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After years of practicing law but not feeling fulfilled, Jen Ruiz found a creative outlet in travel writing, leading to an unexpected full-time career.

“When I was sitting in my office, I guess a cozy enough office, but just surrounded by degrees and doing the same kind of thing, I didn’t really feel invigorated by the perfection. And even in my worst moments of traveling, when everything’s gone wrong, I still never regretted a trip. I was still there, happy that I had taken that initiative, that step that I’ve seen something new. I knew I never regretted those memories.”

Jen Ruiz is a travel writer and influencer with over 250,000 followers on TikTok. She has made a successful career transition from practicing law to becoming a full-time travel writer and content creator.

Jen Ruiz had been a lawyer for five years, but was looking for a creative outlet. She started a blog, became a travel writer, and got her first assignment when one of her articles went viral. The assignment opened the door to comped travel, self-publishing, and monetizing her own website. Jen’s enthusiasm for travel inspired her to make it her career, and she learned how to monetize her writing and content creation skills. She hustled hard, sending a high number of pitches, meeting editors and PR reps, and creating content. In the end, her hard work paid off, proving that there is no magic button to success.

In this episode, you will learn the following:

1. How to transition from practicing law to being a full-time travel writer and content creator.

2. Strategies to monetize writing and content creation skills.

3. Tips and advice for attending travel conferences and applying for press trips.


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Chapter Summaries:
[00:00:00]Nestor Vargas shares practical money tips and proven mindset. If you’re a Latino or Latina looking to dramatically improve your current situation, this is the show for you. In this show you will hear real world examples of what other successful people are doing to make more money.
[00:00:38]Green Cards to Greenbacks podcast features travel writer Jen Ruiz. Ruiz has over 250,000 followers on TikTok and decided to give up her lawyer career to become a travel writer and influencer. We’ll talk about the glamorous life of a social media influencer writer and also not the so glamorous sides of them.
[00:01:38]Jen Van Benina used to practice law many years. Started a blog on the side. Got her first official travel writing assignment. Is now a full time travel writer and content creator.
[00:02:58]Puerto Rican lawyer turned to travel writing after failing to pass the bar in two states. The turning point for her was at a travel conference, where she realized she wasn’t in the right career. Being able to create something that you have a passion for is really, really rewarding.
[00:06:19]Travel was just something that, for me, I actually enjoyed the same skill set that I had in loss storytelling. Even in my worst moments of traveling, I still never regretted a trip. For me, travel just is fulfilling in a way that nothing else is.
[00:08:08]What is life like for an influencer writer, travel person? Full time life is definitely good and bad. When you’re starting out, it’s up to you how much you get done. You have to be very well regimented.
[00:10:08]Travel influencer life is really regimented. You have to really show up and be present and represent yourself in a professional way. It’s definitely pressure. You can’t just be going around sloppy or drinking. You’re there to work.
[00:12:12]What are the main ways to create income in your field, in the travel. Writing field specifically, or in all the different ways that I create income?
[00:14:39]Writing seems to be the main skill set that you’re monetizing with your take on travel. But I also monetize through content creation, which is video editing, photo editing. You can also get paid for brand partnerships that are very lucrative.
[00:16:29]There is no magic button you have to put in work to get to know the community. There has to be something that differentiates you. It’s hard work, it’s dedication and working on your craft. You want to get paid for the work that you do.
[00:19:01]Travel writing is a great thing to start as a side hustle. Start with something local to you because you’re already the expert of where you live. Even without 100,000 followers you can still make brand content.
[00:21:05]One of the best ways to get your first press trip is to go to conferences. At Tbex Travel Bloggers Exchange, you can apply for press trips as part of your ticket. Follow Jen Ruiz on all different social media channels. It’s life changing.
[00:23:34]Jen, is there anything else that you want to tell us before we end this amazing show? Just to be on the lookout for my twelve trips and twelve month memoir that it’s going to be coming out. Hopefully it will inspire you to infuse your life with a little more trouble, adventure.
[00:24:02]I hope you guys enjoyed this episode. Send me any questions you may have or any topics you want me to cover. Don’t forget to head over to green cards to greenbacks. com for the show.