73 responses

  1. Emma @ Life. By Emma
    September 29, 2014

    Thanks for posting this – I realise it’s a bit old now but it’s great to see how other people make it work. We have a combination of rental income from a property, savings and freelance project work when I can get it. I have made $2.16 in Adsense income this month so definitely not enough to live on just yet but it would be wonderful if the blog could contribute to the pot in some way.
    Most people think we’ve won the lotto (I seriously get asked that about once a month) but it’s actually sheer hard work and squeezing value out of every last dollar.

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      September 29, 2014

      Wouldn’t winning the lottery be wonderful, though? I’ve avoided Adsense because I don’t like having a bunch of ads on my site, and their ads aren’t always appropriate topically. I don’t know many travel blogs that make really good money from them either.

      Reply

  2. Michelle
    July 2, 2014

    I’m a single mom to my 9 year old special needs daughter and looking for income ideas that would allow us to roadschool/worldschool. I’m so jealous of you! 😉

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      July 3, 2014

      So many ways of doing it! Hope you find something that works well for you.

      Reply

  3. jen
    March 26, 2014

    Awesome post. Thanks for your honesty. So great that you have stepped out there to travel, giving hope to others.
    My husband and I are both in the medical field and may consider some on the road jobs in the future when we travel more. Thanks!

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      March 26, 2014

      Glad to hear you’ll be traveling more. Are you considering doing any medical trips like with Doctors Without Borders, Uplift Internationale, etc?

      Reply

  4. Chris @ One Weird Globe
    January 31, 2014

    Good post, Talon! Without revealing actual amounts, what would you rank as your top 3?

    I can add a few more for consideration:

    BOOKS – yep, these take a long time, but can bring money in month after month.

    ITINERARIES – I have several of these on Unanchor.com. Tripoto, Outtripping, and Guidora are all newer companies worth exploring.

    On a tangent, personalized itineraries might also work (I’ve started to offer these for Korea and Thailand) if you have enough experience in an area.

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      January 31, 2014

      Thanks, Chris. I didn’t list books because the amount I make from book sales currently is quite low.

      Current, my #1 source is through the blog. #2 would be freelance writing, but I haven’t done any of that in months. I’m going to be doing that again, though since we’re heading to some expensive places, and I want a month in Paris so will need extra income. LOL

      I have considered offering trip planning services. I was contacted by Outtripping, but I’m just not convinced that would be worth the effort. If I’m going to write a guide like that, I would think it would be better to offer it through my own site. Have you seen a significant income generated through the itineraries?

      Reply

  5. Wesley
    January 14, 2014

    Great blog post men

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      January 15, 2014

      Thanks!

      Reply

  6. Bonnie Kappl
    January 1, 2014

    i am an avid diver and would love to break into the underwater video market (taping other divers) do you have any idea how they chrge and split with resorts? places we dive have some impressive people doing this but they are not open to sharing inf. we pay $100 per video so the moey is there…. thanks and keep up your great blogs I love them Bonnie Boo

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      January 2, 2014

      I have absolutely no idea how that works to be honest. Sorry I can’t be of help there!

      Reply

  7. Gemma
    December 23, 2013

    This is a great article – thank you for being so honest regarding your finances. The more I read about people managing to travel full time and earn money at the same time, the more inspired I get!

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      December 23, 2013

      Good! I hope it keeps inspiring you and others!

      Reply

  8. The GypsyNesters
    October 7, 2013

    Good post! People ask us how we finance our travels too. Your answer is basically ours, lots of different little things add up. Our little things may not be the same as yours but the concept is. One thing seemscertain though, we aren’t going to get rich blogging, but we are having a great time.

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      October 7, 2013

      Yeah, blogging won’t be putting me in a luxury lifestyle any time soon, but my life is far richer now than it ever was so I’ll take it.

      Reply

  9. Jane St Catherine
    October 7, 2013

    Thanks Talon and Tigger for such an inspiring and honest article. You have such an interesting and imaginative variety of income sources and the house-sitting is a great one that I’ve been looking at too. Stopping in one place to live like a local gives a whole new dimension to visiting a new place. It’s a shame your book sales are so minimal. I would like to think that would provide a healthier income.
    Thanks again – stay safe and happy,
    Jane

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      October 7, 2013

      Books are hard to make lots of money from. Maybe one day, though!

      Reply

  10. Paz
    August 27, 2013

    I love how you fund your travel with a variety of income avenues. I think this is great because if one isn’t working than another is. My only question is how do you keep it all straight and being a single dad. I have a hard time keeping up with a couple things. Would love to hear your secrets. 🙂

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      September 28, 2013

      Lists and followup flags in Outlook. LOL Also, I’ve worked hard to raise an independent child. Tigger is extremely easy to work with and does well at keeping himself entertained while I’m working, etc.

      Reply

  11. Ross
    August 7, 2013

    Awesome post Talon. We are now 4 months into our travels where we have no end date in site and we’ve started to discuss and research ways to make some cash on the road. Thanks for going into more detail than most on the writer and scuba instructor sections! We love Scuba and that could be a fun one for a while. Cheers, Ross.

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      August 7, 2013

      It’s pretty awesome to get paid to go diving. 🙂

      Reply

  12. Adam – Tropical Nomad
    June 22, 2013

    Hey Talon,
    I set off from my secure job in Australia to continue traveling and have managed to pick up quite a bit of work as a freelance writer for now. I focused my college degree on Bar management and before was a chef as I figured I could get a job anywhere in the world with these..

    Diving is a great option if you can afford it but my ear drums blew when I went in the Great Barrier so not sure if I should be diving!?

    All the best and keep up the good work

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      June 23, 2013

      Wouldn’t hurt to see an ENT and see what they think about you diving. There are special masks for people with eardrum issues, however, and that might enable you to dive.

      Reply

      • Adam Finan
        July 24, 2013

        It was like a kettle boiling/whistling sound and then serious pain for days.. Going to do a dive medical next time for sure!

        Reply

  13. Lauren Kahn
    June 15, 2013

    Just to let you know I did drop in and read some of your blog. This piece, detailing how you earned your money while doing serial house sitting, was very interesting.

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      June 15, 2013

      Thanks! Glad you thought so.

      Reply

  14. Annie André
    May 13, 2013

    Talon,
    Love your transparency. I love reading these types of posts because they a) make me feel normal in a sea where what we are doing is not normal and b) I get ideas and inspired by other people and get to see how other people fund their travels.
    I noticed that you left off Amazon or rather your book sales. Why is that?

    Reply

    • Talon Windwalker
      May 13, 2013

      I left off the book sales because they are very minimal. My last 3 royalty checks were: $36, $36, $18. So. . . 😀

      Reply

  15. Darryl
    February 16, 2013

    You’re awesome. Keep up the great work, Talon.

    Darryl

    Reply

    • Talon
      February 16, 2013

      Thanks, Darryl!

      Reply

  16. Alyson
    February 9, 2013

    That is such a great, honest article! I’m intrigued by MT, I spent 20 years in Pathology so it’s something I could possibly look into, thanks for the idea! My husband was toying with getting his dive instructor registration, we live on the Great Barrier Reef, it would be easy enough to do here, but would cost a fair bit. Do you think it’s worth it? I know instructors in Thailand get paid practically nothing. He’s a chef, but I can’t see him making much money doing that in Asia. We are currently in the save-up-as-much-as-possible before-we-go category ( aiming for $30000 to last us approx 2 years), plus top ups from renting out the house. One day the blog may make some money, too!

    Reply

    • Talon
      February 9, 2013

      It really depends on how much he loves diving. Generally, he won’t make a ton of money, and it can be really long hours during busy season. On the other hand, it’s extremely portable and easy to maintain your credentials. If he chooses to pursue it, I would recommend going elsewhere for the training. The instructor course in Australia is about 3 times what it cost in most other areas.

      Reply

  17. Olivia – young on the road
    February 8, 2013

    I admire your way of life and think you are giving your son an upbringing that is not only different, but will give him an open mindedness and confidence that is hard to find from being raised in the same town your whole life.

    The article you posted before about wanting your son to do what HE wants and not to live out of fear of what others will think coincides exactly with the views I have on life.

    Kudos, Talon!

    Reply

    • Talon
      February 9, 2013

      Thanks, Olivia. It will be really interesting to see how this whole experience affects him as an adult.

      Reply

  18. Amanda
    February 1, 2013

    Thank you so much for sharing! I have been searching everywhere online for some sort of answer on how to make it financially while traveling.

    Reply

    • Talon
      February 9, 2013

      I’d really encourage you to check out Wandering Earl’s book. It really is quite good.

      Reply

  19. Heidi Wagoner
    January 27, 2013

    Hi, we are an American Family of 4 now living in Southern Spain. We started out with the intention of a “career break”, but love travel too much! We are now looking at ways to extend what was going to be 12-18months into something more long-term. This is helpful reading the variety of income sources and helps to get the mind spinning…. we are here to get that 2nd language strong for the kids and then hopefully be more mobile. We do plan to explore Europe over the summer and are looking at many house sitting sites to make that happen. Hopefully someone would love to accept a family of 4 to house sit. Thanks for sharing and keep writing! 🙂 have a good one.

    Reply

    • Talon
      January 28, 2013

      Wonderful! Love to hear of other families doing this. I hope the housesit works out.

      Reply

  20. Jade – OurOyster.com
    January 17, 2013

    Awesome post! I find long term travel tiring, so it works for me to take temp work for 3 – 6 months, and then travel the rest of the time. It lets me have a home base and unpack as well. I guess house sitting would have the same effect, but my blog doesn’t make enough money to support my family of three just yet!

    Reply

    • Talon
      January 17, 2013

      Yes, it IS rather nice to be able to unpack once in a while. We prefer slow travel anyway, but sometimes it takes a bit of moving around before we find a place we really want to stay in for a while.

      Reply

  21. LeX | LeX Paradise
    January 15, 2013

    Great work Talon! I think you really had a great time then 😉

    Reply

    • Talon
      January 16, 2013

      Most definitely!

      Reply

  22. grasya
    January 9, 2013

    this is very inspiring ^_^… there are only few bloggers that i know spill how they travel and earn at the same time. you have my salute ^_^

    Reply

    • Talon
      January 9, 2013

      Thanks! I like to be open with people so they can see that yes this can be done and some of the ways they can do it. 🙂

      Reply

  23. Lissie
    January 8, 2013

    I’ve always worked hard for a period in a well-paying professional job, saved all my money, and travelled full-time for 6 or months. I actually don’t like being a full-time nomad – I prefer a home base, well my partner does, which is about the same thing. Working 2 jobs, and not spending anything above the real necessities, can do wonders for saving !

    Reply

    • Talon
      January 8, 2013

      Everyone is different. Definitely not wasting money on things you don’t really need, though, is a GREAT way to save money.

      Reply

  24. Justin Williams
    January 6, 2013

    Could you recommend any of the MT schools or job placement sites? You are living my dream life and am trying to get there as well. Thanks for all of the information and good luck !

    Reply

    • Talon
      January 6, 2013

      Andrews probably has the best reputation for schools. For job sites, I’d recommend MTJobs.com. They seem to have the highest number of offerings. Some of the larger companies will provide training, too. Bonne chance!

      Reply

  25. David @ That Gay Backpacker
    January 6, 2013

    I’m always really interested to learn how people earn on the road – sounds like you have an interesting mix of things going on. I set myself as a writer last year (in most senses of the word), and I’m writing on the road now. Getting myself into a routine of doing stuff in the morning, working in the afternoon, and going out in the evening – and I’m kinda exhausted already!

    Reply

    • Talon
      January 6, 2013

      Definitely have to find your rhythm. 🙂

      Reply

  26. Adam @ PergiDulu
    January 5, 2013

    Really good honest post. Many people are secretive about the sources of their income but I believe it’s incredibly important for people to understand that nomadic people have to come up with creative ideas to earn a bit of cash. And it’s usually just enough to live a basic lifestyle. Thumbs up!

    Reply

    • Talon
      January 5, 2013

      Thank you. I’m about helping others live their dreams, so I usually end up on the side of being open and honest. 🙂 I do know some people who are making office-type incomes while being able to be location independent, but they are also putting in a lot more hours than I care to. Part of my desire to be a digital nomad was to get more living into my life, as well as to have more time to spend doing things with my son. So, I’ve chosen to make it work on a little bit of money so I can have more time enjoying life and my child. We lose out on some things, but I think in the end we win out big time. 🙂

      Reply

  27. Cat of Sunshine and Siestas
    January 4, 2013

    I think it all comes down to balance. I’m not chained to my desk and have a day job, which is both great but a bit limiting. Thankfully, I really enjoy teaching and can do it part time while focusing on other things, like blogging and editing. Great tips, Talon!

    Reply

    • Talon
      January 5, 2013

      Yep, there are SO many ways of doing things and earning an income to accommodate whatever type of life it is you want to lead.

      Reply

  28. Patti
    January 4, 2013

    Good information, thanks for sharing your tips! Your segment on blogging was a good validation for me as I’ve given myself 18 – 24 months to get my blog to where I need it to be in order to really “start” the business of blogging. As a retired teacher I am also collecting articles on best practices for teaching abroad. We are not there yet, but when the day comes for us to sell our inn and hit the road, teaching abroad is something I hope to pursue.

    Reply

    • Talon
      January 4, 2013

      Cool! I’m glad it helped you.

      Reply

  29. Rhonda
    January 4, 2013

    This was really interesting. For us, another big part of it was learning how to spend money. It shocks me how much we learned as we traveled and how much we paid for things at the beginning, compared to what we know now and how we do things so completely differently. I guess house sitting would fall into that category for you. Thanks for this.

    Reply

    • Talon
      January 4, 2013

      Yes indeed! And when you discover that getting somewhere and asking locals to find a rental property is WAY cheaper than online, even better!

      Reply

  30. Rose Godfrey
    January 4, 2013

    Thanks for this. It is the most common question people ask us as we prep to travel, and probably what I wonder most about some others.

    That dinner party question of “So, what do you do?” Just sort of takes on a whole new dimension.

    Reply

    • Talon
      January 4, 2013

      Yes it does. LOL I also like the question: So how long are you here for? Where do you go next? Usually my responses to both are “I have no idea.”

      Reply

  31. Jenni
    January 4, 2013

    Love it! We are planning and researching all possible avenues for funding while we travel indefinitely and strongly considering teaching English for a year when we need to re-pad or accounts. I love when other travelers share how they make it work financially! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

    • Talon
      January 4, 2013

      Yep, that’s a great one if you can do it.

      Reply

    • Krista
      August 4, 2013

      Talon, this is a great post! I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s not often people are so forthcoming in the options for funding on the road.

      Jenni, we recently ran across a couple on the island of Langkawi in Malaysia who were very interesting. They both write for asiarooms.com and that gives them free accommodation. They also write for Travelfish, who apparently pay about $1500 USD for a hefty article. They said it took about 6 weeks to write that article, exploring a place in depth, and paying for your own expenses while doing it, but if you’re keen on seeing a place in depth anyway, it’s something to consider.

      We’re now 12 months on the road and I’ve been funding my trip in a completely accidental way that might be worth knowing about. I own a house in London and started renting it out as a holiday let before we left. The income is not only paying the bills, but also paying almost all of my bills on the road. That means that all the money I saved for this trip is still in the bank.

      I don’t know if you have a house, or have the money for a deposit on a house, but if you are in the position to acquire a small property in a well touristed location, you have the potential to have no worries about your travel income. If it’s a possibility for you and you want more info, feel free to get in touch and I’ll help you if I can: krista@wodara.org

      All the best to you both,
      Krista

      Reply

      • Talon Windwalker
        October 7, 2013

        I know a few people funding their travel this way. Not bad if you have the investment.

        Reply

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