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Do you need to be rich to travel the world?

| 63 comments | Category: positive mentality, travel

carA lot of people have been asking me how I fund my language-learning travels – did I win the lottery? Do I have really rich parents that pay for everything? Maybe I sell property or invest in the stock market?

Actually, I’ve had quite a normal job that you would rarely associate with a perpetual traveller. I’ve actually been working as a freelance translator for several years, and here is all info about how to become a location-independent freelance translator!

[Edit: Since writing this article, I have changed my working situation and earn from sales of my Fluent in 3 Months PREMIUM package but will leave explanations for how I worked previously here since it was my longest-term job during my travels. I'll also update some links for more info about travel tips]

My wage was quite normal for my level of education and work experience and for someone living in the likes of say, London or Paris. Only, I don’t live in London or Paris. Taking western wages and bringing them with you to cheaper countries in Europe, Asia or South America, means that you actually can live very well on the same money! Or even better; work less and enjoy the country and life in general!

Your laptop can be your office

So many of us have work that we do on a computer, so if you are convincing enough to get your boss to let you do it from home, especially if you accept slightly less money (to balance out daily commute costs and time wasted in that commute, for example), then you can work from your own office.

You can even take that work somewhere else and travel with it as long as you guarantee the same quality output. Telecommuting from your current job, or getting a new one and working as a freelancer or running your own company on the road and becoming location independent is not as hard as it sounds. You can even search online for jobs for digital nomads.

There are plenty of challenges of course, so there is a certain risk to it. I consider a life stuck in a job that you dislike and always wondering “what if” to be much more risky to your health and stress levels than actually attempting to live your life the way you want to!

Of course, there are lots of jobs were this is not possible; you can’t teach children in school via the Internet or take care of the elderly, for example, by clicking mouse buttons. If your work is more hands on, then it may still be possible to find work in your field in another country; especially if language isn’t that much of an issue.

Even if you have a family you can still become location independent and travel the world longer than just for week trips. But some other “technomads” have even had to give up trying to convince people that this type of lifestyle isn’t as hard as it seems, because of the many excuses (some of them valid) that people give for not being able to try.

You can teach English!

If you can’t get your dream job (or the job you studied for and work best at) and presuming you are a native English speaker, take a “gap year” break from your current job and teach English! It’s easier than you may think! And even non-natives can do this. If your English is very good you can still teach it, even though it’s more work convincing someone to hire you.

You can get a TEFL certificate for just a few of hundred dollars/Euro close to home in just one weekend! A lot of schools accept this (I’ve worked for the Wall Street Institute and Berlitz as well as countless other schools based on just these qualifications and some teaching experience), and as you get more experience it is easier to find work in more places. Even getting paid in the local currency, English teachers generally earn more than most other jobs.

Even without any qualifications, you can also skip the schools and just give private lessons by putting up advertisements in universities or shop windows, or on sites for such ads . Teaching experience is ideal, but it can be easier when with people with intermediate English already, since they mostly want to practise and get corrected, which most of us can do with very little effort.

If you teach English then you can decide to only ever use the local language when not at work to make sure that you learn it quicker. Once you speak the local language then you can get back to something you’d be more passionate about!

I have had my current Internet-based work for several years now, but before that, I found work every time I arrived in a new country. I worked in a youth hostel in Rome, ran a yoga shop in California, interned as an Electronic Engineer in Paris and of course taught plenty of English pretty much everywhere else! Arriving in the country without much money and looking for work was hard every time, but with the right attitude and approach, and some imagination, it’s quite possible; even in the current economic climate.

Of course, I’m a happier in my current location-independent situation since it takes away the need to look for work each time or even arrange a working visa. But even forgetting the advantages you can have from earning in Euro and spending in rupees/Czech crowns/Brazilian reais/Hungarian Forint, etc., you can still focus on not spending as much with the money you do have.

Instead of earning more, learn to spend less!

If you give up expensive addictions like smoking, and drink less, and are generally wiser with how you spend your money, you don’t need to earn that much. I’m also a vegetarian, and cook at home whenever possible so no expensive meat (especially in Europe) makes a big difference in my weekly shopping budget.

Flights to nearby countries and even across the world aren’t as expensive as you think if you buy them in advance or find special offers. If you sell your house or car, as well as having some extra money, you won’t have to pay insurance and mortgage costs every month. My only necessary monthly expenses are food and accommodation (and travel/health insurance, although I don’t really need to pay extra for health insurance when in Europe).

In my days of being on a tighter budget, all I would need to save up for would be the next flight and a tiny bit of extra spending money for any other things that really were necessary. My budget has changed since then, although I still make sure that I get the best deals, haggle prices down every chance I get and go through local rather than touristy channels. Speaking the local language makes a huge difference on the price you’ll get on almost everything. There are plenty of other ways to save money as you travel!

Of course, the best ways of saving money are simply not spending it at all. You can use Couchsurfing for free accommodation (on a temporary basis) when travelling, instead of buying your books you can exchange them with others and watch them travel the world through Bookcrossing, and hitchhiking or ride sharing saves you on travel costs.

The links included in this post all show that I’m far from alone in travelling the world without needing to break the bank! If you have any other ideas for finding work abroad or saving money to fund travels and language learning projects, please do share them in the comments! :) Don’t forget to share this post with your friends if you think the ideas are interesting!

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Comments: If you liked this post or have anything to say, please leave a comment! I love reading them :)
Just keep in mind that I’ll delete any rude, trolling, spammy, irrelevant or way off-topic comments. Also, use your REAL name, not a brand or business one, and don’t link to your site in the comments unless it’s relevant to this post.
If you have a general language learning question, please ask it in the forums. Otherwise please use the search tool on the right for any other question not related to this post.

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  • http://molista.blogspot.com/ Γλαύκος

    This post is very usuful for a person without family , native english speaker , with a bachelor degree and without any commitments at all. Life is discovered for the Anglosaxon world after all …
    Despite that, all the information that you provide in your article is really usefull for a going to be traveller or one who cares about learning languages …and this is the reason i follow your posts…..
    Have a nice time since you go to Brasil
    (dont forget that most of Brasilians use Orkut social network)
    Best Regards , Glavkos
    .-= Γλαύκος´s last blog ..�?λβανικ�? γλέν�?ι �?�?ην Σ�?�?ά�?�?ιανη =-.

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ benny

      Hello Glavkos! :)
      Good points; I updated the post (in the paragraph before “You can teach English”) to mention the issues you raised.
      My bachelor degree in Electronic Engineering never made much of a difference in nearly all job applications in my first 4 years travelling (apart from internships I did in Paris and Spain), so that’s not a valid excuse; most of my jobs were unrelated to my studies and I got them fine.
      Thanks for the well wishes! Hope some of the other links were useful to you ;)

  • http://molista.blogspot.com/ Γλαύκος

    This post is very usuful for a person without family , native english speaker , with a bachelor degree and without any commitments at all. Life is discovered for the Anglosaxon world after all …
    Despite that, all the information that you provide in your article is really usefull for a going to be traveller or one who cares about learning languages …and this is the reason i follow your posts…..
    Have a nice time since you go to Brasil
    (dont forget that most of Brasilians use Orkut social network)
    Best Regards , Glavkos
    .-= Γλαύκος´s last blog ..�?λβανικ�? γλέν�?ι �?�?ην Σ�?�?ά�?�?ιανη =-.

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com benny

      Hello Glavkos! :)
      Good points; I updated the post (in the paragraph before “You can teach English”) to mention the issues you raised.
      My bachelor degree in Electronic Engineering never made much of a difference in nearly all job applications in my first 4 years travelling (apart from internships I did in Paris and Spain), so that’s not a valid excuse; most of my jobs were unrelated to my studies and I got them fine.
      Thanks for the well wishes! Hope some of the other links were useful to you ;)

  • http://otevotnyelv.blog.hu/ balint

    Great summary Benny, but the previous comment made a point.

    I’m also an Electrical Engineer (although I’ve never worked in that profession), and I’ve been doing freelance translating for 4 years now and I really like it (translating games from English to Hungarian :D) – I can do that from everywhere. Earning Hungarian money from translating was quiet good while I lived in Hungary, “unfortunately” I moved to Australia, and I could hardly make ends meet if I only translated.

    And as you (and many of you actually :D) are a native English speaker, of course you can teach English in other countries. But in our (foreigner) case, I doubt it that someone would hire me as an English teacher (despite my English skills) just because I’m not a native. And no complains here, this is how it should be. I just wanted to point out that teaching is (almost always) for natives. And unfortunately Hungarian is not that popular that I could teach it (although I love it) in the wide world. :D

    So I decided to create my own business (of course language learning related :D) with the help of Tim Ferriss. :D At the moment I’m in the developing phase, but I’d like to make money with it in a few months. I think an own business is the ultimate solution to travel and money problems. :D Because office work 9 to 5 is not for me. But I think there are a few people here with the same attitude. :D

    Cheers
    .-= balint´s last blog ..Alapelvek =-.

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ benny

      Hi again bailint!
      I didn’t know you were also a translator and an Elec. Engineer! Yes, I will never claim that specifically translating is the way to travel the world; I’ll share my story of how I got into this job just for those curious, although I won’t suggest it for everyone because my path was complicated and would be too hard to reproduce. I’m well aware that translating to English from languages like French and Spanish for a specialised field like technology makes things a lot easier for me compared to other translators!
      Being a native English speaker isn’t actually that necessary to teach it. You can still teach English if your level is good enough. In fact a quarter of those taking the TEFL certificate course with me weren’t native speakers, but spoke it well. I have met plenty of Brazilians and French and other nationalities that make a good living from teaching English. In the very top schools (like the ones I mentioned in the links) they would only hire natives, but nearly all other ones wouldn’t care as long as you are qualified for it. It’s more work to convince them, but still possible.
      In fact, non-natives do a much better job at teaching English up to upper-intermediate because of their unique perspective. Then of course, you can teach other languages in the same schools and privately and I know lots of people who travel as non-English language teachers. Of course it is easier to do it with English, but it’s not impossible to do it with other ones ;) Of course, in your case, Hungarian does make it harder! Teaching English it in Australia is also not practical; of course I expect most people reading the blog to be natives wanting to live in a country speaking a non-English language, but my tips can be applied in one way or another to everyone :)
      No need to say “our case” as foreigner. I’m always a foreigner too! :P

    • Magda Papa

      Agree! Same here. Many people here in Italy have asked me to teach them English but I don’t do it. In that past I had two students that didn’t care if I wasn’t a native speaker. The enjoyed the way I taught. My own way. Reading exercises, conversation, new words, creating sentences. One of my students passed his University admission exam and he said he owed that to me (but he was really good).

      Still, I decided not to do it again.
      My choice was freelance translation. I do other things too but my basic source of income is from translation.

      About the other point you have raised regarding earning Hungarian money and living in Hungary. I live in Italy and life here is pretty expensive. But if I decided to move to another country (or in the south of this country) with lower living costs, rent, etc, it would simply be PERFECT. But that’s not the case.

      Instead, I need to find ways to boost my income for when work drops…!
      :)

  • http://otevotnyelv.blog.hu balint

    Great summary Benny, but the previous comment made a point.

    I’m also an Electrical Engineer (although I’ve never worked in that profession), and I’ve been doing freelance translating for 4 years now and I really like it (translating games from English to Hungarian :D) – I can do that from everywhere. Earning Hungarian money from translating was quiet good while I lived in Hungary, “unfortunately” I moved to Australia, and I could hardly make ends meet if I only translated.

    And as you (and many of you actually :D) are a native English speaker, of course you can teach English in other countries. But in our (foreigner) case, I doubt it that someone would hire me as an English teacher (despite my English skills) just because I’m not a native. And no complains here, this is how it should be. I just wanted to point out that teaching is (almost always) for natives. And unfortunately Hungarian is not that popular that I could teach it (although I love it) in the wide world. :D

    So I decided to create my own business (of course language learning related :D) with the help of Tim Ferriss. :D At the moment I’m in the developing phase, but I’d like to make money with it in a few months. I think an own business is the ultimate solution to travel and money problems. :D Because office work 9 to 5 is not for me. But I think there are a few people here with the same attitude. :D

    Cheers
    .-= balint´s last blog ..Alapelvek =-.

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com benny

      Hi again bailint!
      I didn’t know you were also a translator and an Elec. Engineer! Yes, I will never claim that specifically translating is the way to travel the world; I’ll share my story of how I got into this job just for those curious, although I won’t suggest it for everyone because my path was complicated and would be too hard to reproduce. I’m well aware that translating to English from languages like French and Spanish for a specialised field like technology makes things a lot easier for me compared to other translators!
      Being a native English speaker isn’t actually that necessary to teach it. You can still teach English if your level is good enough. In fact a quarter of those taking the TEFL certificate course with me weren’t native speakers, but spoke it well. I have met plenty of Brazilians and French and other nationalities that make a good living from teaching English. In the very top schools (like the ones I mentioned in the links) they would only hire natives, but nearly all other ones wouldn’t care as long as you are qualified for it. It’s more work to convince them, but still possible.
      In fact, non-natives do a much better job at teaching English up to upper-intermediate because of their unique perspective. Then of course, you can teach other languages in the same schools and privately and I know lots of people who travel as non-English language teachers. Of course it is easier to do it with English, but it’s not impossible to do it with other ones ;) Of course, in your case, Hungarian does make it harder! Teaching English it in Australia is also not practical; of course I expect most people reading the blog to be natives wanting to live in a country speaking a non-English language, but my tips can be applied in one way or another to everyone :)
      No need to say “our case” as foreigner. I’m always a foreigner too! :P

  • Chiara

    Aww I love your website!

  • Chiara

    Aww I love your website!

  • linguaholic

    Nice post. However, I find advertising cheap flights a bit problematic with climate change and all. :p I know hitchhiking or going by train isn’t always an option, but if you HAVE to fly, you could at least try to “compensate” by donating to initiatives like atmosfair.de (dont know of an English equivalent, sorry). But maybe you already do?

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ benny

      Thanks for the compliment. However, I think introducing environmental issues is going far outside of the topic that I am discussing here.
      Where exactly was I advertising cheap flights? I’m not getting paid for any links on this post so I’m not advertising anything. The only link relevant to flights I gave was skyscanner. I’m not encouraging flying by any means (I take maybe 5 or 6 flights a year), but environmental issues are outside of the scope of this blog. I don’t own a car (or even have a driving license) and always choose green products whenever possible and always recycle. According to statistics provided by dopplr, my personal carbon footprint for the first 6 months of the year is equivalent to someone driving a car for an hour every day. This is not ideal, but being equivalent to a daily car driver means that I will not be made to feel guilty about this compared to the average Joe. I encourage people to live in a country for several months or longer, so my philosophy of travel is very different to round-the-world tickets compressed into a year etc.
      I never fly unless necessary. For example, I’ve travelled from the very south of Brazil, Porto Alegre, to the north-east at Natal and this was entirely by bus (it’s approximately 3,500km), but of course I went to Brazil by plane.
      If possible, please comment on the topic at hand and feel free to click the link at the top of my site (Contact me) for any unrelated issues you’d like to discuss :)

      • linguaholic

        Sorry, I didn’t mean to attack you. I probably should have balanced my comment a bit more but I had about 3 minutes left before my laptop died. (Note to self: If you don’t have time to comment properly, don’t.) I didn’t mean to imply you didn’t care about the environment or anything (btw, being a vegetarian is also good in terms of climate :)) Reading your post I got a bit of an “hey, flying is so cheap, go for it!” impression, but then again you mentioned hitchhiking as well. I just wanted to mention there are initiatives for at least “balancing” your footprint after flying.

        I like reading your blog (especially as my mission for next year is to learn some Czech), even though I already know/do many things you propose.
        I look forward to the post about freelance translating, as it is something I know very little about but am interested in. :)

        PS: Are German or Dutch on your list of languages you want to learn? ;)

        • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ benny

          No problem ;)
          German is on my list of languages to re-activate. Once upon a time German was my best language!! Now I can barely say anything. I will be living in Berlin at some stage to reach fluency in 3 months and that will not be a hard mission since I studied German in school and ALREADY spoke it, but many years ago.
          Dutch may come soon after that – I only ever think about the next 4-6 months really :)
          Hope you enjoy my freelance translating article!

  • linguaholic

    Nice post. However, I find advertising cheap flights a bit problematic with climate change and all. :p I know hitchhiking or going by train isn’t always an option, but if you HAVE to fly, you could at least try to “compensate” by donating to initiatives like atmosfair.de (dont know of an English equivalent, sorry). But maybe you already do?

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com benny

      Thanks for the compliment. However, I think introducing environmental issues is going far outside of the topic that I am discussing here.
      Where exactly was I advertising cheap flights? I’m not getting paid for any links on this post so I’m not advertising anything. The only link relevant to flights I gave was skyscanner. I’m not encouraging flying by any means (I take maybe 5 or 6 flights a year), but environmental issues are outside of the scope of this blog. I don’t own a car (or even have a driving license) and always choose green products whenever possible and always recycle. According to statistics provided by dopplr, my personal carbon footprint for the first 6 months of the year is equivalent to someone driving a car for an hour every day. This is not ideal, but being equivalent to a daily car driver means that I will not be made to feel guilty about this compared to the average Joe. I encourage people to live in a country for several months or longer, so my philosophy of travel is very different to round-the-world tickets compressed into a year etc.
      I never fly unless necessary. For example, I’ve travelled from the very south of Brazil, Porto Alegre, to the north-east at Natal and this was entirely by bus (it’s approximately 3,500km), but of course I went to Brazil by plane.
      If possible, please comment on the topic at hand and feel free to click the link at the top of my site (Contact me) for any unrelated issues you’d like to discuss :)

      • linguaholic

        Sorry, I didn’t mean to attack you. I probably should have balanced my comment a bit more but I had about 3 minutes left before my laptop died. (Note to self: If you don’t have time to comment properly, don’t.) I didn’t mean to imply you didn’t care about the environment or anything (btw, being a vegetarian is also good in terms of climate :)) Reading your post I got a bit of an “hey, flying is so cheap, go for it!” impression, but then again you mentioned hitchhiking as well. I just wanted to mention there are initiatives for at least “balancing” your footprint after flying.

        I like reading your blog (especially as my mission for next year is to learn some Czech), even though I already know/do many things you propose.
        I look forward to the post about freelance translating, as it is something I know very little about but am interested in. :)

        PS: Are German or Dutch on your list of languages you want to learn? ;)

        • http://www.fluentin3months.com benny

          No problem ;)
          German is on my list of languages to re-activate. Once upon a time German was my best language!! Now I can barely say anything. I will be living in Berlin at some stage to reach fluency in 3 months and that will not be a hard mission since I studied German in school and ALREADY spoke it, but many years ago.
          Dutch may come soon after that – I only ever think about the next 4-6 months really :)
          Hope you enjoy my freelance translating article!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ benny

    I forgot to include one useful link that I’ve just added. It’s to a site that searches several sites for jobs that can be done online, based on keywords. Give it a try!

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com benny

    I forgot to include one useful link that I’ve just added. It’s to a site that searches several sites for jobs that can be done online, based on keywords. Give it a try!

  • Cainntear

    “You can get a TEFL certificate for just a few of hundred dollars/Euro close to home in just one weekend! (They even give the course in my home town in Ireland!) A lot of schools accept this (I’ve worked for the Wall Street Institute and Berlitz as well as countless other schools based on just these qualifications and some teaching experience)”

    Seriously, no! The majority of schools will only accept someone with a weekend or onlin certificate if there’s no-one else on offer, and then they’ll also be happy with someone with *no* certificate. It’s a combination of your experience, lucky timing and the fact that you like living in less popular places that got you those jobs, not the certificate.

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ benny

      I wouldn’t say the “majority” of schools; just the “major” schools ;) When you are outside of large cities and don’t mind going to smaller schools for work, the certificate won’t be what convinces them, especially if they are stuck, but it will give you that extra more convincing edge. For some employers it can make a world of difference showing that you have “some” qualifications as a teacher of English, even if the weekend TELF is obviously nothing like other options. As I said, based on that certificate and about a year or two of teaching experience, I got work at major schools, but I wasn’t hitting capital cities that would be inundated with foreigners with the same idea..
      Also, what I learned that weekend was actually extremely useful and it would have been much harder to start teaching English if I hadn’t done it

  • Cainntear

    “You can get a TEFL certificate for just a few of hundred dollars/Euro close to home in just one weekend! (They even give the course in my home town in Ireland!) A lot of schools accept this (I’ve worked for the Wall Street Institute and Berlitz as well as countless other schools based on just these qualifications and some teaching experience)”

    Seriously, no! The majority of schools will only accept someone with a weekend or onlin certificate if there’s no-one else on offer, and then they’ll also be happy with someone with *no* certificate. It’s a combination of your experience, lucky timing and the fact that you like living in less popular places that got you those jobs, not the certificate.

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com benny

      I wouldn’t say the “majority” of schools; just the “major” schools ;) When you are outside of large cities and don’t mind going to smaller schools for work, the certificate won’t be what convinces them, especially if they are stuck, but it will give you that extra more convincing edge. For some employers it can make a world of difference showing that you have “some” qualifications as a teacher of English, even if the weekend TELF is obviously nothing like other options. As I said, based on that certificate and about a year or two of teaching experience, I got work at major schools, but I wasn’t hitting capital cities that would be inundated with foreigners with the same idea..
      Also, what I learned that weekend was actually extremely useful and it would have been much harder to start teaching English if I hadn’t done it

  • coetsee

    -Hi, I think your website is interesting very colorful. Good job! I feel helping job seekers finding their ream home jobs are a fulfilling quest. Good luck in your quest too.
    -Cash Making Opportunities – The Beginning The working life is already tough enough, but the worries of being out of work was even tougher. The unsecured working environment have prompted me to search the internet for an alternative source of extra income so that I could learn how to Make Money Work for me and be Financially Independent. I listed down a number of Free Internet Business Opportunity Ideas while researching ways how people earn money online while working-from-home…….

    http://www.onlineuniversalwork.com

  • http://www.titidirectonline.co.uk/mobile-phones Dual Sim Mobile Phones

    nice post

  • http://learnspanishfastcourse.com/ Jay

    Wow, what a coincidence.
    I'm also an electronic engineer (option ICT) with a passion for languages. Right now i'm trying to find a way to generate income online (also reading the 4HWW) to become location independent. 1 spent one year in Spain (studying) and i would like to repeat that experience in other countries.

  • Leness

    I actually did a CELTA, but because I don't have a bachelor degree and I'm only nineteen, it's difficult for me to get jobs like what you suggested despite the fact I even have experience in translating (specialised in political brochures and helped in translating a novel), but simply because I don't have a bachelor I wasn't able to get visas for all the countries I want to work in (mostly Asia.) I tried to get a work/travel visa in Japan, but due to the extremely complicated fact I live in Germany, but I hold an Irish passport, I'm not allowed to hold a german passport due to diplomatic reasons, but I have to live in the country where I hold the passport in order to get the visa…hence making me illegible.
    I'll be going to uni in Ireland (UCD, ironically of all places), just so I can get a bachelor in order to do something very similar what you are doing to travel, but to learn Japanese (learning at the moment), Mandarin, Vietnamese and French. I will then hopefully be legible for the work and travel in Japan during the summer months after my first year. (Somehow being young was not so fortunate in my case…)

  • Bradlr

    You can be on welfare and live a traveling lifestyle. I know a guy who receives 1300 SSI, hes always traveling. He just recently toured europe. And next month hes going back to Australia. Yes its a lifestyle. Its all about managing money and priorities

  • Bradlr

    You can be on welfare and live a traveling lifestyle. I know a guy who receives 1300 SSI, hes always traveling. He just recently toured europe. And next month hes going back to Australia. Yes its a lifestyle. Its all about managing money and priorities

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny the Irish polyglot

    That’s great! Glad you liked it and thanks for the compliment :)

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    Sorry it’s been removed, but all that link really did was aggregate many job search sites and use key words like “freelance” “Internet” etc.

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    Sorry it’s been removed, but all that link really did was aggregate many job search sites and use key words like “freelance” “Internet” etc.

  • Shrusti Tripathy

    Wow..I’m in absolute awe of your lifestyle. Maybe not 8 years, but definitely for a year, this sounds like a great way to live and learn about yourself! I mean, family is important (and mine will definitely not agree to this at first) but there comes a time when you got to break out of the shell and live it your own style.
    Thanks for the very useful post!

  • JRL123

    Hi i just turned 17 a couple of days ago and im currently at 6th form (college) and i’ve been thinking about living a life travelling the world. I dont really know what job i want to do so why cant i travel the world instead of being stuck in boring old england for the rest of my life. I want to experience different cultures, foods and people. I want to try and see things that are fun and exciting to do like snowboarding, surfing. Visiting the Colosseum. I would like to do many more aswell. I would like to know more about how you work in different countries. Could i go to a country and just apply for a job or would i have to do something different like what you said teach English to people. If you are reading this it would be nice to have a reply thankyou. JRL123@hotmail.co.uk

  • Saurabh Chawdhary

    We are talking about working in a place and searching jobs. Working on the net is fine. But I wonder how is it possible to work in several destinations as you travel. Most countries will not authorize to work on tourist visa for short term. We need work permit of each country. Is there any legal way/ exceptions that can be worked around this? Except working online and getting paid in the country you have work authorization.

  • Jihad Tawfiq

    Hello Benny!
    I discovered your blog one week ago and I really like it. 
    I was kind of surprised when I read “The Engineering Mentality for Language Learning” because I’m an IT engineer myself and I ‘ve learned arabic, berber, french, english, russian, serbian/croatian and spanish by basically adopting the same approach as you. 

    Well, concerning the travelling part, I guess I am more or less disappointed, being Moroccans, which means that just for a five days séjour in 10-miles far Spain, I have to wait two months at least to prepare papers, visa validation, describe a motive for travel and even set a bank guarantee of around 5000 euros, not to mention the disrespect and suspiscious looks while waiting in line for two days at the embassy.

    I would really like to start my own travelling experience, but it seems that my middle class North African identity doesn’t help at all.

  • GlobalViajero

    Hi Benny, Really inspirational, motivating stuff. I don’t make excuses for my ineptitude but I don’t think I’m as brave as you are. To my question: how do you go staying in-country as much as you have over the past 8 years? Obviously you have unfettered access to the EU but what of other countries – how have you been able to stay and/or work there? I’m an Australian living in London and would love to live your life, but don’t see how I can without visas etc (plus I’m well past the working holidaymaker window :-)
    Any tips?

  • alltraveltips4me

    Alltraveltips4me
    have solutions for all your travel queries and sickness and also have
    suggestions and tips as to where you can go and what you can do.
     

    http://www.alltraveltips4me.com

  • Pam

    Maybe I missed it. I will re-read your post. But how does a non-EU person just set stakes in Europe? I’m an American and can’t obtain a work visa as I have never completed my bachelor’s and don’t have any “professional” skills. I have been working freelance for five years now. You mean all this time I could’ve been living in France like I dream? What am I missing? On a regular visa, I can only stay in one country for 3 months at a time. On my meager freelance salary, I can see surviving in a country for a while, but I couldn’t afford to relocate every 3 months.

    I clearly am missing something obvious about how to just, bam, move to any country you want. I’ve always imagined it to be more difficult than that. My struggle to remain in France and being unable to renew my carte de sejour caused me to believe that it must be difficult to set up residence everywhere. In fact, I often wonder how Mexicans manage to stay illegally in the United States with no more than just their smile and demand for human rights. I just assumed we were more lenient here. (Not that I wish to be in any country illegally.)

    PS: Your site is very inspiring. I’ve begun studying German about four months ago and am convinced now that I’m doing it wrong, as I’m still only newbie level. I’m going to begin incorporating some of your advice without the benefit of your hacking guide (which I can’t afford on my freelance salary!).

  • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

    Yes, you need to actually research, work, wait and deal with bureaucracy to get visas to work in foreign countries. This is what I did, and this is what you should do, rather than complain about how hard it is! You make it sound like EU is the entire world. I’ve worked in many non-EU countries and dealt with the complications that come with that, sometimes working under the table. Not advisable, but necessary if you are truly passionate.
    Find a way, not excuses.

  • Rafael

    Hello Benny!
    Sou brasileiro e acabei de descobrir sobre seu blog, o qual achei muito interessante. Já que vi que você fala português, escrevo em português para tornar mais interessante para você. Gostei muito das ideias apresentadas aqui e no seu vídeo da Tedx. Eu falo 4 idiomas e sempre utilizo alguns métodos, como os que você menciona no vídeo, realmente são muito bons. Você realmente dá dicas úteis para um aprendizado efetivo da língua, a partir de uma forma diferente de enxergá-la. Parabéns pela iniciativa e pelo trabalho!

    • http://www.fluentin3months.com/ Benny Lewis

      Valeu Rafael! :) Fico feliz que vc goste dos videos!

  • http://www.facebook.com/lasma.helviga Lāsma Helviga

    I dare you to learn Latvian! While reading your articles, I was smiling, because some opportunities you mention, I’ve tried + I recently found strange need to learn several languages… In your articles I saw many things similar to those I’ve done and it made me feel really good.
    Enjoy your journey and let us know, how is it going! :)

  • Tieira Ryder

    Trade Shows is another great thing to do when traveling!

  • Martynas Stepukonis

    I can’t possibly think of anything useful/valuable to offer to another country :S I’m not a native English speaker, nor can I teach it! I suck at Maths ;p And pretty much anything logical. I wonder what would be a good practical skill to gain since I study Psychology.

  • Brin

    So, would you arrive at a country and then search for a visa??

  • Mani

    I just stumbled across this website, and it looks extremely interesting and useful. It really sounds like you are having the life I want and that, to an extent, I have managed to have so far. But at 24 I don’t feel at all like I wanna stop and settle down yet!!! It’s encouraging to read your tips tho, cuz money is the main deterrent I have when it comes to travelling….

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  • http://www.facebook.com/haylo.kay Haylo Kay

    I will be traveling the globe for
    a year, who knows where really, wherever my journey takes me, I am looking
    for…. I guess…me. The 8-5pm 5 day a week days here we do nothing but rent,
    waste money and consume I just can’t seem find myself. So, I have been
    researching how others do it. I understand that my experiences will be
    different to any other travel bloggers however as I look through all the
    information I come across I am faced with the same problems. What if you do not
    have a career path and need to choose one, what if you are not a professional
    at anything, time and time again I feel that every successful solo traveler
    with no permanent home has a specific field that the have studied their ass of
    to get a degree in, I’m not one of those people and I don’t know what I want to
    study no can I afford it in this type of lifestyle. Can I still use the world
    as my home if I have not got a degree behind me? Everything that I have seen
    suggests, no. I really love to travel and would love to find a suitable job
    that I love, instead of being stuck in a boring admin job for the rest of my
    life, any suggestions on what I can work myself towards to get a job I will
    love and excel in? And any suggestions on how I can find what I am looking for
    in my travels?

  • Lieren Lier

    The “Working wirelessly” article is down, could you by any chance write about your experiences and how to find such jobs etc. etc. yourself? I would be really interested in hearing that stuff first hand. Also, you have travelled the world and this is awesome. I have been thinking about doing this for years now. But since I´m a woman, I expect this to be more difficult – did you maybe meet women on your journey and do you think I could find a job like this to and travel savely ( In general)? Thank you for your answer!

  • Pawan

    Instead of earning more, learn to spend less!
    This point was impressive. I’m planning to move out as a traveler and so was searching for some related stuff. Found yourself and got impressed. Nice work and Good Luck :)

  • http://www.socialtreknepal.com/ SESFNepal

    Great point there, “Instead of earning more, learn to spend less”.

  • Isha Gupta

    You’ve mentioned that you found it hard to work in a foreign country after you arrived in it already. But you’ve not mentioned from where did you get the money to arrive in that country in the first place?

    I love travelling and I really do want to travel around the world. I am a journalism graduate and journalism in India doesnt exactly pay you enough to travel around the world. I am not quite sure how to begin. Could you suggest something?

  • Nathalie

    Thanks Benny for the tips and sharing your experience.As a fellow polyglot who was used to travellng and living abroad feel a bit hemmed in by lack of funds. I need to follow up on translation although just did one recently. Also teach languages & only just occurred to me that I could teach English and that as everyone wants to learn it should get more clients & work. I thought I was intelligent but obv a brain neuron or neural pathway missing;) I also teach yoga and mindfulness so hoping can help as well and hoping to combine it all from gorgeous locations with Greece as first one on offer. Also want my child to be at least bilingual with French & preferably multi-lingual. Am also veggie which indeed does save money & healthier all round & better for the planet and animals. Thanks for your blogs etc. Must do more myself.

  • RL

    I want to be a chemist, not a translator or EFL teacher, so I need a permanent residency and mode of transportation. Do you have any tips for those who like to set down roots?

    • http://fluentin3months.com/ Brandon Rivington

      My question is this: Do you already have a good bit of money saved? If not, many governments (depending on where you want to move to) may not let you move in quite yet. Many countries require you to either have a certain amount of money (often in a bank in that country), have a job that makes a certain amount, or be a student (also with a certain about of money saved).

      Because different countries have different laws, you may want to do some research accordingly.

      –Brandon, the Fi3M Language Encourager

  • Wendy Alane Wright

    Benny I love how you are living your life. Several times a week I think about selling everything I have, getting on a plane, landing somewhere and figuring it out as I go. I want my husband to do it with me, to want to get out there and live life with me. He is 51 I am 48. He is determined to get money in the bank for the next 10 years so we have something to retire with. I want to go live my life fully, experiencing as many countries and cultures as I can while I’m still young enough and healthy enough to enjoy it and do it, then figure out how to make more money to live on and retire on when I’m done traveling. How can my husband and I resolve this. Any thoughts and suggestions? -and thank you for your wonderful blogs and passion and dedication to life and loving people.

    • http://fluentin3months.com/ Brandon Rivington

      In my wholly personal opinion, I think it’s a great idea at its core. However, I think you should have a little more planned out just as where you’ll live and, unless you’ve already saved a lot, how you’ll make money.

      Perhaps you should suggest doing a bit of a test run. Once you find a city that you both would love to live in, put your stuff in storage, rent out the house and see if you could take a some sort of sabbatical. Then you guys can try living somewhere for 3 months (generally the length of a tourist visa) or for whatever extended period of time you guys are comfortable with. It’ll give you guys both the chance to see how you’ll like the lifestyle.

      Just a suggestion!

      –Brandon, the Fi3M Language Encourager

  • Asherah

    There are websites where hosts offer free accomodation and meals for a couple of hours of work in a day. (Approximately 25 hours per week.)
    1. You dont have any expenses beside the travelling itself.
    2. You are living with locals, that’s just great if you want to practise the language. (Especially if there are kids – that’s just give you a boost in your speaking, they dont have that big vocabulary and they say everything in a simple way.)
    3. You have plenty of free time to discover the neighbourhood and meet people, get to know the area/city/country etc.

    • http://fluentin3months.com/ Brandon Rivington

      Thanks! What are some of these sites?

      • Asherah

        I know three websites like that:
        1. WWOOF – its mostly farm related jobs, and here they expect the most hours
        2. workaway.info
        3. helpx.net
        There is a small inital fee (~ €20) on these sites, but for this you can get access to all the hosts contact info for a year or two.
        Happy wwoofing/workawaying/helpxing to everyone.