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Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else This is an opportunity to ask any question, and post any notice you wish that doesn't fit into one of the other sections.
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  #1  
Old 2 Jan 2003
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getting paid?

I just got laid off from my engineering job and am seriously considering a LONG ride. Will likely sell the house, etc, but don't want to finish in a deep financial hole.
Here's my question:
Is it realistic to make money doing something like this? Can I get sponsorship? Sell articles to magazines?(I'm not a bad writer- got published once) Post-trip slide show tour? Find work abroad? It seems like one could potentially make a meager living at this, or am I dreaming? Any advice would be appreciated.
Thanks
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  #2  
Old 2 Jan 2003
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It CAN be done - but it's extraordinarily difficult. Greg Frazier and Helge Pedersen do it, and one or two in Europe.

Every traveller would love to get sponsored and sell articles to magazines. The reality is that there is little sponsorship interest in North America for mc travel, and every mc magazine is regularly inundated with articles on long distance travel. Too many people wanting to do it and not enough money to go around. One mag told me they print one in twenty submissions. So only the very best writing, with pro quality photos even have a chance.

Unless you are doing something VERY special I don't hold much hope of getting any significant sponsorship. Any you do get will be far more trouble than it's worth. The sponsor expects something for his money, and he doesn't have to give very much to expect a lot back! Regular reports, excellent photos showing his product in action in horrendous conditions, magazine articles about you and by you - and you now have an idea how hard that is - mean that it's just not worth it.

I know one European traveller who was sponsored all the way around the world - female, (a big plus for a sponsor) very outgoing, and spent AT LEAST half her time RTW on sponsorship stuff - scrounging for more money, commitments to sponsors for events and personal appearances, writing articles and sending out photos and articles constantly. And most of her money came from her home country, not the major companies. She has said to me that she wished she didn't have to deal with sponsors at all.

As for work abroad - depending on what you do, you MAY be able to find good paying work abroad. BUT usually you are unable to work legally, therefore you work illegally at poor pay.

We have worked abroad, by working for an international company and getting assignments in various countries.

Slide show tours don't pay anything significant as a rule. Helge does a major production and makes it pay, but I doubt there is room for another one. Perhaps, but unless your whole life is centred around marketing yourself as a world travel guru, the film will cost more than you'll ever make.

Having said that, my advice is always to just go and do it! Plan your trip around how much money you want to spend, leaving yourself as much as you feel you want to come home to. You'll enjoy the trip far more without the responsibilities of keeping sponsors happy, or even worrying about magazine articles. Shoot the photos YOU care about. Do what makes YOU happy, and you'll have a fantastic trip you'll remember for the rest of your life with pleasure.

Hope that helps!

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  #3  
Old 2 Jan 2003
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Thanks for the reply (and so soon). That is the answer I expected, but of course not what I wanted. What I do will depend largely on whether or not I find another job soon. Thanks again.
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  #4  
Old 2 Jan 2003
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Jobs are extremely hard to come by, the economy sucks, but the house market is up - therefore it's time to travel! Sell the house while the prices are good, (before the real estate market tanks,) and hit the road while prices everywhere are low.

It'll be the best thing you ever did!

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  #5  
Old 2 Jan 2003
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Hmmmm, this is interesting.
Gotta tell you, my dream or feeling of freedom, is founded on the idea that one day I can go travel as long as I want. Don't expect this to happen somewhere in the first years since I love and live for my job at the moment.
And there is still plenty to do around Belgium that can be done in a month, wich is the time I can easely take off evere year... at least once.

BUT... a couple months ago I bought myself a little house. In general the place is in a good state, but I still have to make myself a bathroom and get a toilet inside (brrrrrr ;-).
Anyway planning is that the comming 3 years all my time (besides being a firefighter and traveller) will be invested in doing my house.
And off course I am paying for the house every month and will be doing that for the next 20 years.

So how will this give me the freedom to travel as long as I want? Well, the house is located in a good area for renting houses. By the way: Also houseprices will rice the comming years. House and ground prices are the ONLY THING that don't lower in value unless in an exeptional situation.

When I have finished working in my house the renting price will be higher then what I have to pay every month.
Only in about 10 years or so I'll be able to live from the extra money generated on top of the monthly payments (thats calculated on the average rising of housingprices). Then I'll be 37 still all the time of my life to go and travel as long as I want.
AND... when I come back the house is still there... It's sort of my base.
While I am gone a housing company will take care of the house and deal with any problems.

And in 20 years, when I am 47, then the payments to the bank stop and there is nothing to stop me from travelling years and years....

Voila, I know all this sounds a bit "far reached", but I am dead serious about it.
If I am not mistaken Maarten is financing his travelling on a simular way.


Jim, I don't know where your house is located, if you're still paying for it and so on... But maybe you should check if renting the house can't make the house pay for itself and mayby also genrated some money for your trip. Once you're 'out there' you don't need a lot a month to live of!
By holding on to the house this way you kind of avoid ending up in a endless financial pit. But it also might mean that you have to save money for an extra year before you can go.

Anybody else who has experience with this?

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  #6  
Old 17 Jan 2003
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Not exactly, but we learned one important lessong three years ago, when we embarked on a one year trip: We had bought the wrong house!

We owned a small, high standard house by the waterfront. This is not appreciated in the rental marked, where you get paid first of all for the size and location, not the standard.

We ended up selling the place, since there was no way we could rent it out and cover the monthly expenses.

When we returned from the trip and started house hunting again, we deliberately looked for a house we could easily rent out if we decided to go travelling again, and we found it. The house has one rental appartment above the garage, which means that when/if we rent out the main house as well, the two units will cover our costs. Then we don't have to sell again - which we have done twice so far.

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  #7  
Old 17 Jan 2003
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Yep,
While making the plans for the house (rebuilding) we are consequently taking in mind that it should easely be rented out.
We even take in account that we make three little appartements in it instead of one house unit in case the housing market requires it. (for ex if the university pushes on and opens a campus nearby the comming years).

If anybody thinks this way too, I believe it is doable. But you have to take your time to find the right house, for the right price in the right place. Took a year and a half to find it.

I'll keep you posted. but by the time I can speak out of experiences we'll be quite some years further.

Fireboomer.

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  #8  
Old 17 Jan 2003
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Thanks for the replies. I am leaning towards doing it. I have the opportunity to go thru South America with 2 friends who are definitely going. Big questionis the house- sell opr rent. I don't want to give up the house (and deal with storing my stuff, etc) but Want to be sure it will be OK when I get back. Alos I think the housing prices will drop here in Colorado, so If I sell it, I think I should do it soon. Decisions...
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  #9  
Old 18 Jan 2003
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At least you have the luxury of having a house to decide what to do with Jim. I tried getting on the housing ladder here near London and I gave up because it's just so stupidly expensive ...and I'm not badly paid either, it's just that for the amount I'm able to afford I would get a broom cupboard! When I start my 'BIG TRIP' which I'm planning for July 2004 I will be leaving with whatever I managed to save and no house to come back to. Some times you just have to say what the f*ck and do it anyway - at least that's what I'm doing. I could end up waiting my whole life for 'the right time' to come along so I'm just going to grab the bull by the horns and go for it! Let us know what you decide
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  #10  
Old 18 Jan 2003
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(Off topic)

PaulJ, you don't live in Wanborough, do you?

I have read some of your posts and you *sound* like the neighbour of a friend of mine.

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  #11  
Old 20 Jan 2003
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No Toby I don't live in Wanborough. But that neighbour of your friends sounds like he must be a really intelligent and funny guy
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  #12  
Old 20 Jan 2003
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Hi Guys, My wife and I sold our house in the UK four years ago and travelled (backpacked) for a year. It was the best thing we've ever done, so much so that we,ve just sold the place we bought when we got back and are off again, in May. This time on a bike. I'm no youngster at 42, but life is for living, not slaving to buy a box to live in. My advice...just do it!!..Bob

[This message has been edited by mcdarbyfeast (edited 19 January 2003).]
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  #13  
Old 20 Jan 2003
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Jim,
My company here in Colorado Springs (RockShox) was recently purchased by a Chicago based firm and instead of moving to Chicago, I took the severance package and am doing exactly what you are considering. I sold my house to my roomate and will be having a party/auction to sell off (purge) all of my belongings that I will not take on my RTW. On the specific topic of making money on the road, I have inquired into teaching English. If your time line is open this may be for you as you usually need to commit to a contract (3m - 12m). For me, teaching English in Central America for 3-6 months before going into South America will not only make me a few dollars, but would also give me a chance to learn Spanish, which would make the rest of the journey more enjoyable. www.teachandtravel.com. www.englishjobmaze.com.
I have also looked into working on organic farms where labor is traded for food/lodging. You don't get paid, but the time committments are short (usually starting at 5 days) and would be a nice way to get your bearings entering a foreign country, eating well, and getting the local take on good riding, safe routes, etc. www.wwoof.org.
Cheers,
Rene

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  #14  
Old 20 Jan 2003
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Thanks for the words of encouragement. I will most likely do it. big question is still sell or rent out house. I'm talking to my realtor tomorrow...
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  #15  
Old 30 Jan 2003
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OK. I'm doin it. Flying down to BA Argentina with a XR650L I haven't seen yet. Will meet up with 2 friends who will be about 3 weeks ahead of me. Then up coast of Brazil, ride the area the ISDE will be at next year, then up the Amazon, into Boliva, peru, etc northward to home.
I did manage to score some sponsorship from the local bike shop- funwheels (see funwheels.com ) Buying gear at wholesale in exchange for publicity on my website ( sopgear.com ) which will have updates of our progress and a promised slide show in their shop upon return. The slide show should bring them some traffic and selling me stuff wholesale is nothing out of their pockets.
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