If you don’t see an answer to your question below, feel free to contact me.
So you travel full-time? What’s that mean exactly? Where do you live?
Since 2009, I’ve moved to a new country every four months or so, based on the votes of my readers.
This is a framework I’ve riffed on, and I do take time for other adventures (travel-related and otherwise) in between. But I typically don’t have a fixed home anywhere. I’m legally a resident of Montana, but my home is wherever I happen to be. This keeps me from experiencing home-sickness, because it allows me to be at home even in a new, foreign-to-me country. It means I’m not comparing a new place to a familiar place elsewhere, and I’m able to be fully invested in whichever new home I adopt.
At the moment (mid-2017) I’m remixing this methodology a bit, and living a few places within the US. I spent 11 months in Wichita, Kansas, and now I’m spending a year in Memphis, Tennessee.
Wait, you’re in the US? Why? Have you given up on travel?
No way! But I did realize I was becoming a little too specialized, lifestyle-wise. And I don’t like feeling that facets of the world that I should understand are becoming mysterious an unknowable to me.
That’s how I was beginning to feel about a more traditional lifestyle: living in one place for more than a handful of months, owning a car, buying furniture, putting down deeper roots. I had also come to realize that my skill sets were well-honed for a travel-ful lifestyle, and the idea of consistent novelty and change didn’t scare me, but the idea of staying put? Of not moving around so frequently? Of buying my own furniture (rather than renting a furnished apartment), of dealing with things like car insurance and predictably changing seasons? Things like that had become mere memories, and were more than a little disconcerting.
So I decided to go where the fear was and settle in for a bit. I incentivized myself to do this by deciding that I would also take the time to learn to cook and play the piano: two skills I’d been meaning to pick up for years, but never took the time to tackle.
I chose Wichita, because it was a place that seemed exotic to me; very different from the other places I’d lived previously. My readers voted on Tennessee, and I chose Memphis because it seemed like the underdog city in the state, and was a place with a great deal of interesting history and culture.
What happens after Memphis? I don’t know yet. But in the meantime, I’m enjoying the lifestyle shake-up, going on mini-adventures inside and outside the country, and trying not to die from eating all the scones I can now bake.
How can I do what you do? Traveling is my dream!
Great! There are lots of ways to travel long-term or full-time. As many ways as there are people, in fact.
And something I really want to make clear is that my way won’t be your way. I’m able to do what I do because I have my exact background, my exact experiences, my exact collection of skills, my exact motivations and priorities. All or most of these things will be completely different for you, and as such, you’ll likely make your monetary living differently than I do, and will spend your time doing different things for fun.
That said, there are a few things to think about:
1. What do you want to get out of travel? What do you hope to achieve by living in this way?
2. How might you earn an income while on the road? What skills do you possess that might allow you to work from a laptop/phone/carrier pigeon, and what skills might you acquire that would help you do so?
3. What elements of your comfort zone will need to be taken into account when figuring out expenses, locations, methods of travel, and other such considerations? Are you comfortable being uncomfortable, or will you need a large cozy bed and a first class plane ticket everywhere you go? There’s nothing wrong with needing such things, but it’s good to know, as you’ll need to work this information into your plans.
From there, it’s a matter of deciding that you’re going to make it happen. You’ll want to set yourself a deadline and get all your ducks in a row. You’ll want to ensure that you have a way of paying your expenses. And perhaps most difficult of all, you’ll need to take your first steps along a less conventional path.
Do you accept guest posts/submissions for your blog?
It’s just not how I use this space. Back when I first started blogging I accepted some, but not anymore. The blogosphere was a very different creature back then, and so was I.
Can I buy an advertisement on your blog?
What’s the difference between ads and sponsorships?
Advertisements on websites tend to annoy me, and I try to do unto others as I would have others do unto me. As such, I don’t use pop-ups or banner ads. But if someone from a company I respect, or who has a product I enjoy wants to unobtrusively sponsor a post I would write anyway (which my readers can read for free), that’s a scenario I can sometimes get behind.
Wait, if you don’t display ads like a smart business person, how do you make money from your blog?
The short answer is: I don’t.
The longer and more complete answer is: I don’t make money directly from my blog, but it serves as a means of communicating with my audience, who are then able to get a taste for my work, and who may, as a result, decide to pick up one of my books, attend a conference at which I’m speaking, or become a patron for my podcast.
It’s a slow-burn means of making a living, but it’s one I feel good about. I wouldn’t be able to say the same if I bombarded folks with marketing messages or overwhelmed them with blinking ads, promoting widgets they don’t need.
Will you come speak at my conference/event/school/business?
Aren’t you a minimalist? Isn’t it counter to your philosophy to sell books?
Nope. Being a minimalist doesn’t mean owning nothing, it means owning exactly the right things. It’s not about being anti-consumption, it’s about being anti-compulsory consumption.
I try to only own things that add value and happiness to my life. There are many other things I could own that would only weigh me down, or consume resources (time, energy, money) that I could otherwise spend on truly valuable stuff (‘valuable’ as defined by my priorities).
If a book brings you joy, or helps you learn, or exposes you to new ideas, there’s a good chance it passes muster, minimalism-wise. I also encourage folks who buy my books to hand them off to a friend afterward, which is a good way to enjoy the benefits of a tangible book without adding any clutter to your life.
What products and services do you use to run your business/live your lifestyle?
How do I write and publish a book?
The first step is to start writing. A lot. It’s remarkable how many people want to write a book but don’t write, or are afraid of starting writing before they feel they have the entire publishing scaffolding in place.
Don’t do that. Don’t wait for permission. Get started, write all the time. It’s the only way to get better, and it’s the best possible way to sounds more like yourself and develop your personal style.