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Tired of the drudgery of living in the same city, working 40 hours a week only to get a two week vacation that feels too short and too rushed? Try living and working abroad. Depending on your job, you could either telecommute or quit your job and earn money on the go. Here’s how to do it. Let’s use my example. I wanted to travel and write for a year.
Prioritize and minimize.
I was renting an apartment. I had the travel itch and wanted to get out of my boring repetitive routine life. I set a goal for living and traveling to 6 countries in one year. My lease was up in 3 months. I started to save and cut back expenses. I rented a storage container for the small amount of possessions I couldn’t live without. I sold furniture, TVs, all the material things I could always buy back in the future and didn’t need to travel. I gave away the majority of my clothes to goodwill. I bought a one way ticket to Ireland. After 3 months, I had saved 3,000 dollars and made another 1,500 selling my possessions. You could save for longer or use other savings, but I only had 3 months.
How expensive is it? How much do I need to save?
It is surprisingly cheaper to live abroad. I stuck mainly towards Europe. Depending on your comfort level, you cold rent an entire house for yourself in say Dublin for 2,000 a month. Or find a smaller country side house for less. I chose to rent to be cheap because like you I was worried about money. I rented a room in a house near Dublin for 800 a month. Worst case I had 4,500 in the bank for rent, but how was I going to make money abroad? That depends on you. I will tell you what I did, and then give you some other examples. Remember you only need enough to pay the bills. Most of your time should be spent exploring the culture and loving life.
I am a bartender and writer by trade, so I used those tools to my advantage. With my résumé, and being American, it didn’t take me long to find a bar gig in Dublin. I started teaching English online and made money doing freelance writing as well. I was making about 2k a month for 15-20 hours a week of work. I barely ate into my savings at all. In fact I mostly used them for expensive meals, or cool experiences. I jumped from Ireland to France to Spain to Italy to Germany, and ended up in Denmark to round out my year-long goal of living abroad in six countries. My expenses and income varied through my travels, and I had several mishaps and adventures, but that was what I was looking for! This had been the best experience of my life up to that point. I returned to America after to visit family, but I am already planning on living abroad indefinitely.
Here are some other ideas for work you can do in your abroad lifestyle:
- Depending on your job, you can arrange to telecommute with your boss.
- Teach English either online or in the country you’re in.
- Freelance work online like writing that I do.
A friend of mine who is a dancer worked on a cruise ship for 9 months. He travelled the world and they paid him a lot of money and paid for room and board. You could also bartend or another job on a cruise.
Au pairs. I almost took a gig like this in France, but declined because it would be too much of a time commitment.
Bartend like I did. Only a few shifts a week really, and most people speak English anyway.
Also Craigslist. There are always random or labor jobs that can give you the extra buck you need on there.
Remember plan, save, prioritize, minimize, and figure out multiple streams of income and you can live abroad and experience life like you never thought possible. Happy travels!