How I Afford A Life of Constant Travel, and You Can Too - This American Girl
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How I Afford A Life of Constant Travel, and You Can Too

Am I Wanderlost - 04

 

When I tell people I’ve been traveling nonstop for three and a half years, it doesn’t take long before they ask the question. The question I’ve become so used to answering, I can anticipate it before it even rolls off of their tongues.

 

“So, how do you pay for it?”

 

koh tao

 

For a long time, I found this insulting. I cringed the moment I heard the question spill out the mouth of a person I literally met five minutes before. I’ve never been one to talk about money, especially with strangers, yet I find myself confronted with discussing it with nearly everyone I meet.

 

Funny enough, it’s one of the few things I haven’t talked about on this blog. I’ve bared myself naked in body and soul, written about getting slapped in a bar, being heartbroken in Bali, having excessive food poisoning, and cleansing my liver with coffee enemas, yet I never seem to get to the bottom line.

 

How do I afford a life of constant travel?

 

This American Girl

 

Lately, I’ve realized that asking this question is not actually insulting at all. And that answering it, rather than a nuisance, is in fact an honor. People want to know how I can afford this lifestyle, because they want to have it too. When they ask, “How do you afford a life of constant travel?” what they’re really asking is, “How do I afford a life of constant travel?” They wonder how I’ve managed to do what they previously thought impossible. They wonder what my secret is.

 

So here I am, today, getting straight to the bottom line:

 

This American Girl

 

The secret to affording a life of constant travel, is simply deciding to.

 

I don’t have a trust fund, I didn’t play the stock market, and I didn’t receive an inheritance. I’m not any more intelligent, more talented, more capable, or more deserving than anyone else on this planet. I’m not any more privileged or able bodied than anyone else born in a first world country with access to education and a passport that gets them pretty much anywhere.

 

In fact, I’d bet a ticket to Thailand that I’m not actually that different from you.

 

This is Not the End - 66

 

Sure, you may have different challenges from me. You may have a lease or a mortgage or kids or parents with disabilities. You may have disabilities yourself. You may have massive amounts of student loan debt or credit card debt or debilitating social anxiety.

 

You may also have opportunities that I don’t have. A full time career that will let you work remotely, a supportive partner who wants to do this with you, skills in technology, or even tens of thousands of dollars in a 401K. We all have challenges and opportunities on the road of life and it’s within our power to channel them in ways to support our dreams.

 

yoga crow pose

 

In short, if I can do it, you can do it too. But it starts with one simple, yet extremely terrifying and courageous step: deciding that you want a life of constant travel enough to do whatever it takes to make it happen.

 

You got me?

 

Ok, now let’s get into the nitty gritty of how me and my Mastercard travel the world indefinitely, and more importantly, how you can do it too.

 

little corn island

 

#1: I Don’t Spend a Lot of Money

 

Reducing your expenses is perhaps easiest way to afford long-term travel. People seem to think that travel is expensive, and it certainly can be. If you’re taking two-week vacations staying in fancy hotels, eating in restaurants, renting a car, and going on organized tours. But this isn’t the way that I travel. In fact, I spend much, much less traveling the world than I ever did living in the United States.

 

Let’s take a look:

 

Four Years Ago Living in Seattle:

$1350/month for a one bedroom apartment

$200/month for utilities and internet

$250/month for car insurance

$200/month on gas, taxis, and buses

$100/month for cell phone plan

$500/month on groceries

$500/month eating out and drinking

$400/month in therapy bills (because I was unhappy with my life and felt stuck)

$300/month on new clothes (because I was unhappy with my life and felt stuck)

Total expenses: $3,800/month

 

Two Years Ago Living in Costa Rica:

$300/month for a one bedroom apartment

$20/month unlimited internet and cell phone

$200/month for organic, local groceries

$200/month for eating out, drinking, fun extras

$80/month for yoga classes

Free transportation by walking and riding a bicycle

Total expenses: $800/month

 

One Year Ago Traveling in Southeast Asia:

$200/month on bungalows, hostels, and hotels

$150/month on tuk tuks, bike rentals, flights, and buses

$300/month for anything from street food to fancy restaurants to organic green juice

$150/month for tours, national park fees, and massages

Total expenses: $800/month

 

Traveling in inexpensive countries, I’ve spent on average $800 to $1500/month. Compare that to when I lived in the states and spent nearly $4000/month. You may be shocked by both numbers. Shocked that I spent that much living in the states (yes, it was excessive) and shocked that world travel can be so cheap. If I set a budget for myself of around $1,000/month, whether I’m hanging out in Costa Rica or backpacking around the world, I’ve generally found that my travels are pretty easy to fund.

 

How You Can Do It Too

 

If you’re serious about traveling long term, the shift is two fold. First, you need to figure out how to reduce your current expenses as much as possible. Start with the big ticket items. Can you end your lease? Can you rent out your house? Can you sell your house? Can you sell your car? Can you sell most of your furniture and your clothes? What can you reduce that is no longer of value to you, so that you can create space and resources for what you really value? Having as few payments as possible each month is a great way to start.

 

Second, learn how to need less. I’m not talking about restriction or deprivation here. There’s nothing depriving about cooking your own nutritious food, living in a house by the beach, getting around on a bicycle, having a small collection of clothes that you love, and having free entertainment in nature. What I’m talking about is spending money mindfully. Be aware of what really feeds you, and what’s just filler. Start paying attention to how you spend your money and ask yourself how it makes you feel. Shift towards purchases that fulfill genuine needs rather than quick fix desires.

 

A huge part of this is spending more time in nature and getting more grounded. The more you understand that the earth provides everything that you need, the less material things you will want. “Stuff” is often a filler for something deeper that we feel is missing. When we live a vibrant, free, full life, that desire tends to melt away.

 

otres beach sihanoukville

 

#2: I Work Online

 

During my first year of travel, I lived off savings and money made from selling all of my stuff, but I knew I couldn’t sustain that. I realized that if I wanted to keep traveling, I would need to find a job that I could do anywhere on the planet. So I turned to my old friend the internet.

 

Before I started traveling I had worked in Internet Marketing as a Project Manager for three years, so I had some basic skills in graphic design, web design, SEO, and writing for the web. One of my best friends just so happened to a famous blogger, and that completely opened my eyes to the idea that making a living from a blog was possible. While living on the cushion of my savings, I started writing a blog to see if I could make something of it.

 

Soon after, I received incredibly positive feedback, and was even contacted by several companies asking me to write my story for their publications. Eventually, this led to many freelance travel writing opportunities. Some paid as low as $25, but I could write an article in under an hour and I was living on $30/day. It wasn’t much, but at that rate I could work less than 10 hours per week and make enough to enjoy my life traveling in Nicaragua or hanging out at the beach in Costa Rica.

 

Since then I’ve continued freelance writing with various travel companies, earning anything from $25 for a 1,000 word article to $700 for a 350 word piece that was published in Marie Claire magazine. Some companies contacted me, but I also researched and contacted many companies myself. When I was traveling in Laos, I spent less than $800 in an entire month, and I earned $1500 from working only 20 hours.

 

I’ve also provided social media services for different small businesses, offered online travel consulting services, and designed basic websites for other bloggers and small businesses.

 

In addition to freelance work, I make an income through my blog. In January I released my first ebook The Ultimate Guide to Costa Rica, which earns me passive income every month. I’ve worked with some different sponsors, including Nokia who compensated me $1,000 to take just a few photos with their new smart phone and post them to my Facebook page. This past winter I traveled mostly for free in expensive countries like Finland and Switzerland as I had generous tourism boards, hotels, restaurants, and tour companies funding my trip. Amazingly, I’ve also made thousands of dollars over the years from loyal readers donating to my Buy Me a Coconut Fund.

 

How You Can Do it Too

 

If you want to travel indefinitely or live abroad in the tropics, funding it will be much easier if you have a job that you can do online. Brainstorm all of the things that you know how to do, and figure out how you can take them online.

 

Most people are proficient enough at writing to be able to get inexpensive writing jobs on sites like Copyblogger, Problogger, and oDesk. Check out this great list of websites who pay for online articles. If you’re a photographer, consider selling your work on Getty or iStock. If you do any kind of consulting, see if you can do Skype sessions with clients. Focus on the possibilities instead of the limitations and the opportunities will appear.

 

For some added inspiration, read this article by my friend Brendan who made $4,000 in one month through Elance.

 

Bocas del Toro

 

#3: I Teach Yoga

 

I pursued my yoga teacher training initially because I wanted to deepen my personal practice. I fell in love with yoga when I started traveling to Costa Rica, and eventually I wanted to take my practice to the next level. After graduating from my training program at Pavones Yoga Center, I felt that I had been bestowed with such incredible gifts, I couldn’t NOT share yoga with the world.

 

I started teaching yoga at Om Yoga in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, and since then I’ve given private yoga classes all over the world. When I return to Costa Rica I’ll be teaching public classes at Om again, offering private yoga sessions, and hope to eventually lead my own travel retreats that combine yoga with nature, local culture, and adventure.

 

Thanks to the website Yoga Trade, any time I want to teach yoga abroad I can look through pages of job postings for yoga teachers anywhere from Australia to Morocco to Thailand to Costa Rica, which typically involve free room and board plus a small income.

 

How You Can Do It Too

 

If you’re already a yoga teacher, or considering becoming one, check out Yoga Trade immediately. You can also contact different studios that interest you in your desired locations, start creating your own yoga retreats to take on the road, and even walk into resorts and beach hostels while traveling and ask if they need a teacher.

 

For everyone else, find a TRADE that you can take on the road. Maybe you cut hair, or you make a mean cocktail, or you’re an awesome musician, or you’re certified in massage. Look on Work Away, which has thousands of work trade opportunities all over the world. Consider taking your trade to Australia where you can get a working holiday visa for one year. Think about how you can use your skills to apply value to the places where you visit, and you’ll always find a job in exchange for at least free room and board.

 

Bocas del Toro

 

#4: I Add Value to the World

 

The thing about money, is that it isn’t real. Not exactly, anyway.

 

Money is a symbol, a tool, a currency, that we as a society have created as a way to quantify value. The best way that I can understand how I’ve possibly managed to life the life of my dreams for the last 3.5 years is by recognizing that I add tremendous value to the world, and tremendous value has therefore been returned to me.

 

I write a blog that reaches hundreds of thousands of people per year, I’ve shared tens of thousands of photos through social media, and I’ve responded to every single email I’ve ever received asking anything from where to go in Costa Rica to how to avoid food poisoning to how to leave an abusive relationship to how to quit the 9 to 5 and travel the world. I’ve written an entire eBook on Costa Rica, promoted businesses that I believe in, shared free yoga and Reiki with dozens of people I’ve met on the road, and given away more free advice than I could ever track.

 

I witness consistently that the more value I supply to the universe, the more value I receive in return.

 

How You Can Do it Too

 

In the past I’ve often said that you don’t need money to travel and you certainly don’t need money to enjoy your life. With the many opportunities for trade in the world, that may be true. However what I, and what we all need to feel happy and free, is VALUE. Value is something that we can endlessly create, that will never go scarce, and that we don’t ever need to compete over.

 

What are your unique gifts? What value do you have to offer the world? If you truly plan to sustain a life of travel, you need to find your greatest offering and give it as freely as you possibly can. In return you will receive all of the riches that you need. Know that you are priceless, know what the value you offer is worth, and graciously accept the currency of value. If you feel lost about knowing what your purpose is, read my post How to Figure Out What the F&*K You Should Be Doing With Your Life.

 

Bocas del Toro

 

#5: I Believe in Myself

 

I won’t lie, it hasn’t all been easy. The money hasn’t always come. There have been times when my bank balance was closer to zero than a hundred. And sometimes it was scary. But one thing is for sure, IT ALWAYS WORKED OUT. In fact, it has always been a wake up call that I needed to focus, start offering more value, challenge myself to grow my business, and most difficult of all, to crack open my heart enough to receive the blessings that I truly deserve.

 

Even when it’s hard, I remind myself that I believe in my dreams. I believe in myself. I trust that no matter what situation I find myself in, I am powerful enough to find the opportunity and to grow. More than anything else, that is how I afford a life of constant travel. By believing that it is possible, and believing that I can do it.

 

How You Can Do It Too

 

One of my favorite quotes, by Marianne Williamson in A Return Love, says, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

 

Get outside your own head, set your worries in a dresser drawer, and take a moment to acknowledge just how worthy and unlimited you are. The only thing that holds you back from achieving anything, is fear. Remember that you are the star in your own life, you hold the responsibility for your own happiness, and you have the power to manifest your reality.

 

And with that, I’m complete.

 

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Comments

  1. Great post! I agree that where there’s a will, there’s a way. I work and travel, and it is so much easier to budget when you have a monthly pay check rather than a lump sum to budget with. Would love to read your Marie Claire article, do you have a link?

  2. I am currently trying to save like crazy to take my first month long solo trip to Thailand with the hopes of continuing a life of travel after that. Reading posts like these gives me the push that I have needed. Your blog is truly inspiring and I can’t wait to hear about your next adventure!

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 8, 2015 at 11:42 am

      Awesome thank you so so much!! It’s great to hear that you found this helpful. I wish you all the best, and remember you can do it! Let us know how it goes :)

  3. And here am I, saving up money for my very first solo trip to Nicaragua. This is an awesome post. I always wonder how people manage to travel without worrying about the funds and where you will get the money from. That’s why I find this post very motivating to just do it and believe in myself, as you believed in yourself (even though it can be quite hard sometimes)!
    Proud you made this decision and changed your way of life! Many more years of travelling and enjoying life to come, for you. :)

    Love, a Dutchie who is currently travelling in the UK and who wants to spread her wings.

  4. Brian S Says: June 8, 2015 at 9:04 am

    What a GREAT article, I get inspiration from reading your works, Thank You..

  5. Meaghan Says: June 8, 2015 at 10:38 am

    Camille: Something I’ve always wondered about Americans who travel long term or live abroad without company sponsorship, what do you do about health insurance? Do you have it or do you just have travel insurance and rely on local care/pay out of pocket?

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 8, 2015 at 11:38 am

      Hey dear, I gotta be honest, I don’t have health insurance nor travel insurance. Typically I try to do everything that I can holistically and naturally. You can read more about that here:http://www.thisamericangirl.com/2013/12/04/my-travel-wellness-kit/ and here: http://www.thisamericangirl.com/2014/02/01/can-we-keep-it-au-naturale/

      There have been a few times where I’ve been to doctors overseas. Once when I got a teeth cleaning in Cambodia, cost me $20 out of pocket and it was the best teeth cleaning I’ve ever had. Another time I was bitten by a dog in Thailand and I went to get rabies shots. I needed about 6 doc visits and shots, and I paid $250 total. Finally, I got a really bad infection from stepping on a sea urchin in Indonesia and I went to the doctor and got it cleaned plus antibiotics and paid $50.

    • Matt Vecchio Says: June 8, 2015 at 11:51 am

      I second this question. Tickle me inspired though, great article!

  6. danielle Says: June 8, 2015 at 11:14 am

    Fantastic read! Needed some inspiration today, and this was great. Thanks for sharing :)

  7. I love all your posts Camille!! You are an inspiration to all. What I would like to see is for someone to talk in depth about the legal aspects of traveling and making money. No one ever gives guidance on that. Maybe they touch the subject but no details. Americans making money abroad worry about the legal aspects such as what kind of business license to have and how to deal with taxes in other countries and the U.S. Is there a limit to how much you make before having to worry about it. I would love to know how you handle this and I’m sure I’m speaking for many other readers as well.
    Thanks for all your knowledge and inspiration!! Always waiting for the next email from you

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 9, 2015 at 10:00 am

      Thanks Lisa, great point, I will think about this. Definitely lots more posts on practicalities (health insurance, retirement, taxes, etc) coming :)

  8. Hi! Great post and I really identify with #1 (Don’t spend a lot of money). It is amazing how far that can go.

    I was curious what you are doing for your retirement planning (or when you want to stop working for money)?

    Keep living the dream and inspiring others!

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 9, 2015 at 9:59 am

      Thank you Britton! I do still have a retirement fund set up from when I worked in the corporate world, but honestly I don’t think much about it. My focus now is towards building passive income through my blog (creating products, ebooks, etc). I’m someone who will always want to “work” in some capacity, by that I mean, “creating value” in the world. When your energy goes into your passions, it doesn’t burn you out. I spent my first year traveling essentially “retired” and while it was great, I quickly felt the urge to do something more. That’s why I started this blog. That said, I know that passive income is the key to financial freedom, which is why I’ve made it a goal of mine now. Once I’ve earned more income, I’ll start investing in properties for even more passive income. Best of luck to you and keep living your dreams also!! :) xo

  9. Hey Camille,
    Great article! You laid everything out so nicely. About five months ago I set out on my own journey to make a life for myself as a freelance writer. I’ve traveled all the way from Mexico, through Belize, Guatemala, and Nicaragua, finally ending up for an extended stay in Puerto Viejo, of all places. And this place is definitely where the magic is starting to happen. In some strange twist of fate I found your site through the Yoga Nomads, and even stranger still I staretd working reception at Om last Friday in exchang for free yoga classes. I’m guessing you’re gone for the rainy season, and I’m not sure how long I’ll be here, so we may miss each other. But I had to reach out, say hello and send a great big thank you for sharing your story. I’m totally inspired! :)) One love y Pura Vida
    http://www.emmaroundtheoutside.com

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 9, 2015 at 9:55 am

      Ah thanks so much for your message darling!! That’s awesome, I also did work trade at Om in exchange for yoga a few years ago :) I’ll be back down in August perhaps I’ll see you then. Meanwhile, keep following your dreams and spreading your light and love in my jungle home <3

  10. Pure dead brilliant! I think you’ll always find a way because you’ve let go of the fear and soldiered on!
    Well done!
    You’re inspiring! Xx

  11. I’m so happy and inspired by your article. I’ve read so many guides on how to travel the world but I guess yours what straight to the heart. That we are meant to shine. And that shine inspires others to shine too. Thank you . I love your work.

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 9, 2015 at 9:42 am

      Aw thank you so so much Rowena! Absolutely you are not only meant to shine, you ALREADY shine, you just need to own it. Step into your greatness. It’s right there waiting for you.

  12. Worthy of donation, I say :) enjoy a days living on me! – with love.

  13. This is great. I want to apologize for thinking all this time that you were relying on a trust fund or something like that. Clearly you have earned your way. Best of luck and enjoy.

  14. Thanx for advise and inspiration.So much still to do but doors open as you go if you stay positive.

  15. So very helpful and detailed. So many folks are vague and save the specifics for their book, which I can understand. Gotta make money. This information is really all you need to get started. The biggest lesson I get from this is that you can’t predict the opportunities that come from being out there. Just because I can’t see beyond the horizon of first six months out there, doesn’t mean I shouldn’t go and plan on traveling for years. Good person. I’m heading out June 27 & starting a blog, so I don’t have spare cash, but I’ll surely donate to you for the free, specific information you offered. That’s just how it’s supposed to go.

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 11, 2015 at 8:05 am

      Absolutely and I’m so glad to hear that this post helped you to see the possibilities!! Keep following your dreams :)

  16. Phenomenal article and something I never actually thought about. I’ll look into possibilities and see whether it could be feasible for me and my partner to do for a few years! Whether or not I have the balls to take a leap of faith and back myself/ourselves like you, I somehow doubt, but awesome blog and thank you for showing that its possible.

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 11, 2015 at 8:08 am

      You’re so welcome! Even if you just figure out how to do a one month trip, that will show you quickly whether this is something that you want to pursue or not. xx

  17. Holy molly!!! $1350/month for a one bedroom apartment?! Here in Philippines, $1350 is already the monthly salary of a high ranked employee! Or that is good enough for a monthly rent of a nice condo unit.

    I guess the cost of living in USA is really expensive.

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 11, 2015 at 8:10 am

      The rent is even more expensive now, that was 4 years ago. It’s very expensive to live in the cities here.

  18. $500/month for groceries?! $500/month eating out and drinking?! You really spend a lot!

    A month of groceries here in Philippines is only about $150-$200!

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 11, 2015 at 8:11 am

      Yes Southeast Asia is much much much cheaper than the USA. Of course, it depends how you do it, but a meal in an inexpensive restaurant will be $15 all the way up to a nice place for $100. I was going out several nights a week and drinking $12 cocktails.

  19. So inspiring and so true. I made the decision a few years ago to only do things that make me happy and give me joy and fulfilment. I want to be free. Never again will I be employed, all I want is to work on projects. Short and sweet and forever changing. I love that. Now I give Kenyan Home Dinners, catering for companies with projects I like and give workshops. I don’t think too much about the money but somehow I can pay all my bills and have fun each and every month. I educate my spirit and my soul with inspiring teachers such as Bob Proctor, The secret, Louise Hayes and so on. And I now KISS (keep it simple and sweet). No more buying stuff I don’t need, only keep friends I truly love, never watch news (which to me is a summary of misery) and never worry about government drama that only causes us to feel insecure and unhappy. Life is truly simple and sweet. But only if you decide to let go of your paradigms on what is supposedly important, and decide for YOURSELF what YOU find important. I’ve shared this article with friends and family. I hope it’ll inspire them as it has inspired me. Keep up Camille! And if you are ever in Amsterdam, come crash at my place. I’ll cook you some authentic Kenya food too:) I know places for you to crash in Kenya as well. Hugs!

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 11, 2015 at 10:52 am

      Yes yes yes!! I love this, you are full of such beautiful wisdom, thank you for sharing it with us. Perhaps I’ll develop KISS as my personal mantra, I love it! Keepin it simple and sweet <3

  20. I’ve got #1 covered and I’m working on #2. I finally made my first sale. It was a vary small one, but it least saved me from having my Amazon account canceled. How is it that you’re able to do #3, though?

    I’ve heard that it’s very difficult to work in most Central American countries. And that you need to provide a service that no local can provide or in a lot of cases need to have residency, which is a very long and expensive process.

    I’m a captain and I’d be down there already except I’ve heard at least in Belize that my US captain license is worthless and even if I added scuba instructor on top of it I’d still never get hired as a non native.

    Feel free to respond privately if the secret is incriminating.

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 11, 2015 at 10:51 am

      Hey Chris, yes I’ve heard people say this before. Personally I can only speak as a yoga teacher, since it’s the only “job” I’ve had in Costa Rica. Teaching yoga is something that very few locals do, especially in the smaller beach towns. In San Jose it might be a different story, but in Puerto Viejo I only know of 2 local yoga teachers, and there are several yoga studios. In many places I’ve traveled to there are literally no local English speaking yoga teachers at all. As far as jobs in general, I’m not sure what the logistics are legally, but I have friends who work in bars, hotels, you name it, in Costa Rica and other countries as well. It’s especially easy for people who do work trade, since there’s not money being exchanged. This is probably a better question for a business owner in Costa Rica to be fair, and thanks for raising it! :)

      • I think you were wiser and picked a better trade than me. Maybe I need to sell my boat, downsize even more, and Workaway and Couch Surf my way around the world.

        • Camille Willemain Says: June 11, 2015 at 2:47 pm

          You should most definitely do whatever it is that your heart desires, whether that’s following in my footsteps or imprinting your own.

  21. You forgot to mention the air ticket which is the biggest expense.

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 11, 2015 at 5:43 pm

      I pay for the airline tickets with my freelance writing income. Some people pay for airline tickets through travel hacking, and actually if you have flexible dates, you can get flights for extremely cheap. I only paid $300 one way to get from London all the way to LA last month.

  22. Thanks for the tips! This would have been my first question also.

    I’ve been considering doing this very thing for a while. I’ve been getting my house ready to sell, have been talking my clients into online/phone consultations, and have considered taking clients in the places I’m visiting. It only recently occurred to me to look into selling my services online, through blogging or articles, and I probably wouldn’t have looked into lining up work before getting to my destination. This gives me some good options to explore.

    It’s wonderful that you have made your dreams a reality! You are an inspiration!

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 11, 2015 at 10:43 pm

      Thank you :) I’m so so happy to hear that this post has given you new ideas! It sounds like you’re already on a roll, keep running with it. xo

  23. Great post. Great life!

  24. Love your story and love you. Live your life and Enjoy. I donated $20 for your next bus ticket share where it takes you!
    p

  25. Again, so many things in common! We need to finally meet 😀

  26. Another great post with loads of food for thought.

    We currently fund our travels by working as a nurse and teacher flexibly in the UK but for environmental reasons I’d like to avoid flights in the future. The magazine route might be right for us since we rarely have fast internet where we like to travel nor are we flush for electricity if the sun I’d reticent.

    We wrote a post on how we sailed 10,000 miles spending £7,829 just under $12k last year. In the future I think we can spend less! Perhaps some of your readers might find it interesting too;
    http://www.impetuoustoo.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/budget-bonanza.html

    Thanks for your advice and inspiration given freely. It will definitely come back to you!

  27. Drhyderi Saifuddin Says: June 13, 2015 at 11:38 pm

    Grear

  28. Thank you!! I needed this!

  29. I love this post and a lot of what you’re writing about! However, I have to point out one giant flaw in this particular post–or, rather, more of an omission. It’s quite clear from your photos that you are not only an “American girl,” but that you are white. You mention here that you are no different from, and have the same privileges as anyone else from a first world country, but that simply isn’t true. That isn’t to say that this post isn’t extremely insightful and helpful, even for me as an African American traveler, but I just feel like I need to point out that a black traveler (especially a black male) will be met in a drastically different manner than a white traveler, and while this is not something you need to spend an entire post delving into, it is something I feel you should realize, keep in mind, and at least address once. I hope I haven’t offended you in any way, I just wanted to put another voice out there!

  30. Kristen Says: June 17, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    Any tips for being able to do this with kids? I feel like I need to give him a stable life but I would love to travel again. I worry he won’t appreciate it as much as me.

  31. Kristen Says: June 17, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    Any tips for being able to do this with kids? I feel like I need to give him a stable life but I would love to travel again. I worry he won’t appreciate it as much as me.
    Great post by the way!

  32. This was incredibly written and very accurate I love this piece, it makes me want to pack my suitcase, buy a one-way ticket and go. Keep up the amazing work and continue to feed your soul by exploring unknown lands and meeting inspiational people!

  33. annoyed Says: June 18, 2015 at 4:45 am

    ” I’m not any more privileged or able bodied than anyone else born in a first world country with access to education and a passport that gets them pretty much anywhere.”

    No offense, but all of this *makes you incredibly privileged.* You’re a good blogger, and congrats on making your travel dreams come true, but when you write shit like this, it just alienates all the people who aren’t lucky enough to be white and be born in a developed country that you can just up and travel the world from. You need to admit that not *just anyone* can “choose” this life as easily as you have. People of colour, people who are visibly queer or gender non-conforming, people growing up in deep poverty, people with physical disabilities or mental illness, these people are all going to face challenges you can’t imagine if they were to try to lead the same life as you. You are incredibly lucky.

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 18, 2015 at 11:11 am

      Hi “annoyed” yep I am incredibly blessed and I’m filled with gratitude each and every day. As I pointed out in this piece, we all have different challenges. However I believe that by seeing our challenges as limits instead of opportunities, we in turn live more limited lives. Even more dangerous, we spread the message of limitation across the world, when I believe that the world is inherently unlimited. On Monday I’ll be sharing the stories of many different travel bloggers who are from countries with passport limitations like the Phillippines, are homosexual, are African American with lupus, and so much more. All of these people are living the same dream as me and show that’s possible for more people than just white girls. Yes, I am a white girl, so that’s the perspective I’m writing from, but telling people who aren’t white that they can’t do it like I have? I’m sorry, but that’s perpetuating inequality.

  34. I love your posts! This one and this one: http://www.thisamericangirl.com/2015/06/10/travel-with-no-money/
    As someone who is considering retiring abroad, the information you share is very helpful and funny! I’m a food blogger and everyone asks me the same question about money, too. Sometimes it doesn’t even take them 5 minutes! It’s always: “Can you make money at that?” “How do you make money at that?” Some are just curious but others, you can just hear the condescending “That’s not a REAL job” tone. So I’ve started answering back with: “The same way the porn sites do!” Well, It’s true, right? Via ads and Affiliate links… but what’s always great is the reaction I get. Then I say, “Well I AM pushing FOOD Porn after all!” :-)

  35. Savannah Martin Says: June 18, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    I can’t count on one hand how many times I reread your blog.
    The part where you elaborated about fear.
    Fear. The overwhelming feeling of fear is what has stopped me from accomplishing a lot of small things in life. But I refuse to let it longer hinder me. Let me tell you girl, you’re blog as inspired me so much. Reading your article as lit a fire in my soul.
    Thank you for sharing!
    -Savannah Martin

  36. maria diaz Says: June 18, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    So you basically exploit 3rd world economies, diverting money away from locals by charging westerners 1st world prices and only putting 3rd world wages back into the countries you are visiting.

    Clever, evil, but clever.

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 18, 2015 at 10:19 pm

      Mmmm not taking any money away from locals. Not sure where you got that from. Nothing that I do for work is in competition with what locals do.

  37. Camille,
    This is great! Do you have a post that goes into the potential safety issues of being a woman traveling the world alone? That is something that I think about a lot when I think about leaving it all behind.

  38. Being an attractive young girl in a bikini doesn’t hurt either..

  39. Gystilyn Says: June 21, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    Hi, quick question: what websouce is your blog launched through? WordPress? Something else? I’m looking to start one myself and i love your format. Chips and cheers!

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 21, 2015 at 9:21 pm

      Thanks so much :) I’m self hosted and I use WordPress as my CMS system. I have a custom theme that I purchased and have done some design tweaks to make it my own.

  40. […] The fact is – we are sure, we will find our place. There are just so many choices. For more inspiration, read this article written by Camille – How I Afford A Life of Constant Travel, and You Can Too. […]

  41. You. Are. Brilliant!! I love your article. I am leaving on a 14 month journey next month and your words are true inspiration! My plan started with a goal of a three month sabbatical from my job. It has turned into a 14 month journey around the world because of sage travel advice I read online, including many of the tactics you describe. My current plan is to return home after 14 months, but who knows what might transpire?!?! What I love most about your article and your approach is your openness to thrive in this lifetime, to stay open to the many blessings that surround us and to give and receive the endless energy that we all can access if we just say yes! to it. You are a wise and articulate woman. Thank you for sharing not just expert practical advice here, but your spirit and love. I’m a single woman traveling alone and you mention being cautious using resources such as couch surfing… any other words on that? This is my first trip alone of this duration and so far from home. I’m going to places like Colombia and throughout SE Asia. I want to live close to the local culture and I refuse to travel in fear yet I need to be smart and vigilant. Besides reading reviews on postings on couch surfing, airbnb, home stay sites, etc (which can be faked…. right?), what other advice do you have for a solo female traveler to maximize safety/freedom, cultural respect, peace of mind, and of course happiness. Thank you!!

    • Camille, I just found your article on why you feel safe traveling alone and I love it!! My sentiments exactly and such a great reminder to TRUST my own inner voice and wisdom, in addition to being street smart of course. And I found your Colombia guide, it’s all right there. Thanks again!!

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 22, 2015 at 10:02 am

      Hey dear, thank you so much! I’m in the process of creating my next ebook, The Single Girl’s Guide to Traveling the World, which will have a lot more on Safety! However, for now I’d say with couchsurfing, stick to staying with women if you’re nervous, go with good reviews, and spend some time talking with them online or on whatsapp first to get comfortable. And always have a backup plan like a hostel if something goes awry. Generally you should be fine though, go with someone with lots of reviews :)

  42. Love it! Seems like each new blog post gets better and better =) Thanks Camille!

    • Camille Willemain Says: June 22, 2015 at 6:12 pm

      Aw thanks Martin that means a lot! Be sure to sign up for my newsletter if you haven’t already :)

  43. Lakesha Says: June 25, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    I completely agree with your article. I’m away traveling right now and I’m so inspired by the sights and environment. I wanted to know exactly how I can travel more and encourage my friends and family to travel more too. I stumbled across your blog and it has truly been a gift. Thank you for the value that you have given to the world. You have been an inspiration to me in such a short spand of time.

  44. […] few days ago I shared with all of you How I Afford a Life of Constant Travel, And You Can Too. Since then I’ve been positively stunned by the number of shares, comments, and messages I’ve […]

  45. Very good stuff. Nice to see such awareness in someone so young. The closing quote from Marianne Williamson is particularly powerful.

  46. Danielle Says: July 25, 2015 at 2:11 am

    Hi,

    Very insightful post, thank you.

    I was just wondering how you managed to kick start popularity on your blog? As a student studying journalism a few years ago I used to blog regularly but did not seem to get many followers.

    I plan to travel in the near future and would love to be able to blog and earn on the road but I am just not sure how to gain the following that is needed for people to be interested in paying to advertise etc on my blog.

    I am aware it doesn’t happen over night but when I previously blogged I was doing it for over a year and only really gained about 50-60 followers.

    What is the secret?

    Danielle

  47. LOVE IT!!!!!!

    I few years ago I lost everything and was definitely disenchanted with the American Dream. I started looking at travel blogs and someone just like you inspired me to sell all my worldly possessions, reducing my to a backpack and getting a one way ticket to SE Asia. I traveled around Thailand, Cambodia and Malaysia for a year and had the most amazing time. It seriously changed my life. I started a clothing brand based on my adventure called Bondi Buddha. The name was inspired by a fellow traveler I met along the way from Bondi Beach AU. Like you he had been traveling for several years and had the most amazing sense of calm, love and peace in his life. Often bestowing funny words of wisdom on me, I nicknamed him Bondi Buddha. I am going to share your story on Facebook because so many people want to do what your are doing, but don’t know how or have fear of going out into the world with no money behind them. You have proven it can be done. I would love to stay in touch. I now live in Bonita Springs, Florida where I fell in love with an amazing woman. Everyday is an adventure for us and I love my life more than ever. Rob Thomas : )

    • Camille Willemain Says: October 6, 2015 at 9:08 am

      What an amazing and sweet story, thank you so much for sharing!! I’m overflowing with happiness from hearing about your happiness <3

  48. Dtudent129 Says: October 12, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    Great! BUT, we just can’t give up our large loving families and responsibilities to them for the world FULL TIME, we are, however, looking into a part time travelers life.

    We help to support our parents, as well as my extended family and my husbands family “back home” (we’re both from immigrants families and still have relatives and neighbors from a very poor and war torn country that will need financial help indefinitely) my responsibilities to my immediate, extended, and neighbors of extended family are just too much to give up for the “I”. BUT me and my husband would like to travel a few months out of every year to be able to help those in need financially, medically (I am a health professional) , and even psychologically (orphan, widows, destitute), while also being able to experience life in different cultures as well as the beauty of this planet.

    It’s been a lifelong dream of mine and my husbands to use our privilege as U.S citizens to travel and help the orphans, widows, and destitute. I would like to know, on your travels, have you met any one who was a “part time” traveler, helping those in need in underdeveloped countries for months at a time all the while keeping their careers and balance their family lives where they are originally from? Compensated or not? We are not by any means rich and we have a lovely large family here in NY that we are very close to, and just not willing to give up for the world (sorry world, I’d love to see you full time butttt home is where the heart is and home is where my loved ones are)

    I would like to know if you have met any fellow travelers who live like such and how were they able to keep a career back in the rich world but also travel for a few months out of the year at the same time? Thank you!

    • Camille Willemain Says: October 13, 2015 at 5:03 pm

      Wow, that is such a beautiful dream, thank you for sharing it with me!! Honestly, I can’t think of anyone off the top of my head, but I do have friends who have done work trade (work in exchange for room at board) at women’s rehabilitation centers and safe homes. These are yoga teachers I know. I think your dream is wonderful and most certainly possible!!

  49. Hi Camille!

    I’m Maria from Venezuela, I’ve decided to start traveling, I’m web developer and web designer, as you said it might be not too hard to find tasks to do on those fields while traveling in order to earn some money.

    I would like to ask you about flight tickets, I found that little detail expensive, can you recommend please any tips or where to buy it online?

    Thanks for your kind help!

  50. LOVE your blog, your attitude, the way you have just gone for it. I have never spent hours on a blog before, but yours is an inspiration. Have traveled a lot of the places you have but not for years (pre-internet). Coming to Costa Rica so hope to meet you!

  51. This is such a wonderful article! Thank you so much for inspiring us wannabe/newbie travelers. :) I’ve been an avid reader of your blog for about 6 months, and I always feel so excited about life after reading your posts.
    Happy travel blogging! ♡

  52. Congratulations! Very encouraging article!

  53. TOTALLY!! I LOVE THIS and love that people are also out there. I travel abroad a lot and it’s simple and free (I do have a flexible job, but I save a lot). I don’t have a home or car either, and I’m older than 35 and single, but I’m always looking for other tips.

    Also, I didn’t see it but did you mention teach English in other countries? There are too many ways to mention, and I don’t want to hijack your post. LOL. And you don’t need experience.

    Anyway, thanks! Maybe I’ll see you in Costa Rica some day! I’m heading to Italy where I LOVE for a few weeks soon.

    La vita `e bella! Ciao, Bella!! XOXO

  54. Hey Camille great to see you out there taking advantage of what life has to give! We are explorers by nature. I am also glad to see an American woman not afraid to live abroad by herself!! I meet women all over the world that travel alone and not scared anything will happen to them. Quick question who takes all the photos of you in your posts? How much do pay lol :] hope to see on the travel road!!!!!!

    • Camille Willemain Says: February 21, 2016 at 10:39 am

      Thanks so much! LOL about the photos. Sometimes I do the selfie, sometimes self timer, sometimes I ask a stranger, and sometimes I travel with friends who take them for me :)

      • I figured lol just thought I would try to make a little travel money:) headed to Cartgena in a few weeks. You should try it if you haven’t yet. Most energetic place I’ve ever been

  55. Your words are inspiring, touching and funny. You have given me that little push I needed to go after the life of my dreams! Thank you! I did not come across this by accident, of that I am sure! :) much love to you!

    María, xo

  56. I was planning a trip to Egypt before I found your website. I am originally from Jacksonville, Florida. I have travelled all over America, broke. I am a singer. I street perform to survive and sleep outside. Most of the people that meet me bever know I sleep outside because I’ve learned how to survive after 8 years of being on the road.

    I always said, “when I see all of America I am leaving the country to travel the world.” I am turning 32 years old next month and I’m going to see my kids next week before I officially s leave America. Your website is gold because I was leaving with no guidance and was 200% confident. Your website made me 600% confident and prepared. Thank you!

    I would love to hear some ideas how I could use my gifts to earn an income online. I have several talents. I am a motivational speaker, a great singer, and a vocal coach. I would love it if you could run some ideas by me. Thanks, love. You are awesome, gal.

  57. Thank you for make the planet better.

  58. Wonderful post! Thanks so much for sharing your insight and resources.

  59. […] have done it, right? I had a feeling if I googled it I would find out. Sure enough there she was. This is the article that helped me make up my mind. One day I’m going to meet this woman and hug her so tight she can’t […]

  60. I am in love with this post! Friends always assume I make a ton of money because I travel (I mean, I am a teacher…enough said). I started cutting back on my expenses to pay for trips and it has made a world of difference. So long to the fancy cups of coffee and mindless shopping for things I don’t need. Just by doing that, I am able to pay for a few trips through out the year. I started a travel blog and would love your input on how to increase my readers on both the blog and social media. Thanks so much for a great read!

  61. Countrywoman Says: June 27, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    Your first blog — did you launch it as a WP blog on a shared server or did you go the free route? I have the same skills as you when you started, but actually more years doing it. Do you think the online environment has changed so much since the time you started that it’s far more difficult to make 1000/month, which is my initial goal. I already have 400 coming in from other online sources, but I much prefer writing. My primary skill is news writing / AP style. Thanks for taking time from your travels to reply. I wish I had friends in my circle that were as willing as you to step out of the box of “this is how we live.” What stories we could tell each other! You go girl…and hey if you ever want to stop over in the rural Northwest, I’d be happy to take you fishing or hiking. :-)

  62. You are wonderful, thanks ever so much for sharing love. Bless you <3