One of the biggest concerns that we have for embarking upon the Pan Am Overland is work. Perhaps that’s understandable, given that we are quite firmly in the low income territory here – for us to save the amount we’d need for this trip, I would need to go back to work full-time, live on one income and save the rest for a year. I thought hard about it, but in the end, the math doesn’t add up, when you factor in childcare (in the San Francisco Bay Area, most people work for their childcare) and the emotional wreck it would make me. My sanity is just not worth the money I could make.
So that leaves us with working during the trip to finance it. That can go two ways – either by stopping in a place and actually getting a real-life job (teaching English or leading bicycle tours or something of that nature), or by taking our work online and have “virtual” careers.
In my quest to figure this out, I’ve wandered into some interesting portals. I’ve been ghostwriting now for a couple of months (that’s where you write an article or piece for someone and give the credit, along with the writing, to them). It’s interesting and I like it. It doesn’t pay well but it’s easy to do and I can do it around My One True Darling Man’s schedule – or my mother will take the kids for a fun day of play while I nosh out a bunch of articles.
The trick to being a successful ghostwriter seems to be in gaining a reputation, being intimate in the industry, and bidding for a specific writing contract at the perfect moment. I’m still very much learning about it, but more on this later.
Transitions Abroad, an old favorite of mine, is bookmarked and visited often. I’m also looking through Dave’s ESL Cafe for a sense of the English Teaching climate in the countries we’ll be going through. I’m looking into teaching English online – I love the idea of teaching English to kids in Korea while in Honduras – isn’t that just the *best*?!
FlexJobs is interesting – but I don’t like that you need to pay for it. I joined it a few years ago to test it out, wasn’t terribly impressed and stopped. But I might give it another go. I need as many resources as I can lay hands on.
Career Counseling is still something I am fascinated by and enjoy very much (I currently work part time for the State in Career Coaching people with severe disabilities). Virtual Career Counseling is an interesting option. I’m certain I’d be more inclined to it if I had a little more time to set it up. I like – make that love – the idea of continuing to work in career counseling and coaching while on the road. And if I can teach English to kids in Korea through Skype, why not some Career Counseling as well?
These are all thoughts on my virtual pinboard. Inspirations comes from Christine Gilbert’s Travel Books – I also enjoy her blog, Almost Fearless, as well as some other family-travel blogs like Snaps and Blabs and Family on Bikes.
What about Mikey? You might be asking. That is a question. You see, while he’s actually far better with English than I am (he’s the one that makes the kids say, “to whom”), he doesn’t have all the paper that I do – I went to grad school and beyond; he didn’t. He thinks all his “to whom” thoughts and zen-like stuff while fixing bicycles or cars or trucks. What this means is that either he can do something bicycle related or he can get himself some paper by re-training himself to be an editor or something along those lines.
My eyes are peeled for him too.
That’s where we are right here, right now. If you know of online resources, sites that are great for writing jobs and so forth, I’d love to hear of them.
Meriah Nichols is a career counselor. Solo mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one gifted 2E). Deaf, with C-PTSD and TBI, she’s also a gardening nerd who loves cats, Star Trek, and takes her coffee hot and black.