Quitting Your Job to Travel the World, most of us at some point have gazed out of the window at work onto another grey and dreary day, and wondered what it would be like to spend our lives travelling through exotic locations and soaking up the sun on the beach.
With bills to pay and lifestyles to fund, for most of us it remains a dream. But what if you could have both? Here we take a look at some innovative ways to make a living travelling the world, and some of the people who’ve made a success of it.
Quitting Your Job to Travel the World
Show and Tell (and Sell)
Seven years ago, Gareth Leonard had a comfortable, $50,000-a-year marketing job, but at age 25, he wasn’t fulfilled and knew office life wasn’t for him. He quit his job and bought a one-way ticket to Argentina, where he worked as a bartender and set up a website to share his stories with his family back home while he waited to come up with a business idea.
However, his business was already growing. By the time he moved on to Colombia, his blog posts were attracting far more attention than just that of his family, and he started getting offers from brands and advertisers wanting sponsored posts and reviews.
Today, through his travel blog Tourist2Townie, Leonard makes his living by sharing his stories of living in different communities throughout the world, including Brazil, Australia and Thailand. He works with major brands and even tourist boards, and makes more money than he did in the “safe” job he quit, calling his experience “the most exciting thing in the world”.
Examples of earning a living while traveling
Matthew Karsten wasn’t even in such a fortunate position before he began his travels. In 2009 he realized he wanted to travel the world, inspired by two friends who were doing just that incredibly cheaply. Sick of having to work two jobs to make ends meet, Matthew started formulating a plan to fund his travels.
He sold his car, cancelled his gym membership and stopped going out to bars and restaurants. Within a year he’d saved $7,000, as well as making up to $2,000 a month from researching and writing how-to guides which he sold online, funding his trip to Guatemala. He then put his writing skills to good use by developing a travel blog and offering companies he admired long-term content partnerships.
In addition, he licenses the photographs he takes on his travels for commercial use; they’ve been bought by tourist boards, holiday companies and even the National Geographic. Matthew’s blog has become so popular that some countries have paid him to visit and write about his time there. He now makes six figures a year. “I still travel the world on a budget,” he says, “but I’m also able to save money. Or splurge on the occasional expensive experience.”
Become a House Sitter
Canadian couple Dalene and Pete Heck had safe corporate jobs and a comfortable house in the suburbs when in 2007 a series of personal tragedies led them to realize there was more to life, and they were determined to discover it. Since 2009 they have perpetually traveled the world as professional house sitters, a career that has allowed them to experience life and get to know the locals in a huge variety of locations including Bolivia, Greenland and the Sahara Desert.
They have no regrets about switching their sizable home for a suitcase. As Dalene says, “We went from scraping the bottom of life’s deepest hole to blowing the roof off the top. And we have no plans to slow down. This life is too good.”
Trade on the Stock Market
It’s not a career choice for the faint-hearted, but it’s worked for Marcello Arrambide, who quit his job in 2009 to travel the world working as a day trader on the stock market via phone and internet. Since then he has visited over 80 countries across all seven continents, and his career not only funds his travels but also earns him a healthy income. “I consider myself the luckiest person in the world to have complete freedom,” he says. “Location freedom, time freedom and financial freedom.”
Take a Workation
If you want the best of both worlds, and your job is mainly phone and computer based, why not transfer it to another part of the world every once in awhile? It works for independent entrepreneur Vanessa Van Edwards and her husband, a marketing manager. They started asking themselves why they were tied to the same office every day when modern technology allows them to do their jobs from anywhere in the world?
Vanessa explains, “We set out to find a way to develop our careers while travelling the world – and without breaking the bank.” Armed with their laptops and mobile phones, they set off for their first “workation”, and today they have taken their virtual office to 24 different locations around the world.
Or you could…
- Teach. Teaching English as a Foreign Language can be a great way of experiencing life in other countries, and you don’t need to speak the local language in order to do so. You can travel a lot by teaching English.
- Freelance. If you have a skill, particularly one that’s all or part of your job back home, you can offer your services as a freelancer while you travel. This can work especially well if you are a hairdresser, personal trainer or beauty therapist, as there are always openings for these jobs in hotels. Otherwise, make as many friends as you can in the area, as word-of-mouth references go a long way. There are plenty of freelance opportunities online, especially in digital.
- Work in the Travel Industry. All tour operators employ holiday reps on a seasonal basis, which will keep you in one location for around six months, so it’s ideal if you have an idea of where you want to go. There are also usually plenty of openings for bar and waiting-on staff in holiday resorts and on cruise ships.
Before you escape
Find destinations that are cheap to live, South East Asia for example. You want to find dirt cheap rentals which will be your main expense.
Make sure you have a reserve fund in case things go wrong, having an accident while drunk for example may invalidate your travel insurance!
Try and build a variety of income streams in case one drys up. You really don’t want to go home early!
Don’t listen to anyone who says you are ‘just escaping.’ Travel is one of the most rewarding things you can do in life.