When Leif Harum of Runaway Guide was 16 he ran away from home and explored the far reaches of Europe and the Middle East without a cent to his name. It was a journey that opened his eyes to the world and changed his life. Since that first trip, now over 10 years ago, Leif has visited over 80 countries around the world. He transformed from a beatnik backpacker able to survive on the smallest of budgets into an online entrepreneur purposefully creating a life that he chose to live. Here are the nuts and bolts of how he makes his finances work while living around the world.
In this series, we’re exploring the various careers of world travelers, and how they make ends meet financially while living abroad. Yes, financially sustainable full-time travel is possible!
This post was originally published in 2016. It has since been updated for accuracy of links and content.
How long have you been living/working on the road, and where have you traveled to?
I’ve been living a working on the road full-time since 2011 and have visited around 40 countries since then.
Please describe what you do for income.
In the beginning, I mainly survived off of sponsored posts on my main blog, The Runaway Guide. However, these only ever amounted to a few hundred dollars a month, and getting these deals was sporadic to say the least.
Over time, I created multiple websites and various streams of income, which together provide enough funds to not only travel, but travel in comfort.
How many hours per week do you work on average?
I put in around 30 hours a week, but sometimes I get carried away and can work as much as 80.
How much money do you make?
I make around $30,000 USD/year.
Around 10% of this money comes from revenue directly related to my two travel blogs, RunawayGuide.com, and AtitlanLiving.com. Here I profit through eBook sales, affiliate sales, and sponsored posts.
However, I make the majority of this money through various online stores and services. My travels have allowed me to discover unique niches around the world and corresponding products to fill those niches.
Do you make enough money to support your lifestyle?
What is your vision for the future of your lifestyle on the road?
I love being an entrepreneur, discovering niches and anticipating trends. I hope to continue bridging gaps between products and potential consumers, and I hope to continue traveling around the world in the process.
Any advice for the aspiring traveler about living and working on the road and managing finances?
I know it’s totally cliché but, never give up and dream bigger.
Interested in Leif’s lifestyle? Check out a week-in-the-life of his travel adventures, as recounted in 2011 in the midst of the earthquake in Japan!