This is a guest post from Aisha. Let me know if you would like to guest post on RFI.
Isn’t it the dream? International holidays every year? This is even more true when you live in a faraway island country like Australia. There are many strategies to create opportunities for international travel. I would like to share with you a strategy that has worked well for me. A lot of my international travel has been through taking jobs in different countries.
I would like to introduce myself to give you a little bit of a background. I was born into a military (US) family with multinational parents. My mother is Japanese and my father is from the US. From early on, we would move every few years, to a point where this became normal for me. We moved to places like Japan and Hawai’i and pretty early on, I got a taste for travel. Eventually for school, I moved to California, and from there, pursuing further education, I moved to St. Kitts in the Caribbean, and Canada. After finishing with school, I took a position at a university in Australia. This travel has allowed me to have amazing experiences just exploring my immediate surroundings wherever I moved to.
If you’re an avid reader of “Reach Financial Independence,” you are no stranger to this concept: you will be paying rent somewhere, and it doesn’t have to be in your home country. From Pauline’s story, you can see that she bought investment property and used the rent money to travel. That is an excellent strategy for home-owners. Others of us (me included) have never owned a home. We are paying rent to stay in our homes and work at our jobs. If that money’s leaving your hands anyway, why not consider finding a job in another country and paying your rent there?
Travelling while studying is a variation on the theme of working in another country. Many people participate in study abroad programs through grade school, high school, and college. Are you continuing your education further? Consider living abroad. The country or region you currently live in may not be leading in expertise in that subject. Why not learn music theory in Austria, technology in California, or Chinese in, well. . . . China? Some countries offer student visas that allow a longer stay in that country compared to a tourist visa. If that is the case, why not become a student to travel? Perhaps you could enrol in a business course or learn a second language and gain some valuable skills while you travel.
Skills that you already have may be translatable into an income stream. For example, in Japan, there are many websites catering to native English-speakers teaching English. Skills such as carpentry, jewellery-making, and hospitality (including bartenders and baristas) can also make you employable in another country. With the explosion of online work, you may not even need a job in your country of destination. Think through the skills and work you already have–can they be done similarly in another country? If yes, you’re well on your way!
Once you arrive at your country of choice, you are spoilt for places to visit. If you move to Europe, the local food is bound to be amazing. Also, many countries are just a train-line away. This certainly beats having to make round-trip flights to each country. If you are in South America, you can take explore the nearby jungles, temples, and ocean. If you get a taste for something even more exotic, you can take a cheap bus or flight to a neighbouring country! As for me, I moved to Australia to live amongst the exotic animals and the colourful and chatty birds! It is not by accident that I chose to live in a country so close to Southeast Asia! Short distance travel and eating locally is a definite money-saving strategy. If you cannot live without the food/weather/nature of another location, see if you can find a way to move there temporarily.
As a bonus, if you are in the midst of switching jobs anyway, you can spend the time between jobs to travel! Heading from the Caribbean to Canada? Why not road trip up through the US? Heading from the US to Australia? How about a quick stop in Malaysia? If you choose a less expensive country to travel through, you might very well save some money compared to paying a high rent in a big city.
Travelling for work is a strategy I have found that allows you to satisfy your need for international travel without paying for multiple international trips. Keep in mind that you will be paying rent no matter where you are, and that rent money could go a lot further in a cheaper country. If you can find a job at your destination, you are set! If not, think through your skillset to see if one can land you a job. Alternately, consider traveling on a study visa. Once you are settled, you can explore your surroundings inexpensively.
A little bit about myself: My name is Aisha. I am a writer for my travel blog “Travel and Daily“. I have been a student for many years and finally started full time employment at the late age of 32. Notwithstanding, with my frugal nature and hard work, I finished without school loans, and am now working hard to make up for lost time. I currently spend my free time absorbing as much as I can on financial independence blogs like Reach Financial Independence! You can check out my blog at travelanddaily.wordpress.com or follow me on Instagram at travelanddaily.