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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.


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 are a few posts I’ve written on the subject if you’re still interested:

Financial Travel Tip #19: Earning Money as a Travel Writer

Financial Travel Tip #102: Blogging vs Freelance Writing, and Finding Gigs

10 Rules for Earning Income as a Freelance Writer

How much longer will I travel for?

You’ll be the first to know. Your first sign will probably be that this Web Site is either debunked or has been stale for months or years. I believe you can be in one place for a while (as I lived in Australia for a year and a half, and Grenada on and off for a couple of years), and can even return to your home country, and still be traveling. Travel is much more a state of mind, a sense of freedom, and a nature of exploration than it is a definable act. 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. We were on our way to Costa Rica when Kelly (my ex, who traveled with me for the first three years) received a call from his brother in Alberta who was getting married and wanted Kelly in the wedding party. So across Canada we traveled.

Then we were on our way to Costa Rica, when an opportunity to live and work on an ecologically sustainable permaculture educational project in Hawaii nosed its way into our lives. We simply could not turn it down, despite our lack of desire to see Hawaii, which was quite a detour from our travel plans.

After Hawaii, Australia called our names in the form of a sponsored trip with World Nomads. Shortly thereafter a beautiful opportunity to live and work on a fairy-tale-like property near Melbourne lured us in, captivated us, and in turn wooed us into staying in Australia way longer than we had ever expected to stay.

Starting to travel on my own in 2010 was initially a temporary exercise, but turned into a permanent one when Kelly and I went our separate ways. And again it was a fun exercise in planning impromptu travel, and doors continue to open for me…all I have to do is recognize the signs and walk through the doors.

So after having my travel “plans” thrown out the window a handful of times, I now accept that the universe will show me where we are to go next. Everything always falls into place if we allow it to. Hmm….those seem like words to live by – travel-related and otherwise.

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? 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.