If your dream is to travel and/or live abroad, then you’ve probably asked yourself the question: How can I make money to travel or live abroad? Travel is not a traditionally painted road of right and wrong resumes. There are many alternative ways to go and the road is as wide as your creativity. In this second installment of my two-part series, on How to make money traveling and living abroad, we’ll be looking at volunteer jobs and being location independent.
#5. Volunteer work exchange programs
Although volunteer jobs you won’t make money, you’ll get to live and work abroad for a length of time. Work exchange programs allow travelers to work on farms, bed and breakfasts, lodges, sailboats, or house sit … in exchange for room and board. Some hosts might contract two hours of work a day; others, longer. Some travelers choose to stretch out their traveling by getting jobs working at hostels or bed and breakfasts. When you’re on the road, accommodations soak up a large part of your budget.
- WWOOF Volunteer to work on organic farms in exchange
- HelpX Volunteer to work in B&B’s, farms, ranches, homestays, etc..
- Peace Corps (Volunteer and get a stipend for expenses)
- Peace Boat – Cruise the seas and explore each port, while teaching Japanese students.
- TrustedHouseSitters.com and HouseCarers.com (Volunteer to housesit. Sites require an annual fee to join)
If you haven’t watched my video yet, do it now!
Location Independence : “The Global Freelancer”
For those who don’t want to go through the effort of getting a work visa, there’s ways to work while traveling, creating the freedom and work schedule you prefer.
#6. Freelance Work
Have a skill or expertise that allows you to work, working with a client either at home or any other country? Skills range (but aren’t limited to): IT, web or graphic design, writing, translation services, writing, virtual assistant, etc…
- Check out travel sites, which need contributing writers and which pay (i.e. Matador writing gigs and jobs)
- Research virtual assistant staffing sites (i.e. virtualassistantjobs.com – Note: I have not used this site, but am using it as an example)
Advice: Want a steady paycheck? Work with companies back home, who are willing to hire you freelance and can pay industry standard rates. Communication will be in your language, resulting in less misunderstanding and your money can be deposited directly into your bank. However, whether you make money at home or abroad, you still have to pay taxes in your country!
- Land of the freelancers, home of the brave: How to find your next freelance gig online
- Get Paid for Writing by Chris Gullibeau
#7. Be an Entrepreneur
Part location independence – part freelancer, you’re thinking outside-the-box about what people need and what you can deliver. Gone are the old days when you needed to either, rent a shop or have a commercial store sell your product. If you’re traveling or living abroad, money needs to be made from resources you can manage on your own.
In my video, I mentioned if you’re living abroad, providing services to your community is a great place to start. Tangible, physical,… people can see you deliver and in return you get paid cold, hard cash.
When I was an expat living in Korea, I met a handful of expats who started their own businesses~ creating tours for tourists, subletting their apartment during travels, starting an expat magazine (and getting local businesses to advertise). The list goes on… One group of expats started a moving service to help expats move their belongs and furniture. Brilliant.
Location Independent Shop Owners:
Money is to be had by if you can think of a fresh product people need and an innovative way to sell it. A big tool for many, is going online.
Before you needed to afford rent to open a store or get a vendor’s license. Now, you just need online access, a Paypal account, a laptop and an idea. Some nomadic travelers write and sell e-books online, photographers and designers can sell their photos, designs and/or services by opening their own online store.
- Amazon/Kindle and e-junkie – Sell e-books
- SmugMug- Sell your photographs
- iStockPhoto.com – Sell photos to stock photos
- Etsy.com- Sell your fashion
- Zazzle.com – Sell your artwork designs on clothing
Be an Online Personality and Teacher:
These days, the Anthony Robbins of entrepreneurial self-help have moved online. There’s a growing handful of online influencers, who will sell you their secrets HowTos of Success through online trainings and workshops: How to Make Money, Live your Dream, Live a Life of Leisure, Drive a Successful Business. Some of these personalities are:
- Derek Halpern (Social Triggers)
- Marie Forleo (B-school *ironically, she actually used to be my hip-hop instructor in New York, years ago!)
- Chris Guillibeau (Art of Non-Conformity)
- Timothy Ferriss (The 4 hour work week)
Crowd funding :
These days, crowdfunding isn’t only for the poor or struggling artist or those who want to fund their films. It’s for anyone who’s likability can attract a following. Actor Zack Braff got his second film funded by asking his fans to donate to the production of his film. He made his film then sold it to the studios for an even larger sum! Eat your Kimchi, a cute and off-beat expat couple vlogger-blogger team turned YouTube stars got their studio in Korea funded by their fans.
Top two crowdfunding sites:
#8. Be a bloggeror vlogger
Like any other business, starting an online blog or vlog is like starting up a company. Many folks think blogging makes money overnight and this simply isn’t the case without a good amount of work put in and like many companies, it can lead to overwork. The hours I don’t spend traveling, I spend in my bat cave on my blog and vlog, diligently writing posts, editing photos and videos. I’m spending hours researching tools and learning about the business of blogging (from some of the online teachers mentioned above). No beach, no margherita. Know your niche market and what you can offer people in terms of information. Be willing to put time into researching how to make your blog/vlog more effective. I read Matt Knepes’ ebook, How to Make Money Blogging and highly recommend it. Yes, there are dark sides to the business of blogging. Yet there are also bloggers in a variety of fields, making an income from it, through various means like affiliate links, advertising, e-books, selling travel products and services, such as their own tours, workshops, consulting, etc… You won’t make money instantaneously. Like everything, it will take time and work. For blogs:
- Open a WordPress (I prefer WordPress to Blogger, because it’s more intuitive, time-efficient to navigate, offers more professional-looking free templates and what a lot of professionals use).
- Get a self-hosted site (My site is currently on Hostgator).
- I also recommend signing up with Travel Blog Success if you’re serious about learning how to be a professional travel blogger. What Matt Knepes’ book starts, this site continues with tips and step-by-step training on how to turn your blog into a business, approaching tourism boards, etc… as well as, you get access to a secret forum on Facebook, where you can ask money-making questions and gather insight as to how others are doing it.
- Open a YouTube account
- Learn how to make videos, shoot, edit, upload.
- Empire Building Kit: Create a Lifestyle Business in one year by Chris Gullibeau
Know of any ways to make money traveling or living abroad? What’s worked for you? Any inspiring stories to share?
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