For anyone thinking of a long term adventure on the road, perhaps the number one question is “how can I afford it?” In our experience of 6 years and counting, as soon as a fellow traveller finds out we’ve been going for that long, it’s almost always guaranteed to be the next question. So we thought we’d put together some ideas on how you can explore for longer while keeping the wolves from the door.
However, we’ve also included a little twist – on why you should maybe think twice about a life constantly on the move, and those often overlooked disadvantages of long term traveling. Never say we’re not good to you!
Start a travel blog
We’re experts in this field and can really help you leave the rigmarole of the nine to five behind, get out on the road and realise your dream of earning money from a travel blog. There’s a lot of competition out there though, so you’ve got to be prepared to put the work in and bring something unique, fresh and new to the table.
There are a lot of good blogs out there, and there are a lot of not so good ones – and it takes the right kind of attitude to be in the former category. But with a little patience, a sound idea and a lot of dedication, you could be well on the way to making your travel experiences work for you. Please feel free to drop us a line for more information, and we can help get your first blog off the ground. Get in touch – we don’t bite!
This is one of the fastest growing job markets in the world, with many people ditching the day job and heading out to exotic countries to teach English. Whether you’re a native English speaker or not you’ll need to get yourself a good TEFL certificate (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) from an accredited centre. We can also help with this, as we both have much experience teaching abroad, and can put you in touch with the right contacts.
However, we suggest giving it a trial run before you go “all in” on an expensive course – as teaching isn’t for everyone. Sure, it might seem like an easy way to make a quick buck in countries where the cost of living is low, but it’s still hard work and students deserve someone who is going to stick it out. It can be extremely rewarding, but test the water before you jump in.
Not spending money is almost as good as making it, so considering volunteering around the world. There’s literally anything you can turn your hand to out there, from working on organic farms (known as WWOOFING) to painting orphanages, working on horse ranches, being a receptionist in a hostel, or anything and everything else in between. A good site to start with is workaway.org, where you can fill out a profile and for a small fee it allows you access to thousands of hosts in every country around the world. Type in a keyword for something you’d like to do and where you’d like to do it, and we’re sure you’ll find a load of options (so long as it isn’t too obscure – like a hedgehog rescue centre in Ghana)!
You’ll get accommodation and meals in exchange for exciting work – opportunities to learn something new, make new friends, AND explore the country at the same time. Some are even paid positions so you get a little bit of extra pocket money. It’s a win, win, win, win, win, win situation!
Like couch surfing, some people might be a little apprehensive about hitchhiking, because it does take a bit of courage to take the first step. But again, like couch-surfing, it’s perfectly safe. There are loads of pieces of advice on how to be a really successful hitchhiker, and you can potentially travel forever! So long as you don’t need to take a flight of course – hitchhiking on an aircraft is considerably more difficult than a long distance truck!
BUT WAIT! There are downsides to long term travel.
How long should you travel for? Well, how long is a piece of string?! We really don’t know the answer to this – it entirely depends on the person – and to each their own. But there’s a difference between stopping traveling and going home to a “normal” job and making the decision to settle down in a foreign country for a while. So let’s come clean. Long term travel isn’t easy and it’s not for everyone. While many travel blogs and bloggers wax lyrical about being on the road for a lifetime, it does take a lot out of you, especially when it comes to figuring out finances, accommodation, itinerary, flights, destinations, etc., it’s not all sweetness and light, and sometimes it’s better not to view it through rose tinted spectacles!
Where’s the balance?
But there’s no reason why you have to go back to a mundane life working behind a desk while staring out a rainy window wishing you were still on the road! Many people who travel for over two years or more aren’t constantly on the move – because that would be exhausting. We’ve been living and working in China for a while, and we totally adore it here, so we’re using it as a base to explore the region.
You don’t have to be waking up in hostel dorm rooms all the time, you can get a seasonal contract working on a resort and have a “home” for a while. You can do some volunteering for six months as mentioned previously and then move on when you’re ready and rejuvenated. If you travel slowly, you’ll make your money go further and you’ll see and experience much, much more!
Living for a while in one country really helps you immerse yourself in that culture, and you get to meet amazing people, make cool, new friends, learn so much about your surroundings (and about yourself) and then when the wanderlust comes calling again you can put your best foot forward and strike out for pastures new. So relax, drop your backpack, take a load off your feet and take your time exploring a country, rather than just rushing through to tick a load of boxes. Technically, you CAN travel forever!