Have you ever wanted to travel for extended periods of time, live in another country, surround yourself with different, unique cultures, learn new languages or explore exquisite cuisines? But there’s something holding you up…
You’re a single mom living on a single income.
There’s no need to worry any more, in today’s technology age, we can now travel more than ever before. Our work time has become more flexible, as well as, our lives – if you know how to tap into it.
Below are 3 jobs that combined have given me the financial stability to travel and live abroad as a single mom. These jobs helped me to survive and thrive in the beginning. Read to the end to find out what I’m doing now or click here to find out.
Just for you, I’ve compiled a list of jobs experienced by other single moms, and you can find these in my nicely organized eBook – 14 Jobs for Single Moms Traveling and Living Abroad. Look to the right of this page to get yours.
First and Foremost:
– Never rely on just one source of income.
Relying on one source of income can be very disappointing if something goes wrong with it. Find ways to earn money in different ways. Use your multi-talents, get creative and manage your time and money wisely.
– It’s essential to do something you are passionate about.
There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re working. Find something you enjoy doing, and remember that some of the least paying jobs provide the most desirable benefits when it comes to all-around health and wealth.
For example, you may not make a lot of money with a work-trade, but you usually don’t have to pay for rent or food, you get to learn new skills and you get to explore a whole new area of the world.
Another example, you may not make a lot of money teaching yoga, but the health benefits are amazing and you have ample free time to spend with your loved ones.
This is when you’ll use those other sources of income for savings.
– When living or traveling in a developing country, it’s important to earn income in a strong currency because this instantly increases the quality of your life.
Both USD and EUR are strong compared to most local currencies.
1. Organized a Play Group
It seems that no matter where you live, there are never enough activities for children, and we all know that socializing is a big part of a child’s life. When we moved to Playa Venao, Panama (pop. 150) in March of 2011, the closest school was located on the other side of the mountain in the small fishing village of Canas (pop. 800). Over the next few years, as more and more ex-pats bought land, the families increased, and the demand to start a play group grew.
The children needed peer stimulation, the parent’s needed some free time, and I needed a way to kick-start our life abroad.
In November of 2012, with the encouragement of the parents of the community, I opened Playa Venao’s first international playgroup, The Jungle Garden. It was Montessori-inspired and catered to children 2 to 5 years old. Open Monday to Thursday, 10a-2p. Parent’s were responsible for paying a monthly donation and a one-time registration fee, which was used for the administration and materials. It was a hit!
Bella loved attending The Jungle Garden, and she still talks about it today. She claims it has been her favorite school experience thus far. It was there that she began learning Spanish from native speakers, practicing sustainability as part of her lifestyle and experimenting with local indigenous music and art. She was surrounded by massive trees, the mellow Escoba River, the unpredictable Pacific Ocean, limber howler monkeys, loyal horses, and most importantly, her best friends.
It was sometime during that first year that I knew we were staying abroad, and slowly, Panama became more of a home and less of a destination. Opening the playgroup was a great way to start a new life in Venao because I got to know the community, teach yoga classes, and have some me time as I spent a lot of those days running on the beach, reminding myself how grateful I was to have this life.
Great community builder.
More free time and more me time.
Many years of commitment and growth of the playgroup could yield a long-term profit.
A lot of work for little to no pay on a short-term level, but the rewards are for your child, so this is negligible. It’s a way to provide community and free time in your life.
Keeping all the parents happy at the same time can be stressful – families from different countries come from different cultures, so everyone has a different opinion on how the group should be running when their child is attending.
Each country has its own board of education rules and regulations, which could potentially be complicated.
2. Taught Yoga
We always need more yoga instructors, massage therapists, life coaches, healers and body workers in this world. Using these skills to help others is a win-win situation. I have been teaching yoga since 2009. It feels natural and is good for my soul. Over the years, it has helped me to learn more about my emotions and has allowed me to feel physically healthy in my 40s.
Yoga allows your inner and outer beauty to radiate. People begin to ask what you do and how you do it. It feels good to share this lifestyle with others because you want them to feel the same way. I love to teach what I’ve learned, and I’m forever grateful to my students because I learn just as much from them.
Having yoga classes in Panama was a great way for me to earn a living while giving to the community. And it just so happened to be the perfect complimentary activity to the most popular sport in Playa Venao… surfing.
Bella was at The Jungle Garden while I taught yoga classes, and this schedule worked perfect for us. Teaching Yoga melted our financial worries, and we lived a simple life abroad in a beautiful paradise.
I loved teaching yoga on the open-air deck at Eco Venao, La Sala, overlooking the beach and the Pacific Ocean.
I taught two 1-hr yoga classes a week for $10 a class, averaging 8-10 people in each class. I also taught a weekly kid’s yoga class with 16 kids in attendance. These classes were paid on a monthly basis by the parents of the community. I charged $20/month for each child, and each class lasted 20 minutes. In addition, I taught several workshops throughout the year.
I found my students by posting flyers at local hostels, hotel, and restaurants. A majority of my students were tourists from other countries passing through, but some of them were regulars who liked weekly classes and lived within a half hour from the yoga deck.
Some tourists were into energy healing, so Reiki clients popped up on occasion – they usually wanted multiple treatments during their stay. I charged $40/session. This added more money in my pocket each month.
Altogether, I made about $800 per month between Yoga and Reiki.
Not bad for less than 5 hours a week of my time, and doing something that I loved. And keep in mind that by adding only 2 classes a week to your schedule, you could almost double your income.
Low to Average
Learning to live in a developing country.
*The key to traveling and living on a low to average budget is to live somewhere that your money goes a long way and know what to splurge on. For example, at first when I only had the playgroup and taught yoga as our sole source of income, our rent in Panama was only $120/month, water was $1/month and electricity was $10/month. Our dollars went a long way with our shelter, but we splurged on our fruits and vegetables as we bought over $400/month in fresh foods.
3. Taught English Online
Teaching English is one of the most sought after skills around the globe, and this is my go-to recommendation for single moms who want to start making additional money while maintaining a flexible schedule. Teaching ESL fits perfectly with traveling and living abroad because the Internet is everywhere.
I’ve been with English First for over 3 years now. I set my availability, a student from EF books a class with me, I show up 5 minutes before class time and lead a 40-minute conversation while providing constructive feedback to the student. The material is provided by EF. My students are from Brazil, Mexico, France, Spain, Italy, China, Taiwan, Russia, and more!
My students tell me all about their countries – travel destinations, cultural norms, politics, etc. It’s a great learning experience for me as well, and it helps me with new languages that I’m learning. Best of all, this job gives me the flexibility to be a mom while earning cash when it’s convenient for me. Because I’m a private contractor, I make my own schedule. I work anywhere between 60 and 120 hours a month (my choice), averaging $1,000 to $2,000 monthly.
It’s easy to get the qualifications to teach ESL – you only need a 2-yr Associates Degree and a TEFL Certificate.
You get paid in U.S. Dollars.
You don’t need to speak the native language of the student.
You need an excellent internet connection, preferably a landline, which on occasion can be hard to come by.
You need good time management because it’s not advisable to miss a class, a road full of cows is not a good excuse and could cost you your job if it happens too many times.
You need a quiet environment – no kids in the background, which is why I often teach when Bella is asleep.
You need to be comfortable with video as more and more companies are moving in this direction.
What do you do to support yourself as a single mom living abroad?
We’d love to hear your experience!
Comment below or submit your own story.
Since we first moved abroad, things have changed for us.
I closed the play group, and we moved to Mexico. From Mexico, we’ve been slow traveling around the world. We just finished a trip to Jamaica and Cuba. Next, we’re off to Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Instead of teaching yoga, I focus more on my own personal practice. Instead of giving Reiki treatments, I’m receiving them from myself and others.
The only thing that has remained consistent is my online English teaching job, which has proven to bring stability and freedom into our lives.
And now this blog, which is becoming more lucrative day by day. Read how here.
Whatever your passion is, there’s a way to thrive while traveling and living abroad as a single mom.
Check out my eBook to see a list and brief description of successful jobs held by other single moms traveling and living abroad.
Let us know what you think in the comments below.
DO NOT GIVE UP! Be CLEAR about what you want and BELIEVE you DESERVE it.
Be OPEN to LIFE and let it FIND you!