For many, the idea of traveling the world and getting paid for it is nothing more than a pipe dream. But for Alise Saunders, it’s a reality. Over the past 900-plus days, Saunders has been continuously traveling across the U.S. and Greece with her husband and two cats. And she’s managed to build a six-figure income in the process.
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Saunders now runs a successful business as a digital nomad life coach, travel blogger, bookkeeper, business coach, photographer, author, speaker, and “warrior,” as she describes herself. Here’s more on how she became a professional traveler and her tips to get started.
From Corporate Executive to Nomadic Entrepreneur
Saunders wasn’t always living the nomadic lifestyle. She previously held high-level corporate positions, including controller for Hilton Hotel Corp., regional director of revenue and director of human resources.
“My career history shows how someone can take their job skills and create a business of their own,” said Saunders.
In 2017, Saunders and her husband Gregg had plans to buy a camper van and launch her bookkeeping business on the road. But when Gregg got cold feet about the small space, they postponed the trip.
The following year, after leaving her lucrative corporate career to recover from illness, Saunders took the leap into entrepreneurship. With no clients yet, she bet on herself and her skills.
“If there was ever a time I was going to venture out on my own and bet on myself, now was the time,” she said.
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Taking the Leap To Become Location Independent
After two years of running her bookkeeping business from home, Saunders yearned for more.
“I loved my work and my clients. I just yearned to feel like I was really living,” she said. “I wanted more!”
In 2020, Saunders and her husband started imagining a different lifestyle — one where they were always on the move, having adventures and new experiences. After some planning, Gregg retired early, they donated most of their stuff and hit the road in their car.
“Now I choose when I work, when I play and when I rest,” said Saunders. “The last 900-plus days of consecutive travel have been far beyond what I dreamed.”
Building a Business on the Road
So how does Saunders earn a healthy six-figure income while traveling full time? Her revenue comes from various aspects of her business ventures.
As a digital nomad coach, she offers tools and resources through her website, Tales From An Untamed Soul. This includes a free e-book, “How to Become a Digital Nomad,” packed with tips on visas, packing and transitioning to a nomadic lifestyle.
She also still operates her bookkeeping company, Alise Saunders Financial Services, serving clients remotely with services like payroll, forecasting, HR support and coaching. In addition, she generates income from travel blogging, photography, speaking engagements and books. Saunders provides destination guides, gear recommendations and practical advice for aspiring nomads.
Tips for Becoming a Digital Nomad Entrepreneur
For those looking to ditch the 9-to-5 and start earning an income on the road, Saunders offered some words of wisdom: “Believe that anything is possible, and it is,” she said. “You are what you choose to be.”
Saunders advised entrepreneurs to focus on revenue-generating tasks instead of getting distracted by busywork. “Your fears will create many imagined reasons why you shouldn’t, can’t or won’t be successful.” She also recommended not throwing money at problems. “Most entrepreneurial challenges can be solved with focus and modifications.”
Leveraging your passions and skills is key when starting a business. “I work harder than I ever did in my corporate job, but now I love it. I can’t get enough of it because I just love watching others transform their lives,” she said.
Saunders’ final tip: “Define success for yourself. My old definition was something like money, position/title, house, cars, vacations and responsibility. Today, my definition of success is happiness, joy, passion and fulfillment.”
Living the Dream as a Professional Wanderer
Alise Saunders’ story demonstrates that it’s possible to ditch the stationary lifestyle and build a thriving business on the road. With the right mindset, skills and planning, you too can earn an income while traveling the world. Saunders finds the nomadic entrepreneur lifestyle extremely rewarding.
“I’m so grateful for this life that has helped me to learn so many things about myself,” she said.
So if you’re eager to become a digital nomad and see the world, take inspiration from trailblazers like Alise. With hard work, creativity and an adventurous spirit, you can turn your passion for travel into a profitable career.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: I Make 6 Figures as a Professional Traveler — Here’s How I Got Started