Today I’m leaving Vancouver, a place I called home for almost three years. It got me thinking of all the different reasons why people decide to pack up their bags and plunge into the unknown.
No matter what country or city you’re from, or what circumstance you’re in, there’s one thing in common with people who move. That everyone moves in the hopes of a better life.
My life in Vancouver was good. I love Vancouver and many of the people in it. It’s just that I’ve set out on a path to make location-independent income, and I want to travel and work now.
It’s tough to say goodbye to those who you’ve met along the way, but exciting to look forward to what’s ahead.
It got me thinking of how much traveling has improved my life.
Here are all the ways traveling can help you make money:
Traveling Helps You Identify Your Strengths
When I started traveling, I wanted to find a way to earn money online. I listed out my strengths and what problems I could solve for people.
I had so much experience in the finance world, over 11 years, but I had wanted to try something new. I knew I could market myself as a financial analyst or consulting for businesses, but I wanted something different.
There was one skill I had that I wanted to develop, and that was writing. I’ve always loved reading and thought that I would be great at writing also.
I looked online for freelance writing opportunities to apply for, and to my surprise, the very first client I applied to, I landed a staff writer position. I’m still writing for them to this day.
Writing is something I would never have tried if I hadn’t traveled, and I am always grateful for doing so.
Traveling Can Get You Out Of A Rut
Earlier this year, I had lost my job in a new career path in web development that I was trying to carve out. It was the first time in my whole life that I had lost a job, and I’ve probably had over 20 jobs dating back to when I was a teenager. I wasn’t sure what to do, as I had put a lot of time and effort into changing careers.
Since I had a lot of savings and was earning income from freelance finance writing on the side, I decided to travel and figure out what I wanted.
I decided to go to Vietnam for two months, and write and hopefully be inspired. I didn’t know what to expect and just fully embraced the uncertainty.
In those first two months, I started writing a lot more with my existing clients. I also marketed myself as a freelance finance writer by building a freelance business website.
By the end of two months, I had two new clients, and I extended my trip another month.
Discover New Passions and Make Money
I was also starting to enjoy writing, something that at first I didn’t think I cared for that much.
My writing got more refined, and the results I reached for my clients were getting better every week.
It helped that the client I worked for had great analytics set in place for me to learn from what connected with my audience.
There were a few other things I tried to do also that I didn’t enjoy so much like learn Vietnamese (I was terrible at it!), and taught an English class to cover for a friend.
On a personal note, you can try other fun things like surfing, scuba diving, riding motorcycles, paddleboarding, hiking, and camping.
After three months in Vietnam, I made my way back home and now have decided to travel full time for an indefinite amount of time.
Get Inspired By Other Travelers and Make Money
I met other travelers who taught me about digital marketing and SEO strategies, an area I knew nothing about previously.
There was one person who inspired me, a college dropout from India who, by sheer force of will, had managed to build himself an online B2B marketing business where he was now thriving.
At 21 years of age, he was earning more than 90% of his middle-aged Indian countrymen.
There was also Mark Benhken, the owner of askthetrainer.com, who owned several successful websites throughout his career. He inspired me to start my blog and opened my eyes to the power and satisfaction you can get from writing.
Traveling Can Light A Fire Under You
When you’re in a 9-5 job, it’s easy to lose your motivation. With a steady paycheque coming in, you can lose that drive to learn new things and settle into complacency.
Getting stagnant is not the case when you’re traveling and working on your own. There’s something about the fear of not knowing where your paycheque is coming in from that pushes you to try new things and take risks.
Most entrepreneurs I’ve met, even established business owners, have a similar hustler mindset. It’s always about seeking out where the next client or sale will come from, and being unsure of if you can keep them.
Traveling has pushed me to get creative with marketing myself and my business, and taking a chance on new opportunities, I otherwise never would have tried.
Traveling Builds Gratitude
Traveling has made me a much more grateful person. Some countries have so much poverty and issues that often I felt guilty for all the 1st world problems that I had occupied myself with in the past.
There is a lot of research linking gratitude and happiness. When you’re in a grateful state of mind, you can be more creative and empathetic, and this can lead to more business opportunities as well.
Traveling Can Reshape Your Purpose
When you’re stuck in the rat race, you can get so focused on making money sometimes that you lose sight of other things.
It’s ironic, but by shifting your focus from making money to helping solve a problem for others, you can earn a lot more money by doing so and be a lot more fulfilled in life.
A lot of entrepreneurs I admire, such as Seth Godin, the creator of CD Baby, say similar things. They weren’t setting out to make a huge business. Instead, they were trying to help one person fix their problem.
I never thought traveling could be so helpful to me in making money, but surprisingly it has over the last few years and I hope it can work for you also.
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