Making Money on the Road

We’ve been brainstorming for quite some time now how we can make money while we’re traveling. “Digital Nomad” seems to be the magic word. We found a few websites like “Fiverr” and “Upwork” that have a pretty big network for all types of freelance work. There are writers, designers, voice artists, translators, video editors, etc… So many ways and so many talented people trying to sell their craft. These pages naturally keep a 5-20% fee for their service and I am shocked sometimes how cheap some people sell their work and/or how cheap some employers expect the work to be done for. Maybe the reason for that is also that there are all different nationalities and $5 are worth more in some regions than in others. Maybe some of the “sellers” are also non-professionals and do the whole thing for fun to earn some extra cash. Anyway, it seems like a good way to make money but not as your main income (unless you apply for every job that might be fitting, no matter what it pays, in which case you’d be working constantly to earn only a little amount).

Luckily we don’t intend to have our main income from freelance-job-websites. We want to do house concerts and earn some money through this, plus keeping our expenses as small as possible by sleeping in our van or using platforms like “couch surfing.” It seems like there is a way to make money through blogging and also by having a successful YouTube-Channel. Of course you have to invest a lot of time into that first and “collect” followers before you can make any money with it, but to share how we put everything together and finally realize our dream of traveling and performing is a fun thing to do.

The other day I took the challenge to cut Joe’s hair. For years he has had the same hair stylist with amazing skills (the best “bob” cut I ever had!) in Chicago. Once in Germany we tried another salon with rather bad results. When he asked me if I thought I could cut his hair, since I knew his cut inside and out by now and also saw how his stylist was doing it countless times, I said I would try it. But I got pretty nervous when it was actually time to do it. Turns out he loved the haircut! It took me two hours but it was the first time I tried “Scissor-Over-Comb” technique (when I cut my brothers hair the razor was always enough) and in no way I wanted to ruin it. Anyway, after the whole thing was finished we thought that this could be a fun and interesting thing too; to sell my hair-cutting skills in hostels, camping places, or wherever else we are. After Joe was done, my brother was asking for a cut with the same technique and also his girlfriend decided to have her hair trimmed.

Also, Joe has this idea to offer drum lessons on the street. He says he can teach anyone a basic drum beat in just a few minutes. I saw this with my own eyes when he gave members of my family a short introduction on drums. He is an amazing teacher. The fascinating thing about this idea is that someone who learns to play in such a short amount of time and in the middle of the street evolves on so many other levels too, like overcoming fears and timidness. It’s a great concept. The problem is that there is a limit to how loud you’re allowed to be as a street performer and also in some countries you have to have a permit to perform on the street.

Bottom line… we keep brainstorming. It’s exciting and fun to think of brand-new possibilities to make money. To think of all your talents and how you can use them is a very different approach since usually you choose one profession after school and often that is what you do for the rest of your career. And in a lot of cases, people are not content or fulfilled within their chosen profession. To realize that one has so much more to offer than this one talent is a real eye-opener and makes one appreciate all your different interests. Anything/everything is possible; we cannot allow fear to limit our ambitions.

– L

P.S.: Here are the highlights of our haircut experience 😀

 

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Our New VW Multivan

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Last week we bought a Volkswagen T4 Multivan and named it “Elliot.” The name was cleverly chosen by Linda’s Mom using our initials and their German pronunciation; “L” (pronounced “Ell”) and “J” (pronounced “Yuht”). Put them together and voila, “Elliot!”

Like our previous car in Chicago (VW Rabbit/Golf), we wanted a van with stick-shift (manual transmission) as it’s more fun to drive, plus we’re able to influence our fuel usage/mileage more so. And speaking of fuel, we were fortunate to find a van with auto gas (LPG) which is better for the environment and saves us money (since we’re going to be driving so much!). Also, the van’s spacious interior is perfect to work/sleep in and accommodate our gear.

After a couple days of rigorous cleaning, the van looks great! We’re excited to get him tuned up and out on the road!

Here’s a short VIDEO clip introducing our new adventure bus:

– J

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Traveling the World

We finished the movie “Expedition Happiness” yesterday. It was nice. We liked it. But it was different than we expected.

We started watching it because we hoped to get inspiration on how we can travel Europe and maintain ourselves at the same time. When you think about traveling the world it’s easy to think of destinations. The hard part is to figure out how to pay for food and gas and how to get from one place to the other. Our plan is basically to buy a van (hopefully a good deal with a LPG tank) and then to couchsurf or sleep in the van, give house concerts, write a travel/inspirational blog (welcome to this first entry), and also to figure out a lot on the road as we go. But a huge part would also be videos and eventually a movie about the whole experience.

When we watched the first 10 minutes of “Expedition Happiness” I thought we would be ending up copying this couple. Living in a van, driving through amazing landscapes, getting inspiration on the way. But after watching the whole movie, Joe and I agreed that our movie would be different. Our goals are different. Of course we want to show our travels and the people we meet, but we also want to change the viewer.

We want to share our thoughts, inspire people to think differently, interview locals, and talk about the fears/frustrations that everyone in this world has. The mission is to connect people, to make them understand others but even more themselves and therefore changing the world.

This is a big claim and we don’t know what we will find during our journey. Maybe our final movie will have a completely different message than we first expected. We only know that it will change us and everyone who shares this journey with us. We don’t want to show how we travel the world, we want to document what this experience does to us; what we learn, think, and feel on the way. About ourselves and humankind.

– LIMG_0058

 

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