Find out how to travel the world + make money - it's simple!
Bullshit. Bullshit I say. As a savvy digital marketer who is trying to define what a healthy stream of income looks like (and how much of my free time I will let it take up), I can tell you there isn't a simple source of cash flow, sitting there, just waiting for you to quit your job. Oh no.
I've been lucky with my work, I can do it just as well from this coffee shop in Ho Chi Minh as I can from a desk, in a cubicle, in a boring office building, in the 'burbs of Boston - actually, even better. But it is not EASY to find the right work and the right blend of clients with mutually beneficial expectations.
As I see them, these are the options:
- Sign-on for a location independent Full Time Job: Work at nifty shared workspaces and coffee shops in foreign lands. However, the reason I chose to be a #digitalnomad is traveling with an enhanced freedom - something that sitting at a computer 50 hours/week detracts from.
- Balance multiple clients with varying needs: This is not a bad option unless the needs for multiple clients ramp up at the same time, which can be stressful. Also, building up a client base requires a lot of groundwork (networking, dead ends, consultations, etc.)
- Land one part-time client, average 20 hours/week: Timing to ebb and flow based on their needs + your own travel. Maintain a few additional clients for small projects as needed. This option seems heavenly...
To note, these clients are not waiting patiently for you with a pretty cash flow. Nope. Finding these relationships requires hustle, trying different clients and roles on for size, and patience. I'm still searching.
In the interim, I've been having a blast traveling and experiencing all sorts of wild and crazy things... But don't be fooled, I am incredibly budget conscious (see financial tracker here) and look for opportunities to work at dive shops, hostels and WWOOFing to defray the costs of travel.
Just like the couple who quit their jobs and now scrub toilets to get by, my ex and I did our share of un-glamorous work to earn a buck! For example:
- Worked 4 shifts/week at Pai Circus Hostel for free accommodation + a few meals (I welcomed guests, he was a security guard)
- I traded my social media skills to defray some of my diving costs for Deep Blue Seafari. My approximate rate? $11 / hour. Quite reduced from my old 80k salary.
- The ex works at The Hideout Hostel here in Ho Chi Minh. For $300/month, free beer at the hostel and a shift meal he gives them 6 (!!!!!) nights each week. He runs bar crawls, pours bottles of liquor down backpackers throats + gets home late at night. This was less than ideal for a few (ahem) reasons... And one of the contributing factors to the break-up.
- We made money when we sold our motorbikes. Even after I crashed and dented the Palawan bike we sold it for 1000 pesos ($20.95) more than we purchased it for. That's money saved avoiding rental costs and *hopefully* leaves a nice little profit at the end
- Still looking into WWOOF, HelpX and Workaway options, but slightly underwhelmed so far by Vietnam's options (more on WWOOF here)
The net-net? Although not washing toilets (yet), the diet consists of plenty of packets of ramen and as shown above, I have done plenty of sub-minimum-wage work to make this possible. It's not all fun and insta-filters!