How to travel and work from anywhere as a freelancer!
When most people decide to walk down the path of the creative entrepreneur and freelance full time, they name "flexibility" as one of the main attractive features of their new position. But I've found that it's rare to find someone really taking advantage of the flexibility that their job allows! It's scary, especially at the beginning, because you want to work work work all the time to make sure the work doesn't just DRY UP like that out of nowhere! But once you have a little momentum going, there is no reason why you can't make life and work EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT them to be! Learning "how to work from anywhere" doesn't have to be expensive or complicated!
James and I have always prioritized travel, experiences, and time together, and so even at the beginning of our freelance journeys, we were taking a month off to volunteer for a non-profit in South America, or going west for a month to hike, camp, and spend time in the mountains! This year, we're spending two months in Europe: one month hosting an international "Study Abroad" workshop for photographers (plus shooting a Parisian wedding), and the next month chilling on a beach in Portugal. This might sound impressive, but we're going to show you how you can travel and work from anywhere too!
- You don't have to be a millionaire, independently wealthy, or famous. We've made a relatively modest income most of the years we have been in business, and have still been able to make travel a priority. As our income has grown, it has allowed us to do a few more things to enhance the trips, but even then, we still keep our expenses pretty moderate and try to stretch what we do have for the maximum amount of fun!
- You CAN do this with children! There are definitely extra challenges that come along with traveling with kids (especially little guys), but we love getting to take Hudson with us when we travel.
- It doesn't have to be expensive.
So here are some of our top tips on how to work from anywhere as a freelancer:
1. Automate and outsource as much as possible. What are some of the tasks that require a lot of your time but don't actually need YOU to accomplish them. Write out a list of all the tasks that are "time sucks" but don't make you the bulk of your income. For me, it's print orders, editing, emailing, album design, and social media. I can automate my print orders through Pixieset so I don't have to worry about fulfilling them while I'm traveling. I also outsource my editing to an assistant, automate as much of my emails and studio management as possible through 17hats, and pre-plan my social media posts using Planoly.
2. Pick cities or countries off the beaten path. Some countries are more affordable to live in or travel through, so if you're wanting to stay somewhere or travel for months at a time, choose wisely to maximize on your budget. For instance, Iceland and Switzerland are going to be some of the most expensive European countries to travel through, and Portugal, Spain, or Eastern European countries are going to be easier on the pocket book. Traveling to certain countries in South America and Asia will also help your money go further. The flights will be more expensive, but once you're there, you should be able to keep your monthly expenditures lower than your normal cost of living if you live in the US.
3. Use your home as a travel asset. You can use your home as a way to trade for a home in an area you want to travel to using HomeExchange.com or WorldSchoolerExchange.com. Swap homes with like-minded traveling families and live like a local. Or you can rent out your home while you travel via Airbnb and use that extra income as a way to rent out places where you're traveling. Many Airbnb listings will give you a discount if you're staying over 1 week or over 1 month.