I travel anywhere in the world I like.
I write to you from the Sivananda Yoga Ashram in South India. To say it’s beautiful here is an understatement – it’s set high up in the mountains of Kerala next to a vast lake and is surrounded by lush green jungle. The views just from the main yoga hall to where we sip chai on our breaks is enough to bring you to your knees.
While I’m not doing any writing work from the ashram (I’m working on my yoga and quieting my mind instead), I will make money with my laptop when I leave here in a few days to travel the rest of South India. Plus, when I go back online to check my emails, it’s possible I could have generated a fair bit of income without doing a thing.
Because I’ve designed my life so that I can work from anywhere. For most of last year anywhere was London (where I call ‘home-home’), this month India, next month Australia and for a few months after that it will be Malaysia and the beaches of Thailand. I’ll then return ‘home-home’ for the summer.
And guess what? I’m not even rich! (Yet.)
So how do I do it?
How to travel and work from anywhere – in 3 steps
Plan and start (lay foundations)
First you need a plan.
I write. For money.
And not just any money – I’ve built up a humble but significant reputation and enough experience to comand a high fee for my writing efforts. That’s all you need to start with: a good plan to build a solid reputation in whatever you do (this means doing it well, without cutting any large corners).
Of course I believe that writing is one of the best options for this type of living and working, but there are tons of other things you can do to earn a decent living with just the aid of a laptop and an internet connection.
Get out of the mindset of having to go to the same place every day to earn a living: it’s old news.
Consider your options and make a solid plan… then don’t dwell on it too much. Start to lay your foundations immediately. Begin.
Be persistent (keep building)
Once you’ve laid your foundations you need to keep building on them.
As obvious as this analogy is, think of a house’s foundations for a moment. If after the plans were made (see point 1 above) the builders just added a brick or two but then gave up because it seemed like too big a job, we’d all be living in houses with no walls!
Even when the going gets tough. Even if you think the task it too big. Work at it a little every day and one day you’ll look back and realise you’ve built a whole mansion from your efforts. Most people give up right before they’ve reached their goal. Don’t be one of those people.
When you feel like giving up, add another brick.
Have a back-up (build a garage)
OK, so the whole ‘house analogy’ is wearing way too thin, but the point is a valid one…
People used to say that being self-employed and making your own money was risky, right? Have you noticed how this notion has been talked about less and less over the last half a decade or so as big companies ceremoniously fired all but their most essential staff? (Some even fired them too.)
What you probably don’t hear much is that the people living nomadic lifestyles (or any other sort of alternative lifestyle) also have side gigs to rely on for income. The simple truth is that being successfully self-employed just means you need to develop a back-up plan for when things don’t go quite as you expect them to. (Something we really ought to tell the people employed by others.)
I don’t just write for clients. In fact, while that’s still my core business at the moment, I’m constantly building up different income streams that I can rely on, such as the Freelance Writers Online course and my travel blogging eBook. (The great thing about these income streams is that after I’ve put in the initial time and effort, they can generate me money while I practise yoga in India or lie on the beach in Thailand.)
I also have other back-up plans in place – new and exciting things to work on that will go on to make me money while I continue to work and play from anywhere in the world.
Ensure you work a back-up into your own plans and embed it into the foundations of your new lifestyle.
If you want a new lifestyle where you can travel anywhere in the world, it’s all there waiting for you. You just need to make a plan (including a back-up) and begin.
Then chip away at your plan every single day.
Namaste from India.
PS: The Freelance Writers Online Job Board has been discontinued for now. I really want to encourage writers to pitch for work directly in order to get paid what they're worth. I believe jobs boards should only be used for 'top-up' writing gigs and to build a portfolio and reputation - as taught in the Earn a Full-Time Living as a Freelance Writer course.
Having the job board as a central page on the site just doesn't convey this message. I hope it's helped you in the past though and there will be a few writing jobs from around the world featured within the site's right-hand side bar for the time being.