By Ted Nash, Partner, One True View
It might be hard to remember the days before we were obsessively refreshing our timelines for the latest clip of cute puppies, or tagging our friends at the coolest rooftop bar, but the digitally dominated world we live in today has completely changed the way we live and interact with others. Not only that, but the rise and power of social media has brought with it a whole new space to work in, creating jobs that would have never existed a few years ago.
Social channels like Facebook and Instagram receive consistently high volumes of traffic, gaining tens of millions of hits every day. Audiences flock to their newsfeeds to enjoy the latest content from their favourite channels which provide them with entertaining videos and pictures; and this content sits at the heart of influencer marketing. Whether it’s stunning footage of white sandy beaches, or breathtaking sunsets, we often overlook who’s working behind the lens. Whilst many individuals are consumed by the daily grind of the office environment 9-5, content creators are being sent around the world, all expenses paid, to shoot the eye-catching footage we see flooding our screens.
Escaping the monotony and strains of everyday life and packing your bags to explore the world sounds like a dream to many but, often, one that’s too far out of reach. Financial insecurities can mean so many of us never make the leap to hand in our notice, or book those flights, so the prospect of actually being paid to travel the world sounds almost too good to be true. We all know a free spirit who’s set off to the other side of the world, ready to go wherever the wind takes them, and when posed with the question of; ‘What are you going to do for money?’, they rely on picking up bar work or manual labour to carry them through. But you don’t travel to some of the most beautiful cities in the world to spend your days and nights seeing the inside of a bar (unless for social reasons, of course). Opting for the nomadic lifestyle of a content creator allows you to truly make the most of new surroundings whilst sharing your discoveries with the rest of the world.
In 2014, Shanna Welch took the leap. She said goodbye to her job as a veterinarian technician and set off for Australia where she met her now husband, Rhys, who hadn’t long before made the same decision. Fast-forward a couple of years and, shortly after getting married in Las Vegas, the couple began posting footage of their adventures online. “This was really just a hobby for me and my husband, since travelling is our main passion”, says Shanna. They shared a video of themselves sledding down the Great Wall of China which went viral and this was the lightbulb moment; they realised they could work as content creators. Realising the value of what started out as a hobby, they got in touch with various companies; luxury rental properties, unique AirBnB’s and private islands, to see if they would put the couple up for free, in exchange for promotional videos. “It worked!”, Shanna said. “We worked with over 12 companies, in 45 days, across four countries. We stayed in Penthouses, mansions with private beaches in Mexico, and met some amazing tour guides along the way. We loved being able to work with these companies, and help with their online exposure, which some struggle to achieve.”
With all the freedom and opportunities that come with being a content creator, the unpredictability of traveler lifestyle comes with its challenges, and Shanna and Rhys have had to overcome a lot of obstacles along the way.
“Travelling is never perfect; things go wrong, you miss your train, you lose your bags three days before your wedding, getting lost is the norm, and you often can’t speak the language. But somehow you always find a way to figure it out. The willingness to face such adversities seems so easy when you’re doing what you love, and that’s the whole premise of content creating. The perfect shot may be a four hour hike up a mountain, or across a rickety bridge, but the stunning video that you compile at the end of it makes it all worth it.”
Shanna and Rhys’ adoration for travel, and their desire to share it with the world, is what makes content creating such an incredible opportunity created by the digital world. “This isn’t just my dream job; it’s a different way of life. Rhys and I had a dream to inspire others to travel the world and add destinations to their bucket list - and we’re living it.”
Tagged in Travel