This past year was my most profitable ever as a globetrotting writer...and it's been a lot of fun too. I spent long summer days in Portugal, Spain, and Italy, played digital nomad—traveling and working as I went—for five weeks in Argentina, and explored the jungles of Bolivia.
Working my way through the busy marketplace exploding with vibrant colors and bustling with locals carrying out their daily grind, my heart swells with content. Not a day goes by that I am not grateful to live in such an interesting and friendly place that is so full of life. I have become so accustomed to the laissez-faire lifestyle of Tarija in Bolivia, that I could never return to the rat race.
A few years back, I was working a full-time, regular 9-to-5 teaching job. My bosses were inflexible, I was stressed, and I couldn't stand the work. When you're a teacher, you can't just take time off to travel. I'm also not a morning person, and waking up at 6 a.m. every day was tough. I was following the rules...and I don't like following rules. Writing was always my passion, but I had no idea how I would go about actually earning a living writing. Writers don't earn livings, everyone knows that. Right?
I work in Paris, France with plenty of free time to explore this amazing city with my kids, because of my career. As a copywriter, I work about five hours a day, three or four days per week, and I can think of no better place to live. “Hey look Mama! It’s the Eiffel Tower!”“Hey look Mama! It’s the Eiffel Tower!”
Living overseas...traveling at will to any destination you choose...with an income that follows you wherever you go...it isn't a dream when you become a freelance copywriter. How lucrative is this? You can easily earn $2,500 to $8,000 a month...perhaps even more if you want to work full-time at it.
"Are you still working?" is a question I get asked a lot these days. Instead of working a steady 40-hour work-week with just a few weeks' vacation, I'm routinely taking up a third of the year off...while still making a full-time income. I live in Cuenca, Ecuador, where my costs are a fraction of what they would be back home in Nebraska. I can dine out regularly in top-rated restaurants and afford to have a cleaning lady once a week.
Waking up every morning to the beautiful views of Medellin's Aburra Valley is like a dream compared to the corporate life I left behind in America. Back then I dreaded the buzzing alarm clock jolting me out of a restful sleep followed by a 60-minute, rush-hour commute to my office only 15 miles away. Then wasting eight hours in a cubicle doing work I hated only to repeat the one-hour commute to get home.
Ever since the internet caught on, people have been figuring out how to use a laptop to connect with money-making opportunities all over the world. As a result, there's now between 3.3 million and 8 million completely untethered workers roaming the globe. I'm thrilled to be one of them.
I've always been fascinated by Spain, with its unhurried pace...warm people...and colorful history. So a year ago I spent several months traveling from the medieval villages of Girona in the northeast, down to the windswept beaches and emerging surf towns of the southwest.
If you can write a simple email to a friend—and you like to share ideas with other people—you have all the qualifications you need to make a good income, live wherever you want in the world, and be your own boss. Age...experience...location...none of that matters. I'm talking about freelance copywriting. People often think they need a lot of qualifications to become a copywriter. But, the truth is, you don't need a special education to succeed in this industry. There are successful copywriters who didn't finish high school.