To travel long-term is one of the biggest dreams of many people. Wouldn’t it be great to see the whole world before we die?!? But money seems to be the biggest issue and the number one limitation when it comes to travelling. It shouldn’t be though, as there are so many ways to stay on the road without being rich! If you’re eager to explore and travelling is your passion, for sure you’ll accept a bit of an effort in order to reach your goal and live your dream, right?! Check out my first post about how you can travel long-term here!
What is it that stops you from following your dream?
Whoever I meet on the road seems to be in a similar situation: Life back home is ok, all sorted out: a job, a house/apartment, family/friends as well as the daily hobbies/leisure time activities. Great! But apparently for some of us wandering souls out there, this seems not enough. If you are happier on the road than in a routined life, you can probably relate to the following: if only money wasn’t an issue, we would all be traveling the world forever, right?
Life back home seems to make sense, though. Everyone chooses this way that society defines to be the ‘correct’ one. If no one would follow that system, the world would be a different place, for sure, and economy would turn into a very hollow concept. Before I take it too far, I should say that I don’t want to change the system or pretend that everything other than conventional is automatically better. In fact, I think we all should decide for ourselves what is ‘right’ or best. And if that means that you don’t fit into the conventional system, you should at least be given enough creative space to develop your own way of living. Having said that, let’s suppose your mission in life is similar to mine:
MY MISSION IN LIFE: TRAVEL LONG-TERM AND SEE THE WHOLE WORLD
I haven’t had one conversation in my four years of travelling in which other people tell me that they do not want to travel long-term. ‘I wish I could do this forever’, is one of the most heard sentences in these conversations. But they’re running out of savings and want to go back to make more money till the next time when they get their days off from work. Eventually all have to go back and return to a life that is determined by a job and paying bills. Some lucky ones have found their dream-jobs and really don’t mind going back. But it strikes me how many people I talk to are actually unhappy.
Wouldn’t it be great to find something that allows you to travel long-term whenever you want to and for how long you like? Sounds too good to be true? It isn’t actually! Do what you love and try to make money out of it! It might be a bit more difficult or take you longer to set it up, because you have to become creative yourself, but it can’t be harder than following orders from other people or working every day 8 hours in something that you don’t enjoy! Trust me, there is always a way if you follow your real passion.
How to travel long-term and turn it into your lifestyle:
First of all, get rid of everything that you really don’t need: sell the ‘things’ that you bought only for that short exciting moment of pleasure, such as clothes, jewellery, decoration for your house etc. All these things that you would leave behind if your house was on fire and you’d have to run away. Make a list! Evaluate the list and start over, for sure you can find more things in the basement! Selling it all through eBay or other online marketplaces might give you the necessary cash to get started.
Tip: Keep your apartment and rent it out in order to see if you enjoy life on the road at all or until you decide to travel long-term on serious terms.
Once you are on the mission to explore a new country, your main challenge is probably to keep your costs low. Travel more for less in an enjoyable way, right? I travel on a budget but never feel poor or almost every time I want to do something, I decide in favour for it. There is no worse feeling than missing out on something that is probably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! And the idea is to enjoy travelling without feeling guilty about the money you spend. And since you will be on the road for quite some time, beach bumming tends to become quite boring after a while. So, most people don’t mind to pick up a job – if that means that you can enjoy your sunset by the beach on a regular basis.
How to make money on the road?
When I realised that I don’t want to go back into the 9-5 job routine, I started to do whatever it takes to travel long-term: I did a lot of research on work visas, ways to make money online and how to safe on your expenses. All I thought of was how to keep doing what I was doing. And it all came down to four major costs/spending areas: Accommodation, food, activities and transportation. I thought, if I can figure out how to live for free, eat like locals and not like a tourist, save on activities and transport, my costs will be very low and don’t need much money. So here is my momentary model of living:
Step 1: Live for free through a work-exchange:
Today we try to never pay for accommodation, ideally not even for food (which is mostly harder though but also a lot cheaper). There are some great websites that help you find voluntary positions that you don’t need a work visa for and where you still have plenty of time during the day to explore or do whatever you like. For me, the 4-5 hours per day in the morning leave me plenty of time to work on my own projects in the afternoon and I have sorted out my major expense, the cost of living:
- Housecaring/Housesitting: This is our favourite option, as we live for free without having to work!
Step 2: Cash up with a local job in countries where you can get a work permit!
In my case, I started off trying out different jobs in tourism and marketing which I found in each place by talking to the local people. In Chile, Australia and Canada I got a work visa and in these countries I made enough money to be able to travel again for longer periods afterwards. I recently found out about a fairly new website called JetSetterJobs. Here people like me can search for casual work anywhere in the world. Some jobs are paid, some are on a voluntary/exchange basis. Check it out, it makes your life so much easier when you travel long-term:
In general though, you need to do the legwork once you’ve arrived in your new destination. There are very few ways to find a job online in remote places. That’s why I find it a really great idea to set up a platform like the one from JetSetterJobs.com! These guys understood the need for a platform that helps nomads to find jobs easier!
Step 3: Use your free-time in order to build up your own online-business and become location independent!
Even though I usually try to make money on the road (whenever I legally can), I also always keep my eyes open for freelance jobs, especially in the phases where I don’t work locally. These sorts of freelance jobs such as helping to build websites, translations jobs, copywriting and all sorts of marketing projects are great to move around and not spend too much time in one place. Here is a few example pages that I regularly scan:
Now that you sorted out your living costs and realised that you can actually live comfortably on a casual income, you might want to take your lifestyle to the next level. Who wouldn’t want to stop doing those little jobs and rather spend time at the beach or hiking in the mountains!? And that is the key if you travel long-term: Organise and plan well every step ahead. All my time and efforts go towards the goal to see the whole world. The timeframe doesn’t matter, as long as the journey is enjoyable. So, since I don’t have any regular bills like I used to have when living in one place, all I earn goes directly towards my travels. That means, with the money I make I can finance my life on the road without worrying about fixed costs.
But at the moment I am building up my own online-business of which I hopefully soon will be able to live off. Being fairly new to the blogging scene I can not yet speak for myself, but I’ve learned a lot and know that there are many bloggers out there that make profit from their websites. All you need is a product that is in demand or find a niche and position yourself as an expert. If you travel long-term, you gain great knowledge of all the travel related questions other people might have. I know how scary it can be and how many trial-and-error situations one has to go through before one figures out the challenges of a nomadic lifestyle. So stay tuned and I will hopefully be able to share soon more about my business idea…