If yes, how do they do it? What are some examples and options? How hard is it to become one of them?

P.S. I am not talking about people who write travel blogs or make money by writing about their traveling experiences. I am talking about people who manage to find jobs or create value temporarily as they travel, and make money and travel more with that money.

  • The questions are related but definitely not duplicates IMHO :) Jul 2, 2014 at 10:19
  • 1
    Consider reading The $100 Startup. Several of the business he refers to are independent consultant who do travel a lot and work from any where.
    – Ida
    Jul 2, 2014 at 16:50

1 Answer 1


Yes, there are, the common term is perpetual traveller (PT). I've done this myself, living out of a rollaboard suitcase for a year and half, although I wasn't exactly a full-fledged PT since I was notionally both resident and paying taxes in Singapore (not a high-tax country, mind you).

Most PTs who are in it for the long haul are either self-supportingly wealthy (have "fuck you money", in the charming term of the art), or are consultant/self-employed types in careers that let them work remotely from anywhere (online businesses, very specialized IT skillsets, financial traders, etc). Pseudo-PTs, like myself at the time, had jobs that required extensive travel to customer sites and where the employer was paying for accommodation and expenses; in my case, I designed and deployed SMS gateways, with a typical project lasting anywhere from 3 months to a year. (Have you ever gotten one of those "Welcome to Foophone!" SMSes when you landed in a new country? My invisible digital fingerprints are probably on that message.) Once I realized that it made no sense for me to pay rent on an apartment I was staying at maybe 4 nights a month, I dumped my stuff in a friend's spare room and rented hotels when I returned "home" once every few weeks, which still came out way cheaper and meant I never had to clean the toilet myself (woohoo!). Doing the vast majority of my travel in Asia, where eating out is cheaper than cooking at home, also helped quite a bit.

In both cases, though, the key is that you're not "managing to find jobs" along the way, but that you already have a job or valuable skillset that is valued enough that you can get paid at first-world rates even when traveling in third-world countries. Most answers over at the other "long term travel on the cheap" question aren't about PTs though, but what I'd call "self-sustaining travel", where the goal is to earn just enough to keep your head above the water and keep moving, and this is mostly done by menial jobs (fruit-picking etc). This is all good fun for a while when you're young, but most people can't realistically do this for their entire life. There are exceptions, some of whom are among the most interesting people I know, eg. one acquaintance who drives a charter bus in Finland for half the year (cash payments only, no taxes) and then travels around the world by hitching, catching rides on freighters etc until the money runs out, but they've also chosen not to have a family or savings.

  • Nice answer, just wondering about work permits when working remotely, I guess most people will do it with just the tourist visa to avoid the work permits related delays and stuff, correct? Jul 2, 2014 at 12:10
  • Yup -- technically illegal in most places, but you're highly unlikely to get caught. But there are also companies that will sort out legit work visas in exchange for a cut of your earnings, and this will be a necessity if you're planning on renting a place long-term, getting credit cards, etc. Jul 2, 2014 at 12:15
  • I guess working as a crew is the best option, you got to keep all of the nice features of being home plus the nice features of being on the road.. Jul 2, 2014 at 12:18
  • “Self-supportingly wealthy” may be an exaggeration. The first four years of my retirement, I spent in about two dozen countries, and my total expenses were equivalent to forty hours per week at twelve US dollars per hour. My pensions and social security covered it, with an occasional withdrawal from an IRA for a major purchase (computer, Brompton bike).
    – WGroleau
    Apr 24, 2021 at 15:31
  • @WGroleau If you can afford to spend $500/week without working indefinitely in a country where that supports a decent lifestyle, you're pretty much by definition independently wealthy in that country. Apr 25, 2021 at 1:08

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