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How To Afford Long-Term World Travel pt 3 – How Other Long-Term Travelers Do It

rock climbers at Tonsai Beach know financially how to travel the world

European and N American rock climbers at Tonsai Beach – Thailand

How To Afford Long-Term World Travel

pt 3 – How Other Long-Term Travelers Do It

Over the course of my 14+ years of world travels I’ve met many other long-term travelers enjoying themselves out in the world, just like me. Each of them has figured out a way to afford traveling for several months, several years or even decades.

They’ve told me a lot of interesting, thought-provoking and creative ways they’ve manage to keep traveling the world. Some live off of passive income. Others work for companies. And others are entrepreneurs and freelancers.

In this post, I’ll share their ‘secrets’ with you.

So If you’re wondering how to travel the world, maybe some of these will ideas work for you, too?

exchange money - Euros

Euros

Travelers Living off of Passive Income Sources:

In my opinion, becoming independently wealthy by living off of passive income is the absolute best way to go through life! I managed it for a couple years at the beginning of my world travels by investing the money I earned in Japan and living/traveling off the interest.  (Catch pt 2 – How I Do It)

Quite unfortunately for me, the 2000 stock market crash, and my lack of investment expertise, ended that great lifestyle. I’ve been working ever since, but I hope one day soon to create passive income sources again so I can travel the world, work free.

In the meantime, I’ve met several other long-term travelers doing just that:

1.  Scott – retired stock broker

Scott is a British traveler I’ve known for several years. He did exceptionally well working as a broker in the stock market. In his early 30s he made a really smart move: He quit, invested all his money, and has been traveling the world, living off his investments, ever since. He’s now in his early 40s. Scott just roams the world, visits friends, and does whatever he pleases.

world travel - apartment buildings - Singapore

apartment buildings – Singapore

2. Mark – apartment building owner

Mark is a young European former model I met in the Philippines. He made a decent chunk of money, so he bought two apartment buildings. The rent he collects from all the units makes him independently wealthy. He doesn’t need to work beyond that, so he simply travels the world, living off his passive rental income.

 3. Tal Gur – passive income from websites

Tal was determined to create an independent lifestyle for himself, so he spent a couple years learning how to create websites that would generate passive income. After he got the websites up and pulling in steady income, he began traveling the world.

 4. Captain Mike – website entrepreneur

Mike is another website entrepreneur who creates a huge variety of websites that generate passive income. Combined, they render Mike independently wealthy. (except that he does often work hard making new websites. So they’re not entirely ‘passive’ in the full sense.)

 5. Randy – living off his pension

Randy is a Dutch man I met in Bali. As a lifetime government employee, he was able to retire in his early 50s. His pension of roughly €2000  is more than enough to live on and/or travel just about anywhere in the world for the rest of his life.

 6. Johann – traveling on a family sabbatical

Some Scandinavian countries value personal family time so much that major companies routinely give their employees fully-paid three-month ‘family sabbaticals’ so they can participate in their kids’ childhood. Johann and his wife are two rock climbers I met in Thailand who used their family sabbatical to take their kids to live in Thailand for three months.

yoga class - outdoors

teaching yoga classes is a great way to earn money while traveling

Traveling Entrepreneurs:

 1. Jeannie – freelance acupuncture, acupressure and holistic medicine

I met this young American woman in Thailand. She was funding her travels with her professional acupuncture and holistic medicine skills. Most, if not all, of her clients were other western travelers.

 2. Ian – freelance body piercer

I also met Ian in Thailand. He is a professional body piercer who was traveling with his kit of piercing needles and jewelry. Wherever he went, he hung out chatting with other travelers about his piercings to drum up customers.

 3. Katie and Anne – freelance yoga teachers

I’ve met many wandering yoga teachers such as Katie and Anne during my travels. They settle into an area that’s popular with western travelers who are into health / fitness / healthy living. Then they set up yoga classes weekly or several times per week. They charge a class fee appropriate for the area/country they’re in. With several students per class, they’re able to make a decent income for themselves.

Lash hair designer - Pittsburgh - Pa

my 1st career at hair designer – Pittsburgh – Pa

 4. Myself and Julie – cutting travelers’ hair

As I mentioned in pt 2 of this series, I earned some decent income several times during my travels by falling back on my former career as a hair designer. I’ve done freelance hair cutting in Bali and Thailand. I also worked in a hair salon in Shanghai, China for four months.

I heard about another woman cutting hair in Goa, India. Apparently she was making heaps of money cutting hair for western travelers.

 5. Dozens of westerners who’ve set up their own businesses abroad

I constantly come across westerners who have set up restaurants, cafes, bars, resorts, B& Bs, hotels, spas, yoga studios, retail shops, import/export businesses, you name it, in almost every country I’ve ever visited. Many of them have a local partner / husband / wife. Some have a western partner. And others are single. I’ve patronized their places in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China.

Clearly these entrepreneurs are living more or less permanently in the location where they have their businesses. They’re not out traveling continuously, and certainly not nomadically. I generally refer to these people as expats rather than world travelers. But that’s fine, too. They are out in the world, outside their own countries. This is just another example of one way to live out in the world.

 6. Klaus and Jack – export / importers 

Klaus is a German export/importer I met in Bali. He travels to Bali yearly to buy up inexpensive merchandise that he ships back to Germany and sells at various outdoor markets.

Jack is an American doing pretty much the same. He buys goods in Thailand and Bali,  ships them back to the USA, and sells them at stores in several cities. 

Lufthansa Airlines crew

Lufthansa Airlines crew

People working for companies:

 1. Nina – Flight attendant

Nina is a career flight attendant for Lufthansa Airline. She’s also a travel addict. Her career helps her travel more inexpensively and extensively than just about anyone else with a full-time job.

Flight attendants get to travel the world for work. They also have a huge amount of time off due to flight regulations. Most of them love traveling, so they often use their abundant ‘down time’ taking their own personal trips, with the added benefit of getting super cheap flights all over the world.

2. Kat – nurse

One of my best friends is a nurse in Australia. In case you didn’t know, the nursing profession in many countries is severely short-staffed. As a result, nurses get paid excellent salaries and can often negotiate their work hours.

Kat figured out that she earns almost as much working part-time as she would full-time. So that’s what she does. She takes a lot of shifts that paid more than usual: over time, weekend shifts and holiday shifts. She’s often able to work 3-4 days in a row then have 3-4 days off. Sometimes she works two weeks straight then has two weeks off.

Whenever she wants to go travel the world, she informs the hospitals that she’s not available and takes off for 3-6 months, sometimes an entire year. When she returns, she simply lets the hospitals know she’a available again. The work rolls right back in. Sound good? You can become a nurse in as little as 15 months with nursing courses such as these accelerated nursing programs.

western English teachers in Japan

myself and other western English teachers with school staff in Japan

3. Dozens of people teaching English abroad

I can’t even count how many travelers I’ve met who are teaching English overseas. I know people teaching in Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and several South American countries.

Teaching English is a great way to take the first step out into the world. You have a steady job with a good salary. You’re on a one-year contract, so you have time in one location to make friends, learn the ropes of living overseas, save money, and get to know a different culture.

4. Stephanie, Marcus, Colin, Tom – expat workers

All sorts of international companies, hotels and resorts hire employees to work overseas.

I have several good western friends who currently live in Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore working for large companies.

Like the entrepreneurs running their own businesses, who I mentioned above, these expat employees are living more or less permanently in one place. But they do take advantage of days off, weekends and holidays to travel extensively. They explore the country they’re living in as well as surrounding countries. As a result, they’re able to see a lot of the world while living overseas.

western dive instructor teaching in Bali

western dive instructor teaching in Bali

6. Dozens of scuba diving pros

While training and then teaching scuba diving from 2004-2010 in several Asian countries, I met dozens and dozens of other western travelers doing the same. Most of them are either Dive Masters or Dive Instructors, but some own their own shops or work as Course Directors, Underwater Photographers, Underwater Videographers, or Technical Instructors.

It’s a great lifestyle, though the pay is quite low considering the amount of work and responsibility required. And it’s not so easy to find work in new places, so this career generally works best for people who want to stay in the same place for many years.

7. Dozens of travel guidebook writers

Lonely Planet and other long-standing travel guides employ dozens of writers to research various regions of the world to update their guidebooks.

rock climbers - Tonsai Beach - Thailand

many of these European and N American rock climbers do seasonal work back home then climb at Tonsai for 2-6 months per year

8Dozens of travel addicts do seasonal work half year and travel half year

I’ve spent several years hanging out at Tonsai Beach, Krabi, Thailand. It’s one of the most famous rock-climbing meccas in the world, and the number 1 climbing spot in Asia. As a result, I have many climbing friends from N. America and Europe who head to Tonsai yearly for 1- 6 months in order to spend their lives climbing in paradise.

How do they afford to do that year after year?

Many of them have seasonal work and/or their own businesses. Gege is a welder. Klause sets up big expositions and events. Jamie works for a national park. Wade is a rafting guide in Alaska. Stephanie and April work in upscale restaurants in the tourist regions of France. One couple teaches sky diving in Europe. Nina (who I mentioned above) is a flight attendant who gathers up vacation days to take 1-2 month leaves. Nick does IT work in England. Several people are teachers in N. America who have 3 months off ever summer.

I’ve also met a Japanese guy who drives trucks seasonally so he can travel six months per year.

Seasonal work is a great way to earn an income and be able to travel for several months every year.

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 CONCLUSION:

As you can see, there are dozens and dozens of ways that real people are out in the world right now, earning a living while traveling the world. They’ve all managed to afford a life of world travel. Why not you, too?

So…

Which of these income ideas will work for you?

Do you have any talents or professional skills that will allow you to freelance overseas?

Do any company jobs like teaching English, nursing, flight attendant or seasonal work appeal to you?

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 Be sure to catch:

How To Afford Long-Term World TRavel pt 1 – The Three Components

How To Afford Long-Term World TRavel pt 2 – How I Do It

…and pt 4, 5 and 6 coming up soon! 

(* Flickr CC photo credits:  lululemon athletic  /  Tax Credits *)

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6 comments

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  1. Kate

    Super inspiring post Lash. The model who bought two apartment buildings is an especially impressive story!

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Hi Kate,

      Great, thanks. Glad you found it inspiring.

      Yeah I was quite impressed (and a tad jealous) of the model who was simply living off rental income! What a way to go! … not to mention he was also young, very handsome and a nice guy. How much better could you get?!

      cheers, Lash

  2. Suzy

    These are really interesting/creative ways to live anywhere you want. I am with Kate. Who knew buying an apartment building could make you so much money!

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Yes, it’s a good example of ‘where there’s a will there’s a way’!

      As to receiving passive income from owning an apartment building, actually lots and lots and lots of people know that! They are investors and people who know about passive income and building wealth. It’s just that a huge majority of Americans – most of hte middle class and all the poor people – never learn about passive income and investing. Upper class and wealthy people know this and teach their children, too.

      …As I found out by reading books on success and wealth building.

      Thanks for stopping by. cheers, Lash

  3. Erika Aresta

    Aloha,
    I loved reading this. Wow its such an inspiration really!!!!
    I’m currently living back home in Hawaii. I work in the film industry and we have a 3 month hiatus every year ( as long as the show is running and renewed ) and I take a good 5 week break somewhere in the world yearly.
    My only problem is that I do it a little bit on the expensive side. Probably not the smartest but I do enjoy paying more for a nice comfortable flight ( typically in business class) but while I’m traveling, especially in euriope , I rent apartments on airbnb or if in asia i stay in hotels not 5 star but a good 3.5 – 4 star ….
    Recently I was in Portugal and in Porto to be exact and was just looking at the for sale signs that are always up at realty shops ( I do this a lot to dream of buying my own place) and noticed how currently its inexpensive in comparison to wear i live to buy a place.
    Now my biggest problem , which is totally my fault, is that I don’t save ( although that’s changing this season :) )
    After seeing these apartments in the low 100,000 Euros I was thinking to myself “my gosh you should buy a place, furnish it and rent it out so at least you’ll always have a place to come back back to and stay and earn income at the same time”.
    The housing market here is so expensive I’m talking like 500 – 1.5 million dollars .. We already own a house from my parents, yet my mom is always hounding me to save my money and invest in apartments here. To me I’d rather invest in an apartment somewhere else in the world. But how to do it.
    Now I’ve been rambling on, but you sparked a fire in me. I love traveling. I do months and months of research before I go anywhere and plan things out really well with lots of room for discovery. If I could travel 6 months out of the year that would be ideal. I don’t have a special skill ( except for costuming and dressing and styling actors) , I’m not rich, but I’m willing to learn how to live my life in the world. I think your website is a treasure trove of information and I’m so glad I found you… Really happy I found you…
    Any tips with buying a house in europe and renting it?
    Thank you kindly
    Mahalo

    Erika

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Hi Erika,

      Welcome!

      Great, glad this post and my site are inspiring you to do more traveling. Yeah!

      You can certainly live/travel much more cheaply than what you’re doing… if you want to. But you should do what’s most comfortable to you.

      Sorry, I don’t know anything about buying or renting houses/apts/condos in Europe. Better to check some realators I suppose. Best luck!

      Enjoy your upcoming travels!

      ps…Since you work in the film industry, you might enjoy reading about my adventures crewing on 2 episodes of Survivor TV. Great fun! Would love to do more…

      Thanks for stopping by!

      cheers, Lash

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