Don’t stop travelling

By | Category: Travel rumblings

The low-down on how to mix work and travel

Rather than return from your travels with the holiday blues, take a chance on a career change that allows you to pursue your dream life on the road. Unchaining yourself from a stable job and home base requires grit and perseverance, but the rewards are a desk in the sunshine (metaphorical or literal) and a life on your own terms.

Whether the thought of trading in the day job for a life of exotic adventures scares or excites you, the reality is it may well be in reach. Recent studies show more and more people are freelancing and working remotely. And who can blame them?

When you become your own boss, you also get to pick your own office, whether that’s island hopping and answering your morning emails with a fresh coconut or setting up a longer-term base at a digital nomad hub.

According to a 2018 report by MBO Partners, nearly five million Americans describe themselves as digital nomads, and as the numbers grow, so do the associated services. Over the past few years, co-working spaces, online job markets and community-focused travelling have boomed. 

And if you’re not sure you’ve got what it takes to be your own boss, there’s a wealth of information and learning available online. Developing the skills needed to work as a virtual assistant, web designer, photographer or any other remote position has never been easier. 

So what’s stopping you? Travelling with an open ticket allows you to travel at a slower pace and gain a more in-depth understanding of the cultures around you. Also, by working in new environments and learning to adapt to new challenges, you’ll be developing skills and expanding your CV while having a life-changing travel experience. 

It’s wise to make the leap with some savings in the bank, but keep in mind that even if your plans run out of steam, the worst that can happen is returning home having had an unforgettable adventure.

Southeast Asia 
There are many digital nomad hubs with ready-made communities to integrate into in Southeast Asia. Chiang Mai in Thailand and Canggu in Bali, Indonesia, are two of the most popular, and these can be ideal first bases as you dip your toe into the life. 

Dojo in Canggu, Bali (www. has plenty of networking events and an onsite pool; it’s a great place to build your community alongside getting your work done. 

If Europe is calling, then there are a few cities that are embracing digital nomadism: both Lisbon in Portugal and Tallinn in Estonia are home to popular co-working spaces with prices more friendly on the wallet than other European capitals. 
In Estonia, you can apply for E-Residency, which may allow you to open an EU online company, should your business model require it. 

Teaching your local language to foreign learners has long been a way for globe-hopping travellers to make an income on the road. Lessons can be taught online via video call, or in person, though longer-term contracts usually need some forward planning and visa arrangements. 
The TEFL website (www.tefl. com) is a great place to look for English-language teaching positions. Most require a qualification such as a TEFL certificate or CELTA, though requirements vary.

From waiter to world traveller
“My original plan on leaving London had been to work in restaurants in Australia on a working holiday visa, but I quickly became addicted to travelling and I didn’t want to let that lifestyle go. I needed to learn some skills that would allow me to continue. 

When other people in the hostel I was staying at went out partying, I’d stay in to study videos online and learn how to take better photos, build websites and create a travel blog, all new skills and passions of mine. 

My first job opportunity came with a tour company that took me across Cambodia and Vietnam to create content, and over the next few years I was able to keep travelling and supporting myself through the online skills I’d taught myself, such as photography, travel writing and designing websites. 

There were times when my income would dwindle and I didn’t know whether any more work would come up. But knowing the alternative was to go home and give up on this dream kept me determined to succeed. I’ll be forever grateful that I took the leap of faith.” 
Daniel Clarke, photographer and blogger

Extract taken from Travel Goals: Inspiring experiences to transform your life (Lonely Planet; out now)

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