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How to Travel Full-Time in a Financially Sustainable Way

How did I become The Professional Hobo (and, in turn, how can you)?

My journey to becoming The Professional Hobo was quite a trip unto itself. Here’s the full scoop:

How I Became The Professional Hobo (Part I: The Dream, The Decision)

How I Became The Professional Hobo (Part II: The Logistics)

How do I make money on the road?

I make money on the road with writing. I write for both online and print publications, however my “break” into the industry was through the online medium. This is ideal for travel, as I can make a living with an internet connection anywhere in the world. This is called location independent living.

Financially Sustainable Travel Part 1: My 2011 Income

Financially Sustainable Travel Part 2: Income and Expense Choices

Financially Sustainable Travel: My 2012 Income

Financially Sustainable Travel: My 2013 Income


How much does full-time travel cost?

Full-time travel can cost as much or as little as you’d like it to. Because I travel slowly and volunteer in trade for my accommodation, my cost of living on the road has generally been considerably less than the cost to live in one place.

My Cost of Full-Time Travel in 2010 (Less Than You May Think)

My Cost of Full-Time Travel in 2011

My Cost of Full-Time Travel in 2012

My Cost of Full-Time Travel in 2013


Where to next?

I tend to follow my nose, and have learned that making travel plans too far in advance can mean forsaking a sometimes better opportunity that arises by virtue of simply keeping my eyes and ears open…and traveling.

Having said that, I currently have a home base in the Sacred Valley of Peru, from which I travel regularly.


How did I get into writing/blogging? (And in turn, how can you)?

I’m asked this question a lot.
I even got an email from a reader once, who said she was planning a six-month trip around the world with her friends, and was hoping to start a blog to subsidize the trip. Oh yeah – and she was leaving in a month.

Please don’t be this reader.

Writing – including blogging – is a career, and a tough one at that. There is a lot of competition, and you’ve got to dedicate yourself to the process for a long time before you can make a full-time living out of it. Oh yes, and it helps to actually be good at manipulating the English language.

Here’s a comprehensive resource on the subject if you’re still interested:

How to Become a Professional Blogger

10 Rules for Earning Income as a Freelance Writer

How much longer will I travel for?

I hate that question. Travel is much more a state of mind, a sense of freedom, and a nature of exploration than it is a definable act. Sometimes I stop for a while, as I did in Australia (for 1.5 years on and off), and Grenada (for 2 years on and off).
Currently I’ve got a home base in Peru, from which I travel regularly (even when I go out for groceries, which is an adventure unto itself). As long as I am still in this world, I am still traveling through it.

How do I decide where to go?

I follow the opportunities. If there’s a great free accommodation gig in a place I’m interested in visiting, I go.  If I’m offered a sponsored trip I can’t turn down, I don’t turn it down. Some of the best travel plans are loose travel plans, since experience has dictated that you never know what lays around the next corner, and it’s wonderful to have the flexibility that a full-time travel lifestyle affords.

How can you do what I’m doing?

This is the biggest question I get. People contact me and say that they love what I do, and ask how they can do it themselves. The question is often as simple as that, rarely with any additional information about the person asking the question.

Before you become the next person in this ever-growing statistic, please think about the nature of your question for just a minute. How exactly am I supposed to answer it?! Not unlike the super-computer in Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, I feel compelled to reply with “42” to this question, as if it is a question about the secret to life, the universe, and everything.

This blog is comprised of lessons learned since I embraced this lifestyle in late 2006 and sold everything I owned. It is an evolving process, as I have made a few mistakes along the way (okay, maybe more than a few), and in turn had my own share of successes. My situation is not what yours will be, nor the next person’s.

My free series on Financially Sustainable Travel is designed to enable more people to achieve this with ease and grace. In the meantime, check out the left-hand sidebar for links to some e-books that I’ve personally found very useful in my own travels. (I get a commission if you click through to them from my site, and there is no price difference for you).

Check out my Travel Tips & Resources page for links to some very useful articles to get you started! 

Do You Want to Write a Guest Post for This Site? 

Please be advised that the only guest posts I accept for this website are for my popular week-in-the-life series, written by fellow long-term and full-time travelers. If you fit the bill and would like to submit a week in your life to me, please contact me and I’ll send you some guidelines.


Have you read my books yet? Working on the Road: The Unconventional Guide to Full-Time Freedom is a massive resource to get you living and working on the road in no time. Tales of Trains: Where the Journey is the Destination is an epic armchair read, and How to Get Free Accommodation Around the World shows you how I managed to save over $63,000 in my first five years of travel alone. Check them out!