Ever since my first extended trip overseas back when I was a student, I dreamed of landing the “perfect” overseas job.
I craved new experiences in faraway lands. And I was willing to do whatever it took to make that happen. At first, it didn’t matter what the job was. As long as it gave me a chance to support myself while living in a world-class overseas destination, I was in.
I tried out many overseas jobs between 1995 and today. Not all were a good fit for me. Far from it. But the good news is, my search for the “perfect” overseas job led me to my current occupation…which I believe is by far the best “work from anywhere” job in the world today.
Before I spill the beans on what I do for a living now (and how you can do it, too), here’s the two-minute version of my 17-year “work from anywhere” global job search.
Way, way back in the summer of 1995, I had just finished up a year abroad as a student in Aix-en-Provence, France. Most of the other students from the U.S. went back home for the summer…but I wanted to stick around Europe and find some work until fall classes began again. I loved Europe and didn’t want to go home.
I tried bartending at a backpacker beach resort on the island of Corfu, Greece. It was an amazing, surreal experience but definitely wasn’t something I wanted to do forever. Twenty-five years old was considered “over-the-hill” at that crazy place and after two summers, I was turning 26. It was time to move on.
I needed something more “professional.”
I also wanted palm trees. I wanted world-class surf. Exotic food and culture. Cheap prices. An easy-to-learn language. And epic sunsets on the beach every night of the year. In my mind, there was only one place to go. So I booked a one-way ticket to Bali, Indonesia.
I got hired by an English Language school and taught there from 1997 to 1999. I couldn’t have been happier. Bali is one of my favorite destinations on the planet.
But here’s the thing. The Asian Financial Crisis had just hit the region so English teachers were not being paid the type of salary they are now…and I wasn’t saving any money.
So, I headed back to the States and by the year 2001 I was living in Honolulu, Hawaii. My new job was promoting a timeshare resort at a very well-known hotel chain in Waikiki.
However, I learned the hard way that it takes a certain kind of person to do well in timeshare. You see, I’m not a natural-born face-to-face seller. Plain and simple. It’s just not me. And if you want to make any kind of money in the dog-eat-dog, cutthroat timeshare industry, you better be a stone-cold sales ninja…or you’re going to get slaughtered.
I began to think I was running out of options…and the thought of being stuck in a 9-to-5 day job for the rest of my life began to scare the living daylights out of me.
But then, in October 2001, everything changed.
It all started with a simple email—a promotion for something I had never heard of before.
The promotion started off like this: “Can you write a letter like this one? Answer ‘Yes,’ and you will be in big demand, earning great money, writing a few hours a day from anywhere in the world you choose to live.”
That one headline literally changed my life forever.
It was for a home study course that taught people how to become freelance copywriters. I had never heard the words, “freelance copywriter” before. But I read every single word of that letter. Many, many times. I believed what I read…even though I’m one of the most skeptical people you’ll ever meet when it comes to this sort of thing.
I wound up ordering the course, despite the fact I was near-broke at the time due to my lousy selling skills.
By July 2005, I was writing copy full-time. The course worked.
I now had a realistic chance of making more money than I ever had before. And the best part is I wasn’t locked into working any one place anymore, either. As long as I had a laptop and an internet connection, I could work from anywhere in the world.
And if one thing’s for sure, I took full, full advantage of that…and then some.
Since 2005, I’ve lived and worked in Paris…Panama…Nicaragua…Manhattan…Miami Beach…Baltimore…London…Dublin…Bali…Laos…Vietnam…Thailand…Malaysia…and many more “off-the-grid” destinations. Right now, I’m based in the beach town of Sihanoukville, Cambodia…where the living is warm, fun and cheap.
I wouldn’t trade it for any other career.
Not many people know what a freelance copywriter is… let alone what they do. Perhaps you don’t. But I will tell you this. If you’ve ever dreamed of a job where you can live just about anywhere in the world…and make as much money as you want…then I couldn’t think of a better job out there today.
For a diehard, career-minded world traveler like me, this has got to be the most “perfect” overseas job in the world.
Editor’s Note: If you’d like to learn more about ways you can pay for your life or travels overseas sign up for Fund Your Life Overseas, a free e-letter from International Living. Sign up here and we’ll send you a free report: Fund Your New Life Overseas With These 5 Portable Careers.