Wouldn’t it be great to see the world while making money online?
I just landed in Barcelona, Spain.
As I sit in the airport, waiting for my connecting flight to Sevilla, I’ve been reflecting on the lifestyle I’ve embraced.
As a “digital nomad,” I travel the world while making money online.
In many ways it’s amazing.
It’s an incredible privilege to be able to make money using a laptop computer and an internet connection from anywhere in the world.
Btw – if traveling while making money online appeals to you, see my #1 recommendation towards the bottom to get started with this lifestyle.
It’s exciting to not know what country I’ll visit a week from now.
But there are downsides to this lifestyle too. It’s not all jet setting and Instagram photos.
Which is why I’m writing this post. I want you to see both the good, and the less-good, of traveling while making money online.
The Good Part About Traveling While Making Money Online
If you like to travel, this is pretty self-explanatory.
Having an online job, passive income, or other source of money flowing into your bank account while you’re traveling means you can travel longer and see and do more along the way.
This is definitely NOT the norm for most travelers.
Most travelers I meet are on vacation.
That means there’s a definite end date.
If they discover some new city or amazing adventure – but they’ve run out of time or cash – too bad. They can’t do it.
They have to go home, work a job they may or may not like, and save up enough cash until they can go travel again.
Meanwhile, I’m constantly hearing about new cities, castles, caves, rivers, beaches etc. to explore… and I can theoretically do them all.
With passive income and an online job, there’s no need for me to call it quits.
I’m still careful with my money – I use YNAB (You Need A Budget) to budget for my expenses and track my accounts – but as long as I’m careful with my expenses and make sure I have enough for flights, food, and hostels, I can keep creating new memories day after day.
It is awesome, most of the time.
Most of the time I love it.
I get to meet new people, experience new cultures, try new food, and see amazing places. These things make me happy.
And since you’re reading this on my blog – a place where I talk about making money and traveling – I’m obviously in favor of this lifestyle.
But like I said, there’s another side to this.
The Not So Great Part About Traveling While Making Money Online
You know all those friends and family members you have back in your home country?
The people who know, love, and care about you?
Yeah… you’re going to leave them all behind while you go adventure around the world.
Not So Great Thing #1 – Traveling requires putting geographic distance between you and your family and friends.
When you’re making money online, there’s a good chance you won’t see the people you love and value for significantly longer than just a normal vacation.
That’s part of the point of making money online while traveling, right?
To be able to travel for longer than just a quick jaunt.
Distance = missing out on shared friend experiences.
Distance = missing quality time with family.
There are ways to address this challenge – Facebook, Skype, texting, etc. – but nothing is the same as good ol’ fashioned in-person time.
But maybe you’re not going to travel for that long…
Maybe you just want to keep making money when you travel.
Or maybe you don’t really care about missing out on time with friends and family… (IMHO: you should care.)
In this case, are there no downsides to traveling while making money online?
Not So Great Thing #2 – You’ll have to develop a new set of routines and strategies for being effective at work while experiencing constantly changing environments.
This isn’t easy.
And there’s a cost to it.
Every time you change locations, you have to find:
- Electrical outlets to charge your devices
- Somewhere quiet enough to take calls (if applicable)
You’ll probably also need to consider:
- The likelihood of getting distracted (e.g., it can be hard to avoid conversations in the hostel lounge)
- The difference in time zones between yourself and your team or customers
- The time your cafe / work environment closes
- The time it takes to get to / from potential work environments
None of these are that difficult to deal with, but together it adds up to extra time, energy, and probably money, figuring all this stuff out and getting into a routine.
And by the time you develop habits in one place, you might be moving on to the next destination.
It can get kinda crazy 🙂
But here’s the good thing…
Once you start to figure out what to pay attention to, you find yourself getting increasingly efficient in developing routines in each place you visit.
Wifi –> Outlets –> Coffee –> Calls –> Scheduling –> Google Maps ——-> Winning.
Ok. I shared the good and the bad. What do you think?
Are you still interested in this lifestyle?
If so, here’s my top recommendation for getting started.
My #1 recommendation for getting started with making money online while traveling…
—> START A BLOG! <—
What does that have to do with making money online?
Let me explain.
Why you should start a blog:
- You get writing experience. This is an extremely valuable skill for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and online workers in general.
- You learn how to use content management tools. 74,652,825 sites use WordPress, the most popular content management system (CMS). If you create a freelancer portfolio site, your own business, or get hired by a remote employer, chances are you’ll be dealing with WordPress. Hint: Use WP to run your blog.
- You learn basic marketing. Opt-in boxes, calls-to-action, writing good headlines, conversion tools, email lists… there are a bunch of free and easy to use marketing tools you can setup when you create a blog. And almost all of them have paid versions that employers and entrepreneurs use to grow their customer base.
Remember: You don’t need this to be perfect, you just need to get started.
Starting a blog might seem like a big undertaking, but really, you can get started in just a couple hours.
Have you tried to make money online while traveling? How’s it going for you? Share your experience in the comment section below.