Guest post written by Raj Shah at TakeLessons
“To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.” -Bill Bryson
The three most powerful objections that deter us all from traveling and taking longer trips are language barriers, time, and costs. Some of us get nervous about conversing with the locals, some of us are limited by our (lack of) paid time off from work, and some of us worry we don’t have enough money for it to be a worthwhile trip. If you could overcome these concerns, would you book a flight and pack your bags?
If we felt more assured that we’d have enough time and money to make each trip in any part of the world be as rewarding and meaningful, we’d all channel our inner globetrotter more regularly.
All you need to know is that it’s possible.
How? If time and money are holding you back, a practical solution is to make money while you’re traveling, so that you can buy yourself more time for the trip. In addition, working overseas gives you the opportunity to truly immerse and forge meaningful relationships with locals. Here are 3 ways to make money:
1) Teach English Overseas
Get a TEFL Certification, and tap into the thousands of available opportunities around the world. As the great Trevor Noah writes in his book, Born a Crime, “English is the language of money.”
The ability to speak fluent English is not only a commodity, but a tool you can use to empower people all over the world.
Countries in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, for example, not only pay you handsomely, but they also provide free temporary housing and transportation. That covers two of the biggest travel expenses that deter people from exploring the world.
Another option - teach English online from anywhere in the world with a computer and internet access and earn money to live your nomadic lifestyle! (TakeLessons gives you a chance to teach English online.)
2) Start a Travel Blog
You might not attract thousands of visitors overnight, but if you diligently write good content and share it with other fellow travel bloggers, you could earn enough exposure and leverage to earn yourself sponsored opportunities to travel.
Follow and learn from established food and travel bloggers who document their experiences, and think about how you can offer a different perspective. If you reach out to them for help, be super precise with your questions, and make sure it’s not a topic they’ve already covered on their blog, in order to increase your chances of getting a helpful response.
Start with digital advertising and/or sponsored content. As you establish yourself and write more interesting and helpful topics on your blog, you can monetize with additional or alternative sources of income, such as affiliate programs and e-commerce.
“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta
3) Sign up for Gig Platforms
As a digital nomad, you can travel indefinitely by using your acquired job skills to find readily available opportunities as a freelancer. You can do microtasks on Fiverr.com, for example, in your spare time while traveling. You can sign up as an expert on Clarity.FM, set your own hourly rates, and offer consulting services for a wide variety of technical, creative, and business skills. You can privately tutor students online on academics, music or foreign languages, and get paid by the lesson on Takelessons. If you can get independent work, check out And.co, which offers you free access to freelance service contracts, the ability to create invoices/expenses, and to bill clients by Paypal or credit card.
All you need to know is that it’s possible.
In today’s world, a good laptop, a good phone, and your basic travel luggage are all you need to find work and keep money coming in every week, but of course, there’s always part-time work you can dabble in while overseas that can help prolong your trip. When it’s all said and done, you’re there for the experience, the stories, and the profound impact that the world has to offer.
A life of routine back home in the US constraints us from travelling beyond the typical 7-day, 14-day, and 30-day trip lengths. Unfortunately, that’s not always enough time to immerse yourself in the local culture, to learn the local language, and to do meaningful work. Yet, there are plenty of Americans, just like you and I, who have been able to make enough money and carve more time, and maximize their experience. Some, like TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie, even uncover business opportunities in their sabbatical because they were there long enough to spot them. Others discover their life’s calling is to perform service for others by doing volunteer work, or founding non-profit organizations to solve local problems.
Worst case scenario: you bring back a renewed and broader perspective, and some great stories, and pick back up where you left off on life. Make it happen.
Raj Shah is a senior marketing manager at TakeLessons Live, a new and affordable way for anyone to learn music and languages.