HOW I CAN AFFORD MY LIFE OF CONSTANT TRAVEL.
I am ashamed. I'm simply confused because so far I haven't been able to explain adequately how I managed to travel / live / work abroad for 12 years straight (and counting) without pa. In a single day the queries are already pouring: How can you manage this? How can one fly for so long? Where the capital comes from? So while I genuinely enjoy engaging with readers (I'm completely sincere so invite you all to continue to give me your emails as much as you want), the realization that so many of you out there are in the minds of these same issues has prompted me to feel that I ought to do a better job of supplying the answers. Although it's true that I've already written a lot of posts on the subject, obviously all of these articles, even as a collective entity, still stop well short of showing that a traveling existence is not some insane dream, but rather a perfectly reasonable and easily attainable lifestyle choice. I've also discussed other travelers who lead a similar nomadic lifestyle out there, but obviously that wasn't enough either. What should I do, then?
How do I show, once and for all, that in your bank account you don't need $500,000 or even $50,000, that if you can scroung $500 bucks up, there's nothing keeping you from becoming a full-time nomad. I'm not going to joke. This is exactly what I did all, after all. Ok, I left home to my name for the first time with $1500 but that's not really a fortune either. So here is another attempt to show you how I lived a life of constant travel. The below is a brief summary of my Life's past 12 years. It is a history of sorts that describes where I was, what I was doing and where my money has always come from. Basically, it reveals just how one ordinary person has so far managed to finance traveling and living abroad for 4,195 days straight.
THE ROUND .
Left home and moved to Bangkok with $1500 in my bank account Wanted to fly across South East Asia for 3 months
Decided to extend my journey officially despite having just $500 remaining to my name Taught English in Chiang Mai, Thailand, receiving around $150 a week (more than enough to survive well in this city at the time)
Returned to the US with $300 in my wallet (after paying for the flight home) Spent 2 months in Boston serving as a high school substitute teacher Saved $2500 during this period
Returned to Asia and spent 12 months traveling across Thailand, Burma, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Australia While in India, volunteered for 3 months as an English teacher in return for room and board Stayed with friends in Thailand for 3 months and taught English again in Chiang Mai Lived with friends in Australia for 2 months, which kept my expenses relatively low.
I applied to work on board cruise ships Via a connection I landed a position as a tour worker for Carnival Cruise Lines Worked on board two separate ships during one 8-month period Saved $8000 during that time and then opted not to apply for another contract
Traveled to Australia for 4 months
With $4000 in the bank, I spent two months staying with a relative in Los Angeles Finding a short-term position at an advertising company with a two-month temp service and left LA with $5000 in the bank.
Traveled to Thailand, Bangladesh and India
Landed a job as a tour manager for Norwegian Cruise Lines Worked on two contracts on board ships based in Hawaii and the South Pacific During my six-week break between contracts Saved $20,000 by the end of my second contract
Spent 7 months traveling to Europe, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Afghanistan
With $10,000 still in my savings, I decided to work two more contracts as a tour manager for Norwegian Cruise Lines Saving an extra $20,000 during these contracts.
Traveled for 8 months to South America, Europe and India
Served as a tour manager on board Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth 2 ocean liners Spended 18 months with Cunard, saving more than $3,300 a month Flying across Europe, the Caribbean, Mexico, Middle East and SE Asia during my holidays between contracts.
Traveled back to India for 3 months
Worked one final two-month contract for Cunard Line, saving an additional $6000
Left Cunard (with more than enough capital left by now) and migrated to Australia Spending five months focusing on building new revenue sources in Melbourne
Sold my first eBook online Continued working on promoting my eBook while creating a second eBook to sell Began earning some income through affiliate marketing
Spent six weeks in Thailand. Volunteered and traveled in India for six weeks .Visited Italy for a few weeks
Traveled through Central America and Mexico, ending the journey by renting an apartment in Sayulita, Mexico Started to focus on my web ventures for the first time
Moved to the Caribbean coast of Mexico and rented an apartment in Playa del Carmen, where I spent more time working on my online projects Officially launched WanderingEarl.com
Spent 6 months traveling around the Middle East, Australia and Southeast Asia
Returned to Playa del Carmen (where I currently live) to catch up on work Hit $2500 + a month in online revenue through the sales of three eBooks I've written and my affiliate marketing efforts
Planning some new adventures for later this year, including a most exciting 30-day train challenge for the month of September (more information to come in my next post) Life as a lifelong nomad continues And that's all there's to it. The truth of the matter is... $2500 a month, and even $1000 or $1500 a month is more than enough to attain a lifestyle that includes extensive travel. It does not take much, actually. Some English teaching here, some cruise ships operating there, some internet marketing in your free time and VOILA!
And this is only a tiny fraction of the possibilities of earning money when going out there. When you know this, you will also understand that chance, miracles and getting an overflowing bank account do not play any role in enabling you to attain your travel goals. All you need is the confidence to take the first step, and an open mind for trying new experiences!