If you’re like me, you hate being stuck in one spot in life, whether that’s physically or mentally, it eats you up inside. You are constantly striving for change in the form of growth and one of the best ways I know of to grow and change is with environmental shift. Pick up and move to another country, heck why not another continent? The shift brings you pleasure and a sense of freedom where for others the thought of leaving everything behind gives them anxiety. Not you though.
But you may be left wondering, how can I do it? How will I actually fund a lifestyle abroad if I can’t take my job or career with me? The simple answer. Get a new job or career. It’s not rocket science (unless that is your field of research…) you just apply online for roles that meet your skills or you look for something new. Be a nanny and enlist teacher, work on a cruise ship, go teach English in China, Singapore, Korea, Japan or Taiwan, or even start a blog like this one. Whatever it is there is opportunity for work anywhere you go. But you first have to ask the question Why.
Most people talk a lot of smack about going off and traveling the world, but most never end up doing it. In this article I’m going to talk about a few of the strategies I’ve used to make long term travel a possibility.
Method 1: Work Hard, Save Harder.
The easiest way to start with is to simply save more than you spend and work extra to make this happen. Cut back on excess spending by creating a budget and noting down everything that you spend money on. Become a miser and don’t spend a penny on something that is outside of your travel or Jiu Jitsu spending.
This is probably the simplest and fastest way to fund your travels. Rolf Potts did it with teaching English in Korea and so can you. You can just move to Korea, teach English for 2 years and you too can save enough money to actually travel the world for 18 months. So long as you eat at local eateries, couch surf, and only eat rice and boloney sandwiches for 2 years prior to your trip. Oh, and no going out to parties or bars for that 2 years either.
You can read more about his adventures in his book Vagabonding if that sort of minimalist living tickles your fancy.
Method 2: Sell Stuff Online
Just go out to a local garage sale or thrift shop and look for stuff selling well on ebay or etsy, with amazon look for stuff that is selling well in NEW condition.
Buy it cheap, take it home, create a free account with ebay or amazon, and then list it. Once it sells, do it again. Once you’ve sold your first thing do it again. Find stuff cheap on craigslist, thrift stores, and at garage sales and then flip it on ebay and amazon. Do this enough and you could pay for a trip to Costa Rica round trip with surf camp for a week. That’s what I’ve done to make over $5000 in my first year on the side. Once you have a good solid handle on that you can move to method 3, of starting your own business.
Method 3: Start a Business:
There are more online businesses than you can count and each of them has their merits.
If you’re not living in the united states then it’s a bit different. You would need to register an LLC in the states and then do something like Drop shipping or Amazon Merch to make a location independent business.
Probably my favorite method is merch since you don’t even need a business registered (though it will certainly provide you more protection) you will really only need an internet connection, and a design background. Personally I only have one of these… but I’m still using this model. Just one of my internet income spokes.
Sign up for your free merch account here: merch.amazon.com
Method 4: Start a blog, like this one:
You may not make much money off it, but you can sure use it to report your travels back home to friends and family and help keep everyone in the loop. After some time if things really take off, you can hire a designer to build you a fully optimized website and run SEO on it to help pull in more traffic and lead ultimately to more sales.
For the best sites to checkout I like just using the free stuff while you’re getting setup and used to how they work, then you can always migrate your content or pay someone to do so for you later. WordPress.com, blogger.com, tumblr.com are just a few examples of free sites that you can use and require no startup cost. Now just like merch it’s easy to undervalue these services; however, if your focus is on providing great content and delivering it to a global audience then these are a great place to start.
You can of course get into paid hosting sites. Every blogger is going to have their own affiliate link (and thus be biased), but really they all do virtually the same thing. They all have dedicated customer service, and all cost money to host on their platform. I suggest that you start out free on one of the afore mentioned ones and then move to a paid for site once you have an audience.
Method 5: Start Creating Valuable Content
One of my other new favorites of the free startup space is amazon’s Create space website. You can create content (though good content will usually sell better), and upload it to create space. When it sells, Amazon writes you a check.
Again, I like this because it’s passive. Sure you aren’t making 100% of the sale, but do you really want to walk around and try and hand out your shitty book to people on the streets? No, of course not right? So why would you try and sell it on craigslist or Facebook or anything other than the largest market place in the world -> amazon. Again with this you can register an LLC and register for free even if you are not a US citizen. Seriously consider this one.
Method 6: Start a Youtube or Instagram Account
When it comes to youtube. You won’t make all your money there, you can use it to build a relationship much like what email is or Facebook messenger.
This is just a way of connecting with your audience and to help them with solving their problems and offering value to them. You of course can make money referring people to affiliate programs and selling other things like coaching, merch, and create space books and such. Or just simply the PDF through your email autoresponder like nomadicmatt.com does.
Bonus Method: Learn Email and Affiliate Marketing
This one takes time and effort, so if you’re one of those get rich quick folks you should probably stop reading now. This isn’t for you.
You can take what you know about talking with people and find an area of explicit interest, such as travel, and then offer a solution to a problem you find in this space. Such as funds.
So when you hear someone talk about how they “can’t afford to travel” you can simply offer ‘6 ways to fund their travel’. Then when they are interested in learning more about what you mean you can direct them to your website where they can learn from your almost decade + years of travel experience and mistakes, feel as though they’ve received value and that they would like to continue receiving value and click “find out when there are updates” button on your site to stay in touch.
Over several months and years you can develop a relationship with them and then 6 or 12 months from now they will buy something that you offer on your site and in your emails to them.
The only problem that most people have with this method is that they are trying to sell something too early. They push and push and ask upfront and they fail to understand how this business works. You have to provide value, insight, wisdom, entertainment, and then people feel that they wish to reciprocate only once they feel they’ve been understood. Not when you wish them to buy.
To Wrap Things Up
So there you have it. 5 Strategies to go out and start funding your travels.
If you’re like me you probably get overwhelmed with too much information, so how’s this. Start today. Sign up for merch, look at your local garage sales, and start working a second job. If you do all three of those things today, and you really start learning ANY of these skills then you can start seeing your travel funds grow and your travel experiences with it.
What you need not do is worry about which one is right for you, pick any of them, but don’t get discouraged, just start. It took me almost 6 years to get from reading books like ‘The 4 Hour Work Week’ to actually sitting on a beach in Central America and enjoying surf lessons all week long.
Just go out and get started, even if you fall flat on your face with a couple of different strategies it’s ok because it cost you very little.
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