The Girl Who Left her job For the love of solo travel


“Just a girl who travels” is the introduction of Shivya Nath.

Shivya has traveled in Guatemala, Ecuador, Germany, Georgia, Jordan, Ethiopia, Trinidad and Tobago, and of course, India… among over 40 countries.

Her travel stories are so inspiring that you will feel like leaving your home forever and spend your entire life travelling.

She actually did that. Shivya gave up her apartment, sold her household stuff, stored some luggage in her friend’s car, packed her bags for unlimited fun and infinite travel.

I wish I could ever do that but.. You know, we don’t have that much of courage.

shivya shooting star

Did I tell you that Shivya left her corporate job in 2011 and for the past 3 years, has been funding her travel from the income from her travel blog only?

She earns more than 100,000 Rs. on average per month. Her blog attracts 50,000 unique visitors with 100,000 page views every month.

She figured out different ways of source of income from travel blogging.

  • Freelance Blogging
  • Social media campaigns for travel companies (those that match her travel philosophy)
  • Long term partnership with travel brands
  • Branded content (Sponsored Articles on her blog)

The money is not the goal for Shivya. She rejects 50% of offers from travel companies who want to promote the brand to her audience. She is very selective while picking partners for business collaboration.

Responsible travel and offbeat solo travelling is the theme of her travel blog.

“Why go Solo? Because how else can you feel complete freedom – to shed the baggage of everyday life, make your own choices, and even simply be the person you always wanted to be?”

How much time a new travel blogger should wait for monetizing a travel blog?

It depends on a lot of factors. What is your travel style? What kind of collaborations are you interested in? Many travel bloggers are fine with getting a free FAM trip or a free hotel stay. Personally, that kind of sponsored travelling neither fulfils me nor pays my bills.

But reaching a point where brands are willing to let you stay true to your travel philosophy and pay you for the content you create, you need time. Anywhere from 2 to 4 years, of dedicated blogging, finding your voice, honing your social media skills and building a genuine, engaged readership.

Blogging seems easy but it’s difficult to make quick income (or become rich) with travel blogging. Still many people have passion for travelling and they don’t care much about money.

If you have to choose SEO or Social Media then which one you pick and why?

I spend a lot of time on social media, simply because I enjoy it. I like creating meaningful travel content that encourages people to step out of their comfort zone and change their notions of travel as just a holiday – and that’s the reason I started travel blogging too.

Although a large part of my blogging traffic comes from organic search, my reach and engagement on social media has led me to projects independent of blogging, which keeps my income mix diverse and fun.

How do you keep yourself motivated for writing?

The kind of places I stay at and work from, impacts my work a fair bit. I’m far more inspired to write with a view of the Himalayas or in a charming little cafe with good music, than in a characterless hotel room.

What are your productivity hacks?

I don’t really rely on tools to keep me productive; it never worked back in my corporate job, and it sure isn’t going to work now.

Sometimes I disconnect from wifi so I can focus on writing.

When I land up in a place with no or slow connectivity (happens often while travelling in India especially), I complain, but then take the time to detox digitally. I usually find myself a lot more productive when I get high speed wifi after that.

Do you think that bloggers should do anything for free? How to draw a line between providing free help and charging for work?

At the beginning of my blogging journey, I created a Travel Fund page on my blog, inviting my readers to support me financially if they were so inclined. I was surprised by the contributions I received; even if they were small, the fact that someone was helping me fund my travels over saving money for their own was moving.

When my freelance and blogging incomes started growing, I deleted that page. I feel that as long as I can make enough money to comfortably support my travels through partnerships with relevant brands, I can offer my readers my content for free – because at the end of the day, my dream is see more people challenge convention, especially in India, and chase their dream.

Do you want to start a travel blog?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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