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How do we afford to travel the world?

Written on
April 23, 2018
Travel stories

How do we afford to travel the world?

Written by:
Bradley Williams
/
Last updated:
April 30, 2018
Travel stories
Here's a look at exactly how we make our money and are able to afford to travel the world (p.s. it's not through a trust fund or because our families pay!)
How do we afford to travel the world?
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One of the most common questions me and Cazzy get asked is, “How can you afford to keep travelling the world?”

I’d say this question crops up at least 3 or 4 times a week, and it doesn't matter where we are!

Family members say it because they're worried.

Friends ask it because they think we have some sort of secret trust fund.

And strangers we meet ask it because they probably think we're dealing something.

To make things clear, here’s the answer.

We work … hard!

That’s right.

There’s no magic stash of money we found or inherited.

Though we were both lucky to be born into hard-working families who could afford to take us away when we were younger, that luxury ended once we started uni.

In fact, I think it’s safe to say that by the time I left university in 2015, I was completely broke.

I’d spent 3 years living off student loans, drinking cheap spirits and heading to clubs 3 times a week, and had little to show for it … other than my degree of course!

I had 9 months to save before Cazzy graduated as well and I worked my butt off saving what I thought would be enough to last me for at least a year or more.

Haha … yeah right!

After 4 months spent travelling around South America, I returned home just as poor as when I graduated university.

Those months were, without a doubt, some of the best months of my life and it’s safe to say we were both hooked on the travel bug!

But there was just one little problem … we had no way to afford our next flights away.

Trip to South America
South America was great, but it left us broke!

Finding a solution

After weeks spent trolling the internet for ways to get rich quick and make millions online, we stumbled upon an answer.

We both have a passion for the written word and realised there’s plenty of people out there making a full-time living working remotely offering copywriting services.

If they could do it, why couldn't we!?

So, we got to work writing for a few online copywriting services, notably Copify.

At first, much of the work we did was low-paid and meant writing about really random stuff we had little to no interest in.

However, after a couple months of hard work and perseverance, we started to find our rhythm and realise we weren't actually too bad!

We also realised that being copywriters had the potential to pay quite well and offer us the chance to work from anywhere in the world.

This location independance is the thing we craved most of all, and is the part of our current lifestyles that we value above everything else.

At this time, we'd spent a few months living back in England, and I’d started a job in London working the 9-5 for an exciting FinTech startup.

However, once I did the maths and worked out our living expenditures, I realised I was barely breaking even each month AND I was out of the house for up to 12 hours a day!

I hated it.

So, we both decided to double down on the copywriting and expand to start looking for clients for whom we could perform other digital marketing services.

Not long later, WebdoPro was born.

We started working hard to build up our own independent clients, whilst continuing to work through copywriting services as well.

After another few months, we reached a stage where we were earning more per hour than we could in any other “real job” and also had complete freedom over our time.

Hạ Long Bay, vietnam
By being able to work while we travel, the world really is our oyster!

Testing our new lifestyle

After returning from South America, we set ourselves 7 months to save enough money that would allow us to travel all around Southeast Asia.

By the time we left in June 2017, we were in a position where demand was starting to pick up and we could work from anywhere in the world we wanted.

However, we had never actually put our new lifestyle to the test and worked and travelled at the same time.

The result?

We absolutely loved it!

Because Southeast Asia is so cheap, we found ourselves working for an average of just 1 to 2 hours a day, and could afford to do all of the things any backpacker might want to do out there.

Compared to how we lived in the UK, we essentially became Kings and Queens, as I’m sure most broke backpackers who have been to Asia can attest to.

Mui Ne Hills budget hotel pool
You can live like a King in Vietnam off less than £20 a day!

The present day

Right now, I’m writing this article sat on the balcony of our apartment overlooking the Adriatic Sea in Croatia.

It’s 4pm, the suns on my back and I’ve finished all the work I had scheduled for the day. 

It feels great.

Our plan for the next few months, and what we’ve been doing since January, is to keep travelling through Europe, living in as many different countries as we can.

So far this year we've lived in Spain, France, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Slovenia and Croatia. Oh, and England of course!

In September, we have plans to roadtrip across Canada, so are in the process of earning enough money to afford to do this comfortably.

As such, we do spend a lot of our time working, and aren't travelling or seeing sites as much as I’d like, but it will all be worth it in a few short months.

For the month of June, Cazzy will be heading home and I will be walking the el Camino, which is a pilgrimage that starts in France and takes you all across the North of Spain to the city of Santiago de Compostela.

I’ll be taking my trusty laptop (her name’s Jenny by the way) with me for the trip and I expect to work for an hour or so each day in order to find my way.

By the way, I’m not writing this post to gloat in any sort of way or to try to make anyone jealous.

The lifestyle we lead is by no means perfect and it’s certainly not all sunshine, cocktails and lying on the beach.

In fact, between doing our work, uploading posts to the blog and planning the next leg of our journey, I’d say we are busy on our laptops for more hours in the day than what most other people we know do back home.

But I really wouldn't change it.

In fact, I would encourage others to do exactly the same if that’s what they want.

Copywriting, web design and social media management are not the only ways to earn money online.

In fact, they are far from it!

Many people run successful online eCommerce stores or even blogs that bring in thousands of dollars a month.

Want proof? Check out these guys ...

Over time, that is where I would like to be, allowing us to spend less time working on our laptops and having more time just for pure travel.

But for the most part, it seems to work quite well. Especially for Cazzy who’s type 1 diabetes would make working a regular 9 to 5 incredibly challenging.

The very fact that she has the chance to vary her working schedule to suit her condition makes it all worthwhile for me.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention, there’s one more key element to us being able to travel all the time.

Working and travelling the world
This year I spent my birthday in Austria learning to ski!

We budget!

Me and Cazzy are in no way frivolous.

In fact, I would say that we are two of the most frugal people around.

I think the last time I bought a new item of clothing was a pair of jeans from Asos in 2016. After all, getting pants and socks is what Christmas is all about, right?

Instead, we prioritise where we spend our money.

Our biggest expense is usually rent. However, even that is considerably cheaper than what we were paying to live in the UK.

For example, as we’re in the same place here in Croatia for one month, we used Airbnb to find a crazy good deal for our apartment.

It cost us £240 for the month and this is literally paradise! Seriously, check out the view from our balcony …

view from our balcony in Croatia

If you don't believe me, you can check out the listing here. Because it’s off-season we are able to get incredible deals, but still experience the sunny weather and cheap food you'd get from a summer holiday here.

After accommodation, food is probably our next biggest expenditure, closely followed by petrol if we are doing a lot of driving that month.

Then, most of the money we spend after that is on travel-related experiences.

Many of these don't come cheap and travelling can get really expensive if you’re committed to seeing as much as possible.

But the simple fact of the matter is that most cities in the world can be budgeted (with a few exceptions of course).

For now, we are sticking to many of the cheaper nations and, as we get older and find we have more money to spare, we can then start ticking off some of the fancier destinations.

But with 196 countries to choose from, we’re not planning on running out anytime soon!

Rounding off

So yeah, that’s about it really,

I just wanted to take a bit of time to explain to everyone what it is that we do and how we afford to travel the world without having any significant savings.

Also, I wanted to help motivate anyone who might share the same frustrations as we did with working in an office all day.

It's not nice working for someone else for 9 hours every day, reading stories online of others travelling the world and feeling like life is passing you by.

Well, instead of accepting this for the way it is, get to work finding a way that you think you can make money online and then give it a go.

If you’re looking for some more motivation and proof that it can be done, you should check out The Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris.

It helped to put things into perspective for me and to reassure myself that it is possible to live a location independent life and still earn a good living.

Also, I recommend checking out the following blogs as further proof it can be done.

If you do a similar thing to us then I would love to hear from you, just leave a comment below!

Or, if you have any questions you’d like to ask me then also let me know below. I would be happy to answer them as much as I can.

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