We have all heard about the ‘laptop lifestyle’ where people are running online businesses from anywhere in the world so long as they have access to the internet.
But is this a reality? Can people actually run a profitable business while working online where they want, when they want, and how often they want.
This article by Sarah Peterson gives some answers. It’s based on her own experience of traveling the globe and working from her laptop.
It's jam-packed with practical, real-world advice. Her experience will inspire you and enrich your own journey.
So if you are disengaged and disenchanted with your work, roles, and future… then this is a must-read.
Have you ever wished you could afford to travel more?
Maybe you’ve dreamed of spending spring in the south of France or Christmas in London.
Or if you’re like me, you’ve craved learning Spanish in Argentina or trekking Machu Picchu in Peru.
You’ve found yourself searching flight prices and AirBNB accommodations and have even come dangerously close to booking…
Until you remembered your bank account. Yeah, I’ve been there.
But in February, I quit my job and booked a one-way ticket to Portugal. I spent several weeks wandering Europe with a friend. I devoured pizza in Naples, partied at the Carnaval de Nice in France, and wandered the picturesque streets of Barcelona until my feet bled.
Most people react to this by saying something like: “you’re so lucky!” or “I wish I could do that!”.
But do you want to know something funny?
The people who say these things can do the exact same thing.
I’m not special. I wasn’t born rich, I didn’t win the lottery, and I don’t have any advantages you don’t possess. In fact, I have a mortgage. I paid for a wedding last year. I live in one of the most expensive places in the Western hemisphere.
If I can travel whenever I want, you can too. You just have to conquer your money, quit that job, and book a ticket.
Make a Rock-Solid Plan to Quit Your Job and Travel
You probably can’t quit your 9-5 tomorrow, right?
Yeah, I couldn’t either. I have a mortgage to pay, and you probably have bills to pay, too.
But what you can do is make a plan so you can figure out when you can make your dreams a reality. There are three things you should make a plan for:
1. Your income: How much do you earn? How much do you need for your living expenses and the occasional treat? Make a current budget. Plan out how much you could save each month to make this dream a reality. Make a conservative plan and an aggressive plan. If you were to cut out most of the luxuries you currently pay for, how much closer would your dream of traveling be?
2. Your travel budget: Where do you want to go first? How much money would you need each day, week, and month you’re on the road? How long would it take for you to save up with the number you came up with above?
3. Earning more: What skills and abilities do you have that you can offer as a service or product? How can you earn more money and – ideally – continue earning that money while you’re on the road?
The better you plan, the sooner you can realize your dream of quitting your job to travel.
Create Location Independent Income Streams
One of the easiest ways to be able to afford traveling as much as you want is to get paid while you’re doing it.
Well, this may have been out-of-reach a decade ago, but now being able to make money from anywhere in the world (as long as you have a WiFi connection) is a reality for many millennials.
My entire career is location independent, allowing me to not only spend money while I’m adventuring, but earn it too. When I travel, I have several systems in place that help me earn an income no matter where I am in the world.
That’s the power of the internet.
In my case, I am a business and blogging coach, so I help people build online businesses. I don’t need to be at an office to do this; I just need Skype and a Wifi connection.
I also run a blog where I earn passive income through referrals to products that I use and love – even when I’m asleep or trekking in Nepal.
Finally, I use one of my marketable skills (content marketing) to offer a service (freelance writing) which I sell to clients. This allows me to remain completely self-employed and location independent when I choose to be.
What skills or expertise can you offer or make a product from so you can earn money from anywhere?
We all have them. You just have to dig deep to find them.
Set Some Non-Negotiable Priorities
If I wanted to know what you prioritize in life, I’d take a look at your bank account.
If there’s one skill that we, as millennials, need to hone it’s the skill of carefully setting our priorities and structuring our lives to feed those priorities.
That means that if travel is important to you – if you want to be able to live a lifestyle of freedom and adventure – you need to prioritize it, and that means financially.
How can you do this?
Well, let’s start with no debt. Debt is a huge waste of money and will hold you back from going anywhere – figuratively and literally. Living a debt-free lifestyle opens doors for you that you didn’t even know existed.
Another prioritization must is turning your back on consumerism. Every dollar you spend on stuff is a dollar taken away from seeing the world.
That $60 dress could have afforded you four days in many Asian and South American countries. Stuff isn’t important. You can’t take it with you, both when you leave this world and when you leave the country.
If you want to travel whenever you want, you can’t have anything holding you back. That includes debt and consumer goods.
What does your lifestyle say about you? How can you adjust it to reflect what you truly value?
You Can Quit Your Job and Travel the World
If you’re reading this, you probably have the ability to quit your job and travel the world. You just have to conquer your money, your time, and your priorities first.
So start making a plan. Start building those income streams. And start feeding your values.
Before you know it, you’ll be booking a one-way plane ticket and achieving that goal you’ve always wanted to achieve.
This article was originally published on Unsettle.org
Sarah Peterson is an entrepreneur, traveller, and writer from Vancouver, BC Canada. She is the author of Unsettle.org, where she helps people stop settling for “okay” lives and careers and start acting on their ideas.