Roam and Riches: 12 Clever Ways Digital Nomads Earn While Exploring the Globe
Roam and Riches: 12 Clever Ways Digital Nomads Earn While Exploring the Globe - Teach English Online
For location-independent workers, teaching English online has become a popular way to earn a steady income no matter where your travels take you. With a laptop and a reliable internet connection, digital nomads can log into online classrooms from Bali to Berlin. Top companies like VIPKid, Qkids, and Magic Ears allow remote teachers to set their own schedules, teaching Chinese children English through engaging video chat platforms.
The basics are fairly straightforward - you'll need TEFL certification, which can be earned affordably online in just a few weeks. Then once hired, teachers deliver 25 minute lessons adhering to the company's structured curriculum. Lessons focus on everything from phonics and reading to conversation skills. Teachers are paid per class taught, with top platforms paying $18-26 per hour. It adds up quickly, with seasoned teachers earning $2000-5000 per month.
What makes teaching English online so suitable for digital nomads is the ultimate location flexibility paired with the routine schedule. Logging on from different time zones is no problem, you simply toggle your availability. The structured 25 minute lessons fit nicely into the nomadic lifestyle. You can teach for a few hours in the morning, then head out to explore your current locale. No lesson planning or grading either - the curriculum is provided for you.
Travel bloggers like being able to diversify their income with online teaching. As Chris Backe of TravelFreak explains, "I like that I can pick it up and put it down whenever I want - it meshes nicely into my schedule instead of dictating it."
Other digital nomads enjoy connecting with students across the world. It allows them to maintain human connections despite constantly being on the move. Teacher Carrie Kellenberger remarks, "I love that I get to meet amazing kids and fellow teachers from around the world. Online teaching reminds me that we are all more similar than different."
Of course, timezone logistics must be managed carefully. Most platforms cater to China, meaning peak times are early mornings throughout Asia, and evenings/late nights in the Americas and Europe. Digital nomads traveling within the same timezone region likely find it easiest to maintain a consistent schedule. Those who switch continents frequently will need to adjust their teaching hours accordingly.
What else is in this post?
- Roam and Riches: 12 Clever Ways Digital Nomads Earn While Exploring the Globe - Teach English Online
- Roam and Riches: 12 Clever Ways Digital Nomads Earn While Exploring the Globe - Freelance Your Skills
- Roam and Riches: 12 Clever Ways Digital Nomads Earn While Exploring the Globe - Work at Co-working Spaces Abroad
- Roam and Riches: 12 Clever Ways Digital Nomads Earn While Exploring the Globe - Rent Your Home Back Home
- Roam and Riches: 12 Clever Ways Digital Nomads Earn While Exploring the Globe - Create Travel Content
- Roam and Riches: 12 Clever Ways Digital Nomads Earn While Exploring the Globe - Start a Travel Blog or Vlog
- Roam and Riches: 12 Clever Ways Digital Nomads Earn While Exploring the Globe - Get Paid for Product Reviews
- Roam and Riches: 12 Clever Ways Digital Nomads Earn While Exploring the Globe - Participate in Medical Trials
Roam and Riches: 12 Clever Ways Digital Nomads Earn While Exploring the Globe - Freelance Your Skills
For location-independent workers with specialized expertise, freelancing transforms wanderlust into income. By marketing in-demand skills online, digital nomads can land clients that pay for freelance gigs from anywhere in the world.
Popular freelance platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer allow professionals to create profiles summarizing their services. Freelancers propose project fees based on expertise, with platforms collecting a commission on paid jobs. Companies seeking specialized skills can easily browse profiles, identifying freelancers that fit their needs. Common roles like writers, designers, programmers, and virtual assistants are in high demand.
Yet creative digital nomads have also carved unique freelance niches that clients covet. Photographer Chris Burkard shares how exploring remote surf destinations led to paid freelance gigs from major brands. "They had a need for captivating surf adventure photography. By relentlessly pursuing my passion, I became one of the only people capable of delivering those images authentically."
For digital nomad and travel blogger Oneika Raymond, leveraging her MBA into a freelance consulting business has funded her perpetual travels. "I help tourism boards and hotels enhance their social media presence and increase bookings. My global adventures equip me with insights that clients can’t find elsewhere."
Leveraging language skills has also proven lucrative for bilingual digital nomads. Companies frequently hire freelancers for translation, interpreting, and language lessons over video chat. Former English teacher Lindsay Tigar explains, "I live in Mexico and offer English lessons to business professionals and students online. My clients appreciate learning from a native speaker immersed in the culture."
The beauty of freelancing for digital nomads is income flexibility paired with location independence. Rates can be set based on cost of living in your current destination. And workloads can ebb and flow to accommodate travel plans. Slow travel schedules align well with rounding up sporadic freelance projects.
Roam and Riches: 12 Clever Ways Digital Nomads Earn While Exploring the Globe - Work at Co-working Spaces Abroad
Unlike solo freelancing from Airbnbs and hotels, co-working spaces provide built-in community, networking opportunities, and travel insights from local members. Nomads can bounce ideas off fellow location independent entrepreneurs or team up on projects and partnerships. The energy and inspiration can really accelerate the creative process.
I’ve discovered some of my favorite co-working spaces through the Cocoon community, which consists of over 200 coworking and coliving spaces in 60 countries. They make it easy for nomads to find spaces with availability and book online.
Cocoon member Ani Vora describes her experience at Sun and Co, a co-working space in Morocco. “It’s such an inspiring community of passionate remote workers and digital nomads. I loved meeting so many interesting people from around the world.”
In bustling travel hubs like Bali and Barcelona, specialized digital nomad co-working spaces have emerged, like Hubud and SALT. These cater specifically to location independent professionals, with poolside work spaces and nomad-focused events.
Matt Bernabe explains how landing at Distrikt Work in Prague accelerated his freelance business. “I was able to collaborate on projects with other nomads and locals which really accelerated my business. The mentoring sessions also helped me refine my services.”
For nomads basing up in one region longer term, renting a desk monthly at a local co-working spot can provide the perfect home base. Professional surroundings help many focus better than working solo at a crowded hostel or a small Airbnb.
When Alexandra Baacke settled in for a few months in Mexico City, she rented a desk at WeWork Insurgentes 601. “Having an inspiring place to work every day helped me be so much more productive. I also loved tapping into the expertise of local members.”
Roam and Riches: 12 Clever Ways Digital Nomads Earn While Exploring the Globe - Rent Your Home Back Home
Renting out your primary residence while traveling long-term can be a savvy source of passive income for digital nomads. By turning your vacant property into a short-term rental, you can offset travels with earnings from home.
House sitting platforms like TrustedHousesitters connect travelers with homeowners seeking pet and house sitters. Sitters stay free of charge in exchange for tending the home. It's a wonderful way for wanderlusting homeowners to travel guilt-free knowing their property is cared for.
Vacation rental platforms like Airbnb, VRBO and Booking.com also make it easy for travelers to list their homes. Photos, descriptions and availability calendars can be managed remotely via laptop or phone app. Earnings are deposited seamlessly via direct deposit.
The key is ensuring quality care for your home and establishing smart pricing. Underpricing leaves money on the table, but overpricing leads to empty rooms. Study local rates to find the sweet spot.
Many nomads hire a property manager to handle cleaning, maintenance and guest communications. Hendrika Jellema recommends using a portion of rental income to employ a local property manager. "It gave me total peace of mind knowing my property manager was watching over my home while I traveled overseas for 18 months.”
Renting your home while traveling long-term takes careful preparation. Valuables should be stored off site, and spaces decluttered for guests. Smart home devices like Nest and Ring allow remote monitoring and keyless entry.
Most nomads limit personal belongings left on site and pack remaining clothes, toiletries and paperwork into storage. A thorough deep clean readies the space for a constant ebb and flow of visitors.
Digital nomad bloggers like Matthew Karsten praise home rentals for providing financial freedom to keep traveling indefinitely. As Karsten explains, “By renting my Florida condo through Airbnb whenever I leave town, I generate enough to fund my worldwide adventures.”
Other savvy nomads use the income to splurge on accommodations in pricier destinations like St. Barts or Dubai. Financial planner Christine Lo explains “Renting my SF apartment covers my daily expenses abroad. Any time I visit mega resorts or luxury cities, I use income from my home rental.”
Roam and Riches: 12 Clever Ways Digital Nomads Earn While Exploring the Globe - Create Travel Content
Creating travel content can be an engaging way for digital nomads to fund their adventures and build their personal brands. Documenting your journeys through blogs, vlogs, photos, and social media provides valuable insights that followers crave. Savvy content creators have leveraged their passions for travel into lucrative careers.
Veteran travel blogger Derek Low began his site TheLifeOfADom in 2011 detailing his backpacking adventures in Asia. His compelling stories and photography built a loyal audience exceeding 500,000 monthly visitors. Brand sponsorships, affiliates, and advertising revenue allow Low to fund his travels indefinitely. As Low explains, "I never imagined my travel blog could become a full-time career. But by consistently creating content that provides value, it has given me the freedom to travel perpetually."
For social media influencer Jack Morris, captivating snapshots of his global journeys for DoYouTravel @doyoutravel have earned over 2 million engaged Instagram followers. Morris gets paid partnership fees from tourism boards and hotels to feature sponsored content. As Morris notes, "The beauty of travel photography is capturing a destination's allure in a single image. My photos inspire others to visit those amazing places themselves."
Videography is also gaining popularity through streaming platforms like YouTube and Facebook Watch. Fun vlogger Eva zu Beck has accumulated over 2.5 million YouTube subscribers by highlighting her adventures in lesser known destinations like Pakistan and Iraq. Zu Beck reinvests earnings from video monetization into funding her nomadic lifestyle. As she explains, "I'm living my dream traveling to hidden gem destinations. By sharing travel tips and cultural insights that mainstream media ignores, I'm building a global community of viewers who live vicariously through my journeys."
Podcasting has also emerged as an engaging medium for nomads to share stories in an audio format. Amateur Traveler podcast host Chris Christensen recounts, “I began podcasting as a hobby during weekend trips, never imagining it could become a full-time endeavor. 15 years later, affiliate partnerships and dedicated listeners now fully fund my nomadic lifestyle.”
Roam and Riches: 12 Clever Ways Digital Nomads Earn While Exploring the Globe - Start a Travel Blog or Vlog
Turning a passion for travel into a career as a blogger or vlogger has become an increasingly popular path for digital nomads. By sharing captivating stories and imagery from the road, wanderlusters have cultivated avid audiences and built lucrative personal brands. For those with a knack for compelling storytelling and a determination to produce consistent content, launching a travel blog or vlog can fund a perpetual life of location independence.
The most crucial element is a relentless commitment to creating content that provides value for readers or viewers. Generic lists or pretty pictures may attract initial clicks, but only consistently unique perspectives will build an engaged, loyal following. Viewers want to learn something new or experience an unfamiliar destination viscerally through the creator’s lens. Hook them with a specific niche or point of view - like trekking adventures, luxury escapes, family travel, solo female exploits, or food journeys.
Travel blogger Derek Low of TheLifeofaDomo built a readership of over 500,000 by candidly recounting his backpacking journeys through Asia. He provides cultural insights unavailable in guidebooks paired with breathtaking photography. For social media influencer Jack Morris, perfectly composed snapshots of dream destinations for @doyoutravel evoke wanderlust in over 2 million Instagram followers. Their content inspires others to embark on adventures of their own.
On the video front, fun vlogger Eva Zu Beck has accumulated over 2.5 million YouTube subscribers by highlighting her journeys to obscure locales ignored by mainstream media. Her clips educate and entertain. For podcasters like Amateur Traveler host Chris Christensen, 15 years of consistent high quality audio content has cultivated a loyal audience that now fully funds his nomadic lifestyle through affiliate partnerships.
While launching a successful travel blog or vlog requires talent and dedication, it’s accessible to anyone willing to commit. WordPress and YouTube provide free platforms to get started. Basic gear like a smartphone, tripod, and laptop meet initial equipment needs. As your audience grows, ad networks and sponsorships offer monetization opportunities to reinvest in gear upgrades. Set measurable goals like publish schedule, view counts, and revenue milestones. Stay focused on providing value for your audience, and let your passion drive you through the inevitable ups and downs.
Roam and Riches: 12 Clever Ways Digital Nomads Earn While Exploring the Globe - Get Paid for Product Reviews
Product reviews penned by wanderlusting digital nomads offer a unique value coveted by travel brands. By road testing gear, apps, and services while trotting the globe, nomads gain hard-won insights unavailable behind a stationary desk. Companies are now leveraging these real-world perspectives to market products, paying nomads to publish reviews based on authentic travel experiences.
For sponsors and affiliates, reviews by digital nomads provide trusted validation. A backpack critique from a nomad who has schlepped their gear through jungles, snowstorms and crowded airports holds serious credibility. Their adventures reflect the true durability and performance of products under intense travel conditions.
These reviews also offer visibility brands crave, exposure to the lucrative travel community. An endorsement from a blogger with legions of globetrotting followers represents free marketing to an ideal target demographic. Just a single post can generate thousands in sales.
So brands now seek out influential nomads to test and review gear first-hand during their adventures. In exchange for an honest assessment, companies ship free products, offer discounted purchases, or pay a contracted review fee. It's a win-win providing helpful reviews to travel shoppers while funding nomadic lifestyles.
For one nomadic couple, product reviews became a profitable niche. Adventure bloggers Halley and Austin of Wolves Work Wanderlust leverage their extreme intrepid expeditions in cold climates into paid review gigs. As Halley explains, “We test cold weather gear in Alaska, Norway, Patagonia. Brands value our feedback for how their products truly perform in harsh conditions.”
Meanwhile, backpacker budget blogger Brenna Holeman funds her nomadic life through hostel and travel gear reviews. Holeman recounts, “I road test luggage, shoes, clothes and recommend the best travel products under $50. Affiliate links help cover my costs on the road.”
In the digital nomad community, a product review from a respected travel blogger goes a long way. Their recommendations carry far more weight than anonymous reviews on Amazon. Popular nomad gear lists and reviews get bookmarked and shared widely.
However, maintaining integrity is crucial. Only recommend products you truly find useful. Disclose paid reviews and maintain honest critiques, noting pros and cons. Obvious bias erodes your credibility. Be transparent when drafting affiliate content as well.
For nomads considering product reviews as income, build your value first through high quality content showcasing your adventures. Consider gear and apps that enhance the travel experience. Approach relevant brands you authentically appreciate for partnership opportunities. Review policies carefully, and start small working with reputable companies.
Roam and Riches: 12 Clever Ways Digital Nomads Earn While Exploring the Globe - Participate in Medical Trials
An unconventional way digital nomads can earn extra cash is by participating in medical research studies and clinical trials. Especially in major cities, universities and private research firms constantly seek volunteers to test new medications, devices, and treatments. Sessions compensate participants for their time and contributions to medical progress.
For healthy nomads flexible with their schedules, attending screening appointments and study visits can provide intriguing insights while stacking cash. Veteran medical trial participant Peter Clark recounts enriching experiences testing experimental treatments. "As someone passionate about science, I find it fascinating to learn about these emerging innovations first-hand from doctors and nurses administering the trials."
Clinical trials provide all study materials and medications free of charge to participants. For more involved trials requiring overnight stays or frequent appointments, compensation can be quite substantial. A single study may pay participants anywhere from $1,000 up to $10,000 depending on duration and requirements. Even less intensive trials often pay a minimum of $100 per visit.
The bonus for digital nomads is that major study hubs tend to be large cities also well-suited for travel. Medical research powerhouses like New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, and Houston offer boundless urban adventures for nomads between trial appointments.
Finance blogger Carter Seuthe participated in over 50 trials during extended stays in NYC and Boston, pocketing $8,000. "I lived very affordably in hostels while stacking cash from trials. My earnings enabled me to keep exploring incredible destinations longer term." He recommends sites like StudyScavenger and MyClinicalTrialLocator which match participants to trials.
The application process involves detailed questionnaires on medical history, often followed by in-person screenings. Candidates may be rejected for pre-existing conditions or medications that could impact results. For eligible participants, scheduling flexibility is key as appointment dates can shift. Esther Choi found participating ideal as a digital nomad without a 9 to 5 routine. "My open schedule made juggling trial visits easy. I could plan urban adventures between appointments."
However, potential risks should not be downplayed. Experimental treatments can produce side effects. While rare, adverse reactions have occurred in some participants. Nomads must closely weigh perceived risks and benefits before signing on. Candidates should thoroughly vet studies beforehand to understand potential dangers.