Sometimes I have too much time to think about my options. Not just when it comes to what country I might want to live in or visit, but also about my income. I have already chosen the freedom of travel over having a steady income with benefits by working for someone else. Being an employee usually means having a boss and being stuck in one location. But I do need to make sure that I am moving toward having my writing cover all my expenses, as my self-imposed deadline to wean myself off my safety net of savings is coming up quickly.
Now, most people understand that one way to cover your expenses is to increase your income. But as I am still fairly new at writing as a career, I am also using the other major way to cover your expenses…lower your expenses. It helps that Portugal has a low cost of living, so I have fewer expenses to cover. And now I have renters in my U.S. home, so that is helping lower my expenses there, as well.
But I still would like to work on my income. All expats that don’t move with an employer usually face this dilemma at some point. But don’t panic. First of all, when you are passionate about something, like living abroad, your creativity surfaces and may lead you to exciting alternatives.
Some people use this opportunity to break out of their comfort zone and try something new. That’s the beauty of moving somewhere you don’t know anyone. You can reinvent yourself and be whatever you want to be. When you sit down and contemplate the possibilities, it really can be freeing and exciting. Starting over or taking a hobby or interest and making it into a career or money-making opportunity is motivating, thrilling and scary, all at the same time.
For me, I’ve been thinking about making more than one hobby or interest into a part-time money-making venture. I’d like to work on my photography so that I could continue to use it with my writing, but also pursue it on its own. In addition, I want to branch out in my writing. I do content, article and blog writing, but I want to do more travel writing. And I wouldn’t feel complete without somehow giving back to others. I am working on creating a way to help others make an international move and as well as get involved in local charities as a thank you to the country I will be spending time in.
I am serious enough to use a coach to help me sort out some of the details of my income generation. Since I have so many different ideas and options (which is a great thing, by the way) I need help to reign in my enthusiasm a little, at least enough to get me focused. I need to put my energy towards those ideas that are consistent with my overall goals of giving back to others while indulging in activities I am passionate about, including world travel. Oh yeah, and somehow paying for it.
Your Takeaway – Try to have a good idea of how you will make an income before you make your international move. That could be living off savings for a set time period while you get the lay of the land in your new area and can look around to see what your options may include. Many people start a business in their new home, or teach English part or full-time, either temporarily or as a new career. There are many online opportunities to look into, or consider turning an interest or hobby into a money-making venture. Use your imagination and look at what is missing in your new place. Take full advantage of this opportunity to do something you would love to do and you might find fulfillment that you didn’t realize could be a wonderful by-product of your new adventure!