Solo Travel Blog

I had no idea how to become a travel blogger, it just kind of happened

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I had no idea how to become a travel blogger, it just kind of happened.

Life seems to change so much faster as you get older. I mean, school years were the absolute worst but it never seemed like they would end, whereas the past ten years have come and gone like nobody’s business. That being said, it’s a good thing that almost everything does in fact change and so quickly at that, for too often have I found myself living in such a way that did not make me happy, working to make somebody else successful or allowing what happened in the past to define who I am or what I can do in future.

Angkor wat temple cambodia

But why did I want to become a travel blogger?

I didn’t. My efforts in terms of finding out how to become a travel writer had more to do with lifestyle than the actual writing itself. You see, I do enjoy the process of writing but among other things, I was just tired of living in the same town, sitting on the same bar stool and taking a bus to the same work place every morning. I tried to change this in one way or another over the years but ultimately, when I returned from an extended backpacking trip around the world, I found myself wanting so much more from life.

Fed up with eking my way through life and the lack of any meaningful reward for doing so, I decided to become a travel writer so that I could find a lifestyle now which would make me happy rather than working my ass off on a promise that I could find it later on.

But how the….did I get here?

It would take some deep and serious personal problems to act on my disillusionment with life in general but in late 2013, I finally decided it was utterly stupid to keep living with so much misery, that it was now time to demand more from life, to face up to what had happened in the past and start looking forward to something else.

I stood motionless over the River Liffey in Dublin one morning thinking about all of this and I knew exactly what had to happen; I quit my job, walked home and one week later I was in Cape Town looking for a second hand bicycle. After all, riding a bicycle across Africa seemed like the obvious way forward for an unemployed bum with manic depression and serious anxiety problems. But then it was also around this time when I began writing and publishing my thoughts on a website called No Hanging Around. Confusing and terrifying, it was a vulnerable experience to put everything out there in such a personal way but little did I know, the very act of doing so would be my very first step toward doing what now do for a living.

Cycle Across Africa

The light bulb moment

I even remember the exact moment at the end of that trip when a light bulb came on; I was sat next to a famous author and an economist when the television host asked me how I should be introduced. Honestly, I just sat there on the sofa thinking “How the f$&% did I get here?” but it was also at that very moment, feeling like a fish out of water, when I realized something very important about the future; that I could be or do absolutely anything I wanted.

And so you must understand, there was never any game-plan, no blueprint to follow and zero experience in any sense to fall back upon – I had no idea how to become a travel blogger, but it just kind of happened.





I'm an Outdoor Adventure Blogger from Dublin, Ireland. In late 2013 I began riding a bicycle across Africa and it was during this adventure when I discovered a passion for the great outdoors and the general uncertainty of life on the road. Next April, I am hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.


  1. Anna

    November 30, 2016 at 11:40 am

    Hi Derek, thank you for sharing such an honest perspective on your experience. I’ve never visited your blog before, but this story is something I can relate to (one way or the other), so I’ll be sure to follow your journey. As far as the whole writing thing is concerned, I believe that’s how it should happen – organically, in a natural flow of life.

    • Derek Cullen

      November 30, 2016 at 5:26 pm

      Ah thank you so much for the kind words Anna, they mean a lot, really! And I think it’s only amazing that you will be following now 🙂 Cheers !

  2. Faith Coates

    November 30, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    Wow so impressed with your piece, the bravery in making that decision was outstanding. I hope more people will take inspiration from your journey and just say ‘fuck it’ there is better out there.

    • Derek Cullen

      November 30, 2016 at 5:26 pm

      Haha thanks and you’re right, there is better out there. Thanks for your comment Faith !

  3. Stefano Mura

    December 2, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    Great post Derek 🙂 I completely agree with you and I identify my thought with yours. I can’t stay in one city for long time and I always look for some excuse to travel and run away, because I only feel good when I’m travellig. I surely admire your choice to quit your Job, even at the moment I’m not as brave as you to take this step. Anyway your post is really inspiring 😀 .

    • Derek Cullen

      December 4, 2016 at 3:15 am

      Thanks very much Stefano, it’s a risk worth taking 😉

  4. Nikki

    December 6, 2016 at 11:58 am

    I always enjoy reading your posts Derek! I always seem to resonate with your honest views on life and travel. As always, an inspiring read – keep them coming!

    • Derek Cullen

      December 8, 2016 at 5:46 am

      Thanks very much Nikki, I’m glad they are landing somewhere !

  5. Marlene Marques

    December 8, 2016 at 10:16 am

    Hi Derek! Thank you for sharing your experience. Sometimes, the best plan for life is letting things role for themselves and see were they take you. And couldn’t agree more with you: If you’re not happy how things are turning up, just do what you really want to do. 🙂

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