Guest Post: How To Afford Full-Time Travel with the Wayfarer Family
We have been riding on a roller coaster since day one; the day Luciana and I met. And since that first meeting a big consideration for us has been where to base ourselves: Italy (Luciana is Italian) or New Zealand (Tim is a "Kiwi"). After giving birth to our son Gabri in New Zealand (away from the Italian family), we felt that being in New Zealand was too big a stretch for the new Mum, and so we packed, for what would be the 3rd time since being together, and moved back to Lulus native land. Over the few proceeding years we flew between New Zealand and Italy, trying to find a place that felt balanced, safe, warm, familiar and full of natural beauty. Both countries share some of these things between them, but we just couldn’t find peace within them as a trio. We began thinking about escape. About other parts of the world. About middle ground. We came to the conclusion that, being natural travelers, exploring the world with our 5 year old - getting hands on - first person - in your face experience was not only the best living choice we could presently conceive of, but the best kind of schooling we could imagine for our beloved son. So we began to plan, strategize, sell up possessions, uproot from old patterns, rethink our old preconceived ideas about work, making a living, travelling , education, lifestyle... and setting out one last time to deal with the last boxes and lose ends in Italy. We began experimenting with video, camera and audio setups, learned Instagram and other social media platforms, moved our work online, and transitioned from overworked caged monkeys to awakening humans with hearts yearning for a life of varied culture and hands on adventure and learning.
While we are not particularly well off (... hold on.... we are DEFINITELY not well off. In fact we have very little reserve cash, have very few assets and are not highly paid professionals.... ) we HAVE discovered that, what we pay monthly for expenses when rooted in one place, (working a "9 to 5") is even more costly than what we pay when traveling abroad (bolstered further by the reduced capacity to acquire more possessions and junk throughout the year).
Bearing this in mind, we decided that the only way to work and travel for us is obviously to transfer our worldly practical skills to the online platform and gain ascendancy through social media, freelancing and teaching English. Teaching English being our main focus for the minute. We have been working like dogs on several teaching websites, which require a commitment to self promotion and seeking new students oneself. This can be time consuming, but has worked for us so far. Constantly on the ball seeking new and committed students that really have a vested interest in learning from us, and preferably, long-term. This leaves a somewhat less-than-concrete certainty of adequate paid work, but so far hasn’t been a major issue. Further more, our primary goal; to work and travel around Indonesia, Malaysia (Asia in general), a fairly inexpensive region to live in, allows for more family time and drastically less overworking. Luciana and I currently share the workload, freeing each other up for solo time with our son and ultimately more family time, all together, during the day. Another great avenue which is worthy of note is WWOOFing. A program based on shared accommodation and food for a relatively small amount of work. It is an indispensable method for meeting wonderful people, sharing new cross-cultural experiences, learning about new ways of living and serving and traveling the world with a very small purse. Where we could choose to work more and have more luxuries, we have chosen our motivating premise, which is to be together and share this short life experiencing the world as it really is, with less strings, less compromises regarding our family values, and less material distraction. We hoard connection, creativity and self expression, and make these our play things and possessions. Music, art, nature, adventure, service, compassion, reflection, connection are our treasure trove; our true worth, and this we feel is what constitutes a life full of grace, wonder, learning and giving.
Also we have SOME reserve cash, always growing slowly in the background, in case of emergency, or if we are tight on the purse strings for a brief period.
We intend to further broaden our social media activity through affiliate marketing practices (with products we use) and eventually with some assistance from YouTube and handmade products, available through our various channels.
Let go of your fear of being without your most dear possessions. Of having no permanent base. Of whether or not your children will become social outcasts and delinquents. Of how your family and peers will regard you. If this is your desire, your destiny, your dream. Research deeply; don’t just jump. Talk with others who share this passions for travel and a remote lifestyle, find out their methods for success, and also their fears and concerns. You will help each other. Look to those who are well along the path, living the life you are reaching for. Mimic their movements and follow their lead, but don’t expect that your success depends on this mimicry. Develop the required skill-sets. Learn new relevant things; video editing, blogging, marketing and business practices, find your voice and prepare to fail sometimes..... prepare to fail often.... failure comes with the territory. But so does eventual triumph. Ask yourself what you are prepared to live without, and what values are ESSENTIAL to your family's happiness and well being. Set hard goals, and work in unison with your family members, get everyone involved and motivated. Share the sacrifice and the glory.