Many of our interviewees have become accidental permanent nomads, starting off on a gap year with no plans then deciding to become a fulltime traveler. The next issue is always then income – how to fund the new lifestyle in place.
Chris Stevens had completed a degree on photography back in England before he decided to head away. While traveling through Australia he met up with a guy who had built a successful travel blog who showed Chris how he could build his own online business. He had already trained as a surf instructor and had been earning an income doing that while traveling around. With the benefit of his photography training, surfing instructions and his new established blog Chris was soon able to sustain himself in a variety of ways on the road.
We caught up with him in Vietnam where he shared his story of travel, how he measures his costs and the different ways he can make a living while on the road.
What I learned from talking to Chris:
- Be cheeky. Chris has established some good brand relationships just by asking, which can not only provide an income source but some free travel opportunities as well. As he says they can only say no.
- He is meticulous in measuring costs and like Norbert Figueroa uses the Trail Wallet app to measure expenses. He manages to balance out costs between two of his more favored destinations – Asia and Australia. His costs for 2014 averaged out at $US9000 for the year ignoring airfares but even with flights he can generally stay under $US40 per day which is his target.
- Having multiple bank accounts and payment options is important as is diversifying his income. Chris has both British and Australian bank accounts meaning he’s not vulnerable or reliant on one place. He’s not a big fan of credit cards but receives a lot of his online income via Paypal which he can then transfer to a debit cash card for use abroad. Americans traveling can take advantage of having a Charles Schwab account which makes travel easier.
- If setting up a travel blog be patient. You don’t always get immediate results and unfortunately many throw the towel in before things start to kick in.