A major hang-up often mentioned when I talk to other travelers is the difficult financial aspects of travel – I don’t have enough money, how will I support myself on long-term travel, etc. Luckily, online opportunities have made it possible to travel for a living. Today, I talk with Hans, a traveler by trade who has been all over the world (72 counties and counting), to gain insight on how he is able to work and travel at the same time.
The incredible pictures in this article are from Hans’s personal travel collection. For more awe-inspiring photos and to follow Hans’s travel adventures, you can find him on Instagram @nomad_traveler2016.
Up Up and a Bear: Hans, please tell us a little bit about yourself: where you’re from, what are you doing now, etc.
Hans: I am from the Dominican Republic, a country near Miami, Puerto Rico and Cuba in the Caribbean known for fine white sand beaches of Punta Cana. I like to travel. I am a travel photographer who loves to take photos of stunning landscapes and cityscape sceneries.
Organization and self-discipline are also keys to retain your position and find more work.
Up Up and a Bear: Well, I can vouch for that! Your pictures are incredibly beautiful. What does travel mean to you?
Hans: It means to get on a plane, land in a totally new country, get to know the locals and experience their customs, and enjoy the landscapes and nature.
Up Up and a Bear: You mentioned that you’ve been to 72 countries so far, what’s the top 5 countries you’ve been to?
Hans: My favorite 5 so far have been Brazil, Norway, New Zealand, Chile, and Argentina.
Up Up and a Bear: That’s incredible. Those are all places that I want to go to as well. But going to 72 countries must be difficult on your wallet. How have you been able to do this financially? Do you do a lot of freelance work or teach English on the side?
Hans: I work as an independent recruiter for an agency in the U.S. I recruit Scientists and other technical professionals for pharmaceutical companies. I started as a Data Entry Admin, and then received training to become a recruiter in the same agency that I’m recruiting for now. My work is online, so, I can work from anywhere, but I have to work on U.S Eastern Standard Time, which means working nighttime while in Asia – the same now that I’m currently in Australia. To be successful working virtually, flexibility is key, especially if you have clients in different time zones. Organization and self-discipline are also keys to retain your position and find more work.
While traveling, I have not missed my material things from home…
Up Up and a Bear: What would you recommend people do if they want to follow in your footsteps?
Hans: To work and travel like what I’m doing is very simple if you can find a job that allows you to work online from anywhere. There are jobs teaching English online, marketing, advertising, photography, writing, programming, web designing, etc that can get done from any country on earth. I gave up my rental apartment in Brooklyn, moved my belongings to a small room at my cousin’s apartment and just took off. It also helps to have loads of miles on your airline account to get next to free air tickets. If you live in the U.S, there are a plethora of credit card mileage offers to take advantage of, just go to the Flyertalk for more information on how to do this. Also, people looking to teach English online need to get a TOSEL certificate. There are a number of schools that offer it online or class training at a specific location. There are many schools that hire certified people to teach for them – one of which is EnglishLive. Upwork is also another website where you can sign up to work virtually on projects – people will hire you for the work you advertise and you get paid when the work is done. All of this is done virtually.
Note: Earl from Wandering Earl wrote a great article a while back with some 42 Ways You Can Make Money and Travel the World. You can check that out as well for more ideas.
Up Up and a Bear: Thank you for those tips. I’m thankful that technology has allowed us to work from virtually anywhere on the planet. It makes traveling that much more within reach for everyone. As you’ve been to so many places, where would you consider yourself as a “local”?
Hans: I would consider myself as a local in Brazil, but as soon as I start speaking my Portuguese mixed with Spanish, they know that I’m not from around.
…get to know the locals and experience their customs…
Up Up and a Bear: Haha! I suppose that the local accent will take time to fully master. What’s your traveling style? Linger around or go as fast as you can?
Hans: My traveling style is to go as fast as I can, but I will also linger around at times. It really depends on the destination. The most I have stayed in one country thus far has been 3 months (this was in the Dominican Republic). The next longest stay was in Spain for 5 weeks. I have stayed in most countries from 4 days to 3 weeks.
Up Up and a Bear: Wow, I imagine that means having to unpack and pack frequently but it sounds so exciting! What are some of your best travel moments?
Hans: Best travel moments: Hiking the ledges at Table Mountain in Cape Town; staring down at Victoria Falls from Devil’s Pool in Zambia; traveling through Lofoten Islands during the midnight sun season in Norway; arriving at Easter Island in Chile; standing at the edge of the abyss at Preikestolen Rock in Norway; swimming with the whale sharks at Oslob in the Philippines; and experiencing the power and grandeur of Iguazu Falls in Argentina and Brazil.
Up Up and a Bear: I sense that there are a lot of ledges involved in your travels. Your pictures are a testament to that. Just awesome! What would you say are your best lessons learned from all your travels?
Hans: To be open minded to other cultures. Our way of doing things is not always the best way to get it done. While traveling, I have not missed my material things from home; so, I will be looking to simplify my lifestyle once I settle down in one location sometime this year.
Up Up and a Bear: And where are you planning on settling down?
Hans: Once my travel is over, I will go back to Brooklyn to decide whether I will live in the NYC metro area or live somewhere else full time.
Up Up and a Bear: Thank you so much Hans for sharing your travels with us. And thank you for the great tips. I wish you the best of luck.
As my discussion with Hans shows, opportunities are bountiful. You just need to have the courage to take that leap. And as Hans learned from his adventures, it is better to experience culture and life than to experience hoarding possessions. For more of Hans’s fabulous pictures, please follow him on Instagram @nomad_traveler2016.
Please share this with others who are considering working while traveling. If you’ve been there, done that, please share your tips below so we may all benefit from your wisdom.
Inspired but not sure where to go in 2016? Check out this comprehensive list: Top Destinations 2016 – as Voted by 17 media outlets.
Travel on my friends.