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Ask anyone for their bucket list, and you’ll often find travel is listed there somewhere.
With social media providing instant insights to countries and cultures all over the world, it’s no wonder that more and more people are catching the travel bug and planning to set off to experience the world for themselves.
However, the notion of travel often falls into two categories: you either save up, quit your job and travel until your funds run out, or you stay in your full-time job, accrue your annual holiday, and see the world in short, action-packed bursts.
While these two options work for many people, they often feel like a sacrifice. Whether it’s running out of time, or money, or both, the two most popular ways to travel almost always involve a return to “reality.”
What if I told you there’s no need to sacrifice?
Workers are waking up to just how archaic the standard 9 to 5 is, with alternative options that allow people to choose their hours and work away from the desk creating a happier, more valued workforce.
The dream of traveling the world without any responsibilities is just that; a dream. Sooner or later, your bills will catch up and you’ll have to adjust your circumstances. However, if you plan for both financial and location independence, at the same time, there’s no need to be a backpacker or full-time worker to see the world – why not both?
If you dream of exploring the world while still earning a stable income to keep your finances looking healthy, here’s just a few ways you can do it:
Negotiate with your current employer
Quitting your job to explore the world does has a poetic ring to it, but there may not be any need for such a dramatic life change. If you have an office job that simply requires an internet connection, sometimes all it will take is an honest discussion with your current employer to adjust your contract into a remote working agreement.
This may be in the form of working remotely once or twice a week, or being completely location-independent – it really depends on how flexible your employer is willing to let you be. A few things to prepare before negotiating your contract:
- Outline exactly how you propose the arrangement will work with your employer, from any core hours to how meetings will be scheduled and how you’ll deliver your work.
- Arm yourself with any stats you think will help you convince your employer that a remote contract will make you a more productive employee (hint: there’s tonnes of research proving this!)
- Look up any time-management apps that will help you manage your workload independently and communicate with colleagues online. Trello, Evernote, Slack, and Google Hangouts are all key tools for location-independent workers.
Before I approached my manager to discuss a remote working arrangement, I researched every detail on how people successfully work independently, even when communicating with other colleagues is an important part of the day. Preparing yourself with educated, confident answers for any concerns your employer may have will increase your chances of a yes.
Even if your employer agrees to let you work from home just a few days each week, this will give you far more freedom of movement, allowing you to see more of the world on a regular basis.
Explore freelance opportunities
Perhaps your current employer said no to a remote contract, or your job isn’t feasible to take away with you – it happens, but it’s not the end of your travelling dreams.
Almost any skill can be marketed as a freelance service, and with the right approach, you can easily fund your lifestyle around the world. Freelancers must be motivated, driven people, as they are completely in control of their hours, clients and rates – including taxes.
However, if you’re able to manage yourself efficiently, you can make a great income by being your own boss, and best of all, you can work wherever you want – as long as there’s an internet connection! There are endless possibilities for freelance work online – from writing and editing, to web design, coding, and even admin tasks such as replying to emails for busy bloggers.
Take a Sabbatical
If you love your full-time job, or can’t take the leap into freelance contract work quite yet, why not consider taking a sabbatical? Many employers will happily negotiate a deal in which you can take an unpaid sabbatical to travel, and then return to your job.
Whilst you won’t be earning money while traveling, you will have the security of knowing you have a job to return to immediately, so you can budget your money to fit your timeframe more comfortably.
Get a handle on your budget
No matter how you decide to travel, the key thing to remember is as long as you have the funds, you can keep going as long as you want to. Budgeting your money effectively is the only way you can keep control of how long your adventure lasts. Choose cheap flights, local eateries, and research your accommodation options to make sure you get the best deal, and most importantly, talk to the people around you – you never know what income opportunities might be out there!
Taking care of your money will give you the control back over your life – no matter if your travel plan involves a few week-long trips per year, or a non-stop adventure.
About the Author:
Yaz blogs all about money management for location-independent living over at The Wallet Moth blog. Covering everything from food and fitness, to exactly how to fund your next adventure around the world, check out her blog now for some killer insights into budgeting your money to suit your lifestyle.