Travel has become an important aspect of life for the new twenty something generation. A crippled economy and a new appreciation of global unity has created a group of people who recognize borders and nationalism as a false divide. Everyone wants to see everything, and everyone still wants to go to a million places before they pass off into the unknown.
But money is a difficult and uncomfortable reality for these dreams. Luckily, traveling indefinitely is actually quite easy to do. Here are some ways you can get paid to travel around the world.
Several enterprising and swash buckling countries have developed certain types of visas called ‘work holiday visas’. These visas allow you to enter the country as a foreign national and work for a specified amount of time. Australia is the most popular country offering work holiday visas: many young people (you must be between 18-30 to apply for a work holiday in most countries) go there for one year and find short time work in resorts, bars, and restaurants, all the while using that money to explore the coast and the Outback. Australia has a well oiled work holiday machine. There are several agencies willing to file for your work visa and then put you in contact with prospective employers. A word to the wise: google these agencies reputation before trusting them with your sensitive information. It might be worth it to just do the leg work yourself. Several jobs in resorts, camps, and parks can be found on coolworks.com.
Other countries with work holiday visas include Brazil, Argentina, Canada, South Africa New Zealand, Germany, and Portugal. You could hit every continent through work holiday visas. The medieval penguins of Antarctica remain the only hold outs.
If you don’t qualify for a work holiday visa in your country of choice, you can find a teaching or tutoring job. If you are from an English speaking country with a university degree, consider this route a very good bet. English is far and away the lingua franca of the world, and many countries have developed a strange class system where little Johnny’s knowledge of English is a sign of wealth and good breeding. Feel free to take advantage of the neocolonial reality by applying for teaching jobs through Dave’s ESL Cafe and other sites. You can also easily find private tutoring jobs once you are associated with an established school, bringing in even more money. If you need more detail, read my article on how to get a teaching job abroad.
If you have qualms traveling as a cliched New Age, harem pants wearing, authenticity seeking, beach destroying backpacker or, God forbid, as a filthy tourist, then you should WWOOF. WWOOF is a volunteer program where you can work on an organic farm for 4-6 hours a day in exchange for food and shelter. So you’re not paid in the standard method, but you will receive free food and shelter as well as a very different way of life.
WWOOFing is easy: first, find a dog and echo his greeting. Then, go to your computer, and join the national WWOOF organization of your desired destination (you’ll need to pay a subscription fee). From there, you will be given a list of hosts who you can then contact and arrange to visit. Everything at that point is up to you and your host. You can stay for a few days or you can ask to stay for a year and date their daughter (this may be met with hostility).
Start a Travel Blog
If you’re planning to travel, create a website and write about your adventures. Don’t think too much about monetizing your site in the beginning. What you’re doing is creating a digital asset that can someday provide you with a legitimate source of passive income. Fill your webpage up with photos, journal entries, and unique content. Try and give as much information about your budget, your day to day activities, your various jobs, and your recreation as you can. All of this information will be useful to people who want to do just what you are doing.
At some point, someday far down the line, you can compile your best entries into an ebook, sell it on Amazon, and then begin to display advertising on your website. By then you’ll likely have a decent stream of traffic that you will be able to mine for gold and use to fund your travels later on. But again keep in mind that this method should be a long term goal. No one gets rich off a blog overnight, not even after three years. It’s only those who stick it out for five or more who end up with devoted readers and a legitimate income.
While many people see the label of ‘freelancer’ as a euphemism for ‘unemployed’, being a freelance writer is very easy to do these days and, if you’re a good one, you’ll be able to make enough to live decently in a country with a low cost of living.
Get started by providing web content through content mills. Even though some people look down on this step, it’s a good way to get into the habit of researching and cranking out well written information optimized for search engines. These sites will pay around $1-$5 for each article. Keep in mind that each article is then enough for one hearty meal in some South East Asian countries. Starvation is an excellent way to motivate yourself to write.
As you get more and more into the habit and develop a decent portfolio (most of these articles probably won’t have your name attached, but feel free to claim them as samples), move to sites like ODesk and Elance, where you can start applying to a variety of jobs. Try and apply for hourly work, because fixed rates jobs on those sites aren’t guaranteed paychecks. After that, decide a niche and begin to look for trade publications you could write well for. Also make sure to develop a list of clients who can give you reliable long term work. Eventually, you’ll be spending more time working than not.
Image source: theconvexlens