Hi! I’m Susan, a full-time freelance writer and traveler.

I’ve been bouncing around the globe since 2008, when one bad interview with a bunch of pale dudes in suits convinced me to pack up my ’96 Camry (don’t worry; she’s still kicking) and move to Colorado.

I spent the next six years working a variety of seasonal jobs: I scooped ice cream, rented out skis, and even art modeled. I moved a million times, everywhere from Southeast Alaska to South Korea (read: more than anyone should, unless they’re hoping to end up institutionalized), and got to see a pretty decent slice of the world.

Along the way, I started writing about, well, everything — and officially became a writer.

These days, I work completely remotely, with no home base (unless you count my childhood room at my mom’s house, which features a dazzling array of cowboy hats and a collector’s edition Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen poster). In 2019, I will be traveling to 12 countries in 12 months, and writing about it right here.

Susan Shain headshot


Here are some things I can do…

Feel free to get in touch for whatever else you might need. As an ENFJ without social stimulation (see above: career), I’m always happy to chat. Thank you for being here — I look forward to getting to know you!


Wondering how the hell I pay for this lifestyle? It’s not illegal and it’s not porn (though I do sometimes write for Playboy).

Here’s what my income pie consists of:


I get asked this question a lot.

It’s not a very exciting story, and it’s probably not repeatable. (I share any semblance of helpful advice on this page instead.)

But if you really want to know, here’s the official timeline:

  • 1990: Write my name on a circular piece of paper that my mom sends off to become a plate. Decide I like seeing my name in large, almost illegible print. Get distracted by the mac cheese I’m eating and promptly forget about said aspirations.
  • 2003: Join my high school’s newspaper so I can get a “press pass” that allows me to be in the hallways during class because I am wildly ambitious.
  • 2005: Major in political science because I idolize Trinity from “The Matrix” and somehow think this is what will get me closest to being an international woman of mystery who exclusively wears leather jumpsuits. As it turns out, all I do is write a lot of papers.
  • 2011: While teaching English in Korea, respond to ad in “The Jeju Weekly” for English writers. Begin my illustrious journalism career writing hard-hitting pieces like fun, sun, and guns at Daeyoo land and in the footsteps of childhood at Dinosaurland.
  • Also 2011: Start this blog, under the adorably early 2010s name “Travel Junkette.”
  • 2012: Answer a call in Alexis Grant’s newsletter for a social media assistant. Eventually get tasked with writing assignments, too.
  • 2013–2014: Write for Alexis’ clients, and also begin collecting my own. Become obsessed with working remotely; declare I’ll never work in an office again.
  • 2015: Move to Florida to work — in an office — for The Penny Hoarder, which purchased Alexis’ company and brought me along for the ride.  
  • 2017: Decide I can sweat through January no more. Move to the (surprisingly hot) city of Oaxaca, Mexico, to start freelancing again.
  • Also 2017: Get scared of being broke; become a remote staff writer for Student Loan Hero. Love the people, but miss my freedom.
  • 2018: Officially dive back into full-time freelancing, for good?, I think.

Not sick of me yet? Here’s a video…