02/15/2013 07:44 am ET Updated Apr 17, 2013

Complete Your Travel Bucket List In Six Months

The concept of the "bucket list" has become ubiquitous in recent years. In no arena is this more true -- or, indeed, more applicable -- than travel. Our vast planet, with its hundreds of countries, billions of people and incredibly varied landscapes, is the ultimate bucket list.

I should know: I've devoted much of the past eight years to scratching items off my own travel bucket list -- and much more to earning the money to pay for said travel!

While I've now grown the audience of my travel blog Leave Your Daily Hell to live and travel off the income I earn from it, I completed the vast majority of my travel the old-fashioned way: By completing an inordinate quantity of work!

When I traveled to India in 2009, for example, it was after nearly four months of working three 13-hour double shifts per week waiting tables in a restaurant. (To break it down, that's 624 hours of carrying heavy plates, up selling expensive desserts and smiling more than it's probably healthy to do in a lifetime.)

Although I had become "location-independent" by the time I traveled to South America for the first time in 2011, the cost of my trip required me to write a whopping 600 articles for the large digital media company with which I contracted at the time.

Recently, the travel blogosphere has been ablaze with discussion about "The Biggest, Baddest Bucket List," a travel competition being run by travel resource My Destination.

The winner of the competition will travel to 25 countries on all six continents -- a similar list of destinations to my own travel roster -- in six months, and get paid $50,000 cash when he or she returns.

For me, learning about the contest has been a bit ironic, given the amount of time and money I've spent seeing most of the places winning it would take me to. But if you've got a few spare minutes, a blog and a thirst for travel, you should definitely check it out.