The storms roll into Savusavu, Fiji. 30 hours later, it's still raining. Very Skull Island like, don't you think? This is our backyard view.

The storms roll into Savusavu, Fiji. 30 hours later, it’s still raining. Very Skull Island like, don’t you think? This is our backyard view.


I am a meteorologist by schooling.

In 1999 I received my bachelors of earth science with an option in meteorology from Kean University.

I’m still a weather buff. I love tracking extreme weather events because Mother Nature has always fascinated me.  I’m a thunderstorm fan, big-time.

You may imagine that a meteorologist blogging from paradise has seen his fair share of extreme weather events. You’d be right. But before we move on with this thunderstorm medley I wanted to stress a critical blogging lesson that top earners get, and that everybody else needs to grasp.


Blogging from Paradise: The Rest of the Story


I’m selling a dream. I’m sharing smart blogging tips for sure….to help you retire to a life of island hopping through smart blogging.

The island hopping part, and the retire part, are dreams. That’s what I sell.

I’m blogging….and I talk about blogging here much of the time….from paradise….and in today’s post we’re talking *about* paradise.

If I talk about my life and interests outside of blogging I am detaching from blogging outcomes. I’m showing my personality, and a bit of range too. This critical aspect of building a professional, income generating, lifestyle-engineering blog is lost on most bloggers who are wondering how in the hell Kelli and I have cracked the internet lifestyle code.

We really don’t TRY to make money through blogging, to fund our trips. Our intent is to share immense value and to make blogging buddies with influencers in our niche, but more than anything, we sell a dream.

We are living the dream by selling the dream.

As you can see, so far, so good.

So the rest of the story – as Paul Harvey would say – is that I live in paradise, and I’m a meteorology buff, and the less I need to make money with my blog, and the more that I sell a dream, the more folks I inspire to engineer a similar life of island hopping through smart blogging, and the more prospering for both parties.


The Blogging Lesson


Talk about stuff that you do because of blogging, and talk about it quite a bit. Those are the dreams people seek. I’m selling a dream. I ain’t selling eBooks or my products or services even. Sure people hire me regularly, and buy my eBooks and I get paid for my freelance services, and all that good stuff, but these are merely channels through which I prosper. I am selling a dream.

I didn’t go to bed last night thinking about generating 3800 Flares for a post. I went to bed thinking about going on a safari. When I walked into town today I didn’t dream about how to drive more traffic to my blog. I received an impulse to discuss the most savage, awe-inspiring thunderstorms I’ve seen during my world travels. I received the inspiration because our dreams move us to do stuff we’d likely never do if we were caught up in the mundane, day to day stuff that most peoples become slaves to. I mean, look at my life. What do you think I had to do, to get here? I dreamed big and I dreamed frequently then I acted on those dreams. If you are anything other than a full time, professional blogger, or a full time, professional entrepreneur, you need to ramp up the dreaming side of things, both for you and your audience. You need to get after it, dream-wise, to become someone of note in the online or offline world, because people buy into the dreams you sell….or, that you better be selling.

I wanted to introduce you – on my blog at least – to John Lee Dumas. He runs about the most wildly successful podcast online. He sells a dream over at Entrepreneur on Fire, and as I comment on blogs I see his name pop up again and again. He’s wildly successful not only because he sells a dream but because he shares of his past in the U.S. military. He’s a dream seller and podcasting dynamo but he also brings his story into the equation which makes him that much more irresistible to folks. Follow him folks, he’s a pro.

The Expert Vagabond (Matthew Karsten) is another guy who lives the dream and sells it well. He’s a highly success travel blogger who visits and recounts his tales from some of the more remote spots on earth. I enjoy his delivery, love his travel pics and dig his short, to the point, style. He’s mastered dreaming, and he’s selling quite the dream to his followers, who flock to his blog for his latest updates. Follow him folks.

Kelli Cooper is the 2nd half of the blogging dynamic duo – yep my fiancée – and she’s manifested the ridiculously cool life we both have created for ourselves. Yep, running successful businesses online and publishing a kick butt personal development blog, while living for months in Fiji, Bali, Malaysia, Costa Rica and a bunch of other tropical hot spots qualifies her as a serious dream living – and selling – gal. Follow her folks. She’s a keeper. Not just because she’s a keeper, for me, but because she’s a skilled, compassionate life coach who is a prospering dynamo. She’s taught me more about generating cash through freelance channels than anybody I know, and I have to say, that to reach that point she had to be a vivid dreamer. She had to sell herself and her audience on a big dream, to prosper how she prospers.

The top pro bloggers you’ll meet sell a dream better than anybody on earth. You blog to live your dreams. You blog to be free. You blog to help your readers become free.

Knowing this, you’d be wise to talk about what you’re doing *because* you’re blogging ,because even though we all enjoy blogging (and receiving blogging tips) it’s simply a vehicle through which we can live a freeing, fulfilling life. We want the blogging tips, but we want to use them to be free.


Throwback photo from June 2013 in Quepos, Costa Rica. Note the thunderstorm building  over the Pacific Ocean as the sun sets.

Throwback photo from June 2013 in Quepos, Costa Rica. Note the thunderstorm building over the Pacific Ocean as the sun sets.


If you want to attract more readers/dreamers, and boost your traffic, and if you want to increase your blogging revenue, sell a dream regularly. Offer practical tips but back ‘em up with your internet lifestyle experiences because folks buy into your dream and your life more than any other aspect of your online personality.


Savusavu Rains


Today, I’m talking about some absolutely stunning, inspired, sometimes downright scary but exciting experiences I lived through, all because I built an income-generating blog.

The drought broke in Savusau, Fiji today. We’ve had a largely dry 3 months which is super rare in these parts.

As I’m writing this post at 8:15 AM on Wednesday we’ve seen light or steady rain for virtually all of the past 28 hours. We awoke at about 5 AM Tuesday to showers and it’s still coming down as we speak.

Yep, time for a travel-themed post, and today we’re talking thunderstorms.

As I noted before I’m a meteorologist. I may not be gracing the TV a la Al Roker or Sam Champion but at least I can forecast my way out of a paper bag, and I am a sucker for an intensely hellacious, awe-inspiring, severe thunderstorm.

Here are the 5 most intense storms I’ve seen during my world travels.


#5 Sihanoukville, Cambodia


Kelli and I visited Sihanoukville, Cambodia after our stay in the capital over 3 years ago. We swooped into town the same day the remnants of a tropical cyclone swooped into town, too.

This little city is located on the east side of the Gulf of Thailand. Our hotel was located 2 blocks from the beach so we had a front seat view of a nasty storm.

For 6 days we were rained out. On day 7, we had some sun – and a serious burn, too – but one storm in particular raised the hackles on the back of my neck.

Click the pretty picture to learn how to become an online empire builder.

Click the pretty picture to learn how to become an online empire builder. Yep eBooks #2 in the Blogging from Paradise series.


I remember vivid cloud to ground lightning, booming, deafening thunder and rain coming down in such buckets that I couldn’t some anything but rain. We’re talking white-out conditions.

The humidity was so thick that I slip-slided on the hotel floors every time I walked at a brisk pace.

The severe thunderstorm eventually blew through but not after scaring the bejesus out of me.


#4 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


KL is a neat town. Kelli and I have visited a few times as we’re flying through to other spots in the region. Good old Air Asia is based out of Kuala Lumpur so you know we’d be taking a few trips through the city.

Malaysia is one of the largest tropical jungles on earth. KL is an urban city but most of the country is thick, deep jungles filled with a stunning diversity of wildlife.

As you may imagine, sustaining such a diverse, green environment requires a deluge of rain. Enter the severe thunderstorm.

KC and I were about 10 floors up in a hotel when a particularly nasty thunderstorm hit. Huge gusts howled through the large buildings, lightning flickered and monstrous thunder claps rang through the city as this monsoon type storm roared into town.

After about 40 minutes of torrential rains, coming down in sheets, the street below was flooded.  We’re talking 1 to 2 feet in some spots.

The crazy thing is about many of these storms is they subside just as quickly as they run into town.

Now onto my favorite storm on the list… least from the aspect of being caught up in the action with no place to hide.


#3 Phuket, Thailand


Phuket, Thailand is one of my favorite places in the world. I love the beach, the people, the beauty and the interactions with Tokay geckos, monitor lizards, large spiders and millipedes, along with the odd looking, tropical bird here and there too, on Phuket.

During our first trip to the island Kelli and I biked to Nai Harn Beach. We saw the most foreboding, ominous, black clouds I’d ever seen, building over the sea.

Throwback photo from April 2014 in Koh Lanta, Thailand. This monster thunderstorm was building over the bay.

Throwback photo from April 2014 in Koh Lanta, Thailand. This monster thunderstorm was building over the bay.


We slowly made our way to the bikes as the storm moved in. Within seconds, the drizzle turned to heavy rain, then we found ourselves in white out conditions.

Meaning, visibility was similar to the visibility you’d experience in a blizzard. The rain was flowing in sideways due to the gale-forced gusts pelting us, flowing off of the Andaman Sea, and the water droplets hit us with such force that my skin was stinging.

I felt intense pain as the droplets assaulted my body.

This one wasn’t heavy on thunder and lightning but the wind and rain formed a savage, fearsome duo which nearly whipped us into submission.

After feebly riding our bikes for a few minutes the deluge let up. Kelli and I licked our wounds and returned home after being slapped around by the storm which lashed out at us on Nai Harn Beach that day.


#2 Quepos, Costa Rica


Quepos, Costa Rica was the most green, plush, biologically diverse tropical paradise we’ve visited. Sammi and Yeison of My Tan Feet live in a pristine, beautiful country rich with a gazillion species, green jungles….and….rain!

At clockwork, daily, between 2 PM and 3 PM, the deluge would start and lightning would crack.  Each day we were treated to a light show and torrential downpour on the edge of the jungle in Quepos.

One thunderstorm in particular was uber memorable. Quepos storms routinely spawned vivid cloud to ground lightning but the ferocity of rain and the frequency of cloud to ground strikes during this one storm unnerved me.

I counted no less than 7 cloud to ground, WAY TOO CLOSE strikes, in this one storm, all while the rain roared outside of our apartment window.

2 strikes were no farther than 50 meters, and each time they lit up the apartment the monstrous roar of thunder followed up in a split second as the super heated, expanded air came crashing together.


Click to buy the 2 eBook combo. Learn how to island hop and build an online empire. eBooks #1 and #2 in my Blogging from Paradise series.

Click to buy the 2 eBook combo. Learn how to island hop and build an online empire. eBooks #1 and #2 in my Blogging from Paradise series.


To give you an idea of how many cloud to ground strikes Quepos experiences we were told to immediately unplug/cease charging our laptops when a thunderstorm rolled into town because so many folks fry their computers when a lightning surge travels through the wires.

In New Jersey I may see 1-2 lighting strikes like these all summer, and I counted 7 within a 45 minute thunderstorm.



#1: Koh Lanta, Thailand


I have video to prove that this one was a whopper. Click to watch a pretty wild storm; filmed it with my Android tablet.



Kelli and I lived in a home on the bay in Old Town. The back deck was a dock. During high tide the 10 meter high bay lapped at the stilts which supported the home.

Since the heat index typically reached 113 degrees Fahrenheit and since we hadn’t seen a storm in a few weeks we knew we were in a powder keg type situation. Once a storm did hit, it was going to be nasty.

Sure enough, one day I observed huge, billowing, impressive cumulonimbus clouds building over the mainland as well as the water. As the storm speedily sprinted across the mainland to the tropical island of Lanta I noticed 2 things: a wall of torrential rain that was turning the horizon white and howling, gale force winds barreling into the shore at a breakneck pace.

Rain flowed in *sideways*. Lightning crackled and thunder rattled everything in the house. Before we closed the doors rain traveled some 10 meters inside of the house.

This was far and away the most intense storm I’ve experienced during my world travels.

After some 30 minutes of torrential rain slamming *sideways* into the home, and gale force winds, and vivid cloud to ground lightning, and rumbling, ear-splitting thunder, the storm finally blew town.

I walked around for a few to observe the downed palm branches, displaced coconuts and other signs of the monster that just flowed through town.

Your Turn


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Click the pretty picture to boost your blogging success through my wacky travel adventures.

Click the pretty picture to boost your blogging success through my wacky travel adventures.


So, what do ya think?

Pretty intense stuff?

What’s the craziest thunderstorm you ever experienced?

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Ryan Biddulph

Ryan Biddulph is a blogger, author and world traveler who's been featured on Richard Branson's Virgin Blog, Forbes and Neil Patel Dot Com. He has written and published 126 bite-sized eBooks on Amazon. He can help you retire to a life of island hopping through smart blogging.
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