In this financial case study 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!
Robert Schrader is a writer and photographer who has been enjoying the location-independent lifestyle since 2010. Buoyed by his blog, Leave Your Daily Hell, he’s stopped at over 70 countries along the way, with no end in sight. Learn more about how Robert makes ends meet below!
How long have you been living/working on the road, and where have you traveled to?
Well, it’s hard to say, because I don’t live permanently nomadic – I base myself in Austin, TX for over half the year. I’ve been living the “location independent” lifestyle (which is to say, I’ve chosen to have a base, even though I don’t have to) for more than five years. I’ve traveled to about 70 countries since then.
Please describe what you do for income.
I have a three-pronged strategy for earning income from my blog:
- Advertising, which usually takes the form of content-based advertising;
- Travel Coaching, a service I offer whereby I plan trips for my readers;
- Freelance writing and photography jobs I get offered on account of the visibility my blog offers me.
How many hours per week do you work on average?
When I’m at home in Austin, probably 15-20; when I’m out on the road, 40+.
How much money do you make?
My income varies a lot, as it does when you are self-employed. But I would say that between advertising, Travel Coaching fees and freelance writing, I gross about $60,000 per year, give or take.
Do you make enough money to support your lifestyle?
Yes, and have for over five years.
What is your vision for the future of your lifestyle on the road?
I see myself striving to achieve a greater balance between traveling and taking care of my personal needs, two things that are often mutually exclusive.
Any advice for the aspiring traveler about living and working on the road and managing finances?
First, get a credit card but second, commit to paying it off in full every month. Since we digital nomads often get paid 30 to 60 days after completing work, credit cards – which allow you to spend 30-60 days before you pay – are the perfect stop-gap.