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!
Tricia Krohn was always filled with wanderlust and the need to move every year, so she hit the road as a traveler in 2012. Her kids were in college and mom left the nest. It has been a wild ride ever since. She started documenting her travels and ways to fund traveling at The Adventure List. Last year she published a guidebook on her #1 dream destination place, Alaska, which is where she lives six months a year. Here’s more about how Tricia makes ends meet!
How long have you been living/working on the road, and where have you traveled to?
I have been on the slow road of travel since 2012. I prefer to stay in one area for several months, if possible. Traveling every few days is exhausting. Plus I don’t get a true sense of a place without staying a while.
I have traveled to almost all 50 US states including Alaska, Mexico (Sayulita and Puerto Vallarta), Canada, Honduras (Roatan), Germany (Berlin), and all over Poland. As a teenager, many many years ago, I did a short European trip as well.
Please describe what you do for income.
I fund my lifestyle with seasonal work mainly. I have a few odds and ends that I do for extra money but the income is insignificant right now. I love seasonal work. By the time you are starting to fall out of love with a job, it is time to leave for the next bright and shiny place. The exception to this idea is my job in Healy, Alaska. I have been returning here for the last three summer seasons and I never get bored or fed up with the job or area. Guess I’m meant to be there.
For seasonal work, I have worked at:
- 1. A restaurant in Chicago as a server
- 2. A resort restaurant in Denali, Alaska as a server
- 3. A year round hotel in Healy, Alaska as front desk staff
- 4. A ski resort on Mt. Hood in Oregon as a server
- 5. A hostel on the island of Roatan off the coast of Honduras as a hostel helper
- 6. English language programs (Angloville and Just Speak) in Poland as a native English language speaker helping adult Poles speak better conversational English
- 7. At Bath and Body Works for their Christmas season as a cashier
This coming winter I’d like to go to Vietnam or Korea to teach English; however, Poland is really nice too so I may go back there.
How many hours per week do you work on average?
I tend to be a workaholic so I’ll work whatever amount of hours I can get. Then I fill up with rest of my time with side projects such as my blog and social media influencing income. At my seasonal jobs, time worked varies. At the hotel, I work 40 hours with some extra hours here and there. At restaurants, usually 30-40 hours. At the hostel, only about 2 hours a day.
How much money do you make?
My income has been consistently on the downward spiral as I work less and travel more. On average, my yearly income is $30,000. This is all from seasonal work. My side income is very little, maybe $2,000. This income comes from donating plasma, Instagram and Twitter ads, and freelance writing.
I anticipate my income decreasing this year as I’m taking several months off without seasonal work. However, it is possible it may increase as I’m starting an online business this month with ItWorks. Plus my freelance writing and advertising is growing. Fingers crossed.
Do you make enough money to support your lifestyle?
Yes, I do make enough to support my lifestyle. Having leftover money at the end of the year hasn’t happened yet because if I have extra money I throw another trip into the mix. I’m hoping 2016 will be the year I start to have a savings AND still travel.
What is your vision for the future of your lifestyle on the road?
Right now, I foresee seasonal work traveling to be my lifestyle for many more years as I feel like I’ve just started. There are too many places I want to visit to consider stopping. Plus I spend a lot of time in one place so that slows down the process of checking places off my bucket list. I’m 46 and I anticipate living this lifestyle until I’m at least 55.
Any advice for the aspiring traveler about living and working on the road and managing finances?
Take the leap! Until this year, I was constantly freaked out about not having a job set up way before leaving my current place. Don’t be. There are seasonal jobs in abundance. Starting off is the hardest part. If funds are a problem, stay in one place longer or use services like HelpX or Workaway to find free room and board for working a couple hours a day.
(See also: How to Get Free Accommodation Around the World)
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
The seasonal worker community is a very helpful group. You will find people traveling from job to job in groups. Or if you are in need of a job, they will put the word out en masse. I never knew of the mass quantities and varieties of seasonal jobs available. There is something for everyone.