The Worst Parts About Traveling Full Time
Traveling full time looks extremely glamorous on Instagram but in reality, it’s anything but perfect. Especially when you work online and/or are a Mom you are presented with unique challenges the average virtual worker, tourist or short-term traveler just doesn’t have to deal with.
While we are extremely thankful for being able to see and do so many things, here’s 10 very real reasons it’s tough to live this kind of life.
1 Having a tiny wardrobe and being SO bored with your clothes
Whether you use a backpack, large rolling bag, or stick with carry on- your wardrobe is extremely limited. Especially when you travel full time because you have to pack for multiple weather conditions from the very HOT to the very cold which limits the amount of space you have. Sure there are great ways to maximize your wardrobe and space but you will never have a selection of outfits and shoes for each season. You have a few outfits and that’s it unless you want to get rid of something in order to replace it with something else or ship things to your non-existent home.
2 Diversifying your palette A LOT (but then miss food wherever you go)
When you stay long term in another country or area of the world you fall in love with a local cuisine. However, once you leave, you forever leave the most delicious version of that food you will ever have. Now when you are in Italy you crave dumplings and when you are in Africa you miss rice and beans. This is perpetual and only gets worse the longer you travel. It sounds ridiculous but it’s like a Chinese person moving to France and never being able to find their favorite food from home. It’s frustrating.
3 Never being able to adjust to weather
In order to fully climatize you need several weeks or months before your body adjusts to extreme heat or cold changes. We’ve gone from snowy Maine to Bali (and vice versa) and both ways it was awful. You are either always freezing or sweating and hobbling around on swollen ankles. You aren’t anywhere long enough to fully adjust so you are just a mess the entire time.
4 Not being able to buy all the gorgeous home items, souvenirs, etc you see everywhere you go
This sounds very ‘white privilege’ but it’s a bit deeper than that. Walking around a city and looking into the little artisan shops or shopping in an old market is enchanting and part of a cultural experience. Normal people get to bring something home to remember the special moments, places, people, etc. Not us. We just have to hope we can remember it or take a picture to be forgotten in a hard drive somewhere.
The real difficult part of this feeling a bit kicked in the gut during these moments because they remind you that you don’t actually have a home and don’t own anything. Everyone talks about how good it feels to get rid of everything but when you live years without anything, it’s still a little hard.
5 Feeling home in many many places and therefore never really feeling settled anywhere
Some people supposedly get homesick but I haven’t found that for our family and don’t really find that with any of the other travelers I meet. If anything, we dread when we have to go back for holidays or events because of the expense and hassle (but you didn’t hear that from me). However, the issue does for sure come into effect when you’ve been going on adventures a long time and stay long term in many places with many incredible people and cultures.
We feel at home in Bali, Slovakia, Maine, California, Italy…just to name a few. We cry when we leave each place and never quite feel settled anywhere just perpetually missing another place.
6 Never being able to really be a tourist
Traveling full time probably sounds like a full time vacation. You might think that we just get to travel all day, visiting museums and temples. Going for hikes and off to festivals every weekend. Our lives are not like that actually. We work full time just like anyone else. This means we oftentimes work all day which is why we stay so long in each place. We can’t just spend all day out sightseeing. We also feel guilty when we don’t feel like doing anything because HELLO YOU ARE IN EGYPT but you are also so tired and have so much to do and sometimes staying ‘home’ is necessary.
Most everyone is also on a budget and attractions + activities cost money. A lot of the world isn’t as expensive as America and Europe but even in other places where it’s cheaper, it still all adds up. Therefore, you can’t just go nuts the entire trip and see everything. You have to pick and choose because funds are limited just like for normal people. So you get to spend a month in New York City but after all the money on the apartment, groceries, transport, and other personal bills that doesn’t leave thousands to blow on seeing all the Broadway shows on your list and now you have to leave without doing everything you wanted to do even though you had ‘plenty of time’.
7. Health insurance + taxes
Full time travelers really need to do their research before paying for health insurance. For US citizens, a lot of companies won’t cover you if they fly you home for treatment. For full time travelers, this basically means you can’t fly home for coverage. Now, there is A LOT that goes into finding the insurance that is right for you. Because we aren’t experts on health insurance, we just do what works for us, I have found this great resource that answers a lot of common questions!
Taxes are actually pretty great if you are working virtually and not a resident of the US. But it’s still extremely complicated. No one wants the IRS on their ass so you have to hire a CPA who understands expat tax law to help you. You can get screwed over at the end of the year if you aren’t careful.
8 Being sick
Speaking of health insurance, being sick in another country is the WORST. It’s 10x worse without what you are used to and with an entire city you want to explore. You have to find a decent doctor that speaks English well. You have to figure out what medicine is going to do what. Plus, being sick in a hostel shared dorm is actually the worst.
9 Money stress is a BIG deal
When you are at home losing a job or getting in an accident is stressful. You have all those fears of how am I going to pay rent?! When you travel full time and you lose a big client or get in an accident, it’s now a matter of homeless or savings. You need to have enough savings for at least 3 months and a ticket home. Otherwise, you can find yourself trapped in another country. This is terrifying because you can’t run out and get a part time job. You can’t legally work because you were just working online. This means your basically screwed.
10. Saying goodbye
Perhaps the worst part of traveling full time is the goodbyes. Your family begins to be spread further and further around the world. You perpetually miss places but more so, you miss your international family. There were tears when we left our housekeeper and Bali family even though we were going ‘home’ to visit America. We cried when we left our family in Maine. We cry when we say good bye to our other traveling friends, never knowing when we’ll see them again. It never gets easier, you just have to feel sad, miss them and plan your next adventure to meet up.
We certainly don’t take for granted our lives. We are blessed and work hard to live this life. However, like anything in life, it certainly comes with its own unique challenges.
What do you think the worst parts about traveling full time are?
Make sure to share this post with everyone who dreams of traveling full time! For anyone who already does – they can probably totally relate!
How and where we work is changing rapidly. Gone are the days where we are tied to our desks in a 9 to 5 job. Gone are the days where we have to meet face-to-face in order to make a business decision. We now have plenty of opportunities to work online. Working online has many benefits – no commute, no transportation expenses, a comfortable work environment (working in pajamas, yes please!), increased productivity and more.
We agree that this all sounds great, but how do you actually find work online? If you are just starting your online work journey, you may have been told to search for jobs on Upwork. Upwork is an online platform where people connect with businesses and independent professionals to find freelance work. The company boasts that it will give you the freedom to work anytime, from anywhere, allowing you to easily grow your freelance business. While this may be true for some, we NEVER recommend using Upwork. Here’s why:
You don’t get paid until you have $100 in your Upwork account
If you are hired for a big project, this may not be an issue. However, if you take on small projects (which is common on Upwork), you won’t be paid until you have at least $100 in your Upwork account. Depending on the projects you have, it could take several months for you to receive any of your money.
Upwork keeps 20% (yes, 20%!) of your money!
As the “middleman,” Upwork charges freelancers a service fee, which is taken as a percentage of your earnings on the platform. Upwork keeps 20% for the first $500 you bill for each client. For example, if you earn $100 on a project, Upwork would keep $20, leaving you with only $80. That is a huge sum, and it happens for EACH client you bill! The service fee decreases to 10% once you bill a client over $500 in total, and 5% once you bill a client over $10,000 in total, but it is difficult to even get to that point.
Upwork helps resolve a payment dispute only once
Upwork says that all projects include “Upwork Payment Protection” to make sure you get paid for all work successfully completed through the freelancing website. What they don’t tell you is that they will only help you resolve a payment dispute once. Just once! If you find yourself in multiple situations where the client refuses to pay, you are on your own. Upwork protects the employer, not the freelancer.
There are some shady businesses on Upwork
There are shady business owners on this platform who prey on unsuspecting freelancers. We have heard countless stories of freelancers who have connected with a business, agreed to take the work off of Upwork (in order to avoid the service fee), only for the freelancer never to get paid after they complete the work.
Let’s get real here. Upwork does not attract large, high-paying employers. This platform is geared towards small businesses and startups who want to pay you as little as possible for your services. Does that sound like the type of work and clients you want to attract? No, we didn’t think so.
Remote Job Resources
The good news is that there are plenty of legitimate, well-paying clients out there that are looking for your services! Here are some resources to find them:
We spend countless hours finding the best jobs across the Internet for your skill set. Visit our website, join our Facebook group, and sign up for our weekly emails to get these job postings for free!
Remote Like Me, a website founded by Taylor Lane, is another great resource for those of us looking to find online work. The Remote Like Me team posts legitimate jobs in its Facebook group and sends out weekly emails with job postings.
The Remote Work Hub is a website that provides a listing of remote jobs all around the world. You will need to create a profile in order to search for jobs and membership comes with a fee. The Basic account, which is free, gives you access to 25 new job postings each week. For $9 per month, you get full access to the job board and additional features.
Working Nomads is another great website that provides a curated list of remote jobs worldwide. You have to create a profile in order to see job postings, but it is free to do so.
Other Facebook Groups
There are tons of other Facebook groups with remote job postings. Log into Facebook, search “Remote Jobs” or “Digital Nomad” groups, and you’ll get a host of groups to explore.
Happy hunting, and see you online!
This post was written by 90 Day VA graduate Sara Rosenblit.
Sara is a marketing professional and Virtual Assistant currently based in Los Angeles, CA. She provides services in digital marketing, social media management, content creation, copywriting, corporate blogging, email management, and general administrative tasks. She is an avid traveler, yoga practitioner and teacher, and a former lawyer.
To work with Sara headed HERE and let us know!
There’s a movement happening that you are not only invited to attend, but we want to roll out the red carpet for you.
This movement is full of every kind of woman. Everyone that is saying NO to the status quo of expectations we were raised with.
Can you travel AND have kids? — YES.
Can you do what you love and have a life beyond your spouse’s career or children? — YEP.
Can you skip college and still make an incredible income working from anywhere in the world? — HELL YEAH.
I’m not just the random CEO+Founder of Virtual Assistant Internship. I was a military wife, Mom and career woman who realized there was NO WAY I could do it all with my husband being gone all the time. Then my son and I had to leave my husband after he exited the military with severe mental health issues that made it unsafe for us to stay together. Thanks to being able to work virtually I was able to pick up and start our full time travel life based in Bali.
Justyn isn’t some chick that writes our weekly job emails and manages the Facebook Group. She had blown through her savings after 2 years of full time travel. She found herself stuck in Bali broke and no idea she could use her skills to work online and continue traveling.
Maile is more then just a group member. She’s a cancer survivor and Mom that continues to have to deal with medical issues. She didn’t know she could work virtually with an illness (without having to resort to selling things to friends or completing surveys).
Amber is a single Mom that knew there was more to life then just being broke in dead end jobs…but just didn’t know what that thing was.
Friends, I invite you to live a life without rules. To create a life for yourself that you’ve designed beyond what everyone else expects of you. Above what books, papers and TV shows have said is ‘normal’.
YOU are the reason we do what we do. Why we spend time scouring the internet for legit virtual jobs every week…so you can SEE what’s truly possible and get going asap.
To help bridge the gap we pour our time and energy into running these online programs tailored to where we see you need help and exactly what we know is being hired for online RIGHT NOW.
We saw so many of you former teachers, project managers, customer service workers, CPAs, admin professionals, random BA degree holders, etc without a clue of how valuable your skills are in the online world.
So we put together ⤅a brand new program, Propel, to literally PROPEL you from where you are now to where you want to be.
Most of you said you wanted to be able to travel and work from anywhere but I know where are more ‘Ambers’, ‘Mailes’ and fellow military wives here that just desire some income from home. We see you. So we created a program that’s an exact map of how to go from where you are now to where you want to be.
This is a truly special and unique class because we’ll be meeting LIVE online one evening per week. That means this is the ONLY group of founding participants that get personalized small group coaching in addition to the class.
So you are getting a shit ton of content, weekly coaching with me and joining a community of other strong working women aligned with your goals and passions.
I want you to be there.
So we are also giving you $200 off as a founding member when you enroll using the code FOUNDER
Many years ago God told me I was going to be doing something BIG.
And I’ve finally realized, running these programs and helping all of you design lives you love is it.
YOU are my life’s work.
Can’t wait to see you live in class!
Virtual Assistant Internship
PS remember to use FOUNDER to get $200 off this brand new LIVE online class ⤅HERE. IF you don’t have any skills to speak of, just shoot us an email and we’ll help get you sorted esther(at)virtualassistantinternship.com
I love podcasts. I am literally listening to them all the time. Whether I am traveling, going for a walk, or just taking a shower, you can bet that I have a podcast going. What I love most about podcasts is that they can be inspiring and I always get SO much out of them.
I love anything that inspires me to grow and better myself. Before I started listening to podcasts I was always reading self help books. After I discovered podcasts I found a way to learn even more because you can listen to an endless supply of them all the time.
I wanted to pick podcasts today that will totally inspire you to start organizing your life and make more time for achieving goals, living your best life, and being your happiest.
#1 Happier with Gretchen Ruben
She comes first because I LOVE Gretchen Ruben. One of the first self help/self discovery books that I read was ‘The Happiness Project’. And then I reread it and reread and reread it and it inspired me to create my happiest life. What I love about Gretchen is that she helps you work through little things that you can do everyday to make your life happier and better. Her podcasts are very inspiring. They have a way of sparking something inside of me that gets me ready for whatever kind of day may be ahead.
#2 Goal Diggers with Jenna Kutcher
Anyone who knows me, knows that I have a huge girl crush on Jenna Kutcher. Why do I love her? She has created and defined her brand and thanks to that she has been able to turn into a powerhouse of knowledge about how you can do the same. And that honestly, is why I love her podcast so much. She takes all the everyday things that you can and should be doing for your business such as: growing an email list, growing on social media, putting your eggs in multiple baskets instead of just one, and so on, then she teaches you how to do them better.
Jenna puts out a new podcast every week that is FULL of information about how you can change and grow your own brand and business. The Goal Digger podcast is totally geared towards helping girl bosses grow!
Give Goal Diggers a listen and you will be inspired.
#3 Super Soul Conversations with Oprah Winfrey
First off, who doesn’t love Oprah?
Why do I love Super Soul Conversations?
Simply because they bring a smile to my face. Listening to Soul Stories reminds me that I am worth something. It reminds me that I can do all things, and that when I fail, it’s not the end of the world.
Oprah gets some of my favorite authors and speakers together and talks with them about what life, success and failure mean to them. It is always inspiring to listen to Super Soul Conversations and spend a part of your day with Oprah. You can’t go wrong with any of her podcasts but my favorite at the moment is her episode with RuPaul on We’re all in Drag.
I love RuPaul.. I think that he is a genius and this podcast will really excite you to be completely comfortable in your own skin and become more comfortable with who you are.
#4 She means business with Carrie Green
Get ready to be a business queen after listening to Carrie Green’s podcast, She Means Business. Carrie takes you through her life and career, starting her own business and growing into the Girl Boss that she is today. Carrie helps other female entrepreneurs get started, so you really can’t go wrong listening to her podcast for daily inspiration to get out there and get started.
#5 Surprisingly Awesome
This podcast is for anyone that wants to feel like a smarty pants.
What I love about Surprisingly Awesome is that it takes topics that are soooooo boring and then makes them, Surprisingly Awesome!
I have just started listening to this one, but it’s a nice change of pace from some of the others that I listen too. It may take you some time to get into, I know it did for me but I promise that you won’t be disappointed!
#6 Sorta Awesome
Sorta Awesome makes me laugh out loud and that is why I love it. I am always smiling when I listen to this podcast. We all need a burst of light in our everyday lives and this is the best place to get it.
The podcast’s host, Megan, is probably the nicest person that you could ever meet. I love listening to Sorta Awesome when I am feeling sorta down.. Which can be a lot when you are trying to work from home, travel solo or do anything else that at times can isolate you from the world around you…
For days when you are feeling down, just give this podcast a listen and you will be feeling better in no time.
#7 The Lively Show with Jess Lively
Jess Lively is a full time traveler, so no wonder that I love her so much. I love anyone that I can bond with over the mutual love for traveling.
The Lively Show is all about intentional living. Which, I don’t know about you, but for me is really hard. Oftentimes I forget to live with intention and then I just sort of fall into a black hole of why am I here, what am I doing…. NO ONE wants to be there, believe me.
The greatest thing about The Lively Show is that she is always featuring bloggers, influencers and business owners, making all of the shows right up my alley. Jess seems to always be asking the right questions.
Do you already listen to any of these podcasts? Or do you have some of your own that you love? Please share them with us in the comments! We are ALWAYS looking for new inspiration for the everyday life and podcasts are the best way to do that!
We would also love it if you shared this post on Pinterest for all your friends to see!
In this post we are going to define the difference between a Remote Corporate Employee and a Virtual Freelancer. In this day and age there is so much work that you can do from home or anywhere else that you wish. A lot of what it comes down to is the fact that you can be a freelancer or you can be an employee. Let’s go ahead and break down what that means.
A Remote Corporate Employee.
The word that stands out here is employee. When you are an employee of someone or some company, you are going to be working for them generally full time – or at least more stabally.
You are going to be able to work remotely, yes, but chances are you might still have to work certain hours, check in at a certain time and do other things that are more real world work related. However, you do have the security of having a singular job. You work for this company, you work full time and hopefully you are making enough just from this. It is stable. A freelancer can be not so stable.
A Virtual Freelancer
Work comes and it goes. There are times when you are so busy and times when you are simply bored because you haven’t gotten the same flow of clients that you had before. Along with this instability though is a freedom where you can take a month off and no one will really know because you work for no one. You have freedom because you are no ones employee. You can work whatever hours you want usually – sometimes this isn’t the case, but you could spend the weekend working and probably take off Tues-Wed if you have plans those days, and chances are, you don’t have to tell anyone.
Being a freelancer is great, but it can lead for a much more stressful remote lifestyle. While being a corporate employee means that you have stability but you may still have to work a specific schedule. Honestly, what it comes down to when you are searching for jobs is which you prefer doing. If you are looking for full time work, you might be better off looking for a corporate job because you’re not guaranteed full time work as a freelancer.
It’s easy to find both styles of jobs and as a Virtual Assistant, you really can do either. You can easily find someone who wants you to work freelance with them by just requiring that you do a few projects and then move on your way. On the flip side you can find people that want you to work with them long term, as a more Virtual Office Assistant. A lot of big companies will look for this kind of thing, making you more of an employee.
Want to learn the necessary skills to jumpstart your Virtual Assistant career? You can learn more about the 90 Day VA program HERE.
Of course, if you have any questions, or thoughts on what makes a Corporate Employee vs. a Virtual Freelancer, let me know if the comments!