64 and retired, he’s left the United States exactly one time, to visit the homeland of his ancestors on a 10-day tour of Ireland.
Dreams of sauntering around The Louvre on a rainy Paris afternoon have been pushed off time and time again, as have Italian escapades and jungle treks in South America.
And always for the same reason.
“It’s too expensive.”
To many (if not most) people, travel means draining your savings account, dipping into your pension, even taking out a second mortgage on the house just for the chance to spend a few weeks exploring another country.
But what if there was another way, a better way to see the world? What if, instead of spending your life savings to finally see the pyramids, you could make money while you traveled?
Digital Nomad: A lifestyle entrepreneur who makes the world their office
The concept of digital nomadism is relatively new, and may be hard to believe if you’re used to thinking of travel as something you do when you’re not working.
Being a digital nomad means you get paid to travel. It means the world is your office, and that you can work from absolutely anywhere with an Internet connection. It means that your laptop is your ticket to finally realizing all of those wanderlust-filled dreams.
It also means the old “it’s too expensive” excuse no longer holds water.
Instead of saving up to travel the world, digital nomads get paid to travel by working as they go, one city or country at a time.
This means that instead of saving up for months or years to finally see Florence, you can continue making money from a cafe overlooking the Il Duomo. Being a digital nomad eradicates the need to have enormous amounts of cash saved up before you get on the plane, because income will continue to flow throughout the duration of your trip.
Granted, digital nomadism isn’t for everyone. Many people may wish to travel hard and fast, seeing as many cities and countries as possible in the shortest (read: more affordable) amount of time.
But for Baby Boomers, retirees, and adventurers wishing to travel long-term, working as you go is a great way to see the world.
A Day in the Life of a Digital Nomad
At other times, I travel more quickly, seeing a new city every 3-4 days.
And I’m working the entire time.
A typical day looks something like this:
- Wake up early, have breakfast, and get to work in my hotel room.
- If the WiFi in the hotel is bad, find the nearest coffee shop and set up my virtual office there.
- Get as much done as I can in 5-6 hours.
- Break for the afternoon, enjoy lunch, and explore the city!
- Return to the hotel and work for another 1-2 hours before dinner.
- Depending on my workload, I’m then free to enjoy the evening or take a quick dinner and return for more work.
As you can see, there is a lot of work involved in a typical day, which is not – as many think – a never-ending vacation. But the great part is that although I’m working full time, the second I step outside my door I have an exciting foreign city to explore.
So how can you get paid to travel, and where in the world do you start?
While there are many different ways to make money traveling, I always recommend people start by creating a free profile on Elance.com.
Elance is a website for freelancers. It connects freelance workers with businesses, entrepreneurs, and companies who need to hire on a per-project basis for all sorts of different jobs.
Here are some of the most popular ways to make money with Elance:
- Design jobs
- Computer programming
- Virtual assistant
- Data entry
- Administrative work
The list goes on and on!! As a Boomer, you’re sure to have a variety of marketable skills that will win you Elance clients (and travel money!).
Elance gives you the chance to work part time or full time from your computer. Most jobs are not jobs, so much as ”gigs,” which means that you are not an “employee” and can therefore make your own schedule and work whenever (and wherever!) you want.
Working with Elance clients is even better when traveling to low-cost countries in South America and Asia. You’ll continue to get paid in your home currency while your cost of living drops significantly. This also makes Elance a great option for retiring abroad.
If you want to see the world, but don’t have the money saved, there are unlimited options available if you’re willing to approach travel as a working lifestyle, not just a vacation.
Set up your profile on Elance and start looking for projects you’d be right for. Be sure to start early, at least a few months before you plan to travel. This will give you time to establish a solid reputation on Elance, which will give you momentum to get more jobs while you’re on the road.
If you’re like my dad and have been dreaming of travel your entire life, now is the time to go. I never could have afforded to travel the world without working, and am so grateful to live in a technological age where it’s possible to get paid to see the world.
Have you ever considered becoming a digital nomad?
Where would you travel if you could get paid to travel anywhere in the world?
Rebekah Voss is an author, travel writer, and digital nomad who has been location independent since 2013. Her website, TheHappyPassport.com, is dedicated to helping travelers fund their journeys by making money online. For more money-saving travel ideas, download your free copy of 175 WAYS TO TRAVEL TODAY when you subscribe here.
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