We spend a third of our lives in bed! So…
Bored with your 9-5 and 30 year mortgage? Most people are. Doing the same job day after day in a cube isn’t for everyone, and if you crave adventure, you’ve probably thought about ditching your job more than once. You can—but how?
Fortunately, the Internet makes it easy to make a living on the road, and there are so many ways you can find your bliss while living a location-independent (or just offbeat) lifestyle. Freelancing, consulting, passive income, job hopping—there are so many great options to suit every personality.
As a custom mattress company, we have to mention how a good night’s sleep is important, no matter how you live your life—but you may find some interesting sleeping arrangements in your travels that take some getting used to—it’s all part of the adventure!
We’ve pulled together the best resources on the web to show you how to live—and thrive as a digital nomad or in unconventional housing wherever and however you want. Dive on in!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Chapter 1: Becoming a Digital Nomad, and Taking Charge of Your Career
Freelancing remotely is one of the most popular options for living a location-independent lifestyle, and for good reason: you can work from anywhere, and you control the work you take on. There’s no boss looking over your shoulder, handing out projects you can’t stand. On the flip side, you’re responsible for meeting your deadlines, pleasing clients, financing your benefits, and collecting your cash. Learn from the experts on how to make it work, no matter what industry you’re in:
- Do You Have a Digital Nomad Personality?
- 17 Work-From-Anywhere Jobs
- The “Stuff” You’ll Need to Succeed Working Online on the Road
- Is Being Location-Independent Complicated?
- How Traveling Full-Time Can Be Cheaper Than Staying Home
- Managing Finances While Traveling Full Time
“A lot of travellers spend most of their budget on accommdation, but it doesn’t have to be that way. One way to save money is to start housesitting – where you look after someone’s house while they’re away, usually at no cost to you. In my experience, AirBnB’s can be relatively expensive compared to other options – here are the best alternatives to AirBnB” – by Laurence from Finding The Universe
“When we stay in one location for more than five nights, we look at apartment rentals, normally through Airbnb. Airbnb lets you book a private room in someone’s house or an entire apartment or house. It is great when we want a little more space, a kitchen, or are traveling with friends. It also helps to save money when staying in one location for a longer period of time, providing a perfect alternative to living out of a hotel.” – Amber from With Husband In Tow
Chapter 2: The Ups and Downs of Long-Term RV Travel
When you live in a huge country like the United States, RV living can be an affordable and exciting way of life, especially for retirees or those who don’t like to sit still. You can even be a digital nomad in an RV, as long as you have access to reliable Internet access. Of course, living in an RV full time does have its downsides, so take a look at the great advice we’ve collected, and see what the reality of RV living is really like:
- Start Here: Is Full Time RVing Right For You?
- How Does RV Cost of Living Compare?
- Transitioning to the Road, and Purchasing the Right RV
- The Downsides of Life on the Road
- Finding the Right RV Mattress
- Sharing the RV Life with Your Dogs
Chapter 3: The Reality of Buying and Living in a Tiny House
Tiny homes are all the rage—but are they for you? If you’ve ever been interested in reducing your possessions and living a simpler lifestyle, the tiny house life might be just what you need. These resources will help you decide whether to build or buy, how to furnish your home, and where to park it—the possibilities are endless!
- Cost Comparisons: Tiny Houses vs. Traditional Dwellings
- Tiny Homes for Sale, Under $50,000
- Finding the Right Furniture
- Where to Put Your Tiny House
- DIY Tiny House Plumbing
- Rock Bottom Prices: The $8000 Tiny Home
“Getting rid of the possessions you’ve accumulated over the years can be tough, but necessary if you’re going to live in a tiny home or RV full time. For me, parting with the majority of my clothes was the hardest. However, the feeling you get after you purge these “things” is incredible. I’d suggest getting rid of 1/4 your stuff at first. Then a couple of weeks later, cut what’s left in half. If you do this a few times, you really start to realize all of the things you thought you needed, you actually don’t.” – Kristen from Hop Scotch The Globe
Chapter 4: Backpacking: Carrying Your Life With You
Whether you’re planning to backpack the Appalachian Trail, set off for Europe for a few months, or travel with no end date, backpacking can be a rugged adventure. Throw your stuff in storage, and take off with just the bare essentials. Below, we’ve collected tips from backpacking veterans on how they did it!
- Choosing Your Travel Backpack
- The Ultimate Backpacking Packing List
- Tips on the Trip of a Lifetime: Backpacking in Europe
- Boondocking: The Art of Camping for Free
- Staying Safe on Your Backpacking Adventure
- Checking In: How to Pack Your Backpack for Air Travel
“Always carry these 3 Essential Items: duct tape, WD40, fire extinguisher. Luckily I barely had to use these items, but when I did they were life savers. Especially if you are driving on dusty roads, doors hinges and locks can get stuck (even on newer vehicles) and WD40 has saved the day. Duct tape has kept so many minor problems from becoming major problems and a fire extinguisher, well that is just a must. – Tiffany from Vagabond Way”
“Always keep a good pair of socks and shoes on your feet. Unhappy Feet lead to an unhappy you. Stuff is easy to become attached to, but memories weigh nothing and take up hardly any space. Free yourself from the stuff and keep all of the memories.” by Adam from Hiking The Trail
Chapter 5: Voluntourism: Seeing the World and Making a Difference
What is “voluntourism”? Volunteering overseas for humanitarian or ecological projects, like helping to build housing, teaching, or caring for injured wildlife. Voluntourism has gotten a bad rap lately, but it’s all about how you do it. Joining an organized and project-focused group can be an extremely rewarding way to travel, all while making a difference in the community you choose. Want to read stories and tips from people who have been there? Look no further:
- The Case for Voluntourism
- Thinking About Volunteering Abroad? Here’s How
- Myths about Volunteering Abroad
- Paying to Volunteer: Should You Do It?
- Tips & Tricks for Volunteering Abroad
“If you are interested in volunteering internationally, choosing wisely and being prepared is easier said than done. Know which questions you should you ask all through the process — not only so you have the best possible experience abroad, but that the community you’re visiting derives the most benefit from your visit. We explore these questions everyday on our blog.” – Dan & Audrey from Uncornered Market
” The reality is there are a lot of scams out there that care more about getting your money than helping the community. Before signing up for a project, do your research and ask questions. If the organizer makes a claim, ask for evidence of its truth. Ask to be told exactly how your money is being allotted (and by the way, “project development” isn’t a concrete answer). If a project shows stereotypical photos or talks about the local community like they’re “beneath them” instead of a partner, avoid the organizer. Also, avoid orphanage volunteering — which creates a demand for orphanages instead of eliminates them — at all costs.” – Jessie from Jessie on a Journey
Chapter 6: Learning New Skills as an Overseas Teacher
Don’t think you have what it takes to be a teacher? Think again! Many people who teach English or other skills overseas have no formal teacher training or experience. Requirements vary, but many schools require only a college degree and a willingness to work. There are wonderful opportunities for teaching part time while living in a foreign city—and many schools pay for their teachers’ housing as well! Aside from earning money and becoming immersed in a new culture, you’ll learn almost as much from your students as they’ll learn from you!
- Why You Should Teach English Internationally
- Where Should You Go? Top Countries for Teaching English
- The Pros and Cons of Teaching Abroad
- Let’s Talk Salary: How Much Can You Make as an ESL Teacher Abroad?
- More Physical? Teach Yoga Abroad Instead!
Chapter 7: Sea You Later: Working on a Cruise Ship
A cruise is a dream vacation for many people, featuring serenity, exotic destinations, and great food. So what if you could actually make a living aboard one of these decadent vessels? You absolutely can! Of course, working on a cruise is a very different experience from simply sailing on one—long hours and dull work are some of the downsides. However, with your room and board all paid, you’ll bank all the money you earn and see the world for free!
- What Job is Right for You? The Options on Cruise Ships
- Finding Work on a Cruise Ship
- The Working Conditions on Board
- Learning From Firsthand Experiences: Life on a Boat
- Interview with a Cruise Ship Worker
- Seeing the World Through Work On Board
Chapter 8: Off The Grid: Getting Started with Homesteading
Not all offbeat lifestyles involve being a digital nomad or traveler. Some prefer to stay close to home—and stay as self-sufficient as possible, using alternative energies, farming, and other homesteading techniques. Modern-day homesteading is very different from back in the days of the Oregon trail, and you’ll be surprised at just how comfortable this lifestyle can be! Get started with advice from these homesteading veterans:
- How Do You Do It? Starting Your Homestead: Advice for the First Year
- The Best Homesteading Animals
- Busting Modern Homesteading Myths
- Off-Grid Inspiration: 5 Self-Sufficient Cabins
- Buying Your Dream Homestead