If you have ever wanted to know how to quit your job and travel, this blog is for you. This is our story of leaving the 9-5 to become a travel Content Creator. Working with global brands and travelling the world. It’s a unique & relatively new industry, and so I hope that sharing my Salty Luxe story will help anyone looking to follow a similar path, or those that are just curious.
I also wanted to share our story for anyone looking for inspiration to follow their own dreams. I’ve made plenty of mistakes, but I am so happy in my decisions to take a risk and pursue my passions.
Salty Luxe was born from our love of the world. That feeling you have when you’re completely free;
A desire to bring genuine good into the world;
… & the endless search for paradise.
But life wasn’t always this way.
After a life changing health scare, with the sudden question of my future being unknown, we decided to never waste another minute and live each day to the fullest!
Finding That Spark
I have always had a love for travel and photography. Growing up, my family didn’t travel much, but the passion was ignited in my early 20’s when I travelled to Burma. I lived with a Hill Tribe, whilst working on an Elephant Conservation Project. Possibly one of my all time favourite travel memories and where the spark began!
Around this time I’d finished school and had tried a teaching degree at university for two years, before changing to a double major in Advertising & Marketing and Journalism. This was all before social media (there were no courses for any online media) so my work experience was with a newspaper company 😆. After university I used my training to work with several charities in their marketing and events teams.
Looking back on this, clearly I was unsettled in what I wanted to do. But I guess I had the ingredients of travel, media and doing something meaningful.
Changing My Scenery
It was around this time that I met Chesh ❤️. Both coming from the same part of Australia, we met at a pivotal time where we were both looking for something else. Within a year, we both moved out of home and away from everyone we knew to live together in the surf town of Byron Bay, Australia. Our friends thought we were crazy. But our parents could see we needed a change from our current scenery and widening of our horizons.
A Life Changing Event
Then I got really sick. I don’t talk about this much but let’s just say that for a long time I didn’t know what my future would be. It was as I came out the other side of this that I realised I had to follow my dreams at all costs.
From here we started to travel a lot. Chesh and I took leave from our jobs and did our first big backpacking trip for 6 months through Central America. We also spent some time in the US, including road tripping around California in a VW Kombi. It was a totally life changing experience for us both. Being young people that had been relatively sheltered from the world, we both got so much clarity from that trip. To this day, we both see that long period of time that I suffered through illness with a silver lining. Without that hardship and challenge, we wouldn’t have stepped so far out of our comfort zone. Such is life!
I took a lot of photos on that trip with my early model iPhone and loved capturing our travels. This is when I started my Salty Luxe social media account. I had no idea about the power of social media (Instagram was still very new and just for sharing with friends) and I didn’t start sharing my travels with any foresight to build it into a business.
The Start of Salty Luxe
I bought my first camera (a Canon 5D) and shared a lot of images from around our home town of Byron Bay and from more travels. We got our first travel job in Sumatra with around 10,000 followers on my Instagram account. I learnt a lot from our first big overseas gig.
By this stage I was learning a lot about content creation from online (YouTube was amazing!) and heaps of trial and error. I could see some success and started to shift my thinking to make my passion a full time job.
During this time I was working still a 9-5 job and coming home to work until late every night and all weekend, building my skills and reaching out to a lot of brands to seek work. I had to be SO persistent as I was knocked back a lot. This went on for some time and was a proper grind! Working hard to make money but working even harder in all my spare time on my passion.
Taking The Plunge – Becoming a Content Creator
Finally I quit my job. I was managing the social media for a local company by this stage and my side hustle of Salty Luxe was getting too much to juggle with a full time job. Although I wasn’t generating enough income from Salty, I knew if it was going to work I had to take a chance. So I threw everything at Salty Luxe. Very nerve-racking but it was the only way I could properly commit to my dream. A lot of support from Chesh too!
Things grew pretty quickly and before I knew it, I was travelling a lot. So much so, that Chesh couldn’t get enough leave and I was taking my mum, friends or travelling solo! A lot of tripod shooting at this stage!
My Dream Job
A few years after I left my job, Chesh did the same and together we begun travelling the world as professional photographers and videographers. I feel so blessed every day to do what I love with Chesh.
We are both self-taught in this industry, both driven and passionate about travel, photography/videography, and using our voice to promote the ‘good’ in the world. We love to learn and share with others all of the amazing conservation and sustainability initiatives that we encounter. Whether it be promoting the importance of coral reefs, raising money for bushfires, or shining a light on eco-conscious brands, there’s so much opportunity to connect with a global audience on important matters through social media.
Because of the pandemic, our plans were obviously affected but we took this as an opportunity (silver linings again – ha!) to start to create products that we could be proud of and share with others. From opening our ‘Salty Luxe Store‘ in 2020, we now promote our hosted Salty Luxe retreats (exotic travel with us with sustainability initiatives). We also created our own photo presets, eco-conscious fine art prints, and our sustainable swimwear (made from recycled plastics pulled from our oceans).
We now get to work with massive brands and tourism agencies that we have always dreamed of aligning with. Getting to work in the travel space allows us to see so many beautiful places. Although our job is a hell of a lot tougher than it seems from the outside, there’s never a day that we don’t appreciate the time we have doing this together xx
We have also got some really exciting new projects happening that we have been dreaming of forever!! So stay tuned. You can keep up to date by subscribing to our email list here.
If you want to learn more about how you too can be a Full Time Content Creator, read our recent blog here.
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