Permanently traveling the world sounds like it could quickly drain your finances. But for Derek Earl Baron, 37, founder of wanderingearl.com, it was the most lucrative decision of his life. He’s been on the road for 5,268 days — over 14 years — visited 88 countries, and worked 10 different jobs.
After graduating college, Baron was only planning to travel for three months before buckling down to start his career in sports management. But a week into his trip, he decided corporate life wasn’t for him.
“In just that one week I had so many life-changing travel experiences, that [I thought] there must be so many more of those experiences out there in the world. I decided that I couldn’t go back,” Baron told Yahoo Finance. Determined to make a living while on the road, he was able to find money-making opportunities that allowed him to save money while seeing the world.
Baron has been able to save more money than his friends back home in Massachusetts, working several positions aboard different cruise lines, teaching English all over the world, and holding down various blogging and internet marketing positions. Currently based in Romania, Baron says the decision to stay abroad has been lucrative as well as life-changing. Through his blog, wanderingearl.com, and his self-published e-books, he’s been able to bring in a steady income for several years.
Living on the high seas
The most lucrative job Baron had was aboard Cunard Lines, a cruise line based in the U.K. With room and board covered, as well as food and entertainment subsidized, he was able to save almost his entire salary of $4,000 a month. At the end of his six-month contract as a tour manager coordinating shore excursions for guests, he had saved $24,000.
Overseas job hunt
Granted, living on a ship with 1,000 passengers at any given time isn’t for everyone. If the idea of life on the high seas isn’t appealing, consider getting a work visa in a foreign country. One destination to consider: Australia. Recent college graduates in Australia travel around the world themselves, leaving a gap in the job market that foreigners can often fill. If you're between the ages of 18 and 31, working holiday visas are easy to obtain and allow you to work and live in Australia for up to twelve months.
Western European countries have a large workforce to tap into, making it more difficult to get work visas. But you can find it easier to work in Australia, New Zealand, Romania, and parts of Eastern Europe
and Turkey. Through networking, Baron discovered there were plenty of mid- to upper-level management positions available to foreigners in Romania and said applying for a work visa was a painless process for him.
Getting a job teaching English continues to be a popular job overseas, as it often pays well. Baron recommends sites like ESLcafe.com that list hundreds of opportunities: “You’re going to get the best pay in places like South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan is growing as well. And then places in the Middle East, like Turkey, also pay quite well,” he says.
It may take some creative thinking to figure out how you can use your skill set or knowledge in a decent-paying job overseas, Baron says. “If you know something about something, chances are you know more about that than most people out there,” he says.