If you’ve never took a gap year from uni or quit your job, sold everything, and left home to travel the world, you’ve never truly lived. Here are few people who act did that and making a living whilst travelling the world.
There are a lot of bloggers out there travelling around the world and filling your Instagram feed with gorgeous destination photos. But there are very few who have actually cracked the code and figured out how to make money. Alyssa Ramos is one of them. This 29-year-old is the definition of a digital nomad success story: A solo adventure traveller and entrepreneur, she travels full-time, runs the site My Life’s a Movie and has racked up over 125,000 followers on Instagram. Her favourite slogan? “Dreams don’t work unless you do. a full-time travel blogger and social media influencer (or in technical terms, a content creator, destination marketer and product promoter). As a blogger/influencer, I am a photographer, model, writer, videographer, editor, personality and creative director, plus I come with the large target audience that certain brands are looking for, and I’m typically in an awesome location for shooting photos and videos. Most importantly, I have influence with my audience, because they respect and trust my recommendations, which is what makes me valuable to brands. Therefore I get paid by destinations (tourism boards), hotels, tours, products and other related companies to create content and post it to my audience, who are likely to purchase it or at least follow their accounts on social media.
Vietnamese American that enjoys hiking, yoga, astrology & the mystics, reading, scented candles, being around creatives + wine and cheese at all times. She’s a traveller, based in Hawaii a few months out of the year but steadily making her way across the globe. She’s a blogger, sharing stories, photos, musings and helpful hints on her website, Generic Dreams. And she’s an entrepreneur who founded her own travel agency called Up and Explore while continuing to work remotely in software testing as a “digital nomad”.
Ms Truong also founded her own travel agency called Up and Explore, where she plans other people’s trips.
From Panama City, Panama
Makes an income from working as a freelance travel video blogger for “It’s A Travel O.D.” from Playa del Carmen, Mexico, doing affiliate marketing partnerships which, results in a stream of passive income) and social media advising for hostels/hotels in exchange for accommodation and sponsored vlogs.
Instagram account, @itsatravelod
Arianna Esposito and Rena Ayoubi
From Manchester, UK, and Italy
.Travelling around the world together through New Zealand, Southeast Asia, and Canada while building a travel blog and social media presence.
They started writing for travel sites and getting paid per article, and eventually moved on to creating their own blog, LandRoamers. Once their Instagram, @landroamers, got bigger, their site got more hits and they used this surge to reach out to businesses for sponsors. They spend several hours a day on their blog and Instagram.
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at age 38 to live wherever they want, spending less than $30,000 a year.
The Kaderlis retired in 1991, and they’ve spend the last 20-plus years living in Guatemala, the US, Mexico, El Salvador, Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, and Thailand.
On average, their total next spending is less than $30,000 a year.
“We have chosen not to devote our time or money to support a complicated infrastructure in our lives,” they write on Next Avenue. “We have no US-based health insurance, no mortgage and no monthly subscriptions such as a cell phone plan, cable bundle, or country club fees. We are debt-free and don’t own any big toys, like a boat.”
On their website, Retire Early Lifestyle, they detail their living and spending, and answer reader questions about what it’s really like
Chris and Danika Garlotta
Chris and Danika Garlotta sold everything and rented their home to start working remotely.
In 2013, Chris Garlotta was working for tech companies doing graphic design and website development and his wife Danika was head of marketing for a group of boutique hotels in San Francisco.
After finding a $300 airfare to Rome with one departure day in March 2014, the Garlottas quit their jobs to go on an open-ended global trip. However, they planned to keep working as they went, freelancing in the same fields: Chris in visual design and web apps and maintaining his own app, ZingSale, which alerts shoppers to dropping prices, and Danika in both social media strategy and marketing design.
The couple estimates they’re earning about 40% of what they had been in San Francisco, but not suffering any decrease in their standard of living. “Having clients in San Francisco, I’m billing San Francisco rates, but in Berlin, rent is 20% of the cost of rent in California,” Chris explained. “In Indonesia, dinner is $2 a person.” They do have a savings account as a backup, but they don’t plan to use it to fund their everyday lives.
Wright, a blogger, speaker and publisher, travels full-time as his job, relocating to a new country every four months — at least when he’s not doing book tours with his publishing company or road tripping. After living a corporate lifestyle in Los Angeles replete with a townhouse near the beach and so much excess income he owned eight computers, six years ago he sold almost all his belongings and took the leap into the Exile Lifestyle (the name of his blog). So far he’s visited about 30 countries, with each home base chosen by his readers.
I earn my income — mostly from books. I have all that time to sit around and write, to explore different genres, and increasingly to give talks at conferences and events. With the income from the books, I can be earning when I’m not actively doing anything. It really depends on the year, sometimes it’s as low as $30,000, sometimes as high at $70,000 — depends on which books came out, if any were eminently marketable, and if we did tours and such to puff up exposure, if we did PR, how many speaking gigs I do.
Greg and Rachel Denning
From Utah, They asked themselves what they would do if they could live any way they wanted. The answer: take their family to developing countries and serve others. So in 2007, after their fourth child was born, Greg and Rachel packed up their family and drove to Costa Rica in their SUV. That was the start of a nomadic lifestyle that has taken their family — which has grown from six to nine — to more than 30 countries over the past 11 years.
Find out more about their family’s journey at WorldschoolFamily.org
Joe and Ali Olson
Joe and Ali Olson spend their days traveling around the world with their two-year-old daughter, Annabelle.
Each in their early 30s, the couple were able to quit their jobs as public school teachers in August 2015 and retire after just eight years in the workforce.
After using their income to buying over 15 rental properties they eventually made over $1,000,000 to retire and travel the world. They retain control of their rental properties from abroad, and Ali writes romance novels
JOHNNY Ward didn’t grow up rich. In fact, he describes his financial situation as a youngster as “super poor”.
But the 31-year-old didn’t let that stop him from achieving his dream of travelling the world. Determined not to get trapped in “the real world” of working full time and rarely having a holiday, he set off on a globetrotting adventure once finishing university.
But his bank account kept drying up and he needed to boost his finances, so by 2012 he had started his own company.
Since that day he has earnt $1.5 million and now works just a few hours a week, from his laptop, anywhere in the world. All while exploring 152 countries — so far.
Now that’s the life.
In 2010 I started a blog called onestep4ward.com, after 12 months of lost hours spent working in an office in Australia while I saved up enough to keep travelling. Then I created a digital media company in 2012 which does corporate blogging for companies, manages their social media, deals with their SEO etc.
“I always prioritised my lifestyle though, so I’ve never worked full time in that sense of the word.
“When building it, I probably worked 20 hours a week, now it’s more like 10-15. I have limited technical abilities though, and outsource everything, managing my staff from my laptop.
My income since 2012 has ranged from $13,000 to $81,000 per month, averaging out at over $1400 per day.
“I’ve also got property investments that have been working well and recently earned me an extra $100,000+. Ultimately, I’ve earnt about $1.5 million since that day.
Kach Medina and Jonathan Howe
Kach Medina and Jonathan Howe pick up work wherever they go.
Kach and Jonathan have been travelling together ever since they met in Luang Prabang, Laos, in 2013. They’ve spent time in countries including Vietnam, Cambodia, the Maldives, Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, and Peru.
“Usually we take our time and find somewhere to stop for a while, to learn about the place and enjoy it, and set up some kind of income, in Peru we had the massage business, and I was teaching donation-only yoga.” In Costa Rica, Kach worked in a hostel.
Between their blog, Two Monkeys Travel, and their side jobs, they’re earning $4,000-$5,000 a month working 4-5 hours a day and saving money to set up their own traveling massage business with a camper van in the Philippines (Kach’s home country).
From Virginia Beach, VA
Left home to build a business and become digitally nomadic with her husband, Cameron Vaughne.
They spend all of their free time researching ways to monetize their blog (The Wanderful Lyfe), social media and freelance services (photography, videography, social media growth and management, etc.), while also brainstorming how they can help people in need along the way.
It’s through the application of these services as well as through promotional sponsorships, writing competitive reviews on destinations, accommodations, restaurants, apps/etc., that they were first able to monetize their overall web presence.
Their focus remains primarily on the freelance services they provide, such as social media growth/management, photography and videography, amongst other things.
Instagram account, @thewanderfullyfe
Kunal Desai is living a life that most Bros can only dream of — He jets off around the world with his squad and is lucky enough to call exotic beachfront hotels his home office.
Kunal has made over a million dollars trading over the course of his short career. He also teaches his tactics via Bull On Wall Street. After years spent trading and developing a winning trading system, Kunal founded Bulls on Wall Street to teach others how to take control of their financial destinies. It started with a chat room where Kunal could talk about the stocks he was trading and watching, and a series of blogs and videos to provide market analysis. The site grew from there, as Kunal began using his experiences as a trader and teacher to hold webinars and live trading course sessions. After years of trading and honing his system, Kunal created the Bulls Bootcamp, a comprehensive trading course to impart everything he’s learned as a trader and provide the mentorship that was as helpful to him as a new trader.
Jack Morris and Lauren Bullen
Have managed to forge a life for themselves which involves travelling the world full-time together and getting paid six-figure salaries for their trouble.
Jack and Lauren are Instagram influencers with nearly 5 million followers between them. And without necessarily trying, they’ve managed to craft a clever, modern-day business, which just keeps growing.
“As soon as we started posting photos together brands would contact us much more frequently than they would when we were travelling by ourselves,” said Jack. “I think they probably saw more value in a couple because it’s a target audience for most in the travel industry.”
Inadvertently the couple, with their aspirational lifestyle and their glamorous adventures, had stumbled upon something that people couldn’t get enough of. And now they’re earning a lot of money from it.
Matt Gibson runs a business from Ban Phe, Thailand.
In 2004, Gibson left his native British Columbia to move to Taiwan, in hopes of quickly paying off his student loans.
Teaching English and working only 18 hours a week, he was able to eliminate them in a matter of months.
Today, he lives in Ban Phe, Thailand, where he says his living costs are about $1,000 a month. He earns $3,000-$5,000 through his website, Xpat Matt, and his marketing company for travel brands, Xpat Media.
When he isn’t visiting places like Sri Lanka and Bhutan, Gibson works from home across the street from the beach, where he goes for a run or a swim nearly every day.
Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift
Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift house-sit far from home.
Nick and Dariece spent nine months saving up about $30,000 to leave their home in Canada and spend a year travelling through Southeast Asia.
They ended up travelling through 11 countries including Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia, Borneo, and Indonesia before returning home to save up for another, 16-month trip through Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. In 2012, they went to China to spend a year earning about $1,300 a month teaching English.
Today, they earn about $3,500-$5,000 a month through avenues including their website, Goats on the Road. They’re living in Grenada, house-sitting instead of paying accommodations, and take advantage of opportunities to visit hotels and scuba diving sites for free in exchange for publicity. They currently work no more than four hours a day, five days a week.
From Queensland, Australia
Makes an income from privately teaching English while blogging and travelling across Europe, North and Latin America, and Asia. Securing jobs around the world and blogging about these destinations as she goes. Her blog, Kaptain Kenny, became just as much of a job as her English training business. taking photos of her experience and writing about that destination on her blog. To make direct money from her blog, she focuses on receiving invitations from tourism boards, hotels, municipalities and tour companies in exchange for her travel pieces.
From Palo Alto, California
Travelling the world, most recently through the Balkans, Morocco, and Hungary with her fiance, Jacob Taylor. Recently moved to Amsterdam to have a home base. Makes an income sharing travel tips and photograph from each destination they visited, on their blog, Find Us Lost. Creating the kind of travel guides that they’ve always looked for in their own travels. Through paid partnership and collaboration opportunities, they’ve shaped their lifestyle around travel doing remote work opportunity as a part-time marketing consultant through connections in L.A.
Selena used her free time to teach myself basic HTML, SEO, Lightroom, Photoshop and WordPress.
Instagram account, @finduslost
Five tools of the trade
Geoquono recommends the following tech products to get your business on the road.
- WordPress: to host your blog, build your presence and promote services
- PayPal: “so that you actually get paid”
- Dropbox: to store your information in the cloud
- Google products including Google Drive, Google+, Google Hangouts
- Asana: a free (for basic version) product task manager.