Wanaka-based American travel writer to teach Kiwis how to get paid exploring the world

It's the all too common pipe dream - to get paid to travel the world. But a US entrepreneur living in Wanaka says she's attained the "unattainable" and you can, too.

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Liz Carlson, 31, has visited 70 countries and every continent since she got her start 10 years ago. Source: 1 NEWS

It's safe to say, Liz Carlson doesn’t have a typical job.

"I wake up in a beautiful hotel room, I get to go out and have adventures, meet amazing people and eat great food. And I gather all the stories I hope to tell later," Ms Carlson said.

The 31-year-old's passport is a collage of stamps. In the 10 years she's been travelling, she's visited 70 countries and every continent.

"My favourite place has been Antarctica. I'm standing on beaches with half a million king penguins and whales swimming in the distance."

Ms Carlson is a writer, photographer and Instagrammer, but she hasn’t been funded by a rich family member. This lifestyle is a business she built from the ground up.

Growing up in the US, travel was a weekend at the beach once a year, so the kid obsessed with the world moved to Spain in her 20s.

"I started blogging my adventures there - all the things I was curious about. Why did they eat cookies for breakfast and omelettes for dinner?"

To her surprise, people discovered her blog, and Ms Carlson realised there was an appetite for travel writing. Liz, who studied History and Spanish at university and had a corporate job, said it was hard convincing her family of her complete career change.

"Up until the day I left my last real job, my dad would leave me printed job applications like, 'Did you think about working for the State Department? because blogging's not a thing.'"

Her dad was right, no one was travel blogging professionally. Ms Carlson was a pioneer. She got stuck into emails, calls and networking - much like an office job.

"I started earning doing little things like copywriting for different websites. I was being offered bits and pieces to promote a brand for a destination."

The work paid off, and tourism operators came knocking. She launched her website Young Adventuress and her Instagram blew up. She's now written for the BBC, the New York Times, CNN and National Geographic, to name a few.

She's making six figures, and demand's so high she's had to hire staff - but she says it's no holiday.

"When I'm travelling, I'm working - I'm not on holiday mode. I'm up before sunrise shooting. I have 20 hour days."

Ms Carlson says she loves her job, but it takes true passion to both make it and sustain it.

She's learnt a lot and she's now running a workshop in October with two business partners, for anyone seeking a life like hers.

The weekend event, The Travel Bootcamp, is designed to teach travel lovers all the tricks to the trade, from who to approach, how to write a pitch, to how much to charge.

She's a social media guru offering some direction on the best way to get lost. The event runs in Queenstown from October 4-6.