One of the main reasons I decided to start my own business 7 years ago was my dream of being free to travel whenever and wherever I wanted. While in more recent years I’ve been more focused on building my new home base here in Canada, there was a time on my journey where I was living this dream of mine like a pro.
It’s been about four years now since I left Europe with all my belongings in just a suitcase and carry-on bag, and right now, I can feel this longing for bigger adventures reawakening inside of me. So I thought today would be the perfect day to write this article for you, dear aspiring world traveler. Below, you’ll find some of my favourite tips to help you get started!
1. Travel-Proofing Your Business
The first thing you want to make sure is that your business is easy to run even when you’re traveling for extended periods of time. This primarily means two things:
1. You want to be able to take your business with you wherever you go. So for example, building a business to serve mainly local customers is probably not such a great idea. Rather, you’ll want to target a more international audience, and you definitely want to be able to do most of your work online.
2. You’ll want to choose a business model that doesn’t require you to spend 40+ hours on your computer every week. After all, you don’t just want to travel from place to place, you also want to explore the places you visit. Because yes, it’s totally okay to just relax and enjoy life from time to time.
For some people, a high-end service-based business is a great way to get started (e.g. working with just a few coaching clients a week while automating a large part of the enrollment process). For myself, a combination of 1:1 and passive income tends to work better, although creating your own products can take some time initially, and creating while traveling can be difficult if you easily get distracted (which is why I’m happy to have a more steady home base for now).
Another thing that helps is having a marketing system that doesn’t require you to create a whole lot of new content on a continuous basis. Ideally, you’ll want to automate as much of your marketing as you can. But: If you want to blog for a living, that can be just fine as well :)
2. Finding Your Perfect Gypsy Homes
Next, you’ll want to find a good way to travel without overstretching your budget. Depending on where you’re at in your business, this may be more or less important, but if you’re just getting started, staying exclusively at 4- and 5-star hotels may not be the best option for you. (Unless that’s what you want, then go for it and find a way to make it happen!)
Some great alternatives that have worked really well for me: Finding affordable rentals on Airbnb, usually staying at the same place for a month or two. This isn’t just a good way to keep your expenses at a manageable level, I’ve also met some amazing people through Airbnb. And: Some of these places are really, really nice (better than hotels)!
I’ve also found some great private vacation rentals on Craigslist (go to the “sublets/temporary”) section.
One of my big dreams is traveling all the way across Canada and the United States in a motorhome someday, which I think isn’t too far away from becoming a reality.
A few years back, I spent about two months traveling from campground to campground in my car, which was lots of fun, but not ideal while growing a new business. Definitely something I wouldn’t mind doing again though! :)
3. Getting Around
My preferred way of traveling is by car these days (I love road trips). A few years back, I mostly traveled longer distances, so I spent a lot of time up in the air.
Flying is actually not as pricey as it used to be—depending on where you are traveling. Within Europe, I was almost always able to get some really good rates with easyJet.
For flights in North America, I usually start my search on Skyscanner to see what airlines offer the best deals. Then, I go to the airline itself and book my flight via their website. Tip: If you don’t need to fly on a specific date, try different dates to find your best rates.
If you’re staying on the same continent for an extended period of time and if you want to drive most of the time, definitely look into purchasing your own vehicle. You’ll be more flexible that way, and you’ll also save quite a bit in the long run. (And … did I mention that road trips are fun?)
4. Things You’ll Need (+ Things You Don’t Need)
Finally, you’ll want to find a way to fit all of your belongings into your suitcase and carry-on (or vehicle) while always having all of your (business + other) essentials with you.
Before I embarked on my big journey across the Atlantic Ocean in 2012, I gave away almost everything I owned (which felt incredibly liberating, by the way) and kept only what I needed on a daily basis (plus some tiny things my heart was attached to). I also got the smallest version of pretty much everything to save space in my suitcase.
I replaced my desktop computer with a MacBook Air (which I still love) and an iPad with a wireless keyboard, kept my DSLR camera and tripod (because I love taking pictures as you can probably see), got a pocket sized video camera (nowadays, an iPhone would work just fine), a Roland for my voice recordings, and a Blue (actually pink) Snowball for my screencasts a bit later down the road.
Later, when I was traveling in my car, I got a tent to sleep in, a twin size air mattress and a sleeping bag, a solar powered USB charger, a power inverter for my car to charge my laptop while driving, and some other things that gypsy girls need to be happy.
It wasn’t until about half a year after I met my soul mate (now fiance) that I bought furniture again for the very first time, which felt very awkward. Now, we have our steady home base (with new furniture) on the beautiful west coast of BC, looking forward to going on our next little adventure this coming weekend.
That’s it for today! Now, I’d love to know: What are some beautiful places you are planning to visit someday soon, and how are you making it possible? I can’t wait to hear from you in the comments below!