We've been circling around Laurence in blogging circles for awhile, when finally this year we got to meet the man behind Finding The Universe and boy, is he Living The Dream. Find out how this IT consultant now makes a living from travel.
What was the first country you visited? Who with and why did you choose it?
I'm not sure it was exactly out of choice - I flew from the UK to the Seychelles with my mum after I was born, and spent parts of my childhood living out there. In terms of choice, when I was 14 was probably the first holiday "choice" I was given. My parents rather wonderfully offered that for my birthday we could do on any trip I wanted. Dad steeled himself for a trip to Disneyland. He was pleasantly surprised when I asked for an African safari - we went to Kenya for a week, which was amazing, and helped kickstart my passion for photography.
When did you start a travel lifestyle? What inspired that change?
I've always been travelling, I never seem to stay in one place for very long, even when I was working in the UK I hopped between cities regularly. But the move to doing it full time happened in around 2009, when I got to the point in my career where I had to decide between committing my life to the corporate lifestyle, or walking a different road. You can probably guess which one I went for...
Do you have a base you travel from? Or is it continuous travel? And why do you choose that style?
At first I travelled without a base and did that for around three years, travelling Australia, New Zealand and parts of Europe. I then decided a base would make everything easier - particularly having somewhere to work and catch up with photo editing on a decent screen with a fast PC. So we moved to a fixed base in France, from where we travel, well, a lot!
How do you fund your travel lifestyle? Is it something you do when travelling or are you a saver?
To start with I funded my travel through savings - I had a good job and was able to squirrel away a good pile of money. After a year of pootling around Australia, I went to New Zealand, where I supplemented that with work. I managed a campsite and a hostel in New Zealand, which was a lot of fun.
In France I initially managed a campsite part time in the summer months, and supplemented my income from my photography and my writing. My travel blog and photography are now however at the point that I am able to earn my income through brand partnerships on the blog, photography projects, speaking opportunities, freelance writing, and various others bits and pieces.
If you could tell yourself one tip before you started your travel lifestyle, what would it be?
You should have started earlier. And taken less stuff. Seriously. Less stuff.
What does 'Living The Dream' mean to you?
Being happy with whatever I'm doing, wherever I am, and whomever I'm with.