Brianne Miers is the principal of Kind Communications, which provides a wide range of strategic communications services to nonprofits and start-ups. She also is a freelance writer and photographer, sharing content from her trips to 45+ countries with numerous travel blogs and publications. Through her blog, A Traveling Life, she provides advice on how to balance a career with a life of travel. A New Jersey native, she’s lived in Boston for eight years.
1. How do you afford to travel so much?
I’ve always maintained a fairly frugal lifestyle and prioritized spending money on experiences over material possessions. Sure, I don’t have the nicest car or biggest condo, but seeing the world is more important to me.
I also would be considered a budget traveler – after all, the cheaper your trips are, the more you can take! I maximize rewards programs, travel off-season and always look for flight deals to countries where there’s a low cost of living (that’s just one reason I love traveling to Southeast Asia). I prefer to stay at hostels or guesthouses over resorts and eat at local restaurants instead of popular tourist spots.
2. How do you get so much time off?
About three years ago, I left a full-time job to start my own consulting practice because I wanted a more flexible schedule. Of course, self-employment can be very challenging – your workload can be overwhelming, while your income can be unreliable.
But overall, it’s allowed me to have experiences I wouldn’t have been able to do with a full-time job, including spending nearly five months overseas in Southeast Asia and India (from October 2014-February 2015). Since then, I’ve taken shorter trips because of client commitments, but I’m excited to be heading to the Philippines in October for two weeks.
3. Aren’t you worried about your safety?
I regularly travel by myself to far-flung places, so the short answer is yes, of course. But I’m extremely fortunate that I’ve made it through all of my travels unscathed. (Knock on wood!)
I generally take the same precautions that I do when I’m home in Boston or visiting any other city in the U.S. I always try to stay aware of my surroundings, especially when I’m by myself and especially at night, and I’m always conscious of where women are – and I stay away from where they are not. More than anything, I trust my gut. If a situation doesn’t feel right, I leave.
4. Do you make any money from your blog?
Right now, it’s just a hobby. I don’t accept advertising or sponsored posts on my blog because I want it to feel genuine. Many bloggers also make money by selling products like ebooks and services like travel planning, and I hope to have the capacity to pursue those avenues in the future.
I do get offered hotel stays, transportation, and tours in exchange for sharing my experiences on my blog and social media outlets. It sounds glamorous, but sponsored trips are definitely a lot of work – you’re taking photos, conducting interviews, collecting information, and thinking of your story angle. And then you have to write your post and edit your photos when you return. Travel blogging has definitely changed traveling for me – I can never really “unplug.”
5. What’s your favorite country?
After visiting 45+ countries, this is such a hard question! I definitely can’t narrow it down to one, so I’ll say my top three – Thailand, Croatia, and Peru.