How to make money while traveling the world: Around the World in 80 Years

Hey guys! I am back… and today I’m writing to you from the wonderful city of Chiang Mai, in the North of Thailand. It’s a very peaceful and serene place, surrounded by mountains and wonderful landscapes, but with a pleasant climate year-round – the perfect place for a writer… and, of course, for a linguist who likes to write. But before I tell you more about life on the road, I’d like to say THANK YOU for all the wonderful comments that you posted on the blog last week! I read them all and will do my best to reply to as many as possible.

In Part I of this series, I promised you to let you in on my secret – how is it possible to travel the world for years on end without being rich? That’s a good question… and it’s something I was very intimidated by as well when I first started out.

My parents have always had to work hard to make a living, and I didn’t have a lot of savings when I first hit the road. But I was determined, because I believe that if you have a good attitude, and you really want to achieve something – you can make it happen… no matter what it is. In the words of the great poet Goethe: “The moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.” Or in more simple terms… where there is a will, there is a way! And I was committed… I was willing to do *whatever* it takes to find that way, and to make my dreams a reality.

Sure, I was scared… scared to leave my life behind, scared of not seeing my friends and family for a year, and scared of running out of money in a foreign country. But the thing I was probably most scared of was having to give up and go back home. Heck… I didn’t even know where I was going to get my laundry done abroad! But my desire for adventure was stronger than my fear… and there was literally nothing I wanted more than to be free… and to see the world! Alright, I’m sure by now you’re on the edge of your seat with anticipation, asking yourself – so what IS the secret, Frank? How did you make it happen… how can I travel the world without a lot of money?

Well, there are really a million little secrets… and I will share them all with you in this series – no holds barred!

But the three most important ones are probably:

  1. Leveraging the differences between the economies and currencies of different countries.
  2. Working on the road – but the smart way! Ideally you want to work in wealthy countries that pay high salaries in strong currencies.
  3. Budget travel – living on a shoe-string! Traveling in developing countries where currencies are cheap and the cost of living is much lower than in Brazil or other strong economies.

I will talk about all of these in the next couple of articles in more detail, and I’ll let you in on a couple of secrets that even most experienced travelers don’t know. But for now, let me give you an example.

Step 1

I have met many Brazilians on my travels who found a way to work in wealthy countries, where they earn a relative fortune… even working simple jobs, for example in the hotel industry or in carpentry. Because hey – if you get paid in Dollars, Pounds, Euros or Yen, the money will go FAR elsewhere later! And what most people don’t know: Even the Brazilian Real is MUCH stronger than most currencies in Asia, Africa and South America, for example. The real trick, however, is to be FRUGAL in the wealthy countries… because they tend to be expensive, too!

Tire suas dúvidas sobre os tempos verbais, baixe um guia grátis da English Live: Guia de Tempos Verbais em Inglês. Ele contém um resumo bem estruturado para revisar os conceitos que você aprendeu na escola. Clique aqui e saiba como baixar!

Step 2

Once you’ve saved up a fair chunk of change, take your bag of money to a country where it’s worth five TIMES as much as where you made it. In Thailand, for example, you can rent a perfectly decent hotel room for less than $5 per night, and have delicious Thai food for $1 per meal. There are dozens of countries like that, and it’s even cheaper if you’re traveling on the Euro or the Pound! If you do this right, you can work for 6 months per year and travel the rest of the time… I’ve even met people who only work 4 months per year and travel for 8… and in some cases even less! And hey, even while you’re working… you’re still in a foreign country, experiencing an exotic culture, making new friends and having an exciting adventure…

It’s absolutely incredible!

I’ll have to wrap it up here for today, but I’ll be back next week – and in the next article I will show you some SPECIFIC ways to make this happen. I will tell you exactly what jobs will PAY you to travel… even if you only have a Brazilian passport… and how to get paid in dollars… and, of course, I will tell you where to find these jobs.

If you have any questions, feel free to join the discussion on the forum, or to leave me a comment below.

I’ll talk to you again soon.



Frank Florida

Frank Florida é professor de idiomas desde 1994 e fala oito línguas. Viajando o mundo por 11 anos, ele visitou umas 300 cidades em mais de 50 países. Ele se graduou da High School nos EUA, se formou em didática na Austrália e é criador do site Fórmula Fluente.

26 comentários

  • 19/07/12  
    Dom Fernando diz: 1

    NOw i got excited about travelling!!! Thanks Frank!!!
    I’m reading your posts :)

    • 21/07/12  
      Frank Florida diz:

      Hey Dom, you’re welcome, and thanks for your comment!
      Yup, stay tuned, I’ll be sharing a lot more in the coming weeks…

  • 19/07/12  
    Tatiane diz: 2

    I’ve always thought how you travelers save money if you always are… traveling hahahaha

    This article are really helping me to decide about my future when i’ll be gratuated next year… I’m brazilian, my family isn’t very rich too, so, if I want follow my dreams, I’ll have to work hard

    Thank you very much Frank and I waiting anxiously for next article!

    • 21/07/12  
      Frank Florida diz:

      Hey Tatiane, glad if I can help!
      Yes, that’s exactly the right attitude… if you’re willing to work hard, you can make it happen, that’s for sure! And you’re just at the perfect stage of your life right now, I think the best time to start traveling is after graduation. You’re free from school and don’t have a career yet, so you can easily go for six months or a year and see if it is the right thing for you… and if you decide to come back to Brazil afterwards, it will look good on your CV too. :)
      ~ Frank Florida ~

  • 19/07/12  
    Thiago diz: 3

    Hey Frank,

    Thank you so much. Really yours article are great.
    Please, it keeps writting…Can’t wait for next.
    I’m sorry if I wrote something wrong.

    Take care.

  • 19/07/12  
    Junior Lopes diz: 4

    Your life lifestyle is amazing, I dream about have the same job that you have.

    • 21/07/12  
      Frank Florida diz:

      Hey Junior, thanks for the compliments! You can make it happen… I’ll do my best to show you the way. ;)

      ~ Frank Florida ~

  • 19/07/12  
    Francisco Ramalho diz: 5

    Frank, I when you say about working hard for 6 months and traveling 6, you say it, for example, in USA right? cause in Brazil is very complicate to u survive working. Imagine working and having spends with food, water, light, hire ( idk if this last one is perfectly right)… I really liked your history

    • 21/07/12  
      Frank Florida diz:

      Hey Francisco, thanks for your comment. I think the word you’re looking for is “rent”, right? Aluguel…

      And you’re right, it’s definitely easier to make enough money in a country like New Zealand than in Brazil, for example – that’s for sure. That said, I’ve found that it depends mostly on someone’s education… anywhere in the world really, but especially in Brazil.

      For example, if you keep studying this website and develop your English skills to a high level, you can find better paying jobs and even work as an English teacher or translator… Some of these positions pay very well, in fact we talked a bit about that topic on the forums – check it out:

      In any case, education is what will make the difference… so keep reading English Experts. ;)

      Good luck!
      ~ Frank Florida ~

  • 19/07/12  
    Raphael Augusto Dourado diz: 6

    Hey Frank, wonderful article!!! You really made me excited about the possibility of travelling the world (that’s one of my dreams).
    And please, keep writing!! :)
    I was anxious for this article and I’m even more anxious now for the next one.


    • 21/07/12  
      Frank Florida diz:

      Hey Raphael, thanks for the kind words, you’re making me blush! :) I really hope I can help you to make your dream come true… and if you go ahead with your plan to travel the world, drop by on the forum and tell us about it here:

      Talk soon,
      ~ Frank Florida ~

  • 19/07/12  
    Camile diz: 7

    Hey Frank!
    Very interesting article! Thanks for sharing a bit of your amazing life style with us! It’s really inspiring for the ones who dream with something like it but doesn’t know how to do it, like me. Thanks again! I’ll wait anxiously for the next article.

    • 21/07/12  
      Frank Florida diz:

      Hey Camile, thanks for your comment! You know, I really believe that inspiration is half the battle, and if I can only give you that, you might even be able to figure the rest out on your own. ;) But don’t worry, I’ll keep posting a lot of practical advice as well. Let me know if you take the plunge and go traveling!

      Always the best,
      ~ Frank Florida ~

  • 20/07/12  
    Carla diz: 8

    Hi Frank! I was amazed reading your article because i did some of the experiences that you talked about. I´ve been in not so many places like you, but I went to Philippines and its cheap there if you compare to some other countries. I went to beautiful places and I met nice people.. Well, to travel is wonderful and so greatfull! I hope to read more about your trips!
    Take care

    • 21/07/12  
      Frank Florida diz:

      Hey Carla, it’s good to hear from a fellow traveler! :) You are so right about the Philippines… I actually just spent about half a year there, and it’s an amazing place. It’s not very developed yet and internet access can be a problem, but on the flip side it is extremely cheap as you said, and it has some of the most beautiful beaches and dive sites in the world! Not many people go there yet, it’s not as touristy a destination as other countries in South East Asia, but it’s a great place and I always recommend it.

      Always the best and stay in touch! :)
      ~ Frank Florida ~

  • 20/07/12  
    Nathalia diz: 9

    Hello Frank,

    I was very anxious to read you article and now I’m anxious again to read the next one. I’m really enjoying your post and it’s making me more eager to live on the road.

    Thank you so much for sharing your story.

  • 20/07/12  
    sandrom diz: 10


    Thanks for sharing your travelling secrets with us.



  • 21/07/12  
    Frank Florida diz: 11

    Hey Sandro, you’re welcome my friend… I’ll be sharing a lot more soon. ;)

    ~ Frank Florida ~

  • 22/07/12  
    Alexandra diz: 12

    Hello Frank ! Thanks for your wonderful article… when I was reading it, I recognize my feelings and I was happy to found someone who loves traveling as much as me… I also took notes of some lines of your article, to read always.. in next Sept I’m going to take my first trip abroad, and I’m very happy… your article give me energy to make my dreams come true, really thanks ! All the best, Bye

  • 23/07/12  
    João B. L. Ghizoni diz: 13

    Readers have already said all the words to compliment your post as well as your adventures, Frank. You’re an amazing person. So polite all the time, so intelligent, so careful about the way you write (I admire it immensely). Congratulations! Oh, I was astonished to see how cheap a hotel and a meal can be in Thailand! Amazing! I was in Canada for a month and spent the same amount of time in California, but that was long ago. It’s high time I went abroad again. Maybe you posts will encourage me…

    One more thing: I’m amazed by the high number of comments IN ENGLISH here. Congratulations again, man!

    • 24/07/12  
      Frank Florida diz:

      Hey João, good to hear from you… and thanks for the kind words, you’re making me blush. :) Yes, the difference in cost of living between countries is really astounding. It’s definitely something that makes travel a lot easier though… and feel free to get in touch any time if you need any help in planning your trip! :)
      Cheers and always the best,
      ~ Frank Florida ~

  • 08/08/12  
    Ana Alice diz: 14

    Hey Frank!
    Thank you so much for the posts, it’s really encouraging me :) I’m plannning to do this for about 7-8 years, in four years from now, when I finish college. I’m doing Hospitality for this very reason, do you think I’ve made a good choice? But my question is: what about the visas? Do you need documents ands stuff to live in these countries? If you don’t, is it harder to get a job?
    Again, thank you very much and congrats most of all for your courage!

  • 15/08/12  
    Frank Florida diz: 15

    Hey Ana Alice… yeah, wow – excellent choice! I have several friends in São Paulo who did exactly what you did. They got an education in hospitality and then went to Europe to work in luxury hotels in all kinds of different countries. Some of them were abroad for many years and finally came back to Brazil – fluent in four or five languages. Others are still traveling. :)

    The visa question is a tricky one! I will publish an article about that soon… stay tuned!

    Thanks for posting, eh! Take care,
    ~ Frank Florida ~