Whew! Is it just me or was 2017 a huge whirlwind of events and experiences. For my partner Tom and I, this year literally flew by so fast.
To some, our life looks like it’s made up of epic adventures, non-stop travels, and fancy hotels. While some of this is true (#bestjobever), we also go through ups and downs just like everyone else. I say this a lot because it’s true and I just want to be honest with you guys.
2016 was difficult for us… Our business was at a crossroads and to be perfectly honest, we felt lost most of the time. We were arguing a lot and our relationship suffered. Because of this, we decided to take a step back in 2017 and re-align our focus. We outlined a few things which we wanted from this year and wrote down steps on how to make that happen.
As the year is closing, I am pleased to say that we have achieved a lot of the goals that we set for ourselves this year. We both learned a lot, practiced the art of compromising, and made sure that our business goals were always in-sync. Looking back at the year that just went by is what urged me to write about goal setting and how you can use it in all aspects of your life (including travel!).
We have BIG plans this year (as you can tell from the title) and are super excited about both our travel and business plans.
First, The Power of Goal Setting
The day after I graduated from college, I made a mental vision board of the things I wanted to achieve. While there was a lot of uncertainty regarding what I wanted out of life in the next five years, one thing was for sure. I knew I wanted to travel. With that in mind, I started forming a travel bucket list of things I wanted to see and do. For me though, I wasn’t just throwing things out in the Universe. I knew what I wanted and I started listing out HOW I could get there.
Coming from the Philippines where wages are quite low, it was almost impossible for me to just pack up and “go on a gap year”. Unlike in other Western countries, I couldn’t just work a second job for a year and save enough money. I knew it was going to take a while but I went for it anyways. Using travel as my main motivation, I opened up a travel account and spent the next six years working my ass off saving until I could go on that big world trip that I had built up in my head.
For me, it’s crazy to think that I took my first backpacking trip nearly five years ago and since then, I haven’t stopped traveling thanks to this travel blog!
Although I do have to add that no matter how many goals you set for yourself, if you don’t list down actionable steps on how to make this happen, goals will simply remain goals.
Fast forward to Christmas Season of 2016, Tom and I sat down and decided we wanted a better work-life balance for the year to come as well as to increase our revenue from Adventure in You. Looking back, although we didn’t achieve everything we wanted to do (we both wanted to make improvements on our health), we still made a sizable dent on all our goals.
2017 in a Nutshell
Before getting into our 2018 goals, I want to quickly fill you in our main goal last year and how we achieved it.
One of our main goals last year was to grow our business by focusing solely on the blog. We set ourselves a few income targets and mapped out exactly HOW MUCH we wanted to make each month. At the very start of the year, we were mainly earning from the odd sponsored post job which was reliant purely on how much time we invested in work.
For us though, the ultimate freedom is NOT trading time for money which is why we decided to focus on growing our passive income.
In January 2017, we launched “Project Passive Income”.
Our main goal was to go from earning $0 to $5000 every month passively.
Passively meaning money from affiliates, ads, ebooks, etc. Basically ways that money would keep coming in without us having to put in the time.
We set targets which we had to reach every two months and reverse engineered the amount we wanted to reach/ the work we had to do.
At that time, earning $5000 passively seemed like a far-fetched dream but after re-evaluating our growth over the past year, we’ve reached every single monthly target that we’ve set, slowly building up to that $5000 figure that we had in our heads.
I think one of the craziest feelings was when we took off work for 1 month to drive a tuk-tuk across Sri Lanka. We came back thinking our income took a hit but were pleasantly surprised to see we made more money than the month before thanks to the passive income models that we set in place.
Now, if we combine our passive income along with brand partnerships that we receive, we’re consistently making almost five figures monthly which is a HUGE difference to when we first started the year.
We also went on some pretty epic trips last year, visiting places like Nepal, Sri Lanka, UK, Thailand, Bali, and of course the Philippines.
Above all else though, the best part about 2017 was establishing a solid work-life balance. We were no longer stressing out and working like horses every single day. Instead, we learned how to celebrate the small things, work SMARTLY, and become more goal oriented. This for us is probably our biggest success of the year!
Our Plans & Goals for 2018
For us, 2018 will be our year of travel. We’ve accomplished a lot of our business goals and now we want to start making a dent in our travel goals. In usual Adventure in You fashion, we like to do things big. After all, we both love challenging ourselves which is why we launched our Top 50 Adventure Holidays in the World Campaign.
Experience the Top Adventure Holidays
Now before you read any further, Tom and I are NOT super athletes. We love eating and chilling out as much as the next person but we also love being outdoors. Along with traveling more, we also want to be healthier and stronger in 2018 which is also one of the reasons why we set ourselves such an ambitious goal.
As for our grand announcement, first up on our list…we’re hiking Mt. Everest Basecamp this coming March. It will be difficult, challenging, and all around EPIC! We are partnering with a fantastic company, Explore Himalaya and cannot wait to start the year off with this once in a lifetime trip!
Editor’s Note: If any of you are keen to join us this March 2018, hit us up on Facebook as we have a special rate going. Plus, we can be trekking buddies as we conquer the tallest mountain in the world. #LetsDoIt
Live the #VanLife
Apart from our ambitious quest of doing the top 50 Adventure Holidays in the World, next year, we’re also taking a break from Asia and are heading to Europe to do Van Life. This is something that Tom and I have been DREAMING about and is honestly something we’re excited about doing. Our plan is to head to the UK this March to buy a van, renovate it, kit it out, then drive it all around the UK as well as Europe.
We’re not giving ourselves a deadline on how long we plan on traveling this way but will continue to travel, document our adventures, and blog along the way.
That being said, you will see a “Van Life” section appear on our blog very soon!
Grow Our Passion Project: Travel University
Every day, Tom and I wake up feeling incredibly grateful that we get to work, travel, and grow our business from anywhere in the world. Starting our blog, Adventure in You has been one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.
Through our blog, we’ve traveled across 4 continents, countless countries, and have gone on SO MANY epic adventures that I could have only dreamed about before!
With that in mind, we recently launched our Travel University to help others get started on their journey towards creating a money making blog.
After doing a few reader surveys and receiving countless emails every month, we found out that most people WANT to start a blog but are just unsure on how to begin.
This is one of our motivations as to why we decided to create a FREE Blogging Boot Camp, walking you through the basics of how to start a blog, including video tutorials for those that aren’t very tech oriented. Since launching it around 10 days ago, we’ve had over 100 plus people join our course already (despite it being Christmas)!
The course also includes access to a private facebook group where you can ask us ANYTHING blogging related.
Whether your goal is to earn an extra $500 from blogging or to eventually make a full-time income from it similar to what we do, we want to walk you through the steps on how we achieved blogging success in just under 2 years.
So over the next few months, expect to see a few blogging related articles on Adventure in You as we continue to grow our community of people who make money from blogging.
Our $20k Business Goal
Out of all our ambitious goals….this has to be the granddaddy of them all! By the end of 2018, we’re aiming to reach the elusive $20,000 monthly income goal. Will it be hard? Umm…yes. Is it impossible? No.
Currently, we are making around $8000-10,000 monthly from our blog so we plan on doubling our revenue through a few strategic moves. Similar to the previous year, we set our income goal then worked our way backwards, listing out the exact steps that we need to achieve it.
In short, we plan to make this happen by focusing on three things:
1) Sending referrals to the best adventure holiday companies
In line with our mission to experience the Top Adventure Holidays in the World, we will be looking to partner with the best companies, test them and then (only if they are the best!) help people experience the adventure too by recommending them.
In 2017 we helped a few people take on the Lanka Challenge in Sri Lanka, go trekking in Nepal, the Amazon Rainforest and the jungles of Sumatra. In 2018 though we plan to really take this to the next level and help even more people have the best holiday experiences. This allows us to work with larger brands while simultaneously helping other people have epic experiences. Win-win!
2) Increasing our Ad Revenue to Over $6000 a Month
To do this we will need to increase our page views from the current 300,000 monthly visitors to 500,000. We plan to do this mainly through writing/growing into the “Van Life” niche, while also writing more about Blogging and other adventures.
3) Launch a Blogging Course
After growing our blogging community, we also plan on launching a blogging course revealing the exact strategies which we used to help grow our blog to six figures in under 2 years. After receiving fantastic feedback from the people in our free course, we realized that we have a wealth of information to share with others! Although we monetized our blog pretty quickly, we also made a ton of mistakes. If we can help others by coming up with a monetization strategy from day 1, and help them avoid all the newbie mistakes that we went through, we’ll be pretty stoked!
There are so many bloggers out there yet there are only a small percentage of people who actually make a decent living off of it. Although monetizing your blog is hard, it certainly isn’t impossible. We honestly believe that if we can do it, you can too!
All in all, 2018 is looking to be a busy year for us but we are beyond EXCITED. We cannot wait to see what next year has in store for us. So before the year ends, Tom and I have already marked a day where we will start mapping out our goals and listing out ACTIONABLE steps on how to make it happen.
Hopefully, this post has inspired you to take action so you can start mapping out YOUR own goals for 2018. Whether it’s a fitness goal, business goal, or travel plans, remember you are the only one in the way of making your dreams come true.
With that in mind, wishing you all an awesome year ahead!