Hi! I’m Jeremy and I blog at Think Travel Lift Grow! Originally born and raised in Goa, India to a middle class Indian family where growing up I had my life planned and laid out for me and the only choice I had was picking between becoming a doctor or an engineer! I dropped out of college in February 2016 and left Goa, India in April 2016 with less than 200$ to my name and began traveling the world full time and have been on the road since!
Growing up one book had a huge impact on my life, Think and Grow Rich. I remember reading it and the first thought that came to my head was that the title said “Think” and Grow Rich not “Work” and Grow Rich. I was brought up under the illusion that to lead a “happy” life I need to study and work hard then I could get a good job and eventually after 45 years of “hard work” doing something I might not even like I could retire and then when I’m old and tired I could do what I want.
Hard work, irrespective of the results it produced was put on a pedestal but that was a lie and the reality is that hard work is worthless unless you are first working smart. Smart then hard work is key. That book was a huge influence in the process of the naming of my blog.
What tips or advice could you give our readers that may want to start a travel blog?
One word. Value! Every day I get 100’s of messages from people who want to do things like start a blog and travel the world, or make money traveling. I believe that it all comes down to one simple factor, Value. Start out by writing content that solves people’s problems, focus on having a positive impact on people’s lives and leave them better off because they have stumbled into your blog. Do that instead of just trying to make money and you will succeed. I personally give away almost all of my blogging and freelancing tips for free, Why? Because I know that most of the people won’t act on them, but for the few that do, the messages I receive about how my content changed their lives, from people being able to quit the jobs they hate to being able to move out of their abusive partners place touches me makes me so emotional and means more to me than any revenue I earn from my blog.
Have you got any places on your bucket list? If so where?
Here’s something funny. I don’t have a bucket list at all. Not one about places to visit or one about things to do, I don’t have a bucket list for life in general. I remember when I met the Dalai Lama, I thought to myself that if I did have a bucket list, meeting him would’ve definitely have been on it! Haha. I believe in just doing what I love, for now that’s traveling the world, if that changes tomorrow I’ll just stop traveling.
What are some of the best things about travel?
There are many great things about travel that I absolutely adore, from the ability to meet new amazing people to seeing incredible sites. But one thing really hits home for me, humility. Traveling the world makes you realise that the world truly doesn’t revolve around you, about how there’s so much to explore, so many people to meet and that you don’t just exist in your tiny bubble.
Doing what I do, I started gaining a little following and have even met fan while traveling around the world! However arriving in an absolutely new country or city where no one knows you and you are just a stranger really helps stuff like that not go to your head, which is very easy especially for someone as young as me.
Have you experienced any downsides to travel?
There are downsides with everything in life, but I default to focusing on the positive which is why this was one of the hardest questions for me. There are many downsides to travel from visas since I have an Indian passport, delayed flights, currency exchange fees etc etc. Here’s something most people will find this hilarious, but sometimes I need a vacation from travel! Traveling full time is exhausting which is why whenever I find a city or town I like (with good coffee!) I usually just live there for a while.
Is there any advice you can give people who want to start traveling for the first time?
People will rather help you than hurt you. Despite everything that’s been portrayed by the media if you look at the data (I love numbers and facts lol) we live in the safest time in human history! Sure there are a few people who might be out to hurt you but they are always a super tiny minority, the majority of people will rather help you than hurt you.
What’s your favourite city or cities and why? What are the top attractions to see in each?
I like different city and countries for very different reasons and have quite a few favorites! I like Sri Lanka and especially Mirissa for surfing, I like the mountains in Nepal for trekking, I like the Indian cities for their culture and Dalat in Vietnam for the Coffee and people …. the list is endless. I do believe each city even the one you are in right now has something special to offer and some of my best travel moments have been when I’ve just wandered aimlessly.
Any recommendations for best beaches you have visited? where were they?, and what did you like about them? Been born in Goa, India and growing up with my parents house being a few minutes away from the beach I have some pretty high standards however Sri Lanka definitely blew my mind. It had some of the best sunsets I’ve ever seen and also amazing waves to surf on!
What’s your favourite travel apps?
Maps. Me, Survival Manual (I tend to do crazy things at times, like last year I went off the grid and camped in the wild for a month wherein I met only 1 human in an entire month…yup! So better safe than sorry) and Google translate.
What are three things have your travels have taught you?
Humility, Curiosity and pushing myself out of my comfort zone.
Do you have any tips / ideas on how our reader can earn an income whilst travelling?
The first way I earned money was that I learned how to build websites off Youtube and Google and began building websites for cafes and hotels. Did that for a couple of months as I grew my blog to be a full time source of income.
A sure shot way to earn an income on the road is to pick a skill that you like or have an interest in, get really good at that skill using the internet and then start doing that skill for people that will benefit from them.
We live in the most opportunistic time in human history, you can make millions uploading video to Youtube! It’s never been easier to make an income on the road, however it’s a lot of hard work but is definitely worth it.
I’ve been blogging for about 13 months as of the writing of this article and my blog comes on the first page of google for many queries and actually on the second for this exact highly competitive query of “how to make money traveling”. I don’t have a “hack” or “secret”, one of the first sentences I wrote to my introduction was “Smart then hard work” and that’s basically what all of this comes down to.
What equipment do you use to blog? Most of my pictures and videos for my Youtube channel are taken on my phone or on my GoPro Hero 5. I don’t focus much on photography, as I’m not truly passionate about it and usually say that “I’m not a good photographer, I just go to beautiful places”! Most of my work entails just working in a browser so I use a chromebook :).
What are your travel plans this year? any thing exciting? I started 2017 bringing in the New year in Cambodia, then I headed to Vietnam for 3 months where I spent first month living in Hanoi to recharge from traveling and then travelled the north and central parts of the country, living in different places over 2 month. I came to Laos about 3 weeks ago and am currently traveling the North of Laos. I’m not sure where I’m going next, I’m either going to head back to Vietnam and spend some more time there or head off to Thailand in a week when my Lao Visa expires. I don’t really plan much, just go with what I feel like doing in the moment.
Do you have any great websites to share with our readers to help them with blogging or travelling?
When traveling through Southeast Asia, I definitely recommend Travel Fish as they have a lot of great information. When it comes to blogging especially marketing I recommend people check out Gary Vaynerchuk, he is a 4X NYT best selling author and his videos on Youtube are better than most of the paid courses available on the internet.
I also tend to share a lot of useful information of my blog at Think Travel Lift Grow, mainly lessons I have learnt from past experiences and trial and error.
Share a travel quote you love one of your own.
If you never ask, the answer is always no. If you never go, you will never know.
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Digital Travel Guru would like to say a huge Thank You to Jeremy for taking the time to do our interview and we would like to wish him all the best on his adventures.