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Travel

How I travel without a job

I recently got my passport renewed and decided to write a post on my travels since graduating university. That was the time when I started this mad adventure I call entrepreneurship.

It’s also how I manage to travel without a job. I get to travel whenever I want without counting how many paid leave days I have left, or asking permission from my boss. 

It’s really awesome to have the freedom, something I think I take for granted until I hear my friends are unable to travel because of the above reasons.

Anyway, I wanted to share how I’ve managed to fund my travels without a job. I have my old passport right next to me for reference and so far (Aug 2018) it tallies at:

Australia Jun 2015

Singapore Oct 2015

China Feb 2016

Cambodia Mar 2016

Taiwan Apr 2016

Vietnam Jun 2016

Indonesia (Bali) Nov 2016

China Jan 2017

Japan Feb 2017

USA Apr 2017

(There’s a big gap here because of my sister’s pregnancy, you can read about it here)

China Feb 2018

Australia Mar 2018

China Apr 2018

China May 2018

Australia Jul 2018

USA Sep 2018

Add a few long weekend trips to Macau and Guangzhou, and I’ve been out of town more times than fingers and toes. But I’m not writing this post to brag, since I know for a fact there’s a lot of people who travel 10x more than me and go to more exotic destinations as well.

I’m writing this post in hopes to inspire anyone who’s still on the fence about, whether they should take the leap of faith and become location independent.

Travelling is expensive, kinda (That’s another post for another day). Well it’s not exactly going to be free. Which is why a lot of people don’t do it, because they can’t. They’re stuck at work, physically needing to be at a specific place to earn money. Money they don’t have the opportunity to spend the way they want. That’s the typical situation for a lot of people, but it simply doesn’t have to be like that.

Sanya, China. Underrated, and still very cheap

We’re not living in the dark ages anymore, where a person’s world is as big as the number of names they are capable of remembering off by heart. The world is getting smaller by the day as technology improves everyday, and it’s improving at an exponential rate.

A smaller world means more opportunities at your fingertips, and this includes opportunities you have to earn money to travel. All it takes is a tiny bit of unconventional thought.

A lot of people have this impression that frequent travellers are backpacking it with a lot of connection flights, staying at questionable hostels or cheap airbnbs. And that might actually be the case for a good number of people who actually enjoy travelling in that style, but I admittedly am not one of them.

I personally funded my travels with my Etsy business and Publishing business. They were both semi-passive income streams by the time I was travelling frequently. Which means I only checked on work for an hour max each day, and still made enough to travel direct flights, stay at 4, 5 star hotels and eat amazing food.

I forgot the name of this 100% vegan restaurant in Bali…but this was like my 5th dish and I was still hungry…sorry guys. I need animal protein.

But I’ll be hesitant to say I’m a digital nomad if you asked me, even though my passport might say otherwise. I created my income streams while in Hong Kong which I consider my permanent base. I didn’t create my business from scratch while on the road or briefly settling myself into a local community while travelling.

Instead, I spent 6 – 8 months from the last month of 2014 to the middle point of 2015 building up my online business before I took any sort of break. 7 days a week, and 10+ hours everyday.

By the time I did travel, I was working 3 hour days during my 1 month trip to Australia in 2015 and by the time I was in USA for a month, I wasn’t even logging in on a daily basis. Now if you’ve been paying attention to what I’ve been sharing… then you’ll realize it only took me half a year to get to a point where I’m travelling very comfortably.

Half a year of hard work really isn’t anything in the grand scheme of things. If that doesn’t convince you to take the plunge then I KNOW you’re not ready to take control of your life, because that’s what working for yourself is all about.

Best mushy peas and gravy in town! Harry De Wheels in Sydney. I had 3 servings that night

When you decide to start your own online business or freelance then you’re suddenly responsible for every penny coming in. No one is rewarding you by the time you give in, you’re just rewarded by results, and that for many is extremely daunting.

I’m not going to sugar coat the truth for you all, it’s a tough journey but the potential rewards are too huge for me to not go after. Every time I’m back in Hong Kong I’m back to my non-stop work schedule where I work to grow my business further or make it more passive than before.

I’m by no means anywhere near my definition of success, but everything I’ve enjoyed from my online businesses thus far have just reinforced my belief that this is the path to take in life. I don’t know any other life arrangement where I can vacation so much without being a teacher.

The funny thing is, being location independent actually makes travelling a lot cheaper. I save so much from being flexible with my time, that I no longer see the sense in ever fighting the holiday crowds for overpriced tickets and rooms.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Stayed at a 5* ex-royal residence for a ridiculously low price

My work also let’s me drop everything at a second’s notice to attend to more important things in life, like family. I love the fact that I can spend the entire afternoon waiting at the hospital with my parents when they have their checkups. I don’t need to take a day off from my boss or worse yet, have my parents go by themselves.

It’s not that I like the long waits at hospitals, but I’m always grateful when I’m sitting around waiting for mum or dad to be called up, and I see older people waiting by themselves. Or any other situation where I know for a fact many others just cannot enjoy or do because they’re physically chained to a location and schedule to make ends meet.

These are the times where I get this overwhelming feeling of gratitude that makes all the hard work worth it. It’s also the time when I wonder to myself why none of my family and friends do what I do and if the thought of being in control of your life is actually that scary.

Anyone who enjoys food and likes to try new things, need to get their ass to Taiwan

Right now I’m busy building up this blog and providing as much valuable content to you guys before I head off to USA in September. And if you want to do me a favour because you enjoyed this post then feel free to use the social buttons on the left to share with your friends and family.

If you think you’re ready to enjoy the freedom of being location independent then check out my other posts where I share my know-how on starting an Etsy business and Kindle publishing business.

I really want to recommend this watermelon cake, but I forgot what the name of the place is…somewhere in Newtown, Sydney.

 

Other resources you should check out:

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