One of the best perks of being a freelance writer is the FREEDOM you have.
Unlike other working professionals, you’re not stuck behind a desk, clocking in a 9-to-5 workday and micromanaging your schedule. Instead, you can work whatever hours you like, from wherever you like, as long as you get your work done.
Freelance writing jobs are available worldwide. You don’t need to reside in one physical location to land gigs and do the work.
This can be an amazing advantage for many people. It can let stay-at-home moms work around their kids’ nap schedules, it can allow teachers to pick up extra work in the summertime, and it can even help wanderlusting travel buffs see the world, while still making plenty of cash to pay the bills and cover those train costs.
And that last option? That’s becoming more and more popular with freelance writers every day.
Are you looking to travel more and see the world? Even if you’re on the move constantly, it’s quite easy to make a living as a writer. You don’t even need a house! You can be on a beach in Texas, a hotel in Milan or a coffee shop in Shanghai, and as long as you have a Wi-Fi connection, a computer and your brain, you can complete jobs and make money.
I’ve done my fair share of traveling since going freelance, so if you want make a living with freelance writing jobs while traveling abroad, let me help you make it an easy transition.
Keep Your Client / New Project Intake Up
When you’re busy traveling, seeing the world and experiencing new cultures, the last thing you will want to do is work. But without that work, you can’t afford the travels, so keep on trucking even as you bounce from location to location.
At least once a week, apply for a few new gigs, reach out to some potential clients and check out the freelance writing job boards. If you want to travel for a while, you will need a constant influx of work and money to make it happen, so be vigilant! It will pay off in the long run.
Start Going by Military Time
The biggest hang-up I see traveling writers face is managing different time zones.
Changing timezones not only make it hard for the writer to stay on deadline, but it also confuses the client. They never know when they can reach you or when to expect that project, which can hurt your customer satisfaction.
The best solution I’ve found is to go by military time. Change your smartphone clock to a 24-hour military clock, and invest in a military-time watch, too. Going by military time is much easier to convert to different time zones, and many clients in other countries use it as well.
Get a Reliable Computer (and a back-up)
Your computer is your one must-have no matter where you go. Without it, you won’t have your files, your word processor or your email, nor a way to apply for and land new freelance writing gigs, and these are all crucial to getting more work and communicating with your clients.
Before you leave for your travels, have your computer tuned up by a pro at Geek Squad or by some other local tech expert. Update all your programs and systems, and make sure it’s in top condition before hitting the road.
If you have an old computer you no longer use, consider tuning up that one as well, and bring it along for a back-up. You never want to be in a situation where you’re on a deadline, 5,000 miles from home with no computer in sight. Make sure you’re ready for anything.
Have a Back-up Wi-Fi Solution
Most big countries will have readily available Wi-Fi, but there will still be some occasions where you may find yourself struggling for a connection or unable to find one at all. When this happens, you will need a back-up.
The easiest solution I’ve found is to set up a hotspot on your smartphone. That way, you can just flip it on, connect your computer to it and get to work no matter where you are or what you’re doing.
Depending on who handles your cell service though, this can get expensive – especially if you use it a lot. Another good option is to install an app like WiFi Finder (for iPhone here), so you can also find the nearest connection to you.
If worse comes to worst, download the Starbucks app, and use that to find the nearest coffee shop in your area. Starbucks are located all around the world and, besides the great lattes, they also have free Wi-Fi, so they can be lifesavers when you’re in a pinch.
Put Some Savings in the Bank
Saving is a good safety net because in the event your workload slows down, or you want a break to simply enjoy your travels, or something goes wrong with your computer, it’s nice to have some savings in the bank you can rely on.
It can help cover your travel costs or you can put it toward bills you have back at home such as rent, mortgage or utilities.
I recommend putting away a few thousand in a savings account before you even consider a big trip. Even if you plan on working while you travel, there’s always the chance something could go wrong, and a little extra savings could be just what you need to get by.
See the World!
Freelance writing affords you the opportunity to do the things you would never have the luxury of doing with a 9-to-5 job. If traveling is your dream, don’t let anything stop you. As long as you are prepared and managing your clients well, you can relax and have the time of your life. Life is short. Make the most of it.
Have you traveled abroad while freelance writing? Let me know about your experiences in the comments.