Guide to working and traveling abroad

A girl walking on the street in Japan

When it comes to traveling, most people would agree they don’t do it as much as they would like to. A lack of time and money are among the most common reasons behind it. While a tight budget and a 9 to 5 job make traveling more complicated, many people don’t realize there are other ways around it. Nowadays, many possibilities allow even the less privileged to experience the world outside of the standard once-a-year 10-day vacation. All you need is a bit of courage and the willingness to step outside of the established conventions. Easier said than done, right? Whether you’re daydreaming about backpacking your way around the planet or looking for jobs that allow you to explore the world, this guide to working and traveling abroad will bring you one step closer to embarking on your adventure.

Choose your destination wisely

Unarguably, the most exciting thing about traveling is choosing the destination. However, remember that nice beaches shouldn’t be your only priority when working and traveling abroad. Depending on the kind of work you will be doing, you might want to opt for places that offer plenty of job opportunities, a reliable internet connection, or other essential amenities that will ensure a positive experience. Places that are good for digital nomads won’t necessarily be suitable for someone who wants to teach English to kids, and vice versa. Consider choosing less popular or touristy destinations as they often offer more affordable living costs. Having less competition when applying for a job is another perk of going off the beaten track.

The idea of spending months or even years far away from home might seem overwhelming. Since traveling light is advisable, it might be a good idea to rent a storage unit for the things that are better left at home. This way, you can rest assured your precious belongings will stay intact while you’re having the time of your life on the other side of the planet.

Do the paperwork

Woman sitting on a bench with a passport in her pocket
Misinformation about documents can ruin your work and travel adventure.

Before you even think about packing your bags, one thing you must do is gather information about necessary visas and documentation. The regulations and restrictions can vary vastly from country to country, so thorough preparation is imperative to avoid unpleasantries. When working abroad, some countries will require a working visa, while for others, a holiday visa will suffice. Make sure to know and respect the laws. The last thing you want is to be deported or even banned from the country of your dreams. Not only is this embarrassing and discouraging, but it can lead to pressing issues with the authorities as well.

Taxes are another thing you must pay attention to since working and traveling abroad means you will be earning money in a foreign country. Some companies might offer to take care of all the paperwork for you. However, this is no reason to be clueless about what you are getting yourself into.

Jobs

Unless you already have a job that allows you to work remotely, you must be wondering how to financially support your passion for traveling. Fortunately, there are many different possibilities for travelers of all ages and interests.

Teaching

English is among the most popular subjects you can teach, but you can teach other languages and subjects, as well. Landing a job as an English teacher is relatively simple, especially in Asian countries such as China, Vietnam, and Korea, since a degree in English or education is not obligatory. Experience or a teaching certificate might be a plus.

Working on a cruise ship

If Around the World in 80 Days is your kind of thing, working on a cruise might be a good option for you. You’d be able to visit many countries during the cruise, but you would only be spending a few hours or days in each place. There are different positions to choose from, but the most common ones are in restaurants and bars. Beware that most of these jobs have long working hours, most of which you would be spending on your feet. Working on a cruise ship can be a fun way to travel the world, but it is not for everyone.

Freelancing

Man working on a laptop
Freelancing can be very liberating if you are an organized person.

If you’re good at writing, programming, designing, or anything else that can be done online, freelancing might be your cup of tea. Freelancing gives you the freedom to work whenever and wherever you are. Since working on the road is remarkably flexible, it means you will have the ability to create your own schedule that allows you to travel as often as you wish.

Volunteering

There are many volunteering options for those who would prefer to make a difference in locals’ lives. Although you probably won’t be able to earn any money, your work will likely be compensated with free accommodation and food. Additionally, you will experience the authentic local lifestyle and meet many fascinating people, and that is something money can’t buy.

Adjusting to culture shock

Man working on a laptop
Freelancing can be very liberating if you are an organized person.

When spending a long time abroad, you are bound to experience a fair share of culture shock. A language you don’t understand, unfamiliar food, and strange customs will surely be intriguing at first. But sooner or later, there will come a time when you will miss home. During these times, it’s important to remember why you embarked on this adventure in the first place. Know that culture shock is only temporary, and as time goes by, things will get easier. If you ever feel lonely, make sure to search for expat groups or other travelers. These people will understand your feelings as they have probably gone through the same things. Make sure to put some effort into integrating with the local community as well. Traveling is all about challenging the borders of your comfort zone.

Working and traveling abroad will teach you that drive and passion can make even the wildest of dreams possible. You won’t always have the most comfortable bed to sleep on or the tastiest food to eat, but the memories and experiences you will gain will surely make it all worth it.

The Best Destinations for Digital Nomads

A woman working on a laptop in the middle of a street

The conventional 9 to 5 is slowly becoming extinct, and remote jobs with flexible working hours are steadily taking its place. When your job’s only requirements are a functional laptop and a reliable Internet connection, it’s not long until the comfort of your home office chair turns into numb legs and back pain. At this point, wanderlust is probably kicking in, and you’re wondering whether you’re suited for the digital nomad lifestyle. While that is a question that only you can answer, this list of the best destinations for digital nomads might give you a much-needed boost of confidence that will help you make up your mind.

Lisbon, Portugal

For digital nomad newbies, the capital of Portugal, Lisbon, is a good starting point. Portugal will make you feel at home while still allowing you to learn and experience new things. If you’re nervous about communicating with the locals, you can relax as most people here speak English very well. The variety of food from all over the world allows you to play it safe while also having the option to taste unique new dishes and local delicacies. Boredom in Lisbon is out of the question since this bustling city has plenty of beaches, restaurants, museums, and other spots where you can meet new people or have fun by yourself.

A street in Lisbon
Lisbon’s unique-looking streets are what makes this city irresistible.

While Lisbon is a very hilly place that will provide much-needed exercise after long working hours, you most likely won’t even notice your legs are on fire as you’ll be too busy marveling at the beautiful architecture and scenery around you. A big community of digital nomads will make you feel safe, and you might even pick up a few tips and tricks from more experienced travelers you’ll meet along the way.

Taipei, Taiwan

If you’re looking to experience a city unlike any other, Taipei is the way to go. The capital of Taiwan has been known for a while as one of the best destinations in the digital nomads’ community, and for a good reason. The Internet is fast and reliable, so you won’t have any trouble working. However, you might find it difficult to focus on work as Taipei is an extremely lively and busy city with something fun happening on every corner. You could probably spend most of your time on night markets exploring food and drinks you’ve never seen before. The friendly Taiwanese people will help if you have any questions, and you won’t have to gesture much as most of them speak good English.

Taiwanese red paper lanterns
Taipei is famous for its rich culture and hospitality.

When choosing to move far away from home, many people are worried about leaving their possessions behind, since traveling long distances is much cheaper and more convenient when your luggage is light. Renting a storage unit where you can store your belongings while away is a good idea because it will give you peace of mind knowing your things are safe and sound while you’re having the time of your life exploring the streets of Taipei.

Mexico City, Mexico

Tacos and tequila are probably the first things most people think of when Mexico is mentioned, but this part of the world has so much more to offer. Mexico City is the perfect combination of megacity features and affordable living costs. With that said, you will have to be extra careful not to pack on the pounds as delicious street food is literally on every corner, and the low prices certainly don’t reflect the quality. The pleasant weather all year round and the opportunity to explore the Caribbean on your days off are certainly a plus as well.

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest is the perfect choice for those who want to stay on a budget while at the same time enjoying the charm of big European cities. Its rich history is impossible to miss since there are plenty of museums, churches, and galleries that are well worth visiting. The architecture makes the city feel very luxurious, and the endless cafés, restaurants, and clubs balance it out with their youthful and friendly energy. There are plenty of weekend getaway options as well.

Before you know it, you’ll be hopping off to a different European city every other day as Budapest is surrounded by them, and the cheap and reliable transportation options are something you wouldn’t want to miss.

Ubud, Bali

Many people are convinced that Bali is one of the best destinations for digital nomads, and the reasoning behind that is not hard to understand. Ubud is one of the few places in the world where you can rent Instagram-worthy accommodation without going broke. You won’t have to imagine yourself working on your laptop with your feet in the pool or overlooking the lush green rice fields because that is exactly what you will be doing in Bali.

An Indonesian temple surrounded by greenery
Bali’s friendly atmosphere and gorgeous landscapes make it the best destination for digital nomads.

A big yoga scene will make it easy for you to work on your flexibility and health while also addressing the back pain you brought from home. And if living on a beautiful tropical island isn’t enough for you, Ubud’s friendly residents and a vast digital nomad community can help you feel at home. There are many co-working spaces and internet cafés so finding a good place to work from is super easy. Some might consider the number of tourists and visitors a bit off-putting, but if you put a little effort into staying off the beaten path, you’ll get to meet the country’s true mentality and culture.

Conclusion

Whichever place you choose, make sure to research the visas, transportation, prices, and other essential things. Don’t be afraid to leave your comfort zone because that is where amazing and life-changing things always happen. Remember that the best destinations for digital nomads are the ones where you can keep up with your work duties while still living your best life. Respect the locals, their culture, and mentality, and you are guaranteed to have the time of your life no matter where you go.

Pros and Cons of Working While on the Road

Working and traveling has many advantages and disadvantages. Read on for tips on how to manage working remotely.

Working remotely is possible and can be simple with some good balance. As with any situation – there are pros and cons to working while on the road. Sometimes it also depends on the individual and whether you are able to create a habit and maintain an organized lifestyle while balancing travel and work at the same time. In any case, before you take on a remote job and hit the road, make sure that you are ready for any and all advantages and disadvantages that come with it.

Working while traveling can be both fun and overwhelming. It also is not for everyone. If you are the type of person able to organize your time well and handle last-minute stress – all while going places, then a remote job could be for you. Moreover, our key tip for working while on the road is good time management. With solid tactics and strategies, you can succeed at working remotely and traveling as long as you make a plan before you start your journey. Therefore, come up with a daily schedule that works for you. Meanwhile, create it so that it enables you to complete everything in time and stay on top of your game at all times.

On the other hand, before you begin working while on the road, make sure that things at home are taken care of so that you don’t worry about it later on. For example, why not rent out your place while you are away? Doing so, you could profit while being away. In addition, storing your belongings while you are away would be a great idea.

You can have everything in one place and know that it’s well taken care of. As you are getting ready to leave, you can avoid additional wasted time by booking an efficient moving company and have them relocate your belongings to a storage unit. Now that all things are dealt with at home, bon voyage!

Pros & Cons

The list of advantages and disadvantages when it comes to working while on the road might differ from one person to the next. However, here is a generic list of pros and cons to help you decide whether working remotely is for you.

Advantages

If we think about a regular 9 am to 5 pm job, you spend most of your day in an office within the same setting. An enclosed space with the same people, and daily activities mostly remaining the same. If one place doesn’t hold you, and you need to have a constant change, then working while on the road is for you. Why? You will never be in the same place for a long time. Working remotely will open you up to new places, new experiences, a variety of cultures and lots of sightseeing. This, however, is only possible with good balance and time management.

Another pro of working while on the road is the variety of people you get to meet and the increase in overall productivity. I don’t know about you, but when I travel and work, I have more energy and motivation to complete my work. It is never dull. With every day being different, it always keeps you on your toes, especially if it’s an important trip. In addition, the number of people you get to communicate with and form relationships with is truly amazing.

Disadvantages

One con that might be common amongst people is the fact that you have to maintain an organized schedule. Without organization, working while on the road becomes risky and messy. You start with one missed due date and it can pile on. The constant up-keeping with a busy schedule can add to being more tired. Also, constantly traveling and moving from one place to the next – you might notice a loss of energy and more need for rest.

Another disadvantage of traveling and working is that you will be away from family and friends the majority of the time. You have to be ready for the fact that you might not see them for a while.

Furthermore, we never mentioned the finances of all of this. Yes, you are working while traveling, but going from one place to the next can definitely add up. Managing your finances is definitely key, as well as staying within budget. It can become easy to get carried away with spending.

Work, work, work!

Once again, working while on the road is definitely not for everyone. We recommend evaluating your situation as well as our list of advantages and disadvantages before you contemplate trying to work remotely. Are you good with your time management? Do you work well when setting your own schedule and handling last-minute pressure? If so, and you want to immerse yourself in working while on the road all the while being surrounded by new people and various cultures, then remote work is for you. You never know, as this can help you grow in ways you might not have ever imagined. Meanwhile, if you know yourself well and are aware that balancing all those elements isn’t for you then perhaps working while on the road is something you shouldn’t do. Overall, however, we believe that you cannot know or understand something unless you try it. The pros and cons will always be there, and so what? You might surprise yourself along the way, and in the end, you have nothing to lose and perhaps lots to gain. Get on working!

Author’s Bio

Jane Connors is a journalism graduate who decided to travel the world all the while gaining writing experience. As someone who’s been to a few countries, she enjoys sharing her experiences and tips on traveling, working and sometimes both at the same time.