Welcome to the 15th edition of “How to Make Money While Travelling” which features successful nomadic teams and interviews with location independent entrepreneurs.
This week I interviewed Michelle Monty and Amy Fransz, the founders of The Remote Trip; a venture that organises trips for a community of 30 remote professionals that will live, work, and travel the world together for 3 to 6 months in 2017. During the community’s month-long visits to different digital nomad hotspots around the world, they focus on personal and professional development, health and well-being, exploring local cultures, and simply enjoying life as much as possible while they work.
“We believe the world is our home. That the beach can be your office, and fellow travelers can be your colleagues. We will not fit our lives around work. We will fit work with our lives. We believe in changing the way people work. Do you?”
Q1: So, how do you make money while travelling?
Our main income is through The Remote Trip; by creating unique work/travel experiences for remote workers when they join our trips. On the side we also do affiliate links, partnerships and we’d like to make money from our blog in the future too.
Furthermore, sometimes while you travel you come across an opportunity to quickly make some extra cash (bartending, reception work for free stay etc.) and we’ll take that up occasionally. It’s always good to have multiple streams of income 😉
Q2: What were you doing before The Remote Trip?
Michelle worked as a Finance Consultant for Deloitte and Amy as a Customer Facing Specialist at Unilever.
Q3: What are your reasons for becoming location independent?
We both found out after 1,5 years of working for these multinational companies, that the corporate world does not make us happy. We were making 60+ hour workweeks under high pressure and with a lot of stress. We didn’t get anything in return for that, except for a high paycheck. But believe us, that get’s old soon. A feeling kept nagging us that we were not doing what we’re supposed to be doing in this world. So, we quickly realized that fulfillment beats achievement and that we wanted to be on the road non-stop!
Q4: What challenges do you face in your career while both working and travelling?
Internet, Internet, Internet! We have both been travelling a lot since we graduated high-school, so there are few situations that we can’t handle travel-wise. But of course, when you’re working while traveling, having a stable connection is crucial. It happened multiple times that we had bad connections and that would significantly challenge our productivity.
Secondly: money transfers. It’s so expensive to travel and to constantly have to exchange currencies and transfer money. We try to work with the best banks and credit cards, but unfortunately you’ll always lose money on exchange rates and withdrawal fees.
Q5: What is the biggest lesson you have learnt from becoming location independent?
That you literally can do anything you set your mind to. When society keeps telling you that you need a steady job, and a great career, and a house and all these materialistic things, it’s easy to just give in to that rat race and think that everything outside of that is unrealistic. But you need to focus on what makes you happy! We are living proof that if you want to be location-independent (for whatever reason: travel, family, flexibility etc.), you can make it work. This goes for all goals you might have. You just have to believe in it. The mind is a powerful thing!
Q6: How do you find work while travelling?
Social Media is our main source of lead generation, and luckily that’s also what our target customers (remote workers) use most on a daily basis. Furthermore, we try to go to co-working spaces or digital nomad hubs and talk to people in person there.
Q7: Do you think businesses should offer more remote working opportunities? If so, why?
YES! Undeniably. That’s exactly the message that we’re trying to convey with The Remote Trip. Sitting in an office and having to be present all the time to “seem” productive is old-fashioned (try running up and down a hallway with loads of papers in your hand and a phone nudged between your ear and shoulder, now that’s one busy employee!). We are completely convinced that remote work and result-focused work is the future, and we are living in a great time where we can do this from anywhere. We should take advantage of that to the fullest!
We believe that companies would be able to attract & retain more top talent if they’d offer remote contracts. On top of that, studies already show that employees are happier, more productive, less stressed, more satisfied, less likely to burnout etc. when working flexible and/or remote. Businesses can’t ignore that, and should adjust their traditional ways of working.
Q8: What would your advice be to someone who wants to quit their desk job to become location independent?
Have an idea of what you want to do and start learning the skills you need for that online (we went from zero coding experience to completely building our own website in 1,5 months). Don’t quit your desk job until you have at least a few interviews lined up, or have some savings to get you through the first months. Don’t be held back by fear, what other people say, or your “idea” of safety. Trust us, this is a totally doable lifestyle.
Q9: What is your favourite travel quote?
“Follow your intuition, it knows exactly where to go.”
“The sooner you step away from your comfort zone, the sooner you’ll realise that it really wasn’t that comfortable at all” – Eddie Harris Jr.