What is the Best Way to Fund a Travel Lifestyle?

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My name is John Bardos. My wife and I gave up our business, house and possessions in Japan to search for more meaning and fulfillment in our lives. We've discovered that a satisfying life is about rich experiences, quality relationships and meaningful contribution, NOT consumption.

12 Responses to What is the Best Way to Fund a Travel Lifestyle?

  1. Kirsty says:

    Nice post, John. I think people might not realize how many and what sort of variety of sites people living off earnings from the web actually have. This post over on my blog gives a bit of detail on the 20 sites I have: http://www.nerdynomad.com/2009/11/03/499/ I think somewhere in the comments Nomadic Matt mentions having about 40 sites too… so we’re not just earning from a single blog. I only recently started even earning from my blog… I was convinced it wasn’t possible to earn much from a blog and that the effort would be too much so I was reluctant to star one, except as a hobby which is what I did. I only started earning recently from Nerdy Nomad and even still, it’s not very much when compared to the earnings from my static HTML information sites (that rarely need an update!)

    The point is not to get fooled into thinking that a travel blog alone will help you earn enough to travel. Learn about affiliate marketing, SEO and keyword research. Get some more sites up while continuing to blog. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket and choose a variety of topics.

    I’ve put in thousands and thousands of hours in over the past 10 years to get to the point of earning an average of $2200-ish so far this year. A lot of that time was spent learning new things and doing it as a hobby, though. It can be done a lot smarter and a lot quicker than I’ve done it and the potential to earn a lot more is there if you work smart and stick with it.

    Blogs are a great way to stay in touch and maybe sell a few ads but it’s the behind-the-scenes stuff that are most people’s bread and butter.
    .-= Kirsty´s last blog ..Keeping Myself Entertained with Rwandan Hash =-.

  2. Dan says:

    Great comment from Kirsty! I think a lot of people put too much energy in to their “follow me on my business/travel journey as I learn” blogs when it would be better spent building a legit business that can be the leader in a profitable niche. “Earn a decent income SLOWLY” is critical. It helps to think of things in 5 year plans. If you can’t stomach 5 years of upending your life and learning a whole new skill set I say man don’t bother! PS these captchas are damn hard to read!

    • John says:

      Thanks Dan.

      There does seem to be an over-supply of “follow me on my business/travel journey as I learn” blogs. The idea of easy passive income sounds great but I think a lot of people (me included) are finding that “easy” and “passive” are not words typically associated with earning an income.

      I am also starting to believe that real world businesses have a much better chance of success than trying to compete with the millions of people willing to work for free online.

  3. Phil says:

    Good article, except, your basis of calculation is wrong. I doubt that any millionaire would be lazy/unaware enough to settle for the 3% annual interest! This ‘poor economic climate’ is actually a great investment time and any good managed portfolio should get you upwards of 9%. Even my 78 year old mother who knows nothing of investing has a portfolio that is earning in that range (she uses a portfolio manager)!

    So, really, if you had 1m invested you would be seeing 90k/annum in interest. You would have to pay income tax on that or course, so, let’s say you’d end up with 63k/annum after tax and then deduct a certain amount in portfolio and transfer costs, you would have at least 50k, if not 55k/year.

    So, that is the target if you feel the vanity of claiming an income like a millionaire.

    Apart from that, it is a great article. ‘Earn a Decent Income Slowly’ is a great mantra!

    Keep it up! Great work.
    .-= Phil´s last blog ..The value of things =-.

    • John says:

      Hi Phil,

      Thanks for the comment.

      In a previous post, I used a 6% return as a base rate and several people commented that it was too high. I thought that no one would disagree with a 3% return. 🙂

      If you can get steady and safe 9% returns then you are doing better than I am. My mother’s portfolio made a total of 1% over the last six years after counting the 30% drop in 2008. This year was a great year for investing, but I am not wise enough to get anywhere near a 9% yearly return.

      • Phil says:

        Hi John,
        (As I replied in an email) I am no stock market genius, but, I follow the advice of people who are! I subscribe to the Motley Fool and, while not perfect, their Stock Advisor service has done me well. For example, since they recommended NetFlix it has gone up 300% (in the last 2 years or so).

        The trick is to stay on top of things – or pay someone to do so. Personally, I like following it.

        When you hit ‘a certain age’ (which sadly I have) you realise that you have to get your act together and save money for the inevitable!
        .-= Phil´s last blog ..The value of things =-.

  4. Michelle says:

    I’m so Glad that http://www.theplanetd.com/ led me here. I’m trying to do some research on the use of affiliate programs and travel bloggers and haven’t gotten many answers. I’m not looking for a program, I’m looking to find out if many actually use these programs and if it is actually profitable or does it tend to really be more of a trickle?

    If you or anyone would be interested in answering a few questions for me that would be great. You can e-mail me, contact me at http://travelfed.wordpress.com or find me on Twitter @eSkyGuide

    Going to check out Corbett’s program now. Thank you.
    .-= Michelle´s last blog ..One letter on a plane ticket says a lot about you =-.

  5. John says:

    Hi Michelle,

    Although I am no expert, I think it is definitely possible to make a good income (thousands of dollars per month) on affiliate sites. Many of the people I have interviewed are proving that.

    However, as Kirsty says, making it from a single, or even a few, travel oriented blogs is unlikely. You have to write about what people want to buy. Most travel blogs don’t fit into that category, including this one. Popular blogs focused on popular cities, travel products, hotels, etc. are more likely to be successful but even then you will likely need dozens of blogs to make a good income.

  6. Interview with Niche Marketers, Andy and David Boyd | JetSetCitizen.com says:

    […] have written recently that niche marketing is one of the best ways to make money online. It is no get rich quick scheme but it does have the potential to earn a solid consistent income […]

  7. Tom@ En Espanol Karaoke says:


    I’m building multiple sources of online income. My obective is to have the CHOICE to live location independent. In the past i had the ability to live where ever i wanted, however the reality was that i kept coming back to the UK for long periods of time.

    So for me its all about freedom. A series of small endevours should allow me to live where i want with adequate income and some savings.

    For now im building Adsense sites (easy and quick) Amazon and ebay affilaites, affilaite Marketing keyword reseacrh and wordpress blog tools. Oh and the obligator hosting compnay 🙂 although i dont promote hostagtor but wpWEBhost

    I hope that contirbte to your blog.


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