Follow Your Fun Writing a Travel Blog with Ryan Biddulph [Podcast Interview]
Watching the sunset from a gorgeous beach…is there anything more relaxing?
Yeah, actually there is: watching the sunset from a gorgeous beach again the next night. And the next night…and the next…
How about for a month straight? Wouldn’t that be incredible?
Now let’s imagine an even greater scenario…after a month, you get to go to a completely new beach for another four months…
Is this really possible?
Just ask my guest today. He knows firsthand…
On this episode of The Blog Chronicles you will meet travel blogger Ryan Biddulph. Ryan has figured out how to use his blog to live a lifestyle that is quite unconventional–his website Blogging From Paradise com not only shares his adventures from around the globe, you will also find many tips and ticks to living your life as a travel blogger if you dare to dream.
Ryan is one of the most transparent bloggers I have encountered and his honesty shines through in our conversation here.
If you are interested in the Travel Blogging niche or want to earn income as a solopreneur in any niche, you will enjoy this interview.
Hit play on the video below or read the transcript right underneath the video.
Then let Ryan and I know what you think in the comments!
Now find a comfy spot in the sand, spread out your beach towel and hang loose with Ryan Biddulph…
Ryan Biddulph Interview Transcript
(For those who like to read.)
Welcome to this episode of The Blog Chronicles, I’m your Host Matthew Loomis.
Our featured blogger today is a forty-one-year-old New Jerseyian who was working as a security guard at a trucking station only five years ago. His last vacation up to that point was in 1989. He was a homebody, who like many, focused on a secure job to pay the bills.
The internet was barely on his mind back then. He would do some e-mail and check out ESPN online and that’s about it.
Fast forward five years…
Today, Ryan Biddulph runs his online business from the beaches of the world. Over the past three years he has lived in many exotic locations all over the world, sharing his adventures from his website – Blogging From Paradise dot com. Using written posts and video, Ryan has blogged from such places as; Bali, Thailand, India, Fiji, Peru, Costa Rica and many other Paradises.
He has been featured on Forbes dot com, Richard Branson’s Virgin Blog and has given a talk on blogging at New York University. He has also produced a hundred and twenty-six eBooks that are available on Amazon.
So, how did Ryan go from New Jersey security guard to influential Travel Blogger? Reaching a life many dream of, seeing the world on your own terms, working from your laptop… living life by the motto… quote “follow your fun” unquote, as Ryan likes to say. How did he do this?
Let’s find out by adding Ryan Biddulph to The Blog Chronicles.
(Oh, and before we begin I want you to know that the audio quality is good but it’s not the best, you see, Ryan was calling me from Cyprus and he just landed there a few days before we were scheduled to talk, and for whatever reason the Wi-Fi internet connection for him over there just wasn’t working at all, so we had to do this by phone and was still able though to record the interview, just wanted to let you know that you will notice a little difference in the audio quality on his end, but I think you will still be able to enjoy this fascinating interview with Ryan Biddulph.)
Matthew: Hi Ryan, welcome to the show.
Ryan: Matthew, thank you so much for having me, I’m honored.
Matthew: Yeah, so tell us, what paradise are you blogging from right now?
Ryan: I am blogging from a little island in the Mediterranean called Cyprus. It’s a part of the E.U and we’re about an hour West of Syria and about an hour East of Greece, so it’s a pretty, pretty exotic area right now.
Matthew: I had no idea they were a part of the European Union, that’s interesting.
Ryan: Yes it is, it’s a little bit of everything here, you have the Greek side of Southern Cyprus then the Turkish folk occupying Northern Cyprus.
*FYI: The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC, Turkish Kuzey Kıbrıs Türk Cumhuriyeti) is a self-proclaimed republic on the northern and eastern side of the island of Cyprus.
Turkey is currently the only state which recognizes the TRNC. Cyprus itself is an island in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Turkey. After Sicily and Sardinia, Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.
We’re getting a history lesson as we make our way around the island eating good Greek yoghurt and also good Turk food as well.
Matthew: Mmmm, that sounds wonderful. When I was in college I used to drink Turkish coffee at this little ethnic restaurant, it was so good…
Ryan: They’re known for some really powerful stuff…
Matthew: Yeah right, it was just a tiny espresso shot and it was really awesome powerful stuff, let me tell ya.
Ryan: Mm hm…
Matthew: What’s that?
Ryan: I said oh no definitely, it has some kick to it, a little different than the stuff you’d grab at Starbucks.
Matthew: Yeah totally, I’m sure much better, well anyway no knock at Starbucks here.
How Ryan Left His Security Guard Job and Started a Fascinating New Life Writing a Travel Blog
Matthew: So, Ryan let’s think about this, I think about five years ago… correct me if I’m wrong, you were working as a security guard and…
Ryan: Yes, you can say that, yeah.
Matthew: Yeah and after you were laid off, what was it back then, that attracted you to blogging?
Ryan: Well, I think it’s one of those things where, I was putting in so many hours, like doing double-shifts. Sometimes I’d would work from six to twelve, eighteen-hour days and six, seven days a week at the shipping terminal as a security guard.
It just seemed so attractive to have this type of lifestyle where you could work and put in your time, you know, put your energy into it. But were you able to live a life of freedom? where it wasn’t so much trading time for dollars…? You know saying… “okay I’m going to stay here in this so long and you’re going to pay me this amount of money,” I really saw the leveraging aspect of it Matt where it was so exciting… I don’t have to work each hour a day to make a living or to make ends meet to do what I’m doing now.So…
It was such a different type of mindset I had to move into, going from employee to entrepreneur.
After I got the pink slip… we were, I think downsizing at the shipping terminal, my then girlfriend, now wife Kelly, told me about the online bit and the only thing I knew how to do online was, check my e-mail and ESPN dot com and that’s the truth.
Ryan: I had no idea what a blog was or internet marketing. But, when I did a little more research, it just seemed so tremendously attractive to me that, you know… If I could set up a “freeing lifestyle”? and that’s always been one of my biggest drivers.
So, I would say, just the freedom of it, working online connecting with folks creating value and having a situation where I could engineer a lifestyle of a freeing lifestyle, where I could travel and make as much as I want to make through this thing called a “blog.”
Matthew: Yeah, I think your wife Kelly is also a blogger, is that right?
Ryan: Yes she is, yes.
Ryan Explains How He Went From A Failed Niche To Writing a Travel Blog That Gets Noticed
Matthew: Cool, we’ll get to that in moment. Now, you didn’t start out as a travel blogger, from what I understand. Can you tell us what niche you did start out with and why you left that niche to focus on travel blogging full time?
Ryan: Well, I started out in the, oh so popular “make money online” niche, and… it just seemed like the easiest thing to do. Not so much to make money online with it, which I proved for a number of years.
It certainly wasn’t easy, you know I shot down a theory a bit, but it was for me how I built my campaign. It seemed to me like a natural thing. Oh you know I hadn’t got into travel yet. It was like… ”just get on and make a few bucks,”
That was truly one of my biggest mistakes Matt, was that… I was so focused on trying to make money with my blog and building it around that niche and of course you could have success with it. But my driver… there was a little bit of it that was freedom, like a little bit of it was… ”I just want to be creative I just want to be free” and most of my intent was really just trying to make money. I talked about it all the time on my blog… and write a zillion eBooks and videos and…It’s…
The idea is, is that if you focus heavily on some outcome, when you get into the blogging game, like making money as that outcome oscillates; it goes up, it goes down… You may not make money this month, next month and a couple of dollars, so your creative energies and your connective energies are just going to be obliterated.You are just going to do such a poor job, because you’re going to dictate how you’re feeling, based on some kind of out come.
Really I ditched the old blog because my Hoster said, ”we’re going to have to delete about two thousand posts.” I was involved in a network marketing opportunity that they didn’t view as legit, and I was like, ”um, either I could delete the old blog or I could just go through and delete these two thousand posts, and maybe move in a different direction.”
People were telling me, ”I’m nuts,” like… ”ah you’ve got to keep the blog up and do whatever you can.” But I just had that strong under-pinning feeling Matt, that I had to get rid of this thing. It was like something that I had out-grown awhile before and I had already been travelling a number of years.
Matthew: Mm hm
Ryan: So, the long and the short of it, about two-thirty in the morning, I had jet-lag and in the middle of a soggy, soggy Fiji in the middle of the South Pacific; I trashed my old blog.
I just said, ”forget about it,” ”do a redirect.”
In the course of a half hour I sat there and I did a little meditating, I had the idea of “Blogging From Paradise” and I’m like, ”why don’t I just teach folks to live how I am living now”? ”How to retire to a life of blogging”.
I’ve lived in places like; Phuket, Bali, Fiji and Costa Rica and all these awesome places?
It’s like I couldn’t get anymore authentic, this is literally what I’ve done. Even though with my old blog, you know, the income went up and down, I still retired to the tropics and that’s part of the lifestyle, what I do. So, really it was like getting the rug yanked out from underneath me, but it was the greatest blessing ever.
I just deleted three-thousand- four- hundred blog posts. You know, the old blog… my old friends… the old clients… I just left behind that lower energy driver.
My goal was just trying to get money and to just try to build a blog around that, to doing something more authentic, like, “hey, this is me and this is what I do,” and even when I talk about the financial stuff now, you know, how to make money and this and that, there’s so much more of an emphasis on doing the inner work and then following the practical tips, you know.
Ryan: You retire to a life of island hopping through smart blogging. So, that’s where we’re at now.
How It Felt Letting Go of His Old Life
Matthew: So, Ryan, how did it feel when you deleted thirty-four-hundred blog posts?
Ryan: It felt like thirty-four-thousand. (laughs)
Ryan: Matt, it was really… it was so scary at first, even though thinking intuitively, we all know… it was like, most of my energy in that time was like horrifying, because this is five years worth of work and even though it wasn’t the clearest work. It was five years of my life and many of it was twelve like twelve, fourteen, eighteen hour days. It was an old income stream, and old an brand, an old cash flow stream.
To me it was just such a release, and then you’re like, ”oh my goodness, I’m starting all over again.” But then the next moment I realize, “no, I’m not!” You know, my ego’s going, “you have to start all over again Ryan,” and my hearts going…”hey Ryan, wake up buddy!” ”You have a new experience now, you could start fresh, you could start clearly.” ”You could start from a space of like a higher energy intent.” So, everything was so much easier for me when I created blogging from paradise.
I got like a hundred and twenty interviews the first year I created the blog. The first year after I created it and I popped up on places like, Forbes dot com, I was featured on Richard Branson’s Virgin blog, I spoke at New York University about Blogging From Paradise and my eBooks… So, like and all that happened within a year or two, so quickly. So simply…
Ryan: With the old blog I had the right intent, it was scary at first, but I was like, ”okay, this is what I’m meant to do, so it’s refreshing.
What Makes Ryan Stand Out From The Crowd?
Matthew: It sounds like you’re really in your element right now, which is travel blogging, you can tell that you’re passionate about Blogging From Paradise and as a travel blogger, which is a large niche -What makes you different from all the other travel bloggers out there?
Ryan: I think… super, super, duper, authentic and you can’t be authentic to a fault, but I almost am, because it’s when you realize… a lot of travel bloggers, I think they really rock it out and they are doing a phenomenal job, but there are a few that are really being themselves. That are like really, really being themselves and I think just with me with my sometimes sense of humor and my stories, you know the way I weave the stories into them.
I think a lot of travel bloggers, they try to tell like, not a dry story, but it’s more of like a rope you know… “I’ve traveled here, this is what I saw, this is what I liked… ”
And, like, I’ll talk about the situation where I was chased down by two Thai lady-boy prostitutes and I’ll work that into my blog and the travel and the Bangkok experience…
Then I also deviate a little too, I’ll also talk about blogging tips. That was actually one of my eBooks and a long-formed blog post, how two Thai lady-boy prostitutes… how I was being stalked by them, taught me five and taught you five clear and distinct blogging lessons, So I kind of delve a lot more into story telling with humor and color, and then too, I work on a lot more blogging tips on my blog to help a lot of travel bloggers who are really struggling.
A lot of them have to go back home after three, four maybe six months to make more money, so I kind of think I am like a resource to them to. To be able to do this full time like I do and I also delve into the travel stories where I talk about now after this month I’ll do a couple of reviews on Cyprus… Do it in Cyprus and see it in Cyprus, you could see where we are at the Capital, Nicosia and they kind of get a feel of what we are doing.
It’s kind of like an extra flavor in those blogging tips, you know, also a little humor I think.
Matthew: Yeah, I went to read your post about Cyprus, I think it’s seven things you didn’t know about Cyprus?
Ryan: I did one recently, it was shorter one about facts, it was a really, really quick one.
Matthew: About facts?
Ryan: Pretty soon I’m going to do like a more in-depth review about Cyprus, I haven’t come out with it yet. Maybe with-in like three or four days, it will be lake a long-form post.
Ryan: I’ll be adding the traveling images, just because I’m finding my footing here and I’m still getting my luggage and it is true I landed on Saturday so I didn’t get my luggage yet. So, I will go with that a little more and I’ll definitely share it and I’ll tag ya.
Matthew: Right. Oh awesome thank you, I like that kind of stuff.
Ryan: Sure. Awesome Matt.
Matthew: Speaking of that, you have had some interesting stuff happen there and what… you just arrived there a few days ago, right?
Ryan: Correct, correct. Well, it’s Wednesday night in Cyprus and we got here on Saturday, well basically Sunday morning, so, about three days ago.
How Safe Are You As a Travel Blogger In Today’s World?
Matthew: I saw on Facebook, you said that you passed through an Istanbul airport, right before the terrorist attack?
Ryan: Yeah, that’s three days before, it was actually the other airport, because they have two airports and we were at the smaller one. But yeah we passed through one of the airports in Istanbul to major one not three days before the huge terror attacks from yesterday.
Even now we’re only about forty-five miles South of Turkey and not too far even from Istanbul. So yeah we’re still in that region. That was very sobering to think that the day after we ran through delayed flights everywhere…
Ryan: And a number of other situations, losing my luggage and I haven’t gotten those yet. I am supposed to, we’ll see but… yeah that happened yesterday so, it was very, very sobering and I felt very, very grateful that my issue was simply… it didn’t bother me how much I waited, but I lost luggage and some delayed flights and you see what happens there… it’s pretty crazy, it’s pretty, pretty crazy.
Matthew: Yeah, now as somebody that’s traveled around the world in today, you know… in today’s atmosphere, do you feel pretty safe? What would you say to somebody that’s wanting to do a lot of traveling, but they’re kind of ”afraid”?
Ryan: Really Matt, the chances of anything happening to anyone person are so remote. I mean, anyone listening to this… and I ‘m a positive guy… I’m no “doom and gloom” guy, but we’re probably far more likely to be struck by lightning or get into a car accident.
It’s really so rare, I mean, I have flown now almost a hundred times in five years and this is the first time anything remotely close to this, or anything like this has happened. Whereas in three days we were in different airports and then there’s a terrorist bombing, I mean, I’ve come close to a couple of situations that have been, you know, a small earthquake… Nothing as catastrophic by any means…
But I would say to anybody, just look at the percentages of it. Even though it might be scary and you might think, ”oh my goodness, I don’t want to get out there, where there’s terrorism and…” There might be safety issues in certain spots, I would certainly do some research to stay in some safer areas of these countries and towns in the areas do some homework.
I’ve been on the road, I’ve met thousands and thousands of people, tourists, expats and tons of locals in these different countries… and it’s so rare for something dangerous to actually happen.
So, go for the trip, go for the travel, because you’re going to do some homework you know, and get some research before. But…
It’s the joy and the elation of being able to… like tonight I’m sitting right by the Turkish… quote-unquote, the Turkish, Northern Cyprus Greek, quote-unquote, Southern Cyprus border crossing in this beautiful little town called Nicosia, enjoying a Greek pork burger, with Greek music in the background and then on the other side you have the Turkish people… It’s just such a ”frigging” awesome experience for a former security guard from New Jersey, (laughs) You know.
Matthew: Mm mm. (laughs)
Ryan: It’s kind of like… I never dreamed this would happen. I’ve never take a vacation in twenty-five years, literally. We didn’t go place as kids much… I’m like if I could experience this just by diving in… it’s so worth it. Whatever little fears you might have or even small fears, to go for it, because the enrichment of it, you know the people you meet.
The cultures you expose yourself to and just you’ll grow like a frigging weed. I just think most people would be so much happier by seeing how the world works. It’s just a different perspective, it’s really fascinating.
I think still, just dive-in, just do your homework and you know, you could always check out Blogging From Paradise dot com and see… you know… I could put a pretty humorous bend on these situations. Maybe not so much on the little more tragic ones, but on the ones, you know… with the Thai lady-boys who chased me down and tried to pull me in. But, that’s another story… (laughs)
How Do Others Relate To Your Experiences Across The Globe?
Matthew: (laughs) Yeah you are so good with telling the stories, and you know… we can vicariously live through you and experience a lot of things, you know that we wouldn’t of experienced.
Ryan: Definitely, now that’s one the of things I enjoy doing Matt. Like I said my last vacation was in 1989 before I left for Bali in 2011.
My first flight was when I was… I guess I was thirty-six and my first flight was twenty-three hours, from JFK, New York to Denver solid. I’d go then hours living vicariously through other folks, I wasn’t that interested in traveling, my wife was the one that got me into it.
I like to do that for folks who maybe, find it fascinating but they really don’t particularly want to get on the road, you know, they’re happy where they’re at. I like doing that I like blogging for people who want to live the lifestyle and for the folks who are like… ”You know what, ahhh… let’s let Ryan be the guinea pig.” you know… ”he could be attacked by the two wild men in Kathmandu and Nepal and I’ll just read about it where I’m at.” And you know, that’s just fine by me.
I led a very boring life beforehand, but now I can just dive into it and really have a little laugh at these situations.
Lets Talk About Blog Monetization and How That Works For You
Matthew: Yeah, good stuff, good stuff. So, I want to segue into blog monetization and many Build Your Own Blog followers are interested in blog monetization, so I was wondering if you could share with us how your blog is monetized and how that works for you?
Ryan: Sure, I have a number of different channels and I’ve focused heavily on passive channels now that I’m on the road so much. When I go back home I may do a little more blog coaching or freelance writing, but for me it’s eBooks.
I’ve written bite-sized eBooks – a hundred and twenty-six of them. More like pillar-style blog posts that I put on Amazon. I think they work Matthew because, just… it’s my brand.
I put Blogging From Paradise, my brand logo onto every cover and every cover is an image I’ve snapped or my wife has snapped in a tropical paradise either in Bali or Fiji that we personally snapped. So, it’s literally me in my experience, there is just no other like it. I’m not going to win any awards for flashiness but, folks are like, ”that’s you, and that’s what caught my eye.”
It’s just so much a part of my brand and I have so much fun writing and I think with any income stream, that it’s… I do sponsored posts, I do affiliate marketing… Its something where; if you’re really having fun doing it, the clearer you’ll get on it and the clearer you get on it the more you’ll be able to earn a living through it.
So, I would say that, what works for me are the eBooks and I have a blogging course as well, but especially focusing on the eBooks and the audio books. I just have so much fun writing them and I have so much fun promoting them.
When you follow your fun, the fun itself is the reward, if you’re not writing and thinking…”I want to make this much money with it.” A lot of folks, try to monetize thinking about, ”I want to make the money”.
That pulls away from the creative energies, and all the story-telling and all the authenticity; it just gets sapped out of you, and it’s almost like popping a balloon and your’re like, “ohoooooo”! you know, it just goes down right away.
Most folks have a tough time trying to make the money, they’re trying to do it primarily for the money. When you’re doing it for the fun, the fun is the reward, and you’re like… ”you know what, I just had so much fun doing that”!
Then energy wise… then anyone who wants to dream it? The money just seems to flow in with much less effort.
It’s like you feel whole and complete; you’re doing the creating, you’re doing the connecting. When you get that type of energy to your work… people read it and you know what? ”I’m no Ernest Hemmingway, I’m not even a ”zillionth” of the guy”, but when people read my stuff I know who looked at it.
They go like, ”that Ryan Biddulph guy from Blogging From Paradise wrote it.” Because, it’s wacky and it’s off-the-wall probably, and there’s probably errors in it, but it’s me.
The more you’re just having fun doing it, the more you’ll get like-minded people, who’ll promote you; who will buy your stuff… and they are like, ”you know what? I love this guy”! You know, ”I’m just in vibe with him.” So, really just follow your fun that’s really my biggest piece of advice. Any income stream should work… you know whether that’s coaching, freelance writing. The big thing now is just eBooks and audio books, I ‘m just… I’m having such a blitz now because there are so many out there and I really haven’t promoted them that much until, maybe the past few weeks or the past month. So, that’s why it’s really worked for me, I’ve really enjoyed the heck out of it.This interview about travel blogging is a lot of fun! I want this life!
Ryan Explains How Writing a Travel Blog to a Targeted Audience Will Support Your Income More Effectively
Matthew: Yeah, follow your fun, good advice. So, to earn a steady income, you’ve got to know who your target audience is and I was reading your website and you had some online content, where you’ve narrowed down a specific target audience very clearly. On your website it say’s, quote, ”I have a crystal clear vision of the ideal reader of Blogging From Paradise, people who want to retire from their full time job, to a life of island hopping through smart blogging”.
Now some might look at that target audience and wonder if there are enough people like that out there to help support your income. So my question is; are there enough people out there who dream about doing what you’re doing, to support your online income?
Ryan: Yes, I think the key here Matt, is getting so clear on it, that you literally make a bee-line for those people and they make a bee-line for you. I think that’s something where so many folks… and you could definitely do it that way, but they kind of do things from the outside in… but, it’s such a strong component and it seems so counter-intuitive, with a lot of folks. I do the inner work and then the more I do that from the inside out, I find the more I find people and the more they find me, I can’t explain it, it sounds wacky or off-the-wall.
Even though with that energy work I knew beforehand, before I even did the energy work that the need existed. I kept running into travel bloggers who were like… now… probably two years ago, who were trying to rely on sponsored posts and ad revenue alone; to build a sustainable income.
So, unless you’re… you know, you’re ”Nomadic Megan or ”Nomadic Matt”; or some of these other BIG time travel bloggers, you’re not going to make that much money through that.
Even if you’re living in a place like Thailand in Chiang Mai where you could live off of like literally three-hundred-dollars a month and live quite well. It’s just going to be such a tough time, so I knew beforehand Matt, that’s what kind of gave me the idea, that there’s a ton of folks out there.
A lot of folks are traveling already, they have to come back they have to work at their jobs, be it part-time, but they still have to come back and do it and I’m like… ”shoot, can I teach them”? ‘Yeah, yeah you can do that, you can teach them how to do this long term, so they don’t have to go home if they don’t want to. Or they could just go home for fun and not to work a job, you know where in some cases they’re not passionate about, the’re just doing it to build up a savings and they accept it as a reality.
I came along to break that reality to break that paradigm in there minds, so I had that inkling so it was the inner work, I just had to keep getting clearer and clearer and clearer and I truly believe, any thing that happens outside is just a reflection of our; intent, our energy, you know how we frame the world, how we perceive it. The clearer I get, I have just been able to really connect with some super influential folks.
And to get more and more readers to flow my way and create great friends and just to continue expanding my brand my blog and my businesses.
So Ryan, How Do You Start Your Day?
Matthew: Can you give us a break-down of your energy on a typical day, like, what time do you wake up; what’s the first thing you do, when do you start blogging and that sort of thing?
Ryan: Sure thing. Right now it’s a very, very wacky experience where we’re in Cyprus… so actually it’s weird, I’m suffering from jet lag here where it’s only a seven-hour difference from a place like Bali, where I kicked jet lag’s butt and that’s like a twelve or thirteen hour difference. So right now it’s kind of … off. Usually I get up when I get up, I am huge proponent of getting eight to nine hours of sleep per night. I don’t have kid’s so, people would say that’s why… but it’s one of those things where it’s… get as much sleep as you humanly can, because that will just help you foster that energy, where you can do some just really, really epic stuff.
I take an icy cold shower, which I can’t quite do here in Cyprus with the more desert than Mediterranean environment, but it is still pretty chilly, so I take a minute log ice cold shower when I first get up. It’s very intense so always check with your doctor before you do anything like that, I don’t want law-suits or anything, because it could be pretty shocking. (laughs)
I mediate for twenty minutes, to manage my energy to become really aware of what’s really going on in my mind and with my feelings. Which helps detach a little more of the outcomes and really tune into my intuition, to get that unfailing guidance that never fails. Our intuition never does it’s just our ego that kind of get’s in the way with it’s chatter. Those are some of the big things that I do to manage my energy.
Exercise, Kelly and I just walked tonight, it’s pretty epic, we walked for like a good two hours and we usually do like an hour of walking everyday. I often do some push-ups and sit-ups. This stuff is totally away from blogging, but it totally molds my blogging day and it molds my blogging. Once you get that energy managed you could find that extra go that people don’t think exists.
Three months earlier I wrote an eBook, seven-thousand words, bite sized eBooks everyday. I wrote for three months in a row when I was in Bali and People look at me like I’m crazy. And I promise you the books are not garbage they’re good.
Like when you get your energy to such a high level, you’ll do things that most people can’t even dream of. Sometimes it can get uncomfortable, but you’re following you fun, you meet people like Tony Robbins, Tim Ferris, they do the icy cold shower, they do the exercise, they do the things that no body really needs to do but will raise you up to a higher level of vibration that will help you see over the obstacle that maybe holding you back now, blogging wise and likewise.
How to Recognize Your Fun and Knowing When that Fun is Gone
Matthew: Yeah. I used to be amazed at every blog post that I would read, you were in the comments. I know you backed off from that lately. So, obviously you found that to be fun at one point, but then it wasn’t fun anymore. Can you talk about that?
Ryan: That’s it yeah Matt. My wife does energy coaching like Halo and stuff, I mean she’s like hardcore into it and it’s her livelihood so she just… I watch her and my energy… I do a pretty good job managing it… but, when I stop having fun doing something… and she’s a constant reminder of not me personally… but, she’s talking about it on her podcasts and her blog… It’s just like a switch goes off and I’m like… ”shoot, I really don’t like doing this anymore”.
The more you could just like stop on a dime and be like… ”oh shoot, you know for like maybe three days or a week it tweek’s now… It feels like an energetic drag”? When you could let that go, you’ll find the next step energetically and the next thing to do, or maybe not to do, or I need to take a little vacation…
To help you recharge and to follow what your fun is at that point. So, with blog commenting… I loved it and it was fun for a while. Even when I wasn’t loving it I was still good at it and I was till making an impact but that what most folks don’t realize and it took me so many years to be able to make the turn quickly.
You could do something so well, that it makes people’s jaws drop and you’ll have immense failure.
It happened with me a long time ago at blog commenting. I was really good at it (this was years ago), but it was getting to be a drag and I just kept doing it, because I was blog commenting on it and again this was all ego, like… “this is me! I’m in this box!” I was just struggling online; income wise, blogging wise; because I lost my passion but then I let it go. That was a long time ago and then I did it for a while again and yeah, it was a couple of months ago or so and I’m like… ”I’m really not having fun doing this.”
I’d rather do more frequent posts, I ‘d rather do a ton more videos. It just feels like it’s the time for that. That’s what going to be the most fun to me. That’s what I went with, a lot more pictures and short-form posts. I’m like… I’m trying to prove even with my longer-form posts, I had so much fun with them that’s all I could drag into them and I’m like… ”I’m trying to write”. I already have a hundred and twenty-seven, a hundred and twenty-six, six-thousand or fifteen-thousand a word eBooks.
I had fun, that was a fun stretch too, I’m like… “that’s done”! and you kind of see more intuitively. You’re doing something and you’re honest with yourself. That’s where the meditation helps Matt, so much. It’s truth serum when you’re mediating regularly. You get to see what’s really happening, your awareness expands and you’ll be honest with yourself and you’ll be like… ”man I really hate the blog commenting, it’s becoming a frigging drag, I’m hating it”!
It feels like a job, it feels like work, it feels like drudgery and the second you move into the drugery bit that just kills the creativity, that kills your juice, that kills your mojo and you really find it hard to level up. Even though folks could have success with that thought and with that strategy? In the past it’s just destroyed me. It doesn’t work for me, in this experience in this reality, maybe when I leave my body, and go into the fifth dimension, who knows, but with this human experience. It’s not so much the hard work, but it’s the forcing and the straining and striving.
I let it go like a hot potato and within in a couple of days… I’m like, ”hey I love doing videos, let me start doing videos again.” I had so much fun with them and the feedback was instantaneous, folks just love it and it’s just me honoring what I love and that kind of reflects back to me.
Matthew: That’s great advice, I’m glad that bloggers are hearing from you that they don’t have to be pigeon holed or stuck in one thing forever, they can be flexible, right?
Ryan: Bingo, bingo. It’s just so tough because all the things I talk about in my books and a lot of awesome bloggers like yourself, we’ve experienced this advice, we’ve lived it, it’s helpful following these tracks. It’s one thing my wife always talks about; ”honor your intuition and your own path”.
You’re in a vibe with this advice on your blog from Build Your Own Blog and then you might vibe with this advice from Blogging From Paradise. Then you meet someone down the road who’s so pro-blogger and you’re like… ”oh man, I could really vibe with that, that seems to be such fun”. You can kind of do it simply, you don’t necessarily have to be a devotee or a disciple of anyone person.
You could totally vibe with someone and you could take a bite here and a bite there , almost like Topplers or something and you ultimately follow your fun and what really makes your heart sing. That’s what you’re here for, once you realize that you’ll go down that channel or you’ll go down that avenue.
So again, be prepared to stop on a dime, because we’re human beings and you’ll have different experiences and you’ll say, you know what I’ve done this for so long. Adrian Smith is another perfect example, I’ve know her for so many years and she had a blog and she loved it and networking and commenting. One day she was like, she’d be thinking about it for awhile, but you could tell she wasn’t having fun with it. She moved in another direction and I could feel her increased happiness as I was reading the blog post I could feel her energy, like she’s getting clearer, she’s moving in a fun direction again.
Matthew: Yeah, yeah that’s a great example too.
Matthew: Trying to get in the spirit of things – I’m drinking coconut water, I don’t know if that counts? (laughs)
Ryan: Ahhhh… I remember that from the last blog comment, there you go… (laughs)
Matthew: Now I want to talk about, Wi-Fi, because you and I are having to talk on a landline. Thanks to Google. (Google phone is it called)?
Ryan: Google phone, that’s right.
How Are the Wi-Fi Connections All Over the World?
Matthew: Yeah. Yeah, we’re talking the landline and the Wi-Fi connection in Cyprus right now is not so good, but there’s other times where it’s really awesome.
I was just curious to know… how difficult is it to find good Wi-Fi around the world and is that something that you as a travel blogger, do you do research ahead of time or how does that work?
Ryan: We definitely do a lot of research on that, me and my wife. My wife especially she checks with the person. We’ve been doing a lot of house sits recently so basically we watch peoples homes, right now we’re doing a house sit in Cyprus. For this month we’re watching someones two little cats they’re beautiful and the apartments really very, very nice in Nicosia.
That’s it we live here rent free, but we always check, she does more of the house sitting research with the home owners, you know, ”how’s the Wi-Fi”?
We both work online and we don’t need to be super fast but we’ve got to be able to upload our posts and she’ll does her podcasts and enough juice to do our calls and all that stuff, you know for her at least.
So, yeah, we both do a fair amount of research on it and for the park home we’re renting as well. We’ll do a fair amount of checking, just to make sure that we’ll be able to work. What we like to do as well is have Skype conversation with the person we need to check that the connection is really good, because doing a Skype can be really heavy. But, it should be good enough for our needs, but yeah that’s something we do a lot of research on.
It is improving in a lot of areas of the world, here in Cyprus usually it’s really solid; Bali it’s getting a lot better, Thailand very, very good.
Of course once you go off the beaten paths and move into some of these more remote outposts where we were just earlier this year in Buena Vista, Costa Rica, where we got really remote jungle. Of course there, was just nothing. There was just an old outhouse… and that’s it, there was no internet. But even in Bree Bree, Thailand where we didn’t expect it, it was actually really solid.
We don’t expect in these remote areas where it’s really more remote for it to be great and that’s one of the trade-offs you know. That’s going off the grid and doing whatever we can, at the time business wise and we’re like, ”we’re going to lose some business for a while.”
But, yeah, big-time research before time, more on the location where we’re looking to render more for the outfit though. That’s really phenomenal for either one of us, because it’s not really service based, but it would have to be good enough where we could maybe do a call or two. Where we could do a Skype interface with the Chromebook and do a Google call or whatever.
So, tonight’s definitely an anomaly, it’s been really, really good, it’s held out long enough where we could have this conversation, and it depends on where and it’s still pretty solid, so…
Matthew: Right, it is. That’s kind of a testament, a good testament to Wi-Fi in general around the world. It doesn’t sound like you’ve experienced any major long term outages or anything like that.
Ryan: No, no. There was one place where we got one stinker. The woman just wasn’t clear with us. We rented from a lady… and it’s not a big jungle, but it is a jungle area of Bali, North from Ubud and that was the only stinker we got.
We were working off a little stick or a phone. You know you plug it in and it was just bad. It was horrible. Some days an hour and we were both really struggling at the time, online wise and that was kind of a stressful point.
In the same respect it helped us to get clearer and clearer on our direction. No matter what happened… I never framed it as positive but I realized I was clearing up more of my fears and my stresses and stuff. So we met it as a positive.
That was the only stinker, some days only one hour a day.
We’d only get online for one hour and other days I’d get on for fifteen or twenty minutes, so that was kind of a wild time but this was years ago. Our businesses hadn’t really expanded much anyway, so that was a time to find that kind of clarity. Better then than now in a way. Other than that, everything else has been really, really solid.
Ryan and His Wife Both Blog–How Do They Support Each Other?
Matthew: That’s great. I like how you’re saying “we” and “our”. Kelly is obviously a blogger as well and I always enjoy talking to couples that are blogging together. Does it help to have a spouse who understands what it takes to succeed as a blogger?
Ryan: Oh my goodness Matt. You know how it is too… just with the blogging bit and the online bit.
We live in a very interesting world; in our own world in a lot of ways, because it’s really just more accepted where we come from, what I quote, “The States’’, you know. I’m from New Jersey, US, but you see it in so many other parts of the world where it is just getting started to be accepted.
India. South Africa…we ran into a couple… where there it’s still seen as a joke and where you know it’s, “Get a real job.”
Some people say that in the States too but you know but having someone, being with someone, being married to someone, who’s around me all the time, that wholly understands where I’m coming from, it’s night and day. It makes a difference because she goes through a lot of the same stuff, a lot of the same experiences, with her blog and with her brand and trying to do it on the road, even when the internet is really slow.
Sometimes it can be a little bit stressful and it’s not quite as great which when she wants to do one of her seminars and podcasts. It’s really held up so far… but yeah it totally does.
The mind-set stuff, that’s really such a big part of it and I think a lot of spouses maybe don’t understand it.
If their husband or wife is maybe a blogger, they can’t really get them and we’re all going through stuff through different areas of our lives, but when you have experienced the stuff cyber wise that your spouse is experiencing, or your partner or boyfriend or girlfriend.
It’s just you are able to connect and you’re able to feel what that person has been through, so you can guide them through it and you can walk them off the ledge.
She has definitely helped me you know. I think through five times when I’ve wanted to quit. No, through many, many times when I’ve wanted to quit over the years She’s really helped me through those moments where she’s walked me off the ledge, because she’s been there and she’s experienced it.
So, yeah, if you do have someone in your corner who has actually experienced this and who is a blogger and understands these things… comments and content and getting online, and all these areas. It helps so much. She is such a blessing to me. She has pulled me through some really tough times.
What to Do When Your Spouse Doesn’t Support Your Blog Dreams
Matthew: So, what advice do you have for the blogger who’s spouse doesn’t understand what it takes and maybe isn’t very supportive?
Ryan: I would say just get clearer and clearer on why you’re doing the blogging bit, because when you or your prime intent… I wouldn’t even want to say a motivator, because you don’t want anything like outside viewers much.
When your prime intent is just to be free and to have fun, even though it doesn’t sound tangible, and you’re focused on those emotions, that energy will help carry you through any of the resistance you are going to get from your spouse if they’re really not on board.
Maybe they are on board and they just don’t understand. They will respond to your energy. Even if they don’t agree or they’re thinking… ”you know you’re making a mistake, or you’re going down a dangerous path”, or ”it’s just too risky, risky, risky”.
When you get your energy so high and you do your inner work and you’re just like ” I’m just doing this primarily to have fun and to free myself.”
I just want to express myself, that will create a sort of energy momentum that will help you through any type of situation, whether it’s a big fight or you know, just all types of issues that can come up financially… you know… domestically.
Things happen. We’re human beings.
So, I would say focus on managing your energy and the more you do that, you will be able to filter their quote unquote ”stuff.”
Their fears, their doubts, the discussions you might have, you know, bear the arguments we all have from time to time. You will be able to handle that so much more and weather the storm.
That’s what will carry you past that resistance until you reach the point where they’re pretty much have to be a believer.
When you reach a certain point, maybe they won’t be an out and out believer, but when they see you’re having more and more success, almost every human being on earth who in that type of relationship will kind of get it, and will be ”Oh, now I see why you were going through all those tough times. Now I get it”.
So getting through the earlier years, or even months, can be a real challenge. Keep doing your work. Keep doing your meditating and exercising and getting clear on your intent and when you’re really following your fun, you’ll get through anything.
Advice For the Aspiring Travel Blogger with a Skeptical Spouse
Matthew: Okay. So, what advice do you have for the aspiring travel blogger who is married and their spouse also wants to travel, but the spouse is not convinced that blogging can financially support them?
Ryan: Ooh. That’s a really good one.
I would say it goes back to that same intent. Well, if that’s definitely the person for your marriage, if you people are definitely together, it’s something where you’re just going to have to say, ”This is my dream and I believe that…” you know, obviously the only thing I would say to my lovely wife and she’s never been in this space.
She’s never said anything, but I would say ”It’s your fear that it won’t happen” and ”I believe that it will happen”.
It’s your fear that it’s just not a ”viable way” and ”It’s your doubt that we’re not going to make enough money financially to be able live this lifestyle”. I would just call them on it and say, ”It’s your unbelief and I’m not going to put up with that.”
”I understand that we’re a couple and that we work together and we’re going to be living the same life”, but you know… ” this is my dream and I have a framework here and I’m doing the inner work to really create something epic and spectacular and freeing.”
”So, we’re together, get on board with me.” and again the toughest thing in life Matt everything is about the individual, even if it appears that it’s something else.
Its life and no matter what, when you do that work, people will start responding to you. People with doubts, will not doubt as much and people who are really against stuff will start being more on board or in some cases will move out of your life and that happens, too. That’s the reality of it.
Just get clearer and clearer on your intent and your dream and raise your energy as much as possible and you’ll find in a lot of cases, folks will believe and their doubt will turn to faith.
They’ll start thinking, ”You know what?, I really worried in the past, but I can see how much you’re investing in it and I can see how much you’re getting clear on it”. ”I think we can do this”. ”I think we can travel the world and you can blog and you can build this income”.
Maybe the spouse will say, “Hey, I can find my path now, and see where I want to go and maybe I’ll do travel blogging as well”. It’s all an inner game.
That’s one of the toughest things in life, probably my toughest lesson ever. It’s never about anybody else and it’s all about taking, not only personal responsibility, but being like “Hey, everything is everybody else’s projection and I can’t get caught up in their karmic crap storm or in their limiting beliefs.”
I’ve just got to do something that’s fun, freeing, fulfilling and prospering. I want to keep to that intent and move down that path and keep my energy high. Cooler and cooler things are going to happen and more people will be on board with it.
What Are Some Other Ways You Can Pay the Bills While Writing a Travel Blog?
Matthew: And there are some things that travel bloggers can do, you know, to pay the bills along the way, right?
Besides blogging? You talk about it, like the house sitting… Ryan, what are some other things?
Ryan: House sitting is still one of the best things because in a place like Thailand, where you can live and store cheap at a really cool place. It’s awesome, it’s fun. In Chiang Mai you can rent a place for like; three-hundred and fifty bucks for a month; a nice apartment in a really awesome town in the city. House sitting is so cool because it’ll save you three, four-hundred, six-hundred, a thousand bucks a month in some cases.
Some of these places you are watching, it’s not really the big things like ,how much you’re making. It’s what you’re not spending. so that would really be a big thing.
Budget Airlines is another big thing, you know, check in different regions like South East Asia and Liberia-Asia.
Here in Europe you have Pegasus Air which is really good, Ryanair and some of the other airlines.
Then different stuff online, like affiliate marketing, freelance writing. These are channels that you could obviously set up through your blog. There’s so much more; selling stuff, that I don’t even know much about.
Selling through E-bay or different stuff through Amazon. Really, just Googling it will give you so many ideas.
There’s also work exchanges, where you can either get paid a certain amount or you could live somewhere, and you will, say… ”work on a farm”. What is that? WorkEx. Yeah I think it’s WorkEx.
I’m really not sure, I forget the name of the website but I think there’s a website where you can basically live somewhere for free but, after you’ve exchanged… whether its farm work or whatever type of employment you’re looking for. Or whatever service you can provide.
So there’s really a ton. I’m biggest on house sitting because, again, here it’s just such a nice place. Maybe I’ll put more pictures on my blog soon. We’re living here and we just like watch two cats. I mean, in a lot of cases it’s just watching pets and stuff. In some cases, it’s not even just watching pets.
It’s just that they want live bodies in their homes and in their apartments, you know, so it’s actually one of the big things for travel bloggers. Definitely take advantage of that.
Trusted House Sitters dot com and House Carers dot com. They’re two of the best sites in the world. Before I end it off, I happened to write an eBook on Amazon of how to land, ”the best house sit hunter,” easily.
So there’s my book, but it’s also really helpful, because I talk about my first house sit ever.
It was a four month house sit in Fiji in Savusavu. The town had Tony Robbins, a world famous resort, The Michael Resort and Custa’s, a world famous resort.
Four months there and then we did six months in Bali and we turned down trips to Saipan and Mexico just because it didn’t vibe with us. We were turning down trips like that. Sitting in Costa Rico; sit here in Cyprus.
I delve into the tips of how to do it and once you get that energy right and follow through on a certain amount of practical tips… even people who want to travel, who are like “it’s expensive.” You can get to Budget Airline.
You can get across the world without breaking the bank and then you can get a house sit and it’s pretty wild.
Matthew: Yeah it sounds really wild, and it opens up the possibilities when you take a look at it. So, do you think it’s possible, I know you guys don’t have any kids, right?
Do You Think It’s Possible to Have Children While Writing a Travel Blog?
Matthew: Is it possible to live your lifestyle with children?
Ryan: It definitely is Matt. We personally know a number of bloggers who do the family bit and the home schooling bit. Definitely possible and there’s a decent number of folks who do it. Personally, Kelly and I, we wouldn’t want to raise kids. That’s like a lifestyle, only because we just feel, even us individually, we started travelling so much later in our lives. You know I have all my best friends when I’m going to go back home, from when I was fourteen. I know these guys for thirty years now, almost.
I’ve heard from a lot of friends from Grammar School. I think there’s something to be said to have stability for your children for when they’re growing up. It’s okay if you maybe move house once or twice, but you have your friends and you have your home and you maybe do your trips here and there… but long term, definitely possible.
It’s just not for us. I think personally, with the home schooling and everything, it would just take energetically a lot away from what we really want to do with our kids. With more the travel and embracing the culture… instead of being held up somewhere for a certain amount of time each day, in a house or hotel or whatever… I just think it’s tough for a kid.
I know, even for us, we love this, and we really miss home sometimes and just being transient and moving and being these little nomads, it can get tough sometimes. The travel days, you know, we were handling it well. But still, we left Friday at four-thirty from Central New Jersey and we arrived in Cyprus at eleven-thirty on Saturday night.
There’s a seven hour time difference but that wasn’t even a long one. Imagine forty-one hour trips altogether between layovers to Bali? So bringing a kid along… aaaagh, not good.
You know kids are kids and I remember when I was a kid. I got in a car and we’d be going five county’s over in New Jersey and I’d be, “Dad, are we there yet?” Now you have a forty- one hour flight altogether to Bali, and you have a kid there and you’re moving back and forth. It is tough on kids, but definitely possible.
For us, long term, we don’t plan to start a family when we’re living this lifestyle.
Maybe when we get settled in somewhere, we’ll go that route down the road.
Any Plans to Have Children Later On?
Matthew: Yeah do you think that’s something in your plans or you don’t know yet?
Ryan: I’ll be honest Matt. Right now, my plans…after we’re done with this awesome call, I’m just going to go have some Greek yoghurt. That’s really how I live my life and I think that’s why so many wacky things have happened.I’m not saying I have no thought but so much of it is being in the moment. All the pictures and do a couple of blog posts.
I don’t know, we were just doing research before and we don’t know where we’re going to be next month. We’re thinking Croatia, maybe Bosnia. We’re still trying to figure it out.
Maybe down the road, but I couldn’t even tell you. Right now, we just love traveling so much. We just spent six months back home. We really had a long trip back home. We really got our taste of New Jersey and the U.S.
We really enjoyed it, but I think we’ll be on the road for quite a bit now. Who knows, maybe down the road, we’ll see.
I’ll put a post on Blogging From Paradise if I’m still blogging at the time.
As a Travel Blogger, How Do You Manage Your Healthcare?
Matthew: Alright we’ll see. I’m just curious.When you go back to the U.S, do you get physical check-ups or anything like that?
Ryan: No. As far as the places where we’ve been, (some of my friends think I need to have my head examined, but other than that) nowhere has really been that off-the-beaten-path, where we will be taking stuff back with us, like a really remote section of Africa or whatever.
As far as general doctor check-ups, I mean here and there, but we live a really clean life. No drinking, no smoking.
Every day we do intimate fasting where we fast from seven at night until eleven the following morning. I’m vegetarian most of the time. My wife is a vegetarian.
Exercising an hour a day… I guess I’m not the purest guy on earth but I live a really clean life. I just know intuitively that I’m doing very well for myself. Even a year ago I was still being courted, after I cut my hair of course. I let my hair grow, but that’s a different story.
I’m forty-one and I still got courted from time to time to bars or whatever, so I kind of know I’m moving along a certain way where I’m in good shape as far as general check-ups. If we’ve been in more exotic areas we’ll have one.
Bulgaria,….. …..we know we’re in good shape.
We haven’t been anywhere, other than that place in Costa Rica, and even there we weren’t going anywhere that was really remote so going there we wouldn’t have had to have got Malaria shots or anything like that. We wouldn’t have been exposed to anything crazy.
Other than that I did almost die once, but that was on the road. That was in India and even though; I got giardia… It wasn’t actually giardia itself, it was because I waited way too darn long to go to the doctors.
I thought it was quote, unquote, ”Dehli belly”, just the typical gastro-intestinal stuff. I got really dangerously dehydrated.
I lost fifteen pounds in a week and my wife and the awesome home-owner from India, (his name was Santos) had to carry me to the doctor.
It was really, really bad. That was the worst thing that happened and even then it wasn’t that we were in a remote place. We were in India and sometimes it’s not quite as hygienic and I got this giardia.
I got so horribly dehydrated, where I had to be carried like a rag doll to the doctors. I’m not lithe but I’m in pretty good shape. I’ve been an athlete my whole life. Playing basketball, lifting and this and that; running and jogging. That was the only crazy or I don’t know about crazy, but a truly death defying situation that I’ve had on the road.
That taught me to get checked out right away and keep washing your hands everywhere, which I’m hyper aware of anyway, but that made me germaphobic. I don’t know if you remember that Monk character, that was always washing his hands? Yeah, something like that.
I don’t know if anybody watched that, anybody in the audience? I was like Tony Selu’s character for a good two months after that. Germ phobic
I was having a burger and they had no forks. Even after having washed my hands, I was like, “Let me get thirty napkins and I’m sitting there with a napkin glove, eating hamburgers.
It was pretty amusing I’m sure to many Indians, watching me feast in such a fashion. But once that happens to you, when you almost die from something like that, you don’t forget it.
What Advice Can You Offer Young Aspiring College Graduates Who Dream of Writing a Travel Blog?
Matthew: Wow. Yeah. For those listening, all of these stories that Ryan tells are available on his blog: Blogging From Paradise dot com.
So Ryan we’re coming down to the last few questions here. What advice do you have for someone listening right now, who is maybe eighteen-years-old or just twenty-two and about to graduate college and they find you online and they say to themselves, ”Yeah, I want to do what Ryan is doing”.
Ryan: Dive in… Don’t wait, don’t wait. The split second you say, ”I want to do it”. There’s some bigger part of you, some higher-self that literally says, ”this is what my life should be.”……… “but this is my life”.
From way back I used to be a fan of rap, old school rap and I forget what it was…, I think it was, ”Big Daddy Kane- Ain’t no half steppin” and it was literally don’t half step.
You’ve got to be all in from the split second you see it. Once you’re like, ”Okay, I’m going to do this”, no matter what you’re doing at that time, graduating from school, maybe a year out or whatever; wrapping things up.
There’ll be all sorts of questions; financially making enough money. This, that, the other thing. Get your intent down, follow your fun.
Whatever you can talk about the whole day long, whatever you can gab about the whole day long, blog about it.
That will give you the energy to do the really cool, fun stuff that will make you stand out like a sore thumb and that will help you build the connections.
That will help you create the content that has that energy to it that makes people be like… they just can’t miss you.
It’s like me walking through some of these neighborhoods in Cyprus.
Well maybe not here as much, but say like in Thailand on some of the tiny roads. They’re not going to miss this…
You know, white guy from the U.S., big peace ……….You couldn’t miss me. If you get that energy down and you’re like, “OK, I’m going to be all in. What is most fun to me right now? What can I talk about all day long? What do I have a passion for?”
That’s my niche. That’s the exact point where you start because all the success, all the money, all the travels, all the living in paradise, the house sits, the eBooks, all of that sprouts out of your driver.
When it’s a fun driver, you’re going to be so focused on having fun that you’re not even going to give much energy and thought to the outcomes.
When you do that, the outcomes create themselves as you’ve helped create them but so much less tough that you’re going to be leap frogging everybody. So many people do this Matt. They dive in, and goodness knows, I was so guilty of it for eons, of just trying to get into something, only to get or primarily to get. “I want to get money. I want to get this or I want to get that.” It’s okay. We all have that on some level, but make the most of it what you are true to. You hear about Richard Branson and these different people.
Follow your passion and Follow what you find most fun. That’s what opens up the doors that help you leap frog the obstacles that most people just surrender to, especially kids coming out of school.
”Oh, you can’t do that”, or your parents say, ”get a real job, how are you going to make money with that”?
All these doubts and they project their doubts on you. The people who really do epic stuff at twenty, twenty-one, they’re doing whatever.
Travelling the world, making whatever amount of money. High amounts of dough, they have that driver down, almost every one of them. From that comes, the creating and the connecting with influencers and the blog posts and the podcasts. You’ll connect with folks who will guide you in this direction and you’ll expand your reach and that’s when all the magic happens.
Whatever you are starting in life, whether you’re eighteen and graduating or whether you’re seventy-one and you’re like, ”Listen, I have no idea what this blogging bit is, but I’ve got to live that life”.
There are people who follow my blog who are senior and junior and everything in-between. I’ve got readers from Afghanistan, from Burbancabby, from all over the world.
The one’s that really lock it out are the ones that have that energy down, they have the fun down, they have the passion and that’s where everything expands.
So Ryan, Which Destination Is Your Favorite Paradise So Far?
Matthew: Follow your fun. Okay, Ryan, don’t give this too much thought. Off the top of your head, of all the different places you’ve visited so far, which paradise is the best?
Ryan: Phuket, Thailand. All of them are great. I’ve loved everywhere we’ve been, even some of the wackier situations, but Phuket… Phuket when we land Matt, it feels like home to me.
It feels more like home than New Jersey and I think I’ve only spent six months there. But it has an energy to it, especially on the southern end of the island… just magnifique… just phenomenal.
Matthew: That sounds beautiful. So Thailand is the best?
Ryan: Thailand overall. Bali is right there with it. I strongly advise anybody…you’ve got to get there at least once in your life. There’s energy there, a feel between the culture, the scale, the people and how they work their spirituality into the culture, where it’s ingrained. That’s another place everybody should get to for a least a week. It’ll change you in a big way.
Thailand. Definitely ”A One,” because of the mix between…we love our creature comforts, Kelly and I; you have a lot of that… and the deeply entrenched culture. You have the monks going up……..at five in the morning and you hear them chanting. It’s a fascinating place. They call it the land of smiles for a good reason. There are people giving you the wai, the bow. It’s just such a neat place. It’s my favorite place in the world.
Matthew: Bali. So do you have a lot of content about Bali too?
Ryan: Yeah. I’ve done a number of eBooks on Bali and a lot of content on Bali and Thailand as well. Also quite a bit on Fiji, but those two places more than anywhere else I’d say; my two favorite places in the world.
Which Paradise Has the Friendliest People?
Matthew: Which place has the friendliest, nicest people?
Ryan: Every one. The people are so friendly everywhere. It’s so tough. I’d probably say…if I had to pick one…Bali and Thailand are right up there but I’d probably pick Fiji.
Savusavu, Fiji, which is on Vanua Levu. It’s the second biggest island. A lot of people think Fiji is one big island.
It’s actually two hundred and twenty. Seventeen of which are inhabited. Vanua Levu is the second biggest and we spend four months there.
When we landed at the airport in Fiji, a woman bought a muffin and a coffee at the one stall and she walked right back and sat down. She was like, ”Do you want my coffee and muffin”? I thought she was joking, because I’m from New Jersey and usually some of type strange situation is going to come up out of that.
It’s usually not from the kindness of the heart. Sorry to say that, but that’s just the way it is. This lady said, ”Just take it”.
I found out that a lot Fijians are so nice and friendly and have that spirit of ”what’s mine is yours”. They really take it to a level of… I’d meet people; I’d chat with a guy for two minutes the one day and he was like, ”Come on to my house, come by for kava and we have some Fiji bitter”, which is the big beer out there.
When you meet them it’s like you’re Fijian. You’re not even a guest. You’re in. It’s such a warm feeling. It’s just so friendly and warm. I think here it’s the people, but being four hours away from Australia, in the middle of the South Pacific, they’re so isolated from everybody else, that its island style as a lot of folks would say.
One kid out there, James, would say, “It’s EASY. Everything in Fiji is easy. No matter what happens, It’s so laid back; so, probably the Fijians.
The Balinese are so similar too. Once you’re there, you’re pretty much Balinese. We went to weddings. The experiences I’ve had are unbelievable. The people there invite you in like they’ve know you for their entire lives.
It made me open my heart to so many more folks because I thought if they can be like this after knowing me for two minutes, and bring me in for dinner, then I can be more open-hearted and kinder.
That’s the really cool part about travel.
Ryan, How Has Blogging Changed Your Life?
Matthew: All three of those places sound really lovely. Wow. So alright Ryan, this is the last question. How has blogging changed your life?
Ryan: You know Matt, seven, eight years ago… you know I’m tongue tied for one of the few times… I’m sitting in a shipping terminal in North New Jersey in Hanawaki, and I’m cursing the truck driver who couldn’t get out in time.
If he was out in time, the guy with the pick-up would load and we’d close early and wouldn’t have to stay open until twelve. Now I’m sitting in Cyprus. I’ve written a hundred and twenty six eBooks.
I’ve traveled the world for over five years. I’ve lived in Fiji for four months, Bali for a year and Thailand for two, I think.
This world was alien to me before blogging. It didn’t exist. I didn’t know where Bali was. I didn’t know where half of these places were. I didn’t know where Vietnam or Cambodia was. Now I can write reviews on six Cambodian towns. These are remote places. It’s insane.
Blogging has changed my life in that I live a different life. A complete one eighty from what I used to do. Everybody has their life that they enjoy more than anything and I think I kind of liked my old life, I enjoyed it and I felt like it was where I was supposed to be at the time, I guess. I’m sure it was. I’ve always had that model, “perfect place, perfect time” no matter what, but it’s opened doors, not that I couldn’t see, but that I didn’t even know existed.
I didn’t know you could make money online before I started blogging. I honestly didn’t.
Blogging has helped me engineer a free lifestyle.
The cool thing about it is that now I’m starting to inspire a lot more people to do it. That’s even more rewarding to me because I not only do I know how to blog, I know how to blog well. I didn’t know how to write an eBook, but now I’m teaching folk to do that.
Folk who are going through a lot of things, who are in the same sort of spot, who are totally clueless to this.
I’ve been on Richard Branson’s Life. I still can’t believe something like that. I’ve spoken at N.Y.U. I’m like, ”are you kidding me”? ”Speak at Union County College in New Jersey?”
It’s a total one eighty and inspiring so many folks to do the same has become fulfilling. It’s the cherry on the top. It’s both humbling and fulfilling. It’s the cherry on the top and it’s what makes everything so fun. Creating an entirely different reality than I knew existed or knew was possible. That’s what blogging has helped do for me.
How can people connect with Ryan Biddulph?
Matthew: You have an amazing story. Ryan, where can people go to follow you online?
Ryan: Blogging From Paradise dot com. That’s my home page. I list all my eBooks by category because that’s really what I’m putting the push on now.
You can find me on Amazon as well. Just put in “Ryan Biddulph” on Amazon dot com or Blogging From Paradise dot com and you’ll get a hundred and twenty-six bite sized eBooks, helping you retire to a life of island hopping through smart blogging.
It’s talking about my story.
If you’re not as much into the island hopping bit…if you are, go forward. If you’re not still go forward because I think you can get some really fun and creative ideas through my madness.
Matthew: Awesome. I’ll have all of Ryan’s links down in the show notes.
Ryan it’s been a pleasure talking to you today on The Blogging Chronicles. Thanks for joining us.
Ryan: It was my honor, Matthew. Thanks so much for inviting. I’ve had such a blast.
Matthew: Awesome. Take care.
Ryan: Bye-bye now.I put one foot in paradise listening to travel blogger Ryan Biddulph share his story!
Matthew: Thanks for tuning in to this episode of The Blog Chronicles.
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Next time we’ll be talking with Online Marketing Expert, Katherine Kotaw, C.E.O. of Kotaw Content Marketing, on the importance of telling your story and selling your story to grow a huge blog audience.
Are you sharing your story in ways that connect and motivate the right audience? Or are you not even sure of what content marketing means?