Ever since I left my 9-5 job last summer, my friends and family have wondered how I’m able to afford a life of constant traveling. After all, I have gone away to over 6 different countries in the last year alone which is more than most manage in 6 years.
I get asked if I’m rich, whether my parents pay for this “luxury traveling lifestyle” and if I even work. It just seems odd to people that I’m able to travel so freely.
Seeing as it’s a common question for travellers, I wanted to dedicate a post to answering how I afford to travel and how you could too.
Internet equals opportunity
Certain jobs require you to be hands on or have some sort of physical presence. Think of a mechanic or a waitress; they need to physically be there in order to work and earn money. However because of the internet and the opportunities it has created, I don’t need to be confined to a specific place to make a living. Here are a few ways I earn money using the internet.
Freelance marketing. First off, I offer my freelance marketing services to small businesses which (a) gives me the flexibility to manage my own time and income, and (b) work from wherever the hell I want. I used to work 9-5 in London and quickly grew tired of spending 3 hours on rush hour commutes, office politics and the idea of restrictive 20-day holidays and living for the weekend. Working for myself I’m able to stick to my profession, just with a lot more freedom.
Blogging. My next source of income (sort of) is my blog, Let’s Talk Tech. For over three years I’ve built that site from scratch to thousands of monthly visits, and now I’m able to attract sponsors that are willing to pay to reach my audience. It’s not a consistent source of income by any means, but it’s certainly a nice boost whenever I do get sponsorships.
Website development. Lastly, and something I do whenever I get a chance, is build websites. Mixing my marketing background with a pleasure for building websites, I’ve helped a number of small businesses refresh their look, improve their presence online and create a smoother web experience for their customers. This isn’t a consistent source of income, but it’s something I really enjoy doing and is always a nice financial boost.
In your case, maybe you’re a photographer who can sell your work on stock photo websites. Do you write well? Try becoming a freelance writer. There are even opportunities to do ‘traditional office jobs’ remotely from admin and customer support to marketing and sales roles. The point is, we’re not limited to working in the physical world anymore and anybody can find opportunities to earn money through the internet. You just have to look for them.
Leveraging cheaper destinations
Whether you’re looking at food, accommodation or things to do, this glorious city of London isn’t cheap to live in. Living in other European countries like Portugal, Asia or South America for example, the overall cost of living is significantly lower than in the UK, Australia or US.
While I’m currently based in London, my goal is to move to a place like Bali, Thailand or even Portugal, where I can earn my income in pounds and spend in Euros, Bhat or whatever weaker currency I can. Your money goes further, and you don’t have to work like a dog in order to have a decent lifestyle because of the currency strength.
To give you an idea, a one bedroom apartment in Greater London can cost anywhere upwards of £900-1000 a month. Comparatively, getting a two bedroom apartment in a quiet coastal town in Portugal costs roughly £400 a month. You might be far away from the life of the city, but who needs that when you’ve got tasty food, beaches and beautiful views at your doorstep?
Finding a way that works for you
You might feel like your skills don’t translate well into working online, and if that’s the case, it’s OK. A really common way for people to make money while travelling is to teach English (probably the most common one I’ve found), working at bars, hostels and hotels. You can even become an au pair if you’re good with kids!
Chances are you won’t make as much money as working online — you won’t be getting paid in your stronger home currency after all — but you should earn enough to pay for your travels as you go.
Tell me about you!
Hopefully I’ve opened your eyes to something new; you don’t need to be rich, sell all of your possessions or save up thousands in order to travel! You just have to want it enough, and with so many ways to make money, figure out the best way that works for you.
With that all said, I want to hear from you! Have you ever thought about going to travel long-term while earning at the same time? What’s stopping you? Let me know in the comments below!