Do you ever just get fed up of going to the same college every morning with the same set of people to get a degree you don’t know you’ll use? Well, here is Jones, a renowned travel blogger and photographer, who got his Master’s degree while travelling the world!
Spending most of his time now on tropical beaches, musical festivals or anywhere he can get a cold beer really, Jones has crafted an interesting life for himself that everyone wishes for.
He happily took some time out from his busy schedule of living his best life for a fun interview!
You completed your Master’s degree while backpacking across South-East Asia. That’s no mean feat! What were the biggest challenges for you during this time?
I’d say finding the right balance between studying and travelling. I was only 24 when I was getting my Master’s Degree, and I still loved going out with friends I had met at hostels. There were many times when I had to find the self-discipline to say no to going out, and spend a night in, reading and completing assignments. While it was challenging at times, it taught me a lot about time management, efficiency, and the unbelievable power of caffeine. Haha!
The travel bug bit you during your Bachelor’s degree, after which you moved to Italy to work for two years. What made you want to continue your studies and pursue a Master’s degree as well?
Well I’m a firm believer that studying abroad is such an important part of the college experience, and I really wanted to work in higher education. There’s a company called Semester at Sea that I really wanted to work for, but they required a Master’s to work with them. That was a huge inspiration for me to go back to school, and I knew that it was going to be great in the long run. I always joke that I wasted a lot of money on my education, because I ended up going into business for myself. But I’m really glad I did it this way. No regrets!
How did you manage your expenses when you started out?
I was the definition of a “budget traveller” for so many years. I would be posting photos from glorious beaches in Southeast Asia, but staying at the most horrendous hostels that cost $4 per night. I was always pretty good with my budget, and keeping my travel expenses down to a minimum.
Was it scary for you to tread down the uncertain path of becoming a digital nomad? Do you ever crave the stability of having a regular job?
I’m definitely at the point where I’m dealing with a bit of a travel burnout. I just miss having a healthy routine and cooking for myself. My travelling style has changed slightly too, but that’s because my goals have grown a lot with my age. I just turned 30, and most of my travel is now for work. I LOVE my job, but it is a job, ya know? I definitely do not miss working a “normal” job though. Haha!
I plan to slow down a lot more this year and focus on long term projects.
Do you think travelling has an age?
No, I think travelling is an incredible experience at any age. I think it’s amazing to do it while because you have less money, and you don’t mind roughing it as much. Staying at hostels and meeting all different kinds of people is so much fun! The travel experience just changes as you get older.
You have been to India for a brief period. What was your first impression? Do you plan to return anytime soon?
Ahhh, I LOVED my trip to India! The only problem was that it was for a press trip with the government, and we went on a luxury train trip! It was a truly unbelievable experience, but we were completely spoiled. I need to go back to India and travel a bit on my own! I don’t have any plans as of now, but I would love to make it back for a month or two!
Did you make this all happen yourself or was there anyone pushing you to make your dreams come true as well?
While I had some inspiration to keep me going, I definitely made it all happen by myself. I quit so many times, but I’m stoked I found the motivation to keep it going.
Many people turn to you for inspiration. Who do you look up to?
I look up to fellow travel bloggers and entrepreneur friends as my inspiration. My favourite travel bloggers are Nomadasaurus, Alex in Wanderland, and The Blog Abroad. They are all so talented and inspirational, it’s crazy. I’m proud to call them my friends as well.
Do you ever see yourself settling down in one place? If yes, would it be back in California or some place else?
Yes, absolutely. This year I plan to slow down, but I don’t know if that means settling down completely. I would love to buy a house sometime next year, and maybe develop more of a home base in 2020. I don’t really plan my life that far in advance though.
My life's motto in the past few years has been, “We’ll see what happens”, and that's just the truth. I’m on the pursuit of happiness, and am open to whatever life has in store for me.
Who is your travel inspiration? Write about them here!