants and the luxury of having my own bed. I can’t predict the future, but what I can say is, I’m not stopping any time soon and I wouldn’t change my life with anyone else’s. 😉

Comments

comments

18 Responses to I’m Not Lucky — The Sacrifices I Make To Travel The World

  1. OK so HOW are you paying for the travel, hotel, food, etc? I don’t see any advertising on this website. Anyone can blog, no different than writing on post-it notes in an outhouse and sticking it to the walls (neither is making $$). So you claim to be a travel blogger, but WHERE DOES THE $ COME FROM? I think you are full of it and get $ from your parents or are just spending some inheritance on long-term traveling. Either way you aren’t doing this for free.

    • A few ways I assume. One, trips can come from tourism boards and other outlets that choose to sponsor free hotels, transportation, food, etc. in exchange for coverage. Many bloggers also have other sources of income. I have clients in content strategy, marketing and social media management, for example, on top of blogging. I freelance full-time, travel 6-12 times a year and pay my bills. No one supports me in my career. But I can’t divulge much else, or everyone would do it 🙂

      PS good for you girl! I know the road is tough but doing what you love is a gift. Keep at it!

    • hahaha Hi john,
      Well do you really think it’s appropriate question to ask someone how they make money? Do you randomly ask people that, that you don’t really know? A fun fact, but most websites don’t make THAT much money from ads, they do it in other ways. Just like Eileen said, I work with tourism boards and other outlets that choose to sponsor me with free hotels, transportation and food. Sometimes I pay for things and sometimes I don’t. I also freelance, if you read my bio, I have studied a lot of different things and get gigs doing other things as well.
      As far as my parent’s go, I actually support my mother and 2 sisters that live in Israel for the last 5 years.
      Have a good one. 🙂

  2. It’s so eery. You speak from my soul and I’ve been only been doing this for 8 months… I get this a lot myself and always feel like I have to justify myself and then I get cross interviewed about my finances. You wouldn’t do that with other professions, would you? I get it, it’s novel but still. And yes, to some extent I think we’re lucky. Lucky that we had the freedom to be able to make this decision and not have had to grow up in a struggling developing country, with large families to take responsibility for or having excessive limitations put upon us as women. But your points are valid. Thank you for this great post.

    • Hey Anne,
      Thanks for writing. Ya, people ALWAYS ask about the money! and you’re totally right, we wouldn’t ask the same question about other professions. We are fortunate but that doesn’t mean we don’t work just as hard as everyone else. 🙂

  3. Actually people ask about money of other professions all the time. (The fact that you think that is a clue that you come from a wealthy family.) There are loads of sites that compare the amount you can make in different professions. Your post reads as if you are doing something to earn the money to live your very enviable lifestyle. Of course lots of people are going to want to know how you do it! Tim Ferris built a big following/mini-empire on lifestyle design and actually telling people how to achieve his lifestyle including where he gets his money and how much things cost. Yes – living your lifestyle makes you sacrifice time with family, friends and pets – but so does working 80 hours a week trying to make partner in a law firm – for instance. And it is clear where they are getting their funds. You said you “work very hard for this lifestyle”. That tells people that you are doing something (present tense) to EARN the money to live it. Of course your readers want to know how you do it. If you don’t want to say how you do it people will assume 1) inherited wealth 2) doing something you aren’t so proud of or that is illegal 3) CIA? 4) have some other revenue stream that you want to keep secret. I think the site is lovely – like looking at an exotic vacation catalog. But if you are going to make an issue of how hard you work to live this lifestyle you are going to be asked about the actual work you do and HOW you earned it. I don’t really care (in that I wouldn’t judge you for it) if you inherited the money or work for the CIA or even get it by hanging on the arm of wealthy men. But if you are going to write a whole blog about the sacrifices you make and how hard you work (just as hard as everyone else?), you are just asking for the question about how you do it. If you are saying that this blog supports your lifestyle I can guarantee you will get a lot more readers if you explain how you are pulling it off and be proud of it! Seriously. If this blog does not support your lifestyle you shouldn’t try to give people the impression that it does. You did open the door. As for sacrifices and travelling: I’ll leave you with one thought to give you some perspective: Kayla Jean Mueller.

    • Donna,
      Did you just compare me to a girl that joined a terrorist organization group?! haha well for your information, I am Jewish, born in Israel and have experienced 2 wars in my country. So that’s a completely ridiculous thing to say lol.
      CIA? Illegal things? hahaha really? So you think that every single travel blogger (which there are thousands) or in fact anybody that travels the world has to work for the CIA or work for the Cartels? I’m 29 years old, not 16. Most people who are basically 30 have there finances a little bit figured out by that age. I went to school for many things and worked many jobs in the last 10 years. I also support my mom and 2 sisters in Israel for the last 5 years. Most people spend their money on partying/drinking, clothes, cars, rent and their hobbies, I chose to spend on travels. Why is that so hard to believe?
      Like I just told Mr.John, who had a similar comment like yours, do you really think it’s appropriate to ask someone how they make money? Do you randomly ask people that, that you don’t really know? I work with tourism boards and other outlets that choose to sponsor me with free hotels, transportation, products and food. Sometimes I pay for things and sometimes I don’t. I’ve written post on how to budget on travels, so if you want tips on how to do that you can look that up. I think before commenting and writing an essay you should educate yourself and read a person’s bio and other things they wrote.
      Have a good day. 😉

  4. If I could I would delete the Kayla Mueller part of comment – not everyone has to do public service and that does not really fit the tone of this blog. It is probably more snarky than necessary.

    • Kayla Mueller was a humanitarian aid worker that was killed by a terrorist organization. She wasn’t a terrorist. I have’t heard that accusation anywhere but here? Is that really who some people are saying? I did not accuse you of actually doing things – and yes – my suggestions about the CIA and other stuff were meant to be ridiculous and funny. It was a way of demonstrating that being evasive about how you achieve your lifestyle allows people to assume things – as John did. Normally people do not have to ask where people get their money because it is clear – from their job. Writing is a notoriously difficult thing to make a living on and very few actually do. You know this so the question should not surprise or offend you. Rather than accusing your readers for being inappropriate – just say what it is without divulging any trade secrets. You keep expenses low and you have other streams of income or you earned a lot of money in a past job and saved up and do not have to worry about working again. Sometimes you get sponsorships perks. The bottom line is you are putting yourself out there and showing everyone this wonderful life you are living. Millions of people would love to do the same thing so people are going to ask how you do it. I think it is a bit cruel to give the impression that this is reachable to anyone IF you are doing it with the help of a trust fund. And if you are there is nothing wrong with that. By the way – I don’t think any of the people who started and sold a dot.com and never have to worry about money again have any problem telling people why they can surf or ski year round or write or pursue any other dream. I think it is a very privileged segment of society who do not never have to really worry about money who think is is inappropriate to ask about it. I hope you are not offended (because there is nothing offensive about it) but I still think trust fund. You are doing exactly what I would be doing if I had one or had sold a dot.com or made loads of cash modeling or whatever it is that is your secret sauce.

      • ok Donna, you seriously need to get over this trust fund thing because I don’t have it and if I did have it, I would be traveling non-stop for the rest of my life and would have millions of beautiful houses all over the world. I worked very hard (more than your 80hrs a week) and spend many sleepless nights researching ways of making my blog successful and figuring out ways of making money from it and I don’t owe it to you or anyone to just share what I’ve learned in the past year from blogging. If anyone wants to know how, well that’s what google is for. I never started this blog as a hobby, I started it for a career. Anyone can travel if they choice to set money aside and stop spending it on things they don’t really need. It’s a matter of choice.
        Good luck to you.

  5. That is so true that it takes the combination of time AND money. So many people have one or the other. It’s great that you don’t take your incredible opportunities for granted. It takes a lot of hard work (and sacrifices) to achieve the life you have. Good on you.

  6. I love how heated the debates get every time this topic is approached! I think a lot of people refuse to believe that you can travel the world without being a trust fund baby because they lack the courage to do it themselves. No one would ever ask you how you can afford a car or rent in L.A., that’s rude. Why is traveling different? I had a similar rant on my blog. It just drives me crazy! If you can live the life you want to live than it’s none of their business and you don’t need their approval. Keep up the good work!

    • Hey Magz,
      I’m glad to see someone else agreeing with me on this 😉 and I’m totally with you on all that! Send me link, would love to see what you wrote

  7. You are missing the point entirely. Yes – people can save money and travel and write about it. You are correct. That is far different from getting paid to write and making a living off of a travel blog – which is what you give the impression you are doing – although you do not say it outright (which is why people may suspect you got money some other way). And I never asked for specifics or trade secrets. I really do not care either way. If you actually read my comment you will see that I included the possibility that you saved money from another job. You are extremely defensive on this topic for some reason but those are your own demons. I doubt in all of your 80+ a week researching how to have a successful blog it included “be sure to alienate readers who express genuine curiosity about how you are able to do what you do” but who knows.

    • ^This. None of my favorite travel bloggers are evasive about this. Donna, check out “Save, Spend, Splurge”–she goes into great detail about how she saves and how she spends. As an Israeli, I don’t see why Hof would be offended by any inquiring into her means of employment. People there are a lot more forthcoming about these sorts of questions. If it’s a trust fund, ok; if it’s something less socially acceptable, ok; but don’t blame the bloggers for asking the obvious.

Leave a reply