Have you ever imagined being able to whittle your days away while laying on a beach sipping coconuts, with only monkeys for neighbors? Starting from modest roots, much like ourselves, Ryan Biddulph of Blogging From Paradise has upheaved everything conventional and created for himself a personal paradise. A published author and public speaker, Ryan is the champion for the digital nomad. With an incredible talent for living a life of island hopping and leisure, Ryan shares the “How tos” through his frank and incredibly fun blog. Personally he has been a huge help for my own blogging strategies. If being free – however you may define it -is your goal, take a moment and connect with Ryan…
Tell us about Blogging From Paradise. Who are you, what are you all about, you’re first introduction to traveling, and how long you’ve been on the road
My name is Ryan Biddulph and I am a guy who loves freeing me and my audience through traveling. I created Blogging from Paradise to inspire folks to retire to a life of island hopping through smart blogging, as I have done. I was introduced to traveling by flying 23 hours from NYC to Bali. First flight. First international trip. First vacation in 20 years. I do dive into things. I have been traveling the world for 4 years in a row as of now. I just want to free folks. I was a bored, depressed broke ass security guard and now I have created a full time income earning blog, and I created BFP to help struggling travel bloggers to boost their cash flow, so they need not return home to make that paper, if they don’t want to.
It must have been really tough leaving everything you knew behind. Was there any hesitation? If so, how did you overcome that, and what was your inspiration?
Nope honestly Carey, it wasn’t, because I outgrew NJ. I was broke. I was depressed. I hated my life there, not because of NJ – not a bad state – but because I wanted to see more of the world, and being bound to the USA didn’t allow me to do that. No hesitation, my wife Kelli booked tickets to Bali, I hopped onto my first flight, on my first trip abroad, halfway across the world, and never looked back. I was inspired to be free, so I did the uncomfortable things to make that freeing life a dream reality.
How do you afford staying on the road as long as you have? Any tricks/advice you can share with us?
Build a blog that makes some paper Seriously, I’d say, create value and connect with inspired, authority bloggers, to boost your passive and active cash flow. Then, you can visit countries where the exchange rate rocks: Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, India, Nepal, etc, etc. We’re in Bali now. My wife and I eat lunch for 2, for about $5, and it’s a HUGE plate of veggies and proteins, and rice, at a local spot called Warung Warung in Jimbaran, Bali. It does not suck to have 1 USD = 13,000 Ruppiah, just about, as when our flight lands in Bali, and in Thailand, our USD earning net worth jumps like five fold or more, if we’re staying in incredibly cheap places like Chian Mai, Thailand. Generate that full time income through blogging and visit countries with a low cost of living to capitalize on the internet lifestyle.
Tell me more about being a smart blogger and what is one lifestyle change we can make right now to set me on the road of retiring on an island?
Smart blogging is effective blogging. Like, I could publish a run of the mill, 400 word post, which is OK, or I could publish a 5,000 word, in-depth post, targeted to one audience, through keyword selection. Then I can promote the heck out of other inspired bloggers, to grow my network, and said bloggers, more than a few, will promote me, boosting my readership, growing my email list and boosting my book sales on Amazon.
As for that 1 change I’d say, make your love of being free greater than your fear of doing uncomfortable stuff. Right now I publish 1 book weekly along with a 5,000 word post and a podcast. I also run freelance writing and blog coaching businesses and I engage in an aggressive blog commenting campaign. I do the creating and connecting that needs be done to be free, because I love being free more than doing uncomfortable things. I’ll do the legwork to write the kick butt post or to publish an eBook weekly or to make the intimate, strong bond, because it helps me live this awesome, blessed life, on the road, as a full time, pro blogger.
Making money is also about saving. What are three steadfast rules that you abide by in order to stay on budget while island hopping?
1: Eat local much of the time. Eating local keeps you from busting your budget.
2: Eat at home at least one meal daily. Kelli my wife and I eat tempe with rice, bought from the local store, once daily. With veggies this meal runs us like 3 to 4 bucks, if that.
3: Enjoy what you can for free. Our most stunning experiences on the road were free experiences. Hanging at the beach when the sun goes down, in Koh Lanta, or in Quepos. Or hiking in a national park. Or just strolling around town in Kathmandu. All free, all priceless, and all kept us within our budget.
You’ve been on the road for over 3 years now, globe-trotting and island hopping, what’s the most memorable experience/trip you’ve had, and one that I should absolutely add to my own bucket list?
Wow, this is a tough one. Most memorable trip is probably Savusavu, Fiji, for I’ve never seen a more pristine, pollution-free, drop dead gorgeous land, in my life!
Bucket list add: an African Safari or Patagonia. Tied.
Now tell us your craziest story and how you got yourself out of it
Wow, so many to choose from. 3 weeks ago I fought a spitting cobra in the backyard on the villa grounds in Jimbaran, Bali. I almost checked out after a wicked motorbike accident in Jimbaran 3 years ago, and I was attacked by a wild man in Nepal who bit my arm, and I saw a lizard walk on water in Costa Rica. I also got coked out in Peru, and was in Thailand during the coup.
#1 though, is my illness in India. I fell ill with giardia. I lost 20 pounds in about 10 days. I was rushed to the emergency room, dangerously dehydrated, and I genuinely felt I was dying. It was terrifying but oh so freeing because I saw life as being a zillion times more precious after the event. I am an athletic work out nut, so when I couldn’t walk 30 seconds without losing my breath, ONE MONTH after I first fell ill with the disease, I was humbled too.
Imagine feeling like you were going to puke, at the end of every day, for 10 days. Imagine not being able to hold onto anything because you’re letting go water, on the back end. It was hideous, horrifying, and the sickest I’ve ever been in my whole life. Oh yes, I didn’t eat anything for those 10 days either, other than a half an orange on the first day of my sickness.
I got out of it with a hospital trip for a few days and antibiotics.
If you could offer only one survival/safety tip, what would it be?
Be alert. Look around. Pay attention. Life is kinda crazy on the road sometimes and people who get in trouble are oblivious.
How have you evolved as a traveler from when you first started to how you are now?
I judge less. I love more. I accept more. I am less biased, and more fascinated by different cultures, and I am much more patient these days than I ever, ever was, because you can’t travel and stay sane, by being impatient.
Ok, this is for all the gear lovers out there. What is the one essential piece of travel gear you must have on your travels?
For me, my laptop. Because gear-wise, I am t shirts and shorts, and flip flops, so simple. But I gotta bring my home office with me.
Where are you in the world at the moment, and where will the road take you next?
Jimbaran, Bali now, and we’ll had back to the US for a month before traveling through Mexico, in about 3 months.
Go for it! My first time on a plane was 23 hours, and my first trip, Bali. I dove in fully and never looked back. No excuses. Book the flight. Get going!
About Blogging From Paradise
Hi, I’m Ryan Biddulph. I can help you retire to a life of island hopping through smart blogging. Grab yourself some coconut juice, sit back, relax and take a look around Blogging from Paradise. We do things island style here, so take your time!
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