Who wouldn’t want to get paid to travel?
When I was younger straight out of university I landed a job as a GPS product specialist working out of Sydney Australia and I was paid to travel all over the world.
It seemed great at the time I was really busy and jetting all over the place, USA, Canada, Taiwan, Solomon Islands, New Zealand, Vanuatu, Papa New Guineas, Barahain just to name a few. I actually filled up a passport in the first 18 months.
During that time I lived out of a flat in the heart of Syndey. But my flat mates didn’t need to worry about me cluttering up the place, I was hardly ever there. In those two years I believe I only slept in that flat for about 3 out of 24 months. So seldom that I once arrived home to find all my cloths including my shoe had turn green with mold. That trip was longer than usual. To this day I’m not even certain why I maintained the room it only seemed to collect mold, dust and bills.
You might think being paid to travel the world, sounds really fantastic until you realises all your travel is rather mundane when your working for someone. I’d arrive at a location, book into a hotel room, sleep, get up, work and basically do as I was told. Which didn’t leave much time to play. All those fantastic destinations and I was looking mostly at the inside of offices and hotel rooms.
I actually flew from Sydney to Ottawa to spend three nights in a hotel in the middle of a Canadian winter. Once there I’d wake up in the dark, walk in the snow to the office a few blocks away, work till late and walk back to the hotel in the dark again. If I hadn’t made a trip across town to another office I don’t believe I’d have seen any sunlight in the whole trip. That includes the fourth or so hours flying.
At least it was only for a few days, far better than the FIFO positions many Australians signup to these days. Every few days I’d be working in a different location. But like FIFO my time was seldom my own, I’d work longer hours than the guys back in Sydney often getting up before dawn and work late into the night performing calculations, adjustments or working on code. There was little time to explore and soak up the environment.
On my days off or the rare time where I’d fly to a remote location which only had a flight in and out once a week. I’d have time to myself for a few days. I’d finished doing what I was paid to do and play tourist. After presenting a 3 day training course on the Solomon Islands I was able to hook up with the local hash house harriers, suba dive on sunked ships and walk halfway across the island to swim in numerous rivers and waterfall. But in general I didn’t really have the freedom to enjoy or explore the places I was paid to travel.
Of course I’d try to work things in around my work travel. If I was working away for a five days I’d almost always stay the weekend to explore and play tourist. Whenever I visited an overseas location I’d extend my trip a week or two with annual leave to leverage the company paid airfares. Doing this meant I was constantly paying for expensive accommodation, hotel meals and entertainment out of my own pocket. Good thing I was pretty well paid and single at the time.
Being paid to travel doesn’t give you the freedom to experience your destination. If you are like myself, you have to work hard when you arrive. It’s the job that is the priority and dominates the places you can visit and the time available to enjoy your surrounding. I gained some freedom by organising personal travel in around my work travel but it cost dearly.
On the other hand if your paid to visit and experience a place as a travel writer or photographer may be then the experience could be far more satisfying. Depending upon the clients desires you may even enjoy some freedom to do as you please, but once you return home the work begins. Being paid to travel has its price. Either way the amount of time you are able to spend traveling is limited if you are being paid to travel.
We decided to find another way we’re we would have more freedom to chose when we enjoyed our surroundings and when we worked. Our solution was and still is to leverage a business and even create new business opportunity to finance our travel. Running a business means we don’t need to get paid to travel we pay ourselves. Our location independent business allows us to travel the world as digital nomads and define the freedom we need to fully explore our surroundings. A reasonable Internet connection, time plus a great business idea is all we need to finance our traveling life style.
So what’s a great business idea?
You don’t need to find some one to pay you to travel, find a way to pay yourself. You will end up with more freedom to chose how and where you go and when you decide to stay still you won’t need to find a job. You will have a business of your own. Start investigating small business ideas and develop one that can be location independent. If you already run a business look at how you can make it location independent.
Actually we can help. Michelle has launched her free Michon How To’s webinar series to show people how we have developed a great business idea into some thing that has helped finance our freedom for the last two years as we travel the globe with Natasha, Ben and Seb.