As I mentioned from my last post, I was hoping to share the other side of being a digital nomad and/or a perpetual traveler. I’ve noticed how most travel bloggers paint a pretty picture, without talking about the other things that happen when you choose this alternative lifestyle.
For the first round? Money matters.
Right now one of my main concerns is earning more money as my trip is approaching. While I’m hoping to keep my trip simple and inexpensive, I still can’t help but get worried about the state of my finances. I’m on retainer with a client so I was hoping to just pick up a few odd projects along the way to add to my travel fund. Unfortunately, my client decided to cut down 40% of my original rate. I wouldn’t be hitting my target because I’m earning less than what I expected.
I tried to look for more clients but it’s definitely more difficult as a newbie freelancer. A lot of the employers on freelancing websites such as Upwork and Guru won’t take a chance on me because it’s either (1) I’m not from North America or (2) I don’t have feedback yet from other clients. I’ve probably sent forty applications and I can count on one hand the times the employer kept in touch with me. None of them panned out well though.
I’m still thankful that I’m managing to scrape a good amount and I have an initial travel fund to begin with. While I’d still be earning on the road and there will be money coming in during my two months on the road, I can’t help but feel like it’s still not enough to cover all my expenses. What will I do if I can’t afford a certain accommodation, or heck, what if I can’t even pay for dinner? What if I misplace my money, the ATM eats my debit card or my credit card gets declined? What if I get sick and the local hospital refuses to accept me and my insurance? I know it’s pointless to be worrying over every single bad scenario, but lately it’s been keeping me up at night.
The lesson here? Make sure you have a comfortable amount of savings. I definitely can’t quantify what’s comfortable for you, but I can stress the importance of saving enough money that will cover at least a month or two of where you’re heading to. Research on how much it will cost you, from flights, accommodations, even the little things that can add up like food, drinks and that tuktuk ride out of your hostel. Give yourself some breathing room for the just in case moments.
As for me… I’m not exactly satisfied with how little I have in my travel fund but I can’t imagine pushing back my trip. It’s a challenge I’ll have to face, despite the knots in my stomach and the constant worrying. There’s no turning back so for now, I only hope that my client won’t drop me out of nowhere and I can pick up another project for insurance.
For other nomads reading this – how do you deal with money matters? Hit me up below and share some tips! 🙂