If your travels last for a longer period of time, its not a bad idea to find a base and try to enhance your budget so your travels can last even longer. Because of that reason travelers decide to stay put for a while, to chill out and take a break from constant moving, and to save up for future endavours.
So, what are the main ways to do that?
1. VOLUNTEERING (best in developing and under-developed countries)
Even though the same word implies that you won’t be earning money, volunteering is working, just your paycheck is food and accommodation, costs for which you would usually have to pay if you were earning money.
Ways to find volunteering opportunities are many, but I will write about two, with which I have some experience.
FIRST – on the spot.
You come to a place, and you decide to stay for a while. There are plenty of reasons for that – you are tired, your budget is going low, you are enchanted by the beauty of the place (or with a boy/girl you saw on the street), and who knows what else. First thing to have on your mind is – patience. If you start right away going from door to door, asking for a volunteering opportunity, it is possible you will find something, eventually make friendships, and at the end profit from the entire experience.
But I think the procedure should be the opposite – first you should find people you like, make few friends, get to know the place a bit better, convince yourself this is the place you want to stay in, and then ask those people do they (or people they know) have some job for you. If you are in developing countries, there is a big chance nobody will be able to offer you a paycheck, so make sure you let them know you will be satisfied with food and accommodation.
I did that in couple of countries – Turkey, India, Malawi…
SECOND – online
There are a lot of web pages that allow you to find volunteering opportunities, and the most famous ones (at least for me) are WWOOF, HelpX and WorkAway. You do have to pay few dollars a year for registration, and even though I was pretty skeptical when it came to that (why would I need to PAY to volunteer?), I convinced myself that it is definitely worth of investment. For example, I spent six out of nine months in Peru in Ecuador – volunteering.
2. WORKING ON THE STREETS (best in developing countries – people have some money, and there are not too many rules/laws preventing you to work on the street)
The concept is pretty simple – find a hobby or a talent, go on the street, and try to cash it.
The only experience I have with that is busking (playing the guitar/ukulele), but I met a lot of travelers that juggle, make bracelets, paint, etc. The most important with these kind of things is to give something in return, not to beg.
Here are couple of advices I would give to people that are thinking about a career of a street performer:
BE FEARLESS – you don’t ahve to be extremely talented to sit/stand on the street and start with your performance. Of course, basic knowledge is necessary, but all above is just a plus.
HAVE A STORY – people will like to donate their money to a story, so its up to you to introduce them to yours. Even before they ask «Why would I give this guy my money», give them an answer. I use piece of carton on which I write down my story (on a local language – ask for help), and what will I use the money for. I do my best for it to be interesting and funny, because uniqueness and houmor always work.
ELIMINATE YOUR EXPECTATIONS – you won’t get rich by performing on the street. Ideally you will earn some money that you need for everyday expenses, so lower your expectation, or kill them completely. Expectations lead to disappoitments.
GIVE YOUR BEST – a lot of times I was playing some song with my eyes closed, not caring about the world around me, using a language unknown to passers-by, and realize that the people stayed and listened attentively. Just beacause they felt that I was playing and singing with my whole heart.
BREAK THE RULES – play, observe, make your own rules. What works for one, doesn’t for the other. What works on one spot, doesn’t on another.
ENJOY – the most important thing. Be happy while playing for others. If you don’t feel amazing when someone stops for a moment to listen to your song, makes eye contact and quietly listens to the entire song – maybe you should find something else to do.
3. GET A PAID JOB (best in developed countries – the standard is good so you can make good money for short period of time)
Only country I worked in was – Australia. I didn’t have a work visa, but I came there on a tourist visa, and tried my luck. It wasn’t easy. I armed myself with a lot of patience and positive toughts, and started with my search.
As with volunteering, you can look up for jobs by asking people, or online. My opinion is that its best to make friends first, allow them to get to know you (if you’re cool, if not – don’t talk too much), and then ask them for a job. Understand that it’s a huge risk for them to give you work (If you don’t have necessary papers), so behave acording to that. Like with a lot of things in life – put yourself in their position.
4. WRITE A BOOK, AND GIVE LECTURES ABOUT YOUR TRAVELS
This is how I did that – 1000 DAYS OF SPRING.