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The Work Travel Balance of A Freelancer

The Work Travel Balance of A Freelancer

How does one balance working and traveling all at once? There are a number of questions people keep asking when they hear what I am doing and they all begin with the word how: 


How are you finding this work?

How are you funding yourself?

How are you able to find a balance between travel and work?

How can I do this?

The Work and How

In the words of Mischa Armada “You gotta hustle” every day in this lifestyle. In fact, it was Mischa, an old boss from my LA days that inspired me. I’d see her posting from Cuba, Manila, Bali and I was jealous. I wanted to do that.  So one random day I messaged her and we started talking about our lives, work and how working remotely is the future. She told me that it’s not easy and she was right. There is no certainty that 9-5 job can provide in terms of employment. It was Mischa who gave me not only the push I needed but also gave me my first ever contact. That contact turned into my first client and we’ve been together ever since. 🙂

Through my personal network I continue to get the odd job or a consulting project but just this month I have three new clients. They are all except one, month-to-month. That security of next month isn’t there but it’s work and it’s work that allows me to have a fairly flexible schedule.  The goal for me right now is I don’t want to work *full time, otherwise, it defeats the purpose of what Sean and I are doing.  Knowing this, I also know that I am almost at my limit of work.

Currently, I work enough so that I am not only enjoying my work but am also able to fund these travel goals of mine. I make sure to put 20% of every paycheck from every client away in my savings. I do this not only for tax purposes but also to build up well, a savings.  Savings are an important aspect for a freelancer. It is there as a safety net because there might be a month when you only have one or maybe no clients. Always be prepared and one way you can do that is by having a little something, something in your savings.

*It should be noted that I also make more than what I was making full-time with half as many hours of work.  It feels really good to feel valued, respected and being paid a salary that reflects that.


The Balance

A common misconception is that I am off doing something fun every day when that’s just not the case. I have some days that because of the time difference I am working until midnight. I have other days where I’m done after two hours of work in the morning. I try to balance my days like this: Working mornings and late evenings with the afternoon to do things or mornings off working mid-afternoon onwards. If I know I want to go somewhere specific then I will make sure to finish everything I need to do before that day and give my clients a heads up that I won’t be available except for emergencies. The most important thing is that I try to have a schedule or routine.

I make sure I get dressed (most days, some days the PJ and working from my bed are just a bit too strong) and that I set goals. For me, my anxiety helps me in this case as I am constantly creating and updating To Do lists to make sure I don’t miss anything.

Due to having a semi-flexible schedule and use of scheduling platforms allows me a freedom that working full-time didn’t give me. It means that if I want to go exploring for a morning or an afternoon I can and it won’t impact me too much. It is one of the perks of being a freelancer. I just always make sure to check my email. Mail on my iPhone is my best and worst friend these days 🙂

Can You Do It?

If you are considering the jump to freelance then here are a few important questions that I think you need to ask yourself first:


Are you motivated enough to:

Work the hours that you need to work for a client

Constantly be networking for new work and making connections

Stick to a budget

Sometimes having to say no

Actually get up and DO work

Work alone without co-workers

Be comfortable enough to ask your personal network if they know someone looking for services you provide

Valuing yourself at a fair price and not low-balling

Be assertive when it comes to being paid

This is how I got started. If you have ever considered quitting your job and freelancing while traveling and want to know more feel free to contact me at armswideopen@gmail.com. I’d be more than happy to talk more in depth. Just make sure to do your research and have an honest conversation with yourself if it is something that you want and can do.

To see what Mischa is up to make sure to check out her twitter and latest kick-ass idea at Stayawhile.com!


16 thoughts on “The Work Travel Balance of A Freelancer”

  • It is always amazing seeing travel bloggers and thinking, how the hell can they afford to do this? I blog for fun, and even then it is hard work and some days I need to skip out. People think that blogging is a dream job and super easy, but nothing comes easy without putting in the work!

  • Good tips! It is hard work even to be a successful blogger.
    Working all alone and keeping yourself motivated at the same time isn’t an easy task.

  • I don’t think I will ever get the chance of being a freelancer (as my real job pays me really good wages…he he) but who knows. Some great and handy tips in this post if I decide to jump the boat.

  • I reckon that if I did not have an established company here in Nigeria, I would be a full time nomad with a programming job to sustain the lifestyle. I have met many freelancers along the way, and it is amazing how they are able to balance it all. Thanks for the read and keep the hustle alive!

  • The work life balance is just applicable to travel bloggers and freelancers. The whole world needs to stand up and take notice that we work too much. Who honestly will look back on their life and say, ‘you know, I wish spent more in the office’. Very nice post and a gentle reminder that life isn’t all about work.

  • I genuinely loved your post because i could relate to it so much. And other reason was the three places you mentioned your boss would have updates from, I had lived in two – Bali and Manila. I liked the fact that you are very honest in stating the common misconception upfront that you might be having fun every day. We spend lot of time slogging ourselves, which unfortunately most people don’t know about. Loved your story of getting started. Start is the most important 🙂

  • It sounds like finding the right balance is a difficult part of freelancing but also sounds like it can be rewarding. I suppose it depends on how self motivated someone is and self disciplined as well. Some people wouldn’t be able to motivate themselves to put the necessary time in without a boss telling them what to do.

  • Interesting article! I made the jump to go freelance last year, and it is the best decision ever. I am lucky enough though to have my husband full time working most of the time and i worked part time freelance for a company as well. It is hard work, but its so worth the freedom you get in return and the creativity you can use to make it your own.

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