Working while traveling seems like an elusive dream for many, one which is always just out of reach.
I’ve experimented with a few different jobs over the course of my travels, all with one goal in mind: find a way to experience the ultimate freedom everyone dreams of, while not tying myself down for too long.
For years I tried different things. I worked in a bar in the Canary Islands. I tried teaching English as a Second Language. I worked in oil and gas offshore. All had their pros and cons, but the one thing I kept encountering which I couldn’t seem to find the solution to was time limits.
No matter what I did, eventually the money would run out and I’d be back to the grindstone, busting my balls at a job I didn;t want to be doing to save up and be able to afford my next furor into freedom.
Of course, such a quest is futile if you keep going back to work again and again. That’s only ever going to lead to the exact same conclusion. As the old saying goes ‘If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got’.
Like most things in life, I stumbled across the answer quite by accident and just when the major backpacking phase of my life was winding down. In fairness, it hadn’t really existed as a possibility for most people until just a few years back, but since then it has really broken into the mainstream and is becoming somewhat of a new gold rush type of phenomenon.
Yes, I’m talking about building an online business. I’ve done it, and after a long slog, I finally have the method I’d been searching for all those years – to be able to work AS I GO rather than stop start all the time and constantly battle limits on the life I want to live.
But before you explore the possibility and I explain to you what I did and how you can do it, too, ask yourself a question….
Do I Want to Travel and Work?
Travel and work seems like some sort of magical path that only a few get to live, but there’s one downside to it. Working while you travel can take away, just a little, from the experience of traveling.
It is generally a lot of fun and if you have a scalable online business you should only need to spend a few hours a day working once everything is up and running, but some people still feel that this intrusion of work into the footloose and fancy-free ways of the road can dampen or even ruin the experience.
I personally disagree. I’d still much rather out in a few hours of slog from a beach hut overlooking an emerald lagoon in Thailand or in an alpine retreat in Austria than I would clock in and do a 9-5 or pick fruit under searing sun, or any other of the miserable jobs I had to try and fund my travel lifestyle before.
Yet this is a question for you as an individual to answer: do you want to bring the elements of work and travel together? If yes, then read on.
How I Did It
No, this is not a sales pitch. I’m not selling any sort of course on work while traveling or anything. I’m just going to tell you what I did, so you can do the same and enjoy a life of limitless travel.
The answer is building an online business. You do that by registering a blog, creating epic content for others to enjoy, and then capitalizing on the traffic you receive. Or, you build a website offering a product or service you can deliver from the road, and you advertise the way you would a traditional business.
This is not easy, but it is easier than it sounds, and it definitely is easier than doing something you detest to fund a short burst of the nomadic lifestyle. If you’re really a nomad, you’ll know that this is akin to torture, and the urge to be on the road is an insatiable one. In other words, it’s not easy, but IT’S WORTH IT.
It took me almost a year and a half to reach the point where I am today. It started with a stream, then a trickle, and eventually it turned into the river I knew it would. To be 100% truthful, I now have so much work that I don’t have time for much travel, and that’s something I’ll have to look at a little more closely in the future. I’m enjoying the success of my venture for now, but I won’t loose sight of why I started down this road either, and I intend to do a lot of travel in Europe over the coming year.
So what do I do? I write content for websites and short ebooks for people who sell them on Amazon and other platforms. If they are the gold miners, I’m Levi Strauss, providing them with a service they need. My business is to help make their business succeed online, and it works for me.
Yet if you’re not a writer there’s no need to fret. Tens of thousands of people make a living from their laptops today by programming, designing websites, consulting, selling digital products, and in many other ways. One person I know builds jewelry out of junk and makes a very decent living selling it on Etsy. These are the possibilities and the web is a BIG place with LOTS of cash floating around for you to reach out and grab.
I started largely because I had to. I lost my job at the time working offshore, and it just seemed like something I’d enjoy doing and could travel while doing. I had no real idea it could get this big, but it did, and I’m now thankful every day that I was forced out of my previous gig, which I might have stayed at for the rest of my life in other circumstances.
So today I make a living, and one that’s on power with the one I made working for a corporation, by logging onto my laptop and writing articles from cafes, hotels, or my couch. As long as I have a mobile phone to keep in touch with my clients and a strong enough internet connection to do research and upload files, I am a free agent.
You can do this, too!
If you’re reasonably good at writing, web design, or computer programming you should be able to make between $500-$1000 per week working 20-30 hours. That’s more than enough to travel endlessly in most places in the world.
You see, I’m just a decent writer. I’m under no illusions and I highly doubt I’ll be winning a Pulitzer prize anytime soon. Yet I know I’m good enough to do what I do because I’ve seen the little seed grow into a sapling and now sprout into something vaguely resembling the beginnings of a great oak. I’m excited to see what happens next, but I find myself more excited to tell other nomads about the possibilities and how they can do the same, and to plan all of the fun trips I’ll be able to take.
Running an online business is the perfect job for nomads. Never before in the history of the world has it been so possible to be so free. Never before could we log into virtual offices while sunning ourselves in the Bahamas and deliver digital products by beaming them across the planet in seconds to clients in Sydney.
Yet we can today. And there’s no reason why we shouldn’t.
If you’re an aspiring nomad or a veteran vagabond who is tired of having to put what you love on hold, take my advice. You don’t have to do it anymore and there is something perfect for you out there.
Explore the opportunities and consider launching an online business today. You won’t regret it. I know I don’t.