At age 63 I permanently left the US and decided that life was too short and I wanted to see the world. My fiancé and I were not looking for a “second home,” but instead wanted to experience different places for a month to two months. With that as our goal, I started my “Travel Younger” blog which began the day we left Los Angeles on February 17, 2019, and have over 125 blog entries to date. That encompasses 24 countries, over 100,000 miles, and more than 400 cities. The African, Asian, and South American continents are crossed off the list with just Australia and Antarctica left to visit. Time will tell. All well and good, but how do you PAY for this lifestyle?
That question vexed me for a long time and is still one of my biggest challenges.
Most of my career was in real estate and I never even got into writing until my mid-fifties. So you see, there is still time if you’re running late, too! In the go-go hyper market of Southern California, I started a column for my then local newspaper and reported on the market. That went well until the 2008 recession took away my 30-year career, and most of my assets with it. A few interesting twists and the end of a 27-year marriage over the next few years had me writing for my local newspaper in Newport Beach, CA—and getting paid—plus I wrote for a trade magazine in a niche industry that I stumbled upon. That trade magazine folded and leaving Newport Beach stopped my newspaper reporting, but I am slowly replacing my income.
My Travel Younger blog ended up becoming two volumes of my book called “Traveling the World Six Weeks at a Time,” and from the day I left almost three years ago, my “plan” was always to write books and have a library of different titles, each throwing off a little bit here, a little bit there.
And that is what is happening.
I have picked up two monthly writing assignments in my prior niche industry, so that is a good foundation. In addition to NONfiction I also got COVID boredom and wrote fiction for the first time in my life. Along with my ongoing travel blog (which will become content for volume III), I also have another book in the works called “Life on the Road: WHY they do it; HOW they do it,” which profiles two dozen traveling nomads like me. And that dreaded COVID boredom? That experience actually gave me the idea of sharing coronavirus “Positive Lessons that Started Very, Very Badly…” and I engaged 18 fellow writers worldwide who all tell their own positive COVID lessons. “COVIDstories” just launched and will become part of an ongoing series. I was able to get contributors from seven countries, from ages 21-74, and there were more stories beyond the 18 I used. I called us the “COVID19Collective” and I developed a revenue share with my fellow authors. My hope is that after they get their stipends this book can throw off income for many years, since, after all, we always need positive stories, right??
The trick to monetizing nonfiction writing is to be as open minded as possible. If we confine ourselves to just what we’ve “always done,” or “what we’re comfortable with,” we will limit ourselves. As an entrepreneur for decades and a pretty random thinker, we never know where opportunities present themselves, and I can tell you at age 67, it is never too late to start something new!
Norm Bour started writing “later” in life and shares his nomadic world travels under his www.TravelYounger.com blog. He recently completed “COVIDstories: Positive Lessons that Started Very, Very Badly…” and information is at https://asknormb.wixsite.com/covidstories. @NormBour Twitter
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