Me on the Great Ocean Road

How I Can Afford My Life Of Constant Travel

Derek Popular, Work & Travel 1346 Comments

Me on the Great Ocean Road

I’m confused.

I’m simply confused as to how it’s possible that I have so far failed to properly explain how I’ve managed to travel/live/work abroad nonstop for 12 years straight (and counting).

The questions are still pouring in every single day: How do you do it? How is it possible to travel for so long? Where does the money come from?

And while I thoroughly enjoy communicating with readers (I’m being completely serious and encourage you all to continue sending your emails to me as often as you wish), the fact that these very questions are on the minds of so many of you out there has led me to believe that I need to do a better job at providing the answers.

While it’s true that I’ve already written plenty of posts on the matter, clearly all of these posts, even as one collective entity, still fall well short of proving that a life of travel is not some crazy fantasy but a perfectly reasonable and easily attainable lifestyle option instead.

I’ve even referred to other travelers who are out there living a similar nomadic lifestyle, but apparently, that hasn’t been enough either.

So what am I to do?

How do I prove, once and for all, that you do not need $500,000 or even $50,000 in your bank account, that if you are able to scrounge together $500 bucks, there’s little stopping you from becoming a full-time nomad. I’m not joking here. After all, this is exactly what I’ve done myself. Okay, I first left home with $1500 to my name but that’s not exactly a fortune either.

I’m not going to give up trying, so here’s another attempt to show you how I’ve managed to live a life of constant travel.

The following is a brief summary of the past 12 years of my life. It is a timeline of sorts that details where I’ve been, what I’ve been doing and where my money has come from at all times. Ultimately, it shows just how one ordinary person has so far managed to fund 4,195 days straight of traveling and living abroad.

Dead Cities in Syria


December 25, 1999:

  • Left home and flew to Bangkok with $1500 in my bank account
  • Planned to spend 3 months traveling around Southeast Asia

March 2000

  • Decided to officially extend my trip despite having only $500 left to my name
  • Taught English in Chiang Mai, Thailand, earning approximately $150 USD per week (more than enough to live well in this city at the time)

October 2000

  • Returned to the US with $300 in my account (after paying for the flight home)
  • Spent 2 months in Boston working as a high school substitute teacher
  • Saved $2500 during this time

January 2001

  • Returned to Asia and spent 12 months traveling through Thailand, Burma, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Australia
  • While in India, volunteered as an English teacher for 3 months in exchange for room and board
  • Stayed with friends for 3 months in Thailand and taught English once again in Chiang Mai
  • Lived with friends for 2 months in Australia, which kept my expenses quite low
  • Returned to the US with no money at all

February 2002

  • Through a contact, I applied to work on board cruise ships
  • Landed a job as a Tour Staff with Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Worked on board two different ships during one 8-month contract
  • Saved $8000 during this time and then decided not to return for another contract

November 2002

  • Traveled to Australia for 4 months

February 2003

  • With $4000 in the bank, I spent two months living with a friend in Los Angeles
  • Found a short-term job at an advertising company through a temp agency
  • Worked for two months and left LA with $5000 in the bank

April 2003

  • Traveled to Thailand, Bangladesh and India

Norwegian Cruise Lines

September 2003

  • Landed a job as a Tour Manager for Norwegian Cruise Lines
  • Worked two contracts on board ships located in Hawaii and the South Pacific
  • Traveled to Europe during my 6-week vacation between contracts
  • Saved $20,000 by the end of my second contract

July 2004

  • Spent 7 months traveling to Europe, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Afghanistan

March 2005

  • With $10,000 still in my account, decided to work two more contracts as a Tour Manager for Norwegian Cruise Lines
  • Saved an additional $20,000 during these contracts
  • Traveled to Europe during my 2-month vacation in between contracts

December 2005

  • Traveled for 8 months to South America, Europe and India

La Boca, Buenos Aires

September 2006

  • Was offered a job with Cunard Line (cruise line based out of the UK)
  • Worked as a Tour Manager on board the Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth 2 ocean liners
  • Spent 18 months with Cunard, saving over $3300 per month
  • Traveled through Europe, Caribbean, Mexico, the Middle East and SE Asia during my vacations in between contracts

April 2008

  • Traveled back to India for 3 months

July 2008

  • Worked one final two-month contract for Cunard Line, saving an additional $6000

September 2008

  • Left Cunard (with more than enough money saved up by now) and moved to Australia
  • Spent five months in Melbourne working on creating online streams of income

December 2008

  • Sold my first eBook online
  • Continued working on promoting my eBook while creating a second eBook to sell
  • Began earning some income through affiliate marketing

February 2009

  • Spent six weeks in Thailand
  • Volunteered and traveled in India for six weeks
  • Visited Italy for a few weeks

Tuscany, Italy

June 2009

  • Traveled through Central America and Mexico, finishing the trip by renting an apartment in Sayulita, Mexico
  • Continued working on my online projects
  • Income from my online projects reached $1000 per month for the first time

December 2009

  • Moved to the Caribbean coast of Mexico and rented an apartment in Playa del Carmen, where I spent more time working on my online projects
  • Officially launched

September 2010

  • Spent 6 months traveling around the Middle East, Australia and Southeast Asia

April 2011

  • Returned to Playa del Carmen (where I am currently living) in order to catch up on work
  • Reached $2500+ per month in online income through the sales of three eBooks I’ve authored and through my efforts with affiliate marketing

Right Now

  • Planning some new adventures for later this year, including a most interesting 30 day train challenge for the month of September (more details to come in my next post)
  • Life as a permanent nomad continues

And that’s all there is to it. The truth of the matter is…

$2500 per month, and even $1000 or $1500 per month, is more than sufficient to achieve a lifestyle that involves extensive travel. It really doesn’t take much. Some teaching English here, some cruise ship work there, some internet marketing in your spare time and VOILA!

And this is only a tiny fraction of the opportunities to earn money while traveling that exist out there. Once you realize this, you’ll also realize that luck, miracles and having an overflowing bank account play no role whatsoever in allowing you to achieve your travel goals.

All you need is the courage to take the first step and a mind that is open to trying new experiences!

***If you want to create your own life of travel, you may be interested in my new project – How to Live a Life of Travel.

This one resource will teach you everything you need to know. Be sure to check it out!***

Since 1999 I've been traveling and living around the world nonstop. Sign up below for personal stories, real advice and useful updates from my adventures. Only good stuff, no nonsense.

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Comments 1,346

  1. Henry

    What are your plans for retirement? Do you have any savings for that, or are you planning on working till you drop? What about if something catastrophic healthwise happens?

    1. Post

      Hey Henry – I’ve been saving money whenever I can and since 2009, when I started working online, I’ve saved every month. And I have health insurance in the US in case anything happens. In the end, it’s really no different than any other lifestyle…I work, earn money, save money, have health insurance just like everyone else!

  2. Jaycen Timm

    hi there! I am currently a high school senior and am so undecided on a major for college. I really want to travel. Did you get a college degree?

    1. Post
  3. Jc

    Hi wanderingEarl, I enjoyed reading your blogs/stories about your nomadic lifestyle. Such an inspiration especially to those people like me who wants to travel around the globe. Keep inspiring.God bless!

  4. Kylee from Kylee Cooks

    I always found it hard to explain how I left home in 1999 and returned home-ish, in 2004 when people say “you’re so lucky”

    Well, luck has nothing to do with it. I worked and saved before I left – just to have a cushion. But when I arrived in the UK – I grabbed a temp job. Working hard when there’s work, not being too picky about what you do (it’s pretty easy to stomach handing out flyers for a job while in the Greek Islands), and being open and flexible – and interested in traveling to places that aren’t necessarily on the tourist map. Being open to being a bartender one day, an office temp the next, and then passing out flyers the next.

    Seeing opportunity wherever you go, is key.

    I used to work in London for a little bit as a temp – then disappear for an original intention of being gone for a week, and ending up working in a campground in Oludinez in Turkey for 4 months. It was random, I was like – I like it here, how can I stay and not drain my bank account? So, I just asked “hey, can I work here?” and what do you know? They gave me a job. I spent my time off lazing in the blue lagoon, checking out the rest of the country and having experiences only possible by being at the right place at the right time.

    Back then, internet marketing wasn’t so huge – and I WISH I had had the resources we do now. I’m now older, married, and have children – but I’m SO glad that I had the life changing experiences in my 20s that allow me to BE settled now.

    It’s about the life experience….. right?

  5. Gary Gilbert

    Hi Earl,

    Nice write up, we have “only” been on the road for a little over two years, though in our Landrover Defender. What is interesting to see it that you are not travelling with your own vehicle but you have projected similar costs as we have experienced with our own vehicle. I guess the costs of travelling by bus and staying in youth hostels or similar evens out the costs of camping, fuel and repair expenses.

  6. Katie - Round the World Magazine

    What a brilliant, inspirational way to live. We hope to live the same life and we’re just starting out. Thanks for the tips.
    Can’t wait to hear about the 30 day train challenge!

  7. Maya

    I am in your shoes now have $1,500 to my name and I want to go back to travel. I just came back from a trip I feel like I want to go back on the road. The thought of getting a “job” here just depletes my soul.

  8. Raymond Carroll

    Hi Earl, I just ‘StumbledUpon’ this post, it’s a great read (even although it’s a few years old). First time I was in Thailand was in 1999. I went there to manage a bar on Koh Samet – bar thing didn’t work out but I stayed for 3 months and met a girl, before traveling to Nepal, and then back to Thailand. Found out that my Thai girlfriend was pregnant, returned to the UK to make some money and then went back to Thailand in 2000-2001 (for 6 months) to visit my girlfriend and daughter. Returned to Thailand and stayed in Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, & Taiwan (2 years this time, 2002 -2004, doing mostly sales jobs); returned to the UK with my girlfriend and daughter because my girlfriend was pregnant at the time with our second child (my son – now 12 years old in 2017).

    Prior to going to Thailand in 1999, I had lived and worked in Jersey in the Channel Islands (2 years), Canada (18 months), California (1 year), Egypt (6 months), and London UK (15 months); I am originally from Glasgow, Scotland.

    Kids put paid to the more or less constant traveling, but I have no regrets – my kids are my best pals; luckily I am self-employed back in Scotland so still get to travel more than most. Off to Barcelona in April, trekking in Nepal in October this year also. I also have some online interests – a novel I have written set in Thailand, and I own and operate a Thailand Travel Blog, and make some money with that through affiliate marketing.

    How are you these days? Still on the road? Hope all is well and wish you good luck for the future.


  9. chip ruckgaber

    So my question is did you have health insurance? If yes how did you pay for it? If no what was your plan if you got real sick or injured?
    I hope you did not expect that you would just go to the hospital and the rest of society would pay your bill.

    1. Post

      Hey Chip – Yes, I usually had travel insurance and I’ve also had private health insurance in the US. But the couple of times I got sick or injured while traveling, it was usually cheaper to just pay at the hospital and not go through my insurance. When I busted my toes in Thailand, I had extensive care in the hospital and it cost $30.

  10. Omar

    Inspirational! I aspire to live the nomadic lifestyle in the near future, but until then, I guess my “work to live” philosophy will have to do. I consider myself somewhat of a “part time nomad”, makes little sense I know, but I’ve explained it in an article I wrote entitled “living to work, why I refuse”

    I think a big part of the problem is that many of us find ourselves tied down with well paid jobs, mortgages and children, which isn’t the best starting point when wanting to be nomadic!

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  12. Maartje

    That’s amazing! You are a great inspiration! I’ve been on the road for 4 years now reading your blogs frequently. Travelling long term is possible, for the right people of course. I think it’s great that you show others that it’s possible.

  13. ajay

    Nicely done.. i noticed that you travvelled to india quite a few times. just wondering what was the attraction and what parts have you travelled there?

    1. Post

      Hey Ajay – I just find India to be one of those countries where, every time I visit, I have a completely different experience. Also, it’s so large and diverse that I can always find something that interests me. I’ve actually be to India 23 times now and have pretty much explored most of the country 🙂

  14. Ayush

    Thank-you so much for this inspiration..i just can’t wait to take full control of my life. Once i do, I’ll start travelling and never stop

  15. Shana Jones

    Great post, Earl, and very very motivating! I guess anything is possible if you remove the barriers and personal hangups. Thanks!

  16. Orange

    To begin with, you are very fortunate be a national coming from a 1st world country as your passport does not require you to get visa approval in major countries.
    And yes, I sadly envy you as I have been wanting to travel and see the sun and moon from other side of the world.
    Hope I could bump into you someday and will certainly be happy to hear from you directly your crazy topsy turvy journey=)

  17. harambee

    Hey WEarl, Do U Know transports from Islands like Bahamas to Cuba to Jamaica or Turks. Trying to see if I can fly from Florida & hit several islands inexpensively. URock & Thanks!

    1. Post

      There’s really no way to do that inexpensively unfortunately. Stopping in the islands along the way always adds a lot of money to the total cost.

  18. Sandra Muller

    Thanks for sharing your journey. I’ve just moved to Vietnam to give the digital nomad thing a go for a few months – I work as a copywriter. Turns out I’m not much of a digital nomad, so I’ve taken the ‘nomad’ out of being a digital nomad and instead, I’ve set up a kind of home base in Nha Trang. I lived and worked abroad for a few years back in the early 200s, but this time has been more challenging as now I have a husband and three-year-old in tow!

  19. Cindy Coco Follonier

    Love this post and laughed a bit because my friends always think that I spend my life traveling and that money falls from the sky. I mean if it would we would know it right?! I think it’s great that you explained it all and that hopefully people who think we need lots of money to travel the world will understand the tips & tricks and will get inspired. 🙂 On a personal note, I believe that if people were less materialistic, they would suddenly figure out that their money can be spent on amazing experiences around the globe rather than on a new car or pair or shoes they don’t need…

  20. Gessell

    What an amazing journey. It makes me think of what I could have accomplished years ago if I set out to try to do it then. Now I have a baby to support which makes the budget traveling a bit more difficult. I recently wrote a family travel guide to Amsterdam, where we’re living as American expats. Hope to make a series out of that and pursue traveling more often. Here’s hoping!

  21. Paul

    Very interesting reading.

    My question is about your business and where you have set it up?
    I guess you have to pay tax somewhere?

    1. Post
  22. Namastegypsy

    Hey Earl!

    Thanks so much for posting this.

    I’m a junior traveller with aspirations to one day travel close to full time. It’s great seeing your break down with the timeline and it shows me, and I’m sure your other readers, that you have to think outside the box to make the lifestyle work. There are also far more ways to earn enough coin to keep on the road that what most people imagine.

    Thanks again and I look forward to more articles!


  23. Ep

    The people I’ve known with nomadic travelling lifestyles all had favorabke life situations and opportunities that enabled them to take on such lifestyles.

    They were all university grads/students with supportive well-to-do families and/or friends they could fall back on ( if things went wrong) They didn’t have to bunker down in unfavorable dead end jobs just to make ends meet…

    What I’m trying to say is, the opprtunies described in the article are not available to everyone who would like to embark on such a journey.

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Ep – I can say that after meeting thousands of people over the past 16 years of travel, I’ve met plenty of travelers who don’t fit into that category you describe. So I’d have to disagree with that statement that it’s not open to everyone as I’ve heard incredible stories, over and over again, from those who did not have university degrees, who didn’t have supportive families, who had nothing to fall back on…and yet they used their determination to make it happen!

      1. Ivan the Intrepid

        I agree! I’ve met travelers from all different walks of life. You meet people from less than fortunate backgrounds especially in cheap travel places. In my opinion, the only real excuse is being from a country that is unstable, has a week currency, and/or a restricted passport. If you are from Europe, the US, Canada, Australia, etc., then really the only thing holding you back is you. That’s not to say it isn’t easier for some than others and it’s not to down play the obstacles that poverty and rough family backgrounds creates. But I don’t believe for a second that, with the right mindset, those are things that can prevent you from traveling the world. Thanks for the post!

  24. Tristian

    Very interesting Diary ;), I have found especially interesting working on Cruise ships ;). I was wondering, your online income comes mostly from sales (your products) and affiliate sales, yes ?

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  26. Serhat Engul

    Sometimes I feel like leaving everything and set out for a long term journey. This is a lifetime dream. I travelled across Europe and India with my backpack but I never dare to leave my settled life for a long time. Actually I did not even know how to do it!
    Now I have the clues. Thank you for sharing secret of your 13 year journey. That is amazing! This is not related to money and time only, but the power of your mind and spirit. I congratulate you my friend. Cheers.

  27. nomadnaturally

    I agree, it can be hard for some people to understand how this digital nomad lifestyle works. It’s hard to get that you don’t need to HAVE that much money to travel everywhere. Usually, most people think of travel in terms of a vacation, which can be expensive, because of course you want to splurge and enjoy and relax since you’re away from home. But traveling as a lifestyle, which I’ve done for over 5 years—that requires a much smaller budget, much less expenses. Even as I write that, it sounds sort of hard to believe 🙂 so I get how it’s confusing. I’ve been trying to explain the way I work and travel on my blog, and recently tried to break down the very specific steps of how to get into travel writing (, although you really have to be motivated, because travel writing alone won’t support long term travels from my own experience–other kinds of freelance writing will, however. In the end, you’ve just got to be persistent and flexible, no matter what kind of jobs you pursue to support your travels.

  28. Jonathan Chin

    This is an extraordinary journey – great stuff. I recently left Australia to work as an Au Pair in Spain for the next 6 months. I’m not planning on coming back home anytime soon, and this has given me just a tad more confidence 🙂

  29. Emma

    I’m returning to this post after being away for (so far) six months. I now feel a lot more confident in being able to manage long term travel. Thank you so much being a motivator in my trip!

  30. Daniel

    I am about to graduate with a PR degree and I am very proficient in video production and have been reading all I can on living and traveling. Do you typically find jobs before you travel to the next location or do find them there? If yes, what means of finding jobs do you utilize. Additionally, how were living conditions? I’m the kind of person who doesn’t mind sleeping outside, or anywhere for that matter.

  31. M

    The fact that you had degree to teach English, contacts for cruise ship work and friends to stay with abroad on multiple occasions in your timeline, every two month period of working while back in the US you managed too save a few thousand is why your able to live a traveling lifestyle. As well as good fortune to have gotten hired abroad and back in the US when you needed too, unemployment is not exactly mythical issue in any country. It’s getting tired how nomadic blogs like this push “anyone” can accomplish this lifestyle, yet successful examples have very particular details that made it possible. Bottom line is if you have money in the bank you can use said funds to pay for as much travel as you can afford. If you don’t you have to figure out continued income or you just vacationing. Being conservative in spending is neither “creative” nor “clever” its common sense, if your bad with your money traveling on a dime isn’t going to workout for you.

    1. Nick Omeara

      Correct; I think Earl is also very lucky man.. beside being smart.. To get jobs like the manager of Norwegian lines is like vinning the lottery … And “living with friends” for months… hmmm .. not everyone’s cup of tea .. ?

      1. Ep

        Exactly… Not everyone can be so lucky to find themselves in life situations that allow for such opportunities.
        It would be disingenuous to assume everyone have those options…

  32. Christopher

    Hey there wandering Earl, I was wondering do you have to have a degree in order to teach english in a foreign country? I know different countries have different requirements.

  33. Kerry-Anne Rowe

    What about black people? Can blacks travel as well without fear of skin color? Because I am from Jamaica and i want to travel soon and i am doing a degree in management studies.

    1. Thomas

      Don’t get caught up in all of that nonsense. Everywhere you go there are some black people. i lived in japan for 6 years with dark skinned African American friends and als Jamaican people that I know are still there. there is always people who may or may not be weary of you but if you approach life with an infectious msile and good cheer, you will have great experiences that far outweigh the negative. I travelled troughout Thailand and Vietnam with my dark skinned canadian friend and we had a blast. he further travelled at least 10 European countries and had 99% positive experiences. He told me there were a few times he new he was being judged but nothing stopped home from enjoying himself and coming home safe. I have also been to Cambodia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Mexico, and Canada. There were always at least some people of brown or black color. Forget all of that and enjoy life!

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  36. Shaily Poladia

    hey Earl,
    i am a fashion student . i live in India. loved your blog.
    i really want to Travel. But i dont have a plan. I wanna live an Independent life for 2 years. Explore World Art , Music , Fashion , Culture etc
    Please guide me as to how can i earn and work out on my expenses , since i am just a fashion student and and have no other educational degree
    waiting for your reply

  37. dags

    Great stuff man! you are very inspiring! I stumbled across your blog about 6 months ago and now I have also my “normal lifestyle” and am now on my world trip by small motorbikes!
    Here’s to following your dreams!!

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  42. Matt - The Gambling Traveller

    Just wanna drop by and say Hi Earl!

    I’ve followed your blog for a few years now and have realised that whilst not a full time traveller, I am a traveller in my own way. I have literally just started my blog, which was mainly inspired by yourself and a number of other blogs in the travel niche.

    Hopefully one day in the future I will come along on one of your tours!!

    All the best.

  43. Jeth Poland

    Hey Earl!
    This is my first time I have ever been on your blog and I am amazed!
    I’m 16 right now and I want to travel all over the world. Especially The swing at the end of the world ( Casa Del Arbol ). I just have the question, how do you make enough money to keep going from country to country ? I read that you sometimes get a job wherever you are staying at but will that be enough to keep living this lifestyle for a while?
    Get back to me soon please !(:

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Jeth – Just have a read through the blog as I write about it all – it was a combination of teaching English, working on cruise ships and now, working online with various projects.

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  45. Sivaraaj

    Hey Earl,
    Am Siva from India….I would like to lead a life like you, but I don’t no were to start.Really the way u come’s ….really interesting and feel the pain of struggles. ANYWAY AM READY TO START MY LIFE in the way of your,….ANYONE IS THERE TO JOIN , pls mail me guys…..”[email protected] Com”.


  46. Matthew

    Just stumbled across your blog now and I’m truly amazed. ☺ I can’t believe that you’ve been travelling for so long. I think having that comfort in money is what a lot of people look for when they travel. Truly inspiring. I’m definitely gonna follow your posts.

  47. Kim

    Great article, thank you for the inspiration 🙂

    I’ll be returning home soon after a year travelling around Asia, but I don’t think it’ll be long before I start planning my next adventure!

  48. Angel Nicolas

    Wow, very cool!!! Two thumbs way up. After reading this, I am now a fan. In my own way I am trying to travel to as many places before I bite the big one. You are way ahead of me my friend. Keep posting and I will keep reading.

    Keep traveling

  49. Erick

    Wow! Amazing timeline! Classic “If there’s will, there’s a way” story:) Thanks for sharing and i’ll definitely check out one of your books..

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  51. pola

    Hey Earl! your story is very inspirational, and do you need to have some sort of degree to travel? I mean i guess the more people see your work experience and degrees the better. Did the people ask for some type of degree when you thought English????

  52. Eva

    Hi Earl,

    What you have done is just truely amazing, and inspirational!
    While I was drinking my morning coffe, I accidentaly found your cruise ship farewell post. It is 3 p.m. here in the UK, and I am still in my pijamas, and reading your blog. 😀
    My journey started in 2011, when I left my home in Hungary, and became a crew member on board. It took me for a long time to accept who I am… I am someone, who doesn’t want carrier, children, house, car, garden and dogs. I don’t want anything else from Life, but travel! I want to see, and experience as much as I can, and it makes me feel so good, that I am not the only alien on Planet Earth. 🙂
    I hope one day you will cross my way, and we can share some storys live! And don’t forget, “not all those who wonder are lost..” 🙂

    Best wishes,

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Eva – I look forward to meeting you somewhere out there. Seems like we’d have a lot to talk about! Until then, keep on enjoying your journey 🙂

  53. Arifur Rahman

    Hi earl, Nice to see that you traveled in Bangladesh in 2003. I was only 15 years old then.
    If you come to Bangladesh again please feel free to contact with me. You are a great person. Travelling all over the world doing a lot of job sounds so interesting and inspiring. If you need any accommodation, holiday lettings or any help for booking hotel i will be here always. Best of luck.

  54. Jamiee

    Hello Earl! So inspiring that you are travelling the world and working while doing so. This is exactly what I am trying to do now, just getting my passport and visas worked out, but how do you keep getting a visa? Youth mobility Visas are only good for two years and can only be used once, and work visas are hard to get unless you work in a specific field? What kind of visa are you using to continue this long term travel, because I would love to travel for longer than 2 years!


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  56. Anne from Trip Memos

    It’s inspiring on the one hand but still baffling. I have no doubt that an average income of let’s say $25K a year is sufficient for slow traveling. Probably a lot less, if you stick to countries with low cost of living, which is fine.
    My issue is with long-term life planning. I’m not sure how old you are, but when you’re in your forties and have kids in tow, things look a little bit different. Pension plans, long-term savings and retirement are things you have to take into consideration. Will you be able to work, online or otherwise, 10 or 20 years from now? Will you be needing specialized medical care (can be a problem when traveling in some areas)? Will you have enough money to pay for your kids college fees?
    I am convinced it’s still doable, but the monetary outlook is different. May actually blog about that soon. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  61. Swagatika Chand

    Hi Earl, I was thinking that travellers life is difficult and it is actually for Indians. I want to be a traveller and i m trying my best but i dont knw where actually i lack behind. If u can help me get through by any chance though i m trying to be in your path. Regards Swagatika

  62. Joan Sullivan

    I’m 22 and currently planning a trip to europe for a month(or more). This is really inspiring because I’ve always wanted to be nomadic and only recently did I discover it’s possible. I was wondering if you think me being a woman changes anything? I’m really nervous about my safety (I’ve been abroad before). Reassure me, even as a woman, I can do this too right?

    1. Shyler

      I totally relate to that. I am a woman planning a 6 month venture in Europe soon and I worry about traveling alone. It’s so hard to find people who want to drop their lives and travel. So my choices are go alone or not at all.

      1. Robin

        Hi Shyler. Have you started your venture yet? I can relate to you. I want to live a nomadic lifestyle, but i would like someone to travel with. In the beginning at least. I think it would be a little easier if i had a friend to share experiences with. If you want someone to travel with, we could get to know each other and see if we have the same interests. And maybe venture together?

  63. mahmudur rahman

    Hi Earl,
    It is true that I excited to read your inspiration story as well as fascinating to me . I am huge fan of you. Go ahead !!!

    Thanking you,

  64. Sean Stout

    Hi Earl,

    I am so glad I found your blog. Unlike you, I am just about to begin my travels. I have an online job making $2500 a month. I am planning on starting in Bucharest August 1st. I want to stay in Bucharest for a few months and then travel to the other EU countries and then who knows. I am an American with a newly renewed passport with enough income to go anywhere. I will definitely be looking to your blog for inspiration. I am 45 so I am starting out a “little” later in life than you but hopefully I will get as much enjoyment as you. Maybe will cross paths one day.

    1. Sofie

      Hi Sean,

      What kind of job that earn that much money online? Im interested because I want to know how to do it. Im thinking of studying veterinary medicine in Bucharest this fall, it would be nice to have an online job on the side.



  65. Chris Robinson

    With all the elevated violence in the world these days, particularly the ISIS groups and affiliates, are your travels impeded? Is it more dangerous to be a traveling American right now than it was a few years ago? I am wondering if the world’s view on Americans has changed or if the level of violence in the world has changed that much or is it just US news outlets make it seem like that unduly.

    Your travel logs are really interesting and inspiring!

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Chris – I’d say that the only difference is that there are a few more countries I wouldn’t visit right now that I would have, or did, visit a few years ago. Apart from that, nothing else has changed.

  66. Caron

    Hi Earl! Thank you for writing such an inspirational post! I feel way more inspired after reading this! How do I go about signing up to work in a cruise ship? The only skill I have is cooking as I’ve been doing it fr 6 years now! Maybe working as a server too. :p It would be great to get some information from you. As I am interested to work and travel at the same time! 🙂

  67. sue wilkie

    I love your lifestyle…..I too have lived overseas and taught ESL in Asia and traveled to 30 countries, I have worked on a cruise ship and and on an island and in the tropics and lived with friends. I adore the nomad lifestyle.
    RIGHT ON!!! Keep it going! If you have lectures or give speeches…I would like to hear you. Thanks, you are a great role model.

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  69. Ace

    Hi there Wandering Earl! I am planning to move to mexico and was hoping you could help me out with a few questions? I read your blog about living for less than 1k per month in places and wanted to know about Riviera Maya for living? Is that a decent affordable place to live? I wanted to know also do we need passports to drive there from the U.S? Is it a safe place? Will we need a car? I have some money some I mean about 3k maybe a little more. I am a 28yrold woman with 2 sons who are 6 and 8. Any help you could give would be soooo wonderful! Thanks my traveling friend!

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Ace – The Riviera Maya has become much more expensive in recent years and while you could still live there on less than $1000, what you get for that money is significantly less these days. Yes, you do need a passport to enter a foreign country. The Riviera Maya is very safe if you use the same common sense you would use at home. If you need a car – that depends on what you plan to do, where you plan to live, if you are okay with public transportation, etc. I would say that $3000 won’t last the 3 of you too long down there at the moment. It might be better to look at less expensive regions.

  70. raj

    Hey man wandering Earl. Let me just first say……………YOUR THE MAN!!!!!.your living the life I’ve always dreamt of !!This was my dream lifestyle eversince I was a little kid . I’m from India and am 19 .I’m a huge fan.

    I have a plan of earning about 2 to 3 million dollars by the time I’m 38 and put it in a savings account and then live my dream.the good thing in India is that you get 10 percent interest on your fixed deposits so a moneyed guy is pretty much guaranteed a fixed income for life.

    This is what keeps me going in life.i was wondering if you could suggest some good cheap destination as I am planning to make a short vacation in sept this year

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Raj – There are many options, from SE Asia (Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia, even Malaysia) to Central America and Eastern Europe as well. I would focus on the places that really jump out at you and get you excited because you can almost always find a way to travel on a budget!

  71. Ronan

    Hi Earl,

    Your posts are always very inspiring and to be honest your whole lifestyle is what I dream of. My question is, do you think this sort of lifestyle is achievable for a shy guy? For example, you clearly aren’t shy otherwise you would never have been able to teach English without any sort of tefl cert etc. I have always wanted to live the life of travel but am very shy and tend to just go on trips of 3+ weeks. I’ve been to Thailand 3 times alone and it’s a bit of a utopia for me. Maybe I have more confidence than I give myself credit for because would people without confidence really go to Thailand alone?

    I am considering my next move as a working holiday to Australia but i’m worried I won’t make friends there because of my shyness. But at 24 I guess it’s time to grow out of that if I want to achieve my dreams.

    1. Nathaniel

      You just answered your own question 🙂

      Biggest thing is, if you want to change something, or do something, don’t wait around: just do it. Like that Nike commercial. XD

    2. Stefany

      I traveled with a friend in New Zealand on a working holiday visa for 6 months a few years ago (I’m now 24, like you). While I was with someone, we were in the minority! Many people traveled alone, and made friends along the way. It’s actually quite easy to make friends abroad, even if you’re really shy and introverted (like me). Sometimes all it takes is a connection like, “You’re from the United States? Me too!” Really, you connect with people you never thought you’d befriend in your own home country.

      Best of luck to you! I hope you end up going. 🙂

      1. David

        I concur. No one should ever be afraid to travel alone as you do make friends easily, and if you’re by yourself, you’re more approachable than if you’re in a group. Many more people come up and talk with you when you’re by yourself compared to being with a friend or group of friends, as groups are more intimidating and so individuals are less likely to approach your group to start a conversation. Never let fear stop you travelling (within reason of course 🙂 )

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  73. Ed

    Most excellent, Earl. This is the most forthright, honest journey I’ve read. Most folks save the details for their book, which makes sense, as another source of income. So, I really appreciate you putting it all out there. I’m finishing my TEFL course & setting off to teach English overseas. Thailand was my first choice but, w/o a degree, it doesn’t look promising. So, I thought about Colombia, but I’ll only be able to break even. Which leaves China. I can save more of my income in China than either places. I just hope I can stomach the air quality for a year. Like you, I’m leaving with only a couple thousand. I do my time in China. Get some teaching experience under my belt. Save some money then head out – building website, teaching, volunteering, exchanging… pretty much your template. I’d traveled to 17 countries in my 20s so I know that opportunities, that I can’t even predict, will come my way. Anyhow, awesome site. Your stories got me venting. Haha! You have a new fan.

  74. Maxime

    Great article. I’ve been following you for two years now and I bought both How to Live a Life of Travel and How to Work on Cruise Ship.

    How to Live a Life of Travel is the best ebook I have read about travel, I think i’ve read it 3-4 times haha! I recently did a review on my website too.

    Have a good one Earl 😉

  75. Yee Yitathasiri

    Hi Earl,
    Your writting impresses me so much. Moreover, your life with travelling is very charmingfull. i wished I could be as you were. I have some experience in travelling, but not as much as your.
    nice to know oyu and just owul dliek to let you know, once you happen to be in chiangmai, you have place and food with frienship waitting you here.

  76. Ye

    Hi Earl,

    great blog! great life experience!
    like you, i love to travel a lot though im still a student right now. I’ve done plenty of traveling throughout the world by summer schools and exchange program. Actually im having great time here in France right now. Have you ever been to China? im sure u will find a whole different world there. We Chinese are crazy about foreigners. u’ll experience great fun.
    However i do have some practical questions that i always wanna to ask to a ‘professional traveller’ like you.(i suppose that’s just the way of how chinese people think…) if you do not have enough balance in your bank account, how can you deal with some unexpected situations like a major disease(god forbid)..wont that be a disaster?… how about when you r older and cannot live a nomad life like this anymore(though i hope u’ll do it forever)? have u considered where the money source will be then?


  77. Jess

    Hi Earl,

    Wow your life of travel sounds amazing 🙂
    I have one question – I’ve tried sifting through the other comments to find the answer but there are so many of them!

    While you were working abroad in all these different countries…did you need to obtain a working visa at all? I know how much of a hassle it can be to get sometimes (UK working visa especially).

    I’m from New Zealand, I do Graphic Design to make a living, hoping to travel South East Asia and Europe towards the end of this year.


  78. Mike | VagabondingMike

    $2500, $1500 or even $1000. You are so right! I have easily traversed the globe on $1000/m. Not necessary living ‘high off the hog’ but accomplishing my ultimate goal of travel.

    Prioritize what is important to you and the rest will fall inline.

    Happy travels!

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  81. Stevan Alburty

    I am a freelance journalist, and your story fascinates me. (I have written for the NY Times.) I would like to write a story about you, but I find the whole premise suspicious. I would like to interview you (Via Skype: alburty) You wend a profound influence on a lot of people. It deserves some inspection. Come out, come out wherever you are.

    1. Andrew M

      Hi Stevan. Not sure if I properly understand your post re your suspicion, but it sounds like you’re questioning whether the way Earl posts that he is able to travel is true. The way Earl described it is very familiar to me as I did something somewhat similar, on a smaller scale, for a couple of years hitchhiking around Australia. I went and worked in a ski resort for 3 months and then took off up the coast, and just kept going, then back down to the South the following winter, followed by a couple more months working in the snow. This gave me enough cash to head off for another 6 months, ending up in Westen Australia, teaching a bit of guitar, and some days in a music shop. I was camping and staying in hostels most of the time whilst on the road, and living very cheaply. These days, Couch Surfing is a much simpler way, but this was a while ago. Met some wonderful people, and have some great memories. Just about to jettison 99% of belongings and do the same again! But this time, around the world. Open ended.

    2. Aaron

      You find the premise suspicious? You find working periodically to save money and then traveling to places much cheaper than the west on a small budget suspicious? You find writing on a blog about your travels and making a book about the same topic to earn extra money suspicious? You find affiliate marketing while having an online presence suspicious?

      I find you suspicious you f’kin wanker.

  82. Shauna van Bruggen

    Hi Earl,

    Binge reading your blog. You are amazing, so inspiring. Glad to see someone living my dream life. Hopefully one day I will be able to live that life too!

    Thanks for the tips and motivation

    Shauna 🙂

  83. Carlo Alberto

    Hi Earl,
    I have been a shrink for 20years and then a casting manager in TV reality shows for 10 (and once in a while a documentary presenter), so I will answer your question “Why people do not understand what to do”.
    Of course being a real example is not enough (modeling is the psy world for this). The same is true also for telling people “How to”, just because they will read and tell themselves that they simply are not Earl.
    I think this is our common mistake. Which is telling the solution, which will always be only a personal solution.
    Nothing to do with the collective unconscious that drive our journeys.
    On the contrary we all should change our attitude. Telling our controversial issues, the pros but also the cons of what we are doing. The interior struggle, the defeats, and, why not, also out luck and the positive coincidences.
    Everybody wants to be Ulysses, we must (try) to be Homerus.

  84. Cameron

    Hi Earl,

    This is my first post on your blog, although I started reading it a few months, and I have found it inspiring.

    I am 15, and I am about to go to 6th form. I have wanted to travel for some time now, mostly thanks to your blog. I am an academic person, so everyone I know expects me to go into business or science, but I want to see the world.

    I plan to go to university to get a degree, and I want to get through with as little debt as possible. I will then work for a year to save up some money before going off travelling, probably to SE Asia. However, I don’t know how I would break the news to my parents. They have always been quite protective of me, and they want me to get a well paid job, which is not what I want anymore. Do you have any advice for me?

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Cameron – Thanks for commenting and the best way, in my opinion, to tell your family is to have a plan. Don’t just say “I want to go travel”. Tell them where you want to travel, why you want to go there, what you hope to learn, what kind of experiences you want to have, and how those experiences and this new education will help you later in life. If you have such a plan, it sounds much more realistic then just wanting to travel indefinitely!

    2. Wandering Earl

      Hey Cameron – Thanks for commenting and the best way, in my opinion, to tell your family is to have a plan. Don’t just say “I want to go travel”. Tell them where you want to travel, why you want to go there, what you hope to learn, what kind of experiences you want to have, and how those experiences and this new education will help you later in life. If you have such a plan, it sounds much more realistic then just wanting to travel indefinitely!

      Also, here’s a good post on the topic:

  85. Debra

    wow..I’m was just about to think how hard it is to travel. but I realize the only thing thats keeping one from travel is the set of mind! When you think it’s hard…then things are going to be hard for you. I like the free living. I’m about to visit some friends in the US and was about to give it up, thinking about the expenses. But you’re right , it can be done. What an eye opening to see the world and cultures. Money well spend!
    Stumbling to this is the best thing! Thank you. Best of luck


  86. Jeff

    Hi Earl! First time poster to your blog ….just found it and absolutely think it’s great!!
    Another poster Bart, asked some questions about if you had a home base, etc. This interested me, because i can’t find much info. on how to get “started” traveling full-time.

    Did you have your own residence back home? Did you just give your notice and move out, not worrying if you wanted to come back? What did you do with all your “stuff”? Did you store it (which costs money), or just sold or got rid of it all. How did you know what to take with you….clothes, electronics etc, and how much….Did you just buy these things along the way?

    These are my questions, as i think i have most of the rest figured out for now.
    Thanks so much!….Jeff

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Jeff – I did not have my own residence at home…I started traveling right after university, before I got a place. So I left for a few months, thinking I would come home, get a job, get a place and all that, but I never came home basically. As a result, I hadn’t accumulated much stuff either and right now I have a few boxes at my mom’s place and that’s about it.

      As for what to take with me, I packed my backpack with what I thought I needed and then, over time, I figured out what I really needed…discarding what I didn’t need. You can buy anything you need along the way so now I know that I don’t need to pack much at all and it makes a difference, but everyone needs different things to be comfortable, so you just have to start and figure out what works best for you.

      Hope that helps!

  87. Cami

    Hi, I love your blog. I’ve read many of these type of blogs ’cause I’m planning on doing this too. I have a big question (For me it’s hard to came back to my country once in a while to save money ’cause my career here doesn’t make more than U$700 a month aprox and working every day all day. I’d love to work as a tourism guide or teaching languages. I think this is what still stop me on leaving home) Ok, so my big question is how can you stay long times in some countries? ’cause there must be a max time of stay (after that u would be illegal). I’m from Chile and for example if i have a go and return ticket to spain and I go to many places and choose to stay…lets say africa or asia or whatever…am I not going to be in trouble for not going back to my country when my ticket said?… Thanks and have a beautiful days!

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Cami – It all depends on the country. Every country has different rules for travelers of different nationalities…sometimes you can stay one month, sometimes three months, sometimes more…you have to look up the visa rules for each country you want to visit. But if you get a job there, you would usually get a work permit through the company or organization that you are working for and this would allow you to stay longer in the country while you are working.

      But there isn’t anything wrong with staying away from your country for a long time…you don’t have to go back at all if you don’t want…you won’t get in trouble if you stay away for a while 🙂

      1. Cami

        Thanks 4 ur reply! I’m really looking forwards to do this. I’m going to the Mediterranean/middle east in may-june it may be an option not to come back….! we’ll see

        Best of luck and succes!!!

  88. Bart

    Thanks for a great summary Earl!
    I love your lifestyle of constant traveling, but am wondering whether you have some “home base” from which you set out for new adventures?
    I looked at certain years and mostly trips which you list don’t sum up to 12 months in every year (e.g. in 2010 you spent 6 months traveling around the Middle East, Australia and Southeast Asia, where did you live the other 6 months?).

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Bart – Yes, I have had certain ‘bases’ from time to time. I used Mexico as a base for a couple of years and I’ve been using Bucharest, Romania as my base for the past 3 years.

      1. Bart

        Thanks for the answer Earl!
        Were you renting house there long term and eventually subleased it when you were out traveling or did you depend on short term accomodations wherever you came back to your “base”?

        Also, could you explain how did you manage to stay in Mexico/Romania for so long from the legal perspective? Did you establish there some kind of residency or everything was on tourist visa and you just had to get out of country before it expired?


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  90. Smritilekha C

    This is so very impressive, Earl. I just want to know, how can I work in a Cruise Ship? Do I need any special training? I’m from India, by the way…

    1. Wandering Earl

      In general, you would need a university degree and a CV that convinces the cruise line that you would be a great crew member. Of course, if you have some good experience in any job that would be a good match for a position on a ship, that definitely helps too!

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  92. Pauline

    Wow that’s impressive! You have lived so many adventures!
    I am only at the beginning of my travels (or I hope so!) I travled 4 months in Asia and then worked in Australia for 10 months, and I am now traveling in New-Zealand, before coming back home, for a few months only I hope, to find a job and get enough money to go to South America. I just hope to find a job quickly so that I can keep on traveling and working abroad again!
    I created a blog about people who left everything to work abroad and live their life differently, I would love to hear from you!
    Happy new Year!

  93. don

    hi Earl, great stuff you have here. I’m planning to go to thailand alone next year. I’ve never traveled alone and not more than 5 days. I would like to try a month long, but I can’t due to job responsibilities. I’m a young web developer and busy preparing myself to earn even when I’m out the country. Anyway I’m scared to travel alone, do you have any advice for me?

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  95. Drew

    Hey Earl!
    First off I just want to say Thanks!
    I have always wanted to travel the world and this blog is a huge inspiration to make that dream a reality. I have a a question for you as I’m beginning to plan this journey.

    What paperwork will I need traveling between countries?

    Also where would you recommend starting out in the France/Germany/Great Britian areas? I’d like to if possible maybe rent an apt central to these locations for my first 3-4 months.
    Thanks again and Happy Travels!

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Drew – You’ll need a passport and then it depends on the country you visit as to whether or not you need a tourist visa to get in. You need to check the US State Department website that lists every country in the world and what the requirements are for US Citizens to get in.

      As for where to start out, that’s for you to decide 🙂 You should start out in the part of the world that excites you the most and where you really can’t wait to explore. Starting anywhere else wouldn’t make much sense!

  96. Tiffany


    I’m a 37 year old female whom has a son that will be starting college this coming August 2015.

    It has always been my dream to live as you are once my son went to college and this coming year will be my very first chance.

    I want to travel to the Middle East. I will be a solo female traveler for one year. I will have about 1500 in USD income per month coming in and would love to work as to get to know people and emmerge myself into where I will be living. However, I want the flexibility to also wander about during this year. What sorts of jobs are available for an English only speaking woman in the Middle East. Although, I do plan to dig in and start learning a bit of the language before I go.

    Do you think that garented income would be enough for me to live on Mon nthly and where would it be most beneficial for me to live. Also, what type of place would I be looking to live in? Do I rent? I’m not looking to live glamorously just wanting to be safe and make it somewhat homey.

    Also, are you able to bring an animal with you?

    Your blog has been a great sort of relief from the naysayers whom think I’m crazy for wanting to spend the my remaining days as a gypsy around this great big world.

    Any response and/or direction would b of great help;

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Tiffany – Thanks for the comment and to be honest, right now, there aren’t too many options for the Middle East due to safety reasons. As an English speaker, your main option is going to be teaching English and right now you could look at Turkey, Dubai, Jordan, Bahrain, Qatar perhaps…in some of those places such as UAE and Qatar, $1500 might not be enough but for the others, it could work if you kept a budget. For a place to live, it depends on where you go…you need to narrow it down to a specific town/city first in order to figure that out 🙂

      And as for an animal…you might be able to bring one with you but it will be a hassle (getting the papers for it to cross borders is often not easy and can be expensive) and you’ll probably have to pay more for accommodation since many places don’t want pets. So that would really add hassle and money to your trip.

      1. Tiffany


        Thank you for the time you have taken to reply. To be honest, I’ve thought about this for a long time and I always seen in myself in my head living in Morocco. I fancy myself a writer/artist and the daydreaming of having my William S. Burroughs’s moment is one of my favorite past times. Plus, I have researched a bit and find the culture to be one of interest. And, after much thought, I feel like in a year I could visit and spend time in the Middle Eastern places I desire to travel to due to my faith.

        Any thoughts or suggestions in reference to my previous questions concerning Morocco. I just stumbled upon your site yesterday and haven’t gotten to dig into it deeply yet, as I’m sure it’s going to be one of great help and resource as I plan over the next 10 months;) So, if you have wrote about it, sorry to make you repeat yourself, a link would be great as well;) I hope I don’t become a pest, but I’m determined to do this and I want to do it right;)

        Thanks a bunch and Btw, Bill (AKA: The Secret Service In a past Life or so he thinks, watch dog, I am kinda determine joins me because I think he might die from heartache if he doesn’t) is going to be very upset about him potentially to having to join the kid at college and/or having an extended stay with Grandma;)

        1. Wandering Earl

          Hey Tiffany – I haven’t been to Morocco unfortunately so I don’t have much information to share about renting a place there or about bringing in an animal. As for the $1500 per month, that should be more than enough to live in Morocco…but if you plan to travel to other parts of the Middle East at times, you might need a little more simply due to transportation costs as Morocco is quite far from the other countries I’m assuming you would want to visit.

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Miguel – I don’t think about it too often actually. My theory is that if I wake up tomorrow and decide that it’s time for me to end this journey, that’s what I’ll do. But until that happens, I plan to keep on going!

  97. Colin

    Hey Earl, thanks for all the great information your site provides. Just wondering if your product “live a life of travel” would have much benefit for someone in my situation?

    I traveled pretty consistently for about 3 years so I know the ins and out of this lifestyle. The piece that eludes me is financial sustainability. I’ve tried a handful of things, constantly looking for new ideas… is there much in that product beyond ESL teaching, cruise ships, blog/internet marketing ? If not can you point me in the direction of some resources which might be helpful?

    Many thanks

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Colin – Yes, there is more to it than that…as financial stability is probably the main challenge that keeps people from traveling, that is something that I tackle in depth in this book!

  98. cory

    Cheers to a great post man! I’m departing for hopefully many years of travel next year. Just waiting for some medical crap to be sorted out. Do you buy all one way tickets or round trip?

      1. gunner

        hi wandering earl. i am a 13 year old boy who loves to travel which led me to your page. and to be honest i envy your way of life and i want to do similar things with mine. however i still have a while to go before i should worry about this but what led you to the beginning of your travels. i am trying to ask what should i consider studding to get three? also how many other languages do you know and how did you get so good at them?

        1. Wandering Earl

          Hey Gunner – You should study what interests and excites you the most, otherwise, just like with anything, you won’t enjoy what you do. And the good news is that these days, just about anything you study can be transformed into some kind of job opportunity that allows you to travel. So you don’t need to be stuck studying something that you don’t really want to study, just for the sake of it. As for languages, I speak Spanish decently and then a little bit of several languages…but, in my opinion, the only way to get good at them is to use them every day, all day by living in a country where that language is spoken. You’ll learn much faster this way.

  99. Gary

    I wish I had the courage to do that when I was younger. Bravo!

    Now I am near the age of 50 with a heck of a nest egg saved up, and soon I will be semi-retired and a full time self employed travelling blogger myself.

    Do you mind if I ask what your e-book topics were? You are an inspiration. 🙂

  100. Lauren

    Hey there,

    I’m almost 29 years old and about 5.5 years deep into the real world workforce. Newly married and we are both more than ready to plan our escape, we say now or never! By the time we leave (hopefully in April 2015), we will have about $35,000 saved up and it’s just me and my husband. We are surfers, so we don’t need much to keep happy and we are going to cheap locales such as Mexico and Indonesia. What I’m mostly wondering, and maybe you’ve posted about this very thing, but did you just have all of your funds in one account and you relied on a single ATM card? I highly doubt it, but I also don’t know. I’m assuming credit cards are a bit of a double edged sword also. I don’t want to come back in way too much debt, however, my husband wants to keep his truck in CA so we will have car payments to worry about. The reason to keep the truck is we go to Baja all the time and Mexico is a stop on the world trip for sure. Anyway, so you never once ran out of money correct? We don’t plan to “work” while taking ~12 months off…we are open to opportunities to work, but don’t want to rely on finding work either. What are your thoughts on the issues of debt and dealing with some minor financial responsibilities while abroad? Also the specifics on “banking” while abroad. Thanks ahead of time!

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Lauren – Thanks for commenting and I use two bank accounts in the US, both of which don’t charge me any ATM fees when I withdraw money overseas from any ATM. So that makes it very easy. The same with credit cards…I have two and they don’t charge me any international fees either, and they earn me points that I can redeem for flights on various airlines as well.

      And that is correct, I have not run out of money at any time. As for debt, you just need to get organized and make a plan, to understand how much you need to pay each month, how much you have overall and how much you can spend on your travels as a result. I personally don’t get into debt so even with my credit cards, I pay them off every single month on time. And for banking abroad, it’s quite easy really. If you get a bank account and credit card that doesn’t have international fees, then there’s nothing to worry about at all.

      1. Lauren

        Alright! Signed up for Charles Schwab checking and a travel credit card with no fees, so I think I am sorted banking wise. Work end date is April 30th and I am counting down the days. My next question is in regards to technology that you have along with you. We plan to bring one laptop and one iphone. As well as a camera and a kindle. Is that sounding like an excessive amount of technology?? I’m not sure we need the laptop at all but wondering where you dump your photos along your travels?? Do you bring books with you to read or do you use a tablet, or do you find the time to even read? I never read now at home but asked for a kindle for Xmas in hopes to read more while traveling. Also do you only use wifi networks as you find them or do you have one of those portable wifi hotspots? Next I plan to research the blogging aspect to see if there’s any way to make money while abroad. Thanks ahead of time for any information!

        1. Wandering Earl

          Hey Lauren – Sounds like you’re on your way! As for technology, you should just bring what you think you need….I have a laptop, camera, phone and kindle and that works well for me. Everyone is different, there is no right or wrong amount of technology to carry, just whatever suits you. I do read on my kindle but again, whether or not you have time to read will depend on how you travel…it’s hard for me to tell you that 🙂

          For Wifi, there is wifi in many places so it’s never a problem but I also travel with a portable device on some trips, especially because I need to be online for work. And with the blogging, keep in mind that it’s not possible to just create a blog and start earning money…in fact, it’s a poor way to earn an income because it takes a lot of time (many months to years) to create the kind of audience and traffic you need to earn anything. A lot of people start blogs thinking it will be a quick way to earn money but most of those people end up abandoning their blog before long because it’s a lot harder than one might think.

          1. Lauren

            Thanks Earl!
            Can you tell me which brand of portable wifi device you use? I found a pay as you go device (Karma) but it is National only I think. Do you have an unlocked cell phone? Or do you have a cell phone plan? I have been told that unlocking your phone is the way to go, but maybe there are reasonable international plans out there?

            Since you have a laptop, do you regularly upload your photos to your hard drive? I would be so fearful of losing the photos to theft or something like that. An external hard drive might be the solution to that, but not sure?

            I completely understand what you are saying about the misleading idea of making money from a blog. I know it’s a lot more than just typing up a little blurb and magically making money. But I recall something you mentioned about affiliations or something and I am just going to start researching it. I won’t be banking on anything blog related, it’s just an interesting concept. I’d like to think my husband and I are unique, but who knows. I haven’t really seen any travel blogs geared towards traveling surfer couples 😉

  101. Jordan

    Hello sally,
    I am from India. If you want any guidance I can help you. Basically it depends on what you like to visit like historical places, beaches, religion places or mountain places. If you need any help, i ll help you. In some cities it is not safe to travel after 9.00 pm. Decide what you like so I can give you proper suggestions 🙂

  102. Kath

    Hi Earl,

    Hope you could pay a visit to my country Philippines 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your life experiences with your readers..

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Chloe – I’ve used a variety of methods over the years. When I first started, I had other websites promoting various products in certain niches, sometimes eBook or digital products found on Clickbank. I basically used to get started and can highly recommend their free lessons.

  103. Baguio

    Hi There Earl,

    Thanks for being open on how you are getting revenue to fund your travels. I hope it’s OK for you to share with us what types of ebooks are you selling online and how it is generating income? I too am very interested to do what you do.

  104. Rawn Awrk

    Hi Earl, which one is better… negotiating with current employer for location independent work style for a steady paycheck or trying make a way of earning on the go by freelancing (more uncertainty probably)? Which one would you prefer if you are asked to choose one?

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Rawn – There is no better option…it all depends on each person’s circumstances, skills and knowledge and which option would be more feasible for that individual.

      1. Rawn Awrk

        My question was more like which one will facilitate my Long term travel more if I had both option open… committed to a job may have some strings attached like having internet connectivity during the working hours but I won’t be as worried about my expenses and income. On the other hand independent income plan will help to move wherever I want for a arbitrary period of time yet I may always thinking about my purse and anxious about ways of earning. Both of the ways may work out for a long term traveler but from a Peace of mind perspective during travel which one will be more favorable?

        1. Wandering Earl

          Hey Rawn – Again, that’s not something I can answer for another person. Everyone’s idea of peace of mind is completely different. Some people would be happier having that stable income and giving up some of the freedom while others would only be happier working independently and having no restrictions as a result, while having to work a little harder to get the income coming in. I’m sure the ‘best’ way is different for every person…I know some people who prefer each option. For me personally, I naturally prefer working independently but that’s probably because that’s what I’ve been doing. If things worked out differently and I worked remotely for a company, I might prefer that option too.

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  106. Nathaniel

    Hey mate. Just stumbled on your site and am kind of in the same boat. But, mine is a bit different story.

    I decided to live in Japan a couple of years while using a military college benefit to go to a language school here. So I have a steady (low, but enough) income through that, and am working my way to being fluent in japanese as well as working on computer programming.

    In all, it doesn’t take much to travel. There are a lot of opportunities out there to support yourself. In Japan alone, you could possibly find someone with a farm to help out on for room and board!

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  108. Fiona

    Hi Earl!

    So this has got my travelling bug up and alive again, I have traveled to South Africa: St Lucia, then Swaziland and up to Mozambique, however I felt slightly ripped off by the tour group I went with. I am now thinking of travelling to South America with my partner, is there anywhere that you would suggest we should go in particular/any tips about budgeting, or planning the trip ourselves?

    You are incredibly inspiring,

    Kind regards,


    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Fiona – Thanks for commenting and to answer your questions, it’s hard for me to say. I recommend going to the places that inspire and excite you! Do some research of what there is to do and see in South America and just see what stands out as the most interesting experiences for the both of you, because what one person enjoys might not be what another traveler enjoys. And as for budgeting, just come up with an idea of how much you want to spend each month and start researching how much things cost in the countries you want to visit – accommodation, transportation, local meals, entrance fees, etc. Then you’ll be able to see if and how you can ensure that you stay within your budget. Wishing you a wonderful trip to S. America!

  109. Jhessye Moore

    Hey Early, this is beyond inspiring. It about making opportunities to do what you love. I am in the midst of wanderlust by taking a job in Colorado soon where I will save up money and continue a nomadic journey. Thanks so much for laying all this out. Your story reminds me of nomadic matt and how he wants to help people travel again. Cheers.

  110. sally

    I am planning to Travel to India soon , Can you please tell me where is the best place to shop there and where is the best cheap/clean hotel to stay at ? I wanted to ask you too if its safe for me as a lady to travel there alone you know we hear a lot about rape stories there . Thank you Earl and always keep us updated !

    1. Ping

      Hi, Sally. We had been to Kerala in India, a much cleaner and safer place. Most of the people in Kerala are English educated and are friendly. Munnar is also a nice place. For a solo lady traveller, it’s better you go through an Agent while going there though.

  111. Ollie

    I believe I have met you! When you were working on the queen Mary 2, I went to the Caribbean from New York to see st Lucia st kitts etc… And met a guy very much like you! Thought ‘he seems pretty cool’ and here I am reading an article on your life traveling! Haha
    Very inspired! I will be doing this next year (a 3 month trip to Asia)
    Thanks for the article man!!!

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Ollie – That’s too funny and I was definitely on board for plenty of Caribbean cruises and was in St. Lucia and St. Kitts all the time! I wonder if it was me! And that’s excellent that you’ll be doing this next year…who knows where that will lead!

  112. Sigurdur Bjorgvinsson @redheadexplorer

    I love your post Earl,

    This post is very inspiring and hopefully I can become a full time travel blogger. It must have been amazing to work on a cruise line and teaching English abroad is something that I really want to do, but I am having difficulties finding a job as English teacher since everywhere I have looked they only want native born English people. Since i am from Iceland they will not consider me even though I have lived 5 years in the U.S.

    Thanks for this great post, it has really helped me to gain some insight in the life of a full time travel blogger.

    Best of luck with your future travels.

  113. Oscar Hinojosa

    Very inspiring! Im actually starting to do something like what you have done all these years but while doing it im building a steady stream of income (residual income) through network marketing to pay for all my expenses. I hope to have a great story to tell, like yours in a near future. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Kelly – There are plenty of couples out there doing just this…check out and to get started!

  114. Alan

    Hi, Earl:

    Amazing stories about your travels. I am officially jealous now! I wish I’d discovered this back when I was young. But that opportunity has passed now, although I do believe that it’s never too late. I am 55 years old, with numerous health issues that must be monitored with doctor visits about every three months. I use Medicare/Medicaid, and Social Security to survive now. My questions would be (1) How do you deal with USA taxes? And (2) What type of insurance do you use to travel abroad? And (3) Is there a USA law requiring you to come home every so often? If so, how often? With my limited income, I am afraid I won’t be able to afford the insurance, since my prescription drugs are SOOO expensive. But, if I could travel, I certainly would! It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to visit Europe, North Africa, Greece, Eastern Europe, Russia, Germany, Australia, and many other locales. I have a BFA in Fine Art, and can speak several languages rudimentarily (German, Russian, Spanish.) What would you do if you were in my position? Do you think a person could overcome these challenges? I’m a big believer in finding ways to make things work, and your website and info has given me a flicker of hope now. Anything you could respond with would be greatly appreciated! Thanks, and I hope you’re getting along well after your bout with Dengue Fever!

    Alan Neal

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Alan – Thanks for the comment and here are my answers to your questions.

      1. I pay taxes just as if I was living in the US.
      2. I have private health insurance in the US that covers 50% of my medical expenses overseas if anything happens.
      3. No law exists at all…you can stay away for as long as you want and you still maintain your citizenship.

      As for what I would do in your position, that’s obviously difficult for me to say. I guess would do some research, see how much my expenses would be, look at what kind of income I could have coming in and also try and find new ways to earn additional money. And then I would be able to make a more informed decision as to whether or not this lifestyle was possible. With that said, I’m a firm believer that anything is possible if you stay truly focused on your goal!

  115. Karen

    Hi Susan!

    It sounds as if our stories might be pretty similar! I live in Ohio right now, and although I am raising the last of my four boys, I have the goal of teaching abroad once I get him into college, or off into his life! I’d be very interested in following your story! Of course I’m jealous that you are way ahead of me!!


  116. Karen

    Hi again Earl,

    As you can see I’m stalking around your site, and picking up delicious tidbits of information! I am currently raising the last of my four sons waiting for the time to come to step out on my journey! I am finishing up my Masters degree in education, and acquiring my TESOL certification to apply for teaching jobs overseas. I’d like to spend time in a local area and take my time getting to know the place, so I thought a teaching job would be perfect for me!

  117. Susan Shaw

    I love your story. I am planning to do this myself next summer. I am in my 40’s I have raised three beautiful sons and now I am selling and gifting what I no longer to need to make my dream a reality.
    My question is as a US citizen you are required to pay taxes when working abroad have you given up your citizenship or how are you handling this with your journey?

    Thank you for your story it is inspiring!

    Susan from TN

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Susan – I simply pay US taxes just as I am required to do. There is no difference if I am living abroad or not, it’s as if I am living in the US when it comes to taxes.

  118. Bill

    Oh man you are living my dream.Sorry if you already mentioned it but did you have a particular degree to allow you to become an English teacher and/or cruise ship member?

  119. Hanne Hellvik

    Hi Earl! Thank you so much for sharing! Great post! I have travelled for five years, without much money in my account either, once using only 90 USD for a 3 months stay in India. So I certainly agree that it is possible! Looking forward to read more about for travels and tips! Cheers!

  120. Robert

    Awesome post man! Thanks for going into detail about your finances. This will show readers how affordable it can be to live on the road. I always tell people to just put themselves out there, build up good karma and life will always provide for you. Finding a career path that allows you to travel is always the best way to go though. Well, thanks again. I’ll look into your other posts in the future. Please check out my blog.

  121. Hank

    Not wanting kids or a house is the essential requirement for a life of travel. For many people these are necessities in life, but your life is yours and you get to choose what you value most. The world is way too fascinating to pass up.

    I’m in my 20s and by no means have a wild life of traveling. Many people think I do, however, since I enjoy visiting national parks and wilderness areas, plus taking road trips. Saving money is easy. I have a lousy phone & plan, an old car, I don’t eat out too often, and I have no cable TV.

    Avoiding the 40 hour work week and having a freelance job is my dream. In the meantime, I’ll be saving money at my current job and anticipate the possibility of an adventure. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. You shouldn’t wonder why you can’t travel when you already have kids at home, or cannot live without an iphone.

  122. David G

    You are basically living my dream..
    I have always loved travel throughout my life, but my dad never took me to get a passport, instead we traveled to most of the U.S. I have since joined the Navy, because I fell into the societal expectation of “hard work,” in order to get a good job. I want to get out of the Navy so badly, as I now have saved more than enough to travel, and people just don’t understand why I don’t want to wait until I’m in my 40’s or later to travel…

    A few questions:
    1. Did you take a TEFL or some other course in order to teach English?
    2. Was there any sense of job satisfaction from working with cruise lines, or was it crappy work that enabled you to travel?
    3. If you could do it all over again, is there anything that you would have done at the start?

    Good luck on continuing your travels,
    -David 🙂

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey David – Thanks for commenting! As for your questions, I did not take a TEFL course. And yes, there was job satisfaction while working on the cruise ships, much more than I ever would have imagined. And I’m not too sure what I would have don’t differently or at the start…I would say that I would pretty much have kept things the same.

  123. Jamie

    Hi, I was just wondering what your education background is/was before traveling. You mention teaching english in foreign countries and being a manager on cruise lines, etc. Do you have a degree that helped you get those positions? In your experience, would you say this lifestyle is still something that would be possible without going to college? Thanks 🙂

  124. A.K.

    How exactly do you acquire a passport and visa if you don’t have a permanent address just curious you see I want a life of travel but am wondering how you would acquire those things without a permanent home

  125. Mari

    Hi Earl!

    This post really inspired me to do what I’ve always wanted to do since years ago which is Travel the world. I’ve traveled to 24 countries and counting, but have not yet achieved the “nomad” lifestyle. I currently live in Playa del Carmen (I am Mexican) and am saving up with my very poorly paid job to finally start doing exactly what I love most, which is traveling. If you’re in Playa or are coming back anytime soon I would love meeting up and getting to know your story a little better 🙂 I plan on starting my travels in late 2015 or early 2016 as an official nomad! I couldn’t be more excited looking forward to what’s to come! THank you so so so much!


  126. Janice Stringer

    Hi Earl,
    I’m coming into travel a little later in life – with a full blown grown up family at home. Trying to find a way that works – sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. I’ll keep plugging away and then maybe those who have a desire to get up and get going later in life/with commitments and a family can find a way too!

  127. Brian

    I’m 16 and love travelling although I haven’t done much first over seas trip later this year. This has really inspired to maybe pursue this life as I really hate school even though I’m doing alright. I came across this on stumble upon and will read some more blogs. Thanks for the inspiration 🙂


    You bewitched me dude! how far miles you have done on your life’s path. I’m just shocked by what all I remind me of something that I had familirly got experienced… litt money and big goals to be achieved.. since 2009. I been travelling with too few cash on my road. I was born rumbling and nomadic man just like you dude.. I started my trip in Czech republic.. my travel was never lasting but i just gave a short pause. I worked as freelancer translator just to earn my life. I have spent more than 5,000$ I guess.I went to Uganda and Kenya. I enjoyed a lot. Now, I tell myself that I never felt regret on which i done. Keep going man, go ahead. I’m wishing to be your tripmate in any event.
    That’s my facbook. Please add :

    so long,


  129. Diane

    Do you have any links or examples that you can refer me to of people living this type of lifestyle with children? I have already started researching issues on my own, such as alternative means of education, but being in contact with others that have already done it or are presently doing it would be nice. I realize that there would be many differences, but I would love a life of travel with my children.

  130. Lou

    Hey there

    I recently came across your site when searching for information about working aboard cruise ships. Having travelled on the QM2 a couple of times I figured I’d found the right site when I clicked on the link!

    My husband and I live in Guernsey in the Channel Islands (worth a visit if you’re ever this way – we’d be happy to show you around!) and we travel as much as possible in between working commitments. Right now we’re on a three year plan to save as much money as possible before setting off to travel for as long as our funds will allow.

    I was wondering – what did you make of cruise ship work and how did you get into it? We’ve heard so many stories about it being very difficult to gain employment aboard cruise ships in certain areas. We’ve also heard that the money is dreadful and that you don’t really get chance to enjoy the places you visit, although with regards to money it sounds like you did okay! What are your thoughts on this?

    Is it a friendly atmosphere on board? We’re not shy of hard work and understand that you generally work 10-12 hours per day, 7 days per week whilst at sea. We’re not phased by that but I’d be concerned about signing a contract only to realise it’s not a nice place to work once you’re on board.

    Anyhow, if you have the time we’d welcome your thoughts – we’re just starting to build our own travel blog with details of our experiences, although it’ll really just be a diary log for us to refer to so don’t expect to see an income stream from it at any point.

    Good luck with the site – I’ve signed up and continue to look forward to your posts! I think it’s inspiring how you’ve managed to travel so long, although it’s clear from this post that it has taken a lot of time and hard work on your part, so congratulations to you for making your own way and working towards the lifestyle you want – that’s my plan someday 🙂


  131. Anna

    Inspirational! You have so much respect from me.. first off from working on cruise ships (I have been working as a flight attendant, so kinda similar.. and it can be pretty hard work!) and also for earning sales of your e-books, I’m trying to get into some freelancing work as writing is my passion & I can’t wait to get traveling permanently! You are definitely living my dream.. and inspiring me!

  132. carlaloo

    That’s good! Well then, I am looking forward for that adventure. I hope you can write an article about it too!

    More adventures Earl! 🙂

  133. carlaloo

    Very inspiring. I want to be like you; adventurer/traveler.

    I love traveling too but I think you haven’t visited the most beautiful places like I did haha just kidding. Well then, I am inviting you to visit the Philippines, most especially Palawan, if you want to see a paradise. 🙂

  134. Molly

    Really inspiring journey, thanks for sharing! I’ve been abroad for the past year and am ready to set off again back to Asia! Some people think I’m absurd and “haven’t you had enough adventure yet?” but it’s quite a rewarding experience.

    Question regarding teaching abroad – it seems like many places have minimum commitments and/or teaching certificate requirements. How did you deal with these issues? Thanks!

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Molly – That is true that some places have certain requirements but there are definitely plenty that don’t, so if you don’t have a certificate, just keep searching until you find the opportunities that don’t require one. You’ll find opportunities for sure!

  135. Peter Thomas

    I admire your constant travel around the world but for me it is just a dream. I’m earning just a under $500 per month. It would be a tremendous task for me to save up money just to travel. This $500 per month is what I get from living in an under developed country.

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  137. Nomad Revelations

    Back home people spend money in many things they don’t need and that they don’t even realize. I used to tell my friend that the money they spend monthly going to party on Friday and Saturday night + packs of cigarettes , would give them enough money to travel every 4 or 5 months. easy! bon voyage!

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  139. Paul

    Hey I just started reading your blogs and I have a a couple of questions. Do you think its a good idea to travel with a pack of 4-5 people? we plan on a 2-3 year trip. What things should we be ready for? Where should we start?

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Paul – In my opinion, traveling with so many people causes many issues. The main thing is that everyone will want to do their own thing, some people will want to go to one town and some to another and in the end, it won’t be as smooth as when you travel on your own or with 1 other person. I can tell you that if 4-5 people travel together, there’s a very small chance that you will all stay together for 2-3 years. It might last for a month and then you’ll go your separate ways. But there’s nothing wrong with that in the end.

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  141. aaron

    Great break down earl, just goes to show if you cut down on your expenses you can travel for extended periods of time without killing your bank account. You’ve certainly done well to answer those that think you need to be rich to constantly travel. Great article and a fantstic website, keep up the good work. See you on the road!

  142. April Sommers

    Hi, I’ve traveled a bit in my life, but I usually stay in one place for a few years, working there, but now I’ve had enough of being in Israel for 3 years and want to go back home. I’ve heard of the beauty of SE Asia and other places, but do you have to get a lot of vaccinations and take antimalarial drugs. There’s so much disease in a lot of these countries. Have fun.

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey April – Those are all personal decisions but you don’t HAVE to do anything. You just need to do your research and decide if getting vaccinations or taking antimalarial drugs are for you. I personally don’t take anti-malarial drugs and I have only a few basic vaccinations, ones that are advisable to get no matter where in the world you travel.

      1. Mario

        I haven’t even taken vaccinations and seeing my friend getting really messed up from it, I’m gonna leave it that way. I think using a common sense while eating and drinking is much better prevention against diseases than chemicals. Just my two cents. Cheers 🙂

  143. Jess

    This is amazing. The timeline puts things in perspective and gives a clearer picture of how this is all possible. I’ve been traveling more and more every year and am slowly figuring out the in and outs like you did in the beginning. I’m looking forward to seeing the world. Thanks for this!

  144. Misha

    I think this is the most inspiring post I have ever read online!
    Good job and congratulations on having courage to take chances in your hands 🙂
    True inspiration for me.
    Keep on 😉

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  148. kartick

    Hi Earl,
    u just inspire me …….. its my dream to travel around the world as traveler photographer …….. but as a Indian we have to face all family drama …. job then marriage and so on …….. but ur blog really help me ……….change my thought i think to travel we need money a lot but u had change that thought …….. soon i ll be also travel like u ………. hope that day come soon , once again thanks a lot……….

  149. Joyce Pak

    I love this post! It is a great source of inspiration to travel! I truly believe in traveling for any budget, and this encourages me to continue traveling even if I have a busy full-time career. 🙂 Thanks for sharing, it was very useful and informative!

  150. Jon @ jonistravelling

    Great post, you obviously decided this is the lifestyle you wanted and did what you needed to make it happen. I’ve been living abroad/travelling for nearly 4 years now (funded by teaching English) and I can’t see it ending anytime soon!

  151. Amanda

    Hi Earl… It’s me again 🙂

    I was wondering… the list you posted seems great if you’re single… but what if you’re half of a couple? Do you think it would be possible for a couple to achieve this near-constant traveling, or is it truly best suited for the individual, as it seems to appear?


    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Amanda – There are many couples out there doing just this! Check out,,…and that’s just a few of the many couples making this lifestyle a reality.

    1. Wandering Earl

      Thanks Hugo. I’ve been to Argentina before actually, not sure when I’ll get back there again but I’m sure it will happen.

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  153. Larry

    What sort of health insurance coverage do you have, or how have you handled health care needs overseas? Also, are you putting away something for retirement, or with this lifestyle do you see no need to retire?

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Larry – I have private health insurance from the US and at times, I also purchase travel insurance depending on where I’m headed. And yes, I do save money, I’ve always saved money since I first started working, regardless of the job I was doing.

  154. Adam

    Thanks for sharing your success story in such details 😉 I would say it is a bit easier for native speakers with teaching English here and there to get things rollin, but i still think the online is what gave you the opportunity to really enjoy this nomadic lifestyle.

    Thumbs up, great story and huge respect for what you have already done. Good luck and happy travells 😉

  155. Jack

    Hi. Just curious how you are able to manage work visas for jobs that are only a month or two long? Or even temporary jobs?

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Jack – I’m not sure if you read this post correctly. First, as stated in my post on teaching English in Thailand, I taught informally and I did not have a work visa for that. After that, I volunteered (which does not require a work visa) and I also worked on board cruise ships, which, once again, does not require a work visa. There is nothing on my list above that actually required a work visa at all.

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  158. Sierra

    I love the timeline and I wish more blogs did this! It makes it so much easier to mentally piece together how exactly things worked and gives a much clearer picture than a blanket statement like “bring $10,000.” Thanks!

  159. Alexander

    Hey Esrl,
    thanks very much for sharing your experiences!
    That is a very impressing timeline! You are too modest: your success is not only a matter of courage but also a question of flexibility and I of the ability to cope with all kinds of people.

  160. Sean

    Hey Earl,
    I just graduated college and recently booked a flight to bogota, Colombia to travel South America. I originally was only going to go for a month and a half, but I heard from a friend about your blog. It completely inspired me to try and extend my stay and travel more extensively. I have four months before I leave and I’ve managed to save about 1,500 dollars so far. I haven’t done much planning yet other than contacting college students who are members of My dream is to travel the world, but I have no idea how to plan or make preparations for such a journey or fund continuous travel like you have done. I feel like it was no coincidence that I found your blog. If you have any pointers or advice, I would be forever grateful.

  161. Remy Planete Maneki

    Hi Earl,

    Thank you to share with us your traveller background, it’s the proof that with a lot of self-motivation, anybody could achieve awesome goals.

    I’m impressed, you never changed your mind during more than 10 years: you’re still travelled-focus. Earl, keep going, you are a very good source of motivation for us.

    Hope you’ll travel 10 years more 🙂

  162. Cornelis Susanto

    Hey ! I just found out ur blog today (in the middle of studying my freakin mid term test) , and all i can say is WOW ! Reading these inspiring you’ve been through makes me believe in myself more and more 😉 Anyway i just want to say that you should keep up the good work and wish all the best for your inspiring journey !

    Bless from Indonesia

  163. Phoebe

    I have a question..
    How easy is it to apply for a job to teach English?? Are you allowed to work (teach) without work permits or all that crap? :/

    They’re probably the most troublesome things ever: documents.

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Phoebe – It’s really not so difficult and there isn’t much in terms of ‘documents’ that would create any hassle. Just look at a website such as: and you’ll see listing all over the world. When you get hired, the school or language institute simply provides you with the paperwork needed to get the work permit. Quite easy.

  164. Brian

    This is a great post. It’s amazing how many people just don’t realize that it is doable to travel relatively inexpensively for long periods of time, especially people in the States. It just takes a little dedication and a leap of faith. Big time props to you for having the balls to make this happen and be open about how you’ve done it with others. You’re inspiring others, my friend.

  165. Nina

    Love this! You don’t have to be rich to travel… We have so many resources and opportunities in the world now. Take advantage people! Pretty much anyone can do it. Great and simple run down of your travels and earning Earl. Yay for making money AND traveling. <3

  166. Jonny Jenkins

    Great to get a little rundown of your streams of income over the years. Very interesting.

    Furthermore, it’s probably the only way to make sure that people understand that you don’t have some crazy trust fund set up somewhere…

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  169. Melissa Ross

    Thank you for you post Earl! I have been considering quitting my job and traveling for awhile as I have been doing a lot of traveling already, but have had many concerns financially on how that would all work (just like most people). Read quite a few blogs, but yours was quite helpful in putting it a bit more in perspective! I look forward towards reading more of your posts – Enjoy your adventures!! 🙂

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Melissa – It takes some planning but it’s quite possible to achieve. There’s some great opportunities out there to earn some money overseas!

  170. Annie Craven

    Thanks for sharing your tips for travelling! I am an avid traveller myself and it’s always interesting to see how others do it and manage to have money. In all honesty, as a traveller you never really have any money, it’s all about the experiences gained from the places you’ve been and the people you meet.
    I am definitely going to use some of your secrets.

  171. Will

    Your story is inspirational and I didn’t discover my passion of wanting to travel the world until recently. Reading this blog has only made me more informative but excited about one day (hopefully soon) taking off and seeing the world.

    Although I read through lots of your posts I still fear taking that next step. I have more money than when you left home but I don’t have a College education or much work experience other than retail. Cruise jobs interests me a lot! Like everyone, I’m worried about the Visa laws and the ability to sustain work for constant travels.

  172. Heather

    Congrats on the awesome life style!
    reality is what you make it right?

    i wish to achieve something similar to what you have done.
    continue on continuing on 🙂

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    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Allie – It all depends on where you are traveling but there are endless resources online these days to find places to stay ( / / etc.) and also to try and find work. Once you narrow down the destination you want to visit, it makes it easier to narrow down the search for these things too.

  174. Nicole Thomsen

    Hi Earl,
    I have been following your travels for almost a year now and I’m always amazed when I read your post. I read a lot of your posts before my boyfriend and I decided to travel around the world, you really inspired us. I started a blog not so long ago (we have been travelling for 3 months now) and for the subject about saving money while travelling/ how people can keep on travelling, I wrote a post about housesitting, have you done that before?
    Here is my link:

    Kind regards
    Nicole Thomsen

    Ps my boyfriend and I are thinking about trying a guide tour with you. But I will write you when we have decided 🙂

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Nicole – I personally haven’t really done any official housesitting but I certainly know many travelers that do, and it’s a great option. And I shall look forward to your message about my tours whenever you decide!

  175. jaime

    Hey earl, you have an interesting post, the cruise job in particular, i have a question, take in account i’m from a 3rd world country …..
    did you ever had to apply an immigration form to work and live legally for more than 3 months in any of the country’s you worked in?

  176. sarah

    I see you spent quite a bit of time in middle eastern areas, thailand and india, was there a particular reason for this or were these some of your favorite areas? I wanted to get out of the military and travel atleast a year, but I wasn’t sure if I had enough money. It sounds like you made it with very little and I could too!

    I would definetly love to go to India, Thailand, Indonesia etc though, they have always fascinated me most.

    Anything you’d comment on that?

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Sarah – There are countries all over the world that I’ve loved but some that I enjoy returning to over and over again. As for going to India, Thailand and Indonesia, all I can say is, why not? They are all wonderful destinations and I’m confident you would have some truly amazing experiences in those parts.

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Lisa – I did have student loan debt when I started traveling. I simply deferred the payments until I was earning an income, which happened to be on board cruise ships. And that experience allowed me to pay off the debt each month and still save money at the same time.

  177. rachel smith

    Thanks for your sharing here and congrats you found a balance between travel and living.
    But you must be a native speaker to teach English at foreign country right ?

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Rachel – That certainly does help but I do know of some non-native speakers who have managed to get teaching jobs too. Also, English is not the only language people are looking to learn so no matter what a person’s native language might be, there might be people looking for instruction!

  178. Brijesh Amin

    Hi Earl,

    First of all thank you for doing this wonderful act of sharing your knowledge and experience with others. I wonder how do you manage to reply to so many posts?

    By the way, it may sound strange but I started working as a freelancer starting around Jan 2012. It was to overcome depression and divert my energy. I was and I am still continuing with my regular job but want to move to full time freelancing. The only problem I am facing is fear. Fear of what if things do not go right and I am not able to earn enough. What should I do to overcome such fear? The economic condition around the world is adding to such fear.

    Thanks for your time.

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Brijesh – My advice to overcome such fear is to think about what is the worst case scenario? What if you try to move to full time freelancing and it doesn’t work out? Well, you’ll have to go back and get another full time job, which in the end, isn’t the end of the world. And if you have confidence in yourself and you are determined to achieve your goals, then you should take the step in the direction that you truly want.

  179. Molly

    Of course the bitc** one got posted! It was saying that I loved the way you mixed ‘real life’ jobs with those that every nomadic traveler does at some point (me included, pre kid) – teaching English, etc. – and that I sent it to my son who wants to be a travel writer/photographer someday, it’s great inspiration.

    best, Molly

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Molly – Ha…that’s a good example of spam filters not being quite perfect! But I do thank you for the comment and if your son ever has any questions, just tell him to send me an email and I’ll help out as best I can.

  180. Molly

    I’m a bit insulted… I left a – very nice actually – comment here a few weeks ago and checked back as I sometimes do when bored to see if got a reply and my comment was not even posted. ? Do you ignore posters for some reason? Wondering why I wouldn’t have been deemed worthy to post (after taking the time to even bother), if that is what happened, as you moderate comments. Would love feedback. best, Molly

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Molly – Nothing to be insulted by at all. As long as a comment isn’t full of profanity, I approve it. However, sometimes, as is the case with any website, the spam filter labels normal comments as spam and that must have happened in this case. I don’t go through all the comments in my spam folder because it would take a long time. And I didn’t see your comment before so I’m sure that’s what happened. Feel free to post it again and I’ll keep an eye out for it.

  181. tommy


    I have some questions that you may have already made posts on or may have links to resources on and if so, please let me know of these. Otherwise I hope that you can answer these questions directly. My wife and I are in our mid 20’s with 2 young boys living the “American Dream” of work, debt, stress, work, more stress and really no freedom. We have started our journey to travel the world or at least move abroad for a more simple life that can be spent together. Currently we are just working on selling all of our stuff. I have not been able to find too many people that are doing what you do with kids, or if they do, they are not writing about it. I was wondering how many people whom you have met that are doing some form of what you do but with kids? My other question is about taxes and your citizenship status as an american. How does all that work with you always being in another country and not having a home address? Hope that all makes sense. Thanks

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Tommy – There are plenty of people out there traveling with kids, definitely no shortage. Some blogs to check out might include: / / / /

      As for taxes and citizenship, I’m still an american citizen no matter what and as a result, I pay taxes just as if I was back in the US. If you don’t have an address in the US and you are constantly moving around the world, not for work, you are considered an ‘itinerant’ in the eyes of the US government. And itinerants must pay taxes as normal. If you live in another country, then you might be able to have a good chunk of your income exempted from taxes but there are so many rules and regulations that it’s impossible to summarize here. It’s completely different depending on one’s situation.

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  183. Kar

    Hey Earl,

    Nice post, and congrats on finding a balance mean to travel and living.

    I was wondering, for individuals like myself, who want to travel – but also want to save money for the future, and possibly buy a house or other large investments, do you have any advice?

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Kar – Well, that’s exactly what I’m doing myself. Just because I travel and work overseas (or online) doesn’t mean that I’m not saving for the future as well. Many of the options for earning money are not just options that will put a few dollars in your pocket…there are plenty of ways to earn a full time income as well.

  184. Thomas

    Hi earl your story is awe inspiring I am going travelling with a friend all over Europe in 3 weeks time we hope to go for around 4 months. This will be my first time traveling properly do you have any tips on how we can make our trip last longer and tips on finding work out in the places thankyou 🙂

  185. Tom

    Hi Christie,

    I too am working on a blog but wont be starting it up till the end of my next adventures. I would be really interested to see how yours goes starting up so if you are looking for some followers let me know the address!


  186. Tom

    I totally agree with Earl, travelling isn’t a competition to see who can visit the most countries before they die, its about having the freedom to do what you want. Also, if you look to the top of this page you will notice that the number of countries he has visited is 86 at this stage, not a bad effort.

  187. Christie

    Hi Earl this is a very helpful timeline. I like the idea of just taking jobs when you need them. Makes for some interesting opportunities. I am working on a blog but I know it will take time and some serious adventure before it brings in any money. How long did it take for your online projects to bring in $1000 a month?


    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Christie – It’s not so much how long it took for a project to earn that much because I earned that much after starting several projects. So once I had a few projects working, I was able to earn $1000 per month. It took me a couple of years though to get all those projects underway!

  188. omesh

    Hi, Earl s,

    wonderful to know your life and abt the xperiences u share. I am in INdia and cant find the short term travelling and earning professions like travelling and being a local guide. could u suggest me how can i go ahead and fulfill my dream on working and getting some money with travel.

    see u buddy

  189. Scott

    We shouldn’t assume that everyone wants a wife and a family. Some people want to spend there life traveling and with the responsibility of those things it more often then not doesn’t happen. Kudos to you for following your dreams and being in the places you want to be.

  190. Josh

    Hey Earl,

    Just found your site as I was researching on how to earn money while traveling.
    In a little over a month I will leave Istanbul (I’m an American) after living here for 2 years following a hitchhiking trip circling the Black Sea on about $4000 I had saved teaching in Korea.

    I’m a bit anxious this time because I’ll be traveling from Istanbul to Spain by hitchhiking (with perhaps just $2000 max).
    I’d really like to get a travel/photography website up and running before I go. Did you develop this site on your own or did you get professional help with it?

    I’m hoping to do some house/pet -sitting, couchsurfing, volunteering…and of course several photo projects while I do this trip to help get me to where I’m going.

    This blog looks great and I’m getting a lot of helpful and supporting info for my own new journey coming up.


  191. stephen

    Ok Guy. I read your article. But I figured it out that your traveling style is just merely suited to the citizens of the rich western countries. Because at the begining when you ran out of your money, you always went back to the states to look for your short-term jobs. The things that you have worked on afterwards to support your journey and life may have been learned along your trips, therefore they are needless to consider. What I’m wanting to point out here is that the starting years of your nomadic journey were based on previleges as a citizen of a rich country, It’s not something that the normal citizens from the 2nd, 3rd worlds can do. I’m quite sure that you have witnessed that almost of travelers or nomads along your way are from the west.

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Stephen – Yes, it is of course easier for those from western countries to make this kind of lifestyle a reality, but with that said, I have met people from dozens and dozens of countries around the world, including developing countries, who have also created such a lifestyle. Right now I am in a cafe in Lviv, Ukraine, and sitting here with me are a Mexican, a Turkish citizen, another American and a guy from Ukraine, all of whom live the same kind of nomadic life. It might take extra effort but it’s still possible.

    2. Wandering Earl

      Hey Stephen – Yes, it is of course easier for those from western countries to make this kind of lifestyle a reality. I’m not claiming otherwise. But with that said, I have met people from dozens and dozens of countries around the world, including developing countries, who have also created such a lifestyle. Right now I am in a cafe in Lviv, Ukraine, and sitting here with me are a Mexican, a Turkish citizen, another American and a guy from Ukraine, all of whom live the same kind of nomadic life. I also received an email from a Nepali citizen this week who has managed to live a life of travel for several years. I have friends from Mexico, Romania, India, Thailand and Indonesia who also work online or have managed to find work around the world as they travel continuously. It might take extra effort for some but it’s still possible.

  192. Cycrazy Lickhart


    This is a great website and I am slightly jealous of all the things you have experienced. There is a part of me who would just love to take off and leave everything behind and be a nomad. But as life turned out I got married and had a daughter and nothing has been better than that in my whole life. Different strokes for different folks though. Your’e adventures sound like a blast.

  193. rafaela kelly

    Hey Earl..I have done some traveling -India, Thailand, US, and on..stopping the university to learn a bit more about this world diverse culture.Working in any kind of thing just to survive out there and have no finacial help from parents. And so, I realized I can’t stay still in just one place anymore. Thus, I came back to Brazil just to finish my graduation (for my parents) and started dreming about a nomad life. All this talking is just to let you know that after reading your blog I found out I’m not crazy cause of this idea – and if I am crazy, there are othe crazy people surviving it 😉 . My trip is about to start (Aug 13) and I only have a one way fly and an openmind. Maybe I will be the next ‘Earl’ 😛

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Rafaela – That’s excellent and I’m really happy for you! If traveling means we’re crazy, I’ll gladly accept it 🙂

      Do let us know how your adventure goes!

  194. Mike

    The biggest hurdle for most people: Debt. Get out of debt (or don’t get into debt to begin with) and you’re going to be much better off. I’m also thankful that my wife loves travelling and we’re planning on doing something similar in the future. Great site, by the way.

  195. Thomas

    i just came across your site and must admit it is by far the best lifestle i have ever seen…..i hope to take the leap some day and become a traveller like you …..and i have no idea how to find the courage to do that….

  196. Paige

    I hope hat one day I can take this leap. I’m not one for settling down, and being in one place too long makes me less than desirable to remain around. I also love traveling and am about to head back to Japan for an 11 month program.

    I’ve always wanted to just go out and travel, couch surf, camp it out, that kind of thing. As a young female though, I’ve always felt that perhaps doing such a thing alone is not the wisest, and though I’ve traveled to a few places on my own, there was always a guaranteed and controlled environment at the end of the day. I’d love to find a traveling partner at some point though, I’ve yet to find anyone who can handle being on the move as often as I would like.

    Maybe after I finish my degree and decide whether or not I’m going to grad school I’ll take that leap and head on out to the wide and fascinating world that exists. What you’re doing is awesome and amazing and I aim to end up like this one day.

    Good luck in all your ventures!

  197. Adrian

    Hi Earl. This is really inspiring. I actually just resigned from my job as a TV writer to pursue traveling and freelance writing. After reading your blog, I’m thinking I should’ve done that years ago. But anyway, it’s not too late.

    I’m now based in Bangkok and will be traveling to the US and Canada starting next week. I’m very excited to visit the places where I lived before and also places that I haven’t been. Anyway, great blog! Just subscribed. =)

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Adrian – It’s never too late at all! And thank you very much for subscribing, much appreciated!

  198. Eduardo

    Good afternoon, I was wondering how did you deal with immigration and all that. How did you manage to get into countries despite having to look for an income? Whenever I traveled to the U.K., France, Canada, Turks & Caicos (pretty much everywhere I’ve gone) the stamp read that I wasn’t able to receive any type of employment or funds. How did you manage to land all these jobs? And did you have to leave after a certain amount of time in one place? For example, if I traveled to France, I would have to leave after 3 months according to their laws and permission to enter the country. The only place I can legally stay as much as I want are Mexico and The United States because I have citizenship in Mexico and permanent residency in the U.S.

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Eduardo – Thanks for the comment. When I was in Thailand teaching English, I was on a tourist visa and every month, I crossed the border to Myanmar, came back to Thailand and received another 30 days stamp. Technically, I wasn’t allowed to work and that’s also why I didn’t work for a company. I taught English on my own, just by advertising at the university.

      And for my other jobs, I didn’t need a work visa. When I worked on board cruise ships, I didn’t need any visas and now I work online, so I don’t need work visas for that either. I can just travel on tourist visas and it’s all legal.

  199. Trisha

    Hi Earl,
    Cool life! I have to get up at 6:00 a.m. tomorrow morning….LOL
    Anyway, my question is: How do you know people all around the world? How do you convince them to allow you to live with them for free for months at a time? I think that was the one thing that made me realize that not everyone could be able to do what you have been doing. Even with Couchsurfing, I can’t imagine being able to cover the housing, especially as a female.

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Trisha – Thanks for the comment and hope it wasn’t too difficult getting up so early 🙂

      As for your question, I don’t stay with people for free…I almost always pay rent, even when I’m staying with friends. That’s always been my way and that won’t change. A good example is right now in Romania where I live with a good friend of mine but I pay rent every month. As for how I have friends around the world…that’s from traveling. The more you travel, the more people you meet from other countries and before you know it, you have contacts all over the world. So in the end, yes, everyone can do what I’m doing because I’m paying my way and making it happen. And to think of how many people, both males and females, use Couchsurfing on a regular basis, which basically eliminates accommodation costs all together, the truth is that you could live this lifestyle for much less money than I spend!

  200. Rob

    Wow, am I jealous! I have a niece that works on the cruise ships as a stage manager and has circled the globe a few times now. The adventures and experiences for those lucky enough to travel and get paid at the same time are opportunities of a lifetime! Thanks for sharing, love the truck photo!

  201. Brijesh Amin

    When I read such nice blogs I wonder about few points,

    1. How do you manage to get visa and do you get working visa?
    2. People from countries like US, UK, Canada etc have some advantages because government takes good care in older age and people do not need to worry about saving much. Am I wrong?

      1. Brijesh Amin

        Hi Earl, Thanks for your reply. I did not know that one can work while being on a tourist visa. I know that working holiday visa is one option but being an Indian citizen I cannot get one.

        I will do some more research on visa aspect and the kind of jobs that one can take up while being on a tourist visa.

        Thank you again. Your posts are really helpful and inspiring. Keep it up…

        1. Wandering Earl

          Hey Brijesh – One normally cannot work while on a tourist visa but the jobs I had did not require such permits. When working on board cruise ships, I did not need any working visas because the cruise line takes care of that and now that I work online on my laptop, I don’t need a work visa because I’m not actually doing any work or earning any money in any of the countries I visit.

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  203. Auston

    Earl – this is awesome and inspiring. I’ve only been on the road for just over a year and my journey seems so short compared to yours. And I totally agree with you, you don’t need a lot of money to travel. It’s all about learning to do it affordably!

  204. Mihaela

    Hey Earl, such a great life traveling, isn’t it?
    I used to work on cruise ships a lifetime ago and did not fall in love with it.
    Maybe as a Tour Manager and with shorter contracts that lifestyle is better. How did you get that position? 🙂
    I love traveling myself and I hope to get inspired to drop everything else and go on the road for longer times again.

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Mihaela – I had a contact when I first applied for cruise ship jobs and after interviewing me, they decided that I would be a good fit for the Shore Excursion department. So that’s how it all started for me.

  205. Adriano

    May I had I think it is a pity that you often goes to the same countries.. you should discover many countries as you could. I’ve been 6 times in Vietnam, Thailand, 3 times in Laos, Indenosia… and that was nice, but i think it is better to discover new countries, new things 😉
    How many countries have you visited, just by curiosity

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Adriano – It’s not a pity at all to visit the same countries. There is always something to learn and always new people to meet, even if you return to the same place 1000 times!

  206. Adriano

    interesting. But you were not constantly traveling as you were saying in the begining of your post… time when you were looking for a job, when you came back, an so on…
    I presume you came back to US to have a teaching diploma? Cause when you teach a foreign langage in Asia (Vietnam and Thailand especially) it is more than 2000$ a month with a diploma.

    I’ve done some travels, as few years “like” you travelling/working/traveling that was interesting. I hope you still enjoy it. there is one little issue when you really are always traveling: to find you wife, to have a family… I hope you’ll find some day.


    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Adriano – Actually, I’ve spent very little time in the US since 1999 and I did not come back to get a teaching diploma. I never had a teaching diploma and taught English on my own, not through a language school.

  207. Tonya Keitt Kalule

    This was a really great post. Your breakdown was good and believable. Continue living as oppose to just making a living. Thanks for sharing.

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  209. Rodrigo

    Great article. I have always dreamt about doing something like this. Maybe not that long though.
    I still lack courage to leave it all behind, but this post at least made me see that it is in fact possible.

  210. Petra

    Hi Earl!
    I really love your blog! You are a great inspiration. I finally had the courage to quit my office job here in Switzerland (after more than 12 years) to follow my dreams of traveling the world and learning new languages. I can not wait to pack my bags. I hope not to return anytime soon. 🙂
    Thanks for this great blog with much useful information.
    Take care,

  211. Zach Irsik

    Hey Earl. Want to start off by saying I really enjoy reading your blog. It is both entertaining and informationally benefitial. I have considered living a life similar to what you describe and I just have several question:

    1.) When you take up jobs as with the teaching and cruise lines, are you offered the job before you go to a foreign country or do you travel to the desired location before looking for a means of income?
    2.) Similarly, as for housing, do you plan out where you will sleep days before online and such or do you wander around during the day and come across a suitable overnight place to stay? And when you are travelling, how can you gaurantee yourself a place to sleep, in other words how do you know if you will be able to access internet or a phone where you will be when you are in need of a place to sleep?
    3.) Just out of curiosity, I understand you speak Spanish because you have lived out of Mexico, but were you always fluent in the native language before travelling to a foreign country? You mentioned mingling with citizen in Pakistan in a seperate article, what is your process for learning languages?

    Sorry for all the questions, just very curious on the whole idea of travelling the world as I am highly considering it in the near future. Thanks for the help. Good luck on your travels.

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Zach – Here you go…

      1. It depends. For a cruise ship job you definitely need to apply before hand as it can be a long application process. But for teaching English, I think it’s best to travel to the destination first and check out your options. You don’t want to enter into an employment contract in another country only to show up and find out that the school you’re teaching at is not what you expected at all.

      2. Normally, I’ll book my first few nights accommodation these days and then I’ll figure it out when I’m there. But with sites such as, it’s remarkably easy to find accommodation pretty much anywhere in the world. And these days, internet is absolutely everywhere. If you don’t have internet, then chances are you’re in a place where you wouldn’t be able to book a room in advance anyway and you’ll still find options just walking around or asking locals. In 13 years I’ve never been without a place to stay.

      3. I only speak English and Spanish and these days enough English is spoken in every corner of the world to make it quite easy to communicate. It’s important to learn at least the basics of any local language but that doesn’t take long. Usually, such as happened in Pakistan, I end up finding someone who speaks English well and then that person can also help translate my conversations with others.

      1. Zach Irsik

        Thank you for replying so thoroughly and so soon! Great information. You can expect more support and sharing of your blog in the near future. Safe travels!

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Kris – I traveled to Sri Lanka back in 2006 I believe which was before I had the blog. So I haven’t gone back that far and written about such destinations.

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  213. Jamie

    Wow, you’re living the dream. This is amazing…congrats on making it all work. Inspires me to travel.

  214. wenlin

    i just chanced upon your blog randomly after searching for ‘best travel blogs’ and goodness you are amazing! how do you do it! (rhetorical question)

  215. Shiva

    Hi Earl,

    Your post was inspiring and even I want to travel as many countries as possible. Will see when my journey going to start! By the way I see lot of India trip in your timeline. How many states your covered so far ? I am just Curious 🙂

  216. Nicole

    Hey Earl,

    I’ve been told by many of my elders that long-term travel is a highly unachievable feat for me, mainly because of the travel expenses. In reading this blog of yours, I’m starting to believe that maybe I can also travel for a long period of time.

    When you taught English at Thailand, were you already fluent in speaking Thai?
    And, did you also need a teaching degree/qualification, or any form of training, to teach at a foreign country?
    Also, if teaching isn’t a favorable job, what other sorts of jobs are there in Asia?

    I’m very eager to hear more from you, as you have a rewarding lifestyle that continually broadens your perspective of the world and its people.

    Thank you for your time 🙂

  217. Heidi Wagoner

    There is no need to give up because you have a family. Actually, we think the opposite is true. You should give your kids the world, let them see it and experience with your guidance. We made it happen and now live in Spain. You can do it too, if it is your priority. 🙂

  218. MCoates

    I want to tell you that it is not impossible to have a life of travel once you have kids. I live in China and know several people who combine travel and working abroad with having small children. The kids are ‘worldly’, not into material possessions and generally have a very tolerant, open-minded attitude about life. It’s possible to change jobs and move to other areas of Asia. Travel is cheap and fairly easy. Don’t give up on it for your kids – you might be doing them a favour.

  219. Alis

    Oh… God, you have a very beautiful life, Earl. I actually obsessed to travel just to one country nearest, once in my life time. But until now, being forty years old it is still be a dream. So now, I always travel on my own world, in front of my old PC everyday.

  220. Maria Meiners

    Seems to me that the most important prerequisite for becoming a nomad is an innate desire to travel. If that flame is strong enough than nothing will stop you from doing it and the way will be made clear. If it’s not strong then nothing will get you off the couch. Quite simple.

  221. janedoe

    Hi Earl,

    Thank you for the info. It’s interesting that you have never been to Africa yet you have travelled for so many years.

    I am African so i must admit that I am biased. We invite you to our beautiful continent.

  222. Daryl

    Hey Earl Me and my 17 year old girl and 15 year old boy are wantimg to start roaming the world. Ive got a few ideas just wanting your input

  223. Lia

    Hi Earl, thank you sooo much for sharing! It seriously cleared my mind after wondering, “How the hell this guy survive travelling for sooo long! Is he a millionaire??”
    This post i super awesome. Really appreciate your effort for putting this up!

  224. Bree

    Hi Earl !
    I am 19 and currently majoring in Communication. Will employers on cruise ships be looking for some one with a specific degree or will any degree work just fine ? As long as you have a higher education ?
    I ask because I also aspire to a life like yours and after reading your article, I agree with others that working on cruise ships seems to be the best way to earn money.
    Thanks in advance !

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Bree – It really depends on the position and any other experiences/skills/knowledge you may have in life. But as an example, I had a degree in Sport Management and I ended up as a Tour Manager on cruise ships…little connection between those two 🙂

  225. Fel

    Wow, this is very interesting. You are a proof that indeed, it is possible to live a nomadic life. Thanks a lot for sharing the details. You inspire me a lot.

  226. Ralf

    Hey there,

    really like your story.

    If you are ever in Mexico City shoot me a mail. We are doing a lot of cool experiences here in the city and the sourroundings plus we’ll for sure find you a coach to crash.


  227. Emma

    sounds like you got the life!! And I flipped when I saw you went to Sayulita!! I love that place!!! 🙂 I go to San Miguel De Allende, Guanajuato every summer in Mexico, and its a really gorgeous town, you should visit it sometime.

  228. Francesca

    Hey Earl
    I did something similar but on a way smaller scale when I left the states in 2009. I taught English in Seoul, and spent my cash in South East Asia for a few months, then scrapped my last pennies to get a TEFL in Barcelona, then worked there for a few month before getting my masters in Holland. I found work in Amsterdam about a week after I submitted my thesis, and that’s where I’ve planted my feet since. People often ask me how they should start their search for work abroad and I always tell them its about managing your expectations, and figuring out if you’re in it for money or the experience. I think once you figure that out, it really helps to shape the direction you want to move towards. All the other stuff falls into place! Thanks for your share!

  229. Liz

    I’m amazed at your amazing ability to save money. Very ccommendable, I would have blown the whole lot the moment I walked past a western shoe shop (luckily I was not able to do this in the Far East as I’m a european size 39, therefore my feet are too big)

  230. Mikey_Mike

    Hi Earl,

    Awesome list, im doing suming similar though i only started about 2 yrs ago. The biggest pain im finding atm is getting on the cruise ships, how did u score the first bit of cruise ship work, i don’t have a connection in it like you, so wat would u suggest i do?


  231. Vera

    I’ve stumbled across your web site and as I love travelling, I was totally curious of finding out what’s your lifestyle about, so I started to read this post and wow… your experience is so inspiring! I wish you the best, that’s something I’d totally like to try at least for a little period of time in my life.

  232. Paul Lester

    Hi Earl,
    Sounds fantastic, I wish I had done something similar when I was young, however I did see quite a bit of the world while in the Navy and still travel with wife and family when I can.

  233. Paul Lester

    Great post and wish I had done similar when I was younger, now with family I guess it is pretty much imposible but we still travel as and when we can.

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Chris – It’s tough to say but the degree definitely helped me get the job on board cruise ships.

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Kay – I’ve spent a good amount of time in Europe and at this point have seen just about every European country except for about 4 or 5.

  234. Ronald Joseph Kule

    Being there and communicating are the two things you are doing that others consider crimes, which is why they don’t do them. Simple life and writing style — I like it. Thanks for sharing your ventures.

  235. Lourika

    Great article!! Thanks for sharing!!!
    I am currently living in Phuket, Thailand. Being from Namibia, Africa. I constantly hear: ” I’m so jealous of your life”; “I wish I was you”, etc – all from people with a boring job, in a boring city, not knowing HOW to change their life, and make it better and more adventures!! But honestly, it’s not THAT difficult. Like you said, all you basically need is some start up cash, and the right mind set!!!!

    Good luck with your travels, look me up if you ever head this way again!


  236. Blake Jackovitch

    Hello Mr.Earl, My name is blake jackovitch.I am 20 years old and was born and raised in atlanta georgia. Just recently (last november 2012) i traveled Spain. I stayed in malga, the southern part of spain for a month and a half. Earl i can tell you with full sincerity that it was the best month of my life.while overseas i also traveled to Barcelona Torremolinos Rhonda Marbella and experienced the “culture shock”. I definatley plan on making this my life (traveling). what do you do to support yourself in your travels?? Please i hope you email me back man :). Safe travels.

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Blake – The details of how I support myself are all in this post and others like it. But basically I started by teaching English, then worked on and off on board cruise ships and now I earn my living working online, mostly through blogging and other projects.

  237. Andrew J Clark

    Hey Earl,
    Absolutely loved this post! I am a young, avid traveler in the making. My main reason for posting is to ask, how did you know what you were going to do or how did you figure out your plans before jumping into this life style? As you said in Dec. 1999 ‘Left home and flew to Bangkok with $1500 in my bank account. Planned to spend 3 months traveling around Southeast Asia.’ Did you pre-plan places you would stay in cheap hotels and ways to travel about or did you just spur of the moment go and figure out as you went on.
    My biggest concern is that I would end up with little to no money left in a foreign place stuck. My other question is how did you come in contact with people that could help you enter the jobs of teaching english over seas?
    Once again, great post!

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Andrew – Apart from booking my flight to Bangkok, that was all the preparation I did. I knew that I also wanted to visit other parts of Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos but I did not plan things out in any detail and just went with the flow once I arrived. As for meeting people, you just need to talk to as many people as you can. That’s all I did and the result was that I learned about opportunities to earn money that I had never considered or heard about before. The more people you talk to, the more you will learn!

  238. Lisa

    Wow. Your travel experience is incredible. As an avid cruiser, I would love to have worked as a tour director before I had kids. Exploring is one of my favorite things to do, as is cruising to new destinations.

  239. Craig Bennett

    Hi Earl,

    I’ve been traveling a few months a year for the past few years now, mainly SE Asia want to work towards a life of travel rather than just really long vacations. My first thoughts were to teach english but after reading this post again more and more I’m thinking cruise ships may be the best way to earn money to travel while traveling. Could your perhaps offer me any advice on getting work on cruise ships or perhaps help with a contact in the industry.


    ( I sent an similar email through your contact me link but I wasn’t sure what was the best way to contact you (

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Craig – The best advice I can give is to check out my popular eGuide – How to Work on a Cruise Ship – as that will give you everything you need to apply and have the best chance of being hired for just about any ship with 18 major cruise lines. Once you have a read, let me know if you have any questions!

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  242. Kris

    Thanks so much for breaking this down. I love how you provided concrete examples of how you supported yourself financially throughout your travels, and it’s making me believe traveling around the world is possible. Just working up the courage to leave my day job and just take the plunge. Thanks again, and glad I came across your blog!

  243. Julie

    Thank you for the breakdown. Its amazing at the same time inspiring. But in all your travels, u are missing a very good spot in the SEA. The Philippines.

    More travels for you and everyone!


  244. Steve Mcdaniel

    I was very impressed with your dedication and tenacity towards creating a pretty interesting life for yourself, but I must ask you what level of education do you have and what kind of training/experience to you have?

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Steve – Thanks for the comment! As for education, I just have a university degree in business and no other training apart from that.

  245. Heidi Wagoner

    Hey Earl! Great post, just found you in stumbleupon today. 😉 we are an American family of 4 and 5 months into our life in Spain. We are going to be more mobile over the summer when school is out and perhaps plan that style in the coming years. We are soooo bitten by the travel bug and have been for years. Now that we are gone and sold it all, we want to keep it going as long as possible. We want to give our children the world! Thanks and I will keep up with you now that I found you.

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  247. Brad

    Wow! You’re amazing! I absolutely love travel; I lived in Italy for two years and visited Svizzera, Slovenija, Osterreich, &c. I always knew there was a way to travel cheaply, but never thought much more about it. Amazing article! Good luck on your travels! BTW have you ever considered becoming a part of a crew on a sailboat? It’s rather easy….You can put an ad out on either Latitude 38’s “Crew List”,, or Sailnet’s classifieds. You can actually get hired even if you have no experience sailing, but you get to (literally) be paid to do one of the greatest things on earth. I almost put out an advert on Latitude 38, but then I saw their “over 18” clause….. 🙁

    Good luck on your travels!

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Brad – Thanks for the comment and while working as a crew on a sailboat is appealing to me, these days, I have too many online projects that are keeping me busy and I just can’t make it happen. Maybe when things calm down a bit I’ll be able to do so! Thanks for sharing that info though…I’m sure it will help out quite a lot of people!

  248. Carmen

    hey Earl,
    I am so excited to find your website.
    I got in touch with Niall Doherty when I saw an article he’d published concerning Vipassana and then he led me to you–very happy synchronicity!
    I am 55 years old and very close to finishing my “Mom” job to my last two children.
    I have been a gypsy for most of my life and have the strongest desire to travel when my nest is empty. I am a writer and editor, so I know that I can make a living anywhere. My kids are all enthusiastic travelers, as well.
    I have a degree and want to teach English in a foreign country initially.
    Do you think that there are any particular considerations to be applied when an older woman travels alone? I am in good health and intend to enjoy my life until my last breath…my kids/grandkids understand this and I have no worries about continuing to travel.
    Thanks in advance for any advice,

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Carmen – Welcome to the site! And I don’t think there is much else for you to consider when traveling along. As I tell most people, using the same common sense you would use at home is about all you need to stay safe and healthy while traveling as well. I really can’t think of anything in particular that might be an added concern…just go out there and enjoy your adventures!

  249. Josephine

    Such inspiration ! I really really love to travel all around the world but i cant seem to find the right job and I’m the only daughter so my dad is kinda protective over me. I only travel when my parents are free. I WISH I COULD BE JUST LIKE YOU.! do you have any ideas on what stable jobs that provide constant traveling ? please reply me.

  250. GRRRLTRAVELER | Christine

    Thank you for such an inspiring post! Having to live on a budget when I travel, I know you travel for cheap, but always wondered how long-term wanderers made money to fund their lifestyles, so thank you for removing the smoke and mirrors.

    I was just reading your post on ‘Funding your travels creatively’ (the Chiang Mai teaching story) and being entrepreneurial on my travels is something I wouldn’t have thought of. I’d have tried to sign up to teach and get frustrated with the process of continued job searching, needing Toefl’s, filling out applications, cover letters, etc… In fact, going the loooong-ass way is what I’m considering doing and it’s just one more thing to make me feel tired and scattered. Thanks for your posts. I needed a dose of fresh ideas. I just wish I had some of your bravery to pull some of that more entrepreneurial stuff off. Looking forward to more brave ideas from you =-)

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Christine – Luckily, once you start getting creative and start putting your entrepreneurial cap on, it becomes easier and easier to create your own opportunities our there in the world. And I’m a firm believer that in order to make this long-term lifestyle happen, one needs to be able to create something out of nothing!

  251. Sarah

    I have been trying for years to get on a cruise line ( specifically on a Tour or Event Staff) I’ve been working in the hospitality industry in hotels and resorts in Canada and the US but have never been able to secure a position on a ship. I have a feeling I am making the process harder than it should be, so do you have any advice on how I should be going about it? I’d appreciate any sort of tid-bit you could give me! Thanks so much!

  252. Nicole Connolly


    It is actually easy of its what you truly want. Its very easy to travel long term without stopping, if you plan for it. My husband and I worked very hard to save up enough money to travel for 3 years non stop. Its about setting your priorities. If long term travel is a priority for you then you CAN make it happen. You are the only person who will stop you from achieving what you want to achieve.

    Earl – You have been an inspiration to my hubby and I while we were planning our nomadic life. We bought your book and it was a great help. I still refer back to it from time to time while we are on the road. I can only hope that we can travel for as long and as successfully as you!

    Keep on keeping on (and ignore the haters).. You are awesome! Thanks for showing myself and so many others how to live a life of their dreams!

  253. Monica Tores

    Wow, I admire you for what you did for the past 12 years. I have always been attracted to traveling but spending time and living in different countries is the ultimate experience for me. However, I’ve never done it and I wish I had the courage to quit my day job and just get everything I can from the world. Very inspirational, thank you!

  254. Esperanza

    Hi Earl, this post is very inspirational 🙂 I believe that you can easily travel with $1500 in your bank account however that’s very limited and I must say for that amount of money it won’t be enough to travel around Europe but maybe in Asia yes because the currency is much lower and the cost of living in Asia is much cheaper. Some people would like to travel around Europe first and I doubt they will leave their country with that amount ($1500) of money in their bank account. 🙂 Also, not everyone is fortunate to get a job as an English teacher or in a cruise line while traveling overseas and staying in a new country for 3 months. What if I can’t get a job while in Asia or in Europe while traveling? I have no choice but to return home before I run out of cash 🙁

    Well done and congratulations for making it this far 🙂 You were and are still very fortunate to have been able to find a decent job that allowed you to save a substantial amount of money 🙂

    Also, I’m sure you must have spent some extra money on your work visa while working in different countries, am I right?


    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Esperanza – Actually, I didn’t need a work visa for any country…I worked ‘under the table’ while teaching English in Thailand and you don’t need a work visa to work on board cruise ships. And now I work online so I don’t need a work visa for any country either. So no extra expenses there 🙂

      And I have been fortunate, but there’s nothing stopping anyone else from taking advantage of the same opportunities that I took advantage of or of any of the other thousand of ways out there that people can create a life out of travel. I didn’t do anything special – I just applied for a cruise ship job, which you can do as well. And if you want to travel long-term then you also need to think realistically. It doesn’t make sense to start in Europe if you only have a little money. It makes more sense to start somewhere cheaper or somewhere where you can earn some money and then go from there.

      Also, I have met people from dozens and dozens of countries who have made this lifestyle happen and each person has made it happen in their own way. You just have to be determined, creative and to try and meet as many people as you can. By doing this you’ll discover opportunities that you never knew existed!

  255. Fanny Rofalina

    Hey Earl.

    Very inspiring story. It can be said that I am tempted to pursue the life you are living right now, be a permanent nomad. I’m tired of this cubicle work life.
    But there are questions with same theme that bug me so much recently and I intend to ask you if you won’t mind. As a permanent nomad, certainly you live non-mainstream lifestyle. And sometimes it’s hard to live against the current, different of how majority live.
    When this all adventure over, let’s say, you have traveled and visited every country on earth, what will you do next? Keep traveling? Until when?
    Do you have intention to raise a family? Have a wife and maybe children? Will you settle in a stable permanent resident or you will take your family travel the world? Will you get your children go to school?

    I’m sorry if I ask too much. The fact is those questions keep inhibiting me to open my self to start traveling around the world. And maybe it is nice to get opinion from the expert of word travel, like you.

    Looking forward for your answer.

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Fanny – Thank you for the comment and that’s no problem at all to ask me any questions you want!

      As for how long I’ll keep traveling, I honestly have no idea. The way I look at it is that if I were to wake up tomorrow and decide it’s time to stop, then I would stop. But until I feel that need, and as long as things continue to go well, then I’m going to keep on doing what I love best, which is travel of course. Who knows who I’ll meet, who knows where I’ll end up or what kind of opportunities will come my way? So I prefer to live now in the moment and take it all as it comes.

      And the same goes for raising a family…I’m open to the idea but I don’t think it would help if I flew back to the US and actively sought out someone to spend the rest of my life with. In my opinion, I could find the right person anywhere and since I am always meeting new people everywhere I go, I have just as good of a chance of meeting the right person with this lifestyle than if I lived back in the US. And again, if I meet someone and decide it’s time to raise a family, then I’ll make some adjustments and that’s what I’ll do.

      But as for the other questions, I don’t know if I will take my family to travel. It all depends on the situation and what I, and my family, want out of life at that point. Like everything else, I don’t dwell on it too much right now since I really have no idea what the future really holds 🙂

      1. Fanny Rofalina

        Hey Earl. Thank you so much for the answer.

        You’re right. Live the now.
        Hemhh. People keep asking me about “what about the health insurance?”, “what if someday you’re gonna have a child and you have no money to raise him?”, “how about your children education cost?”, “what about the pension fund?”

        Arrgghh. They drive me crazy with the questions 🙁

        1. Wandering Earl

          Hey Fanny – I can imagine…the thing is, you handle all of those issues while traveling/living overseas just as you can if you were at home and at the end of the day, if being overseas makes you happier, then that seems like the wisest option!

          1. Fanny

            Thanks again for the answer Earl. I guess you’re right. Your answer will be my pondering material. Hahaha. Need to build my guts now 🙂

  256. Jenni K

    Great post Earl! I was wondering how do you keep up with your online projects when you are traveling. Isn’t it a pain to go online when you are visiting a foreign country? How many days after your stay do you go online and continue with your projects.

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Jenni – Yes, it is quite a challenge to travel and work at the same time but I manage as that’s all part of the lifestyle. Basically, I work about 5 days per week, squeezing in working hours either early in the morning or late at night and going out into town during the day. Whenever I fall behind with work, I just stop somewhere for a few days, catch up with everything and then continue moving on again. So it’s always a constant combination of travel and work!

  257. Ville

    Amazing story Earl. I first went traveling in September 2008 and soon after started to look for ways to generate income online to sustain my traveling. It’s been a long but great experience. Now I’m back in Finland working but desiring to get back on the road soon! Keep it up! 🙂

    1. Wandering Earl

      Thanks Ville and as long as you stay determined on your goals, I have no doubt you’ll be back out here in the world soon enough!

  258. Matt Wilkie

    The important thing people overlook when thinking about this style of life and travel is “transient working”. Because in reality it takes time to get to being able to do it without needing funding from a direct job. I have been out in the Philippines for over 5 years now and there is a bit of a explosion on the cash when you introduce Western income and Eastern styled living. Being able to save instead of blow the cash and gaining debt.

    The e-book idea is a good one and no doubt regular funding from it can keep you on the road for another 10 years as you update people on your travels.

    Good going! But would also say that often those questioning “how to” will quite possibly never get round to taking the leap for one reason or another but generally its the insecurity of not knowing what tomorrow brings.

  259. A.F. Kitty

    I guess I sent my personal message to you too early! I should have scoured your blog for everything first, it seems! So don’t mind half of the message I sent. Thank you for this post. It’s really interesting. Though, I do have to ask (because I haven’t found a post answering this question yet, though I’m sure I’ll find it soon after I’m done posting this comment), did you leave in 1999 with a degree of any sort? I’m assuming so since you were a substitute teacher in Boston at one point and they generally require degrees, but I could be wrong.

  260. Darren

    I went to Kenya for 3 weeks, and stayed for 5 months. Being a white dude who speaks English ended up being my ticket to getting survivable work.

    I hung out at the National Theatre in Nairobi, I met dancers and actors and jugglers and puppeteers and singers and hip hop artists.

    Being the only white dude, people would just walk up to me and say “Hey, I heard they need a white dude for ______”

    I did audio book recordings, radio commercials, and even got a job doing promotions where I had to pretend to be an Italian Grape Farmer and give away brandy as prizes at nightclubs. This forced me to travel the country in a bus with 10 female models/actresses for several months, on weekends with a promotions company. I was on TV doing stand-up comedy and worked comedy clubs most weekends I wasn’t with the models.

    Being the “token” white guy paid off enough for me to have crazy adventures and make spending cash. Although, no, it was not legal. So, best case scenario is you never get caught, or make enough money to pay for the work permit. The worst thing that can happen is you get deported and never allowed back.

    It FELL into my lap, all of that work.

    My suggestion? If you have an accent, you might just be a commodity for media and promotions companies in faraway places. And of course, in many countries, foreigners who are capable of doing the performing arts is rare. Anyone coming to the country who has acting talent is DOING a job, and probably not available for a job.

    So if you are outgoing, you might try contract work. I hear in Asia that some actors from USA get paid to give tours to businessmen in factories. They help “sell” the factory to the clients more easily than a local could.

    Thanks for your posts, Dude. I’ve been travelling nearly 9 months a year since 1997, but I always had a house to go back to. I finally rented out my house 2 years ago and haven’t been back since.

    One thing that cannot be overstated is how much BETTER travel is when you have a job. You REALLY get to know a country by working shoulder to shoulder with locals.

    Most travelers end up going to resorts or they go see the backwoods natives and go on tours. By working, you get a really special look into the lives of the people, and honestly, it helps me feel less like a bum. You don’t know a city until you have to commute like everybody else.

    What I like about contract/media work is that is was all short jobs. I could still avoid the 9-5 while getting paid 100x what most 9-5 jobs pay. (what am I saying? In Kenya it isn’t 9-5 its 6-6) I could do a short 10 minute stand-up comedy set or magic show at a club and make $35 bucks. $150 to do a TV appearance. I could get $150 for a radio advert. The promotions company paid between $60 and $120 per day, and I never worked more than 10 minutes a day (though I was waiting around for several hours)

    All in all, Africa was amazing in terms of finding cash – and considering a 4 egg spanish omelet with tea and ugi was $1.20 for breakfast each morning, I did quite well.

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Darren – Thank you for sharing your experiences and if what you wrote doesn’t motivate others to get out there and make it happen, I’m not sure what will! I’ve always felt that the most important step is to just start traveling and then, once on the ground, it’s all about meeting as many people as you can. You never know where a simple conversation or handshake will lead.

      There are thousands of opportunities out there to earn money…a little creativity and focus can go a long way in finding them! Your example is as perfect as it gets.

      Wishing you more wonderful adventures in 2013 and perhaps one day we shall meet up for an egg sandwich!

  261. Wil

    Hi Earl,
    I’m a recent college graduate that has dreamed of travel all my life. My family thought I should travel young and I’ve briefly visited over 30 counties (mostly tours and cruises). I haven’t left the country in almost 5 years. Since I’m done with school and have no financial obligations, I am taking a long needed, extended vacation (starting in SEAsia) that which I may never come back. I have been self employed as a glass blower, fire performer and and an internet entrepreneur, etc over the last 4 years of my life and am confident I can make it on my own. I wanted to thank you and your site for being one of the most valuable resources I’ve had in boosting my confidence in my ability to travel the globe alone.
    Thanks Again,

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Wil – I wish you all the best with your upcoming trip to SE Asia…the exact same location where I started my long-term travels as well. You never know where the road will lead once you begin but to me, that’s the exciting part of this lifestyle. Please do keep me updated once your trip gets off to a start!

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Amar – I haven’t really needed any work permits. When I taught English in Thailand, I did it informally and not through a language school, so I just set up my own operation ‘under the table’. And apart from that, working on board cruise ships doesn’t require a work permit anywhere and now that I work online, I just enter countries on a tourist visa as I am not working for anyone in any country so I don’t need the work permit.

  262. Fred

    Names Fred , been reading some of your stuff , am hoping to travel the end of January till the end of may , not did much traveling was at Thailand last year for a month with friend , felt I did not see much as I would have like to, so going myself this time to india ,am in my early 50s and want to try and see some of the world , do you think india is my best start ?

    Thank Fred .

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Fred – India is a fascinating country, although in all honestly, it is about as challenging and intense of a destination as there is on this planet. It’s definitely not a relaxing place like Thailand. It’s an exhausting place to visit but if you feel you’re up for the challenge, in my opinion, there are few places that offer as many rewards as India for someone who is ready to be shocked and thrown way out of their comfort zone!

  263. Christine Trembly

    I’ve always felt like a nomad, or a gypsy at the very least. I never did stay in one place too long, but I have never been further than the Canadian and Mexican borders of the USA. When I became an empty-nester at age 40, I decided to turn my dream of world travel into a reality beginning with teaching in Mexico. I took the long road, going to college for 7 years, so I would have something concrete to fall back on wherever I ended up. In February, I will fly to Guadalajara for a six month teaching job and I plan to keep going. The first time I purged all my personal belongings to move to Oregon from Idaho, downsizing from a three bedroom house to a little apartment. In 2008, I purged again to go to Hawaii for six months to work as a nanny. It feels great to be free from being held hostage to material items, payments and interest!

    Thanks for your website. I’ve seen you on television a few times and look forward to following your travels!

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Christine – Welcome to the website and seems like you’ve had a nice diverse range of travel experiences so far! And I’m curious where you saw me on television? I didn’t know I was on television yet 🙂

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Ally – Like with any job, it all depends on your education, work history and other experiences but in general, if your experiences match the needs of a certain position, then there’s no reason why you couldn’t get hired! With over 350 cruise ships in the world and up to 1500 crew members on each, there are plenty of positions that need to be filled…

  264. Sharique Ahmad

    I intend to be a traveler too. But the problem is cash. You get paid a lot for teaching(which is not true in my country,India) and a chunk of your traveling experiences have been in south-Asia which is relatively cheap considering you have american dollars. You also saved a lot working on cruises(which is also kind of traveling). I am an engineering student and I don’t have the slightest idea where I can land a job like yours which helps me save $10,000 which is substantial. I think you have some kind of professional degree which helps you in getting such kinda jobs. And if you don’t then please elaborate on how can I get one myself. I would love to travel through the whole of Europe extensively so I was just thinking if you could help me on this by giving any tips. Looking forward to your reply.


  265. Pragati Singh

    Hey Earl,

    Came back to your page for more inspiration. This is the kind of life I want to live. I thought I would make it a reality but I realized soon that it is not as easy.

    First and foremost, how do you get a work permit in other countries? Do you do this work and earn on tourist visas? Is that legal?
    Or is that just easier when you are an american citizen?

    I happen to be from India, and on my recent visit to the USA, I had to get a special visa stamping so I could earn in the USA. And that required a lot of paper work to be completed from the employer’s before I could even apply for the visa.

    How can I just fly down to a country and then look for work there?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Pragati – I actually haven’t needed a work permit as apart from teaching English in Thailand (which I did without a permit), I have earned an income by working on board cruise ships (no permit needed) and working online (which also doesn’t require me to get a work permit anywhere). I’m now able to travel on tourist visas because my work is all on the internet and that is perfectly legal since I’m earning money into my bank accounts at home and not earning money from any company or person in the countries I’m visiting.

      But it’s different if you want to actually work in a particular country…in most cases, this would require you to get a work visa/permit and those are usually only issued by an employer overseas once you are hired. There are possibilities but it does take some research and hopefully finding the right place that can offer you the right opportunity!

  266. Lola K.

    I agree with Scott. I’d like to know about your long term goals (if any) as well. At the rate you are going, you will be able to write a best selling book and live off of the success of that 😀

  267. Scott

    That’s awesome to do and quite admirable as well but do you have any plans for the future?
    I did quite a bit of traveling when I was a bit younger and I have settled down in Melbourne Australia to (hopefully) have more than $1500 in my bank account. I grew up in The U.S. and have no plans to live there again but I realized that I am going to get old and I still have to take care of myself.
    I really am impressed and think that more people should have the kind of cojones that you have to do what you are doing, but I am curious about your long term goals only because you haven’t really said anything about that.

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Scott – I had $1500 in my bank account when I started 13 years ago but after working on board cruise ships for several years and now earning an income online for the past three years, it’s a different story. I have always had goals in mind and as I write about on the site, that goal has been to turn travel into a sustainable lifestyle, not to bum around with just a few dollars in my pocket. As I wrote in my latest post, I’m now looking for place somewhere in the world where I can buy a place of my own…

      1. Brandon Hughes

        Hey Earl, it’s been interesting for me, when I tell people what I’m doing, to hear the responses and questions. When you tell someone you are creating a new way of living your life, and travel being a huge part of that, it’s just a hard thing for the average person to comprehend.

        It’s not their fault, really. It’s simply how people are raised to think. (ie. born, buy things, go to school, buy things, get a job, buy things, get married, buy more things, have kids, buy way more things) It’s a small percentage of people that break this mold and do something different. (and look, I’m not saying that having a family or some things is bad…)

        And that’s basically what you are doing, something different. It’s just not the “norm”. You’re focus isn’t on the car you drive or building a family, it’s to travel the world, connect with people and find new creative ways for you to continue the lifestyle that you have chosen.

        The scary thing for most people is that, for this way of living, (ie. outside of the mold) there isn’t a pre prescribed “itinerary” to follow. Which the uncertainty in this is enough to stop almost anyone.

        So what I’ve noticed is that a common comment is “What are you going to do down the road, when you stop traveling?” In my opinion, this is just the best way that that person can deal with the uncertainty of this sort of lifestyle. Try and put something down on the “itinerary”. But that’s the thing…the “itinerary” is ever changing.

        The goal, for me, on a daily basis is happiness. Long term, happiness. But I want to maintain this while living a life of travel, adventure, connection, and creativity. Where will I be when I’m 80? Who knows. And, quite frankly, I’m not spending much of my time worrying about it.

        Just my thoughts,

        1. Wandering Earl

          Hey Brandon – Seems like we have quite a bit in common in terms of the way we think about life. I agree fully that most people just can’t comprehend living a lifestyle that seems so unorganized and uncertain and in all honesty, it is scary for those living it at times. But it’s a risk one needs to take if they want to really achieve their goals…the unknown is exciting and that’s where all the magic lies!

  268. Lola K.

    This is absolutely amazing! I am a friend of Tim’s and he let me know about your blog. I am interested in travel as well. I’m not going to do this 😀 that’s for sure! But I have always wanted to go and spend a few months in a particular region and this blog will prove to be very helpful. I sent it to a friend of mine as well, as his uncle has a travel blog. Thank you so much for providing this wonderful information to the internet world. It is truly cool. I wish you the best in your journeys. Peace.
    ~Lola K.

  269. Partho Das

    This is my first visit, after suggested by my friend. I love travelling & done that from the day I started travelling before earning. Traveled many parts of India, yet there are places left to visit. But I always felt like having money is better & help in having a peaceful travel. I must admit, how wrong I was after reading your website. You truly lead a nomadic life & would love to do so.
    I’ll stick to your website for further updates.

  270. frugal expat

    Hi.. this is my first visit to your site.. Great and very interesting post!

    I believe that if you really have the desire, you will find the opportunity to turn that desire into reality.


  271. tanvi

    You are really lucky to be able to go through countries without having to worry about visa issues. I think for alot of others, who would love to give this idea a try, it is really hard considering the amount of effort and money that goes on in issues like visa regulations.

    But i am glad you are taking full advantage of an amazing opportunity you have. A lot of others don’t.

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Tanvi – I know it’s not as easy for everyone but there are ways to make it happen! I’ve met people on the road from many countries that have visa issues and with a little persistence and a lot of hard work, they someone achieved their travel goals…

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  273. Isaak

    Hey Earl.

    I was wandering. All these places you have worked, would you have been hired without a college education?
    I live in Denmark and planning to go travelling after i have finished what in America counts as High-School. So i just want to know if its going to be a lot harder getting jobs like those you have had when travelling.

    1. Wandering Earl

      Hey Isaak – The only jobs that I’ve really worked are teaching English and working on board cruise ships, and in general, they do require college degrees. But there are hundreds of other jobs out there that wouldn’t require degrees and you could always work at hostels, pubs, cafes, etc., just to get some money in the beginning. You could also try a website such as as some of the listings there are paid and others offer free room and board in exchange for a little work each day. I know several people who travel to various parts of the world just using that website and they love their experiences!

  274. Christian Rene Friborg

    I’ve always wanted to try traveling, and I’m glad I stumbled on your blog. Rest assured I’ll be coming back to follow your adventure! I hope I can start soon as well.

  275. Krissa Curran

    This is great, Earl. I’m about to launch a business in the new year that will help people travel the world, safely and cheaply. Just doing some research now. I’m sure we’ll be in touch more officially soon. But thought I should leave a reply now because this blog post deserves it anyway =)

  276. Jai

    So my sister pointed me to this website because she said that your story reminds her of me, so I had to come check you out. I would just like to say to all your readers that this lifestyle is not as difficult as a lot might think. Put your spirit into it, remain open to newness and change, trust that the universe provides, and always accept the moment you find yourself in. I have been traveling since 1999, when I was 18, and now find myself living and working in Costa Rica. As Earl said, there are many different ways to live this adventure, so I would like to be a another testimonial to that statement. I have never taught english, worked on a cruise ship, or made money through the internet, but I have always been able to keep myself going. I urge all your readers who wish to embark on a lifetime voyage throughout space and time to do so immediately. Do not hesitate one second longer. Jump! The unknown is where dreams are made, its where everything magical dwells.

    1. Emmanuel

      Hi Jai !!
      Your post was very inspirational to me, as much as Earl’s! It’d be great if you could share with us how you managed to afford your lifestyle as a traveller. Since you didn’t have the same kind of jobs that Earl mentioned, you can give us more ideas about how to survive out there in the world. In case you can’t do this here, my email is [email protected], or you can find me on facebook as Emmanuel Añazgo. Thanx again for your post, it really encourages me to give my first step to “where dreams are made” 🙂

  277. Sarah

    This is not “amazing” as some here claim. If you’re healthy, couch surf instead of rent, and have no payments of any kind, it’s pretty damn easy. I seriously doubt he purchases his own food either, but is fed by his friends, students, and other locals.

    1. Earl

      Hey Sarah – Well, in that case, you would be completely wrong. Whenever I stay with friends, I pay them rent, I almost never couchsurf (I’ve done it twice I think in 13 years) and I pay for all of my food, and my transportation, all activities and anything else I do. I work hard to earn a living in order to maintain this lifestyle and I don’t take handouts from anyone.

    2. Abi

      I think you are very naive Sarah, if you read the blog you would know that is not the case. You clearly have a rubbish job and a boring life. I think this is very inspirational 🙂

  278. Backpacker Becki

    Amazing and good on you! I left home nearly four months ago with a wedge of money in the bank to last me a year or so but plan on doing the same kind of thing – work where I can to save money, work in exchange for free food and accomodation AND keep building my website as a full-time business. It is possible and you’ve shown that. Keep up the adventures!

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  281. Michael

    I’ve recently started a life of travel myself, having spent just about two months in Portugal. My next stop is to go somewhere in Asia where i hope to teach English. I was wondering if you had any experience in the language before you left america.

    1. Earl

      Hey Michael – I had no experience with Thai at all before I started teaching there, but it’s not necessary to know the local language. Most language schools require the students and teachers to speak English at all times as this helps students improve their English at a much faster rate.

  282. Santosh Suryawanshi

    Wow earl…. That’s the life I always wanted for myself. I am an Indian and the kind of money you could make taking temp jobs in US is not an option for me. The money you are talking is like a CEO’s salary in this part of the world… I’m sure you are aware. But anyways… I see that you travel to India a lot… I live in a town called Pune close to Mumbai. I’d love to hear from you next time you are in this country… I may be of some guidance and help to you and who know I might find my means and ideas to travel after being with you. I was a cabin crew with an Indian International airline so I have done quite a lot of traveling but I wasn’t at any international place for more than 1-2 days except Singapore where I’ve traveled to on a vacation. My town has the famous OSHO ashram.. I wonder if you are aware. I can provide food, accommodation and guidance in return for your stories…:)

  283. Theo

    I’m not sure you can really call yourself a Nomad, you seem to have spent at least 50% of your time (if not more) in well paid jobs, that as a necessity of the job involves travel. And another 25% staying with friends. It’s great you’ve done a lot of traveling but don’t pretend to people that it can be done easily and without stopping for fairly long periods to earn money.

    1. Earl

      Hey Theo – I certainly am not pretending or hiding anything since I’ve clearly detailed everything right here in this post and in many other posts on this blog as well 🙂

  284. Shalu Sharma

    It is quite remarkable that you have managed to start your journey with little money and then take it from there. If one really wants to travel there is nothing stopping anyone. I think you have done a very good of it, and congratulations to you. I am impressed that you visited India as well.

    One thing is clear is that you are a true traveller since you visited Afghanistan (and Pakistan). No one goes there unless you’re a solider in the US army or really crazy.

    Wish you all the best in your future travels…
    Shalu Sharma

  285. Lexis

    Soo inspirational!! I have big plans to take a year off to travel after college and all of your posts make me so excited! If you’re still traveling in 4-5 years I will definitely take one of your tours! And I’ll be sure to make a donation asap 🙂

  286. Mike

    Very inspirational! I would love to be able to do this and I’m going to get your book. I wish to start in South America though. You mentioned you started out teaching English. Did you need ESL certification for this? I’m not a teacher.

  287. Nadine @ Goowai Italia

    Wow, Earl! You are amazing! I am a traveler myself, well at least starting. I’ve always love to travel ever since I was young and since I started my backpacking trip last June. I knew I’ve really wanted to travel. It’s been my dream to travel the world. And now with my work I’ve been turned from pursuing my dreams as a traveler to having a good future in a company that I’m currently worked with. What do you think I’m gonna do?

  288. raych

    hi Earl, a quick question, if you don’t mind – does that mean you have little savings? I’ve no doubt it’s possible to travel on “small funds” but what happens when you need money after you “settle down” in future? Say if you get married, buy a house, have children…
    Or do you belong to the camp of “cross the bridge when you get to it, things will work out”?

  289. Brendon Of Nerd Travels

    Your story is truly an inspiration. You live in playa del carmen? haha ill be there in 9 days :D.

    I just sold all of my stuff and am new to travel blogging and am about to backpack central and south america with only about 5 thousand to my name. I have been looking into cruise ship work. I was wondering if you need previous experience to get most of the jobs?

    I will definitely have to pick up your eBook in the next few months when im getting close to end of my trip and looking for cruise ship jobs. Sounds like working on a cruise ship is an amazing experience.

    1. Earl

      Hey Brendan – Have a great trip to Playa! I actually don’t live there any more…I was living there from 2010-2011 but since that time I’ve mostly been around Europe (although I’m in India right now). As for cruise ship work, you don’t need previous cruise experience at all. It’s more important to have some kind of work/education experience that can be related to one of the positions offered on ships. It doesn’t have to be an exact match though. As long as there are some similarities between your past work and the cruise job you wish to apply for, that’s usually sufficient.

  290. Vicki

    Hi! I read this article and noticed you worked on the QE2 for a while. I was wondering if perhaps you had ever been to Ascension Island during this time?

    1. Earl

      Hey Vicki – I never was at Ascension while on the QE2. I was sent from the QM2 to the QE2 just for 6 weeks to cover another Tour Manager’s vacation and we were in Iceland/Norway almost the entire time.

  291. Dave Yuhas

    Constant Travel? The headline is misleading, to say the least. That is unless you count the months of work time as “travel.”

    1. Earl

      Hey Dave – I do count the months of work as travel. To me, travel is time spent away from your home country and since my work was on board cruise ships, in which I was visiting several countries per week, I’d say I was definitely traveling during that time.

  292. Randoll L Sosa-Rocafort

    I started with Cartagena for a week. That was my first time in a Hostel! Travelers would ask me: How long are you traveling for? Uhhmm One week! I would answer. The following summer I went on a one-way trip to Peru and visited Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Panama and Mexico… All under 1500 USD. Got hooked and just came back from Brasil from a 4 month trip. Now I am not hooked anymore, I’m obsessed. I just want to finish school and leave again. Indefinitely. Thank you so much for this info.

  293. Brandon Hughes

    Bro! You are my hero!
    I think the one thing that you didn’t mention, and this is only because I’m positive that you are an extremely humble guy, is that there is no doubt you were hyper personable, caring, giving, loving and more than willing to go with the flow in any situation and have a huge smile on your face while doing it. Your energy is probably addicting to say the least…

    With the right energy one might be able to just about anything. Taking that first step is often hard but, as you have proven, once you do, more than likely you will discover things that you never knew were possible.

    Perhaps we’ll cross paths at some point. Would love to share a cold beer and some conversation with you.

    Keep it up brother!

  294. Juan

    Hey bro, i travelled for a year and i seriously loved it, but now im at uni and i fucking hate being back home with all the rules, the peolple that really dont understand u and all that shit, and u really inspired me to make a life of travels! So, how can i get a job in a cruise, give me a hand bru! cheers…
    Ps: i love Sayulita bru

  295. Stephanie

    I agree totally on the matters of money for living abroad! I was raised in Switzerland and went to Berlin to improve my German when I was 19 years old. It was only supposed to be for 1 month, before starting college. That was before falling in love with Berlin but with the realisation that I only had 200 euro in my bank account! The first few months were very tough, I did horrible jobs because I couldn’t speak German well and Berlin doesn’t have a lot of jobs anyway. But because I barely had enough money to eat, I was motivated enough to find work and within 1 1/2 month I found an acceptable full time job and a room in a shared flat. I ve been living for 5 years now in Berlin and when I look back, I know that I only succeeded because I had so little money! I have a few swiss friends who also tried to move to Berlin but they kept receiving help from their parents and snobbed jobs because it wouldn’t of course be a swiss salary. After 6months-1 years of literally not doing anything, they finally had to move back to Switzerland. I always tell 1 thing when people want to travel: do not think that you’re too good for a job when going to another country & do not expect to get the same kind of jobs or salary when travelling.
    Moving to Berlin at 19 with 200 euro with no experience about life was the most daring thing I ever did and I can already see myself at 80 years old looking back at my life and thinking “how the hell did I managed that??”. I’m more than happy in Berlin and have no reason to leave for the moment, but because of what I did when I was 19, I know that I could easly move to another country in the future without being scared.

    Great blog and I’m happy to hear about someone having so much fun travelling as you!

    1. Earl

      Hey Stephanie – That’s quite a story and a great example of how to make your dreams a reality even without having much money to begin with! Thank you for sharing and I just might have to be in touch the next time I’m in Berlin!

  296. Anya

    If I wanted to travel like you, is it possible to travel during the summer and still go to college or do you have to consistently move around?

  297. James

    this is the most remarkable thing i’ve ever heard. i’ve always dreamed of becoming a traveler or nomad and this website gives me hope. i am amazed by your courage and confidence living all over the world. keep inspiring the youth, you prove you dont have to fall in line to live happily.

  298. Passport Dave

    I would like to thank you for all the wonderful content you supply here. This site has truly inspired me to attain all my dreams of travel. You are truly doing a great service to those who originally thought it impractical to travel the world. Look forward to continue following your site.

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  300. Mandy

    Wow – wonderfully insightful – thank you for sharing this! I know some “nomadic” travelers are very peculiar about who and what they share about their income streams. Thanks for being so open!!

  301. hafeez Malik

    Thanks StumbleUpon which led me to your page. I instantly liked “How I Can Afford My Life of Constant Travel”. You are candid and vivid in your travel tales and you offer a lot of ‘side dishes’ like kidnapping in Bangladesh or going Shillong, India for recovery of your US$ 2,500 while gaining or losing more in the process.

    I travel myself, more and less in your style. I have been to 57 countries but my dream of pushing it to 100 may not be realized. First, I am 70 and have lost the luster. Second, I am required to obtain prior-visa for almost all countries and border-hoping is a forbidden fruit for me.

    I hope I would make it up for a virtual travel through your description.

  302. Calogero

    You lucky and a good man! And… 1. where your photos in this page? I like the first, the second, the fourth and the fifth ones! 2. I am on Twitter, You Tube and Facebook too – and also on StumbleUpon and Google +.

  303. Kyle

    Amazing stuff man. I often wonder how people got to where they are now and you really laid it out. I’ve started my own blog to hopefully be able to achieve the full-time travel life I want as well and it’s great to see the path you took. Hope to be joining you in perpetual travels soon! Cheers

  304. Ryan Miller

    Hey Earl,
    I’ve been looking to travel for some time. I feel as if it is my calling. besides the need or want to help people, I don’t think I’ve experienced anything stronger… so i have a few questions for you.
    The first would be: How indepth of an understanding of the other cultures’ language do you have to have to teach English, is there any degrees involved in such a thing, and how exactly do you go about finding such a job?
    Second would be one I am interested in: Do you need to have any prerequisites to work aboard a cruise ship, and do you know which ones that offer good chances of hire?
    Third would be a question that I’ve been wanting to know for many reasons: How do you go about acquiring a work permit for other countries, and do you have to obtain a work permit for each country separately?
    Finally, do you have any personal recommendations for places to visit?
    Hope you get back to me, and if you do- thank you for your time.

    1. Earl

      Hey Ryan = Thanks for commenting! And my suggestion would be to take a look at my latest eBook: How to Live a Life of Travel

      It will answer every one of your questions in complete detail and fully prepare you to achieve your travel goals. I think you’ll find the material to be quite useful!

  305. Erika

    You live the life I often dream of! I totally agree that long-term travel can be manageable and I admire your efforts to make it a reality. So many people think you have to be rich to travel–that’s not true! It’s amazing how many people will go out and buy a sports car or eat at fancy restaurants daily and then wonder how some have the money to travel.

  306. geoff

    Earl. here is a challenge for you. put yourself in Australia, Brisbane, Sydney etc. with no return ticket.

    you have no money from your previous country you were in, you have no visa to be able to work in Australia, (although as a usa person you probably would be able too)

    How long will it take you to get out of this country.

    I am trying to get out of Australia for a European adventure trip, the cost to get a simple return ticket to europe is huge. over $2000 AUD

    you try Earl

    1. Earl

      Hey Geoff – Well, first, I wouldn’t put myself in a situation where I had no money in a country where I couldn’t work 🙂

      But if I was in such a situation, I would get a job anywhere I could or get a working holiday visa for NZ. And you have to be reasonable…if you’re in such a situation, a European adventure isn’t realistic in the near future. Why not save enough to get to Asia where you can work again (teach English), save some more and then head to Europe?

  307. Emily

    Your story is amazing, I cant imagine a life of a ‘secure’ job, Im only 16, so everyone keeps going on about how im supposed to know what I want to do forever.. , Ill scrape through college just to get a degree under my belt:) But you have really inspired me and I really want to travel, but Im worried about safety, I dont have anyone to travel with. Would it be safe for a young woman to travel alone? Or should I try and get travelling companions or something else. Is it dangerous in places like India, I would imagine, or is it possible to stay in safe areas only. 🙂 thanks, its great to know that it is possible. Also, although you have discussed work permits and stuff like that, if I worked as a waiter or other tax paying jobs would I need a new visa/permit for every country? and how do you deal with language issues, obviously you cant speak the same language as everyone, do a lot of countries speak english well?

    1. Earl

      Hey Emily – The world is much safer than we think and you can easily travel alone. Have a read of this post: Please Don’t Be Afraid To Travel On Your Own

      As for work visas, it all depends on the work you do and the country. And with languages, English is so widely spoken these days, in every corner of the globe, that language barriers really aren’t something to worry about.

  308. Dylan Greene-Taub

    hi my names Dylan, I think I just left a detailed comment here a minute ago lol, but I dont see it so im not sure if it went through…. anyway I just wanted to let your know how inspired I am by the work that you are doing and lifetsyle choice you have made. I am so extremely passionate about many of the same things that you discuss and blog about and your work puts motivation and spirit back into my dream of travelling the world for a life as well! Right now im 21 living on Long Island, NY with my parents and just graduated with an associates degree from suffolk county community college, as for work I currently have a number of part time obs for myself giving me income for my car and other bills I have to pay in my life. I have so much to ask you but I can’t write a book on the comment page hahaha, so I really hope that you will let me talk with you a little more indepth and detailed about travelling (via e-mail or something) and maybe some of your interesting stories as well. Until next time I am glad to be able to call you a new friend in spirit and wish you the safest of travels and this entire post is also a toast to the next life changing adventure you go on.


  309. karthik

    i am so inspired by u earl ! i am from india and i want to travel a lot like u but i have a few questions regarding travellers from india how they can manage money in dollars as we get very little value in dollars and we dont get jobs as an esl teachers and do u know any lifelong travellers from india? as most of the travel blogs are from north american travellers
    waiting for your reply

  310. Joshua Chester

    Quick question, I am sure the answer is really networking and just having desirable qualities but how do you find these jobs while abroad? If you could describe your interactions or what you personally did that helped you get the jobs that would be great. Also any tips

    1. Earl

      Hey Joshua – It is all about networking and talking to as many people as you can. I learned about teaching English from another traveler I met and I also learned about working on board cruise ships from someone I met while overseas. And that was all it took. Also, the more you travel, the more people you naturally meet and as a result, the more opportunities you hear about and the more beneficial connections you make!

      As for specific tips about how to get such jobs or what kinds of work you can find while traveling, you might want to check out my eBook: How to Live a Life of Travel

  311. Ania

    Thanks for posting such a thorough outline! I’m living a little vicariously through your blog. Though with all this travel and never staying in one place too long, how do you maintain romantic relationships, if at all? I think that’s a big barrier to a lot of people who would maybe otherwise live this lifestyle.

    1. Earl

      He Ania – Romantic relationships are not early as difficult to maintain as one might imagine. I am fortunate to meet like-minded people all the time, new people every single day. And when I meet someone I want to spend more time with I have the flexibility to throw down my bag, stay in one place and see if it works out. Sure, there are challenges, but there are challenges with any kind of relationship and I do believe that my chances of meeting someone who I can truly connect with is much higher while doing something that I love (travel) than if I were back home limiting myself to only those around me.