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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    For those of you that go on frequent tours

    What do you do for jobs in between touring, and even during (if at all)?

  2. #2
    40 yrs bike touring
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    Long ago and far way when first started to tour but worked for someone else, I arranged for a four day work week giving me three day weekends for touring. I also volunteered for overtime and comp time to increase my available time off. Later when working for myself I took advantage of the simple minded boss [me] and took more and more touring days instead of working as much as I could have. I have never regretted those choices.

    No one has more than 24 hours each day. Arranging how to use them is the key. The same with money. If touring is a high priority then saving money when you work by choosing where your money goes carefully means that you have more money when touring. If you spend your money on every fad gadget, status car, TV, social activity or drink there will be considerably less available for touring or touring equipment. It is always a matter of choices when money is limited as it is for many of those who tour.

    Once on tour money choices continue. How to get to the starting point or starting and finishing at home? Transportation of people and bikes can be expensive. Spending patterns on tour can rapidly reduce the tour fund and thus tour length unless you are carefully choosing where the money goes. Free camping and cooking rather than restaurants and hotels or even hostels can stretch your tour funds but it takes some discipline. And that only comes with practice.

    Other touring friends have developed portable skills that are in demand wherever they go when they need to raise money. One friend worked for years in oil fields for only two or three months per year and used the high pay to tour the other nine months of the year. He started touring at age 17 and still doing so thirty yeras later. It works for him.

    Good luck in figuring out how you will tour often and how to pay for it.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Self-employed database programmer. My tours are no more than 3 months long - I'm starting to feel that 3-5 weeks is the sweet spot for me, at least in the US - so I evaluate the project load, give plenty of warning, and tell the companies I contract with when I'm going to be gone. I don't leave when there is important/urgent work that needs to be done. Last year I took a little computer with me too, just so I would be able to put out any fires while I was on the road.

    I realize how lucky I am to be able to do this.
    ...

  4. #4
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Temp/contract work.


    You've heard of Manpower, right? Well, it's an international organization and there are heaps of similar organizations all over the world. I have worked for two different temp agencies for several years now, and it's great. Or you can look around and pick up term positions. Back in 1997, I picked up a 7 month term position filling in for someone for mat leave. That one actually developed into a full-time permanent position, which was what I wanted at the time, and I ended up spending a total of 8 years there. I'm in a 6 or 7 week term position right now - seasonal work. And as I've been job hunting, I've noticed a lot of 6-18 month term positions available.

  5. #5
    Bicycle Lifestyle AsanaCycles's Avatar
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    bicycle mechanic
    bike guide
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  6. #6
    Senior Member semperfi1970's Avatar
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    I save up all of the vacation that is allowed before I loose it, blow it all at once. Using vacation time and some unpaid time I can hit the road for a little better than two months a year.
    Its more than just a bicycle, it changed my life.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    We are working on mastering the art of freedom to go on tour when we want. From our research, any profession you can do over the web gives you great mobility. So, website designer, virtual assistant, graphic designer, writer... plus all the usual traveller's professions like English teacher. One website you might be interested in looking at is http://locationindependent.com
    We blog about bike touring, with reviews, tips and cycle touring podcasts at Travelling Two

  8. #8
    sniffin' glue zoltani's Avatar
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    I used to be an engineer in san francisco, and i got a 2 weeks paid per year. Luckily my company was cool with me taking unpaid time off, so I could go on a longer tour if i wanted, but was a little difficult. Now i am an english teacher in france and have 5 weeks of paid vacation, and can take unpaid time off. Yay!

  9. #9
    imi
    imi is offline
    aka Timi imi's Avatar
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    I work at a campsite from march to october, leaving me free to travel or work on other projects through the winter.

    I only have myself to support so I can save money to make it through the winter... beans and rice all year round hihi

  10. #10
    Macro Geek
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    Ah, the million dollar question!

    During my 20s, travel was a high priority, and so I worked hard at low-paying jobs until I had saved enough to go away. I would give up my rental unit, put my stuff in storage with my family or friends, and take off. Typically, I would come back nearly broke after two months to 10 months on the road. But I wasn't saving anything; funny how most people in their 20s aren't thinking about how they are going to finance their lives for the 20 or 30 years after they stop working!

    Now in my 50s, with a family and mortgage and the need to salt away money for my retirement crystal-clear in my mind, my travel plans are a little less ambitious than they were 30 years ago. My interest in extended bicycle touring has waned; but I still do bicycle trips, just for shorter periods. After a week away, I am ready to come home. I also do more short, overnight trips than I did in earlier years.

  11. #11
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    Elementary school teacher. 2 1/2 months off in summer for touring. In 9 years I'll retire. Then watch me go!

  12. #12
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    It's good to be the owner/boss....sometimes.
    Everything should be as simple as possible...But not more so.---Albert Einstein

  13. #13
    Senior Member stokell's Avatar
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    I work for government. I tour internationally 3 weeks a year, and weekend tours the rest of the time.

  14. #14
    Hooked on Touring
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    Job ??
    What is that?

  15. #15
    family on bikes nancy sv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arctos View Post

    No one has more than 24 hours each day. Arranging how to use them is the key. The same with money. If touring is a high priority then saving money when you work by choosing where your money goes carefully means that you have more money when touring. If you spend your money on every fad gadget, status car, TV, social activity or drink there will be considerably less available for touring or touring equipment. It is always a matter of choices when money is limited as it is for many of those who tour.
    I totally agree! My husband and I are both teachers, so always had 3 weeks off at Christmas and a couple months in the summer. At some point, however, we decided that wasn't how we wanted to spend our lives - 9 months every year spending more time with other people's kids than we did with our own.

    Now we are out touring the world WITH our children and it has been a phenomenal experience. We are spending some of our retirement savings, but believe very strongly that time with our kids NOW is more important that having a lot of money when we retire
    WE DID IT! Our little family of four cycled 17,300 miles from Alaska to Argentina! The trip of a lifetime for sure. www.familyonbikes.org

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