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How to Afford Long-Term World Travel pt 4 – How Travel Bloggers Do It

travel bloggers get together - Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia

travel bloggers get together in Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia

How to Afford Long-Term World Travel

pt 4 – How Travel Bloggers Do It

Nowadays there are literally hundreds and hundreds of travel bloggers out traveling the world and writing about / photographing their journeys on their own personal blogs.

Some of them, like Nomadic Matt, Gary Ardnt of Everything-Everywhere, the PlanetD and Wandering Earl have become veritable online celebrities in the travel industry. They’ve been blogging for many years, have won blog awards and have built up thousands of followers. Other travel bloggers have been at it a couple years, like me. Others are just getting started.

travel perspectives - Lash at Koh Phi Phi viewpoint - Thailand

enjoying views from Koh Phi Phi viewpoint – Thailand

To hopeful world travelers and fans travel blogging seems like the ideal job and lifestyle. It seems exciting, glamorous and fun. Not surprisingly then, people are eager to find out just exactly how travel bloggers earn a living. It seems so mysterious. The truth is that there’s no single way to earn an income blogging. There are dozens and dozens of different ways that real travel bloggers are paying their way to travel around the world.

In this post, pt 4 of How To Afford Long-Term World Travels Series, I reveal how dozens of the top travel bloggers earn their way. Please note that almost all bloggers have several income sources that collectively create their total earnings. So as I mention each blogger and their income source, please keep in mind that in most cases they don’t rely entirely on that one revenue stream. Never the less, this extensive list will clearly illustrate that there are several dozen ways to earn a living while traveling the world.

Perhaps you can do some of these too?

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How Travel Bloggers Earn a Living:

 work on cruise ship - eBook - Wandering EarlEarl – Tour Manager on cruise ships

Long before Earl became Wandering Earl he worked for nearly 5 years on cruise ships. He earned a great salary, had no expenses, and thus saved most of his income. During his cruise ship life he visited dozens and dozens of countries around the world.

Earl has written an excellent guidebook: How to Work on a Cruise Ship to help others who would like to travel the world via cruise ship.

Live-a-Life-of-Travel-ebook-Earl Baron-Wandering Earl

Wandering Earl and Nomadic Matt– Book Sales

After Earl became a successful travel blogger, he wrote a couple useful books which, consequently, sell very well. He recently commented that he generally sells 3-10 books per day. By my estimate, then, he makes a few thousand dollars per month purely on book sales.

In addition to How to Work on a Cruise Ship, Earl offers the excellent guidebook How to Live a Life of Travel.

[Btw- I highly recommend this book if you’re serious about traveling the world. Read my review of Earl’s book.]

Nomadic Matt is one of the most successful travel bloggers in the world. He’s written several books on how to travel the world and how to earn money while traveling, all of which sell well. He’s said that he makes a majority of his income from book sales.

Beth Whitman – Guided Tours

Wanderlust and Lipstick founder, Beth Whitman, offers guided tours to exotic countries, including Bhutan, Papua New Guinea, Vietnam and Cambodia. Find them at Wander Tours

Wandering Earl has also recently started his own guided tours, by popular demand from his fans.

 Shannon – SEO specialist

Shannon O’Donnell of A Little Adrift has been working as an SEO expert since she graduated from university. Because this is online work, Shannon is able to work anywhere in the world where she has internet access.

She’s also written an excellent book on SEO practices and The Volunteer Traveler’s Handbook to guide hopeful international volunteers through the whole process. Income from book sales also supplement her work income.

NeverEngingVoyage Screenshot

NeverEngingVoyage travel blog – great website design

Simon – website and phone apps designer

Simon Fairbairn of NeverEnding Voyage is a creative and successful website designer. Like Shannon, Simon’s work allows him to live / travel / work anywhere that he has good internet connection.  More recently, he’s been designing phone apps useful for travelers. He and his partner, Erin, have been traveling the world nomadically for over three years already.

 Marcello – Day Trader

Marcello Arrambide, aka Wandering Trader, earns a living trading stocks online. Once again, this online work allows Marcello to travel the world and work wherever there’s internet connection. He has written many posts on his site about day trading while traveling.

He also has his own course teaching others how to trade stocks: The Day Trading Academy

photo -  Beth Salvon - Beers and Beans

photo by Beth Salvon – Beers and Beans

Beth Salvon and Erica Kuschel – Other Professional Photography Careers

Before beginning extensive world travels a few years ago, both Beth of Beers and Beans and Erica of Over Yonderlust had successful photography careers. Beth has her own wedding photography business in San Diego. Erica has been working professionally in Texas for many years.

Since starting their world travels, both have branched into travel photography as well.

 Ken Keminsky, Trey Radcliffe – travel photography

A few travel bloggers are leaders in travel photography. Ken and Trey are two of the most well-known.

 Abigail King, Lara Dunston, Bret Love – Freelance travel writing

Several travel bloggers earn their income from freelance travel writing for magazines, guidebooks and other online websites. These are three that I know of:

 Abigail King – Inside the Travel Lab

Lara Dunston – Gran Tourismo!

Bret Love – Green Global Travel

 Gary Arndt – Living off savings / personal funds – personally financed

Before starting to travel and blog, Gary owned a successful computer business. He sold his business and house then used the proceeds to set out on indefinite world travels. As far as I can make out, he was able to continue traveling for 2-3 years on money from his former life and/or investments before he began receiving corporate sponsors.

 Nancy and Joseph – living off retirement income

I met Nancy & Joseph of World Globetrotters in KL, Malaysia over 10 years ago. At that time they’d been on their indefinite world trip for about two years. They worked short but hard careers, investing as they went, then retired early to travel the world living entirely off their retirement income. Nancy & Joseph are a perfect example of making a great long-term strategy that they persevered with until they reached their goals.

Travel Blog Success

David Lee, Christine Gilbert, Abigail King – teaching courses on blogging and/or writing

A few successful travel bloggers who have several years of blogging under their belts offer popular courses for other people who would like to become travel bloggers. These courses create a good portion of their income. Here are three I know:

 David Lee of Go Backpacking offers Travel Blog Success Online Course & Community

Christine Gilbert of Almost Fearless offers her Blog Brilliantly Workshop

Abigail King offers her own writing course: Social Media for Writers

The PlanetD – Corporate sponsors

Dave and Deb of The PlanetD, also known as ‘Canada’s Adventure Couple’, have worked hard to built up their brand and presence in the travel industry. Over several years of hard-core travel blogging and world adventures, they’ve gained thousands of excited fans. Because of that, big companies, particularly within the travel industry are eager to tap into The PlanetD’s audience and to link themselves to Canada’s Adventure Couple. Thus, Dave & Deb now fund their travels by corporate sponsorship, much like world-class athletes have big brand sponsors.

 Jeff Jung – his own TV Show

In 2007, Jeff Jung of Career Break Secrets took a career break to travel through South America for 1-2 years. By the time he completed his journey, he decided to not return at all. Instead, he based himself in Colombia and set out to earn a living by helping other people take career breaks too. Within two years he miraculously was able to create his own TV Show on the topic, airing on a major US TV Network. He also supplements his income with book sales, freelance marketing consulting work and translation work in Colombia.

Lash - teaching kids ENgilsh - Osaka - Japan

me teaching kids Engilsh in Osaka, Japan

Michael Tieso, Mark Wiens, Connie Hum, Sherry Ott, Samuel Jeffries, myself – Teaching English Overseas

Like me, several other travel bloggers, prior to travel blogging, began their lives overseas by teaching English in foreign countries. I worked in Japan for 6 years. Samuel worked in Korea. Michael taught in China. Connie taught in Hong Kong. Sherry taught in Vietnam.

Heather Cowper, Matt Long, Jeremy Jones, Ordinary Travels – Work full time careers while blogging on the side

Not all travel bloggers are nomadic world travelers. Many of them have ‘normal’ lives with a house, partner or family, and career. They’re travel addicts who travel as much as possible and blog on the side. Others started their travel blogs while working a full time career and then quit to travel & blog full time when their blog was making enough income for them to do so.

Career Break Traveler's Handbook - Jeffrey JungTraveling Canucks, Two Backpackers, Living the Dream – took 1-3 year career breaks to travel the world then returned to their former lives

Many people, including both well-known travel bloggers and unknown world travelers, take a break from their careers for 1 year or more to go travel the world. Many are able to negotiate with their companies to take a sabbatical and return to their positions when they return. Others quit their jobs then find new ones when they finish their world trips.

If you’d like to learn how to make a career break like this, I highly recommend Jeff Jung’s thorough guidebook Career Break Travelers’ Handbook and his website Career Break Secrets.

Johnny Ward and Kirsty – created passive income from various types of websites

Most travel bloggers are entrepreneurs, which means they figure out ways to create income for themselves rather than working a job / working for a company. Several of them have achieved that by making websites that generate passive income. Johnny Ward of One Step 4 Ward and Kirsty of Nerdy Nomad are two of many travel bloggers who’ve been quite successful creating a group of websites that generate income.

There are many different ways to create passive income from websites. It takes a whole lot of learning, trial and error and hard work, and often a lot of creativity to learn how to do this successfully. It’s not an overnight income generator. But when done well, can make a lot of money.

Kirsty has published a list of her websites and also writes monthly earnings reports, so people can see clearly exactly what kind of websites she’s created and where her online income comes from.

 David Lee and Kirsty – combination of income sources from travel blogging

Both David and Kirsty regularly report their monthly earnings, by income type, on their travel blogs. Both run several websites which collectively provide their incomes from several sources. Both bloggers also earn $4000 – 5000 US per month or more. Check out their reports to see exactly how they make their income.

David Lee – reports his earnings quarterly on Travel Blog Success

 Kristy – Nerdy Nomad – earnings reports

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 CONCLUSIONS:

* There are dozens of ways to earn a living while traveling the world

* Combining two, three or many income sources often works well

* Income sources and work might change over time and evolve

*  Each long-term traveler has to find his own way to earn a living to continue traveling

*  Some steady jobs & professions entail travel or involve living overseas

* Many long-term travelers are entrepreneurs

* Figure out what your own skills, talents and training are. Then figure out how to use them to earn your way.

If you want to see if you’re cut out for such a career and lifestyle, read books about entrepreneurship, running a small business, and success books to develop the correct attitude to succeed at such a life.

Be sure to check out the rest of this series: 

pt 1 – The Threee Components

pt 2 – How I, Lash, Do It

pt 3 – How Other Long-Term Travelers I’ve Met Do It

pt 5 – List of Income Sources While Traveling 

pt 6 – Minimizing Costs on Accommodation

pt 7 – Minimizing Costs on Transportation 

pt 8 – Minimizing Costs on Entertainment

pt 9 – Minimizing Costs on Food

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QUESTIONS:

Which of these careers could you do to allow you to travel the world?

When are you getting started and join us out here in the world?

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27 comments

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  1. Bianca

    This series has really shown that there is not just one way to earn an income while travelling full time. When I last travelled full time (almost 10 years ago) there was no such thing as blogging to earn money. I picked zucchinis, ran a kids club at a resort and worked in bottle shops. It’s doable if you put your mind to it.

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Hi Bianca,

      Thanks for stopping by and adding your input. Yep, those are few more ways to earn a llving out in the world!

      I’m sure there are many more I haven’t even mentioned.

      cheers, Lash

  2. Jeff

    Thanks for including me in such an illustrious list of people who I respect deeply.

    1. Lash WorldTour

      HI Jeff,

      YOu are most welcome. Your own career is pretty inspirational, too. :)

      Thanks for being a part of this post.

      cheers, Lash

  3. Shannon O'Donnell

    Wonderful to see how everyone is able to find their own path and let that lead them into traveling. Thanks for including me!

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Hi Shannon!

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      Yes, it is great to see so many different ways we are making a living and traveling. :)

      cheers, Lash

  4. Kirsten

    Of course I’ve seen it talked about a lot but I’ve never seen so many options (and those who are examples of them) so clearly laid out, before. Thank you for putting this post together!!

    As I am making some changes to my life and thereby blogging career this summer, this is really terrific food for thought!!

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Hi Kirsten,

      Welcome and thanks for your comments. Oh, good – Glad to hear this post is so useful and clear.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      cheers, LsAH

  5. Emma Lander

    Thanks for such a great list, very inspirational. I just started my journey on the road and am trying to make some money to fund my venture so this has proved very useful.
    Cheers :)

    1. Lash WorldTour

      HI Emma,

      GReat! congrats on beginning your journey!

      Glad this is helpful and good luck with your continued travels and earnings. :)

      cheers, Lash

  6. For 91 Days Travel Blog

    Mike and I started off traveling as freelances. We have working on our own since 2004 and realized that we can work from anywhere in the world as long as we have internet.

    So we started off almost 3 years ago and we are slowly making money from our travel project as well. Mostly through ebook sales on Amazon! Which is really picking up!

    For everyone starting off … here is an advice. If you really want to make a living from traveling, it’s possible … just never give up.

    1. Lash WorldTour

      THat’s great guys!

      You were freelancing as ???

      Thanks for your input. hopeful travelers are often hesitant and nervous, so any extra push and support is helpful.

      cheers, Lash

  7. Elise

    This is what I want to do with my life! I want to travel the world, and make money at it. Thanks for posting this, it really was helpful. I can look at this long and varied list and see what would work for me. This is great!

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Hi Elise. Welcome.

      Yeah!!! Great to hear. Come on out here in the world and get going. :))

      HOpe this will really help you get started.

      cheers, Lash

  8. Erica

    Nice round up Lash! :D I love to see all the different ways you can make it work!

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Thanks Erica!

      Yeah, it is great to see how many different ways bloggers are making it work!

      Thanks for stopping by. cheers, Lash

  9. Bobbi Lee Hitchon

    Very interesting post! I always wonder how people do it. I’m hoping to fully be able to take care of myself remotely eventually. This post is going to be helpful. Some things I never thought of.

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Hi Bobbi Lee,

      Great, glad you found it useful. Good luck getting yourself out here traveling!

      thanks for stopping by.

      cheers, Lash

  10. Philip

    This is an excellent resource Lash. Even after traveling for four years, I can be inspired to visualize new income sources to continue my travel jones. Aso, several of the people you referenced were of such great help to me when I was first getting started.

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Thanks PHillip.

      wow, glad to hear this is useful even for people who’ve already been traveling the world for several years. VEry cool.

      cheers, Lash

  11. Talon

    Nice to see so many ways of making it work. People really are only limited by their imagination.

    1. Lash WorldTour

      HEY Talon,

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Yes, their imagination… and the ability to put their ideas into action successfully. :)

      cheers, Lash

  12. Suzy

    This list is certainly impressive. I love how diverse all of the occupations can be and yet they all lend the common goal of traveling without restraint. I freelance write so I can do that from anywhere that has WiFi. It’s a nice life.

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Hi Suzy,

      Yeah, it’s great, isn’t it?!

      Oh, good for you freelance writing! Not the easiest gig to succeed at.
      …so given that you can live & travel anywhere there’s internet, why do you choose to live in a permanent spot in the US? curious.

      cheers, Lash

  13. jennifer

    This is some really useful information. My goal is to be a “full time career turned full time travel blogger once traffic picks up” kinda gal.

  14. Elizabeth

    I am so happy I had the privilege of meeting you Lash, you are such an inspiration an a huge asset to the nomadic world!!

    1. Lash WorldTour

      HI Kiran,

      Aw, shucks, thanks. Ditto to you, girl!

      thanks for stopping by.

      cheers, Lash

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