Travel. It’s something that many of us aspire to, and whether it’s a short stint away in the sun, or a long period spent exploring every corner of the globe, those gripped by wanderlust all know that feeling of “I just need to get away”. For some, travel isn’t a break from the daily grind: it’s a way of life.
For many of us, the idea of living a life dedicated to travel sadly seems like a far-off dream. Aside from a period spent backpacking, the notion of a long-term travel adventure might seem like a far-flung impossibility. But this doesn’t have to be the case. New opportunities have emerged in recent years that mean you could make the travel lifestyle your own, possibly even indefinitely. So how can you make this happen?
- Work Across The Globe
Backpacking can be a fantastic experience, and anyone who’s taken a month out to hike around places like Southeast Asia will know just how unforgettable it can be. But there’s a big downside to backpacking, particularly for those who want to live a traveling lifestyle – it ends. Whether it’s because you run out money and savings, your visa comes to a close, or you’ve only been granted a fixed period of time off, most travelling adventures are hexed with the constant sense that ‘this won’t last forever’. But there are ways to lift this curse – one of which being the chance to work in the places you travel to.
In order to free yourself from the jaws of your ever-shrinking bank balance, it’s possible to take on local work opportunities in the countries you want to visit; these might not pay huge amounts, but will often provide accommodation and food. Schemes and initiatives like ‘Willing Workers on Organic Farms’ (or WWOOF) give travellers a unique chance to stay in an exotic location for little to no money.
Whether it’s working on farms, locally in bars or cafes, or helping with local community projects, striking a balance between your travel excursions and work could lengthen your stay almost indefinitely. Whichever location you end up in, you’ll save a huge amount on accommodation and food – two of the biggest wallet-draining travel expenses.
- Invest in International Property
It’s not just those on a budget who appreciate travel. If money is less of an object, there are a few alternatives to consider that could open the door to a life of travel that isn’t just exciting and eye-opening, but luxurious too. A few businesses have emerged that now offer the opportunity for wealthier clientele to invest in portfolios of international property.
Admittedly, this will only be an option for those with the income or savings to meet the high price ranges of investment, but the opportunity is undeniably tantalising. International property investment funds have been established that don’t just give you the keys to a shared flat, but open the door to a wealth of countries, offering access to luxury homes in some of the most desirable locations in the world.
Many of these funds offer investors membership to multiple portfolios of properties, including cities and rural locations in a wide array of countries. They ensure clients get their money’s worth too, offering services like in-house chefs and a personal concierge, all on-hand in the most opulent properties imaginable. Coupled with the fact that investment in these funds isn’t just a one-off payment, but is an investment in equity, these factors set this model apart from more traditional property schemes.
Granted, this isn’t something that the vast majority of us will ever be able to afford; for those living modestly, even looking at these portfolios can be a little depressing. But we’ve all had the ‘what would you do if you won the lottery?’ conversation, and hey, we can dream. If one day you strike it rich, this could be the ultimate way to live a travel lifestyle.
- Become a Digital Nomad
It wasn’t long ago that the term ‘digital nomad’ was relatively unheard of. It might sound like a hipster buzzword, or a phrase pulled straight from dry employment reports, but digital nomadism is a serious and modern career choice. More and more people are finding ways to combine work and travel, and are breaking free from the shackles of traditional 9-5 employment in favour of the nomadic life – traveling, exploring, and working online along the way.
What’s particularly exciting about the idea of digital nomadism – aside from the fact that it could possibly be one of the most exciting and inspiring ways to live – is just how achievable it is. The basic tenets of digital nomadism centre on freelance computer-based work, usually in creative industries or consultancy (think copywriting, web and graphic design, and marketing, among others), which can be undertaken from anywhere with an internet connection.
What this essentially means is that you don’t have to tie yourself down to a single location. More and more countries and destinations offer coworking spaces, and digital nomad ‘hubs’ are popping up all over the world. There are a few digital nomad hotspots, but for the most part, if you have a connection and a laptop, you can work pretty much anywhere.
The question is, how can you make this happen for yourself? There are plenty of in-depth guides to becoming a digital nomad, but there are a few basic starting points. You’ll need to be able to work and earn via the internet, meaning you’ll need to have the necessary skills in your industry in order to secure paying clients. This is the biggest hurdle to jump, but you don’t need to become Bill Gates – as long as you have a steady income, and can earn enough to get by (which is surprisingly little in many countries), you can make it work .
You’ll also need a fairly resilient personality. Digital nomadism involves quite a lot of hard work, and it’s a very uncertain lifestyle. Things can change quickly; unforeseen problems can arise, and you’ll need to be adaptable and willing to embrace regular change. If you think you tick all of these boxes, then all you need to do is pick where you’ll start your journey. Bali? New Zealand? It’s time to rack up those air miles.