So you say you want to quit your job and travel? Maybe make some money along the way doing telework? That was my basic idea a few years ago and I had no idea where to start so I had to spent a lot of time culling thru books and Websites to figure out how to make it happen. To save you time I’m offering my “best of” list below. It’s hardly exhaustive but six months after quitting my job these are the ones that proved the most helpful to me and I think they’ll prove just as valuable to you in getting started. Good luck!
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Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel – Rolf Potts
The seminal long-term travel book that clearly spells out both the why and how. The one you should read if you read nothing else. It spells out the why and the how is clear
The 4-Hour Workweek – Timothy Ferriss
I can understand some people’s aversion to Mr. Ferris. Yes, he just restates a lot of what’s already out there, has a penchant for wildly exaggerated titles, and yes, he does come across as a bit of a know it all. Still, this book elegantly ties together a number of important elements crucial for the long-term traveller. Look specifically at the automation and efficiency sections of the book. If you can become highly efficient at your work and automate away much of life’s petty minutia you’ll be amazed at how much more time you have to roam.
There are a number of extremely useful travel blogs out there. From where to stay, what to take, and how to afford it all you can garner tons of FREE info from these folks. I suggest you find a few by writers who’s lives, goals, or travel areas are similar to your own aspirations (it’s no mistake that my list below is filled with ex-corporate types).
- Almost Fearless
- Johnny Vagabond
- Man vs Debt
- Contemporary Nomad
- Finding the Universe
- Nomadic Mat
- Otts World
- To Simplify
There are lots of travel podcast but I’ve found that 99% of them are geared to the standard tourist industry. That’s fine if that what you want to do but for long term travel they’re often not terribly useful (that hotel cost HOW much???). The Indie Travel Podcast, however, is dead-on useful for budget-conscious long-term travelers.
These are great online services for the traveler.
- Mint – I can’t tell you how great this site is. Get ALL you financial data aggregated and organized in one place. And best of all, it’s FREE!
- Evernote – Keep all your notes in an online repository that’s safe, secure, and accessible from any computer or your smartphone. Evernote is very useful.
Social Networking Sites/Apps
I can’t tell you how useful these social networking sites were durning my travels. Among other things they also allowed me to stay with a park ranger in Yellowstone, camp with a great group of people at Burning Man, and be given free lodging in Chicago and Florida. I’m convinced that strong social networking is a core skill for modern vagabonding.
Facebook everyone knows. It’s great for keeping in touch with folks back home and cementing relationships you make along the way. Couchsurfing is a really great site that allows you to stay with people for free along the way (the Indie Travel Podcast has an episode all about it).
The last three, one Website and two iPhone apps, are know primarily for facilitating gay hookups but I just ignored that and used them to make friends along the way. It worked great! All three are location based so you can easily tell you who is in your immediate area (the phone apps do it automatically). Start chatting with a few folks and you can get all sorts of great information about the area and lots of friendly platonic invitations. I don’t know what the straight equivalents to these sites are but if they exist they’re well worth trying.
Misc / Utility sites
Lots of good stuff here.
- Atlas Obscura – You’ll visit this place a lot if you like weird odd places. Highly recommended!
- Pack Light for Geeks
- Meet, Plan, Go
- Boots and All
- Fluent in 3 Months
- Rolf Pott’s Website – particularly check out the case studies section to find folks in your same situation who took the plunge and how they managed it.