If you haven’t figured it out by now, we ABSOLUTELY LOVE THE NOMADIC LIFESTYLE and we wouldn’t trade it in for all of the riches in the world. But nomadic life isn’t always one of backpacking, or travel. We quite frequently stay put for a few weeks, months or even a year. The digital nomad’s life is all about freedom and the ability to go where we want, when we want and do what we want.
This lifestyle is not unattainable, in fact, it’s never been easier to start living a life of freedom, travel and adventure. In this article we’ll tell you about a few perks that make this life & job so amazing, and then give you 5 easy steps towards creating this life for yourself.
Note: We are bloggers and most of our income comes through our website, so this article will focus mainly on making money from blogging and freelance writing. We ask that you don’t read this and think “I’m not a blogger, this doesn’t apply to me.” Blogging for money is easier than it sounds and if you start a blog today, you could be taking advantage of some of these perks by this time next month.
If you want information on another method of making money on the road, check out our Sustaining Travel Section!
The Perks Of Blogging
The Blogging Community: This in itself is a perk of this lifestyle and job. It’s so much fun to connect with people and constantly be a part of a worldwide network of travel lovers and digital nomads. We recommend that anyone who enjoys travel should start a blog right away. Spend the $20 – $50 to buy your own domain and open a self-hosted WordPress blog now and take the first major step towards making money online.
Note: Travel blogging obviously goes well with travel, but you don’t have to be a travel blogger to blog and travel. Consider a food blog, a tech blog or a self-help blog. As long as you’re passionate about it, you can make money from it.
Infinite Travel: Imagine traveling the world, blogging, taking photos and using social media. While you’re enjoying free tours and accommodation, your bank or Paypal account is almost magically filling up. Your trip no longer has to have an end date, which means that you can travel as slow or as fast as you want.
This is the amazing part of travel blogging and make no mistake, this form of online career is here to stay. If you start a blog today, you could be making money by this time next year (some bloggers even pull in an income on their launch date!).
Free Accommodation: Hotels and hotel booking companies will be happy to work with you once you’ve built up a significant audience. Picture yourself travelling the world and never paying for accommodation. It’s not that far-fetched.
Hundreds of bloggers use their websites to gain free accommodation from hotels, resorts, hostels, guest houses and B&Bs every day. Even if you don’t have a ton of traffic, you can use your blog to partner with hotels and offer them some exposure that they would otherwise not receive.
Don’t believe us? We’re not lying! It’s not very hard to pitch hotels once you have some decent traffic. We likely won’t pay for a hotel, hostel or guest house for our entire trip through Central America this year. It’s doable guys… you just need to work on your readership and grow your traffic.
Free Transport: Bloggers can also be contacted by (or reach out to) airlines, bus companies and train lines. We’ve saved lots of money from comped transport and it’s not reserved for top blogs either. There are lots of new bloggers working with excellent companies and getting free transport all around the world.
Free Garb: Nearly every week we receive some kind of email from a company who wants to send us free product in exchange for a review. It’s rewarding to see that “up-and-coming” businesses are starting to value bloggers’ traffic and readership and you can end up with some pretty cool stuff!
Press Trips: This is when a government tourism board hosts you and shows you around their country, region or town. Press trips are more common than you think. Even bloggers who are just starting out often land some pretty amazing tours. They usually include all accommodation, food, transport, guides and tours and the can last between 2 days and 2 weeks!
Money: We hate when bloggers say that blogging doesn’t make much money. We’ll admit, most of our income comes from writing for other websites, magazines and publications both online and in print, but our blog itself does make a pretty good income through affiliate sales and advertising, plus, our freelance writing is all part and parcel of this blogging career.
We’re not at the top of the heap either! We’re pretty average when it comes to website earnings. YTravelBlog.com boasts a 6 figure income from their amazing family travel blog. Our blog averages around $2000 / month with some months above $5,000 (including freelance work) and others below $1,500, but you know what, we live very well! Combine a decent income with free tours, accommodation and transport and you’ve got a pretty healthy living.
We’re not listing our income to brag, in fact, it’s a pretty low-income compared to the average wage in Canada, but overseas that money goes a long way. We know that readers are often wondering how much a blog can make, so we try to be open with you guys, not to boast, but to inspire. We only put in around 15 hours / week into our blogs and we think that anyone and everyone can do exactly what we’re doing if they just put in some time and effort.
Travel blogs will only continue to grow in popularity and authority online, so get in now. If you write useful information, people will read and YOU WILL start to make money from it.
But How Do You Get Started?
We’re going to assume that you are at home, working a 9-5 job that you no longer enjoy. You’re looking for a change and you want to have more time in your life to do the things that you love… like travel! Below are 5 simple steps to get you started on a digitally nomadic lifestyle TODAY.
Step 1 – Choose a Change
If you’re working too many hours and you’re not enjoying your life as much as you want to, it may be time to make a change. But what kind of change is best for you? Maybe you just want to work less. Maybe you want to work for yourself. Maybe you want to travel the world as a digital nomad! We’ll assume you’re leaning towards the latter because you found this article on our website, which is all about turning your travels into a lifestyle. The first step is choosing a change that is right for you. Are you ready for change? Then move on to step 2.
Step 2 – Book Your Flight
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, booking your flight should come early in this process. You need to take that giant leap so that you have the motivation to complete the smaller steps along the way. Book your flight now and worry about the next steps later.
Step 3 – Liquidate, Store and Plan and Save
Sell what you don’t need, keep only what is essential or sentimental and try to find a way to store it for free. Maybe your best friend needs a set of couches, try to “lend” your things to friends and family in this step. You never know if the nomadic lifestyle is meant for you until you try it, so it’s best not to make any rash decisions. If you just lend some of your stuff, instead of selling it all, then you have some things to fall back on.
If you have to sell a house (like we did when we left), hopefully you’ll be able to make some money from the equity. Selling a house adds a lot of pressure to this process, but we still recommend that you book your flight before selling. That flight is a huge step in this process and should always come first.
Garage sales take a lot of time, but they can be lucrative. Try to sell the stuff that you don’t want to store.
Storage can be a bit of a hassle for some people. Storage facilities are expensive so you want to do everything you can to avoid that extra cost. Call on your friends and family and try to find someone with some extra space to store your stuff for you.
While you are dealing with the above hassles of selling and storing, mix it in with some of the fun aspects of preparing for this new life. Buy some maps and guidebooks and get excited about the destinations you want to visit.
It’s time to save some money for travel! Open up a savings account and put some money into it from your pay cheques and from anything you sell. Remember, you don’t have to save a ton of money. We saved a lot for our first year-long trip in Southeast Asia (about $20,000 for 2 people for 13 months travel), but there are also many ways to make and save money on the road.
Step 4 – Quit or Alter Your Job
Maybe your job allows you to work remotely. If that is the case then you may not have to quit entirely, just make some changes so that you can work while you’re on the road. Most of us aren’t so lucky to have a job like that, so to make a real change in our lives, we have to quit. This is a huge step and it’s not going to be easy, but trust us… if you’re tired of working a job you don’t enjoy… this is going to be a world of relief once you finally do it.
Step 5 – Start A Blog & GO!
The best part of this entire process comes after you’ve booked your flight, quit your job, sold your crap, saved some money and planned your trip. This is when you get to go to the airport and start your new life. Remember, this new life doesn’t have to have an end date.
It’s tempting to put a time limit on your trip because you saved a certain amount of money and budgeted it to last a certain amount of time… but you can always make money on the road.
Part of step 5 is to start your own blog. This doesn’t have to be your main source of income while travelling, but we guarantee you that if you keep up with it and don’t give up, then your blog will one day support your travels. We’re living proof. We’re not professional writers or photographers, we don’t have degrees and we had no web design experience before starting this blog in 2013… but today it pays for all of our travels and then some.
This article focused mainly on opening a travel blog, not because it’s the only way to earn money and travel, but because we think it’s one of the best ways. Sometimes information online is too vague and it’s hard to draw inspiration from it. If we continuously say “just find something you are passionate about and make money from it”, then it starts to sound like a parent-teen prep talk two weeks before graduation.
We focused on travel blogging so that your inspiration has a focus. We’ll write more in-depth about different ways to make money and travel forever, but for us… travel blogging and freelance writing is the absolute best. Start a blog today, plan your trip and begin a new life of freedom, travel and adventure. We don’t want to sound cliché, but anyone can do it. You just need to get off your butt, take a big breath and jump. Jump off of that cliff and feel the world rush at you. Now is the time for a change… get out there.