Sunday, April 06, 2014

Frequently Asked Questions


What do you do for a living that allows you to travel all the time? 

I’m a freelance journalist and a contributing editor for Verge Magazine, a publication devoted to travel with purpose. Since Verge’s head office is in Peterborough, I telecommute for work—which means that I can work literally anywhere that has a reliable Internet connection.

You get paid to travel? That’s awesome! 

No. This is almost never the case. Yes, I work for a travel magazine, and yes, I freelance for other publications as a travel writer. But for the most part, I pay for nearly all of my trips out of pocket. However while I never get paid to travel, I’m always getting paid while I travel. I very rarely take “vacations.” Instead, my office is just mobile.

With that being said, I am occasionally invited to participate in press trips, which are paid for by tourism commissions. I also sometimes travel for work with the Go Global Expos.

How do you afford to travel so much?

I actually have no idea. It’s just about different priorities, I imagine.

Comparatively, my rent is low (I have two roommates) and because I work from home, I don’t have to pay for transit or lunches out. I don’t own a car (I bike or walk everywhere), I don’t have any real vices (other than coffee) and I don’t really spend money on anything else.

The trips I take are also relatively inexpensive. I stay almost exclusively with friends overseas. When I do have to pay for accommodation, it’s always at hostels or guesthouses. I’m not big on visiting tourist attractions, I don’t go shopping and I know the value of buying meals at the grocery store. I’m not averse to taking 12-hour bus rides, which are considerably cheaper than two-hour flights. Finally, I always take public transit to and from Toronto Pearson airport. (Except when my roommate Mike is kind enough to drive me there. Thanks Mike!)

To give you an idea of what I might spend, my month-long trip to Central America cost less than $2500, including flights. You can also read my post on how I save for travel. 

Why do you keep paying rent in Toronto? 

I like my dog too much to leave. I like having an apartment and I love my neighbourhood. While I’d like to work overseas, right now I have absolutely no desire to become location independent.

Do you have any suggestions on ways to travel for cheap? 

Since flights are usually the most expensive part, I’m happy to share my biggest secret—become a mystery shopper for flights. Through Evaluate It by SQM, you can get half-priced Air Canada flights to a ton of destinations all over the world. You can also read my post on 12 ways to travel for cheap.

Last updated February 2015.

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