One of the biggest potential obstacles to long-term travel is being able to sustain yourself financially while no longer having a ‘regular’ job. We hear this from people who work for someone else as well as from people who work for themselves. But there really are so many ways to generate income while not living at a fixed address, especially now given how wired the world is with the internet.
About a month ago, the online (of course) Wand’rly Magazine came out with a terrific article on How To Make A Living On The Road that we both highly recommend reading if you are serious about wanting to work and generate income while hitting the road for a long stretch of time. The article goes into the philosophical reasons for working while on the road while debunking many of the myths about it, statistics on the people who actually do it, and some basic planning steps to get you started. It likewise gives real life stories of people from different walks of life who have made the big jump and are working from the road right now.
It’s all very inspiring, but here’s a condensed breakdown of what I got out of the article:
- Usually the biggest obstacle to making a living while on the road is not a lack of opportunity, rather it is some unsubstantiated fear of what other people might think of us if we do so.
- You do not have to be young to do this. People of all ages are working and making money while on the road, even people with families. In other words, being older or having kids is no excuse.
- It doesn’t matter whether you have blue collar or white collar skills or both. What matters is being able to creatively find ways to use those skills to earn money.
- Unless you travel lavishly, you very likely will not need to make as much money as you do at home in order to live well and have fun while on the road. By living a more simplified life you just don’t need as much money to pay the bills, a concept that is incredibly liberating.
- Yes, it’s important to plan out to some degree what you are going to do to make money, but it’s even MORE important to actually start taking the steps necessary to make it happen.
- The more you have your personal finances under control the less pressured you will feel and the more likely you will succeed.
- Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
Reading this article also reminded me of a blog that I follow called The Art Of Non-Conformity that is written by Chris Guillebeau. Just like Chris describes it, the blog is a home for unconventional people doing remarkable things. And he is a big traveler himself, so he knows a thing or two about making money while on the road. Although he has written and continues to write many useful and inspiring blog pieces, I found The Instant Consultant and The Six-Step Plan To Establish A New Income especially helpful.
So if you are dreaming of earning an income while traveling long-term or even just living a freer, less conventional life-style, it’s really up to you to make it happen. The opportunities are out there. You just have to rid yourself of the self-imposed doubts, think creatively, and work hard to reach your goals. Getting to live the life that YOU want to live is the reward.