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How to travel forever - 8 ways to earn abroad

We all love travelling. And when we travel, we lust after those that seem to endlessly explore; those for whom travel is a way of life, not merely a trip. How do they do it?

You lie in your hammock tentatively daydreaming about a life lived in flipflops, the stresses of life back home a distant memory. Maybe you could blog, you muse. And of course you could. But guess what? There are other ways to earn a crust whilst travelling. Alternatives abound if you know where to look, and not all require specialist knowledge. Below are just some of the jobs I or my friends have had.

1: EFL teacher

Those who can, teach. Teaching English as a Foreign Language is a well paid, reliable income, and can be done in every country - including English speaking ones. There are a myriad of courses available, from weekend online courses to one month intensive ones.

Some courses and countries require a degree before you can teach, and as with most courses, you get what you pay for.

The month long CELTA course is most widely recognised (and expensive!) but does require a degree. However, there are plenty of other TEFL certifications you can take and many, many countries you can teach in with and without a CELTA. You have to commit to a few months in one place but really, isn't that the best way to travel anyway?

I’ve taught in Byron Bay, Australia and my parents are still teaching all over the world (the past year they’ve worked in China, France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy) - proof that you really can travel forever!

2: Specialist instructor (diving/skiing/surfing etc)

Find your passion, do it as a job. Sound too good to be true? It’s possible! With these specialist activities you can go further and start to guide and teach, making enough to live and in some cases save heaps to further your next travels.

You are of course limited to certain destinations (not much diving in Tibet unfortunately) and the more languages you can speak the higher your chances of employment.

I worked as a diving instructor for part of my twenties, and it was the most rewarding, fun and challenging time of my life. If you want to pursue this line of work (and why wouldn’t you?!) it pays to research properly. Do the course at a centre that will employ you afterwards, or offers good prospects at least.

Ask people already working in the industry for their recommendations and tips, and remember you don’t have to be a master of something before the course begins.

3: Travel/tour rep

If you’re good with people this one is great - make the group feel at ease, look after any issues that arise, rinse and repeat. ​

Tour guiding doesn’t require any qualifications, just training and the ability to think on your feet. If you can chat to anyone about anything then this is the job for you!

My friend Dom went to a surf camp in Portugal two years ago, loved it and asked for a job at the end. As he’d gotten on so well with everyone in the camp they agreed to a trial, and he’s still repping for the company - but now in Bali! Of course we can’t all get a job that way but if you don’t ask you don’t get.

4: Work for accommodation

Whilst not technically paid, working in your hostel for free accommodation is a sure fire way to cut your living costs. Although more common in Western countries, developing countries still need managers, booking reps etc so it’s always worth an ask.

WWOOFing (Worldwide Work On an Organic Farm) is another popular way to get free accommodation, worldwide. Fancy picking grapes for a few weeks, or looking after some horses? Then look no further.

5: Online poker player

Really? People actually do that? I hear you ask. Well yes, yes they do. I know four professional poker players, who play primarily online from the comfort of their rented villa/chalet/beach bungalow. Its not as easy to earn a decent wage as it used to be thanks to a change in regulations but if you understand risk management and have a head for numbers then it could be worth your time practising your p-p-p-p-p-poker face (sorry)

6: Virtual assistant

Jamiroquai sang it, now we can live it - virtual reality is what we're living in. In short, you work freelance for clients and do all the admin-type tasks that an executive assistant or secretary would do.

Do you have experience in this field? Are you organised and good at filing and data entry and the like? Then this could be the job for you! I met Christina, a lovely Dutch girl, who was working 4 hours a day in Bali on an extended holiday. Sounds pretty great to me!

7: Work in hospitality

Such an obvious choice that people tend to forget about it. But working in hospitality, especially in Western countries, is a great way to meet locals, earn decent travelling money and you can do it anywhere. Work on cruise ships, on tropical islands (hello Maldives), ski resorts, you get the idea!

Do you have managerial experience? Then you can earn a decent wage in developing countries too - I was a manager for a resort in the Gilis in Indonesia and had a great time!

8: Digital everything

In my old home of Canggu, Bali, everyone worked online. Digital Marketing, Graphic Design, Web Development, and many other techie jobs I didn't even know existed were all the norm for many of my friends. Morning Surf, evening Yoga, daytime Laptop.

When I met Anna, she was working digitally doing Social Media Marketing for brands back in Amsterdam. With so many cafes, co-working spaces and share houses all with great wifi and power sockets, you can take your work anywhere you like! Now what was the login again?

So there you go, 8 ways to keeps travelling forever. Do you know people who would like to work and travel? Share to let them know!

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