“[You] have found a route past all those Argive forts
And won escape right through the enemy’s lines.”
- Virgil, Aeneid 111: 282-3
“Ugh,” I muttered. “What happened last night.” The clock chimed 1pm.
I had just finished my study abroad course in Florence, Italy and I spent most of the summer partying—but my head never throbbed as much as this morning. The party last night had been epic: 60 people at my flat, eating pasta and fresh buffalo mozzarella while watching fireworks above Piazzale Michaelangelo for La Festa di San Giovanni.
I stumbled to my computer to check my email. Gmail loaded, and the expression on my face mutated.
From: United Airlines Subject: Confirmation #3EU76 – Your Ticket To Buenos Aires has been confirmed
That’s right. I had accidentally bought a ticket to Buenos Aires. Oh, and I had apparently stopped out of Stanford as well.
Over the next few weeks, I decided that I had made the right decision, and I planned my trip to Buenos Aires. My only problem was funding: how could I afford this journey?
I set out to try and find a freelancing gig, someone who would pay me to work on a project, no matter what city I was located in. I found not one, but three gigs (2 programming and one writing job) that paid in dollars and euros, while I was spending in pesos. I used these gigs to fund my travels for two years in South America and India.
Now, let’s talk about how you can do the same. How can you break free and become location independent?
A short digression about the value of money
You’re probably going to earn less money at first as a freelancer. It sucks, but it comes with the job. The benefits: freedom of location, a liberated time schedule, and the possibility of currency arbitrage make it well worth it.
What’s currency arbitrage? I wrote a detailed article about it (How to Quadruple Your Wealth in a 6 Hour Plane Flight), but here’s the gist: your dollar can go a lot farther in less expensive countries. While I might need $3,000 per month to survive in New York City, I only needed $1,100 to flourish in Buenos Aires—-and less than $400 to live like a king in Udaipur, India.
Thanks to currency arbitrage, you can easily charge lower rates or find fewer, better clients, if you pick the right location (just don’t move to Norway!)
What jobs can you do as a freelancer
The first thing you should think about is the type of work you want to do. I was lucky to have studied as a programmer when I began my search. Freelancing Internet jobs, such as programming, graphic design, etc. are usually very abundant, so it’s perfect if you have these skills.
If not, don’t worry—there are still tons of opportunities. Do you have any skills you can teach? Check out edufire.com to see hundreds of different types of courses you could offer. edifier is a platform that connects teachers and students—I’ve used it often to find language tutors, for example.
Can you speak any other languages? You might be able to find work as a translator. Are you a native English speaker? You can find writing jobs everywhere. Check out Demand Media, The Content Authority, and article article writing sites.
Think about the work experience you’ve had, and the skills you have. You want to think hard about the kind of value you can provide to a client.
Where can you find Freelancing opportunities?
There are several methods to finding a freelance job. The first step is to network with the contacts you already have.
If you have a job, will your company pay you to telecommute? Do you have any friends or old clients that might want your services, and will hire you to work for them? If you already have personal connections, this is the best way to find opportunities.
If you don’t have any excellent connections, then you should check out job boards. I found my biggest client through a freelance job board at http://jobs.freelanceswitch.com.
Also look at this list of job sites:
I’ll tell you the truth—freelancing changed my life. It allowed me to escape the U.S., travel abroad, and pursue my dreams. I used the time and money I gained from freelancing to fund my first passive income business, which has made me even more free.
If you have any questions, let me know below in the comments. I look forward to seeing you break away and pursue your dreams.