lot of people from our community have been asking us: What can I do to travel more and still earn money at the same time? The short answer: there are a lot of ways to do it. However, it all depends on what you like, how much you want to travel and what skills you‘re already bringing to the table.
In this article, we‘re going to outline what we think are possible types of work that will allow you to travel as much as you like. If you‘re excited about this topic, we invite you to join our Facebook group #teamwild where you can connect with likeminded people and stay up to date on any new learnings that we‘re sharing with everyone.
Hi! Nice to meet you, we are Marina and Ben. We live in Berlin and travel the world full-time 🚀
Some jobs sure overlap with others a bit in terms of category, but generally this is how we think about the different types of work that enable traveling more than others. Also, note that the options on the far left are closer to a "standard" job in terms of flexibility and also risk. On the far right, the risk to fail is higher, but also you'll be more flexible in defining your work-life balance and potentially could still benefit from higher returns.
Yep, you read that right, there are plenty of ways to travel more while you‘re actually employed. Now, there are even hacks to travel more while you're employed in your standard 9 - 5 job (going to write another article about this soon!), we're now going to look at certain types of employment that have traveling already written in their DNA:
First, you could work for an international company that includes travel as a default. For instance, many international consulting firms will ask you to travel for every project. Also, you could work for an airline, as a travel agent, for NGOs or in the foreign services of your country. All these jobs will require you to travel abroad. That of course does not mean you‘ll be relaxing at the beach the whole time, but it will give you the opportunity to spend weekends somewhere new.
Second, you could seek out a job at a company that specifically allows remote work. For instance, we know Invision App and Transferwise to have a very flexible and modern work culture. They both offer positions that don‘t require you to come to their offices but instead, you can work from home or basically anywhere else with Internet.
Third, there is a huge amount of periodic jobs that you could take for a certain amount of time at a location of your choice. These jobs could be as simple as working in bars, restaurants and clubs or could involve some skill like working as an instructor at a ski resort or surf camp. The full list of opportunities is long and definitely not complete:
This category of work is a step towards more flexibility and freedom. Often, people venture into this territory while they are still being employed, but step by step, they are developing a skillset that someone is willing to pay for. Once your skill level is good enough, you can even decide to go fully self-employed and be completely responsible for your own income.
Three examples that we have seen working for many of our friends:
A significant group of this category are the digital freelancers. They represent the majority of all the digital nomads since they only need a computer to do their work. Therefore, any place that provides a solid enough internet connection will suffice as an office. The main professions in this field are:
We actually started off as digital freelancers when we adjusted our working style towards more flexibility. Marina worked two years as a freelance digital designer with very exciting clients, some of which didn’t even require her to be present in their office. Likewise, Ben used the skills he acquired during the past years working with start ups to consult digital companies on their business and product strategy.
Another example where you could turn your skills into income is when you’re a professional artist. There are plenty of businesses as well as private individuals that are looking for talent such as a photographer, videographer or even painter. Alternatively, you could work as a model and look for international clients. So, if you already have a hobby that you’re actually pretty good in, you could consider turning that into service that you’re offering.
Last but not least, your language can be a great skill that you can use to make money. Especially if you’re a native English speaker and you like to teach others, many countries seek for exactly your profile. In addition, there are quite a few online businesses (e.g. Teach Away) that you could sign up for and teach your mother tongue online, not even depending on where you’re currently located.
While being self-employed feels a lot like running your own business, you’re often still looking at situations where you’re dependent on a client or more specifically, you’re executing a job that a client wants to get done. That means you’re still spending your time on somebody else’s dream.
When you’re building your own business, that‘s the key element that changes. You can focus entirely on your own agenda, though you‘re also responsible for absolutely everything. Naturally, this category involves the highest level of risk and you will definitely need to put in a lot of work and patience until you see success. Therefore, it can be a smart approach to slowly tap into this area while you’re still drawing income from another source. Validate your business idea and switch to it full time once you feel more confident.
Not every business concept can easily be combined with the lifestyle of traveling. You’ll need to find a model that works independent of your location. So, here‘s are a few examples that we think could work:
First, you could build a profitable e-commerce model that still allows you to be flexible. For instance, you could sell digital products that don‘t require any logistics. You „only“ need to manage all the online workflows to run the shop, create the digital products and do the marketing. You could even leverage existing market places like etsy or creative market so you can fully focus on the product itself. A few digital product ideas are design graphics, music, photo editing presets or software tools.
If you‘re more into physical products, you could find ways to outsource the logistics part. Either work with companies that take care of this specific value chains (e.g. Amazon provides full warehouse fulfillment) or depending on your product, some businesses specialize in providing a corresponding service for specific niches (e.g. Printful prints your designs on various products and ships them to your customer).
Alternatively, the industry of drop-shipping, where a product goes directly from manufacturer to consumer, has created thousands of small e-commerce shops that mainly focus on branding and marketing, while the rest is done by the manufacturer.
As a working example: we’re running our own e-commerce store, Glitter & Techno. While we do sell physical products that we have designed on our own, we find solutions to deliver our orders even when we‘re not in our home city Berlin. Also, we‘re utilized services like Printful to step into new product verticals. In addition, we’re already thinking about a few digital products in the travel niche.
Second, you could build your business as a content creator. This approach is arguably one of the most modern models, mainly because it‘s only been a few years that social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube or TikTok exist. Thanks to technology and the relatively easy way to reach a larger audience, it‘s become possible for basically anyone to turn their passion into a business.
It‘s true that this industry is becoming more competitive every day. But on the plus side, this also means that the general market accepts content creators as serious business partners. Their marketing budgets to reach a certain audience on social media channels have been increasing constantly.
We‘ll write a more specific post on how to earn money as a content creator, since we‘re also just discovering all the opportunities. Depending on your audience and your main traffic channels, you can generate income through various means, for instance by collaborating with other brands, affiliate marketing or display ads.
Also, depending on your niche, it can make a lot of sense to share your specific skills with others in form of an online course. While there is a lot of scam out there of people selling over night success that can only be achieved with their secret method, there are also many genuine experts teaching you almost anything. So if you have a valuable skill, do consider creating an online course that can be marketed via platforms like Teachable, Udemy or Udacity.
Trading with assets on international stock markets definitely is not little thing you simply pick up on the go and just do. This does require you to fully dive into the details and, depending on your risk appetite, open up to potentially devastating downsides as well. So beware, but if you could see yourself digging into charts, numbers and business news and are up for a gamble every so often, this might be a valid profession for you. Who wouldn’t want to be that person who works only a few hours a day in front of their notebook, adjusts a few trading strategies and then goes back to the beach to have another cuba libre.
Lastly, we want to mention an option that often gets disregarded with all the digital opportunities. If you‘re an artisan or you have a good feeling for buying and selling certain products, it could be a viable option for you to simply sell your product on the streets. For instance, jewelry or small leather goods are easy to transport and take with you, could be of high value per item and hence could be sold on the street to tourists quite profitably.
As you can see, there are a lot of ways you could earn money while still allowing you to travel more or live in different countries. With all these options available, it might be hard to choose the right way to go. And here’s what we realized: you don’t necessarily need to find the one right path for you and stick with that for eternity. Instead, you could create a lifestyle for yourself that draws on various income streams from different activities. You could find a way to start out slowly with a new direction and become better over time, transitioning step by step towards a set up that gives you more freedom.
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