I’ve been in Asia for well over a month now, so I’m getting a good handle on how this location independence is working for me.
There are definitely some highs and some lows…
A few weeks ago I posted about the perks of being a travel blogger – and there are really a lot.
The other day Four Seasons invited me to a cocktail evening, where my partner and I got to sample some of their bar’s menu and a number of cocktails for free. A large number, including a Wasabi Martini which I was apprehensive about, but fell in love with.
Today we arrived to check in at Four Seasons, each had an hour long massage and then went to dinner in their beautiful restaurant and ate our way through the menu for free.
At the moment I’m writing in the most plush bed I’ve ever stayed in… for free!
You see a theme here, right? Lots of awesome (and expensive) stuff for free.
Except, it’s not.
The beginning of this month was going well, I was seeming to manage a balance between work, blogging and doing all of my travel related stuff. But mid way through our travels we were on an island with terrible internet and I fell behind. Also because we were staying in places for free, most would only offer 2 nights max, so we would have to pack our stuff up almost every day!
And I fell behind even more.
The trouble with getting sponsored accommodation is that it takes up a lot of my time. In the past month I’ve probably received about $9,000 worth of sponsored accommodation and extras (at least $1,000+ at Four Seasons alone). While I am thoroughly enjoying all of these massages, yoga sessions, diving (for Ben), beautiful hotels for free and so on, it is eating into my time.
I outsource all the pitching to the hotels, but reply personally from there onwards. Some of the hotel management want to show you around for 30-60 minutes, others pop in to say hello during breakfast. It’s not a huge commitment, but often they pencil in activities so you have to work around their schedule and it can be quite challenging fitting real work in on top of that.
I haven’t done a full tally for the month, but I know it’s low. It’s a lot lower than I expected to make, based on how the first few weeks were. I am trying to figure out why the month was so much quieter than I expected, but I think part of the reason I performed so poorly was because I had focused too much attention on the free stuff, and not on the capital.
I think I probably made around $3,000-4000 less than last month – and I am trying to debate whether that’s an Ok ‘loss’ if I received $9,000 worth of free stuff in exchange. I can’t tell if it’s worth it – what do you think?
I have a few sponsored accommodations set up for Thailand, but not much. Four days so far out the 20 odd we’re there for. Compare that to the fact only around 5 days of my 30 in Bali were NOT sponsored and it’s a big difference. I’m going to try to organise some sponsored stays for Chiang Mai and Bangkok, but I am also happy to stay somewhere simple and plain and to just not be working.
The next month will be pretty busy for me trying to get set up for Europe so that I can have more of a holiday there, as we’ll be meeting up with Ben’s family. I have also decided that Asia is affordable enough that nice sponsored accommodation is just a bonus; we can easily afford to stay somewhere simple for the price of peanuts. However, this is not quite true of France and other parts of Europe we might visit, so I’d rather save my sponsored stay energy for then.
How was the month of August for you? I am so happy to be traveling again, although I need to slow the pace down!