When Jennifer Dombrowski moved to Italy in 2009, she wasn't on vacation.
She had been living and working in Arizona when her husband got transferred through his military job to a small town in Northern Italy. She asked her employer if she could continue her work as a social media strategist for a university for a six-month trial period from her new home near Venice.
"That six-month trial period turned into six years," she told Business Insider.
Almost immediately after arriving in Italy, the couple launched a hobby blog to detail their adventures for friends and family back home. That blog has turned into Luxe Adventure Traveler, which offers consulting and helps clients with travel-related projects. For instance, Dombrowski is currently preparing for a food and wine Instagram takeover for the French tourism bureau. They also license some of Davis's photography to other businesses and Dombrowski works as a professional contributing travel writer. Currently, the site brings in about 30% of their total income.
For the first six years abroad, Dombrowski kept her US-based job with regular hours, and Davis held his military job. Limited by their schedules, they weren't able to indulge every travel whim. Instead, they sat down with their calendars and highlighted the times they could take off and travel together.
Instead of spending quiet weekends or breaks at home, "we would make sure we always planned to have something going on during those times," Dombrowski said. "Having the weekend and being in Europe, you could go so many places just driving or taking a cheap budget flight."
Once she left her job to focus on the site full time, however, she had to find a new routine. "It's been hard to find the perfect balance, because the exciting part for readers is that you're on the road, but we're not nomadic like a lot of travel bloggers," she said. "We used to travel to about 20 countries a year, and now we're going to half or less than half of that. It's about finding the things that interest us and that our readers are interested in."
Living in Bordeaux, where they moved earlier this year, makes mixing work and travel easier than it might be otherwise. "I can work all day preparing for projects," Dombrowski said. "But after I'm done or if I need a break I can go out in this beautiful city — go climb the tower and get a cool view, or go to a great museum, or hop on the train and go to a tasting at a wine shop."
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