The Life on the Road Series is a collection of articles on the topic of living abroad, expat tips and much more, for those that are considering a lifestyle change. Or, additional information for those that already experience a form of this mode of life. The articles are written by T.W. Anderson who is an experienced expat, living the life he shares knowledge about. He also includes an overview video with each article.
Both interesting and insightful, the articles are an interesting read even if you are an armchair traveler simply wanting to see how another segment of the population experiences and lives an alternate mode of life. The different path you can take or envision, the roadblocks you may encounter, and the simple freedom and fun that might be around the next corner. Enjoy!
In the days of yesteryear, life on the road, or full-time travel was a gift enjoyed only by those wealthy enough to afford being on the road or for those lucky enough to have job that paid them to jaunt around the world on their employer's dime. The concept of location independent was in its infant stages at best; most people were tied down to a brick-and-mortar job of some type, requiring them to be on site for 50 weeks out the year...more
If you take a look at the vast majority of travel bloggers, they generally have some type of a "job" apart from their blog and travel brand. While many leverage their travel blog as a means to earn more, most start off with some type of location-independent income source: graphic design, freelance writing, consulting, an Airbnb property back home, day trading; the list goes on.
Individual results vary, but as a general rule most full-time travel bloggers spent around two years building up their community and the traffic necessary to warrant sponsorships and advertising deals to leverage "free" travel. Before any of us arrived at this point there was a lot of spending involved, especially in relation to transportation, food, accommodations, and the gear necessary to take high-quality photos, record high-quality video and pay for the platforms that host our escapades: websites, social media sites and beyond...more
There are very few of us who make an actual living with our travel blogs when compared to the number of travel blogs that are out there. Off the top of my head I can think of several; Wandering Earl, Nomadic Matt, Nomadic Samuel, Natalie Sisson, Gary Arndt, to name a few. There are more, but the point I want to reiterate (in case you haven't read last week's entry) is that you cannot travel without an income source.
Let's get one big myth out of the way right at the start: no one's travel blog started off magically making money, and none of the current "big league" players arrived where they are today without funding their own travels for the first year or two while they built up their business and their brand enough so that they had an established following. Everyone starts off at zero...more
Researching Your Destination
Research. It’s so much more than simply hitting Google and looking for the first Travel Wiki or guidebook from Lonely Planet or some other “big name” in the industry. Investigation is the key, and it’s the difference between having the time of your life...or the worst.
As a professional travel blogger, there’s only one place I go when I’m looking for reliable information on my next destination: other bloggers. Why? Because they are the only ones who have relevant, up-to-date information on the destinations that I’m researching.
While guidebooks from big-name companies in the “travel” industry were the norm for years prior to the advent of global Internet, the largest issue with guidebooks revolves around the fact that their information is always out of date. Always...more
It’s 5 p.m. on a hot summer afternoon in late July. You’ve just spent nine long hours trekking through the Rhodope Mountains of southern Bulgaria bordering Greece, and now you are back in the ancient town of Plovdiv. Sweaty, hungry and thirsty, you take a quick shower to wash the grime from the day off and head to one of the restaurants that your local tour guide recommended to you.
The first thing you notice when you walk into the building is that the no smoking section is literally nothing more than a couple of tables near the windows in a small corner of the room. Everyone else is smoking. In the same room. In disgust, you turn around and leave, figuring you’ll try your luck at the next stop along the way...more
I’ve touched on the subject many times throughout my publications: the importance of language for long-term cultural immersion and living in another country. But perhaps it was Nelson Mandela who said it best when he spoke, “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”
Getting in on the ground floor and establishing yourself as a professional who not only respects the culture of a country enough to live there like a local, but also takes the time to learn the language, you go so far above and beyond what the average tourist and traveler is willing to do. And it will come back with karmic blessings tenfold in so many wonderful, unexpected ways...more
Last week’s episode focused on the need to “go native” in your destination to receive the most benefits from working abroad. But that’s only the first step. Going native allows you open up the door...but once that door is open, where do you go from there?
While you can certainly pursue a work visa and attempt to find local employers looking to hire expats and travelers with experience (as discussed in episode six), there’s another route that you can pursue professionally: consulting and freelancing...more
For the vast majority of road warriors who are interested primarily in simply traveling the world and visiting different countries, a passport stay is generally sufficient. That is, most countries around the world permit you to enter their country and stay without applying for a visa.
A caveat for this is that you are always on limited time. If you happen to hail from Western country, this can range anywhere from a single month all the way up to six months, although the average is around 90 days. If you happen to come from non-Western country, it largely depends on the relations your country has with the rest of the world.
Unfortunately, religious and political issues that relate to your government and have absolutely no bearing on who you are as an individual can nevertheless impede your travels to some degree. But what about those of you who want to take your life on the road and actually pursue the immersion travel route? ...more
When it comes to living a life on the road there is one element that can be more challenging than the cultural acceptance, and that is the pitfalls associated with being on the road full-time. Whether it’s missing your loved ones back home, wishing you had a permanent base of operations to stash your goods and come back to periodically, or missing having your own vehicle to drive as opposed to renting one on a daily basis, everyone at some point comes up against something that takes away from the adventure.
Perhaps the most difficult for the vast majority of people is not having a permanent base of operations. This is especially true if you are one of the backpacker types who tend to stick to hostels or CouchSurfing, because you never really have a place to call your own. Instead, you are constantly moving from place to place, living out of a backpack and never really having the privacy of your own abode...more
When it comes to life on the road, there's something to be said for having a semi-permanent or a permanent base of operations. Long-term readers know that I am not a fan of living out of hostels or hotels. My preference is for long-term apartment rentals, and there are dozens of reasons for that.
I talked about it briefly in the previous episode in regards to how not having a permanent basis of operations is one of the downsides to a life on the road. Sometimes it is simply more convenient to have a home base than not...more
Long-term readers of Marginal Boundaries blog have heard me talk about, on more than one occasion, the difference between immersion travel (otherwise known as slow travel) and backpacking. The latter is skim reading the novel and only picking up the basic gist of what’s going on, while the former is reading the entire book cover to cover, poring over each line of text and immersing yourself in the characters as well as the lore of the book.
That’s not to say that one style of travel is better than the other; some people prefer to go the backpacker route, spending a few days to a few weeks in each destination before moving onto the next. Personally, it’s not for me, as I prefer to spend months if not years in a particular area so that I can fully immerse myself in the culture and learn everything there is to know, as well as experience everything there is to experience within the local area...more
Moving on to “free” travel. This is the golden goose egg that every travel blogger is searching for: the ability to travel the world on someone else’s dime, thus avoiding expenses on your end and being able to see far more than you ever would on your own budget.
The reason sponsored travel is so lucrative for many travel bloggers is going back to the very beginning when I was talking about the difference between hobby bloggers and professional bloggers. The vast majority of travel bloggers are not making a livable income with their blog; it’s a hobby, nothing more. Which means they are paying for their travels out of their own pocket.
Which makes landing sponsored gigs or doing housesitting assignments so ideal, because it eliminates cost. Or at least reduces it considerably, which helps those bloggers who are only making 1,000 or 1,500 a month float by because they can cushion their costs...more
For more information about Tim Anderson and his travels, visit Marginal Boundaries
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