This travel enthusiast skipped a corporate job, but still makes six figures | CNBC Make It

This travel enthusiast skipped a corporate job, but still makes six figures | CNBC Make It

I didn’t think that it would
blow up this much. Because two years ago, you
were just teaching English, right? And now I’ve had like half a
billion views. So it’s pretty cool. I’m hanging out with Drew
Binsky in Hong Kong and yes, in less than two years he’s gone
from an English teacher with a blog to becoming a popular video maker reaching more
than 500 million views across Facebook and YouTube. In 2018 he made more than $150,000
through ad revenue and brand deals. I’m even meeting his parents
who were originally skeptical about their son ditching
the traditional career path. A double-degree from a major university
and he’s running off to teach English? Drew’s already visited 163 countries, but he
wants to visit every single one on the planet. And just like any parent, his too can worry. So the last couples ones that he wants
to hit, we’ll have a debate on I’m sure. But I’m here to find out how this
guy escaped a traditional job to get paid six figures, travel and
inspire millions in the process. Drew’s strategy is to make one video per day
for his several million fans that he’s racked up. Today he’s doing an entire video on one of the
world’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurants and everything he’s doing is on
the fly, nothing is pre-planned. So, you’re not doing a meet-up
in Hong Kong with your fans? No, I decided against it, we
just did a huge one in Manilla. 250 people came on a rooftop with the
city around us, with live food, live music. He sometimes takes his work offline to do fan meet-
ups, like this one he did recently in the Philippines. Throughout my afternoon with him, I’m amazed
to see how many times he gets recognized by people on the streets and the way
people light up when they meet him. What is it like to see that many
people show up to see you? It’s cool, I don’t really think of it in that
context. I’m just doing my thing every day, but it’s special when you have hundreds
of people coming to see you. It’s like a musician is going to play a show in whatever
city and people come because they like their music, so it’s something similar to that, I guess.
But I don’t know, I just ride the wave. So right now I’m shooting a video about the
world’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant and if you want to make a cameo, man,
we just ordered a bunch of food. And sure enough I make a cameo. Drew’s originally from Arizona
and he’s quite outgoing. At lunch, he talks to the people next to us
and I even learn he speaks some Korean. You can’t just overnight become a successful
video maker, or anything, with any profession. If you’re a golfer you can’t just wake
up tomorrow and be on a PGA tour. To be in front of the camera all
the time, it takes a certain person because you always have
to be showing a personality. This is the money shot, dude. Drew started doing short videos on his SnapChat
accounts before he transitioned to more professional, longer-form videos after his girlfriend bought
him a video camera as a surprise. Oh man, this is the life, this is the good
life, hanging out of a tram in Hong Kong. Things really took off for him though after he was
able to take an organized trip to North Korea. His videos from that trip would
rack up 10 million views. And that’s when he pivoted to
being a full-time video maker. So every month is different. One month I can
make $1,000, one month I can make $30,000, and both of those months
have happened before. You made $30,000 before? Yeah, yeah, through ads. So if a video goes crazy viral on Facebook, I can make
five figures on one video, and I make 30 videos a month. So it’s all like gambling right? But I never look at the
money as a motivation or drive to do what I do. He also makes money through brand partnerships
with companies like and tourism boards including Germany, Jordan and Fiji that are looking
to use bloggers and influencers to promote tourism. Visiting every country
in the world isn’t easy. It costs a lot of money, but Drew
has figured out ways to budget. And the U.S. State Department has a number of
countries listed as “Do Not Travel” for U.S. citizens. But Drew is on a mission to visit every country in
the world and that inevitably means some big risks. He posted videos from
a trip he took to Iran, collectively, they gained more than 20 million
views on his social media channels. At first it was hard to convince my mom and
my parents that I’m going to do this full time. My mom was like, “When are you
coming back to get a corporate job?” Because I studied economics, so they think I
should get a corporate background, corporate job. But I think I’ve proven to her now,
she watches all my videos and I think she knows that
this is what I want to do. We’re very traditional, so we sent our kids to college,
they got a degree, you expect them to work and hopefully come back to Arizona or wherever
they end up, but never to live out of the country. But while he’s convinced them that this is a sustainable
career path, now he just needs to convince them that he’s going to finish his list of the
remaining 40 countries he has left. How do you feel when he travels to places
like North Korea or Central Africa, Lebanon? There’s times as a parent that you’re
very nervous about where he’s going. So the last couple ones he wants to
hit, we’ll have a debate on I’m sure. I don’t know who will win the debate
because Drew usually does. That’s the problem, Drew
usually goes anyways. Drew tells me that one of the most rewarding
parts of his experience is exposing his parents to traveling outside of the U.S.,
which they didn’t used to do before. We’re starting to travel, which we’ve never
done before, outside the United States. So it has opened up our lives to different
cultures, different foods and different areas. And now, his parents accept the fact that
his career path is anything but traditional. It’s amazing that the millennial generation
will figure it out – Five, six, 10 years ago this didn’t exist and he has
millions of followers. I actually wake up every morning
and the first thing I do is look for a Facebook video or Instagram
post, it’s my favorite thing to do. If it doesn’t happen, I go, “What’s going on?”
And I give him grief. But it’s really cool. It’s kind of a validation when I take them around and they
see what I’m doing as a real thing and a real job. Definitely there’s like an a-ha moment where I’m like,
“I’m happy that they’re seeing what I’m doing is real.”

100 thoughts on “This travel enthusiast skipped a corporate job, but still makes six figures | CNBC Make It

  1. Well.. He promotes countries and says 1 thing and later you find out that it wasent so, he said something because he was paid to make a video to boost travel.

  2. Drew's vid is short but informative and good for traveler around the world as a guidance of traveling the world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. So if Drew makes 100k with not even a 1 million followers, how much money this luisito comunica makes with almost 20 million followers?, man that's insane.

  4. but i never heard or watch him before. irrelevant. btw whats the point of visiting 163 countries? it will become forgotten memories. u are still the same human being

  5. I have been following his work. He is a great blogger. Excellent person with passion for travel. 👍👍👍

  6. I make a travel tube. Just started. I live in Hawaii. My wife says just vblog in my back yard. I say I live in a big world. Haha Next I go to Norway (again). Is there room for new travel blogs? I am a bit disabled so I don't climb or walk far. But I think we should focus on that can as opposed the can nots.

  7. leBlanc is way better than Binsky any day of the week. Binsky’s videos are 2 mins long and require hardly any editing work. They feel the same. Christian puts solid effort into every video, 15-30 minutes videos are a norm for him.

  8. Update: 35 countries left for Drew to travel.
    I've been watching his videos a lot more lately. Glad that Drew is getting the recognition he deserves!

  9. Finally an American who is out of cottage and witnesses different cultures and beautiful places around the world

  10. This does not come from a hateful place, just a realistic one. I legitimately hope these travel vloggers, making all this money, quitting their job and traveling the world, that they're putting away some money for retirement or for when it stops becoming a viable business model. Also, they never mention in these reports what the size of their bank accounts and their financial situation was before the money and the deals started rolling in. These reports influence young children to think they don't have to work for a living. Making videos and traveling is a lot of work that no one sees. Also, Fame can be fleeting and when people stop being interested in you or they move on to the next big thing, the money stops flowing. One day they'll be old and maybe not as cool so hopefully, they are smart with their money and don't spend every dime they make on traveling and other frivolous things. Also the more popular this becomes the market will become saturated and it won't be as valuable, so congratulations to the people who have jumped on the bandwagon early.

  11. Dumb parents, this guy makes more money than them combined and he travels 24/7 and they're still asking him "to come back to a corporate job." GTFO

  12. So much lovely and positive comments about him and his work. Definently will check him out. Usually comments section are so divided and mixed lol.

  13. I don't know the name of the host of this programme (The CNBC guy I mean!) but he always has an offensive direction towards IRAN and Iranians. As in this video, he Introduces IRAN as a risk! I invite every wise human on earth to come and visit IRAN to see how peaceful and welcoming country it is and that how media (including CNBC) is lying to everyone.

  14. I like how he sticks with one camera and doesn’t get to fancy with his shit. He keeps it simple and real

  15. I don't think he should be telling people he can speak Korean if he asks one question and nobody can understand him

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