Travel for a living

Dorothy came round to my place this evening for our weekly yoga workout. When the weather is good, we like doing it outside in my garden. We love deeply inhaling the fresh air and riding the waves of abundance in the flow of the universe.

But today Dorothy doesn’t look like she’s completely in the moment and when I ask her about it, I’m almost sorry I did. It’s another one of those Dorothy moments.

“Why does this always happen to me?” Dorothy groans. “You know recently a Japanese company had contacted me. They were hosting a post Google Street View party for Google Trusted Photographers. You know I am a Google Certified Photographer.”

“Yes I know, I know. What happened?” I’m eager to hear this one. I wanted to point out that the universe doesn’t revolve around her, but I’m too curious to find out what’s big in Japan.

“They offered to fly me out to Tokyo and put me up in nice expensive accommodation for two days, as long as I attended their party.”

“Wow Dorothy, that’s amazing! See you’re already starting to attract so much abundance into your life. This is what you wished for.” I point out to her enthusiastically.

“I turned them down.” Dorothy is sulking deeply.

“What did you do that for?” I’m looking at her incredulously.

“I found it suspicious that a Japanese company would want to fund my trip to Tokyo just for the delight of having me attend their party.” Dorothy admits reluctantly.

“What exactly did they want you to do at their party?” I beg her to explain.

“You know, darling, with all the things you hear lately. I thought they were going to sell me off as a white sex slave. I’m a real blonde you know, so they’d probably get a good price for me on the black market. You don’t want to know what those bastards do to women. The Japanese, they’re a very cruel race.”

“I’m glad you did, Dorothy. That does indeed sound suspicious. You know the drill by now, don’t you? Decline their offer and block them on all channels.” I look at her intently. Dorothy has a knack to overreact. Only this time she’s quite right to feel something is off.

“Oh I already have. I politely turned down their very generous offer. Will block them immediately.” Dorothy takes out her iPhone totally bewildered. “I mean, darling, didn’t you always tell me that a deal which sounds too good to be true, usually is.”

Context is important

“You know I mentioned I’m planning a trip to Japan myself?” OK, now this is a weak starting point, but anything to keep her away from digging into her fear of being sold off as a white sex slave on the Japanese black market. Why does she keep attracting these con scams and the likes of the Tatyana story? I must get to the bottom of this some day.

Anyways I continue my story as I have her attention now. “I’m being a smart woman about this trip. I’m getting companies and agencies to sponsor me in my adventures. Like my trip to Japan. The Japanese tourism agency is very particular about attracting more tourists to Japan.” I’ve been telling a lot of my friends with wanderlust about this.

“No way!” Dorothy exclaims. “You get sponsored to go to Japan? Why? And how? Come on, spill the beans.”

“You do realise that Japan has been through many hardships these past few years?” Just inquiring how up-to-date Dorothy is on actuality.

“Oh yes, they’ve had their fair share in earthquakes and tsunamis. And then that disaster at Fukushima. You’d have to be out of your mind to travel to Japan right now. It’s highly radioactive. You’ll come back with your kids growing tentacles.” Dorothy’s imagination is a delight to behold.

Now I’ll admit these things are not to be taken lightly. Radiation is a scary thing. You can’t see it, you can’t taste it, you can’t feel it. But exposure to radiation can cause cancer. So it’s not completely bonkers to consider how safe it is to travel to Tokyo. Especially when your kids are part of the journey.

The Simpsons guide to radiation


“Dorothy, I’m not recommending a sightseeing trip to the gates of the Fukushima Daiichi plant. But don’t put off your travel plans. Pack your suitcases and get out there. A no-more-dangerous-than-usual world awaits you.” Yeay, I add some extra zeal to my voice. Japan is really high on my list and part of my near-future travel plans.

“Pity it costs so much to get out there. Japan is not the least expensive place to travel to.” Dorothy gently cradles the baby who has fallen asleep in her arms.

“My trip is going to be sponsored by the Japanese Tourism agency.” I remind her, without hiding a certain element of pride in being so entrepreneurial in my endeavours. “Like you said, people are scared of heading out to Japan after all that has been going on there in recent years. People are scared of another Chernobyl like cover-up. Which is why Japan will gladly sponsor people who have a Travel Blog and Social Media platforms with an extended reach. Just submit them your plan and watch the magic happen.” I have almost completely revealed the secret ingredients to my plan for success.

“How come you get to go and I don’t?” Dorothy groans. “Do you think I can contact that company and get them interested again? It might have been authentic after all.”

“That wouldn’t be a classy thing to do. Tell you what though. Why don’t you use this year to build your case and then come back full force. If you’ve got something to show after one year of traveling the globe with your darlings, you will have more convincing power. But do it the proper way. Go for agencies who want to see proof of your endeavours so it’s a win-win situation.” Dorothy doesn’t need much persuasion power right now. I can see she’s still not completely okay about the risk of growing a third eye in a Kyoto sex bar whilst dressed in a French maid outfit.

Predict your future

“Oh yes, that sounds fun. Wouldn’t it be grand to travel for a living?” Dorothy’s eyes start to shine as I see her dreaming off into a future of backpacking her way to Hawai, with little pattering children’s feet in her wake.

“What about your kids?” I’m such a realist. Poop.

“Ah yes, I could remote teach them myself. On the road, you know. Besides, they’d learn much more from life by traveling around than they possibly could by sitting safely behind their school desks. Just look at the gypsies.” Dorothy is now imagining herself to be a backpacking Mary Poppins kind of creature.

“Hmmm. And what about your ex-husband? I just don’t see him agreeing to that.” Again, the realist in me cannot help but point it out.

“He’s going to have a hard time arguing with me whilst I’m off the grid.” The problem with Dorothy is that she doesn’t think. Or she thinks she knows how things work and then is amazed when everyone looks at her with this look of ‘you didn’t know that?’.

“You know we live in a country with laws. That would fall under the category of child kidnapping. You’d lose complete custody of your kids.” I state the obvious.

“Well how do you do it then, little miss know-it-all?” Dorothy looks at me defiantly.

“I take advantage of this sweet little thing called school holidays. Gives you something to look forward to and work towards. Delayed gratification.”

Maybe if Dorothy is exposed to me long enough, my pearls of wisdom will start to wear off on her.


What do you think ? Should Dorothy have taken the offer to travel to Japan on sponsorship of a Japanse company ? Should she have attended their party in Tokyo ? Let me know in the comments below.





  1. Hi Mel@nia,
    Thanks for your feedback. I agree, Dorothy shouldn’t respond to the invitation from that Japanese company. For the very simple reason that it isn’t clear what is expected of her. And there might be strings attached : what is she supposed to do at this party? There is no such thing as a free lunch.


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