Becoming a perpetual traveler: how to make it a reality

Tired of reading about travel bloggers who move around the world at will? Maybe it’s time you joined their ranks.

In this blog, we’ll shatter the myth that this lifestyle is only available to the privileged – with a little ingenuity and hard work, you too can become a perpetual traveler.

Create a mobile source of income

Without a source of income to refresh your bank account monthly, your adventures abroad will grind to a halt once your savings run out. Not to worry – conjuring up a location independent income is easier than you think. Startups and established companies have a never-ending hunger for programmers. Every website which comes into being needs content written for them. Right now, someone is getting frustrated trying to organize their own travels and is desperately searching for an online travel agent like those who work for to do it for them.

The list is endless. All you have to do is find a way to provide value and find people willing to pay you for it. That’s all.

Start making a list of prospective clients, put together a killer e-mail template, start pitching your services to decision makers, and before long, you’ll have a decent side income which will soon grow to sustainable levels (>$1000 USD/mth).

Sort out your tax situation

Living abroad does not absolve you from your tax obligations, especially if you are an American citizen. Even in this case, though, provisions like the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion offer a way to shield some or all of your income from Uncle Sam. To qualify, you need to have a permanent residence or residences abroad and you must spend 330 full days per year outside the United States. At the same time, don’t neglect to follow the tax rules of the countries you reside in. It can be tempting to try and fly under the radar, but getting caught could result in fines, imprisonment, and/or being barred from the nation in question.

The rules surrounding absence from one’s home country, tax treaties between nations, and taxation rules in individual countries vary widely, so do your research before leaving home.

Find countries with favourable residency rules

While the term ‘perpetual traveler’ implies you’ll constantly be on the move, this can only be done for a month or two before burnout begins to set in – this is especially true if you are working a mobile job. To avoid this scenario, it’s best to establish a base in a country with a high quality of life, a low cost of living, and visa rules which permit long-term stays.

Thailand is a super popular base in Southeast Asia, Mexico has many towns and cities which make it easy to explore Central America, Budapest, Hungary shatters the ‘Europe is expensive’ myth, and Medellin, Colombia has perfect weather and great connections to much of South America.

All these countries allow foreigners to stay for 90-180 days per calendar year – don’t just take us at our word, though – read up on all regulations pertaining to your nationality. This is vital even if you think you know the rules, as laws change constantly.

Sell/store your stuff

If becoming a perpetual traveler is of great importance to you, make peace with the fact that you’ll need to leave 95% of your belongings behind. Despite what you might think, most of your stuff has no sentimental value and can be sold – should you decide to come home, you can always repurchase things like blenders and love seats.

As for stuff with nostalgic value (or if it’s something you don’t want to repurchase upon your return), arrangements can be made with family, friends, or storage locker companies to hold it while you are away.

Book your first one-way ticket and get going

With the end of your lease/possession date for your sold home approaching, jump online and book airfare to your first destination. You can even rent an RV once there and travel longer. Be careful to account for nations which have ‘proof of onward travel’ regulations, but once you have a boarding pass in your hand, get excited – you are about to become a perpetual traveler!

Turner barr

Hi, my name is Turner. I travel the world, hustle to find interesting jobs, and write about what happens when you read too many self-help books.

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