Agness Walewinder of Etramping has been on the road in one capacity or another for more than 9 years. She’s currently enjoying a base in Gdańsk, Poland, while she works in marketing and PR for a firm that incorporates world travel seamlessly into the mix. As a passion project, she is also running her Polish YouTube channel Aga Co Mi Pomaga and her Instagram where she shares her travel and health experience battling and fully recovering from bulimia, H.Pylori and acne.
This financial case study was originally published in 2016, so I asked Agness Walewinder to update us on how her career and lifestyle has evolved since then. Please enjoy this side-by-side comparison!
How long have you been living/working on the road, and where have you traveled to?
2016: After over three years spent living out of a backpack in such countries as China, Thailand and Cambodia, I moved to Amsterdam where I’ve been living for over 1.5 years now. I moved to this beautiful city to start my Master’s Degree in New Media and Digital Culture at the University of Amsterdam, initially for one year, but since I fell in love with my new job, people I met here and this city itself, I am definitely staying much longer!
2020: I have been living and working on the road since 2011 which is crazy to think it’s been 9 years now! It all started with a trip to China where I was teaching English to Chinese students and I never returned home. After that I spent over three years living out of a backpack in South-East Asia and I eventually moved to Amsterdam for 2 years. I moved to this beautiful city to start my Master’s Degree in New Media and Digital Culture at the University of Amsterdam back in 2014. Once my study was completed, I hit the road full-time again visiting wonderful places in Asia and North America. In 9 years of my travel adventures I’ve managed to visit 68 countries revising some multiple times, such as Indonesia and Thailand.
Please describe what you do for income.
2016: I’m a Country Manager (Poland) in a Marketing and PR team at Poki that is a cross-platform game publisher located in Amsterdam. I’m responsible for Poki’s brand and its user growth, defining and executing social media strategies and building up long-term relationships with interesting partners in Polish market. What I do at Poki is very creative and gives me a chance to build my career with a fast-growing team of talented and self-motivated people. I learn a lot from them!
In the meantime I still blog and it is also my current income. Not as much as I wish, but still enough to cover my worldwide trips.
2020: I work full-time on my travel blog Etramping writing travel stories and itineraries together with my best friend Cez. The blog has been bringing us steady income every single month for the past few years so I can afford to travel around the world while doing what I love the most. We are now expanding the blog and start to share our experience with various travel products to help our readers make better decisions. Our first ever product review is that of the best carry on backpack with wheels.
On top of that, I work part-time at Poki, an Amsterdam based company working with a team of 30 on a mission to create the ultimate online playground, in the Partnerships and Marketing department. I’m responsible for Poki’s brand and its user growth as well as building up long-term relationships with interesting partners across the globe. What I do at Poki is very creative and gives me a chance to build my career with a fast-growing team of talented and self-motivated people. I learn a lot from them!
How many hours per week do you work on average?
2016: I work from 32 to 40 hours per week at Poki (sometimes more) and spend at least 10 hours on my blog each week, not including my travels.
2020: I work around 25 hours per week on my travel blog and 20 hours at Poki. Throw in some passion projects, like my new YouTube Channel, and then you realize I’m a bit of a workaholic that still can enjoy traveling around.
How much money do you make?
2016: I make 23,000Euros (gross) per year with Poki and about $25,000US (gross) per year with eTramping.
2020: I make 17,000Euros (gross) per year with Poki and about $40,000US (gross) per year with eTramping.
Do you make enough money to support your lifestyle?
2016: Definitely. Although Amsterdam is considered to be one of the most expensive cities in the world, I can easily maintain my healthy travel lifestyle and afford to do a lot of fun and creative things each month. I’ve never been a big spender, but I don’t save much either. Keeping the balance is always good.
2020: Definitely! I work hard so I can afford to travel the world without worrying about the budget as much as when I started (initially, I traveled for $25 a day). I can easily maintain my healthy travel lifestyle and afford to do a lot of fun and creative things in different countries each month. I’m not a big spender and I keep an eye on my spending habits so I can stay on the road longer.
What is your vision for the future of your lifestyle on the road?
2016: Working for Poki gives me a lot of opportunities to grow and develop myself while traveling to remote places. Thanks to being able to work online from almost everywhere in the world, I can easily combine my full-time job with blogging and traveling.
My plan for upcoming year is to go to as many new places as possible while growing in my career and exploring new opportunities at Poki. With such a great team I am working now, I bet it is not going to be a problem.
2020: I love what I’m doing and this lifestyle suits me well so I wouldn’t like to change a thing. My goal is to stay on the road for the next 5 years and try to get to 32 more countries (including some in South America), once the pandemic is over. Hopefully joined by Cez and Lydia who lead similar lifestyles and we already covered dozens of destinations together. Once I feel satisfied with 100 visited countries, I might think of settling down somewhere nice and cozy. I do want to carry on with my travel blog and work at Poki and on top of that create more travel and health content for my YouTube viewers in Poland. These will be very hard-working years but extremely rewarding for me!
Any advice for the aspiring traveler about living and working on the road and managing finances?
2016: One of the things I’ve recently learnt and would advise to anyone is not quitting your job to travel the world. Giving up on your career, especially when you like doing what you do, in order to see remote places may be in fact one of your biggest regrets! What you should definitely do is look for a team to work with that will fit your travel lifestyle. A workplace where you can keep the balance between full-time job and travels.
It would be cool to look around and find a company that would be flexible with your working hours, allows you to work online, help you develop your career and treat you with work travels to tropical islands once a year. I know it might sound a bit unbelievable, but these companies like Poki do really exist and they are always open to creative individuals to join their team.
2020: One of the things I would advise to anyone is not quitting your job to travel the world. Giving up on your career, especially when you like doing what you do, in order to see remote places may be in fact one of your biggest regrets! What you can do is look for a team to work with that will fit your travel lifestyle. A workplace where you can keep the balance between full-time job and travels. In the meantime you can start working on your own passion project that can turn into your full-time job one day. Dream big, work hard and be consistent – these are the things that worked for me!