Working Your Way Around the World

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.

A to F | G to L | M to R | S to Z

George on the Go

A self proclaimed teaching travel expert, George is a twenty something girl circumnavigating the globe. She has taught English in Germany, India and Japan and writes frequently on the subject on her blog.

What Happens When You Lose a TEFL Placement
Top 5 Reasons Why I Love Being an ALT
Helpx: Volunteering a Different Way
What it’s Really Like to TEFL in Japan
Are Foreigners as Language Teachers in Japan Damaging?

GoMad Nomad

Stephen Bugno has been traveling, writing, and teaching English abroad for the better part of ten years. His articles and essays have appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Seattle Times, and Transitions Abroad. In 2013, Stephen teamed up with another traveller he met in Spain and founded a tour company.

English Camp in Korea: What it’s Like
I’ve Started a Tour Company
Volunteer in the West Bank

Gotta Keep Movin’

Volunteering is a central part of Emma Higgins’ blog. A permanent nomad from the UK, Emma began travel writing on a life changing trip to India but before that she had worked on a dairy farm in Canada and taught English in Barcelona.

Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) – An Introduction
Why Volunteer? To Meet Likeminded People
World Travellers: Emma Higgins From Gotta Keep Movin’

Grrrl Traveler

Christine Ka’aloa has lived in Hawaii, Los Angeles, St Louis and New York City, where she had a career as an actress and TV shooter/producer of reality shows for over seven years. In 2010, she took gap years to live and teach abroad in South Korea and travel. She has volunteered her time working at film and Asian Awareness festivals and has given a performance workshop in France. Christine helpfully bundles her teaching in Korea posts onto one page including:

How to Teach English in Korea & Mock Teaching Interviews
Teach English Abroad – What are English Summer Camps in Korea?
Teach English in Korea: A Day in a Life of an ESL Teacher
Teaching at a Musical Summer Camp in Korea
Life in Korea: Inside My Apartment in Korea

Happiness Plunge

Adam Pervez is a serial volunteer and, among many other things, has cleaned dog cages at an abandoned dog shelter, done menial tasks at a nursing home, helped publicise an organisation that turns used bikes into human-powered machines, and built a website for an indigenous Mayan co-op.

What the Heck Am I Doing With My Life?
Volunteering At A Mother Teresa Home For Sick Children In Davao, Philippines
What Does “Helping People” Mean?
Volunteering With Cape Cares Medical Brigade In Honduras & Questioning Everything

Hecktic Travels

A Canadian couple that sold everything in 2009 to travel the world, Dalene and Pete Heck’s field of expertise is house sitting. They have looked after other people’s homes in several countries including Belgium, Ireland and Turkey.

Housesitting 101
Housesitting 201
Life In A Northern Town
The Manor – in Photos (part 2)
A Week in the Life – Day 1 – Travel and Work
Housesitting in Europe
How to Travel the World and NOT Pay for Hotels
How to Become a House Sitter and Never Pay for Accommodation
Trust and Travel (and House-Sitting)
Adventures in Housesitting


When newlyweds Mike (digital media strategist and photographer) and Anne (magazine editor) Howard planned their 675 day honeymoon they always intended to volunteer.

WWOOFing a Japanese Farm
Tet New Year in Tribal Ta Phin


She has since said goodbye to her students but Che Dyer lived in Korea for over three years and chronicled her life as an English teacher through her wonderful cartoons.

Teaching English in Korea
NSFW (and other letters)
Teacher I Love You!
Pupils and Piercings…
In my REAL life…

Infinite Adventures Blog

Natalie and Dave decided to make their life a travelling life, so they bought and remodelled an old yellow school bus into an overland vehicle.

The “Cloud Forest”
An Overland Vehicle

Inspiring Travellers

From separate ends of the world John and Andrea Spirov travelled independently until they met in Crete and later married in Australia. Now in their thirties they travel the world together. Andrea has a background in social media and marketing while John is an engineer and musician as well as a writer. Intriguingly Andrea is also a director of a company behind an anti hangover drink.

Starting a Business in Norway

I Should Tend To My Sunburn

UK born Emily’s childhood living in Ireland, the Netherlands and Gabon gave her the taste for travelling the world. Her working abroad CV includes teaching English in Korea and volunteering in South Africa, Sudan and Honduras.

Sand, Sunburn & Sudan – Emily’s Adventures of Volunteering in Africa

It’s All Downhill From Here

The opinionated writing of a self-confessed waster and layabout seasonnaire.

An A-Z for Seasonnaires
Bah Humbug

You Are Here. Probably

Jack and Jill Travel the World

Jill is a San Francisco based freelancer who can work wherever there is internet, though sometimes her travels are restricted as an Indonesian national. She either travels alone or accompanied by husband Jack, including the time they volunteered in Ecuador.

Volunteering in Banos – 30 Kids and 100 Soda bottles


John Bardos and his wife owned a successful business in Japan for more than a decade, but in early 2010 they sold or gave away everything including their house and car to live a nomadic travelling lifestyle as long term digital nomads and entrepreneurs. He has taught English and has a successful teaching English site.

My One Year Plan to Quit my Job and Move to a New Country!
8 Months in to Our Anywhere Lifestyle
33 Months of Location Independence – A Personal Update
A Week in Chiang Mai – Photo Diary

Joanne’s Journey

Joanne’s journey is about establishing herself as an EFL teacher. She has taught in a university in Malang, in Indonesia, and is currently looking to work in Thailand.

Balandas and Bravery


Tash is a social worker and traveller. She has taken on a lot of jobs abroad to fund her travels, some of them crappy – literally in some cases. She has held working holiday visas in the USA, housekeeping in a hotel in Nashville, and for two years in London, volunteered in a shelter for girls in Phnom Penh and completed a university placement as a social work intern in Toronto.

I Am Moving To Nauru!
10 Years Ago Today – Cambodia
Volunteering And Applying Skills In Cambodia
Top 5: Worst Jobs
Poo Free Day!
If We Can Do It, So Can You with Tash from Jouljet

JourneyIn’ man

North Carolina native Matt Inman’s decision to study in Sydney hooked him to travel and ultimately pushed him outside of his comfort zone as an English teacher in Korea.

Why You Should Consider Teaching English (Even If You’ve Never Dreamed of Being a Teacher)

Kaley… & Mas

Kaley went to Spain in 2009 to teach English and stayed because of a boy. She married her man and now lives in Madrid.

Here’s to the Crazy Ones: Teaching English in Spain
Teaching in an Instituto (High School) vs. a Colegio (Elementary School)
Teaching English in Spain’s Bilingual Schools – My Experience

Kim Kircher

Long after quitting her teaching job in favour of a year ski bumming, Kim Kircher still works the slopes. She also writes and has hosted a radio show, and has earned an avalanche blaster’s card, allowing her to fly over the slopes in a helicopter and drop bombs from the open cockpit.

Working at a Ski Area

Kizzling Around

Erica Jordan (aka Kizzle) broke away from a sheltered life in the States after a trip to Nicaragua. She worked as a teaching assistant at an all girl’s college in Tokyo for about a year and a half and returned to the school to teach again in 2012.

How to Find a Job in Japan

Landing Standing

Aspiring entrepreneurs and digital nomads, Meg and Tony Rulli began their RTW journey of a lifetime in January 2012. Since then they have housesat and looked after dogs in Koh Samui and worked for food on a Tuscan farm.

Living For Free In Paradise
A Week-In-The-Life of Tony: WWOOFing on A Tuscan Farm
A Breakfast Made For WWOOFing – Foodgasmic Tales From The Road

La Petite Globetrotter

Chloe Du Bois was offered a position as a tour manager in Europe for Contiki. Before she got the position she needed to successfully complete a comprehensive assignment and 68 days training around Europe.

Let the Training Begin…
The Final Countdown – Contiki Training Part Six

Lash World Tour

American Nomadic traveller Lash has been keeping herself on the road since 1991. She taught English for six years in Japan, has volunteered, with both good and bad results, through WWOOF in Florida and Australia, and worked on the Survivor TV show. Other jobs have included cutting hair on Shanghai and running a bakery in Thailand. At the time of writing Lash intends to start offering small group tours, beginning in Bali.

Survivor TV Crew
Volunteering Gone Waaayyy Wrong and 10 Tips to Avoid a Bad Volunteer Experience
WWOOFing at Sanctuary Retreat – Australia
How to Afford Long-Term World Travel pt 2 – How I Do It

Lateral Movements

The tagline to Lauren Fitzpatrick’s blog is ‘working my way around the world.’ Lauren began working abroad in Ireland and has since held 30 jobs in six countries, including bungee trampoline operator and hostel cleaner in Australia, recruiting participants for drug trials in New Zealand, blogging for Busabout, and teaching English in South Korea. Lateral Movements also includes interviews with other working travellers and on studying abroad.

Jill of all Trades
Anatomy of a Teacher Dinner
Extra, Extra!

Leave Your Daily Hell

When Robert Schrader moved to Shanghai in 2009 to teach English he set on the road to the location independent lifestyle he enjoys today. From there he landed freelance writing gigs, moved onto making money through his blog and offers teaching abroad coaching sessions.

The Other Side of Travel Blogging
EF China: A Serious Warning
ESL Exit Strategies Explained
Freelance Remotely During Travel

Left Bank Manc

The Left Bank Manc has now moved to London but for three years she au paired in Paris, living in a teeny tiny Cinderella room where she could shower and cook spaghetti at the same time.

Au Pair Life and Eyebrows
Jesus Prawn

Little by Little… One Travels Far

Stacy left New Zealand aged 21 to travel the world. In the course of her travels she has worked in Australia, au paired and worked as a camp counsellor in the USA, freelanced online and volunteered in Cambodia. Last we heard she was moving to China to teach English.

Volunteering with New Futures Organisation in Takeo, Cambodia
Replaced: The End of an Au Pairs’ Year
“I’m…um…an Au Pair”- Why Are we Ashamed to Admit it?

Little Mermaid at Sea

Arielle Jordan found a way to make her dreams of travel come to fruition when in 2011 she took a job as a nanny onboard a 43 meter private yacht.

Yachting: Where to Begin
So You Want to be a Yachting Nanny?
The Yachtie Transformation
5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Work on a Yacht

Literate World

Kristy Mannell is an English and history teacher from Australia. She is currently volunteering as an Australian Youth Ambassador for Development in remote Indonesia.

Combating Homophobia in My Classroom: Part 2
“Why Should I Read, Miss?”

Location 180

In early 2010 Sean Ogle quit a job he didn’t like and headed to Thailand.  Since then consulting and affiliate marketing, and anything else that seems interesting him, have financed a lifestyle that has included living on a tropical island, running a marathon and climbing a mountain.

The Ten Coolest “Offices” I’ve Ever Had
ETG Podcast: Episode 12

A to F | G to L | M to R | S to Z

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 Frontierofficial


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