Tips to Traveling Full-time

March 27, 2020

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Traveling full-time (or a lot of the time) while keeping a full-time job: a dream, only reserved for the richest of people or a possibility for anyone? 

Totally possible. 

If you’re dreaming of visiting beautiful locations across the globe but staring at a cubicle wall, you’re not alone. The difference between those who stay “home” though and the people that adventure comes down to just a couple things – determination, and research. 

If you’ve got the determination to make a better, more travel-centric life for yourself, take the time to educate yourself on what you’ll need to make sure your travels are safe and enjoyable, while continuing to maintain a steady income. 

Think outside the box for remote work 

What you do for work can vary greatly, especially in the era of the internet. Remote work is thriving, allowing for more people to work from home and while they adventure.

What kind of things could you do while traveling? Teaching English online to ESL students is fairly popular today, with many services allowing people who have no experience teaching kids to start in as quickly as a few weeks. The problems that you may face with this include strange work hours though; they are often broken up so that kids can learn in the early mornings and in the evenings, so that means your day will also be broken up. Research which companies offer the most flexibility with your schedule if you are interested in being able to see the sights without being interrupted.

If you have years of experience in a specific setting, such as technical writing, check to see if your current job will allow you to work full-remote. Other jobs are set up for an easy transition to working remotely, from software development to online customer support. If what you do now feels like you could never do it remotely, take the aspects of your job and think about what qualities could translate to a remote position.

Things to consider: if you have your own company, you may want to switch your address to a physical address that isn’t your home to deal with mail forwarding and for continuing to appear as a legitimate business while you travel. Consider an office address virtual service to reduce problems with mailing and any potential clients. 

Another common issue that may arise is difficulty with good internet. If, for example, you go the route of online teaching, you’ll need a great internet connection since it’s done via video. If you’re not sure that you can commit to this, you’ll need to re-think either your internet setup or your job itself. 

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Language barriers can be difficult

If you don’t know another language, consider learning basics of some of the places you would like to visit, just enough to get around. There are several good online options from Duolingo to Rosetta Stone to Babbel. Mashable has a comprehensive list of the online language courses available here

When you’re tired and hungry, language barriers feel very real in foreign countries. What goes from an exciting experience switches to that of dread pretty rapidly when you just need a bottle of water or medical care. Make sure you have appropriate translation options when you’re going to a new country. Again, translation services on your phone may not always be available depending on the cell-service and internet situation, so have some basic important terms learned or written down before you go abroad. 

Remember it’s still real life

Know that just because you’re traveling, it doesn’t mean you’re on vacation full-time. 

When you look at beautiful Instagram photos of far-off places taken by photographers that always seem to be on the go, it can feel like full-time travelers are full-time vacationers. What you don’t see is what happens before and after those photos, though. A photographer, just as an example, might be getting up at 4 am to get to the destination before the sunrises, just to spend hours holed away in a rented motel room editing the photos, then reaching out to marketing and advertisement companies to fund his passion of traveling and photographing. 

For every exotic meal you see with perfect lighting and colorful flowers, there are a bunch of other meals put together from leftovers and grocery store runs. 

Don’t go into traveling full time thinking that it’s a way to escape reality; it is still your life. And, to be honest, you may have to work much harder to ensure this lifestyle. For some, it’s worth it. Others cave and return back to a normal 9-to-5 with a couple of weeks of vacation each year. 

If you have pets or kids, consider RV travel as a way to go

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More and more people are turning to full-time RV travel. There are an estimated one million people worldwide that live full-time in an RV, whether it be a camper van, a full-sized Class A motorhome, or a travel trailer or fifth-wheel. There are many options on the market! Confused what all those RV terms mean? Here’s a breakdown of what each model is. 

There are many benefits to living in an RV full-time, the most obvious being that wherever you go, you always have your home. 

The more obvious problems include needing to find places to stay, dealing with things like plumbing and inevitable constant RV maintenance, driving rather than flying to far off places, and again, internet problems. There’s also the obvious: they are small living quarters. 

If you have pets that you just can’t leave though, traveling with your home is a great way to see your country without needing to leave them behind. It also allows you to explore the country around you. 

For families with young children, RV life can be a great option. For families with older kids, you’ll need to figure out the best way to homeschool them. Some full-time RV families use online teachers, while others go a route commonly called unschooling. It’s up to you, but traveling full-time is an experience a lot more exciting than sitting in a classroom with 4 white walls.  

If you are intent on traveling, the only person standing in your way is you. Take the time to brainstorm what you’d like from your traveling experiences, then research the best options for you. You can make your dream a reality! 

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