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  • 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 kind of 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 you know, 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. 5, 6, 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.

I didn't think that it would blow up this much.

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

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    Jessieeee posted on 2019/06/06
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