Our Jobs on the Road – Sustainable Travel Lifestyle
How do we fund our trips?
We started with our savings from our old jobs, then we taught English in Vietnam, leaving Hanoi with $12k USD between the two of us. We started volunteering while investing in our Tantra Yoga certification and Ayurveda massage therapy in India. After getting certified, we practiced and made a living out of it. After all of those experiences, we decided to have our own travel blog while we were in South America which is now just over a year old and our main source of income.
TEFL CERTIFIED ENGLISH TEACHER
TEFL English teaching is one of the best ways to earn money all around the world. We completed our TEFL certificates online and taught in private English centers and public schools, with students ranging from age 3 to adult. Teaching in Vietnam was very well paid, while salaries in Peru were comparatively very low. Once we gained experience, we offered private classes and specialized certificate training. It’s important to think about what your motivations are when choosing where to work – Do you want to teach for a career, to extend your backpacking, or to help students in poorer areas through volunteering? Whatever your motivations, TEFL teaching is one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences that you can pursue on your travels. For more information about becoming a TEFL teacher, check out this guide to TEFL teaching.
Get your TEFL certificate now, !
Locations – Hanoi, Vietnam – $20-$30 per hour; Arequipa, Peru – $5-$11 per hour. Private classes – $500 per month (1 hr & 30 minutes per day)
ECO FARM VOLUNTEER
BZFLAG volunteered at an Eco Farm in the stunning countryside town on Vang Vieng, Northern Laos. As well as teaching English to young children and teenagers from the local area, she also taught Yoga classes and helped to build new walls out of natural materials! Volunteering is a fantastic way to gain new experiences, meet new people and give back to the country at the same time. It also helps to extend your travels, as many opportunities provide accommodation and meals too!
For tips on volunteering and a ‘Sustainable Travel Lifestyle,’ check out Sustainable Travel Lifestyle vs. Volunteering
Location – Vang Vieng, Laos – Free!
YOGA TEACHER (TANTRA- HATHA)
We both traveled to India with the intention of becoming Yoga Alliance Certified Teachers, so that we could practice something we love, pass on the knowledge to others and earn money at the same time. We lived in an Ashram in the south of Goa while we practiced and studied Tantra Hatha Yoga and walking massage with teachers and students from around the world. We spent three months in India in total. When we arrived in Peru, we held donation only Yoga classes in the garden of the hostel where we volunteered; then we did the same in Arequipa.
Locations – Ollantaytambo and Arequipa, Peru – Donation Only!
AYURVEDA MASSAGE THERAPIST
Both of us studied to become certified Ayurveda Massage therapist while we were in India. When we arrived in Peru, we managed to borrow a massage table, which Jon pushed around all of the hotels in an old wheelbarrow, offering massage to the guests to earn money. When we moved to Peru, we rented a small apartment with a spare room and bought a brand new massage table for $100 and our spare room became our therapy space!
Locations – Ollantaytambo and Arequipa, Peru – $30-60 p/hour
MARKETING MANAGER – LITTLE GYM
As well as teaching English all over the city, BZFLAG also used her event planning and marketing skills to plan an opening celebration and prepare marketing strategies for Little Gym, in Hanoi. It wasn’t all office work, though; she also had the chance to help teach the kids gymnastics and yoga!
Location – Hanoi, Vietnam – $800 for one-month contract
PROOFREADER FOR COURSERA ONLINE
Jonathan also took a second job in Hanoi, with a technical support company for Coursera, which involved checking emails for English errors and helping the Vietnamese staff to improve their business and work-related English.
Location – Hanoi – $20 p/hour
VOLUNTEER WAITER / WAITRESS
On our first night in India, Agonda Beach to be exact, we found ourselves a job serving food in Duck ‘N’ Chill beachside restaurant for four hours a night, in exchange for food and drinks. It was some of the best food that we’ve ever tasted! Eating meals out is often the most expensive part of a trip, so this kind of job can save you a lot of money while being loads of fun too!
Location – Agonda Beach, Goa, India – Free meals!
GENERAL VOLUNTEER HOSTEL STAFF
BZFLAG volunteered in a hostel in Koh Pha Ngan during the Full Moon Party in exchange for a place to stay during the party week. Hostels are very expensive and hard to get during the Full Moon, so this job was amazing.
We both volunteered in a hostel in Ollantaytambo in Peru when we first arrived, which gave us the chance to get out bearings, learn a little Spanish and decided where to go from there. The only down side was that we had to do all of the cleaning, toilets included!
We also worked in a fantastic little hostel in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. We only work four days per week on reception, no cleaning involved and when the hostel is quiet we can work on our travel blog- BZFLAG Travel! It’s really important to stop traveling from time to time, just to re-charge and feel some kind of stability again. It also allows us to improve the website and catch up on important writing jobs! As a perk of the job, we also get to try out adventure sports and tours for free!
Location – Koh Pha Ngan, Thailand; Ollantaytambo, Peru; Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica – Bed and Breakfast ( perks!)
FULL-TIME TRAVEL BLOGGERS (current)
We started the blog as part of our quest for a sustainable travel lifestyle. In the beginning we worked between 12 and 16 hours a day for more than 3 months, which gave us a good head start but it wasn’t sustainable or healthy, and we certainly don’t recommend it, which is the main reason why we re-branded on making our website a community travel blog with over 20 writers around the world – Here’s how we did it
Some people assume that travel blogging is an easy task. Well, starting a blog is definitely easy, but running it as a business and turning it into a source of income is not. Even before we started travel blogging, Jonathan’s aim in life was to find different ways to earn a living while traveling around the world, so we started testing out the different options – from teaching English in Vietnam, volunteering in hostels and restaurants, running a massage business in Peru and finally starting our own travel blog a little over a year ago.