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We have all seen them. The travel influencers and social media stars who have a traveling lifestyle. For many, the idea of having a life of constant travel feels like a pipe dream, but we’re here to tell you that you can make traveling your life, too!
You don’t need a million followers on Instagram, nor do you need to sell your home. There are many ways to live a life of travel without making huge life changes or putting in hours of work.
If you’re wondering how to live a life of travel and not sure where to start, in this guide we’ve shared some tips and tricks for adopting a nomadic lifestyle and becoming full-time travelers.
- Is A Travel Lifestyle For Me?
- Why We Adopted a Travel Lifestyle
- How to Live a Life of Travel
- Final Thoughts
- Pin to Save on Pinterest
Is A Travel Lifestyle For Me?
Before we go into how to adopt a travel lifestyle, we do want to quickly touch on whether it’s a lifestyle you really want.
Whenever we tell people we travel for a living, we’re always met with “you’re living the dream! I wish I could do that! You’re so lucky” and don’t get me wrong, we are lucky. But most of that luck we created.
There are some things that you don’t see through the screen about a traveling nomad lifestyle. It takes dedication, commitment, an unwavering desire, and plenty of sacrifices.
Pros of a Traveling Lifestyle
First, the positives of a traveling lifestyle. Of course, you get to explore so many countries, which is the number one reason for adopting this lifestyle.
You get to experience different cultures, meet new people, get out of your comfort zone and live life to your leisure.
You can find a slower pace of life while traveling, since you don’t have to rush to beat the commuter traffic to your day job.
You get to live life on your own terms and set a time limit for how long you stay in each place.
The most important thing though, is that it teaches you a lot about yourself. By engaging with the local culture and seeing how other people live, you can reflect on your own life, your contributions to the world, and realign your values.
It allows you to look at your past selves and see how far you’ve grown. Travel can be liberating and freeing, but you don’t need to make it your lifestyle to discover this.
Cons of a Traveling Lifestyle
Packing up your things and hitting the road requires some sacrifice, namely your relationships.
This is not always the case, but most digital nomads will tell you that your friends and family may want to deter your plans and encourage you to come back, or harbour some resentment towards you for “living the dream” while they will continue their daily routine back home.
It does become much harder to maintain relationships when you can only communicate digitally, especially with different time zones.
That being said, there is always that family member or friend who supports you 100% and encourages you on your world trip – and who knows, you may find your relationship is stronger with distance.
It’s also a lifestyle that requires some discipline. You will want to go from one adventure to the next adventure, without thinking “oh, I need to earn some money for this.”
Most people who adopt a traveling lifestyle will be remote workers, which means you need to set aside adventure time and work time.
It can also be tiring. While a travel lifestyle is fun, it doesn’t offer stability, and after a few years on the road you may start to miss having a home base and not want to travel for the rest of our lives.
It’s an unconventional life, but we love it. Make sure you know the sacrifices you’ll have to make to create this travel lifestyle. Otherwise, you might quit on your dreams and travel goals.
Why We Adopted a Travel Lifestyle
I left home at the age of 21, with my 3-day old teaching degree, a backpack, and only a few thousand dollars.
If I can be honest with you, that money wasn’t even mine, it came from the bank (I don’t recommend you do this by the way).
I’ve been traveling ever since, purely because I love it. Traveling is my passion, and I always knew I wanted to travel for the rest of my life.
I created a life of travel for myself so I can do this. And now I’ve created a life of travel with, and for, my children.
This does not mean I have endlessly been moving from one country to the next. I often stop for work breathers, a place to stock up again before moving on. We love slow travel and immersing ourselves deeply in other cultures.
The pauses can be acts of discovery, exploration and fun synonymous with travel as well. We’ve lived in 5 countries but have traveled through over 50.
I’m not a big counter, I count the memories, the experiences and the friendships more, because that is why you really travel.
How to Live a Life of Travel
I am often asked how to live a life of travel, and you’ll be shocked to know that I am not wealthy – far from it.
A life of full time travel is not as difficult as you may think. There are many clever strategies you can employ to travel around the world for low cost and sometimes even free.
We have created a lifestyle of travel. It’s what we do everyday, even when we are not travelling. When we are ‘settled” (not sure how to define that) we still have our travel attitude on, which is a major part of what travel is.
But to get to the nitty gritty, here are our biggest secrets to help you live a life of travel.
1. Make it a working holiday
What? You mean I have to work? Ain’t nothing going to come to you unless you work hard for it. Glinda the Good Witch is a fantasy.
If I have disappointed you, I’m sorry, you are probably reading the wrong post and were hoping I was going to say we were rich travel bloggers, because then you’d have a good excuse to not follow your heart.
But I won’t lie to you, travel has become increasingly expensive and your hard earned cash doesn’t go as far as it used to. Which is why a digital nomad lifestyle is so popular.
If you’ve not heard the term digital nomad before, it’s simply a term used to describe someone who travels and works full time.
Since the pandemic, many companies have adopted a remote work environment to save on office costs, so you can always start by asking your current employer first if you can work from abroad.
Don’t just quit your job, talk to your employer and tell them what you want to do.
If they say “no”, then you can either look for a remote job such as becoming a freelance writer, an online English teacher, or data analyst – or try looking for work in other countries to fund your travels.
The best way to earn money on the road is to work in expensive countries, such as Hong Kong, Canada, New York, or The Middle East.
It’s better to spend the local currency and save your own money for other adventures. I never could have travelled the UK and Europe on the Aussie dollar, so I lived in an apartment in London with many other travelers and earned pounds to travel on instead.
Craig and I have followed the working holiday through 5 countries since 1997. Some of our richest travel memories come from the experiences we had living in another culture. It is by far the best strategy to have a life of travel.
We’ve had a wide variety of working holiday jobs overseas including teaching, teaching English as a Second Language, working on a pearl farm, hospitality and working for the airlines. There are so many jobs you can do!
Use platforms like WorkAway to find volunteer jobs where they provide free accommodation and meals in exchange for your service.
- Do you want to live and travel in Australia? Here is our complete guide to the Australian working holiday visa.
- Here is information on the working holiday visa in the UK
- Here are 20 ways you can work and travel in Australia – one of the most expensive places to travel in the world. A working holiday will help you make it a reality.
- Here’s another cool opportunity, How to teach English online to Chinese students, from anywhere in the world.
- One of the best ways to organize working holiday jobs – with Global Work and Travel
- Best work opportunities for Australia
2. Travel long-term in affordable places
Choose the countries that are cheap to travel to for the long-term. Our long-term trips have taken us through South East Asia and Africa – countries where the budget conscious could get by on $30-$50 a day or even less.
Traveling in cheaper countries means you can do more and travel for longer.
3. Make smart spending decisions
It’s all about how you choose to spend your money in order to prolong your nomad life.
Is that luxury 5-star vacation rental really worth it? Especially if you are out exploring from sunrise to twinkling stars? Can you go the comfy 3-star hotel and have a little extra cash for the fun stuff?
Do you need to eat in a restaurant for three meals a day or can you cook your own breakfast and settle for a picnic lunch?
What about that city tour, couldn’t you do a self-guided one?
Prioritize how you spend money. Spend the bare minimum and always have a number in the back of your mind of what you’re willing to spend on things.
Work out what you are willing to sacrifice and what you aren’t, and craft your travel experiences around that.
Some travel experiences don’t have to cost you a penny, allowing you to make your monthly budget go further.
My advice is to make sure you leave with enough money to cover you for at least 3 months.
4. Save well
Yep, not only do you have to become master budget spenders, but expert savers as well.
When adopting a travel lifestyle, there are two questions you must ask:
- How can I create more money?
- How can I save more money?
Just be careful that when you create more money, you don’t suddenly start spending more! Take the extra cash and put it in your travel fund.
Remember you also need to save for insurances, taxes, and maybe putting into a retirement plan if you’re self employed. You may also need to make a big purchase at a later date, such as if you need a new laptop or book a last minute flight back home.
To create more money, you can:
- sell your possessions
- take on boarders/lodgers
- rent out your property
- work extra hours
- work two or more jobs
- invest wisely
Look at your expenses and work out what you can cull and then work to save money in all areas.
To save more money you can:
- move in with your parents or house share
- cut out luxury items
- live off one wage (if you are a couple)
- save your bonuses
- buy in bulk
- eat out less
- reduce your entertainment costs
- use reward cards and frequent flyer programs
- use coupons
- pay off bad debt
5. Create a lifestyle around travel at home
Digital nomads and those creating their own travel lifestyles are becoming more common. If you want a life of travel, discover how you can make it happen before you hit the road.
If your current job won’t allow you to work remotely, and you have to leave to make it happen, don’t panic. There are other ways you can travel extensively without having a full time remote job.
You can travel in your own backyard. Putting the traveler’s eyes on was one way we coped with reverse culture shock and the inability to travel. We now have another site on life in Raleigh and travel in North Carolina that keeps us traveling all the time! Think about why you travel – what feelings are you looking for. Create that with experiences in your own backyard.
A creative way to be able to travel and live abroad is to try housesitting. This is when you look after someone else’s property while they travel.
You can do this locally in your own town, to get more experience before taking on international opportunities.
However, sometimes it can take years to find a way to make your travel lifestyle dream a reality.
When we first hit the road, all we had was a very clear dream of what our ideal travel lifestyle looked like, then we became 200% committed to it, and we took small steps each day with passion and conviction.
And look what the Universe delivered to us a result.
6. Make travel your focus
Many people want a life of travel, but they don’t make it their focus.
You don’t always have to travel far and wide. There are plenty of ways you can make travel a focus of your everyday life.
I like to say make travel your magnificent obsession. That means it fills your daydreams and night dreams. Every decision you make from now on is directed towards making that life of travel a reality.
Once you start focusing on something, you start planning, and then usually the Universe helps you by bringing what you need to make it happen.
The small steps start to grow bigger and before you know it you are living the life of travel you thought was only possible for the lucky ones.
I knew from my first travel experience backpacking Indonesia and then living in London when I was 21 in 1997 that I was going to do whatever it took to craft a life around travel. I didn’t know how but I made it a non-negotiable, and travel has showed up in my life ever since – no matter my lifestyle, and even when everyone said it wasn’t possible once you had kids. I’ll show you!!
My keynote will offer some great insights into how you can create a life you love!
7. Have a strong enough why
Constant travel is tough, as I mentioned earlier. I often want to quit, but I never will because I have this huge why – a gigantic urge that only travel can fill.
I’m happy to ride on the back of a pick up, or sleep in a van, and eat two minute noodles for weeks, if it means I can continue to explore and experience newness every day.
There’s no other life that makes sense for me so I continue to leap over the hurdles.
For many people a life of travel would suck! Different strokes for different folks. You have to decide WHY you are traveling. What burning need are you trying to fulfill? How will this life of travel make a difference and why is this important to you?
Work that out all your paths will fall into place.
That life of travel you desire can be yours.
Most people place the idea of a life of travel in the too hard basket, or a basket that’s only accessible for the wealthy or lucky.
I mean, really, how could it be possible for someone with average, or less than average incomes, to travel the world for weeks, months or even years at a time?
Is it constant travel from one country to the next you yearn for? Or is it a slower form, with frequent pauses for a sampling of the “settled” life before travel calls you back on the road?
Or do you want to just have more travel, even if it is only an extra 2-3 weeks a year?
We hope this guide helped you learn a few tips to help you find your travel lifestyle and gave you some insight into what it is actually like. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us in the comments.