While most travel blogs focus purely on travel quite a few bloggers pick up work – paid or otherwise – as they go. Others take with them transferable skills such as web development or writing and attempt to carve out permanent travelling lifestyles.
Below we briefly profile over a hundred travellers and expats whose travel blogs inspire and inform us with a first hand insight into their working abroad experiences. Travel bloggers are generally a friendly and helpful lot. Most are happy if they can to answer a few questions on what they have learned, either by email, social media or in the comments section of the relevant articles.
Abandon the Cube
Lauren and Mike learned that cubicles are the same wherever they are located when they took office jobs in Shanghai. They have also worked as teachers in Beijing and run a tiny bar in the city.
A Breath of Foreign Air
Sally studied abroad for five months in Buenos Aires and describes herself as no vagabond. Instead of perpetually wandering the world she prefers to be part of it by taking on a job or volunteering. She begins as an English teacher in rural South Korea.
Expat Interview With Sally, American Expat in South Korea
White & Pretty in South Korea
5 Reasons to Teach English in South Korea
The Guide: Teaching English in Korea
How to Survive Your Year Living in Rural South Korea
A Couple Travellers
There is a wide streak of enterprise running through the travel blog of Vicky and Dave who juggle numerous other websites, niches, and projects as they travel the world. Born in Moscow, Vicky had already lived in three countries by the age of nine, while Dave studied in Russia. From May 2012 until January 2014 they published their monthly income reports – which peaked at $20,000 – from their blogging activities.
A Little Adrift
Shannon O’Donnell has evolved her site from travelogue into a resource to motivate and encourage other travellers through stories, advice, and photography. She funds her travels through freelance writing and consulting. She also edits a sister site, Grassroots Volunteering, and The Volunteer Traveler’s Handbook.
Angloitalian Follow Us!
Franca and Dale have volunteered with two dog shelters in Thailand, looking after a combined total of 600 dogs. They have also house sat in Cannes, Munich and southern Spain.
Our Week at Care for Dogs, Chiang Mai
Update – The Soft Silent Type *woof*
Update – Four Weeks & 450 Dogs Later
Volunteering at Elephant Nature Park Dog Shelter
Our Finger-Licking Love For Housesitting
Anywhere But Home
Naomi Alyssa is an occasional expat and permanent nomad who has lived and worked in South Korea, Thailand, Laos, Georgia and Australia.
Around the World “L”
Lille Marshall took a break from teaching high school English in the Boston Public to travel the world, including a three month stint volunteer teaching in Ghana. Lille also founded a website focusing solely on teaching English abroad that includes many interviews with travelling teachers. She is also the Boston Coordinator for Meet, Plan, Go, an organisation in America promoting career breaks.
Around the World in 80 Jobs
Turner Barr become famous in the travel blogging community when Adecco ripped off his blog persona, but before that he had been steadily racking up the jobs abroad.
How to Find a Job Working in the Greek Islands
Finding a Job in Greece: the Pink Palace
Beware of Strokers
Get Paid to Teach English at a Palace in Bangkok Thailand
Volunteering Jobs with Rescue Dogs in Thailand
How I Got Fired from the Job I Invented
Art of Adventuring
Michael Tieso left the cubicle life in May 2009 to travel the world, writing, photographing and filming his adventures, including a documentary on travel and technology called Everywhere Connection. During his travels, Michael has volunteered in Buenos Aires and taught English in China. Along with his own experiences AoA contains a good number of guest posted working and volunteering abroad articles.
How Volunteering in Buenos Aires Accidentally Took Me Back to my Roots
Teaching English at Siyuan University in Xi’an, China Review and Guide
Behind The Scene What’s Really Being Taught in China’s ESL Classes
Teaching English in China. Interview with Michael Tieso
I’m Kind of a Big Deal (in China)
Cost Summary: First Month as an ESL Teacher in China
What You Need To DJ Around The World
Three weeks after graduating from college in Chicago Ashley Fleckenstein moved to Paris to work as an au pair. She now works from the road as a columnist, blogger and freelance writer.
A Totally Impractical Guide to Shanghai
Occasionally, and quite by accident it seems, MaryAnne Oxendale writes something practical about teaching English abroad. Her experience on the subject comes from living and working in the UK, South Africa, Turkey and China, and includes exam marking and working as a language expert for the British Council.
A Totally Practical Way to See the World
14 Notes on teaching English in a Chinese university, in the middle of a quiet burnout and impending unemployment
Notes on my Surposed Unemployment: The September Edition
Expat interview #10: MaryAnne Oxendale in Shanghai
Interview with Mary Oxendale, English Teacher in China
You Look Very Terrible, Miss Mary: Unsolicited Advice for the Laowai
Notes on Working in China (the Bossing-Teachers-Around Edition)
Saying Goodbye AGAIN: The Annoying Heartbreak of Being a Teacher That Nobody Warns You About
A Wandering Sole
While she has volunteered in Thailand it is her time in Africa that has had the most profound effect on her life. Before returning to the States Laura lived in Rwanda and Kenya to begin a social enterprise working with artisans in those countries. With two fellow volunteers she has also since started an NGO to continue to help some of the children they encountered in an orphanage in Kenya.
Away With Lily
A yearning to leave her home city of London to see the world led Lily La into teaching English in South Korea.
A Year Without Peanut Butter
Natalie Southwick describes herself as somewhat of a jack-of-all-trades. She divides her time between teaching English classes, doing social media and community manager work, and freelance writing.
Chris Stevens quit a job with STA Travel for a life on the road, since then he has worked as a surf instructor in Ecuador and Morocco, and appeared in a nudist movie.
Backpacks & Bunkbeds
Neil Barnes spent a few years after university travelling and backpacking including stints in India, Sri Lanka and South Africa.
After graduating in Political Science, Matt Kyhnn took a working holiday in the UK. Matt’s blog helped him gain sponsorship to live and work in New Zealand where he has spent the last few years as a business development manager for a web start up promoting mountain biking in the country.
Bacon is Magic
Ayngelina Brogan left an amazing job, boyfriend, apartment and friends in Toronto to find inspiration in Latin America. She now keeps a base in Toronto but travel writing and blogging enables her to travel most of the year. spends a week in Spain with 24 other English speakers creating an environment for Spanish students to learn her language.
Translating for a celeb gossip website for teen girls is just one of the jobs that enables Jessica Bowler to live in Barcelona. Her other roles include freelance writing for travel magazines and for her blog, and teaching the occasional English class for a bit of extra travel cash.
Beers and Beans
Beth is a wedding photographer whose Peace Corps ambitions went unfulfilled on meeting her journalist husband, Randy Salvon. Instead, they are cheerleaders for WWOOFing, having worked on farms in Serbia, Italy and Turkey. They list a large number of volunteer resources on their blog. Photography also plays a big role in their online work, with the couple offering a selection of photography services, along with copywriting.
Belle de Neige
The sweary tales of sex and squalor from the Alpine underbelly are served up to the world by a former chalet girl. There’s an ebook too.
Bethany Looi runs an online social media management and virtual assistant business on the move with her iPhone and MacBook Air. She started in business as a teenager offering her services to internet marketers.
Bitten by the Travel Bug
Describing herself as a disgruntled journalism student keen to travel the world, Nicole Blaess-Smith is a passionate linguist from Adelaide where she holds down at least three jobs as well as studying for her Journalism and International Studies degrees. She had dreamed of working at an American summer camp since she was 12. The link below is a category heading where several articles concerning Nicole’s summer camp experiences can be found.
Bridges and Balloons
Victoria Watts and Steve Kennedy both had careers suited to taking onto the road. Steve was setting up a film company and freelance editing, while Victoria worked full-time as a writer.
Brooke vs the World
Brooke Schoenman left America to travel the world and ended up living in Australia. In between she taught English in Ukraine and worked on an archaeological dig in Spain.
Caroline in the City
Caroline Eubanks is the blogger behind Caroline in the City and a freelance writer. After a summer volunteering in Thailand and sailing in Croatia she made the move to spend a year in Australia, where she worked in a hotel in Sydney. She has put together a great page on working holidays and each month puts together an impressive list of travel writing markets.
Charlie on Travel
A freelance writer and house sitter taking an alternative path across the world, Charlie Marchant earned a place on the Study China Programme and has taught English in Taiwan.
Lisa Egle made a career as a teacher in her home country after falling in love with the profession in Ecuador. She has taught in Spain and for a summer in China, and had a brief career as a TV show extra in Syria.
Coast Guard Couple
Former US Coast Guard officers, Tiffany & Greg Norte are crewing their way around the world on other people’s sailboats. They reveal their tips for land lubbers hoping to find their sea legs at someone else’s expense.
Celeste Brash spent 15 years in living in French Polynesia working in her husband’s pearl business, freelance writing and as a Lonely Planet author.
Kylie Millar’s intended four month stint in Thailand, beginning in 2012, carries on until this day. Originally a teacher near Hat Yai, in the south of Thailand, she had since moved to Phuket to take up a post as a teaching assistant at an international school.
Creative Paths to Freedom
A former teacher and school principal in the USA, Teresa Roberts retired early and has since looked after other people’s homes around the world. Among other places she has house sat in Spain, Mexico, Czech Republic, England, the Dutch Antilles and for the owners of a 57 foot boat in Baja California. She has also published two books.
The Culture Map
Despite dropping out of university twice Shing Young managed to find a job teaching English in China.
Jessica Wray is a serial expat English teacher, having taught in Korea and China. Currently she Is working in Spain, where she says the wine is cheap and life more laid-back.
Teaching English in Spain with BEDA : My School & Schedule
Finally Being Honest: The Story of How I Really Feel About Korea
Teaching in Korea In Depth: Pros, Cons and What You Need to Know
Interview with Jessica- Lover of Food and Constant Daydreamer
Maggie High and husband Spencer left corporate jobs behind to explore the world, starting their journey in Suncheon, South Korea, where they taught English for nearly a year and a half. At the time of writing they had recently been accepted by the Peace Corps. Before all that, Maggie’s first adventure abroad was studying abroad with the Semester at Sea program.
Do A Season
An anonymous blogger shares the ups and downs of seasonal work on the slopes and life in the off-season. The author has worked in numerous resorts, including Verbier, St Anton, Zermatt, Courchevel, Flims and Grindelwald, and concludes that about 30% of the people who go on ski holidays actually hate everything about it except for the hot tub.
Don’t Stop Living
Ten years ago Jonny Blair left Bangor, Northern Ireland, to travel the world. Since then he has worked in bars, boats, offices, farms, theatres, shops and schools, as well as online, in his efforts to remain on the road.
WorldWideWorker: Jonny Blair, Teaching English in Hong Kong and Other Jobs Abroad
Barman at Delaney’s Irish Pub (Part 1), Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Working in St. Patrick’s Catholic School, Po Kong Village, Hong Kong
Working on Ferries and Cruise Ships
The Day I… Did a Shit in a Broccoli Field
Broccoli Harvesting in Moriarty, Australia
Broccoli Fields Forever
From RTW Travel (Even Antarctica!) to Teaching in Hong Kong
Kelsey Freeman is the person behind a network of five interlinked blogs. Her income is split between photography, web design, teaching, and occasional odd jobs. She has volunteered on several farms in France through WWOOF and has ambitions for the future to live in a Yurt in Mongolia.
D travels ‘round
Currently resident in Chiang Mai, Diana Edelman helps to raise awareness about the plight of Asian elephants as the PR and social media coordinator for Save Elephant Foundation. She also writes for her own site, d travels ’round, and supports herself with freelance travel writing jobs.
WorldWideWorker: Diana Edelman, PR and Social Media for Save Elephant Foundation, in Thailand
They gave me a machete: a true story of corn-cutting
Back to the Elephants
An Interview with Diana from Save Elephant Foundation
Jacqueline Boss started traveling while earning an Entrepreneurship degree from the University of Miami. She has volunteered and interned in Hawaii, the Virgin Islands and Germany, written ebooks, taught English in Thailand and worked at Space Camp at Camp Canaveral. Many other topics on working and living abroad are covered by guest authors to her site.
Volunteer Life at the Concordia Eco Resort in the Virgin Islands
Messages From Deep Space Camp: An Employee’s Space Camp Job Review
Blogger Of The Week: Jacqueline Boss – Entrepreneur, Blogger And Traveler
Agnes Walewinder and Cez Krol are Poles travelling the world like tramps for under $25 a day. Some of that money they earned teaching in China and through providing WordPress installation, migration and management services to bloggers. They co-author an ebook Add Your Brick to the Great Wall: Experience-based Advice for China from Expats.
Gary Arndt has established himself as one of the world’s leading travel bloggers. Though he runs Everything Everywhere as a business, substantial funds from selling the assets from his former life have so far allowed him to take a long term view when it comes to making money directly through his blog. In 2011 he partnered with gap year company G Adventures. His analytical approach to blogging is covered in Garaphernalia 6.0.
Edna Zhou is an American politics grad who first moved abroad at 18, and has since taught English, worked in journalism and for a tech start-up in China. She has also worked international sports events from Shenzhen to Perth and in social media marketing for a supermodel reality tv show in Singapore. She writes to prove it’s possible to travel and live abroad while you’re young, and is currently based in Paris.
My Story: How I’ve Been Traveling Since Graduation
Singapore for Grads and the Working Holiday Pass
A Totally Impractical Expat Interview #17: Edna Zhou
A Day in the Life: Digital Strategist
Dream Travel Job: How Edna Got a Gig at the Olympics
Rhodes graduate Katie Wilter is a graphic designer and social media enthusiast with itchy feet. Now a super yacht stewardess she is seeing the world from a porthole and blogging about it.
Amanda Slavinsky has worked as an au pair in Rome and taught English in Korea since she left her home of Michigan.
Torre DeRoche’s early blogs went unread except by her mother seeking reassurance her daughter wasn’t dead. From there her self-published book on crossing the Pacific in a sail boat with a man she met in a bar was picked up by major publishers and Hollywood.
My Journey: Self-Published to Big Publishing Deal
Sex and the Magic Secrets to Getting Published
If you want to be included on this list please send us your name, blog address (it has to be a blog, not a website), a brief bio and a selection of posts about working or volunteering abroad, to payawaytravels(at)gmail(dot)com.
Image courtesy slworking2