Travel and Earn Money Online – “The Experiment”

by Stephanie Walsh · 41 comments

in Location Independence, Making Money, Travels

Me and Andres on top of the world

I wrote this blog post a few months ago while lying in a gently swaying hammock, on a wooden beach-house in Tayrona, overlooking the Caribbean Sea on the north coast of Colombia. I never published it but I come back to it today, updating it with a much clearer mind of what I was trying to say back then. I wrote this soon after I had decided to extend my Colombian adventure into a World adventure and the beginning of what Andres and I call ‘The Experiment”: To Travel and Earn Money Online…


An elusive day in January 2012…

Today is the first “cold” day I’ve experienced in Colombia since I landed in Bogota 10 days ago. I am very badly sunburnt…on my front only, much to the amusement of the golden skinned locals and visitors (well I’ve convinced myself they are laughing at me anyway as I only know “un poquito” Spanish).

In a world far, far away from where I traditionally call “home”; the rainy but heart-warming Ireland, I begin a an experiment in “lifestyle design”. The goal:

to make the ‘vacation’ my full-time vocation.

Travel and Earn Money Online

Soon after deciding the 'plan' in Tayrona National Park, Colombia

What is the lifestyle experiment?

I want to be free from location and time (read: LIFE) restricting employment, I want to be free to spend my (very!) valuable time doing the things I love (travelling, photography, videography, learning new things, meeting new people, etc) in a way that allows me to continue doing it for the long-term. I don’t want to experience that depressing feeling of nearing the end of a two-week holiday and returning to work. I don’t want to be forced to constantly sacrifice good times and put my life on hold for the phrase “Sorry I cant, I have work in the morning”. I don’t want to waste my youth in a job which bores me or I apparently have to do in order to gain that ever-lucrative and seemingly never-ending ‘work experience’…what about life experience I say!

Travel and Earn Money Online

Diving into the deep end

Most of all, I don’t want to have any regrets that I didn’t spend my life doing what I really LOVED because I feared change, the unknown and the loss “security”…a feature that comes with conformity (whatever security now means in a recession-ridden Ireland world).

So I have taken the first steps already (and it was scary) and I left Ireland in January for a “vacation”, never admitting it, but subconsciously knowing that I would not return after my planned 3 weeks away. I would be gone perhaps indefinitely. I still do not know. That’s part of the ironic simplicity of it; I will travel for as long as it makes me happy.

Travel and Earn Money Online

Me and Andres outside the house of our new good friends from the Wayuu indigenous community

Of course, this wasn’t the best-planned method for starting a new lifestyle of freedom, but looking back, the uncertainty of my future probably gave me the bravery to actually do it. Knowing I could return at the end of the 3 weeks if it all became too far fetched and unrealistic and knowing I didn’t have to explain my long-winded reasons for travel to everyone before I left allowed me to step out my front door without the common worries (mostly the worries of others) like “But how will you travel and earn money online?”, “What are you going to do?” or the classic “You’ll never find another job in this economy”.

I do not intend to find another job, at least not another 9-5 job.

How Will We Travel and Earn Money Online?

So part of this lifestyle experiment is learning how to travel and earn money online at the same time. Make money AND travel…the dream of many, the dream of mine.

Travel and Earn Money Online

Andres in Tayrona

While Andres and I do not want to be employees anymore, we will work…hard. We will find a way to fund our travels through online automated technology based businesses. We will be part of the new type of online entrepreneur I guess; ones who travel the world at the same time.

I didn’t get to this type of thinking alone of course. Andres has been a huge influence for me, ‘converting’ me to the ways of online entrepreneurship and lifestyle design, inspiring me that it can be done. While he is certainly not new to entrepreneurial thinking, doing it while travelling the world is a new challenge for him; one that he revels in. Reading books like Tim FerrissThe 4-Hour Workweek, which coined the term ‘lifestyle design’, have also helped to re-awaken my incurable wanderlust, as he shows how he has managed to travel and earn money online at the same time, while living anywhere he wants, working a mere 4 hours a week to sustain himself! Who wouldn’t want that? Seriously?!

Travel and Earn Money Online

Andres gets ready to jump

So…that’s the plan! We are excited, happy and looking forward to where our ‘experiment’ will bring us. We are already working on a few exciting projects that we will post about on our blog soon. We’re still figuring out how we’ll fill out our 1040EZ forms for taxes and a few other issues. We will also keep the blog updated on both successes (of which hopefully there are many) and failures (of which we already have a few) so that we can hopefully show that it is possible to get out of the 9-5 slump and follow your passions, whether they take you around the world or not.

Travel and Earn Money Online

Andres making the Wayuu woman laugh hysterically

 What do you think of our ‘lifestyle experiment’? Would you give up security and comfort to pursue your passions?