Author Topic: Building stuff while traveling?  (Read 1923 times)

agusus

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Building stuff while traveling?
« on: January 03, 2018, 01:27:39 AM »
I was listening to Pete talk on the Tim Ferris podcast about how much value he gets out of building things with his hands - his house, carpentry, etc. I totally agree with that, but I also like to travel and one thing I find missing while traveling is being able to build or create things in the physical world. Later in the podcast Pete says: "I canít really create while traveling, and I think thatís why Iím less travel oriented than some people.Ē

I think it may be possible to create while traveling though. In the virtual world (Internet), it's easy (blogging, photography, etc) - but I haven't figured out how to do it in the real world yet. Anyone have ideas on that or found good solutions?

While traveling we usually stay in one place for 3 to 7 days and travel for up to 3 months. We avoid most touristy activities, and do a lot of walking. Being in a hotel or Airbnb for 3-7 days kind of precludes building any sizable physical project.

I like dogs and there are dog walking services in many countries (but that's not building or creating).
I'm thinking there might be a way to find short term jobs where I can help people build things or fix things. Retaining our flexibility would be tough though, and most skilled jobs require local reputation / building up trust, which would be hard to do in a 3-7 day stay. And in some places (ex, SE Asia) there's a language / culture barrier.

I've heard of WWOOFing and workaway.info, but haven't heard any first person accounts of what those are really like.

PS. I'm a long-time MMM follower but new to the forums.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Building stuff while traveling?
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2018, 03:01:39 AM »
Depending on where you travel there should be places if you want to volunteer for help building. Otherwise build small wood items you could sell on your journey or learn how to carve.

Roe

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Re: Building stuff while traveling?
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2018, 03:33:19 AM »
Read the reviews on those sites, mainly where the workers review the employers. I've read some detailed ones that I found interesting.

It sounds like a fun idea, building your way across the world. Either by staying a bit more long term as a work away (from what i've seen they rarely are as short as 3-7 days), or by doing short work.

Maybe you could find out what the local Craigslist is, an advertise on there. You might be able to trade a week in a guesthouse for some building, and if you are flexible about where you are going you could travel between building jobs.

undercover

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Re: Building stuff while traveling?
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2018, 04:17:46 AM »
I too always feel limited in my capacity to work when I'm traveling (which is partly why I don't like it) so I can relate to where he's coming from. If I don't see a meaningful reason to go somewhere beyond my desire to "see" or "experience" a place, I am not really all that motivated to go. MMM talks about in a few of his posts how he always tries to make his traveling productive by planning some type of work or reason for being there beyond just going. He had some residential carpentry project in Hawaii one time.

For me, the only reason to travel for work is if the economic opportunity by doing so is greater than staying where I'm at. If your goal is traveling, then travel. If your goal is to build things, then it's much easier and enjoyable to do so when you have ample space to store the things you need and your time isn't used up by taking care of logistics. Any time you're traveling and working there's going to be compromise. You're never going to get the best of both worlds. So I think any rational person would conclude that they need to be paid more on the road than they would be at home. This applies to pretty much any profession but obviously doubly true for ones that require lots of physical things.

I guess if you really want to travel and work/build stuff at the same time then the only way to do that is going to be by taking on temp work which will probably keep you in one location for a minimum of two weeks to a month. I doubt anyone is going to take you on to their project for any period less than that, unless you're purely volunteering and know what you're doing. Realistically you're not going to be working with large physical things on a meaningful project for less than a week at a time.

Fomerly known as something

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Re: Building stuff while traveling?
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2018, 05:19:28 AM »
If it is only create and not earn money.

Maybe look into a building charity like Habitat for Humanity.  I know the ones around me build Tuesday-Sunday at various locations.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2018, 08:57:04 AM by neverrun »

AMandM

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Re: Building stuff while traveling?
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2018, 08:37:27 AM »
Does it have to be large-scale carpentry kind of creation?  If you scale down the size of objects to make, the jobs become portable (e.g., woodcarving spoons, figurines; making small boxes).  Or if you can replace carpentry with fibre crafts (knitting, sewing) there are any number of portable projects.

Gimesalot

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Re: Building stuff while traveling?
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2018, 08:42:56 AM »
What about creating digital object?  For example, designing plans to build tiny houses or renovate small campers...  You could also do graphic design, logo creation, voice over work, website coding, wordpress theme development, etc.

One thing to note, that working outside of your home country is illegal in most cases and volunteering can be illegal in some limited cases as well.  Check the rules during your travels.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Building stuff while traveling?
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2018, 08:49:09 AM »
Everyplace you go there will be people building things. It's happening 24/7-365. So if you are keen on doing that you just need to be open to finding those opportunities and taking advantage of them when you can. For example I go to a spot in the Baja where surfboards are getting damaged all winter. I know people are doing those repairs and at peak season getting backlogged. If I was interested I could offer to do some of the repairs for that person for free or maybe as a trade for something else they had I could use. That's only one example and I can think of a dozen options for creating stuff/working with your hands in that particular place if that was my interest.

People who don't travel don't want to travel. If you want to travel you can sort out almost any problem/concern with a little thought.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2018, 09:03:05 AM by Retire-Canada »

J Boogie

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Re: Building stuff while traveling?
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2018, 09:46:28 AM »
I haven't yet, but I've got a cousin and a brother in law that are about 10-15 hours drive away who I plan on visiting for a week or so.

I figure we can coordinate it so I'll spend my week helping them build timber structures on their rural properties or something like that.

Either that, or I'll just help them with whatever project they're currently working on.

I too hate traveling for too long and not being able to create.

agusus

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Re: Building stuff while traveling?
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2018, 05:23:09 PM »
Maybe I need to think smaller. It doesn't have to be carpentry related at all. By "building" I really mean "creating", or having some sense of daily purpose other than eat, drink, sightsee and walk / exercise / yoga. The eating is really awesome (we're spending two weeks in Thailand now, as a frugality travel test) but along with the other activities it still doesn't fill 15-16 hours of the day.

I already do virtual creation - blogging, photography (maybe turn this into a business) - but these only partially satisfy the desire for purposeful activity. Maybe because my career is in software, so I'm kind of burnt out on hobbies that require computer time.

I already have a plan for when we're FI and not traveling by air/land (sailing, which has so many projects, jobs and responsibilities that you feel purposeful nearly all the time) - but for various reasons we don't want to do that 12 months a year.

Thanks for the ideas, I'll keep trying and testing things.

@Roe , thanks for the heads up on the workaway worker reviews. I see some that seem honest. I was worried it'd be like AirBnB, where pretty much all reviews are 5 stars because hosts/guests have incentive to give each other 5 stars (to build reputation) and commonly ask the other to give them 5 stars.