Robert Schrader, awesome founder, Leave Your Daily Hell; former lame “career wanderer”
Was being awesome a spur-of-the-moment decision or did you save for it?
"I had saved about $3,000 before leaving China, but ultimately my decision to travel long-term was very last minute. If I hadn’t gotten approved for that initial freelance writing gig, a notification that literally arrived days before my planned vacation, I have no idea what my life would be like now."
Where did you start?
"I backpacked through Vietnam for about three weeks and then Laos for a week with a couple I’d met in Cambodia a few months earlier. They didn’t have freelance writing gigs or blogs, however, so we split off in Thailand. Then I continued on to Malaysia, Lebanon, and, after visiting Jordan, Israel, and Turkey, stopped in Switzerland to see my best friend."
How much money is enough?
"It’s not really about the dollar amount at the end of the day, but having a constant, reliable funding source. For some people, this is a service-industry job, which allows them to bust their asses while they’re “at home” and take off when needed. I do use a basic primer when traveling: $25-$50 per day in Southeast Asia, China, and India; $50-$75 per day in South America and much of the Middle East; and $75-$100 per day in much of the rest of the world."
Any “get rich quick” schemes?
"Don’t start a blog! I mean, of course, five years later, I make a lot of money from my blog and get a lot of very lucrative freelance work as a result of it, but blogging is more of a long-term investment. If you want to earn remotely, then your first step is identifying your skills and scouring Internet jobs for remote gigs that use them -- if not freelance writing, then maybe design, programming, and even call center work. Like me, you will probably have to start with gigs that pay you less than you believe you are worth, but if you persevere you will slowly have to work less while earning more. Also, work along the way in hostels, hotels, tour companies, or other travel establishments. You might simply volunteer at a hostel in exchange for free accommodation. I’ve also met nomadic massage therapists, yoga teachers, hairstylists, the list goes on."