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1. Tell us about yourself and sum up your travels for us.
Hi! My name is Jordan Simons and I'm a YouTuber who travels the world continuously! In 2014 I sold all my possessions, quit my job and began to travel the world. That journey has taken me to over 56 countries across the world and led to me finding my passion for film and inspiring others!
2. How have you funded your travels?
After selling all my stuff back in 2014, and paying off my overdraft and credit cards, I had roughly £6000 saved ($9000US). This lasted about 9 months before I completely ran out of money and went to Australia to begin my working holiday visa - which was always my back up plan and I had paid for previously. I saved up money there for 6 months while working various jobs (including bar work, office work and general labour) until I had enough to begin traveling again. I knew that this time I wasn't going to learn how to make money online and went into it with a strategy.
I planned to begin my YouTube channel and blog while using freelance web design to keep myself going. This is what I did for the next 6 months, while living in South East Asia to keep my costs down - living off roughly $20 a day. After about 6 months of continued effort and learning I began to make money from the ad revenue of my YouTube channel, so I decided to do it full time. Since then I have made money from YouTube and sponsorships. The amount always varies from month to month, depending on the gig and how many views you get - some months I have made as little as $200 while another month could be $7500!
Now I draw a full-time income from YouTube, which I talk about at length here.
3. Tell us about your budget.
When I started out travelling I used to budget strictly, since I only had a certain amount of money to spend and I knew that when that money ran out my travels would end. I gave myself $20 a day to travel with and I would always balance it out over the week i.e. if I spent $25 one day then I had to spend $15 the next.
However, now that I work online, I don't feel the need to budget. If I need more money then I just plan to make more money in the long run. I don't go crazy and I still live fairly cheaply whenever I can, but I don't stick to a strict budget any more. This is the beauty of working for yourself and working remotely. If you need more money then you can just slow down the travels and work a bit harder! Just make sure not to leave yourself short - have a little bit of a buffer that enables you to live somewhere when you need to buckle down and work.
4. What have you learned about money since hitting the road?
I have learned that money goes a lot further depending on what country you're living in! I know that's not groundbreaking stuff, but I just mean that I would much rather live in cheaper places and have a higher quality of life than spend all my money on the cost of living. In general though, travelling is a lot cheaper than most people think it is, especially when you travel slowly. The most expensive times are usually when you are moving around a lot, spending money on transports and last minute hotels. If you stick to a general area for longer, then you will spend less money in the long run and learn how to do things cheaper.
Initially, I spent more on alcohol and partying than I ever meant to (haven't we all?). Nowadays however I spend more on food and coffee than I used to, perhaps that's just me growing up?
5. What's your top tip for someone trying to figure out how to make long-term travel financially possible?
Honestly, my top tip is just to have discipline and put in the work consistently. It's not very sexy advice and it's going to create any headlines, but the only route to success in my experience is to put in the hard work every day. The only definite way to ensure you’ll be successful in whatever you do is to keep turning up every single day and keep putting in the effort. Eventually that consistent effort will all add up!
- Learn 10 words of a language every day. In 3 years you’ll know 10,000 words, which is generally considered to be fluent.
- Invest a small amount of money wisely every day. Compound interest would make you a millionaire in the long run.
- Post every day on social media while constantly learning and improving. Eventually you’ll have a large following and be able to make a full-time living.
Just remember that consistent marginal gains = long term rewards.
6. If someone wanted to follow in your footsteps, are there any online resources you’d recommend?
YouTube tutorials! That's how I learned most of the things I know now, from watching videos created by other people currently leading that lifestyle. I would also recommend reading - a lot. Some of my biggest inspirations have come from books I've read. Just off the top of my head, here are some classics I'd recommend - '4 Hour Work Week' 'Bounce' 'Richest Man In Babylon' and of course every travellers companion 'The Alchemist'.
I would also highly recommend the website TravelContinuously.com (shameless plug),which is my new website designed to show people the many different ways you can make money while travelling! It's my passion project and I'm using it to help show as many people as possible how to lead a location independent lifestyle.
7. What's some of your favorite travel gear that enables you to do what you do?
Over the past couple of years I’ve learnt what camera equipment to use to produce professional quality videos while also being portable enough to travel with. Here's what I travel with:
8. Where can people follow your travels?