(Just so you know, there may be some affiliate links in this post, but we only recommend items that we believe in and think will benefit you on your travels.)
1. Tell us about yourself and sum up your travels for us.
I’m Erick Prince. Founder of MinorityNomad.com and Eclatist Digital. Prior to traveling I was in the US military for over 10 years. After leaving the military and returning to college, I decided to start a nonprofit foundation for low income youth focusing on access to travel. That drove me to sell all my possessions, save all the money I could, and hit the road on a one-way ticket to inspire marginalized youths to travel. Five years and 93 countries later, here I am still at it. I currently travel on a mission to become the first African-American to visit every country in the world.
2. How have you funded your travels?
The first year or so of my travels were funded through my savings, a bit over $19,000. I took a job at the Texas DMV where I used my prior experience in the military to create a new training program for them. It wasn’t a full-time job, just a short-term contract that paid very well, but it opened my eyes to the world of freelancing. Have a skill, sell that skill.
As my blog gained attention, I started learning about digital marketing and luxury concepts. Companies started asking me to create marketing plans and strategies for them. I transitioned into the digital marketing realm. Creating social media strategies and developing content for brands like Shang Ri-La Hotels, Intercontinental Hotels, Sony, and LAN Airlines. Now, my travels are entirely funded from my digital marketing work.
3. Tell us about your budget.
I don’t believe in this concept of “budget” that’s so prevalent these days. Of course, everyone has a budget one way or another. I’m just not a fan of planning my travels around it. If I want to do something, I work to get enough money to do that thing.
In over five years of travel, I’ve never spent more than $1,200 a month traveling, excluding one-off items like flights and hospital bills. Accommodation, food, and entertainment has never cracked $1,200, which has made it relatively simple for me to keep going as long as I have. I stay on “budget” by making more money than I spend.
4. What have you learned about money since hitting the road?
I’ve learned that money means very little, but I knew that long before this. Money is nothing more than a means to an end. It only has the value which people place on it. The people I’ve met with the least amount of money have been the kindest and most giving.
5. What's your top tip for someone trying to figure out how to make long-term travel financially possible?
Long term travel is possible when you have long-term income. I take exception to all these “life hacks” and courses people are selling which perpetuate this myth of passive income. Things can be simple but not easy, and I think that’s where many get themselves in trouble: by trying to outsmart the basics of life. How do you live the lifestyle you want? Make more money. Simple, not easy.
Figure out what you love and you’re good at, and figure out a way to monetize it. We live in a world where teenagers make millions a year playing video games on YouTube. There’s money out there. People just have to realize you’ll need to sacrifice something. Sleep, family time, health, something.
6. If someone wanted to follow in your footsteps, are there any online resources you’d recommend?
If someone wanted to follow in my footsteps I would say DON’T! My success has come from one simple truth. I do everything my way and I have 100% self-awareness and confidence. I bet on my strengths and compliment my weaknesses. What I’m good at is creating plans and strategies. Finding the right pieces to the puzzle. What I’m bad at is pretty much everything else in business. Which is why I hire people to fill those holes. If you’re not a good cook you hire a chef. You don’t need anyone’s course, ebook, or site to tell you what your strengths and weaknesses are. Everyone needs to cut out all the self-help noise and be brutally honest with themselves. What are you great at? Focus on that with all of your energy and make sure the world knows you’re great. Strive to be the best at that thing and an authority. The money will come.
7. What's some of your favorite travel gear that enables you to do what you do?
My Sony A7S. All things stripped away, I’m a photographer. It’s the air that I breath. It nourishes my soul and the one thing that drives me above all else. And my rucksack, US Military issue. This thing has literally been to war and back with me.
8. Where can people follow your travels?
You can check out my website at MinorityNomad.com
Follow me on Instagram: @minoritynomad
And check out my YouTube channel here!