Welcome to the 24th edition of “How to Make Money While You Travel” which features successful nomadic teams and interviews with travel entrepreneurs.
For the final edition of 2016, I have answered the same questions from my nomad interview series! For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Dave Weatherall. I am the creator of That Travel Blog.
I am a blogger, social media influencer and online entrepreneur. My mission is to create unique and insightful content that caters to an audience of young, ambitious travelling entrepreneurs and those who aspire to be one.
Q1: So, how do you make money while you travel?
I can travel indefinitely because I work on-the-go. I founded a team of digital marketing nomads whilst working from and travelling to 19 countries around the world. Today, I write and sell e-guides. I freelance for companies on-the-go. I interview travel bloggers, successful nomadic teams, and a total of 24 entrepreneurs last year. I get sponsored on Instagram. I also write for a small collection of online magazines.
Q2: What were you doing before That Travel Blog?
I left school without A-Levels or a University degree and started working in a Marketing Agency in London when I was just 17 years old. I worked hard, I built a freelance portfolio over the weekends and by the time I was 20, I had founded and was growing my own nomadic digital marketing team from the beaches of Portugal.
School wasn’t for me. It’s not that I didn’t like learning, I wasn’t learning enough and I knew that whatever qualification I came out with in the end, wouldn’t make me stand out from the millions of others just like me. And anyway, who needs formal qualifications when you want to be your own boss?
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3 years ago marks the day I left my desk job in London! 👨💻⠀ ⠀ Since then I have travelled to and worked from 18 countries around the 🌎. Including Spain, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Czech Republic, UAE, the Netherlands, Thailand, Singapore, and Taiwan.⠀ ⠀ If I can do this at 20 years old, without any savings or a University Degree, you can too! Click the link on my profile @thattravelblog to read my story at thattravelblog.com
Q3: What are your reasons for becoming location independent?
In April 2014, I quit my 9-to-5 desk job to travel indefinitely.
Like many nomads who work remotely, I was once sold the empty promise of “good career progression and development opportunities” by the corporate world. Investing the next 40 years into somebody else’s business did not appeal to me.
I wanted to travel, and so, I worked on freelance and journalistic projects in my spare time while learning how to monetise my travel blog. After a few years, I was able to redesign my lifestyle and quit my job!
Talking about creating a nomadic business, on-the-go, at the Alternative Travel Gathering in Amsterdam!
Q4: What challenges do you face in your career while you work and travel?
Contrary to what I let my Instagram followers believe, “living the dream” is hard work. Here’s two of my biggest challenges:
1. Feeling homesick
I have been travelling on and off for almost 3 years. The reality is that I often miss my family and friends that I have grown up with and it has been difficult not meeting up with my two elder brothers on a regular basis. I also occasionally fear being disconnected from social circles back home when I miss important moments and events.
I understand this is natural and I counteract these feelings with the happiness I feel when meeting new people and hearing about their unique stories. I come across many individuals, who like me, can feel a little homesick too. But while I am young, I want to soak up as much ‘new’ as possible. Luckily, I can always decide to travel home for a bit!
2. WWW (Workspaces With Wi-Fi)
When you are not tied down to an office-space with set hours, it’s very easy to waste time in the search for the perfect work spot/cafe. I.e. power sockets, a chilled environment, non-pushy staff, and reasonably priced food and drinks.
I avoid spending too much time walking around by paying a little extra for a nicer hotel or an Airbnb apartment, with super-fast Wi-Fi and a space for my work. That way, I can cross out most of my urgent to-dos while I am at home and save my money on endless coffee and eating out. Having a workspace to rely on is an essential!
Airbnb is perfect for maintaining productivity in an affordable live and workspace, try it for free with my link below.
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I turned 23 over the weekend! Looking back on the previous year of Dave, I had the opportunity to live and work from some of the best cities in Europe including London 🇬🇧 Berlin 🇩🇪 and Amsterdam 🇳🇱 as well as spending some weeks in Bologna 🇮🇹 Prague 🇨🇿 Dubai 🇦🇪 Cebu 🇵🇭 before finally arriving in Kaohsiung, Taiwan 🇹🇼 where I am now until Thursday!⠀ ⠀ To find out how I do this without any savings or a university degree, please read thattravelblog.com. For bloggers, travelling entrepreneurs, and those who aspire to be one!⠀ ⠀ Here's to another good year exploring the 🌎
Q5: What is the biggest lesson you have learnt from becoming location independent?
Don’t get too down on yourself if things don’t go to plan! I learnt this recently while I was travelling to and working from 6 countries in just 6 weeks.
I can’t remember the last time I didn’t make a mistake when exploring an unknown city or launching a new project. There’s always something I could have done that would have been a better use of my money or more importantly, a better use of my time. We’re all learning and it is perfectly OK to ask for help. This is what life’s about; learning from your mistakes and enjoying the journey, not just the destination.
Q6: How do you find work while you travel?
Social media and blogging has been extremely useful, but it was not until recently that I have really seen my hard work pay off. I did almost give up on my blog 6 months ago after over 2 years with barely any readers! Now, my inbox is always full of interesting entrepreneurs, nomads and brands who want to collaborate with me.
To get through the hard times, I advise you to engage with online communities and always develop your personal brand. Don’t give up and remember that there’s a Facebook group for everything! Meet-ups, events and even job opportunities are posted on Facebook groups everyday. Don’t miss these opportunities.
Here are a few of my favourite Facebook groups for digital nomads:
Traffic And Copy (not exclusively nomadic but it is very useful)
Travel Bloggers & Online Entrepreneurs (my group – join us!)
I am forever searching for ultimate freedom. I am so happy and thankful to have found opportunities to become more independent and make money with my travel blog.
Here’s two ways I monetise my blog and the websites I use that can help you to do it too:
Influencer marketing – getting sponsored by brands to put them in-front of your audience, often by convincingly integrating their products into your lifestyle
Affiliate marketing – the process of earning commission by promoting other people’s products, like my Airbnb affiliate link in Q4!
Q7: What’s a typical day for you? Do you have a set schedule?
I would love to tell you that I wake up at 7 AM, go to the gym and eat the perfect breakfast. My Facebook friends would probably tell you that my life is all about beaches, airports and exotic landscapes. The truth is, most of the time I’m either staring at a screen or searching for a Wi-Fi cafe. But when I do take a break, I’m often a short walk away from something really cool and unique.
My set schedule is usually dictated by which time-zone I am in. For example, I have spent the last 4 months in Asia. My clients, in the UK, start working at 9 AM when it’s 4 PM here! And I always share things from my blog late evenings because most of my readers are in the United States! I love it because I get a whole day to do and prepare whatever I want, stress-free, before I have to think about work.
It is however easy to overwork. Some days I get too obsessed and I can honestly work 14 hours straight, almost 7 days a week. For this reason, I try to make sure I have some kind of escapade booked every weekend, while remembering to take breaks when I’m working. This all helps me keep my creative juices flowing during the week.
Q8: What would your advice be to someone who wants to quit their desk job to become location independent?
I urge you not to spend the next 40 years investing your life into somebody else’s business in the hope of a secure future. In the better words of Jim Carrey whilst commenting on the life choices of his late father:
“You can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”
It’s better than looking back on what could have been. Try to think of the worst-case scenario. Is it really that bad? Probably not!
3 thoughts on “How I Make Money While I Travel”
This is very informative. It’s interesting that you do become homesick at times. I know Amrita would feel the same way. This lifestyle takes a lot of self discipline which you don’t give yourself enough credit.
Thanks for sharing insight into the life of a full time travel entrepreneur.
Thank you Dave for this great article! You provide inspiration for those working the typical 9 to 5 who carry their dreams on their shoulders. Nowadays there are a lot of opportunities to work online, and I think its not only important to have an online revenue, but most importantly to also spend your money wisely when you travel.
Thank you for the article. Especially the recommendation with the Facebook Groups is something new to me and I’ll definitely try that out!