Follow these 4 Steps to pursue your passion while traveling full-time
Options abound when you are ready to get off the grid.
Location independence is now an option for many professions, if you can be creative. If you are ready to get off the grid, research is going to be key. Find out what others are doing. Don’t recreate the wheel. Copy it! Or steal the components that apply to you.
Just remember, when you are reorienting yourself, you have a special opportunity to follow whatever you are passionate about. It might involve thinking outside of the box to discover how you can monetize your new career, and a little time to gather what resources you need, but you can do it. A search on the internet will help you figure out where to begin. Then start preparing for your new career. Brush up on skills, learn new ones, make connections with people who are doing what you want to do- before you leave!
I will walk you through the steps I am taking to get off the grid as we prepare to set sail in six months.
1. Find your passion.
What is your passion? My first consideration when we decided to get off the grid was what do I want to do, what is my passion. For as long as I can remember, I have been a creative soul. I am happiest when I am drawing, painting, doing photography, and cooking.
Initially, I decided to pick just one of those things to concentrate on, but isn’t that what we are told all of lives? Pick a career and stick to it. Stay in the same job for thirty years, retire, and then in your golden years, you are finally free to pursue your passion.
What is something you would love to do, if only you had the time? What can you do that makes hours feels like only minutes have passed? If like me, you have more than one answer for those questions, make a list. Spend time doing those things this weekend. How does it feel? Could you see yourself doing more of at least one of them? Watch a few YouTube videos of people doing the things on your list. Does watching the videos inspire the same passion in you?
If you are still struggling to come up with something, look at your Pinterest boards. What activities have the most pins, or the most boards? Keep in mind, your answer might be something you have always wanted to try. Do not limit yourself.
Start following people on YouTube and Twitter, join groups on Facebook, and get involved. Ask questions. Make connections.
Most importantly, practice the skills you need to get better in that career. Don’t get frustrated when you make mistakes. You may be at the bottom of the learning curve, but the more you practice, the better you become, and the more likely you are to get paid doing what you love.
The next question I needed to answer was how can I monetize my passions.
2. Figure out how to monetize what you're passionate about.
Here’s what I’ve come up with. I created a blog. What an extreme learning curve that was for me! Although it is far from perfect, it is an outlet for me to display my artwork and photography, interview artists, report on the latest products, and offer tutorials.
I also plan on using the website to gather recipes I adapt, or create, for galley cooking. I will document unusual foods and recipes from the cultures we visit as we sail. One of my favorite things to do is merge flavors to make a unique gastronomic experience. Does that mean I always tell my family what’s in their favorite meals? Not really!
Eventually, I will combine my recipes into a book. I have already started documenting recipes on Instagram. I can look back at my feed as a resource to later recreate my favorite meals. I will add to my travel blog and write for other blogs or magazines. Part of my research revolves around how to query magazines in order to sell articles to them.
Many photographers join sites that allow them to use their images on shirts, mugs, pillows, etc. When people order from these sites, the photographer receives a percentage; the item is created and shipped to the customer without interfering with your travel itinerary. I think having multiple income sources will be the way to go for me. Our goal is not to become rich, but to be able to continue traveling for as long as we want.
I will be leaving my job as a teacher to start traveling. I have an education degree and a graduate degree in TESOL that allows me to teach in other countries, so I can leverage that to keep the dream alive by teaching to refill our sailing kitty, a temporary solution
What are you doing now? Can you leverage that as you work to develop your business, while you travel? The goal is to work on your passion, find a way to monetize it, but without sacrificing your dream or pushing out your leaving date.
The next question is what resources you’ll need to be able to do your dream job and travel.
3. Decide what resources you need.
Once you decide on your new career, find out, and try out, the resources you will need to work on the road (or at sea, in my case). Make sure your materials can hold up to the terrain. For example, for the conditions I expect, and based on the recommendations of other artist sailors, watercolor pens are a better choice than a watercolor set and brushes. I have acquired an underwater camera for photography and plan on getting a tough camera that can withstand the conditions at sea.
Many computers without a solid state drive fail at sea. Again, I learned this from the Facebook sailing groups I am a part of. That’s why it is so important to interact with people who are currently doing what you want to do. Could you imagine making blogging or app creation as your new career and then your computer fails…And you could have prevented it by doing some research?
When I went to China to teach, I bought my computer last minute. The one I wanted had a dvd drive but was out of stock, so I settled for the dvd-less version, assuming I could pick up a dvd player when I got settled. I didn’t realize how expensive all of the electronics would be on the other side of the world. I wasn’t prepared. I had done little research other than language study prior to leaving.
Imagine how much more important carefully researching reliable tools for your new career will be to you when you’re traveling full-time.
4. Evaluate: Do you have the time?
It’s easy to shut your computer and finish an article for your blog at your next destination. Not as easy if you have clients that are on a deadline and you have to postpone your itinerary to meet their deadlines.
Look back at your list and decide if you have the time built into your traveling schedule to be successful in your new career while traveling the way you want to. The good thing is you can usually make your own schedule. If you are a sailor, your schedule will be determined by seasons and the weather and you may not have the luxury to extend your stay. On the other hand, you may be forced to extend your stay for the same reasons. Cross off any items on your list that won’t fit into your traveling plans. Or change your traveling plans. It’s that simple! The more flexible you are, the more career options you can consider.
Where should you begin?
If you are considering location independence, you should take the time to answer this question: what is your passion? Then, you can then find ways to pursue your passion while traveling. At the very least, you will have to work, possibly in your current field, while incorporating your passion into your free time. But, if you are creative and well-prepared, you can turn your passion into your career and travel while you are “working.” Start researching today, create a Pinterest board of ideas, make connections with people who are doing what you want do, and begin preparing for your new career.
Where are you on your journey? I would love to hear how you made the jump to location independence. How long have you been working at what you love? What issues came up that you weren’t expecting and how did you overcome them?
Join the conversation. And don’t forget to subscribe and follow us on social media.
Fair winds and following seas!