As we head into a new year, we’re revisiting some of 2016’s most popular Travel stories. This was one of them …..
The twenty-five-year-old left her role working in finance to find a more fulfilling life.
Lots of people quit the 9 to 5 to explore the globe — but what if it was your job to travel the world, and you could earn six figures a year in the process?
For Jill DeConti this is a reality. The 25-year-old from the East Coast in the US left her role working in finance last year to find a more fulfilling life and has never looked back.
From private helicopter tours of New Zealand to soaking in thermal glacier pools, the savvy traveller exclusively revealed to MailOnline Travel how she spends every day having luxurious adventures while earning, she claims, a gigantic sum of money.
The wanderer said she loved her previous job but felt a void that came from living routinely inside her comfort zone.
And so last year she decided to take the plunge and turn her life around, selling her house and everything she owned to embark on her new journey.
She said: “My mum was a single parent and passed away from cancer when I was entering high school, so in a lot of ways, I wanted to experience the world for her, because she was never able to.”
The brunette globetrotter says that it is important to her to earn income in a number of ways.
“It’s better this way than to put all your eggs in one basket,” DeConti said.
Her main sources of income include sourcing products online and selling them on various platforms and running a marketing company, which ties in with her love of a round-the-world lifestyle, as many of the items are found in foreign countries.
And in order to maximise her time in the countries she visits, she works just four to five hours a day and outsources a lot of work to a full team of virtual assistants.
She said: “In the beginning I worked 12-hour days when I was starting out, but now I’ve learned to work smarter, not harder, which is possible if you use your time as efficiently as possible.”
Forget staring at an office cubicle, the explorer works from a MacBook in a private villa pool, before heading out to follow her other passion – travel blogging.
The wanderer said she opted to specialise in luxury travel (“because why not”), and has started a blog and Instagram account called TheLuxeTravelers, which at the time of writing has nearly 5000 followers.
After just a few months the pages have thousands of followers who follow her glamorous experiences having massages in Thailand, staying in villas in Bali and exploring the breathtaking scenery of New Zealand in a luxury camper – the current odyssey.
Early mornings are spent working, before a day of hiking, discovering beaches or experiencing markets. Then it’s a few hours of work before bed.
Proving just how adept she is at spinning revenue-stream plates, DeConti also publishes an e-book and e-courses on her experiences and also coaches and mentors women looking to travel or start their own businesses.
In addition to this, she gets sponsored from companies looking to promote their products to her Instagram following of nearly 5000.
“It’s scary to do at first, and you really have to believe in yourself, but I kept trying and never gave up and now get to travel the world and live a work and travel lifestyle, completely location independent,” DeConti said.
“It’s never been easier to make money online, but it takes an incredible amount of work and determination to do it successfully.”
The best part about her experiences, she revealed, is the fact her 29-year-old boyfriend (and business partner) Patrick, who she met in college, can join her at every step of the way.
She said: “The experience has exceeded all expectations. The best part is that I have a partner doing this with me, so I get to share travelling and the business aspect with him. I think it’d be much harder to juggle everything all on my own!”
From her ten months on the road DeConti said her top recommendation for accommodation was 353 Degrees North Villa, a private villa on the island called Nusa Lembongan in Indonesia.
She said: “This set the bar so high. It was a huge villa, situated on a cliff, overlooking clear water and surf spots. It’s owned by one of Australia’s top interior designers, and the inside was decorated in a Moroccan theme. It was a bohemian dreamland.”
But although many would think she has an easy life, she stresses that she initially paid for everything herself and put in a lot of hours to get to where she is.
“In the year before I started travelling, I dedicated all of my free time to learning as much as I could about becoming savvy in online marketing, finding gaps and niches in the market, and my plans to capitalise on that,” she said.
“I also read books from other successful people who have ‘made it’ gave me insight as to the things that they are doing correctly and then apply it.”
She hasn’t booked a ticket back home yet and misses her friends and family, who are extremely supportive of her and follow her journey on Snapchat and Instagram.
Her goals this year are to continue growing her business and looking into new ventures.
She advised: “The key to making money independently is to do a lot of different things and eventually they all add up to a pretty big sum!”
She also intends to visit as many amazing places as possible, with Greece and Cuba being high on the list.
DeConti said: “I am not special, I’m just a girl that had a dream and gave it a chance. Anyone can do what I’m doing, they just have to begin with one step at a time. You have to have full faith in yourself.”