(Warning: there are no pretty pictures in this post. You’ve been getting distracted too easily recently and this is important)

Shhhhhh, come closer. I have a secret. Many of you may think you know me through my blog. I try to be open, transparent and honest about my life on the road.  But I still have secrets. Recently people have begun to associate me with the recent trend of travel and lifestyle bloggers who have dumped their corporate world and stifling cubical for the freedom of the open road.  It’s a compelling story, a dream of millions. It tugs at the emotional triggers of the reader for a life of endless beach cocktails, far away romances, and awe inspiring moments as you stand in center of a 10,000 year old monument, feel the ancient dirt shift between your feet, breath in the scent of accumulated history and finally make a real connection to the ramblings of Mrs. Garret, your elementary school ancient civilizations teacher. See, that was such a wonderful image you probably didn’t even realize how long that last sentence was!

So what is my Secret?

It’s a big secret. It might even change the way you view me and Todd’s Wanderings. It could shatter the growing mythology that surrounds my lifestyle and blog (well maybe my egotistical long term travel blogger head could use a quick deflation anyway).

One thing is for sure, it will shatter the image that only the rich travel. It will shatter the image that you need to save tens of thousands of dollars to travel the world.

OK, here is my big secret. The one I’ve been afraid to reveal to you. The truth is…

I didn’t ditch a 9-5 corporate job. I didn’t decide one day to be brave and cast away the life I had built until that point, sell all my possessions and hit the road. I’m NOT a corporate escapee.

This would be impossible for me. The truth is: I never had that life to begin with! There never was any cubical. I never acquired any possessions, house, cat, dog (although I really really want one). I’m just a regular guy.

What did I do?

I made the simple choice to see the world before I got bogged down by a career. Right after college I left the US and moved to Japan were I worked as a teacher for 5 years. I spent every minute of free time, and the money I earned each month, to explore Japan and Asia. I didn’t save a dime and I made the most of my time. (Catchy, I know.)

I changed jobs often, and lived in different parts of Japan. I never allowed myself to settle down and get into a routine. I didn’t want a career as an English teacher but it served its purpose of allowing me (even with my college loan debts, still have them by the way) to travel, live and work in other countries.

When I became bored with teaching, when I felt that itch in my soul that I needed a change I simply did it…I changed. I went to graduate school and started my life as an international development worker. This has allowed me to travel even more of the world, for both work and fun. Again, I change jobs often. I pick projects and causes that I believe in. I try to integrate my passions with my work so that they blend naturally together.

I will write more about what exactly I do in future posts, and will explain how development work is one option to help you see the world in an upcoming guest post.

So what’s the point? I thought I was getting a silver bullet to fund my world travel!

Everyone is different, everyone has a different story. Everyone can find a unique way to travel and experience the world. Many people have assumed that I saved a lot of money to fund my travels, that I did an around-the-world-trip and loved it so much that I continued traveling. Others assume that I have a location independent lifestyle and business that allows me to volunteer for great projects and sip cocktails on the beach.

Still others have assumed that I ditched corporate life and started traveling using my story as my hook to earn money (and millions in stock options). Nope, not true, any of it, especially the sipping part. I like gulping.

The truth is I found a job and left home, found another job and left home, left home and then found a job, quit my job and left home and then found another job. I’m three months into my current job and already thinking about my next country and next job. I’ve been working my way around the world, living a lifestyle of freedom and choice from the very beginning. That was 11 years ago. I’m still doing it and so can you. You don’t have to have the same story as others, or me. It’s better if you don’t.

The whole point of striking out and discovering the world is that you discover your own path and create your own story. The more you follow the path of others the more crowded the path will become, the less benefit you receive.

So how do you do it? You said there would be Steps!

Well, that’s up to you. Seriously, didn’t you read the point of this article! But I did promise steps. So here is a framework to work off of based on my own experience. This is how I not only funded my travels  but learned to get paid for doing what I love. Hopefully it will lead to something equally unique for you:

Step 1: Find a Job Abroad

-Pick a country you like, find a job that you might like and go

Step 2: Travel, travel, travel some more

Step 3: Do things that make you happy, hobbies, learning whatever. Do it all. Volunteer your time. Don’t worry about getting paid except for your regular job.

Step 4: Listen to your heart and change something when you are not happy or satisfied.

-Change your job, change your country. Just move, do something new.

Step 5: With each change, with each new job make it closer to what you would do for free.

-ALWAYS take something you love, a skill from each job to apply to your next step.

Finding what we want to be when we grow up is a process. But it’s one that can be combined with world travel without saving money for one big trip. Tailor your job to your interests and just go. Yes, it takes work. Yes it takes preparation. Yes, you’ll run about of money at times. But if you keep with it experiences will pile on each other and eventually you’ll succeed. Hopefully, you’ll find yourself in a wonderful place of loving your job, being able to travel the world, and getting paid to help others and be creative. It’s a wonderful feeling, trust me, I know.

Go ahead, push back. Tell me what you think or ask questions and advice on how to make it happen.

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92 Responses to “5 Steps to World Travel and Getting Paid to Do What You Love”

  1. Andy MittonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi there, Was about to go to bed about 3 hours ago and then chanced up your blog about your near death in Halong Bay. It’s now, 00:20 here in Korea and I want to go to bed, so that I can teach my 6th grade elementary monsters with a clear head. Only I’m hooked, I just want to read more. I began travelling when I was 19, with a 6 month stint on a kibbutz in Israel. Since then I have been travelling on and off for the past 23 years. In 2 months I will be 43 and I am planning my next trip to return to England (home country) via the Trans Siberian Railway and then a 5 month trip through South America (where amazingly, I have never been). Anyway Todd, thanks for your site and I think you may be interested in my own blog, which many people love. It is about my life and travels of the past 43 years. Please check it out.

    http://www.mittonini.blogspot.com

  2. Julie MoreyNo Gravatar says:

    I loved your article because that is exactly what I started doing five years ago. I worked in South Korea, traveled. Then Taiwan, traveled. I am now at 52 countries and heading off to South America to do it again. It is a completely possible way to live your life the way you want. Thanks. :)

  3. Such a great blog (so inspiring!) and article!

    I have been trying to travel as much as possible by myself and with my boyfriend while being “poor” students and it has worked out very well. So whenever someone says that it is expensive to travel; we always ask them how they explain all of our trips then? (only getting student allowance and pay from extra work totalling 1100 dollars amount per person/month to cover rent, bills and food). It really is possible if you want to, work for it and think about what you want (and actually do) to spend your money on!

    Now we are soon finishing our studies and I am especially looking forward to your article about your international development work, because that is my dream and goal! I will soon finish a university degree, 1 year Master of Science in Business and Economics, having had a focus on development economics and similiar topics (my thesis is built on minor field studies in Brazil e.g.). I am thinking about doing 2 more years (A Master in Development Studies) later next year, but that depends on what opportunities there are out there before that (I am getting a bit restless and too curious xD). Any tips on where to look for jobs, organizations etc. and what they demand when it comes to education and experience, is very much appreciated! :)

    GOOD LUCK with your future travels and projects!

  4. I actually did quit my job when I was unhappy. Now just looking for something I could enjoy and earn for my travels :D

  5. RenataNo Gravatar says:

    Hi,

    Someone may have asked this (I haven’t read through all the comments sorry!) but how were you able to teach overseas? Did you do a teaching degree before you left or a TEFL type course or did you just go with the hope that you would find something? I am interested in doing that next year but I have no teaching experience (I will have just graduated with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Political Science). I just came across your website today and am so glad I did, I have really enjoyed reading your articles!

    Thanks :)

    • Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Renata, thanks for stopping by. I started off by teaching on the JET programme which is a competitive application but did not require any teaching experience. I leveraged that experience to get more teaching jobs after 2 years on the job. In general it can be difficult these days to find an English teaching job without some kind of certification but it can be done. My advice is apply to as many places as possible and see what happens. Boost your credentials where possible, and if all else fails teach private lessons in Starbucks for cash under the table :)

  6. CamNo Gravatar says:

    We subscribe to the same lifestyle. We’ve done the long-term perpetual travel thing but realize life is so much more than just snapping photos and drinking beer (though I do enjoy both!).
    We work hard and play hard, and prefer to have moderate routines and a place to call home. The big takeaway for me when I read this post, and its comments, is that life can only be defined by you. Chase dreams, take chances, make mistakes… then repeat!
    Cam´s recent [type] ..Photo Essay- Our Trip to the Dominican Republic

  7. Tai YuniNo Gravatar says:

    I’m glad there’s someone else who thinks like I do!
    Tai Yuni´s recent [type] ..Eat Shop Milan

  8. MoniqueNo Gravatar says:

    In total agreement with all except I made a little tweak in step 1: Instead of getting a job abroad, I married someone who did. ;)

    • Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

      Lucky you Monique :) I have a secret as well, my wife also works for the UN so we have been lucky to have one of us get the first job and then have the other follow and look for work in country. Our system has worked great over the past 5 years. Although before that I did it all on my own :)

  9. KatrinaNo Gravatar says:

    Love it, Todd! I have been doing a similar thing, though not always with travel as the focus. Sometimes it was challenges and gaining a title (like Marine) that kept me on the move. When people look at my resume they are often a) impressed, and b) confused. But after every one of those milestones I had a long moment where I could say, “If I died now, I’d die happy!”

    Keep movin’ and groovin’, my friend!
    Katrina´s recent [type] ..Serengeti- Day 2 Part 2 – Hippos and Crocs!

  10. ConnieNo Gravatar says:

    Great post! I’m newly 30 years old and finally doing what I’ve been wanting to do for the longest time, live abroad and explore, really explore different cultures and languages. I taught English in Istanbul for 6 months last year (INCREDIBLE experience) and now I’m traveling in Asia with the hope to find another place I want to discover in depth. Your advice is absolutely spot on! No point in staying somewhere if you’re not happy!

  11. Love this post, it shows that you can really do whatever you want if you’re prepared to find ways to make it happen. I didn’t know you never had a traditional job though, so lucky!
    Ayngelina Brogan´s recent [type] ..How to watch football like an Ecuadorian

    • ToddNo Gravatar says:

      Hey Ayngelina,

      It’s true, no traditional job for me :) I do now work in an office, but it is located in the middle of and new settlement of returned internally displaced people (IDPs). Actually it is a Roma settlement, which makes it interesting if not a bit noisy :) The office is also in a divided city where we are trying to promote peace and reconciliation. So its an office, but a very interesting one :)
      Todd´s recent [type] ..How to make Japanese Gyoza in Chinese Jyaozi- in English Potstickers

  12. Just came across your blog. Good advice here and sounds like the kind of lifestyle I’ll have to adopt sooner or later — working in one career for the rest of your life just sounds so boring, doesn’t it? What did you teach first time you got to Japan?
    Jill – Jack and Jill Travel The World´s recent [type] ..To Be Excited About The Unknowns

    • Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

      Hey Jill, thanks for stopping by. I taught English in Japan. It was a good job for that time in my life. Not what I wanted to do forever but it got me started on my current lifestyle.

  13. RebeccaNo Gravatar says:

    Great advice! It sometime does seem impossible while sitting at your desk in a 9-5 (or 8-7 plus on call weekends in my case!) to think that this is possible! Now to take that first step… ;-)

  14. Ah ha! So just several clicks and I’ve discovered more :) I just got back from a week in Central America. It was a blast, and I might attempt to write a travel post with pics myself!

    I related very much to what you are doing Todd. I’ve lived all around myself and just love to explore. It’s nice to match one’s job and exploration together, ain’t it!?

    Cheers
    Financial Samurai´s recent [type] ..Living Vicariously Through You

    • Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

      So, you found my secrets after all :) I hope you do write an article on your trip, I’d love to hear more about it. I love matching my job with my passions and my need to explore. I’ll going to start talking more about how exactly I’ve done it, strategies for others to follow, and the nuts and bolts of life on the road. I’m hoping that by breaking up the lessons and themes anyone will be able to apply them to their lives, weather it involves travel or not.

      After all, the main thrust of my site (and life I guess) is to Do what you love; Love what you Do.

  15. Sarah WuNo Gravatar says:

    This is a really great post. Very true and useful. I mean many of us needs the income to travel. Expenses is still a expenses. If the money ran out you’ll need to find way to earn it again. What you do is totally a great idea find a job in a new country travel experience and then move on to the next one. Good post!

  16. This is really great! I love the honesty. Myself, I’m not a RTW traveler, but I did figure out a way to transition from newspaper journalist to travel writer many years ago before it became virtually impossible…so while I don’t travel nonstop, I spend a good half of the year out of the country, and that suits me just fine! And like others said, I do like having a home (and husband and puppy to return to)!
    Camels & Chocolate´s recent [type] ..Macau- Beyond the Casinos

  17. LaurenNo Gravatar says:

    Dig that you’ve had a bit of a different path than career breakers or others who came abroad after job loss. Kudos!

  18. Nice advice. I think the key is finding out what works for YOU. My wife and I went on a year long RTW trip but have now been home for a little over a year. We are currently trying to figure out our next plan of attack. We don’t really want to become permanent vagabonders. We do love actually having a place to call home, and we love living here with all our families and friends.

    • Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

      Hi, I can completely understand wanting a home and being near friends and family. It is one of the things that I miss about this lifestyle. Although we do make a home everywhere we go.

  19. Dan CollinsNo Gravatar says:

    This is an awesome post! Thanks for sharing! It’s exactly what I want to do with my life but I don’t have the courage to get up and go just yet….
    Dan Collins´s recent [type] ..Sun- Sea and Straddie!

  20. MattNo Gravatar says:

    It’s about making that first step — leaving that comfort and familiarity of home to see the world. Once you’re out there working and traveling, things slowly seem to fall into place — assuming you’re following your heart and doing something you love.
    Matt´s recent [type] ..November Update- Links- &amp An Epic Trip to the Airport

    • Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

      Hey Matt, I couldn’t agree more. As long as your doing what you love things always seem to fall into place. Of course sometimes we need a looming empty bank account to give us that extra motivation :)

  21. MitchNo Gravatar says:

    Great post!

    My only regret about my travels is that I didn’t start sooner! I spent far too much time worrying about paying off the loans for school and put off what I really wanted to do for so long. Your story is inspiring. Thanks for sharing it!
    Mitch´s recent [type] ..Lest we forget

    • Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Mitch, I’m really glad that I started out even with my student loans. Of course this means that I still have them :) but as I get older I am able to pay off more and earn more due to the lower cost of living and the tax breaks. Maybe I should do a finances post soon.

  22. CandiceNo Gravatar says:

    Nice, I’d like to do this for awhile. I NEED to work, I have debt, like you. Unfortunately the one country I REALLY want to live in right now is Greece, which isn’t exactly a viable option at the moment! Hah.
    Candice´s recent [type] ..Roadtrippin’ to Gros Morne

    • Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

      Hey Candice, I completely understand about the metal weight of debt. But I would say that you should be able to find something even in Greece. After all, I have a job in Kosovo :)

  23. IrshadNo Gravatar says:

    I am really inspired about the article and the steps they are grate thanks It is very useful for me.
    Irshad´s recent [type] ..Give YouTube Topics on Search a whirl

  24. AdventureRobNo Gravatar says:

    Great post about realism and long term travel. The lifestyle design crowd from what I can tell, either genuinely make a lot which funds their lives, or they are attempting to lie about it until that actually happens.

    Looking for a regular job abroad is a more proven way of doing it and certainly less risky and I expect time consuming too.

    I make a bit online but it’s about 1/5 of the (very reasonable) minimum I’d need to live on in a cheapish country. I worked in Australia and now Japan to fund my travels to those (very expensive) countries, and it’s generally working OK for me so far. It’s nice to see other bloggers on the same path but further down the line. I’ve not even had to resort to teaching English yet either ;-)
    AdventureRob´s recent [type] ..With Love From Japan – Miyavi

    • Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

      Hey Rob, I’m really jealous your in Japan and NOT teaching English! It was great for me at the time but not what i wanted to do in life at all. If your in Tokyo over New Years let’s meet up.

      I’m not really sure what is going on in the travel blog and lifestyle design worlds. Its hard to know who is really making what and what it takes to truly be successful (ie earn a living off of it). I really don’t like the business model of “making money online by telling people how they make money online doing something different from selling money making advice.”

      I too make some money from my Blog but certainly not enough to live on. I’m hoping that will change in the future but who knows. As I mentioned below, I’m working on a project to bring more transparency, and help, to those looking earn a living from travel blogging (or disprove if it is even possible). I’ll share more when I’m closer to launching the new site.

  25. devinNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Todd,

    Unlike you, I did have a corporate job, very briefly. Then I was in the 100 hours a week world and made good dough. Then I ran screaming. I have been freelance, somewhat off the grid ever since. I am with you. I am impressed by how you did it. I am also a firm believer that if you want it bad enough, you will make it happen. Thank for letting me in on the secret.
    devin´s recent [type] ..The 5-Star- 2-Star Conundrum- part one

    • Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

      Ah, I won’t hold the corporate job against you Devin ;) I’m quite impressed with your career as well. Of course what a lot of people don’t realize is that just because we do what we love doesn’t mean we aren’t busy. I’m “working” all the time. It just helps that I like what I do. UN work, writing, blogging, traveling all takes up a lot of time.

      I’ll work up the courage to share more secrets in the future.

  26. JasonNo Gravatar says:

    Nice post, Todd.
    I liked your tease of an intro…making us wait until the post was half over to share your secret. I hope you get a dog soon. Make sure it’s a small one so it fits in your backpack.
    Jason

  27. Great advice, Todd. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that there is not just one way of traveling the world and fulfilling your dreams. Make it your own way. Words to live by.
    Christy @ Ordinary Traveler´s recent [type] ..Do Dolphins Always Smile

    • Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Christy, I agree that everyone has their own way. Plus I don’t want anyone to think I’m a long term traveling snob :) Actually, I not even sure I would call myself a long term traveler. I’m just living my life wherever I happen to be, just like a lot of others.

  28. DawnNo Gravatar says:

    A wonderful post, and you were right – it didn’t need an image to distract us away. Our attention span is getting far to short!

    Letting go of possessions every now and then is liberating. We don’t realize what a chain they can become.

    It sounds as if you have led a life than many only dream of and yet you show how any one of us can do it.

    Umm – just some of us have to talk others into it too!

    • Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Dawn, my own attention span is short so I can relate :) Anyone can do it, but its also not for everyone, which is fine. I’m happy to share my own experiences along the way to help those who are trying to do the same thing.

  29. NancieNo Gravatar says:

    Nice post Todd. I think the important thing is that we all have to do what works best for us. When I left Canada I wanted to do two things work (enough to fund my travels) and travel. I chose to base myself in Korea (roots are good for me), and work my self into a position where I have lots of time off to travel year round. That took a masters degree. My position in Korea provides me with lots of time to travel in-country when I’m here teaching. Secondly, it gives me 5 months off to travel the world. Like you, I think I have the best of both worlds, and I’ve done in my way. Enjoy your weekend!
    Nancie´s recent [type] ..Wanderfood Wednesday &8212 Sampling a Local Bejing Dish

    • Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

      Hey Nancie, yeah, you have a pretty great life :) 5 months off to travel is the dream of so many. Hopefully Jim will follow you to Korea! I too had to get a masters degree to get this type of life. But I’m not too attached and I’m trying to move to even great flexibility. Hopefully writing and my site will give this to me. Oh and i have fledgling gem business…but that’s another story.

  30. Jools StoneNo Gravatar says:

    I love the way you tease us with your intros Todd, makes me chuckle! Good to turn a cliche on its head too: ‘I’m not a Corporate Escapee’ would make a great alt title! As you know, I always find it really interesting to see what others do to pay the bills in ‘the real world’ and think you have an enviable life in that not only does your job give you opps to travel to interesting places but it must, by neccesity, force you into a level of cultural immersion that few ‘regular travellers’ get to experience.
    Now, where are those pretty pics you promised us Godammit!
    Jools Stone´s recent [type] ..Comment on Trains- Art and Eateries at London’s St Pancras Station by Unexpected Traveller

    • Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jools, well I have to tease otherwise people won’t read :) I never thought about your title but your right it might be catchier. I’m experimenting with my online writing and trying to break things up a bit. Even though this was a longer post it still got a lot of traction, which is really nice.

      I love integrating into the places I live and travel too. It is such a rewarding benefit to this type of life. And I promise I will dazzle and sooth with pretty pictures next post :)

  31. The NVR GuysNo Gravatar says:

    Great message. I love your last paragraph and especially the line: “Tailor your job to your interests and just go.”
    The NVR Guys´s recent [type] ..No Vacation Required – The Lowdown

  32. The NVR GuysNo Gravatar says:

    Great message. I love your last paragraph and especially the line “Tailor your job to your interests and just go.”
    The NVR Guys´s recent [type] ..No Vacation Required – The Lowdown

  33. NorbertNo Gravatar says:

    Pretty good tips Todd. I’m pretty impressed by the fact that traveling isn’t necessarily expensive nor just a vacation. You can have a life full of travel for less than what a location dependent life could cost. You just have to know how to do it and your tips above are basically the core of how to do it.

    • Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

      Hey Norbert, it is amazing how cheap things can be in a developing country. So not only do I get to travel and integrate into the country I’m living in, but I get to take vacations as well :) Of course flying half way around the world to get home can be expensive. This year I will have gone to the US twice and Japan once. Not to mention all the other traveling for work and pleasure.

  34. Great post! I love that you’ve outlined the steps. I always get told by friends back home how “lucky” I am to to travel so much and to be an expat, and while I am lucky, it’s been a lot of proactive steps to have this lifestyle!

  35. JillianNo Gravatar says:

    Ahhh Shit!!! I thought you were going to tell me that the airlines have realized the importance of travel bloggers for worldwide tourism and have designed special “blogger airlines” so that we can connect and share our journeys along the way with other like minded adventurers and…they will have the airlines categorized so that young, adventurous nomads don’t have to travel with older adventurous parents who are stupid, or smart, enough to depart from societal ways, pull their rambunctious kids out of school and have the world be their teacher. When is that post going to be created????

  36. Great tips Todd. These are certainly the steps we have been following for many years. It works and we’ll continue to apply them. We only just recently got step 5- making it closer to doing what you would do for free.
    Caz Makepeace´s recent [type] ..Meet Erica &amp Shaun- Winners of…”Post Your URL Day”

    • Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

      Hey Caz, I know you guys have been working around the world as well. Just goes to show it is a very sustainable model :) I’m doing what I love now with development work but also making the push, like you two, to incorporate the writing and traveling part. I’ve actually been blogging for 4 years now! The first 3 I never cared about traffic, monetization or anything like that. its only been in the last year that I have started writing to a larger audience than my friends and family.

      • Great post! I run a location independent business, which is how I fund most of the travel I do. But just wondering for you and the likes of Caz (above) – how do you deal with the Visa question? Some countries are easier to work in than others. How do you cut through the red tape?
        A Tramp Abroad´s recent [type] ..Australia- A Few Things Oprah Probably Won’t Tell You

        • Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

          Great that you have a successful business. Can I ask what it is? I’m always interested in what others are doing and how I can help them here. As for visas usually I get a working visa each place I go, from the NGO or Government I’m working for. Other times I am just on tourist visas and do the regular visa run. In this case I’m usually earning online or while traveling as a consultant so I get renewed easily.

  37. RobinNo Gravatar says:

    I really enjoyed this. Anything that demythologises the whole “eternal traveller” thing is a good thing in my book – here, instead of the self aggrandisement you get so often, we get the honest lowdown.
    Robin´s recent [type] ..Chicken Cake

    • Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

      Thanks Robin. I really try not to be one of those people who sells their lifestyle as a way to make money so that they themselves can make money :) Its just not a sustainable business model, not to mention not being very ethical.

      I have a not-so-secret project in the works on to how prove (or disprove even) that you can make money travel blogging and how to do it. I’m hoping to bring a bit more transparency, community help and support, and realism to the “get paid to travel” concept. I hope its possible, and if it is the more the merrier.

  38. inkaNo Gravatar says:

    I totally agree with one thing: if you are a traveler and a nomad at heart: JUST GO. It doesn’t matter how old you are, whether you have a career behidd you (like me) or are just starting out, follow your heart and your feelings because otherwise you will never be happy.
    inka´s recent [type] ..Let’s talk travel fashion!

  39. AndreaNo Gravatar says:

    Great post Todd. They are excellent tips because they work, and they do work long-term. I’ve happily been living this way for 24 years. I went to university at 38 because it was then that I wanted to go. As for family, I have found that when I do live in NZ I need to work, so I don’t end up living close enough to family to see them frequently. The friends I make travelling understand me more than friends at home, and of course with true friends (family included) it’s not the time apart that counts.
    I think all too often it is the “But then what?” that stops people from living their dream.

    • Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

      Wow, 24 years. That’s great. I think it’s really important to keep connections with friends and family back home. It also makes the time spent with them all the more special.

  40. I wish I could say something more unique and meaningful than “great post Todd.” … but just had to mention what a great thoughtful post this was. Very well done. Etsi bravo!
    David Robert Hogg´s recent [type] ..Most Popular Budget Airlines in Europe

    • Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

      Thanks David, that means a lot to me. Blogging can be a lonely business and its great when something really resonates with others. To be honest I was feeling like this blog post was crap the whole way through. I never think that people want to hear about the mundane aspects of my life. Or at least what I consider to be the mundane parts.

  41. NatalieNo Gravatar says:

    It really is that easy. For the people that used to surround me though, the thought would enter their head and then leave one minute later. A lot of my old friends seemed to think they had to stay in one place for the rest of their life. For the people that want it, just open their mind. For the people that don’t, then that’s cool.
    Natalie´s recent [type] ..Goreme – Holidaying Like the Flintstones

    • Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

      Hey Natalie, I agree. And for those who love the thought rather than the practice I’m more than happy for them to live vicariously through Todd’s Wanderings :)

  42. AndiNo Gravatar says:

    I hope this inspires lots of people to just GO!
    Andi´s recent [type] ..Cuba- Day 3 Part 1

  43. JimNo Gravatar says:

    Sounds wonderful and inspirational Todd, you’re further fuelling the ‘dream’ but the reality for most is that it will remain a dream.
    It’s worked for you, and I follow your wanderings avidly. Too often though, aren’t we missing that as Adam says above, that many of us still want a home, and the friends and family around us, but with an annual or extended sojourn travelling? There’s screeds of posts like this around the web about chucking it in, or getting out of the cubicle, and roaming the world but ,while the points you make are valid, I’d like to read more about how the bulk of us can and do achieve that balance of having to earn a living, creating a home, and getting away travelling. It can be done, perhaps we should be blogging about how that career,home/lifestyle/travel balance can be achieved?
    Loved reading it though Todd.
    Jim´s recent [type] ..Three Very Courageous Women In The Elephant Wars

    • Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jim. Thanks for the thoughtful comment. I wish I had better advice on living a part-time working life :) I guess my point was that I’m not really in the chucking it all and roaming the world category. I have a home and family here in Kosovo, it will just move quicker than others :) I’m also working towards creating more flexibility in my working hours and base. My goal is to be able to spend a few months a year with friends and family and the rest based out of a beach hut!

      Whether I do this while traveling or you do it from the US I think the principles are still the same. Daily constant work on things that we love, and daily constant work on moving our work closer to our passions.

      I’m incredibly satisfied with my development career. But now I’m also working towards my writing career, blogging career, and what ever else I like to do. I’m happy to share this experience as I work on it and move forward. If you want an example of someone who made the leap check out the comment from Philip on my facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/toddswanderings Him and his wife work from home through the internet and basically can life anywhere they like.

      • JimNo Gravatar says:

        Ah so more is revealed….you have a home AND A FAMILY. Gee, gives a different slant now on your post.
        I thought there was a wee bit more to Todd than just you wandering along on your own tod.:-)
        OK, Now you and I can really converse on how it is possible to travel, and do the mortgage/ family/ career and travel option.
        I don’t see it as an either or thing, and now you’re also blending travel with your career and family life. That is fantastic, and personally I’d like to see more of us talking about, and encouraging others that it is possible. Rather than the ‘ chucking it in, go follow your heart ‘ posts that proliferate.
        The internet creates all sorts of possibilities, as you point out for this to happen. And as Caz and Craig, you and your partner , myself and my wife, are proving it’s also posibble to get that balance together as a couple.
        Jim´s recent [type] ..Three Very Courageous Women In The Elephant Wars

        • Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

          Hey Jim, of course there is much more to me :) Sorry if I wasn’t clearer in my post, but it was meant to highlight the opposite of a chuck it all and travel the world mentality. I’d like to get away from the dreamy eyed imaged of a travel writer who has no cares in the world, works on the beach with money coming in with no effort, and nothing to worry about other than surfing the next day.

          I’ve had lots of hardships, but tons of rewards living this type of life. I would classify myself as “following my heart, but planning it carefully and being open to happy surprises”

          Happy to talk about it more, encourage others, and I have a project brewing that may just be able to contribute :)

          • JimNo Gravatar says:

            You and I are on the same wavelength Todd as yes, I get concerned with the number of “chuck it in ,wander the earth’ posts and blogs that are fuelling a dream but may be wrongfully encouraging people out of their depth. The reality is , we still need plenty of people to stay home doing all the work while we wander. :-)
            Jim´s recent [type] ..Three Very Courageous Women In The Elephant Wars

  44. Nice to hear your story, Todd. I think that your 5 points are excellent and motivational for those who are able to work within that framework. For some, there are other circumstances that make them unable to take these steps. But for those who can, these are words of wisdom and I hope that they take them to heart. I think it’s also worth noting that #3-5 are very solid points to consider regarding so many aspects of life besides traveling for a living. Thanks for the good advice.
    Cathy Sweeney´s recent [type] ..A Dream Comes True- From Geneva to Interlaken

    • Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

      Hey Cathy. I completely agree that everyone has their own circumstances and steps 1 and 2 are not always easy. But they can be replaced with just about any other goal. Basically my advice is to find a job abroad as one great way to sustainable travel.

      Take out the travel and I agree that 3-5 are just sound principles to move towards a happy and fulfilled life.

  45. AndreaNo Gravatar says:

    This is really great advice, Todd. I think a lot of people get into one mode of thinking and being, caught up in their careers, acquire debt, etc. that it becomes a vicious cycle. It can be really easy to dig yourself into a rut. You have to make time for travel and rearrange your life to make things happen; it’s important to just start and take action every day, even if just a little in the beginning. It always looks easier when someone else is doing it – most people don’t think they have the time and energy to stop, re-evaluate and make a plan. If you start to do this when you’re young, it’s very easy to continue the lifestyle. You’ve given some really solid tips here for anyone who wants to follow a particular dream, whether it be travel or something else entirely. Well done!

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ’0 which is not a hashcash value.

    • Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

      Thanks Andrea. Rearranging your life can be a long process but its possible. I’m still in the process now as I add writing, blogging and whatever else peaks my interest into my professional life. The five steps need to be done over and over again.

  46. You have some great points! I happen to fall into the category of sell all your crap and ditch your job. I’m 26 and trying to finish paying off the debt I built up. Then its off to either Thailand or Japan to work and live. My plan was to pretty much to do exactly what you did. I run a site dedicated to my journey and one dedicated to my love for photography.

    Glad I found you blog and I’ll be sure to keep tabs on it!

    Cheers!
    Adam Mayfield´s recent [type] ..Daily Photo – Calm Before the Storm

    • Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

      Hey Adam, I didn’t mean to speak bad about the sell all the crap and ditch your job folks :) I have actually done this with each new move and each new country. It is just routine for me know that I don’t even think about using it as hook.

      Great that your off. I’ve lived in both Thailand and Japan, worked in both and love them both. You can’t go wrong with either choice. If you want any advice just let me know. Also, I’ve kept traveling right through my massive amounts of school loan debts, so it is possible.

  47. SteveNo Gravatar says:

    Sounds sensible to me. I’m amazed at how often people tell me that travel is expensive. It really isn’t if you know do it like the way you did it. This is really good advice, I especially like that you tell people to change something if you’re not satisfied and listen to your heart. That’s what I would tell people too.
    Steve´s recent [type] ..9 Websites You Can Use to Learn a Foreign Language

    • Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

      Travel can be expensive if you let it. But if its a part of your lifestyle then it is no more expensive, and often a lot cheaper, then living in your home country. I have a much higher quality of life living in developing countries than I would back in the US :)

  48. KellyNo Gravatar says:

    This is awesome Todd, because it really is that simple. I’ve been doing it myself for a few years now (although I’ve periodically come back to the states, to work and then leave again). The trick is being able to let it all go.. being able to follow through on whatever you tell yourself you will do and not letting obstacles like jobs, debts, kids, dogs, relationships get in the way.

    Just jump, man!!
    Kelly´s recent [type] ..The Great American Shame

    • Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Kelly, I completely agree that you just need to let go. It can be very scary at times but I have found that life is usually a little bit better around each corner.

  49. AdamNo Gravatar says:

    Great advice. I think the key is finding out what works for YOU. My wife and I went on a year long RTW trip but have now been home for a little over a year. We are currently trying to figure out our next plan of attack. We don’t really want to become permanent vagabonders. We do love actually having a place to call home, and we love living here with all our families and friends.

    But we really miss the road. We want more than the two weeks a year we’re afforded for travel. We’re not sure what our future holds, but we’re being patient and talking almost daily about what it is we can do to reach our lifestyle dreams. We know it will be hard and take a lot of sacrifice, but it’s all about priority. We want a life that combines both travel and time at home, and we WILL make that happen because that’s our goal. As cliche’d as it sounds, if you really do want something and put your mind to it, you can make it happen.

    Thanks for such an inspirational post about following your dreams, taking risks, and doing what it takes to make you happy in your life.
    Adam´s recent [type] ..The Lowdown on Argentine Bus Travel

    • Todd WasselNo Gravatar says:

      Hey Adam, I can totally understand the draw of having a home. I go through constant fits of wanting a home and then being on the road. I got lucky in that my wife love this type of lifestyle and now home is wherever she is. We do miss friends and family quite a bit though and I’m still working at making my lifestyle even more free so that we can spend extended periods in the US and Japan when we want.

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