Realistic Ways to Combine Work and Travel

Combining work and travel is a dream for many people; however, not many of us can incorporate that way of life in the long term.

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Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

It is incredibly challenging to get paid while traveling the world. There are opportunities to make some money on the side through the internet, which could theoretically make it possible for you to travel abroad while working, but most of these jobs are part-time and don’t pay very well. You’d have to overwhelm yourself with multiple online gigs to make a decent living, but then you’d be left with no time to truly experience the countries you visit.

Having a full-time job that pays well and allows you to travel the world without requiring you to work for more than 8 hours per day is possible though. There are digital nomads who spend their lives traveling and embracing the lifestyle of being always on the move, all the while taking in new sights and cultures. In fact, the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses to switch to a remote mode of working, which may potentially open up new options for those wishing to become location-independent.

If you don’t have a well-defined idea of how you’re going to manage travel and work at the same time, check out this article to get inspired by the many opportunities that could await you, if only you decide to take that first step.

Am I Qualified Enough To Do This?

You don’t need to have a doctor’s degree or be incredibly experienced to have the career of a digital nomad.  Sure, these things can help negotiate a better salary or position, but there are plenty of entry-level positions that you could take up in a remote mode. You should also keep in mind that a digital nomad’s life doesn’t entail being able to buy fine wine online and slack off in front of your laptop all day.

Camping gear experts from myopencountry.com report receiving a significant amount of inquiries regarding durable, long-term outdoor living solutions from beginner freelancers who want to free themselves from being tied down to one patch of ground for their entire lives.  As the old proverb says, if there’s a will, there’s a way — don’t stop yourself from chasing your dreams because you don’t want to give up certain comforts!

City Breaks

When thinking of combining traveling and working, most people don’t mean keeping their 9-to-5 weekly schedule and going on more frequent trips on the weekend.  It’s more about abandoning your regular routine while continuing to make money without being dependent on your current location.

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Photo by Ostap Senyuk on Unsplash

You might want to step out of that mindset for a second and ponder upon your very own predicament right now, though. Are you unhappy in the city you’re living in? Are you yearning to explore the world so much that you can’t imagine lasting another week in your current job? Maybe your love life has fallen apart due to a pretty bad breakup?

All of the above are quite valid motivations behind trying to become a digital nomad. But if you’re trying to make a change for change’s sake, then you should re-evaluate your plans. Short city breaks, taken often, can allow you to explore the most important landmarks of a country or a state without having to give up your career or living arrangement. A city break is a great way to see the world without spending too much money and having to find yourself all over again.

If you lack the right motivation, getting into the business of working on the move may cause more damage than good to your mental and physical health.

Freelancing

Becoming a freelancer in today’s age is much easier than it used to be just a couple of years ago. The current “gig economy” has made it easier for people to hire and get hired on a short-term, loosely defined basis to carry out all sorts of tasks remotely. As a beginner, you might want to stay put and dip your toes into the world of freelancing platforms meant to make it easier for rookies like yourself.

Sites such as Upwork or Fiverr can be a good starting point, but remember that as you gain more experience, you should start chasing after clients by yourself. Whether you’re a writer, graphic designer, or accountant, plenty of business owners stay on the lookout for someone to work for them without committing to a full-time contract. That way, you’ll be getting paid more and won’t have to share your profits with an intermediary. After saving up a decent amount from your current location, starting to move around, and work while you travel, the world will be the natural next step.

Remember, though: the world of freelancing is cold and ruthless. You need to have the skills to back up your wage demands — countless people are willing to do your job for a fraction of the price, and it is up to you to convince the clients that you’re worth their money. Don’t sell yourself short — once you fall into that habit, it’ll become tough to start accumulating respectable income.

Find “the One”

This might have become more prevalent in the post-COVID world, but even before the pandemic, there were companies willing to employ you on your own terms, as long as you got the job done without any hiccups. These terms include the option to combine travel and work.

Finding a business that operates that way is not an easy feat in and of itself, but once you do find it, be sure not to take it for granted. Your employer will need to be sure that you’ll get all of your work done without delays or dips in quality due to your arrangement. These places often operate on the basis of giving their workers the freedom to work as they want to as a method of increasing productivity.

This means that you’ll have to take responsibility for your actions and discipline yourself more than ever before. In the age of the internet, it’s possible, relatively easy even, to create an effective team operating out of different countries. Still, no technology will give you an excuse for slacking off.

The Bottom Line

It’s 2020, and the possibility of remote work doesn’t excite or surprise many people anymore. In fact, due to the on-going public health crisis, it has become the “new normal” in the last couple of months. This has turned many people’s attention towards the digital nomad lifestyle and how they could implement it into their lives. Indeed, not every company will allow employees to combine work and travel, nor should they be expected to do so. Some workers need to be around, even if they are working from home — after all, there are things that might need doing and can’t be done online.

If you’re willing to cut ties with your current living arrangement and travel across the globe, you should make sure that you are absolutely certain of this decision and that you have enough money saved up to get yourself started. Once “yes” becomes your answer to both of these, working remotely while getting to travel the world can be a great experience that might change the way you look at life, love, and everything else.

Realistic ways to combine work and travel
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Stefan von Imhof is a travel writer and photographer. He loves going off the beaten path, exploring cities by foot and finding under-explored, hidden gems. After living in California for the past 15 years, he and his wife now live in Melbourne, Australia.

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