Guest Post: How To Live (and work) in 10 countries!

with 28 Comments

Let me introduce myself first: I’m a ginger on the internet chasing a mad dream to live in 10 countries before I die. But, why?

Immersing myself in the culture, seeing the seasons change and the annual festivals roll around, these are the best things about travel in my honest opinion. If you’ve ever felt you’d like to stay a little longer, wondered what life in a tourist town is like during the off-season, or longed to better understand a foreign language, this is the travel style for you. Even just once in your life, the experience of living abroad is an invaluable one. Curious to see what I’m talking about?

livein10countries how to work travel abroad job tips

The need to live abroad began for me when I realised that there was a world beyond my small village and started to develop a  curiosity for what could be just over the horizon line.

I would buy dolls of different nationalities and daydream about their countries, or pore over old atlases before the internet was a thing. I always knew that living abroad fascinated me far more than short tourism- it’s that idea of total immersion. What would it be like to live in a totally alien culture? Finally, I signed up for a TEFL course 2 days after my 18th birthday (they did not accept minors) and as soon as I had passed it I was on a plane to Peru for a basic teaching job. It was terrifying. I wanted to break into the cockpit and fly the plane straight back home. It was, of course, incredible in the end.
lisbon world map work and travel the globe livein10countries

Fast forward from there, it has been a stream of jobs found in creative places:

Nannying in a part of Iceland inaccessible by road and communicating with the child entirely through hand gestures- where I also drank from my first waterfall and was homeless for a week; sleeping in a haunted castle and working for the European Union in the Czech Republic; private tutoring among the orange trees in Sevilla; freelance writing and online reviews from Paris while overdosing on macaroons and spending hours in old bookshops; training street children from the dizzying heights of La Paz and the list goes on. So far there have been 8 countries, where to next?
beijing how to work and travel livein10countries

Taking off the rose tinted glasses, there have certainly been bad times.

Loneliness. The feeling that life back home is racing by with a hundred crucial weddings and christenings a year that you guiltily miss. The day my grandmother died on the other side of the world. Friends who have drifted apart from me with every year I failed to move home. Still, if I could go back- I’d do it all again. I have made  a conscious effort to return home every Christmas, even when it meant flying from Australia, and that has kept a strong tie with the friends and family who matter. Sometimes a job is just a way to keep traveling, but I’ve steadily built skills and a career path by studying cheaply in Milano, Paris and online, that leaves me better equipped than when I started.

Iceland Scenery how can I afford to travel livein10countries
Curious to know all the practical details on how to live abroad? Exactly how can you afford it and where can you get work?
Check out my post on the perfect travel little known travel job here
Find out how I worked in the Czech Republic for a year, and how you could too here
If you could live abroad anywhere for 1 year, where would you go?
How to Live and Work

28 Responses

  1. I love this post! I wish I had known that these were possibilities when I was 18 or even just in my early 20s! I would have gone in a heart beat to travel and teach or bartend or whatever as long as I was exploring!
    I think you are lucky that you have modern tech like social media because I think that can help bridge the gap of being away, though I know the pain of missing out on the death of a loved one. I wasn’t around when My Grandmother passed.
    I hope you continue to develop and have great adventures.

    • LocalNomads says:

      You’re so right! I’m so glad i didn’t waste any more time before leaving home… Our life of travel has been far more rewarding than the lives we were leading before. Social media has been a huge factor, not only in our ability to keep in touch with friends and family, but also with finding work opportunities.

  2. Sue Reddel says:

    How inspiring that you are living your dreams. Can’t wait to see what country 9 and 10 will be. I envy your courage. I love to travel but I’m a home body and don’t think I could leave home for that long. Great post!

    • LocalNomads says:

      Thanks Sue, Luckily thanks to social media the world has become even smaller! It’s easier now to keep in touch with family than ever before. We’ve even realized that we can communicate with our families much better now that we’re on the road, as weird as that may sound. Thanks for your comment!

  3. That’s very informative and useful. I am sharing this with a friend. We had long wanted to live in a country for a long time. I hope you too fulfill your dream. All the best to us!

  4. Ankita Kumar says:

    Ah! What a great post. This is all the encouragement I needed to just get up and do it. So long! Maybe I’ll see you on the other side. Cheers! 🙂

  5. Chloe says:

    Amazing and inspiring! Work and travel has always been my dream. Thanks for the awesome tips and courage support!

    • LocalNomads says:

      It’s never been easier to work and travel the world. You can gain such an amazing perspective into a place by living there for an extended period of time. You should definitely check out CoolWorks.Com for plenty of jobs in great places!

  6. Luca says:

    I hope you’re going to check also the two spots left from your list, it would be great! I’m at three only, but I have never thought about a goal for this situation.
    I experienced how it’s hard to stay away from family and friends, but I also discovered how real your friends are when they try to stay in contact with you no matter the distance, and not only when you’re with them.

  7. Emily says:

    I remember feeling full of nerves when I left the UK to teach in France when I was 20. It was definitely a character-building experience! I think it’s great that you’ve worked in 8 different countries; very inspiring!

  8. Sudipto De says:

    Wow. That is indeed an inspiring post. I am thinking about joining Doctors without Borders. How does that work for travelling while working??

    • LocalNomads says:

      That sounds like a great plan! There are so many places in need of medical assistance. Although there are a lot of people in the USA who need medical assistance and also can’t afford it as well.

  9. Ashley says:

    I often wish I knew that I could have left and traveled after high school. Either way, I’m happy that I realized this was a passion of mine and have pushed through it. What I love about reading this post is that it is now about checking countries off a list but really living, exploring and learning about them rather then hopping around. Exactly my type of travel.

    • LocalNomads says:

      Blazing through the tourist sites and checking off our bucket list has never been the way we’ve gone about travel. We try very herd to travel as slowly as we can, making sure to leave as much room as we can for improvisation and for fate to take over. It’s so rewarding to travel this way. Thanks for commenting. Glad you’re out there living it!

  10. Lee Rosales says:

    Now that I jave been traveling a lot, I was so eager to live in a country for a month or 2 however, as much as I can I cannot bec Im a mom now.

  11. Gareth says:

    A really enjoyable post man and a dream that I share, at least in part. I’ve always wanted to live in a country for a prolonged period of time, 6 months minimum and really get to grips with daily life their. To date, excluding my home country of Northern Ireland, I’ve managed to live and work in 7 countries although I’ve no intention of slowing down. And while I wouldn’t change anything, I emphasis with what you said about the trials of living abroad. It really is important to head back when you can and keep those bonds close

  12. This was such an awesome read. I agree with this sentiment so nicely. I spent the last year living in China, working as an english teacher. Now my entire outlook is this same way!

  13. I absolutely loved this post! It’s amazing to have a goal and living in 10 countries is a great one. Thanks for sharing such a fun read!

  14. Loved the write up. I wonder how it will be to live and work in 10 different countries. It will certainly be wonderful to know so many cultures and people around. Wish you good luck with your dream

  15. Sia says:

    I’ve only lived in 1 country abroad and it was such a fulfilling experience. With its ups and downs, it thought me so much. It was always interesting to attend the local festivities, learn about the culture through its traditions on holidays etc. It is a great goal to have and wishing you good luck!

  16. Great Post. We love living in another Country. It’s just so different from visiting. You get to know an area inside and out, create amazing friendships and learn the culture. We are Canadians living our 19th month in England. We have 4 more months to go before we head back to Canada to a little bit. I don’t know if I would go as high as living in 10 different countries, but we would definitely want to live in a couple more. Have fun in your next adventure!

  17. Sarah says:

    This is such a heartfelt account of living abroad. I can imagine the loneliness you have experienced while on this path, but it seems like you have put it into perspective perfectly. Those who care enough to support your lifestyle are the people worth keeping in your life. Whether separated by 1 year or 10 years, they are the ones who will still be anticipating your return home at Christmas. Safe travels to you! 🙂

  18. Emma says:

    I’ve only lived in England and France (Scotland too but not sure if that counts!) living abroad is an amazing experience! One I wish I could do more of!!

  19. Do not stop at 10! Surely you can cover many more countries in your lifetime. Although I am still exploring my own country, I have been wthout a permamnet job for several years now and surviving on freelance online work that enables me to travel.

  20. Oh, this is such a nice read! I have only lived in three countries and I really hope to add more to that. keep on writing article slike this to inspire people to travel and go out of their comfort zone.

  21. Mansi K. says:

    Inspiring! You’re living a traveler’s dream. Though I’ve only lived in 2 countries, I have to say that a short trip is never enough to truly discover one. You may see the highlights, but stay longer and you learn a lot not just about the place, but also about yourself. If I could go back to my 20s, I would’ve loved to live in France. What’s next for you?

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