Full time travelling and remote work. Does that work?

travel and remote work

People often ask me how I travel this much whilest holding down a job that is neither travel related, nor requires me to travel.

“Oh, you’re going on vacation again?” is what I hear when I’m off to some faraway country. First of all, I’m a freelance webdeveloper — so yes, I do actually work quite a lot. I integrated my work and hobbies seamlessly into my life and from an outside perspective it might seem that I am always having fun.

Working remote isn’t as difficult as people think it is. It requires a job that can be done online, a laptop and every now and then some stable WiFi (which can be a challenge). It does require some shifting in your priorities. Let me explain that to you.

You want to travel? Make it your priority

Yes, it’s not easy to find the money and/or the time to travel full time but the thing is: it’s doable if you really want it. This means you have to give up other things in life also. You wont ever see me with the newest iPhone, a car or a house that I’ve bought. These are just things that are completely unnecessary if your aim is to travel.

Whether it means working overtime or cutting unnecessary expenses to build up your travel fund, if your priority is achieving your travel dreams, all the work is worth it. If the situation requires it, i’m not shy of eating crackers and drinking water for a few days to save money to buy that airplane ticket that I’ve had my eyes on for some days.

For me, it’s the freelance life

When you have your priorities figured out and decided you want to travel and work full time it’s important you find an income to sustain this lifestyle. Getting an online skill such as marketing or webdevelopment helps, because these are usually jobs that can be done from anywhere.

For me, seeing the world has always been a priority, so I designed my life in a particular way so that I have the freedom to travel often. Now my main gig is being a freelance front-end developer and this pays the bills. However, I like to broaden my skillset by setting up various side projects. Especially when you just started, side projects are a perfect way to acquire new skills and fill up that portfolio.

Our generation should be very lucky that remote work is up and coming like this. Personally I think remote work will keep growing the way it’s been doing now.

“Choice empowers people and makes for a more content workforce. One day offices will be a thing of the past.”

Richard Branson

My ultimate work/travel locations?

Long-term travellers have a heap of time, but not necessarily a ton of cash. Hence for me it’s absolutely vital to live in places that are affordable. I could live the next 3 months in let’s say Paris, London and New York. However, I’d spend as much money as I would living a year in Thailand, Bali, Spain or any other affordable location.

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Working from a beach wasnt working for me, but some people tend to like it. For me I need a good desk, a decent chair and fast WiFi. This was Koh Lanta, Thailand. Home to the famous co working space Kohub, where I spend most of my time.

Unless I don’t have access to WiFi, I’m almost always working one way or another. I know this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but for me it does wonders. I’m not a 9 to 5 person and hate spending time logging hours behind a desk.

Should I also get a remote job?

I have to say that the remote work life isn’t for everyone. Sometimes it can be difficult and you’d miss the chat with colleagues, the ride in your car to the office, or the routine you build into your life.

Ask yourself: do I really want to see more of the world and am I the person that can handle remote work? If the answer is yes to this question then what are you waiting for?

We humans set such rigid bounderies for ourselves, mostly we are over concerned and therefore limit our potential throughout life. However, once you break throught this fear that limits your experience, you’ll see that you also can go travel and work with remote clients, in whatever field of expertise you rock in.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.

Mark Twain

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Author: Thom Wensink

Founder of @NomadProjects | Front-end developer | Webdesigner | Startuplife | UI & UX | Digital nomad | Freelancer | Traveller