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.
Samantha in Saigon
A teacher in the USA, Samantha Baker took her skills to Taiwan and Vietnam. She was placed in a job in Taiwan by Reach to Teach Recruiting, co-owned by Carrie Kellenberger (see My Several Worlds, above).
Sammy’s Generic Travel Blog
Soon after graduating from university Sammy Corfield took notice of a tweet, spent 20 minutes on Skype being interviewed, and, with no training or experience, landed a teaching job in China.
Finding a Job Placement Teaching English in China. My Experience with the New Dynamic Institute, NDI
Finding a Placement Teaching English in China: My Experience with NDI (Part 2)
Finding a Job Placement Teaching English in China: Part 3
Sam Kynman-Cole had a unique childhood, when aged five he left his native New Zealand to sail around the world for eight years on his family’s yacht.
Secret Diary of a Camp Counselor
Lucy Harper’s ebook is based on the summer she spent in the USA at camp in 2005 and her site is a great resource of stories and information on working as a camp counsellor.
So Many Places
Kim and her husband sold up and left their old life behind in 2012 to travel the world. By the time she got to Asia she was making enough money to live off through her writing. They returned to the US in 2014 to accept jobs as ambassadors for a backpacker magazine. For this they are road tripping across America giving presentations about backpacking, outdoor gear and travel at outdoor retailers across the country.
Alex Butts’ old blog was very much associated with her work as an au pair but she has now moved on to life as a Texan expat in Karlsruhe, Germany where she works in an Irish pub, writes a guide to the city and offers a personal Eurotrip planning service.
Katy Stewart has enjoyed good volunteer experiences but knows to pick placements carefully after she found herself alone in the Mexican jungle caring for three difficult children and a slightly senile old woman.
The Stewardess Bible
Kylie O’Brian created The Stewardess Bible when she retired from an industry she worked in for over 12 years. Her first job after leaving University at 18 was with a hotel in Japan and she has worked in hotels in Australia, her home country. Her current book, Crew Wanted, is full of useful insider tips designed to help newcomers land their first jobs in the yachting industry.
Strolling South America
Rosanna and Jon are itinerant TEFL teachers and serial expats. Currently in Bolivia, they have taught English in Korea (where they met) and Taiwan. In between jobs they travel and volunteer.
Sunshine and Olive Adventures
A 22 year old graduate from Scotland, Lorena moved to Perugia to be a Comenius assistant.
Sunshine & Siestas
Cat Gaa is a Chicago girl who turned down a job in radio to live in Spain. Initially she studied in Valladolid but quickly returned to work for three years in a high school near Seville. Recently she moved from teaching to helping others settle in Spain via her own consulting service.
Take on the Road
As a freelance writer Lauren Razavi has appeared in major publications including The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph and The Independent. She has also taught English in France and Italy and in summer 2013 was given the task of managing a team of staff new to the TEFL world, which she blogs about in Live and Teach, her guide to expat life and teaching abroad.
Christy and Kali used their internet business to fund a lifestyle that took them around the US in an RV, housesitting in London and living in Thailand. They also made money selling their website.
Back pain and a general dislike for the office life led Travis Garner on a journey that has gone well beyond pain relief. As well as teaching yoga, Travis makes money online and while living in Bangkok became the IT director of an agency placing English language teachers in China.
Audrey Bergner is now able to travel full time as a travel blogger, photographer, YouTube video maker, and freelance travel writer, but it was teaching in Korea that initially earned her the funds to stay long term out of her home country, Canada.
Robert Stewart has put together a site dedicated to skiing. Ski resorts where he has lived, worked and skied include Verbier, in Switzerland, Chatel, Chamonix, Les Orres, in France, Queenstown, in New Zealand and Aveimore, in Scotland.
Dave and Jenna left London in February 2013 intending to end their travels by Christmas in Australia. However, they decided to carry on travelling and do so by the cheapest means they find including vehicle relocation in Australia and house sitting.
Mike and Ashley Lenzen picked up an unusual souvenir from their trip when they bought a house in Bulgaria. One country they passed on as too expensive to visit was Bhutan, so when they had the chance to teach in the country they jumped at the opportunity.
Travel This Earth
Mica Ivealis has worked as a chef in Australia, freelanced as a child photographer, volunteered in Peru and written for local magazines in her hometown of Miami. One of the more unusual jobs she has done is when she and husband Mike earned themselves a free cruise and some cash in exchange for looking after the ‘playroom’ on a swingers cruise.
Though much of Sally’s site is taken up with amusing irrelevances about her couch and buying pants she has a great deal of working abroad experience to impart. She is the western world’s foremost blogger on working on a Malaysian rice farm and has also taught English in Japan and China.
There are so many working abroad articles listed on their site by Wade Sheppard, his wife Chaya and guest writers that we are only highlighting a small fraction below. Wade has been travelling the World since 1999, part funding his travel obsession with three months’ archaeology fieldwork in the US each year. Increasingly he can now be found with his wife and young daughter in China.
Vicky Philpott is no stranger to working for her keep having done so on several occasions. She has worked at English immersion camps in Spain, volunteered in the Czech Republic and spent two summers at camp in America. Vicky has also written for online markets and writes for the HostelBookers blog.
Earl Baron has been travelling since 1999 paying his way in a variety of ways including informal English teaching in Thailand. He has also volunteered and had a speaking role as a British Policeman in an Indian soap opera but most of his work experience has come from his five years spent working on board cruise ships. Nowadays, he earns his living online through his website and ebooks and has started leading his own tours.
How I Can Afford My Life Of Constant Travel
How I Can Still Afford My Life Of Constant Travel
Three Weeks In India…A Recap Of My First Tour
Nomadic Interviews: Wandering Earl
Tales of a Bollywood Actor
Live Chat! From Cruise Ships To Kabul With Long Term Traveler Wandering Earl
How to Make Money while Traveling the World – An Interview with Wandering Earl
How I Make Money Online To Support My Travels
Kurt has done volunteer work exchanges in Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia and Belgium.
What’s Dave Doing?
Dave Dean began travelling the way many New Zealanders do – by packing a bag and heading to London. Before that he had fallen into the technology career that provided the grounding to write Hammocks and Hard Drives – The Tech Guide for Digital Nomads.
Will Peach keeps afloat with various writing gigs, SEO consulting and networking for gap year travel website Gap Daemon. He has also taught English in Vietnam and given English language instruction in Spain.
The Wrong Way Home
Izy Berry has volunteered in Cambodia and Laos. While there is some information on getting stabbed, mostly her writing concerns itself with working abroad and volunteer work, including on her dedicated volunteer work site: Generous Nomads.
Caz and Craig Makepeace now make their living through their writing, publishing one of the most successful travel blogs around. They have been travelling since 1997, first solo, then as a couple and now as a family of four. Caz has previously worked as a teacher in London, Dublin and the USA and has taught English in Thailand.
1 Dad, 1 Kid, 1 Crazy Adventure
A former hospice chaplain, Talon Windwalker is travelling the world with his young son. Early in his travels, Talon settled for eight months on the Honduran island of Utila where he earned his qualifications to work as a scuba diving instructor.
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 Jim Larrison