**for resources regarding where to find work on the road, scroll to the bottom of this post**
The most popular question we get from potential van lifers is about how they can work on the road. This is such a loaded question because the truth is there are about a million ways to make money from “home” in 2019. The seemingly unlimited options are wonderful, but that doesn’t mean the road to remote work is easy.
It seems like people are looking for the secret sauce of how to work for yourself or at least a secret career that is ideal for working from anywhere. I hate to say it, but we have yet to find it (probably because it doesn’t exist, no matter what others may be trying to sell you through some online course). For us, getting to where we are has taken years and years of work, but just so you know, IT'S FULLY POSSIBLE!!
While our life and jobs work well for us, we by no means claim that they’ll be a good fit for you, too. Maybe they will though! Here’s our working on the road strategy….
To try and explain exactly what Chris does would take an entire blogpost. He’s your typically Jack of All Trades and he's pretty dang good at everything he touches. In a nutshell though, he does a combo of marketing, graphic design and just about anything else that falls somewhere on that spectrum.
Chris is 12 years into growing his own business. While he’s done really well for himself over the years, it’s really been in the last three or four years that his business has reached a place where he’s 1) on retainer with multiple clients, and 2) being sought out vs. having to seek out work. Time really is your friend when you work hard and are diligent in your work ethic.
You can visit Chris' website here.
My (Sara’s) story is a little different. I graduated college with my B.A. in Communications in 2015 and since then I've tried my hand at a few different things. From working a basic office job, to landing her first remote job (found by word of mouth) in 2016. While both of those jobs were by no means dream jobs, the remote job did introduce her to the beauty of workin from home (something Chris was already doing full-time).
In August 2017 I launched my photography business full-time. Growing a business takes a lot of time, patience, and hard work and it definitely hasn't been easy. In the spirit of full transparency, finding jobs on the road is about 10000x harder than it was when I was always in the same city. It's not impossible, just takes time. In the meantime, I'm able to grow my skillset and even help Chris out with some of his work between photo gigs. #teamworkmakesthedreamwork
You can visit Sara's website here.
So what does this look like for us on the road?
Chris’ business keeps on moving the same as it did when we were living in an apartment. His days are relatively flexible regarding what hours he works, but he does work a solid 40 hours a week. The only thing that's really changes is the view out the window (hands down best part of remote jobs!).
I am still pursuing photography and have snagged a few jobs here and there on the road (if you know someone lookin' for pics, reach out!), but because van life has allowed us to save money, I'm also currently back in school learning to code in hopes of pursuing software development alongside photography. Adding skills is never a bad thing, especially when the skills frequently lead to remote jobs. Shoutout to van life for helping us save more money and be able to afford going back to school! So in a nutshell, my time is split about 50/50 growing my photography business and back in school learning to code.
So you want to work on the road, too....
In all seriousness, we wish we could give y'all the formula of how to land a remote job because we understand how much sitting in an office can stink. Truth is, it's taken us a lot of trial and error to finally get to the place that we're in today (and we're still learning soooo much and making mistakes along the way!).
If you find someone who is trying to sell you a product that will give you the five secrets to how to make money on the road, act cautiously. If it's too good to be true, it probably is.
Some jobs/careers to consider:
Not sure what careers are good for working on the road? Here are just a few options that commonly allow people to work remotely. Always keep in mind that when you're checking job boards that you search the key word "remote" or "virtual" to ensure that the jobs you're looking at do allow you to work from anywhere.
The suggestions below are by no means the only remote options out there, these are just jobs that we have personally worked before from a remote location. Use these as a launching point to help you get started job searching!
- Graphic design
- Software development
- Virtual assistant/business admin
- Social media marketing
- Project manager
Places to find work:
UpWork - Contract/freelance jobs in various fields
Guru - Contract/freelance jobs in various fields
Behance - Contract/freelance jobs for artists
Fiverr - Freelance opportunities where you offer random skills and people hire you
Cool Works - Awesome outdoorsy jobs in cool places (great option for seasonal opportunities)
Rat Race Rebellion - Remote work job opportunities
WWOOF - Live and work on organic farms around the world
LinkedIn - This one may sound obvious, but there are actually a good number of remote jobs listed out there!
We hope these tips helped give you a better idea of what working on the road can look like. These are just our experiences and there are TONS of options out there for making money and traveling. It all depends on how flexible you are and how much you're hoping to make. Some people want to pursue a career on the road and consistently save for the future (that's where we are), and some prefer holding seasonal/temporary jobs and are really focusing more on experiences during their travels rather than saving too much money.
It's totally up to you how you choose to go about it! There are plenty of options out there no matter what path you choose so good luck! Feel free reach out if you have any questions and be sure to comment below if you have any other working from the road suggestions.