Endless Travel Is Easy When Working Fun, Casual Jobs
My name is Rusty. I'm 28 years old and I love surfing, backpacking and traveling — especially traveling.
Over the last 6 years I've spent almost 50% of my time exploring the world, and I made it possible through fun, casual jobs that you could probably do too.
Here's my story.
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What's up, man? Tell us about your background? Your money story?
I am born and raised in Hamburg, Germany. At the moment, I live in Munich due to my Tourism Management Master Program, which I will hopefully finish in the next 6-8 month.
I can’t wait to start my travel adventures again. I love the lifestyle of living and working in different countries and on different continents.
You're pretty well versed in the nomad lifestyle space. How did you end up living a life of pretty much endless travel? What was the moment you felt it was time to take off?
In 2009, my cousin and I had been dreaming about doing a year long trip to Australia. We wanted to experience somewhere new with open ended time.
To make it happen the first time, I helped out my soccer coach at his landscape/gardening firm.
Literally, my entire school holidays were dedicated to earning money so I could go on that trip I had dreamt for.
I remember I had saved up around 3500 Euros, which lasted me a few months after we took off.
It was about that time, like 2-3 months in, that my cousin decided to go back home. But at that time for me, I had absolutely no intentions of going home at all.
My English was fairly bad back then and I had never, ever properly traveled somewhere myself.
But all I knew was I wouldn't be able to continue traveling without making money. So basically my intention became to get some work while I was traveling.
Nice. The old travel/work split. What were some of the jobs you got that kept your journey going? How'd you get them?
When I was on the road I was always living on a low budget.
This really allowed me to pick up casual, fun jobs along the way. Things like working as a helping hand at an Australian surf camp or being a farm hand on a dairy farm.
Beyond the surf camp being especially fun, I wouldn't end up spending any money while working there because my entire day was filled with being in the ocean.
(That's awesome. It sounds a lot like another one of our success stories, Gina, who paid off $18k of her debt while getting paid to travel the world on a super yatch. She put herself in a fun place where spending just wasn't even possible.)
Yeah, exactly. One of the most important parts for me in being a full on traveler has been to be very open minded with everyone I've met.
Introducing myself to people has helped me get surrounded by locals, which have set up many of my jobs. And beyond that those people have become close friends, which has been amazing.
When I returned back to Germany after that first trip, I knew I would want to go back traveling. So I set my mind to that, and treated it a lot like how I did when I was traveling.
In 2010, I started working at an indoor ski hall as a ski and snowboard instructor, which was probably one of the best jobs ever. I'd basically spend every weekend at the indoor hall in order to work or use the slopes to have fun on myself!
I would work nearly 7 days a week and stash as much as possible for a few months, and then take off for another couple month long trip.
So you've kept up with traveling even while in your schooling. How have you managed to pull that off?
Indeed, it does seem like I have been traveling all the time in the past 6 years. But yeah, I also got into a 5 year master's program in Tourism during that time.
Since getting my into my Master's Program, I've split my years in 2/4, 2/4 splits. So basically I spend the 2-month holidays traveling and then the 4-month university time at home. And I do basically that every 6 months.
That 2/4 program has been great, but nevertheless, I am excited for the day that I will graduate and finally take off for good or at least for an unlimited amount of time.
How has money impacted your travels? How have you viewed it? Has that changed?
Traveling how people usually do it is super expensive. Often there are high costs for transportation, accommodation and so on.
So over the years, I've learned to I travel to one place and stay for longer. This helps like crazy with saving money on accommodation, transportation as well as food.
Slowing down your travels like this can help almost anyone extend there journey's by months.
I also quickly figured out that there are some places that are ridiculously expensive to stay in. And at the same time there are other's, that are just as amazing, that ridiculously less expensive, like the beautiful surf/beaches in places like Indonesia.
As a rough hint for Sumbawa, Indonesia the following can be my daily budget for weeks.:
Accommodation (breakfast included): $7.50/night (100.000 IDR)
Lunch: $1.80 (25.000 IDR)
Dinner: $2.75 (35.000 IDR)
Water and Ice cream ;) $1 (15.000 IDR)
That's only $13/day total. Yes, total! And the fun you have is amazing.
The faster you travel from place to place the more expensive it gets. Therefore, I decided to stay at that place above for 5 weeks.
What's next on your travels and future aspirations?
Well, so far I haven’t made too many plans on that yet, but all I know is that I want to throw myself out there.
I am most certain that I will at some point in life live off the grid out of a self-converted van. I love how a lot of people are doing that, and how they can get from place to place so easily and inexpensively.
Luckily, I chose to study tourism management which will help incredibly with jet-setting around the globe.
In the past, as well as now, I have been getting my language skills up to a level that I can have proper conversions in as many as four different languages — German, English, Spanish and Swedish. This should help keep the travels going too.
This year, I have been traveling for already more than 4-month to Australia and Indonesia. But now, it's time to write my final thesis and leave the study life behind to finally be able to travel on an unlimited time base.
After my thesis Australia, New Zealand or South America are on the top of my life. What I can tell you for sure is that there is a pretty low possibility of me sticking around Germany or even Europe. ;)
If you want to keep up with my travels, feel free to check things out on my Instagram @rustytravels. Or better come meet me along the way!
Best of luck as you put your travels together, and hope my experience helps!
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