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Travelling is very different to just taking a holiday, or at least that’s what full-time travellers say. And while I don’t support the whole “tourist vs traveller” snobbery that is rife in the travel industry, I have to concede that “travelling” is quite different to “taking a holiday”. It’s important that you know this before you get romantic notions of getting paid to chill poolside. If you want to travel for a living then you need to think about what it would take to monetize such a venture. You need to have something to OFFER. There are many different ways in which you can earn by travelling the world but all of them involve providing a service to others.
SO, You Want to Travel For a Living?!
You cannot simply decide “I want to travel, and I want money for doing so.” and hope for the best. You need to ask yourself what you’re good at and what you could offer to the world in return for your earnings. You could be a travel photographer, a travelling musician, a travel blogger, a remote working coder, an online English teacher and so many other things. We’re going to look at what it takes to travel for a living and whether you have what it takes to cut the mustard! You might not necessarily get to travel for a living, but you might be able to find a living that allows you to travel.
Where Will You Go?
“Everywhere,” I hear you say. As romantic and spontaneous as that sounds, it’s best to have the bare bones of a plan at the very least. You also need to think of your budget in the beginning. If you don’t have much savings or many clients yet (or even any sort of job plan) then you’ll need to travel to budget friendly countries like Indonesia or Thailand. You need to be prepared to step out of your comfort zone a little.
How Will You Live and Earn Money?
THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION. How are you going to earn money through travelling? Sometimes I’m not even sure that I’ve 100% figured this out. Maybe you’ll take a simple career path by joining a cruise ship crew, if it’s the Disney cruise ship make sure you put in a good word for me. It’s a great way to see the world and you’re guaranteed a living through it; your job is secure on a cruise ship. It might be perfect for you.
Or perhaps you want more freedom and you want to be a freelance travel writer or travel blogger. If that’s the case then you really need to do your research into how you’ll monetize your blog, Instagram page and various other social channels. But before you monetize anything you’ll need to build a loyal audience. You’ll need internet access to post things online whilst you’re abroad, for example. There are opportunities out there, but you need to do your research properly.
Find Your Own Style – Be Unique
If you’re creating a travel blog or instagram that you plan to monetize (either through sponsors or adverts) then you might WANT to see London, Paris, Berlin, and New York. However, you need to think about the person on the other end of the screen. What do they want to see? THOUSANDS of bloggers have shown the world these places, in order to have an edge you need to go somewhere unique or take a unique view on places that have been visited millions of times before. Are you prepared to offer something a little more unique and interesting to the table? That’s how you’re going to gain interest.
For instance I have a SUPER bright and colourful Instagram. I’ve had some companies hate it, but most people love it and I’ve had companies approach me specifically because of my unique aesthetic. You need to be different to the thousands upon thousands of big travel bloggers/Instagrammers out there who are already earning a living from doing the same thing as you. For example, try writing articles such as “things to do in the countryside” of a particular location, which is much more specific and unusual than the average “Best Places to Eat in Paris”. Whatever you end up doing, remember to do it with personality.
Travelling For a Living is HARD
Even when you do find something you want to do and somewhere you want to go, you might find yourself surprised at some of the less glamorous aspects of travelling for a living. You’ll get tired, you’ll miss your friends, family and special occasions. You’ll probably get sick, you’ll struggle to concentrate at times, people may doubt the legitimacy of your career (depending on what job you pursue) and even the most seasoned of travellers can fall prey to “travel burnout“. However, if you can handle all of this, then you’ll be rewarded with incredible experiences and life-long friends met in foreign lands. I’m not trying to put you off, I’m just giving you fair warning. Now get out there and see if you’ve got what it takes to travel for a living!! Maybe I’ll meet you on the road some day 🙂