This is Behind the Blog, where we share our behind-the-scenes thoughts about how a few of our top stories of the week came together. This week, we discuss staying connected in remote places, the future of the "content creator," and how a stalker posing as a cop tricked Verizon.
JASON: The first time I quit my job, I hopped on a plane and flew to South America, where I spent three months being a digital nomad before people used such annoying terminology. Mostly I was burnt out, tired of writing for a publication whose main goal was to get on the Drudge Report, and I had just started secretly freelancing for Motherboard, which I liked a lot better. It was 2013, I was 24, and my boss was upset I was quitting because I had just gotten a “raise” to $40,000 per year.
I was mostly backpacking in South America, and it didn’t really feel like I was reporting and writing, because I was having so much fun and learning so much. But I did write dozens of articles and I made enough money at $40 per blog post to easily cover the expenses of my trip. I did conservation reporting on the Galapagos Islands, wrote about Colombia’s military industrial complex, and paid some random guy to take me on a canoe into the middle of the Ecuadorian Amazon to write about how oil drilling there was pushing contacted and uncontacted indigenous tribes into dangerously close contact with each other.