Nine-To-Five Nomads is a new travel blog series I am launching to provide readers with a realistic, firsthand insight into the full-time travel lifestyle. Digital nomads are on the rise, and with many people of society wanting to get paid to travel around the world, real feedback from travellers living this lifestyle may prove to be useful.
I will be regularly chatting with various well-established explorers about their background, adventures, and perceptions of full-time travelling.
In this first edition of this blog series, I have a chat with Kyle Vandever and his genuine views towards the relationship of working and travelling.
Kyle grew up in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, often spending a lot of his time enjoying the outdoors. After two years of college, majoring in Marketing/ Communications, Kyle went straight into a job working with a Toyota Dealership.
“[I] found myself at a cross-road: choosing something I was passionate about but leaving me with so many unknowns, or continuing [to] work a comfortable career,” says Kyle. “I gradually transitioned into shooting video for weddings and after six months working both jobs, I quit my comfortable job and decided to rely solely on my videography business.”
“After spending a long year growing my business, I decided to buy a 1995 Chevy G20 Sportvan that was partially converted, and I lived in and out of that for nearly a year.”
Kyle’s travel lifestyle was often supported by the income he made from shooting these wedding videos, along with various filming gigs throughout the year. As these wedding jobs only took up ten weekends of the year, budgeting was very important.
“I live with no big bills or frivolous spending. [I] understand that keeping money constantly going into savings is important because my work definitely comes in waves.
“It’s all about realizing what’s more important to you,” says Kyle. “Do you want a new car OR do you want to travel? Do you want things or experiences? Traveling doesn’t mean you have to stay in fancy hotels or at the nicest restaurants. Truthfully, I enjoy the dirt-bag style of travel over the fancy travel.”
It’s undeniable that the travel-work lifestyle is a trend ever-growing in popularity, with certain picturesque and glamorous ideologies surrounding it. On social media, we often see vans parked in beautiful locations and travellers basking in spectacular views, however, we often don’t get a glimpse into the hustle that goes behind maintaining this way of life. This realistic portrayal of the work-travel relationship is something that Kyle strives to share on his social media.
“I feel like [the] travel-work life is portrayed inaccurately on social media - I’m probably guilty of this too. When you open up nearly any social media, you see people who seem to travel constantly and most likely they’re posting pictures playing on a beach, exploring some exotic place, or staying at an amazing resort.
“You don’t see the work and struggle that goes on behind that. Often times the reality is long non-glamorous travel days/nights, car camping in parking lots (not in beautiful scenery), and budgeting money to afford meals, hostels and travel.
“I feel a majority of people who have spent a significant amount of time traveling realize that travel is often over-glamorized. I’m working to portray a more realistic [depiction] of traveling in my work rather just the highs of traveling. It is a work in progress though.”
For those interested in pursuing this particular lifestyle, Kyle emphasises that a good work ethic and a realistic perspective is key.
“My advice would be to find something you enjoy doing and find a way to make money by doing it. Also, don’t think that you have to travel full time. There’s plenty of people out there that work for 6 months and then travel for three to four months at a time with the money they saved working.
“It’s hard for me to give advice to everyone, but if you’re videographer/ photographer I recommend shooting weddings or any other gig starting out. Take every job you can and keep progressing at your craft.”