How Do I Survive? (and how you can survive too…)

Derek Work & Travel 7 Comments

Ever since I resigned about a year ago from my job as a Tour Manager on board cruise ships, two of the most common questions I am asked are:

What do you do now?

How are you able to travel so much?

When faced with these questions, I have so far relied on rather vague and somewhat silly responses such as “I’m a freelancer” or “I do internet stuff”. It’s not that I have anything to hide, I just find it difficult to explain the actual truth.

But if I’m going to do this website properly, I guess I have to put a little more effort into my answers. So here’s my best attempt to explain how I am able to live my unconventional life of constant world travel.

What do I do?:
I run several websites, sell a couple of eBooks that I wrote and am involved with something called affiliate marketing. Basically, I earn a living from the internet.

How can I travel so much?
Below I’ve listed the 5 steps that have made this possible.

1. Saving money: I was lucky enough to get a job working on board cruise ships and to rise up to a pretty good position, earning decent money while having zero expenses for 4 years. (I highly recommend cruise ship employment for anyone who wants to save a lot of money – read my story “A Farewell to Ship Life” for a better idea of what it’s really like)

2. A good book: I read a book called ‘The 4-Hour Workweek’ which completely changed my way of thinking. This is where I learned that anything is possible, from earning good money without having a traditional job to living the crazy, unconventional life of travel I always dreamt of.

3. Hard work: I followed the general ideas in the above book, worked my ass off (I’m talking about 15 hour days on my computer) for 6 straight months learning about the world of eBooks and affiliate marketing and then I implemented what I had learned.

4. More hard work: Even though I am beginning to see the fruits of my labor, the work doesn’t end and I still have some ways to go before I reach my ultimate goal.

5. Proper budget: I always pay close attention to the money I earn and spend and I avoid wasting money on things I don’t need. This enables me to have money available for what I truly want, such as being able to spend two months in India every year or being able to visit friends in Europe without having to save for months at a time.

That’s it.

At first glance, the above might not sound too difficult, but let me assure you that it’s not the case at all. Learning how to earn money with the internet is not fun stuff (at least not for me) and as a result, there were plenty of moments when I wanted to abandon the idea altogether and go back to working on board cruise ships. Honestly, when I think about this past year, the phrases that pop into my head most often are ‘extreme frustration’, ‘repeated disappointment’, ‘incomprehensible confusion’ and ‘institution-worthy insanity’.

Why did I decide to keep on going?

One day back in November, while I was living in Melbourne, I had a telephone conversation with the same friend that told me about ‘The 4-Hour Workweek’ book. At the time, I was going through a very rough stretch in my attempt to earn a living on the internet. During this talk, however, my friend brought up a very good point. He said that “Most people fail because they don’t stick with it.”

After hearing these words, I promised myself that I would stick with it, no matter how frustrating it became. And that’s exactly what I did.

So, to put it simply, I didn’t enter the world of internet business because I enjoyed it or because I found the work to be fulfilling. No, I chose this path because I knew that the eventual benefits would allow me to continue achieving my goals much better than the alternative – a 9-5 job with two weeks of vacation per year.

And although I certainly am not making millions (or even close to it), I am able to be in complete control of my life, to travel wherever I want and to achieve my dreams one by one.

The biggest discovery I made during my transition to a more independent lifestyle was that if you prioritize your life correctly, you’ll soon realize that it doesn’t cost as much as you might think to achieve what you want. Even constant world travel costs far less than you would imagine.

For example, when I travel, I don’t have any utility bills, car expenses, groceries to buy or any other monthly expenses to worry about at home. As a result, even if I only earn $500 per month through my internet projects, I suddenly have enough money to travel to dozens of countries around the world for a very long time.

Therefore, the old excuse of ‘if I only had the money’ no longer holds up. Traveling around the world and living such a life of freedom is actually cheap once you get your priorities in order.

Sure, it might take 3 months or even 3 years to achieve some sort of success with earning money on the internet, but I swear to you, success will come to those who persevere. And even if it does take 3 years, big deal!  You can work from almost anywhere, so why not live in the Philippines or Argentina for a few months while you get things started?

Over the past year, I have worked on my internet stuff from St. Thomas, Australia, Thailand, India, Italy, Central America and now Mexico. All you need is an internet connection. And besides, it’s much more affordable to live in these places than at home, so I actually saved money in the process.

I know that this all seems a bit sketchy, I really do. But the bottom line is that the rules of life are changing and the concepts of living a ‘conventional life’ or settling down in the ‘real world’ are slowly dying. As a result, now is the time for anyone with a little courage and confidence to step forward and take advantage of the unique opportunities being created by this shift in thinking.

Is it for you? That’s for you to decide. But if you would rather start living the life you want TODAY instead of waiting until you retire, now’s the time to do it. Breaking free from the ‘real world’ has never been easier or more rewarding than it is right now.

*I know I probably created more questions than I answered with this post so please feel free to post any questions below. I’d be more than happy to respond with more details!

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Comments 7

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  2. Gary

    Thanks for letting us know how you make your way financially Earl. I am also starting out on the internet marketing road and you are right, it is difficult. Your prompt to stick with it, really works for me, thank you.

    1. Earl

      Hey Gary – I am definitely a firm believer that the most important factor in terms of online income is persistence. Everything you need to know is out there but it just takes a long time, like anything else, to learn and ‘perfect’. Just keep at it, stay confident and all of a sudden, things will start to work out!

  3. Jennifer

    Earl, I just got home at 3:30 this morning from my trip to Sayulita. I feel magnetized to that little town and I know I must go back. I have been trying to figure out what I can do – what changes I need to make to live the life I need to live. I came across your blog and felt inspired. Thanks!

    jennifer

    1. Earl

      Hey Jennifer! Thanks so much for visiting the site. Sayulita is as special of a destination as there is on this planet. I have yet to meet anyone who did not fall in love with that village during their visit and I often think about returning myself!

      And I can honestly say that you have the ability to create the life you want to live and be able to return to Sayulita as often as you wish. We all have this ability, and most often, the hardest part is just deciding to make some serious life changes. But that’s why I’ve created this website, to hopefully offer some guidance and inspiration along the way.

      So please feel free to email me at any time with any questions you may have or anything else that comes to mind. I’d be more than happy to offer as much advice as possible to help you achieve your goals!

  4. Jp

    Hey Earl. Love the site but I have a few questions. Excuse me if I come across a bit mixed up in my words or sentences. I have dyslexia.

    – First, Thanks for the heads up regarding elance.com . I came across Odesk.com, just incase you want a second option. I was reading on one of your post that you were using elance.com. Did you get Karen to do research and such for your websites?? DId you get someone to put this website together or do you know html??

    – Also , do you have any recommendations/ bookmarks on where I could go to learn more about eBooks and affiliate marketing. I “google” and did some research on both but still kinda lost. It all seems people are trying to take, take and take some more and not giving valuable information. I would really apperciate it , if you can send me in the direction where you got your information,

    – Do you need an extensive resume to get hired by a cruise ship???

    I dream one day that I can replicate your actions. Like you said “even you can make $500 and travel” , your still ahead of the game. Hard work plus ambition far exceeded talent. Your intentions are good and may you have good karma headed towards your way. Anyways, head over to nomadicmatt.com ,if you haven’t already. He is prob one of the more known writers on traveling. Also check out http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2006/07/10-reasons-you-should-never-get-a-job/ …. Pretty good stuff that I just wanted to send your way. Thanks.
    JP

    1. Earl

      Hey JP – thanks so much for following my site! And I really am happy to hear from you as I enjoy interacting with as many new people as possible. I’ll actually send you an email in regards to your questions so that I can give you as much detail as possible. I’ll go ahead and write one to you now…

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