Travel & The Freelance Lifestyle

Travel and technology

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Long term travel plans are a place our minds often drift off to, particularly on a Monday morning, as we sit in our grey office looking out on a miserable morning, dreaming of warmer climates… yet for the majority of us, the only relief is a few weeks in the sun, and then it’s back to work we go.

In today’s flourishing digital economy there is the opportunity to work remotely, from anywhere in the world, providing you have a laptop and a decent internet connection!  For many people, “living the dream” no longer features a corner office, fancy title, and fast car parked in their garage – it’s more akin to jetting off to an exotic location and working from their laptop in a bamboo beach hut drinking from a fresh coconut that’s recently fallen onto the soft white sand.

No doubt you’ll have heard the tales of someone giving up their daily grind in order to travel the world… where they exchange the shackles of the nine-to-five for flexible working hour…. and the congested commute for a walk from their beach hut to a local coffee shop.

The benefits of this remote working lifestyle are clear… there are plenty of people who, right now, have exchanged their office cubicle for a beach in Thailand, getting a foot massage for a few dollars, whilst working on their iPad.

However, whilst the beach hut lifestyle sounds incredible, from a distance, the reality of mosquitos, poor plumbing, and a mattress made of bamboo fibre – it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.  This is where getting an apartment, such as the ones found at can pay dividends, because you have the stability of a “normal life” rather than living out your backpack, always on the move – which is important when trying to make a go of a freelance career that can support long term travel.

If you are a freelancer trying to make a decent income, in today’s economy, the general advice is to develop a smorgasbord of projects – rather than depending on one source of income that could be taken away at any time.  Think of it as a table with four legs vs. one leg – as your financial stability is inherently vulnerable if you just have one leg, as this could be taken away at any time.

The key advice, therefore, is to develop multiple streams of income rather than rely on one particular source.  The next nugget of advice is to develop skills that are in demand, and in particular, skills where the demand is likely to increase in coming years.


With the ever increasing trend for user generated content, and video explainers, the demand for video editing is booming and shows no signs of stopping; basic video editing is a skill you can pick up reasonably quickly, and the Adobe Suite of products doesn’t cost that much for a monthly subscription.

Web Design is another booming market, and whilst, a few years ago web designers would require an understanding of coding language – today, there are plenty of WYSWYG website builders available, where it is as simple as dragging and dropping elements onto a page, without any need for coding.  Remember, you don’t need to be a designer extraordinaire, you just need to be able to facilitate the tangible outcome that the client wants.

Just as popular as web design and video editing is copywriting where you develop content for a client, whether that’s a blog post, advertising copy, or a description of the business or service.  The more specialised this is (e.g. business plan writing) the higher paid you will be, but someone with a general grasp of creative writing can produce compelling copy that converts website visitors into customers.


Sites such as make popular tasks such as web design, video editing, and copywriting accessible to a global market of freelancers; many of which live in countries with such a low cost of living, they can charge as little as $5 an hour for complex technical tasks – blowing the majority of western freelancers out the water, in terms of price.  However, when you are travelling in a similar economy this makes you an extremely attractive option as you’ll have the language skills, cultural understanding, and relevant experience to attract many clients.

In summary, the opportunity to work remotely, and live the freelancing dream is within your grasp – but unless you are able to generate a decent income, you could end up spending most of your time pacing up and down the beach in a state of financial stress rather than blissful relaxation.


Here are five fantastic choices for travel hubs that offer great facilities for freelancers in addition to convenience in terms of flying out of the destination to explore other parts of the world:

1. Turkey. Turkey has recently seen a rapid decline in tourism, but it remains a beautiful country with fantastic weather, generous people, warm hospitality and a very diverse geographical region to explore – both culturally and in terms of landscape.

Due due to the lull in tourism, you’re able to find some incredible deals on accommodation as a vast proportion of properties within coastal regions of Turkey are designed for holiday lets, but as there are such few tourists there at the moment, the prices have hit rock bottom – meaning you can swoop up a bargain.

Furthermore, Turkey is a great base from which to explore other parts of the world including Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

2. Thailand. Unlike Turkey, Thailand’s tourism industry remains very much booming; however, you can escape the traditional tourist trail of places like Koh Phi Phi and Koh Samui by heading to some of the lesser known smaller islands where life remains very traditional with just a trickle of western visitors.

If you’re wanting to settle down for a couple of months, then Chiang Mai, in the North of Thailand is a great place to head toward – as it’s perfect for freelancers; it has some great facilities whilst also being cheap and well connected with inexpensive flights to other parts of SE Asia.

3. Bali. If you’re in the mood for an Eat Pray Love style trip, then you’ll want to head to Bali, which is a truly spiritual island that retains its unique charm despite being overrun with tourists at times.  The best place to base yourself is probably Ubud which is a relaxed home to many freelance long-term travellers.

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