How this 18 Year Old Got Paid to Travel in Just 6 Months!
Last updated on April 28th, 2023 at 02:01 pm
When the word “digital nomad” is said, many people envision a person sitting in a hammock on the beach, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Most digital nomads aren’t the ones sitting on the beach doing nothing and having millions of dollars being poured into their bank accounts. Honestly, behind the veil, crap like that doesn’t exist.
The majority of digital nomads are service based and either freelance for a living or have remote jobs. That’s the most tried and true path! But the people doing that aren’t loud enough, and it’s easier to sell the dream of sitting on the beach than it is to sell the idea of actual hard work!
How To Become A Digital Nomad
How do you go about the tried and true path? It’s actually very simple. Take a skill that you like or are a little interested in, get good at it and start using that skill as a service for people that will benefit from it. It’s simple, but actual hard work.
Here’s a practical example and how I first made money travelling. I learnt how to build basic websites off Youtube and Google, then I used Google to make a list of all the cafes in the city I was in. I then filtered down to the ones on Facebook and cancelled out the ones that already had a website.
That entire process took me 15 mins, why did I do it? Well, now I had a list of cafes that probably understood the basic benefits of marketing online, which is why they were on Facebook but didn’t have a website yet. I then went from cafe to cafe and by the end of the day, I had a client.
Slowly, I grew my portfolio, got better at building websites and networked for more clients. I travelled for half a year building those websites.
Related article – Making Our First $150 as a Digital Nomad
Making Money Blogging
While I was travelling and building websites, in the background I built a travel blog at Think Travel Lift Grow. I started out writing articles that provided answers to questions and queries people were looking for. At the same time, I marketed my blog to my audience using forums, social media and doing proper SEO optimisation. After putting in the work, it eventually grew to cover my travel expenses through affiliate marketing, so I could stop freelancing (as it wasn’t something I was passionate about) and focus on growing my blog.
I always focused on recommending products that were a Win-Win. Products or services that brought my readers a lot of value and didn’t just put money in my pocket! For example, I always promote Audible as it’s a service I always use, and people who sign up for the free trial with my link get 2 free audiobooks. I then earn a small commission for recommending them. WIN-WIN!
I learnt most of my skills for free using the internet, from growing the traffic to my blog to learning how to communicate and market on different social media platforms. I still remember skipping class and heading off to the library and Googling “how to drop out and travel the world” back when I was stuck studying Engineering in Goa, India. Now I’m usually the first result on Google for that query! That’s not because of a “hack” or a “secret”, but actual smart hard work.
Blogging, however, isn’t a get rich quick scheme, it takes patience and a lot of hard work but it’s a great business that you can start with very little capital.
Related article – How to Make Money Travel Blogging
The Road Ahead
I’ve been travelling full-time for over a year so far, have everything I own fit in a single backpack. I’ve done insanely incredible things, like I climbed the world’s third highest mountain pass alone with everything I own on my back, met the Dalai Lama and so many more incredible experiences.
Right now I’ve started a new project on Youtube where I’m going around the world trying different coffees from the best cafes and farms and talking about it! I just started the channel a month ago so it still hasn’t started to make me any money, but the easiest way you can make money is by displaying ads before your videos. That’s what most Youtubers use to make money on Youtube, I, however, never really liked ads and hence am not going to be using them on my channel.
I plan to monetise my coffee blog by partnering with businesses and affiliate marketing as I mentioned earlier. The truth is, I want to focus more on growing my audience and community. Once you have the attention of people, it’s always easy to monetize that attention. I personally believe in trying my best to bring the people whose attention I have more value with my content than I ask of them.
Related article – Travel Blogging for Free Stuff
Advice To Aspiring Digital Nomads
The best advice I have for any aspiring digital nomads is hard work and patience. When I started my travel blog, I entered with the mindset that I would have to work hard on it for 2 years at least before I could live off its income. The fact that I did it in 6 months was a different story. It’s about the mindset I entered with.
Most people are usually like “OMG! 2 whole years?” Well if you look at it logically and practically, and distance yourself from the emotional way of how the world should work, what’s the other option? Well, you do what you are told and spend 40+ years of your life working, possibly doing what you don’t even like and waiting the entire year for a vacation. That might suit some people but that wasn’t the path for me.
I’m 19 years old now and I have my entire life ahead of me, for me, it’s not about ‘not working’ as the digital nomad lifestyle is usually portrayed on the internet! It’s about finding what you love doing so it never feels like work. I like climbing mountains, surfing and drinking coffee, so I found a way to make that pays the bills.
You have to fill your time with something, sitting on the beach with a drink in your hand gets boring after a while (I would know!), whether that’s running a coffee vlog and going around the world trying coffee and talking to a camera, as I’m doing, or running a startup to change the world.
For digital nomad inspiration, check out Finding Beyond’s Digital Nomad Desires articles.
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About The Author
Jeremy Noronha is the host of The #CoffeeWithJeremy Show where he is going around the world, trying the best coffee’s and reviewing them, he built Think Travel Lift Grow a travel blog to pay for his travels around the world by leveraging social media and SEO. He also consults in SEO. You can follow his adventures on his blog and YouTube or connect with him on Facebook and Instagram,