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How I Can Still Afford My Life Of Constant Travel

Berat, Albania
The most popular post on this blog has been “How I Can Afford My Life of Constant Travel”, a post I wrote back in April 2011. The idea of that post was to offer better insight into exactly how I’ve earned my money over the years, approximately how much I’ve spent while traveling and basically, how I’ve managed to maintain this traveling lifestyle for so long.

That way, you can understand what is really involved with achieving a goal of long-term travel.

And now that 16 months have passed since I wrote that post, I think it’s time for an update. After all, I’ve still continued traveling and earning money since last April, and I still receive plenty of emails from readers wanting to know where that money comes from.

Believe me, I often sit here wondering how this all happened myself. It nearly brings me to tears (of joy!) to think that I’ve managed to travel for so long without having had to sell a body part or participate in any medical experiments. It’s crazy.

And the most important thing to realize is that such a lifestyle is absolutely possible for you as well. Seriously, it’s possible. And proving that point is the main goal of this blog. What I try to make clear is that there are an infinite number of diverse opportunities out there for you to take advantage of. Not only are there opportunities to travel cheaply by doing such things as cleaning a hostel in exchange for a free night’s stay or picking fruit on a farm in Australia or finding under-the-table work at a bar or cafe…

There are also opportunities to create your own work, to earn a very decent income, to save money for the future and to live and travel in relative comfort, all while overseas. Traveling long-term doesn’t have to involve scraping up little bits of money everywhere you go, doing jobs that are less than desirable and sleeping in the absolute cheapest accommodations you can find.

Whatever kind of lifestyle you want, there’s no reason why travel can’t be a part of it.

Microlight in South Africa

The Timeline

(Starting from April 2011 – for my earlier Timeline, see “How I Can Afford My Life of Constant Travel”.)

April 2011

  • Lived in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, working on the blog and other websites (such as GoKurdistan.com)
  • Launched my “How to Work on Cruise Ships” eBook
  • Reached $2500 in monthly online income through eBook sales as well as my experiments with affiliate marketing

July 2011

  • Decided to leave Mexico and return to the US to visit family for a couple of weeks
  • Unsure of what to do/where to go next I hung out with friends in NYC for a few weeks, spending almost $250 per week despite staying at my friends’ apartment
  • Started accepting very small amounts of advertising on WanderingEarl.com in order to increase my monthly income by around $400

September 2011

  • Agreed to partner with Eurail.com for their “Blog Trail” project which allowed me to travel around Europe by train for two months for free, courtesy of Eurail.com
  • Took a flight to Zurich, Switzerland in order to begin the two-month train journey
  • Traveled to Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia and Romania
  • Was earning around $2000 per month online (due to the fact I had little time to work while traveling) and I spent approximately $900 per month on expenses during this trip

Sveti Stefan, Montenegro

December 2011

  • Spent two weeks in Istanbul
  • Returned to the US for five days
  • Went to South Africa for two weeks as part of an all-expenses paid “Social Media Blogger Tour” organized by the South Africa Tourism Board
  • Took a flight from South Africa to Bucharest, Romania where I decided to spend some time working on more online projects

February 2012

  • Paid $250 USD per month for a room in an apartment in Bucharest
  • Total cost of living in Bucharest was about $650 USD per month
  • While in the midst of a terrible Eastern European winter, I began work on a new eBook, “How to Live a Life of Travel”
  • Sales of my other eBooks decreased drastically for some reason, leading to only $1200 in monthly income for 3 months

April 2012

  • Returned to the US in order to catch a flight to Fiji where I was to participate in a Bloggers Press Trip
  • The Fiji trip was canceled at the last minute due to a cyclone so I ended up visiting family and friends in the US for 3 weeks, spending over $1200 during that time
  • Flew to Istanbul with a friend from home, stayed for one week and spent $400
  • Took the bus back to Bucharest

Lake Ohrid, Macedonia

May 2012

  • Traveled to Bratislava, Slovakia for four days to visit friends (cheap flight from Bucharest to Vienna – close to Bratislava – for only $100 USD return)
  • Returned to Bucharest, Romania

June 2012

  • I finally completed my “How to Live a Life of Travel” eBook
  • Sales of most of my eBooks suddenly increased once again and I began earning around $4000 per month from all of my online work (eBooks, affiliate marketing, small amount of advertising, freelance writing, consulting, etc.)

July 2012

  • Took an 8-day vacation from blogging and work by going to the beach town of Ulcinj, Montenegro
  • Traveled around Montenegro, Albania and Macedonia for four weeks, spending approximately $800 USD during that month to cover all expenses
  • After the vacation I announced the launch of Wandering Earl Tours with my first tour taking place in India in November
  • The first tour sold out in 2 days with a waiting list of over 20 people

August 2012

  • Returned to Romania where I’ll remain for one month working on two new projects

Eating Cake, Tirana, Albania

Future plans…

September 2012

  • Will visit Estonia and Finland for two weeks

October 2012

  • Will fly to India for final preparations of the India tour I’m organizing
  • Plan to stay in India for 1.5 months after the tour for some meditation and visiting some regions I have yet to visit

January 2013

  • I’ll start offering small group tours every couple of months to different parts of the world

Then, who knows?

And there you have it. That’s how I’ve been living, working and traveling since April 2011.

It’s funny because when I first started traveling, I certainly never would have imagined that I would end up as a travel blogger and that my blog would allow me to continue traveling around the planet. That’s the beauty of this lifestyle though…you never know where it will lead.

And that is why, if travel is your goal, I strongly recommend putting all of your energy into taking the first step and finding a way to start traveling. Once you do that, every dream and every goal that you may think is impossible right now will suddenly appear so much more achievable and when that happens, you are able to start living the life you really want.


Have you found a way to travel long-term? Or maybe your goal is long-term travel but you’re not sure how to make it happen? Share your stories and ask any questions below!

Follow Along! Follow along via Email -- RSS -- Twitter -- Facebook as I prove that a life of constant travel is not so crazy after all. And don't forget to check out my unique, small-group Wandering Earl Tours!

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89 Responses to How I Can Still Afford My Life Of Constant Travel

  1. Rafa says:

    super inspirational! I´m in the point of my life where I have to make a huge decision. I finally finished my studies and am “free” to choose a direction in life. Im scared to death. I know what I want…but I think that only 1/100000 of the people who try really make it. I would love to live traveling and specially, inspiring others.
    I read this and it gives me energy and hope…but still I´m scared to death. Where do I begin? Those first steps have to be freaky!
    I hope that in the next few months my own blog comes to life and starts working and I start traveling FOR REAL and living the life I dream about.

    You are an incredible inspiration. I can just hope to someday live like you live. It´s not the energy that´s missing in me…it´s just that I´m scared…

  2. samarjit says:

    hey earl well i just went through your blogs ..i mean i found it incredible , what an amazing lifestyle you have . to be very honest my passion is traveling , im from India and have seen whole of india and recently visited thailand , now i wanna move further but money is a problem for me .. i really dont know where to start ,im an architect but a fresher ofcourse so dont have that much amount of money to see the world but my goal and aim is to see and travel d world ..so when i saw your blog it inspired me .Thank you so much love to see hw you carry this lifestyle .i wish very soon i will have a lifestyle like you .

  3. Coda says:

    I find it very fascinating that I stumbled upon your web site at this time in my life! I have recently been feeling an incredibly intense desire to drop everything and just travel. As of right now, I feel like I want it to be a permanent lifestyle, being a wanderer – I am not really interested in coming back to the US at all once I leave – but that may change with time, of course.

    Currently I am working and saving up as much money as possible, buying all of the necessary gear and basics that I will need for traveling. A huge concern that I have had is how I will continue to travel once my savings run dry. I am nearly 20 years old and have no technical schooling beyond high school. I can play my guitar and other instruments well, and have considered busking as a means to help me get by, but I am unsure of how much it would really help, never having tried it before.

    Is there any thing that you would recommend I look into? I really want to trust my intuition and just get out there, but I also do not want to be left stranded somewhere with no back up plan and no idea what to do.

    p.s. I am very inspired by your story! Thank you for sharing! I have been feeling a little overwhelmed and unsure at the thought of traveling, but seeing your blog has inspired me immensely! Any sort of feedback would be very much appreciated :)

  4. H says:

    Hey, master of travelling, Earl, how’ve you been? Where have you been in recent months?

    I’m planning on becoming a semi nomad as soon as I get my passport (I’ve been waiting two months for the thing) and was wondering if you know of any websites that list jobs that I can do while travelling?

  5. PassportDave says:

    I will be traveling before I hit my degree as well. I know my savings will not last forever. Luckily, I have discovered the best two words known to any broke traveler that wants to see the world … Organic Farmstay. Be a hippie, work a couple hours per day, free food and lodging. (can mix in some couchsurfing too).

  6. Jamie says:

    Hi Earl,

    I will be setting off on my travels towards the end of the year (I will be 25) after several years of longing, I’ve finally reached breaking point with my 9-5 lifestyle. I have told my family it will just be a year break, but my true wish is to travel indefinitely. Although your site and others give inspiration that it is possible, I find it hard to shake the ‘it will never happen to me’ attitude, and fear being back in the UK a year later looking for another Job. I left school at 16, so have no College or University degree to back me up, will this hinder me? and I can’t imagine anyone would want to read a blog of mine! Can it truly be done with no real skills? Any advice you can give will be much appreciated.

    • Wandering Earl says:

      Hey Jamie – There really is no one answer to those questions. It depends on the person, on your effort, on your creativity, on your determination to make it all happen. There is not shortage of stories out there of people who were in a similar situation that managed to create the life of their dreams. You just need to get out there and try, completely focused on your goals!

      And you should read this post, as well as all the comments: http://www.wanderingearl.com/do-you-need-a-university-degree-to-travel-long-term/

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  8. james ranoken says:

    You’ve been on the road a very long time. What are you running from? It sounds like a very sad life, constantly on the move, constantly looking for the next novelty experience. This doesn’t sound like a lifestyle it sounds like a compulsion.

    • Wandering Earl says:

      Hey James – Thanks for the comment although that’s quite a statement considering you know pretty much nothing about me :) I’m not running from anything…I’m doing what I love best, which happens to be experiencing the world with my own eyes and meeting new people everywhere I go. If you knew me at all, you would see that I’m living a life that is anything but sad!

  9. mina says:

    Hi,
    Reading this has inspire me so much to get up and go, I’m only 22 and I love to travel but I am kind of scared and lost , its beautifull how you made it , I hope to see more post’s about you.

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  11. Daniela says:

    I find myself coming back to your blog over and over… made a list of the places I want to go to around the world, and I’m SO close to jumping on the traveling wagon.. but it seems that the airfare is a bit higher than I expected.
    I’m slowly moving into a more blog friendly life (as in, I’m trying to write more), you said you allowed some ads on your site for extra income. is that easy to get? Also, about traveling with expenses paid if you blog.. how does that work? do they look you up or do you look for them?
    Thanks so much for being an inspiration!!! I’m so excited for 2013. I’m giving myself until sept. 2013 to begin my adventure :)

    • Wandering Earl says:

      Hey Daniela – I’m happy that you keep coming back to the site! As for advertisements and expenses-paid trips, those will generally come to you whenever advertisers/companies/tourism boards feel that working with you will give them some benefit. Keep in mind that when they spend money for an advertisement or to send you on a trip, they do so because they think they will get something in return. And in order to get something in return, you need to have shown that you have a good-size audience who is truly interested in what you write. Otherwise, companies would just be throwing money away and of course, they won’t want to do that. So again, you will start to get the emails when the time is right!

  12. So I started reading you eBook, and I must say, you definitely know what you are talking about. When it came to planning local flights, I used your methods from the books and found local flights that were 66% lower than anything I found on my own initially. You truly are offering some wonderful advice for those looking to travel and I just want to say Thank You!

    • Earl says:

      @Passport Dave – That’s excellent to hear and I’m glad it’s proven useful for you! Seems like that flight deal you got made it all worth it :)

  13. Expat Evan says:

    Hi Earl,

    I’m n expat based in South Korea. You have inspired me to put extra effort into my expat blog, and international photography blog (www.yatapphotography.com …you can delete this is you want) so I just wanted to say thanks!

  14. thomas kearney says:

    Hey guys, I have come to 6 months of independent travelling. I am a 25 year old Australian guy. I have lived in POrtugal all summer so far and am currently in UK and plan to travel through a few Nordic counties. I am in a pickle. I have a European passport and dwindling funds. I have been offered my old job in a resort in Australia. This is paid very well. So i dont know if i should return home to re-set myself up for further independent travelling or keep going despite it all. I have been offered a free food lodging arrangment in a Copenhagen hostel. Where I think i should also be able to find work to supplement my income. What do people think. and has anyone worked/lived in Copenhagen?

    • Earl says:

      Hey Thomas – Have you looked at Helpx.net? You should be able to find paid short-term work gigs all over Europe that might keep you going, even in the Nordic countries.

  15. Rebecca says:

    Awesome, good on you! I think if you want something badly enough you can make it happen!

  16. Fantastic post and really inspiring – appreciate the honesty as well! Have held off on the ad requests for now, trying to build an audience and content first! Have you seen any change in your site stats since placing ads?

    • Earl says:

      Hey Barry & Laura – I haven’t really seen much difference in stats although, as you can see, the amount of advertising on the site is about as minimal as it gets. However, I also don’t check my site stats often, only once every 3 months. As long as things are going well and the community continues to grow (which is evident without stats), I don’t really mind what the numbers are :)

  17. miky says:

    Oau! I envy you :) Keep having fun and enjoy Romania (it’s quite a nice country if you know where to look)

  18. Lane says:

    Hey Stacey,

    Do you have a site set up yet?

    Lane

    • Stacey G says:

      I do not. Between selling/giving away all of our belongings, showing our house and homeschooling 6 kids, I keep putting it on the back burner. ;) My husband says “just do it!” but I am not sure how/where to start. We leave Sept 10th so I really need to get on the ball…

  19. Andy says:

    Congratulations on your successful location independent business! Your example is a real inspiration. I’ve traveled a lot but never even thought about permanent travel – until now!

    Hey, the pic with the ultralight airplane is awesome. Where did you do that flight?

    • Earl says:

      Hey Andy – That flight took place in South Africa and we took off from a field about a one hour drive inland from the city of Durban. Very cool experience!

      • Andy says:

        Yeah very cool! Will do the ultralight someday for sure. Last year I did a sailplane flight. It was great. It’s flying like the birds do because you have no engine… the takeoff is awesome, 0-60 mph in 3 seconds and then almost vertical – better than a rollercoaster! If you ever want to learn flying they say a sailplane is the best way to get your first certificate. Easy to learn, very cheap and a lot of fun!

        • Earl says:

          Hey Andy – That does sound appealing and I will have to check that out a little more. I don’t think I even heard of sailplanes before you mentioned it.

  20. This is great to hear, Earl. We’re about to set out with our 2 kids for a year-long trip, and kind of secretly hope it will turn into a longer-term thing. So far, everything has fallen into place pretty nicely, and we’ve got renters paying our mortgage in the US to boot!

    • Earl says:

      Hey Paige – That’s an excellent start with the renters and if you want it to be a longer term adventure, there’s no reason why that can’t happen. I’m sure that as soon as you begin, you’ll discover plenty of opportunities to make that happen!

  21. SY says:

    Hey Earl,
    Enjoyed reading your posts. They are simply inspiring. Unfortunately I’m still stuck in my home country and have not dared to step out. Only dreaming about it.

  22. avinash says:

    thanks for sharing this.
    graet blog

  23. Melissa Anderson says:

    Thanks for the inspiration, Earl!

    It certainly seems like you spend more money going home to visit family and friends…

    On another note, I’ve signed up for an account on couchsurfing, and I keep getting creepy/weird messages from men. I will be very very hesitant to actually use couchsurfing in real life. Have you heard of this problem before?

    Cheers!

    • Earl says:

      Hey Melissa – Ha, that’s true. Going home is probably my biggest expense! As for couchsurfing, yes, I’ve heard of that before and the key is to only choose hosts who are very active and who have many positive reviews. I wouldn’t stay with someone who doesn’t host people all the time. But the popular hosts are popular for a reason and after reading the reviews you can get an idea of what kind of person they are.

  24. Ayngelina says:

    Love this post and so happy to see you make it happen. You work hard and it’s definitely paying off.

  25. Lane says:

    In reading many bios of travel bloggers, often their path is similar. They go on one life-changing travel experience, start documenting it for family and friends, and become addicted. I wonder how travel blogging will change when people actually set out as a dedicated blogger, and not just fall into it?

    • Earl says:

      Hey Lane – That’s already happening as most of the people I know who start travel blogs these days are doing so in order to earn money. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to earn anything significant and most don’t realize the amount of effort required to even earn a few dollars so I don’t see it as being a business model that will be attractive for very long.

      • Lane says:

        Agreed. Most will come and go when they realize the work. I just wonder how this will effect full-time bloggers if the field gets saturated?

        • Earl says:

          Hey Lane – I think the main thing for bloggers is to concentrate on creating their own unique identity and to not worry about being part of the travel blogging world. The field is already quite saturated if you follow the normal pattern of creating a travel blog, but for those move away from the masses and do something different, there is plenty of room to make something happen.

    • Stacey G says:

      That’s a very good point! I am wanting to start blogging “purposefully” as a tool to help other families with children as it feels “harder” to travel when you are responsible for little beings besides yourself. I hope that I can inspire them as Earl is inspiring singles/couples.

  26. Always interesting to know the details on how people are earning a living online and traveling. Congrats on all the success you have had this past year!

    • Earl says:

      Thanks Stephanie…I know when I started out there wasn’t much info on how people really earn money online so I hope this helps others!

  27. Stacey G says:

    I’ve been checking in on you from time to time as you were the first to inspire me to make the dream of traveling a reality. We are actually doing it! Our home is on the market, half of our personal belongings sold, and our adventure will begin sometime late August with 6 kids in tow. I’d like to start a blog to journal our plans but am at a loss. Any tips or suggestions of ebooks or the best blog to use with an iPad? With 6 kids, researching the actual “how to” takes up a lot of time but I’d like to start recording the process, not just the arrival. And because I will begin homeschooling our crew starting in the next couple of weeks, I can’t read everything I come across. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    Hope to meet you out there one day soon! ~Stacey G

    • Earl says:

      Hey Stacey – Congratulations! That is going to be an amazing journey your family will be on and I’ll be excited to hear more about it as it happens! As for tips, if you’re interested in creating a blog and making money from it, I can highly recommend “Travel Blog Success“, a great course that will take you step by step through everything you need to get started and to grow your website!

  28. tyrhone says:

    Hey Earl,

    Great that you manage to earn a living off this blog, and well deserved too, considering the time and effort you put into it, and the great outcome of that effort.

    The missus and I sold our house/mortgage, saved for about 3 years, (which meant lots of nights and weekends on the couch watching movies, or doing free stuff). Then put all of our savings into a high interest account. From that we make a decent amount which we will eventually try to add to with online work (I am a graphic designer and artist). So far the outgoings are a bit higher than the incomings, but we are still in full travel mode.

    Inspiring post, thanks for your honesty and openness, it helps people see the possibilities of this lifestyle.

    Keep up the good work…and travel.

    • Earl says:

      Hey Tyrhone – Seems like you have a plan and that is definitely a good thing. Just take it one step at a time of course and soon enough, the income will become more than the expenses. Giving up should not be an option! It takes time and hard work but those who stick with it generally come out on top in the end…

  29. TravelingFirefighter@yahoo.com says:

    Michelle (above):
    To answer your question, I will be in Thailand for between 1-2 months, sometime between Jan. and April 2013. Sure, I would love to meet up with you/hubby, and anyone else while there. Feel free to email me:

    TravelingFirefighter@yahoo.com

  30. I’m gonna be like you when I grow up, Earl! ;) I can see the light at the end of the tunnel for me–thanks for the years of inspiration! Hope to join one of your tours in the near future.

    Keep traveling <3

    – Maria Alexandra

    • Earl says:

      Hola Maria – You’ll get there for sure and that would be excellent if you join one of the tours! Perhaps I’ll see you when I’m back in the US in a couple of months!

      • Would love to meet you in person, Earl! Def. let me know when you are back in the states. And always remember: Here’s a Spanish translator/interpreter, waiting to have enough clients in order to become location-independent, at your disposal ;)

        – Maria Alexandra

  31. Ryan says:

    Everytime I read your posts it makes me even more antsy to go on my trip! I won’t be going till 2014, but I’ve been saving up my paychecks for about a year, and after my deployment to Afghanistan I’ll be 22, out of the Army and off to C.America to start my journey, hoping to go around S.America, S.Africa, Egypt, Europe and then eventually start making my way towards India and further.

    I agree 100% when everyone says you’re an inspiration, its already been killing me for a year now to travel, especially when I read your posts about everywhere you go! I’m planning on going for a cruise ship job once my travel account starts getting low, and hoping to do a blog or some other online kind of income. Thanks for being such a help with these kind of posts, I’ve got another 18 months before I go so I’ll be keeping up with you and continuing to learn!

    By the way, “How to Live A Life of Travel” was easily the best eBook I’ve read on traveling so far!

    • Earl says:

      Hey Ryan – That last line makes me very happy! I’m so glad that you found the eBook to be so useful! And 2014 isn’t so far away…also, I love how you have a plan all laid out, fully aware of how to earn money, and confident that you’ll turn your goals into a success story. Just stay focused over the next year, keep saving those paychecks and perhaps I’ll see you in Central America!

  32. Bram says:

    First of all, congratulations on your new tour. Sounds so exciting! It always is interesting to hear from permanent travelers how they actually do it. This probably is the most detailed overview I have ever seen. Thanks for the honest information! I’m intrigued…

    • Scott Mallon says:

      Just wondering about the legalities of bringing a tour to India. The reason I ask is I many years ago I led two small tours around Thailand until I found out it was against the law. That was the end of that. But perhaps the law in India is different from that of Thailand?

    • Earl says:

      Hey Bram – Thanks for that…and everyone has their own way of making it happen, you just need to find what works best for you!

  33. Liz says:

    I am going to become certified to teach English pretty soon and hope that will open up a pathway for me to travel and to receive an income while doing so. I am trying to be content for now, but my heart yearns to travel!

    • Hi Liz!

      Teaching English is a GREAT way to travel and see the world and has so much opportunity! I completely understand the yearning, and though I lived abroad and taught English for 5 years, in the last couple of years I had obligations that kept me in the USA. When I can’t do something RIGHT NOW, it always helps me to research and read about it, so I wanted to provide you with some web sites that will show you what kinds of teaching jobs are available and where. If you look at them now it may help the yearning and by the time you are ready you will have an idea of what kind of job you want and what you are qualified to do.

      In general, no degree is required if you have a TEFL/CELTA (or the like) throughout Central and South America or in Eastern Europe. If you have a B.A./B.S. degree it opens up more options for more money throughout Asia, with Japan and Korea paying the most (last I knew — I taught writing at a university in Korea for 3 years). They also cover more expenses like providing you with an apartment and covering health insurance etc., which leaves teachers with a lot of disposable income for travel and saving. If you have a Masters, you can make even more money with more benefits in the Middle East. This is what I hope to do in the next couple of years, and I have done a lot of research, and as a woman I would recommend sticking to Oman, Qatar or United Arab Emirates when looking for jobs. I will be visiting a friend in UAE later this year, as that is where I would like to work and want to see what it is like there.

      As for sites, here are a few I would recommend you look at to get a feeling for the job market, what they cover, what they pay, what the qualifications are etc.

      Dave’s ESL Cafe: This site not only has a job board, but also many forums that English teachers from all over the world contribute to in order to help or advise each other, discuss curriculum, visa requirements, quality of life, and anything else you can think of that may be relevant. Dave was a teacher in Korea when he started this web site in the 90’s and it is still going strong. He has job boards for specific countries, but also an international job board with jobs everywhere: http://eslcafe.com/

      http://www.tefl.com/ has lists of jobs by country and covers most of the world. You can post your resume to make it easier to apply also. This is the web site where I found my job teaching at a university in South Korea in 2003. You can sign up to get the new jobs posted daily right to your inbox.

      http://www.eslemployment.com/ is another one I discovered in the last year and it is very comprehensive. You can actually sign up to get emails for updated jobs and discussions. Besides job boards, they also have forums about trends in education, curriculum and lesson plans and others to support teachers.

      I hope this helps you from a practical stand point, as well as from a dreamer’s stand point. Keep dreaming and check out these sites and you will be teaching abroad before you know it! Good luck. Please feel free to ask me any other questions you may have. My email is cmariehayes@yahoo.com.

      Good luck Liz!
      Christine

    • Earl says:

      Hey Liz – You’ll get out there soon enough and as Christine pointed out above, being certified to teach English is an excellent way to go!

  34. Musa Malik says:

    Thank you Earl for sharing soo much through your blog!

    I plan to follow in your footsteps. After college (which everyone says will be the best time of my life, but I doubt it) I am applying for work on a cruise ship to save up money and pay off my student loans + travel in the time i have off. When I tell people about my plans to travel long term, almost no one takes me seriously, which makes me angry but at the same time it motivates me to make sure my travel dreams come true.

    Musa Malik

    • Earl says:

      Hey Musa – I can’t wait for you to follow so that I can meet you somewhere finally! And definitely go for the cruise ship work…paying off those loans early will be the best thing you can do and since you can do it while traveling on a ship, it’s an even better option. And don’t worry about everyone else, just keep up your determination and make it happen. That’s the best way to show everyone that you’re serious and know what you’re doing!

  35. Jack says:

    Great update Earl. One thing stopping myself and others (I presume) from breaking free is the thought of giving up employer provided health care coverage. Could you write a post about what you are doing for health insurance and what other full-time travelers you meet are doing?

    • Earl says:

      Hey Jack – I can write a post about that…I’ve added it to my list of ideas. But the quick version is that I simply budget for health insurance. I pay monthly for a comprehensive insurance plan in the US so that if anything serious happens, I’m covered. Most of the travelers I know either do this or they take out a long-term travel insurance plan with a company such as WorldNomads.com or Clements.com. There are options and yes, they will cost money, but if you plan for it, then it’s not much of an issue.

  36. Excellent post, Earl. I echo the appreciation for such a detailed breakdown of how you make it happen, financially. Looking forward to hearing about your future tours, and hoping to join you on one. Congrats on filling your first tour so fast!

  37. Catia says:

    You’ve been a great inspiration to both me and my son. Kyle is 11 months into solo travelling, so far visiting France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Morocco, Turkey, Spain and Poland. On about $4000 that he saved up the year prior. I’m going over this fall and hope to catch up with him — his loose plans are to be in Sweden or Poland in October. He left when he was 19 and was nervous about the adventure; you were kind to answer questions that helped him get his feet on the ground. His confidence and sense of self have grown beyond that of most adults I know. Thanks for having this blog and being forthright about your experiences!

    • Earl says:

      Hey Catia – 11 months already! And he’s been all over, very cool! And I’m sure that his confidence grew very quickly…usually it only takes a very short time to realize that traveling is not so difficult after all. Please do keep me updated with his progress and where you end up meeting him. And if he ever comes to Romania, which I think I’ve mentioned before, make sure he gets in touch with me!

  38. Gigi says:

    Love this!

    I’ve been doing it way less time than you have, but I fund my full-time travel by running a small content strategy and web writing business. I started it and built it in the states and then took off for Europe, picking up more clients along the way.

    • Earl says:

      Hey Gigi – That’s great to hear and always inspiring to hear how other people manage to make their travel goals a reality!

  39. Michele says:

    What an incredible lifestyle! We’re closing in on our “take off” date! I’ve read some of your ebooks and love them. You most definitely have a knack for writing and keeping your audience entertained and informed. Thank you so much for taking the time to write to us in such detail while you travel. I’ve been moved to tears more than once by your blog! The beauty of the pictures you take, and the descriptions that accompany them are amazing. Your last post, the Clock Tower of Tirana, for example.. had me in tears from the moment you stepped into the tower. I love your writing style as much as the heartfelt detail you share with us.

    Wow, could I get much more sappy? I promise I’m not a stalker. The hubby and I would like to meet you for drinks sometime, though. After we begin our journey that is :) Buying you a drink to show our gratitude for teaching us that the nomadic lifestyle is possible is the least we could do!

    • Earl says:

      Hey Michele – That’s just a wonderful comment and I’ll take the sappiness for sure :) It’s been great communicating with you over the past year (has it been a year or so?) and we shall definitely meet up for drinks once you begin your adventure. That is a must!

      • Michele says:

        It has been about a year actually! We started looking at travel and found your blog last September or October maybe. We knew at that time that we wouldn’t be ready for at least another year and we’re still on track pretty good! I wish we’d been ready in time to take advantage of your India tour. Maybe the next one :)

  40. TravelingFirefighter says:

    Appreciate the honesty in your blog Earl. Love the fact your first tour sold out! I would have gotten in on it but I won’t be leaving the rat race until Jan 2013 so I missed it by a few months.

    Here’s an idea that I hope you may consider: Since it seems like you will already be in Asia towards the end of the year, maybe your next tour in early 2013 should be in Thailand? That’s where I am headed (solo) and I’m sure many others would consider going as well. I’d be all over that one and it would save you flight expenses out of Asia since you are already there. Just an idea that I selfishly hope you’ll consider.

    • Michele says:

      Hey TravelingFirefighter, my husband, son, and I are considering Thailand about the same time frame! (Maybe a month later.) How long do you plan to stay? Maybe we could all meet up somewhere.

    • Earl says:

      @TravelingFirefighter – That is a great idea and one that has crossed my mind already, however, I have a big family event in January that I must attend. And since I am rarely home and therefore miss out on most family events, this is one that I really need to be there for. However, heading straight back to Asia is not out of the question and I am working on the plans for more tours, so there is a chance that I can work something out in the end!

  41. Hannah says:

    Thanks, Earl, for always being so honest about where you make your money. You always inspire me and make me believe that it really IS possible to travel and make a living out of it. Keep up the good work!

  42. You are an inspiration! Congrats on all of your success and being able to continue to live life on your own terms. Good for you!

  43. Love the detailed breakdown. So cool that you’ve got a waiting list for your tours! What a great idea.

    Have fun in Estonia. :)

    • Earl says:

      Hey Matthew – The tour idea just seemed to be a natural fit at the moment so I’m excited to get that started. And I’m sure I will enjoy Estonia :)

  44. Rand says:

    Great post. Please identify the locations of the photos in this post, fantastic.

    • Earl says:

      Hey Rand – The first photo is in Berat, Albania, the second is on a microlight flight near Durban, South Africa, the third is Sveti Stefan, Montenegro and the fourth Lake Ohrid, Macedonia. The fifth one is just me eating cake on the streets of Tirana, Albania :)

  45. Colin Wright says:

    Great overview here, Earl. Always interesting to see how other people are earning money while traveling, and what kind of expenses they’re paying along the way.

    So you’re still in Romania? If you find yourself in Cluj, drop me a line!

    • Earl says:

      Hey Colin – I am still in Romania, and will be using it as my base for the foreseeable future. I have not been up to Cluj so hopefully I manage to make it up there at some point, maybe in a couple of weeks during a trip I’m planning to take around the countryside. If so, I shall be in touch!

  46. GQ says:

    simply incredible and inspiring. hope to start my journey soon.

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