I once said I would do whatever it took to go overseas and earn income, even if I had to scrub toilets with a toothbrush in Malaga, Spain.
Thankfully for the Internet, I can go to Malaga to brush my teeth and not the toilet. It’s not that easy to uproot, to find a job, to pay for travel expenses, home expenses and loans, to learn a new language, adjust to cultural differences, or to scrub toilets. But it is doable.
I used to spend hours (at work, sorry Inger Reilly! And it was “hours” because the Internet was dial-up!) researching ways to live and work abroad. I read about getting visas, personal stories, and dozens of tips and how-to’s. Not much existed when the Internet first started. Today, so much has changed and transformed. The Internet and technology evolve rapidly but humans are much slower to make shifts.
After getting a first taste of life in Spain, I was hooked and needed to find a way to get back to exploring new cultures, languages, and places. But after finding a serious boyfriend, moving to Seattle, and getting a job at Adobe, “Life” eventually hit me. I got caught in the rat race and started caring about what was around me, not within me.
There are a few ways to travel as a professional, and by that I don’t mean busking on the street and eating out of trash cans (though I’ve seen former corporate slaves do this). You can be a writer or journalist, or even a photographer. You can become a roadie with a band, be sent overseas by your job, or work for a while as acontractor. For me, I tried many of these things (except for the roadie bit). My options now are contract work, self employment, and earning revenues either residually from business or from the sales of my company.
I’ve tried, or am trying, everything I’ve heard abour. I have taught English in Spain, sold artisan crafts with gypsies on dirt streets, built websites in Hungary and Nicaragua, helped translate and sell tours in Oaxaca, sold tickets for a disco in Costa Rica, helped a musician friend panhandle in Argentina, and even once sold an octopus to a restaurant in Mexico. But for the record, I ‘m still willing to scrub the toilet. I have some great stories, and thankfully there are better ways to earn a living. But it’s all about keeping that willingness!
What job would you be willing to take to live the lifestyle you want?