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.
Married With Luggage
What started off as Warren and Betsy Talbot’s one year sabbatical to travel around the world morphed into selling everything they owned to travel for five years, which morphed into writing books and building a business, which has now morphed into finding an inspiring place in Spain where they can write uninterrupted when not actively traveling.
The Auxiliar de Conversación Programme in Spain places Americans and other English speaking nationalities in Spanish schools. Mike, who already had experience of the country having studied in Granada for six months in 2010, applied and is currently waiting to be placed in the La Rioja region.
Sarah Shaw has lived on four different continents, including studying Spanish in Peru and fine arts at The Korea National University of Arts in Seoul. Sarah later returned to Korea to teach English and is currently in Colombia with the Peace Corps.
Sarah Shaw: Why I Live in… Seoul
$#!* My Students Say…and Write…and Wear
Why I Don’t Want to be a Full-Time Travel Writer
So, I Got Accepted Into the Peace Corps and I’m… Moving to Colombia!
“Because You’re Foreign…” Western, White and English Privilege in Korea
My Daily Routine: Time + Present Tense Verbs
After investing in a TESOL certificate Mark Wiens worked at an English language camp in Thailand before teaching full time in Bangkok. He also earns an income selling advertising on his own blog and from freelance writing, and has also volunteered in the Philippines.
Giselle and Cody helped to care for a new born baby elephant in Thailand and for over 2000 dogs rescued from the illegal dog meat trade.
Jessica Hill spent a glorious 18 months drifting through Asia, one classroom at a time. She is currently teaching and studying in Colorado but dreams of more adventures with ESL in the future.
Kirsteen Mahmoud’s holiday to Dahab lead to marriage to an Egyptian man and settling in the town. She works part time for GapGuru, advising students on the company’s volunteer programmes and internships – the same job she did in the UK but in Egypt with her laptop. She has volunteered herself at a nursery school and orphanage in Kenya. Kirsteen also does PA work for a World Record holding freediver and a Kundalini yoga teacher.
My Several Worlds
Carrie Kellenberger left Canada in 2003 to see the world and stints as an ESL teacher in China and Taiwan cemented a love of Asia. She starting working as a writer and editor in 2007 and in 2012 with her husband took over an English teacher placement agency.
Kirsty Henderson is an internet entrepreneur who has grown her monthly online income from under $1000 in 2007 to a peak approaching $10,000 in 2012. She is also a serial volunteer and has published an ebook on the subject.
Getting My Daily Dose of Inspiration as a Volunteer
Volunteering with All Hands in Cagayan de Oro
I Just Bought My First Website
The Many Jobs of an Internet Marketer
Nomadic Interviews: Kirsty the Nerdy Nomad
Do Good Thursday: Kirsty’s Volunteer Abroad Experience in Rwanda
Farm Life in Northern California
The Beginning of the End
Never Ending Voyage
Erin McNeaney and Simon Fairbairn were seduced by the travelling lifestyle after their 2008 around the world trip. After selling their possessions they set off again in 2010 to become digital nomads, paying their way with web design and development and occasionally volunteering.
The Secret Life of a Nomadic Web Designer
A Day in the Life of an Equestrian Intern in Costa Rica
18 Reasons Why Chiang Mai Makes a Perfect Digital Nomad Headquarters
Essential Reads for Digital Nomads: Blog Edition
Where to Stay – For Free Around the World
The Practicalities of Being a Digital Nomad Part 1: Insurance, Health, Banking & Retirement
The Practicalities of Being a Digital Nomad Part 2: Tax, Visas, Flights & Security
How We Got Started as Digital Nomads
Jeannie Mark left her career in Canada behind when in 2010 she bought a one way ticket to India. Since then she has volunteered in a small village in India, taught English in China and is forging a career in writing and public speaking.
Matt Kepnes is one of the big beasts of the travel blogging industry, inspiring many of today’s crop of travel bloggers to start making a living with a keyboard and a screen. While getting in to the industry early has helped his success few other bloggers have worked as hard in getting their name out there and turning themselves into a travel media brand. While he has been so successful with his blog, the partnerships made through it, ebooks and travel blogging courses, he hasn’t had to do other jobs to fund his lifestyle, Nomadic Matt increasingly features interviews with other travellers working and volunteering abroad.
After graduation from University Megan bought a one way ticket to Asia, and has been there ever since. She spent six months teaching near Bangkok and a year in Chiang Mai. She has also taught in Myanmar and spent a semester studying abroad in Prague.
James Clark makes his living on the move, mixing his travels with basing himself somewhere more permanent. As a digital nomad he has based himself in Saigon, Chiang Mai, Penang and Playa del Carmen in between trips to Europe, Central America and India. His regular Nomadic News column always carries interesting links to the digitally nomadic lifestyle along with a picture of his ‘Office of the Week’.
After graduating in Canada, Samuel Jeffrey spent most of his twenties in Asia working as an expat English teacher, model, photographer and freelance writer. His travels have included – holy fuck! – a 68 hour bus journey from Quito, Ecuador to Puno, Peru.
4 Tips Before Signing the Contract
Teaching ESL in Asia: Pick Your Poison
Interview with Long Term Traveller, Expat and English Teacher – Nomadic Samuel Jeffery
Teach English in Korea – Interview with Nomadic Samuel
No Place to be
One half on an English couple travelling around Southeast Asia, Kirsty took an online TEFL course and taught English in Thailand, before returning home to learn more about teaching.
Stood up on my first online date…
Thoughts From a First Time English Teacher in Thailand
A Year of Teaching English in Thailand – Kirsty’s Thoughts
Ask Poi and Kirsty Anything: Is it Easy to Get a Teaching Job?
Notes of Nomads
Jessica Korteman and Hai Huynh, a writer and a photographer, are an Australian couple travelling the globe indefinitely. They lived in Japan for four years, volunteering in the earthquake affected Tohoku region.
The Official Roni Weiss Blog
Roni Weiss is a social media consultant and creator of multi media content. He has also taught English in Chile, Taiwan, Italy and in France, where he gained early experience in material creation.
Caitlyn O’Dowd divides her life between working as a tour guide and living off season in the Netherlands. Any day during the season can see her guiding in one or more of 45 cities in 11 countries in Europe. She has also led festival tours of La Tomatina and Oktoberfest
One Day I’ll Fly Away
Ellie left America in 2009 with two suitcases and a smile and has since taught English to children in Korea and Thailand.
Along with teaching English in Korea and Thailand, Johnny Ward has also worked a while in America and Australia and volunteered in Taiwan. Currently he make his living via his travel blog, a subject he regularly writes about in his Motivational Monday column.
A cubicle escapee turned nomadic explorer, Sherry Ott has volunteered in Jordan and Lebanon, taught English in Vietnam and, as a co-founder of the the Meet, Plan, Go! network, encourages Americans to take a career break.
Bringing Home the Bacon
Teaching in the Past, Present, and Future Tense
Volunteer Chronicles: Settling In
Volunteering Isn’t Just Teaching English
Protecting Hawaii from Invasive Tourism
Our Big Fat Travel Adventure
Amy Blyth and Andrew Wyatt left Britain in March 2013 telling their friends and family they intended to travel the world indefinitely. Since then they have volunteered in the UK, as Zombies, and in Thailand and the Philippines.
Passport and a Toothbrush
Matt and Caro took a nine month trip and then… they went home to Canada and (eventually) bought a couch. What the future holds for them is unsure but in the past Caro worked as a tour guide and a kids’ club worker at sea, and they have taught English in a village school in Thailand, and worked for their stay in an eco hostel in Portugal and on a farm in Turkey.
The Professional Hobo
Nora Dunn’s worldly possessions fit into one bag and weigh less than 45 pounds. Housesitting stints, including looking after a beach front villa in the Caribbean, volunteer work and yacht crewing earn Nora her moniker. She also funds her lifestyle as a freelance writer. The links below are just some of the things Nora has done to keep travelling and her blog, and writing for other markets, also contains numerous how to articles and related resources.
Where We Live
Three Months in Grenada
Kona: Where we Live
On The Rescue: Koalas Up Trees
I am a Published Author!
Financial Travel Tip #21: Car Sharing, Ride Sharing, Vehicle Delivery
Volunteering at Vaughan Town in Spain: A Cultural Experience
10 Tips for Landing the Perfect House-Sitting Gig
How to Get Free Accommodations (and Paid Jobs) on Boats
Rebecca and the World
Rebecca Arnold works in PR for a global company and is currently on assignment in Papua New Guinea. She has also volunteered at a primary school in KwaNyuswa, South Africa.
Rebe Without a Clause
Rebe went from the American Midwest to South Korea via Madrid. After studying in Spain she returned to work as an English Language Assistant in two public schools (covered in her Oh No She Madridn’t blog). As I write she is in the middle of a year teaching English in Korea.
The Red Dragon Diaries
Though he is older than most of his compatriots, Tom Gates has been an ESL teacher with EPIK, the public school system’s tool for engaging students with native English speakers, since 2011.
Hitchhiking to Paris and volunteering in Uganda helped kindle an interest in travel for Ed Rex. His trips abroad fed a burgeoning career in travel blogging and social media work with travel companies on his return.
The Roaming Coconuts
The Roaming Coconuts were Danielle and Silvia, who met while volunteering in Thailand, but Danielle is now roaming and writing the blog on her own. She initially made her way to Thailand as part of the American Jewish World Service’s Volunteer Corps and has since lived in the country working for four months in Mae Sariang with the Karen Office of Relief and Development and six months in Chiang Mai for the Human Rights Education Institute of Burma.
Roy left New Zealand in 2004 to work at a special needs summer camp in the USA and has been on the move ever since, acquiring working holiday visas in the UK, Czech Republic and Canada. While his main job was working on a cruise ship, he has also taught English in Prague and supplemented his income as a gay porn site webmaster.
The Runaway Guide
Aged 16, Leif ran away from home and, after blowing most of his savings in the first week, explored much of Europe and the Middle East without a dime. He is still going a decade later having tried his hand at numerous jobs abroad.
Jane Meighan has been working full time as a travel writer and blogger since 2010.
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 Ehud Kenan