You hear and see about all those people who seem to just live out of their van, having amazing experiences, and still looking like normal and decent people. Clearly, they’re able to make money somehow even though it looks like their lives are one big holiday – but how on earth do they do it?
Most people work throughout the year, waking up to one gray morning after the other, and save up a bit of money to enjoy a holiday abroad for one week of the year. When we work so much and put up with so many boring Wednesdays, it seems almost incredible that we’re only supposed to enjoy a few weeks of sun and holiday, at the end of the day.
If you want to get more out of your time and enjoy the feeling of living rather than just working, you might want to consider doing what these cyber nomads seem to be doing. You don’t have to live out of a van, though, and you don’t even have to set up a YouTube channel to track your travels across the globe – just have a look at the tips below.
Here is a comprehensive guide to mastering a life abroad, enjoying the sun and the sand, and still being able to go out for lunch with your friends once you’re back home.
First: Stay in one place or travel?
One of the first things you should try to figure out is how you’d like to live once you’ve set off on your adventure. It doesn’t just have a lot to say in terms of your everyday life – but it will also be quite important if you want to figure out this whole visa situation.
When you’d like to go from country to country, you can always do with a regular tourist visa. Some of them give you a bit more time than others, depending on your country of choice, but most of them give you between three and six months.
Make sure that you’ve left the country before your visa expires so that you don’t get yourself into any trouble with the authorities.
When you want to stay in one country for some time, perhaps stretching out on a beach somewhere in Thailand, it’s a good idea to check out your visa options. A tourist visa can always be extended, but make sure that you read up on this first – it will often require a bit of paperwork, and you certainly can’t do this the week before your original visa expires.
Planning, in other words, is the key to living within the law in the country you’re going to.
For your long-term options, you can try to get your hands on a work visa. This requires you to actually have a valid job offer in the country, though, and it’s certainly not an easy task unless you have a highly sought-after technical skill.
Think about a tourist visa, first of all, and try to extend it if you want to stay for longer than three or six months.
Next: Find somewhere to live
Naturally, when you want to go abroad for a while, you need a proper place to live and a decent roof over your head. This means that you, of course, need to think about whether or not you want to spend your time traveling or simply stay in one place as both options require a bit of consideration.
For your traveling purposes, it’s a good idea to map out a route and scribble down the names of the different places you’d like to stay in on your way. Living in hostels and hotels for so long will be rather expensive, though, so remember to work out a proper budget before you do anything else.
If you want to live on the edge and save the money you would have spent on accommodation while traveling, you may want to buy a van and simply live on the road. It is, however, much safer to do this together with someone, though, and preferably someone who has a lot of knowledge about cars and living on the road.
You never know if the car should break down in the middle of nowhere, and you really don’t want to be alone and without a clue in this situation.
Another option, on the other hand, is to stay in one place and simply find a place to live in that’s a bit more long-term than mere hostels. Have a look at an affordable condominium in the country you’re going to, for example, or try to find another place to rent after staying at an Airbnb for a bit.
Steering clear off the regular tourist hotspots when finding accommodation means that you’re going to save a lot of money – which you can spend on other things.
What about work?
Finally, it’s no point planning a long trip abroad if you can’t afford to live the way you want to. Those people who seem to live in the most tropical places without looking like they sleep on the beach every day have, after all, managed to find a way to make money.
You can do the same as long as you manage to plan it out a bit beforehand. The good news is that you have a ton of options when it comes to work – and a lot more than we used to have just ten years ago. That’s why so many people are able to live this way these days, and it’s why you should start to look for a job you can do remotely.
First of all, you may want to consider continuing to do what you’re already doing. Have a chat with your boss and see if they’d like to keep you as a remote worker – and keep in mind that they can always stay in touch with you via video calls and similar.
Another option, in case you don’t have any remote work options in the company you’re currently working for, is to find a job you can do from the comfort of your own laptop. There are, in fact, a lot of options here that you might not even have thought about, and it all depends on the kind of skills you have.
Web design, for example, is really sought-after these days, and you will definitely be able to find a lot of different options if you’re able to work as a web designer. Just have a look at this article, to begin with, and read up on the latest trends in web design across the world.
Other freelance options, such as copywriting and programming, can easily be done from your laptop as well, by the way. If you manage to build up a proper network of clients before you head off, you will have a steady income wherever you are in the world – and it doesn’t really matter to your clients if you code in a dry office or on a warm and tropical beach.
When web design, copywriting, and programming are out of your league, you can always consider to set up something independently. You will, of course, have to register your business and immerse yourself in a whole other process of paperwork and bureaucracy – but it will all be worth it, in the end.
Think about what you used to do in your home country and see if you’re able to do the same remotely. Both teaching and counselling can easily be done via video calls, for example, as long as you have a few contacts before you leave. Some websites will even set you up with a few clients, by the way, so have a look around the web as a part of the planning process.
Preparing to go
Now that you have taken care of everything you need when you land in the new country, all you have to do is prepare yourself and your home for the adventure. Try to think about how long you’d like to stay and work out your living arrangements when you’re back home before you head off.
If you are just going for a couple of months, you might want to rent out your home on Airbnb in the meantime. See if you can bribe one of your friends or family members to look after your property while you’re away for a fee, for example, or let a real estate company take care of the short-term lettings for you.
When you want to be abroad for a year or longer, it’s better to rent it out for as long as possible. Airbnb may, therefore, not be the best option as it means that a lot of tenants will come and go during this time; lean on the real estate company instead and let them take care of everything.
Traveling and making money at the same time is actually not that unachievable as long as you know where to look and what to do. Set some time aside to do some proper planning, first of all, before you map out your next few months of traveling and enjoying life. It will be so much more worth it when you can enjoy it without worrying about money.