We’ve been living and working on the road since March of 2016. During this time we’ve learned a few ways to make working on the road a little easier. While we’re by no means experts, we do want to share what we’ve learned so far.
Find the Right Work
We deliberately walked away from good design jobs and a comfortable apartment for freedom and adventure, so we want to make sure the work we take on doesn’t detract from that. Luckily, we’re both passionate about design, so taking on design projects has been easy and even enhanced our day-to-day. If you didn’t leave behind a job or career you enjoyed, reinvent yourself. You made the leap to leave, so don’t toil away. Get creative and find something that better fits you. We’ve met travelers that do all sorts of things—design jewelry, blog, transcribe, farm, teach english, teach ski lessons, etc. You can really do whatever you want, just make sure you’re passionate about it, or you’ll find yourself low on cash because you keep blowing off work for mountains and surf.
It may seem counter to the idea of leaving it all behind, but when we left, we made sure to keep in touch with friends and coworkers, and they have been advocating for us ever since by sending clients our way and helping us fund our adventures. In addition to staying in contact with people we knew before leaving, being active on platforms that connect freelancers with potential clients has been helpful. Surprisingly many people are keen to work with people living a somewhat alternative and unpredictable lifestyle, so put yourself out there!
Collaborate With Other People on the Road
There are tons of folks living the “vanlife” that have valuable skills from their past lives in corporate offices, chemistry labs or customer service roles. You might be surprised that the guy flying past you on the mountain bike trail can also help you develop a website. We’ve been lucky to meet some amazing people that have taught us so much, and as we roll into 2017, we hope to keep the collaborations coming.
Overall finding work can be a lot of work, but it’s worth it if you enjoy your work and the income keeps you living life on your own terms. We hope some of these tips help you out, and if you’ve got some tips of your own, please send them our way.
Read Part 2: Getting Work Done
More about Northbound & Down