Is side hustling good for travellers?  

Side hustling was everyone’s preferred activity during Covid.

When everyone was forced to stay indoors for most of 2020 and 2021, some of us came up with new projects to make good use of so much free time. People started hustling and continued to do so even when the restrictions were lifted.

Side hustling was the best way to do something productive with our time while waiting for the pandemic to go away.

Were you one of those people who started a side hustle in 2020? Then this is about you!

Are you thinking of starting a side hustle in 2022? Then it might be beneficial to read what others went through while working on multiple projects simultaneously.

Side Hustling & Traveling

Most travellers would side hustle. Especially those long-term travellers who always try to find new ways to fund their travels.

I met people who worked as interpreters, translators, and teachers. Others would have a more technical background (usually in IT). I met people who worked for big corporations who were allowed to travel while working. Other people worked on one-time gigs or freelance contracts.

Those who worked for big corporations while travelling were usually the exception to the rule. Before the pandemic, fewer people had remote jobs and travelled long-term. Most of the people I met in my travels relied on a 9 to 5 job and went on holiday only a few times a year.

However, those lucky travellers who did find some money-making side hustles might agree with me on one or two things I want to bring up in this blog post. Is side hustling good for travellers?

The answer is well, it depends! There are travellers out there who are wonderful at juggling a few projects at the same time. Yet, there are others who might argue that side hustling is too much work and therefore should be carefully considered as a way to finance your long-term travel plans. 

Instead, you should focus on one solid source of income. In my case, after juggling quite a few side hustles over the past 2 years or so, I can say that what works for me is the second option. I prefer to have one main source of income and work on just one other side hustle. Juggling several side hustles at the same time lead to fatigue and burnout in my case, which was not very fun to experience.

Something to consider when starting side hustling is to take some time to master each of the side hustles and then learn how to automate some of them. Once you’ve automated some of the work, you’ve freed up some time which you can use to take on more side hustles or simply relax. One mistake I also did at the beginning was starting multiple side hustles without mastering any of them. You will end up overworked and tired if you go down this route.

Which one of these categories do you fall under? Do let me know in the comments section below.

Like many other people, I must confess I got absorbed into the side-hustling culture in 2020 as well. I started various projects alongside my full-time job because I wanted to learn new things.

These are some of the side downs I experienced while trying to travel, work a full-time job and run multiple side hustles. Hopefully, my experience will give you something to think about before starting your side hustle projects.

Is side hustling good for travellers? No, if it leads to burnout!

Burning out is such an expected outcome if you overwork without proper rest and still, most people do not consider its effects carefully.

Working a full-time job while juggling a few extra projects in between your travels can be exhausting. Make sure you have time off and even consider giving up on some side projects (especially those which don’t seem to go anywhere) before declaring yourself burnt out!

Feeling burnt out is an awful feeling and should be avoided as much as possible.

Some Sings of burnout are:

-Feeling tired all the time

-Although you are tired, you cannot rest well at night

-Lack of appetite or, on the contrary, feeling hungry all the time (usually craving sugar)

-Lack of concentration and feeling unable to complete your work 

-Being irascible most of the time

These are only a few signs of burnout; however, some people can manifest more severe symptoms, which can lead to anxiety or even panic attacks.

What should you do if you notice you suffer from any of the above?

First, you should take a break from everything (you should disconnect from everything by taking some time off). 

Once you are back, start reconsidering the amount of work you’ve been doing.

Start cutting on the number of projects you work on and only keep the ones that you enjoy/believe in the most.

Evaluate your workload and consider which projects/tasks you enjoy the most, which ones have the potential to grow the most and which ones can support you financially. 

Cut down on everything else that you do not enjoy anymore/do not learn anything from it, and do not provide any financial benefits.

If you experience burnout, the most important is to stop and acknowledge that something is wrong and needs to change. Then, you will need to pull yourself out of the damaging routine which got you burnt out in the first place. 

Is freelancing a good side hustle for travellers?

After trying various side hustles, I can say that it is hard to find genuine projects which pay well and give you the freedom you’ve hoped for.

When starting a freelance project, it is important to check that the company you work for is reliable and pays you for your work.

Do not settle for companies that delay your payments. I find it extremely unfair to do all the work but not get remunerated on time.

Try to cut intermediaries (where possible) to avoid extra fees. You want to keep most of the gains for yourself, so try to collaborate with the company directly, not through intermediaries.

Feeling Lonely

Travelling and side hustling as a solo traveller can feel quite lonely. This is a fact!

Yet, try to look on the bright side of life. You are not bound to an office. Your routine is not as monotonous as someone else’s, who is a regular office worker. Plus, you get to work and live in some interesting places few other people are lucky to work from.

Try to have a healthy balance between your working hours and the time you spend meeting new people, and joining new activities. A good way to do so is by joining local Facebook groups, expatriate groups and social platforms like Meetup.

Most probably you are not filthy rich!

If you think side hustling will make you rich, then think again. Remember those side hustlers on YouTube whose monthly income is anywhere between £3000-£10.000? Sorry to disappoint you, but most probably you won’t be one of them.

Realistically speaking, there aren’t that many people who earn that much from side hustling in a month. At least I couldn’t! Plus, it took me a lot of time to even get where I am today when it comes to income from side hustles.

So, try to be realistic about how much you can earn from your side hustles. Because it might not be a lot, to begin with.

No stable income sources

Most of us juggle several side hustles because one is not enough to generate the income someone needs to fund their travels. Juggling several side hustles can be tiring and frustrating because you never know how much you will make at the end of the month. Income uncertainty is very common among side hustlers and business owners too.

You need to learn to live with this and build a safety nest in case you might need cash to fund your lifestyle while waiting to get paid/land a new side hustle.

Turning your side hustle into a profitable business takes time!

Many travellers started a side hustle which eventually became their business. I follow many travellers who started a hobby website, which finally turned into a profitable business.

However, the process of turning your side hustle/hobby into a (profitable) business is not easy and there is no guarantee you will succeed.

For some of us out there, it might take years to make a decent income from our side hustle, while others are lucky and need less time. Although some might take less time, everyone needs to work and put in a serious amount of energy and dedication until they see some results. You need to learn to be patient. Because you never know what’s around the corner.

As we looked into the main downsides of side hustling, let’s however end this on a positive note. As I said at the beginning, there are people out there who are wonderful at juggling several side hustles and enjoy it. If you are one of them, you might want to know how to side hustle efficiently and be productive.

The next tips might be useful for those who wonder if side hustling is good for travellers.

Love what you do!

I cannot stress how important it is to find something you love doing. Otherwise, you will lose interest in your side hustle the moment it gets a bit complicated. I would have given up on almost all my side hustles if I did not enjoy them that much!

Set up a routine and stick to it!

When you work remotely, it is easy to fall into the trap of not having a work routine. It is lovely you can be flexible and work whenever, but having a structure in the day will help you get the work done quicker and let you have more free time to enjoy your day. You do not need a rigorous routine similar to the 9-to-5 one. However, organise your day so that you are done working by a certain time in the day. This way, you would have set a limit between your work and personal life, which can be very blurry when working remotely.

Find a role that’s 100 remote!

Being able to work from anywhere in the world is amazing. If you do not have to work certain hours in the day, you are free to organise your time the way you want. You can either block your morning to have the work done, your afternoon or even evening if that works better for you. Except for some days when I have project meetings and I need to be online at a very specific time in the day, most of the time I organise my day the way I want. I either complete the tasks in the morning or afternoon, depending on my schedule for the day. 

Take care of your mental wellbeing!

Mental wellbeing becomes more and more important. And in fact, it has been one of the main factors which lead to the great resignation during the pandemic. Many people felt let down by their companies, so they decided to move on. Looking after your mental wellbeing is the most important factor in your success. Do not neglect it, and most importantly do not trade it for anything job-related.

In the side hustle world where everyone tries to do as much work as possible, it is important to know when to stop and say no. Having a limit is important for your mental health and productivity. It is important to have boundaries and stick to them.

In conclusion, is side hustling good for travellers? Going back to the first answer, it depends. If you enjoy working on several projects at once, then it is for you. If you find it tiring to constantly juggle different tasks, then you might want to reconsider this strategy.

 No matter which type of person you are, make sure you are fully aware of what side hustling might entail and how quickly this can become detrimental to your health & wellbeing.

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