Author Topic: Most valuable skills for living a mobile travel lifestyle  (Read 3991 times)

infromsea

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Most valuable skills for living a mobile travel lifestyle
« on: July 29, 2017, 06:00:40 PM »
So I've got a military pension + space A travel + very low cost lifestyle + frugal spouse + kids college paid for or out of college + good sized nest egg + paid-for home (by the time we execute this plan) and a desire to:

1. Travel to country XXXX and live for 3-6 months while working "odd jobs" to pay for room and board while there. We'll keep the house back in the states and travel to country XXXX via space A or just get to a good jump off point via space A and then move on to final destination via cheap air fare.

So, what skills will help land those "odd jobs" that I plan to seek out in order to finance this little jaunts without having to dip into the pension/cash flow etc?

Some ideas:
- Handyman/Carpenter who fixes anything and everything (damn I love you-tube, not much I have not been able to figure out how to fix around here after a few minutes of the vids) even if it's just for room and maybe food
- Bartender/cook/barback, have experience in most all areas of food service
- Massage therapist- considering attending local school to get "license" due to interest in the body and how it works/supports physical activity
- Farm hand, I'm handy with a tractor or a ax etc....
- Personal trainer (not sure how this translates overseas)
- Phlebotomist (this is the wife's skill, not sure how it translates either)

Anyone have experience doing this? No job too small/too "low" for a guy like me, I actually enjoy physical labor and find a day of physical work is one of the most calming things I can do, if I can mix labor with travel and spend months at a location, learning the language and making personal connections rather that dropping in, hitting the tourist sites, taking pictures and rolling out, then I'm willing to work on developing those skills.

life_travel

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Re: Most valuable skills for living a mobile travel lifestyle
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2017, 06:23:45 PM »
In most countries it's illegal to work ( in some even in unpaid capacity ) without relevant work visa.
You can work via work away , wwoof sites but it will be problematic if you have kids as the work is usually in exchange for labour and meals for workers only .
There are obviously options to work " under the table" but technically it's not legal unless that country does allow you to work without visas. Would your pension not be enough to live a frugal lifestyle in country XX ? Are you looking at HCOL countries or LCOL ? Does it matter ? Would you have a paid off house at home ?

Guide2003

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Re: Most valuable skills for living a mobile travel lifestyle
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2017, 06:41:29 PM »
Sounds like a pretty neat plan. I'd be nervous about how the foreign earned income would be taxed and all that. It seems like you wouldn't have to make that much based on thefinancial summary you provided. Maybe there's internet-based work you could do if you really need the income so you don't have to worry about visas/foreign taxes as much. I'm sure you already thought about this, but it would be harder to have jobs that required tools that you'd need to carry with you.
“We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.” Mother Teresa

life_travel

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Re: Most valuable skills for living a mobile travel lifestyle
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2017, 07:32:38 PM »
Forgot to add that most valuable skills would be ability to earn income online , eg proofreading , translating, consulting online, teaching online classes , that sort of thing.
I'm sure others can give you more ideas :)

stashgrower

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Re: Most valuable skills for living a mobile travel lifestyle
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2017, 07:59:49 PM »
Check out visas before you start work in case it's illegal to work for pay. +1 online.

Cossack

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Re: Most valuable skills for living a mobile travel lifestyle
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2017, 08:14:18 PM »
What about English lessons? That of course depends on the countries you wanted to visit. Before FIRE we taught in China. Although the pay wasn't great, it was enough to cover expenses. It was also so much fun!
FIRE'd at few years ago. I am 43, DW 39. 5 young kids 10,8,7,4 and a newborn. We have lived in Auckland, Melbourne, Guangzhou, Zhuhai, Suva and currently living in Brisbane.

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infromsea

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Re: Most valuable skills for living a mobile travel lifestyle
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2017, 05:23:41 AM »
In most countries it's illegal to work ( in some even in unpaid capacity ) without relevant work visa.
You can work via work away , wwoof sites but it will be problematic if you have kids as the work is usually in exchange for labour and meals for workers only .
There are obviously options to work " under the table" but technically it's not legal unless that country does allow you to work without visas. Would your pension not be enough to live a frugal lifestyle in country XX ? Are you looking at HCOL countries or LCOL ? Does it matter ? Would you have a paid off house at home ?

Dang, I had no idea about the legality/illegality situation.... It was never an issue in my travels in the military because I never tried to "work local".

-My pension will be more than enough to live off of, even with the travel, the idea was to really embed into the local culture though, not just hang out in the public spaces but really get to know people, I thought working with others and interacting with the public might be a shortcut to doing that. Also, the more we "made locally" the longer we could stay on the road, even if the income is just paying for the boarding, every bit we earn would extend/make the travel more flexible.
-HCOL and LCOL countries are on the table. The higher the cost, the more we'd want to work or have to cut the visit short. We want to see some of the HCOL areas but, we don't have to stay in them for any particular reason, we'd be just as comfortable/maybe eve more so, in the LCOL areas as we are simple folk.
- We will have a paid for home back in the states.
- No kids at home/traveling with us when we execute this set of orders.
- Had never heard of wwoof before, looking into that, thanks!

infromsea

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Re: Most valuable skills for living a mobile travel lifestyle
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2017, 05:24:40 AM »
What about English lessons? That of course depends on the countries you wanted to visit. Before FIRE we taught in China. Although the pay wasn't great, it was enough to cover expenses. It was also so much fun!
Good idea! We want to visit much of the world so I'm sure that will be an option in some/many of them. Thanks!

infromsea

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Re: Most valuable skills for living a mobile travel lifestyle
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2017, 05:26:48 AM »
Forgot to add that most valuable skills would be ability to earn income online , eg proofreading , translating, consulting online, teaching online classes , that sort of thing.
I'm sure others can give you more ideas :)

I like the idea of online teaching (I have a grad degree), I need to dig into that and have some experience/lines of income before the travel starts... We have several years to work with before we start this form of travel.

Villanelle

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Re: Most valuable skills for living a mobile travel lifestyle
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2017, 06:44:47 AM »
Someone just recently (in the last couple days) bumped up a thread on teaching English online to Chinese students.  Seems like that might be an option, and might help you avoid the visa issues.  (I am not a lawyer; confirm on your own of course.)  The problem with teaching in-person lessons is that, IME, most students or programs are going to want a commitment longer than 3-6 months. 

When I traveled in Europe, it was rarely for more than a few days or maybe a week per city so I didn't take advantage, but there were lots of "work for room and board" or WWOOF type options advertised in various places. 

ROF Expat

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Re: Most valuable skills for living a mobile travel lifestyle
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2017, 09:17:39 AM »
If the point is to embed yourself into local culture, you might look into opportunities to volunteer abroad.  A lot of organizations welcome people who will pay their own way and are willing to contribute skills or labor, and they can help keep your costs reasonable so you can stay longer.  It can also be a good introduction to a local community.  In a few cases, I've seen it morph into work/residence permits. 

I can only speak about the countries I've lived in (mostly in the developing world), but in my experience working on the local economy without a work permit, especially in unskilled labor, will be viewed as taking jobs from locals rather than becoming part of the local community. 

I don't say this to discourage you from planning long-term stays.  It can definitely be done on a reasonable budget, even in HCOL countries. 

life_travel

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Re: Most valuable skills for living a mobile travel lifestyle
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2017, 04:13:49 PM »
Without kids it's much easier then !! Check out workaway site ( can't rmemberif it's .com or .org)
They have all sorts of assignments in different locations , we got some workers from US to clean our gardens in exchange for room and food :) We got on so well we ended taking them everywhere and became great friends.

LAGuy

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Re: Most valuable skills for living a mobile travel lifestyle
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2017, 10:09:02 PM »
If your wife is phlebotomist, you might see about stepping her up to an MLT license. That way she could pick up traveling lab tech positions in the US (I'm assuming you're US citizens). Then she could work part of the year in the US and then travel the other part. This is essentially what I'm doing now.

infromsea

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Re: Most valuable skills for living a mobile travel lifestyle
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2017, 02:51:40 PM »
If your wife is phlebotomist, you might see about stepping her up to an MLT license. That way she could pick up traveling lab tech positions in the US (I'm assuming you're US citizens). Then she could work part of the year in the US and then travel the other part. This is essentially what I'm doing now.

I'll ask her about that, I've considered going to vo-tech for the same reason but don't want to encroach on her "territory".

Thanks for all the input from everyone!

I found out today that there is a regular rotator flight leaving out of my area every Tuesday, stops in Rota Spain, which has daily flights back stateside... I'm getting an overwhelming urge for a little travel!

deborah

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Re: Most valuable skills for living a mobile travel lifestyle
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2017, 04:20:21 AM »
There is also plenty of unpaid volunteering available everywhere - for example, museums and libraries are always looking for volunteers.

Secretly Saving

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Re: Most valuable skills for living a mobile travel lifestyle
« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2017, 04:33:18 AM »
Check out:

WWOOF
WORKAWAY
HELPX

These offer work in exchange for housing usually.

ixtap

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Re: Most valuable skills for living a mobile travel lifestyle
« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2017, 06:12:49 PM »
There are much better ways to imbed in local culture, but those ways depend on the individual culture. Hanging out at the local coffee shop can work!

So, for your actual goal, the most importantly skills are:
-being outgoing or capable of faking it
-a willingness to make a fool of yourself trying new things, especially the local language and any sport, dance, craft or food that may be popular
-genuine curiosity that allows you to see the richness of the local culture when not packaged up for tourists

infromsea

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Re: Most valuable skills for living a mobile travel lifestyle
« Reply #17 on: August 03, 2017, 04:21:39 AM »
Lots more good stuff here, thanks to everyone for the links and advice!

infromsea

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Re: Most valuable skills for living a mobile travel lifestyle
« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2017, 04:24:09 AM »
www.coolworks.com

Thank you so much for this site. (and the other sites posted by other users, you folks rock!).

Coolworks is making me want to sell the house and move tomorrow.... MUST BE PATIENT.... MUST BE PATIENT....

neonlight

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Re: Most valuable skills for living a mobile travel lifestyle
« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2017, 05:57:37 AM »
www.coolworks.com

Thank you so much for this site. (and the other sites posted by other users, you folks rock!).

Coolworks is making me want to sell the house and move tomorrow.... MUST BE PATIENT.... MUST BE PATIENT....
I have some more similar sites for other countries but not on my phone. Im not sure though about work options for US Citizens. Also have you considered just not working and supporting yourself and travels on your military pension? A lot of people here do that and live in various countries long term or do slow but inexpensive travel living in various countries for a few months each.

Coolworks is just...COOL :)

Most work is US based I wonder if any non Americans have applied and got in.

onewayfamily

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Re: Most valuable skills for living a mobile travel lifestyle
« Reply #20 on: August 11, 2017, 09:01:37 AM »
From experience anything in hospitality is pretty easy to find 'under-the-table' or cash work, no work-visa required.

There is no shortage of small business owners who just want reliable employees, and don't care if one or two of their employees want to be paid in cash.

Edit: to answer the question directly - the most valuable skills for this example would be barista skills, bartending and back-of-house cooking skills like you mentioned.
We FIRE'd at age 28 (me) and 29 (Mrs. OneWayFamily) and are now trying to travel to every country on Earth - it takes longer with 2 toddlers!

If you'd like to keep track of where we're at - check out our photos @ Instagram or our lame attempt at a blog at onewayfamily.com

Peony

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Re: Most valuable skills for living a mobile travel lifestyle
« Reply #21 on: August 11, 2017, 09:40:08 AM »
PTF

Goldielocks

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Re: Most valuable skills for living a mobile travel lifestyle
« Reply #22 on: August 11, 2017, 12:35:04 PM »
Someone just recently (in the last couple days) bumped up a thread on teaching English online to Chinese students.  Seems like that might be an option, and might help you avoid the visa issues.  (I am not a lawyer; confirm on your own of course.)  The problem with teaching in-person lessons is that, IME, most students or programs are going to want a commitment longer than 3-6 months. 

When I traveled in Europe, it was rarely for more than a few days or maybe a week per city so I didn't take advantage, but there were lots of "work for room and board" or WWOOF type options advertised in various places.

Ack,  double check the visa requirements, even for on-line work.

DH had to give up his mostly on-line business in Canada, because when we moved to the USA, he had 6 months living there before he received a "work authorization" (AKA visa), and in the mean time, it would have been illegal for him to work on his CANADIAN on-line business while based in the USA.   Please note, we had legal resident status through my work visa at the time.

FIREby35

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Re: Most valuable skills for living a mobile travel lifestyle
« Reply #23 on: August 12, 2017, 07:55:31 AM »
I didn't read all the other posts, but I would also say you might run into some legal issues working in foreign countries. True and funny story is that I worked illegally under an assumed name in Mexico for a time. Now I am an attorney representing many undocumented immigrants in the United States! Well, not all clients are undocumented, but I'm fully bi-lingual and many are, but that is another story.

The point, you can get work but you just have to be prepared to get paid cash or bend the rules. Honestly, it is not that big a deal. I was working as an English teacher for corporate attorneys and other corporate people in Mexico City. The name I was using was from a friend I met and the bosses were people she hooked me up with. I got paid the equivalent of $16 and hour in Mexico - which is a lot. It was a blast and I made many lifetime friends. I'm going to a wedding of a student (my same age) of mine ten years later in a couple of months.

I also had friends who went to Australia. In Australia they have a open labor visa situation (don't know all the details) where you get six months of work permission and I think it can be renewed a couple times.

There is also a thing called "wwoofing." I've never done it, but Google it. It always sounded like fun to me. Working in the fields in a new country - that would calm my mind.

gravitysmiles

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Re: Most valuable skills for living a mobile travel lifestyle
« Reply #24 on: September 07, 2017, 02:07:11 PM »
I second looking for volunteer opportunities instead.

A great find would be volunteer opportunities that cover your room and board! I'd sign up for that for sure once I FIRE.

skip207

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Re: Most valuable skills for living a mobile travel lifestyle
« Reply #25 on: September 08, 2017, 04:21:24 AM »
Could you set up a company in the US and then invoice them for work done in USD and still pay taxes in the US?

My friend does a lot of advisory and training work in the security industry, he is ex British military and based in the US but works mostly outside the US.