Your First Steps to a Life of Passion and Travel (Without Going Broke)

There has never been a time in history when travel and work have coexisted so seamlessly. With faster and more reliable internet connections, and the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, committing to a life of exploration no longer requires putting your career on hold.

The company Upwork (formerly oDesk) is perhaps the best example of just how little location matters in professional success. Through their platform, Upwork not only connects millions of freelancers to job providers, the multi-million dollar business itself operates solely on the power of independent workers from all around the world. Everything, from their accounting and administrative functions, to their customer service, website development, and graphic design is performed by freelancers.

For explorers, platforms like Upwork provide a wide array of opportunities to keep earning money, while remaining free to travel. Add the ease of selling products over social media, and you could easily utilize a variety of skills and trades to facilitate a model of travel that doesn’t require taking odd jobs on the road, or removing large chunks from your savings account.

Find your Purpose

Such is the potential of working remotely that these days, the problem should be more about what jobs to take, rather than where to find work. The last thing you want is to be exploring paradise with a feeling of dread, knowing that hours of unwanted work are around the corner. While that may be a necessary inconvenience, particularly in the early goings, it’s important to ultimately align your career with your purpose. As Monica Manzano, co-founder of Flow Retreats, likes to put it — finding your Dharma.


Monica Manzano of Flow Retreats advocates finding your purpose

By finding the overlap between what you love, what you’re good at, what the world needs, and what the world would pay for, you can pinpoint the ideal work-life balance — one that not only provides monetarily, but also in terms of personal fulfillment and growth. In Monica’s case, Flow Retreats was the product of her passion for travel, yoga, and teaching. Together with her likeminded partners, she created a company that brought groups to some of the Philippines’ most beautiful destinations, where they would be immersed in a getaway of surf, yoga, and samba.


This diagram is a fantastic tool to identify your purpose.

By making a conscious effort to align her passion and skills to fulfill a void in the world, Monica actively created her dream existence. But not everyone is fortunate enough to walk the same path immediately. For some, a lack of know how, pre-existing commitments, financial burdens, or social pressures may mean reaching that ideal existence requires a bit of time. For others, it may be a lack of self exploration, or understanding of one’s true desires that results in a life dictated by momentum, rather than careful manifestation. In any case, it’s important to begin with an exercise of identifying the intersection between one’s passions and skills, and the service or product the world would pay for.

Once that activity has been pinpointed, the challenge becomes creating concrete action steps — complete with the necessary costs and timetables required to move in the intended direction. It’s key as well, that during this process, one remains resolute in the set direction, resisting the temptation to veer from the path to cater to opportunities that don’t fit the equation. Much like a ship that has set its course, it’s important to avoid direction changes, as even the smallest adjustments have a big impact over a long distance.

Lastly, keep in mind that your purpose can be a fluid concept. What may be in the center of the world’s needs and your passions today, could very well be different in several months or years. Don’t be afraid to run through the exercise periodically in order to make sure you’re on the ideal path.

Stripping Away the Excess

Armed with a new direction and an action plan, a common hurdle in getting started is veering away from the momentum of a previous trajectory. Reshaping a lifestyle isn’t easy, and there is plenty to take into consideration, particularly the environment in which you operate.

“The space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past.”

Christine Dychiao, a successful blogger, shared this quote from Marie Kondo, and it’s a fantastic statement that surmises the importance of creating an atmosphere that reinforces one’s purpose. Christine, who’s managed to balance family life with her numerous passion-aligned businesses, believes that adopting a minimalist approach is vital in keeping her priorities in order. As she says, “A cluttered space leads to a cluttered mind.” By clearing the unnecessary, only the important remains.


Christine Dychiao, of Shoptilda, Manila Fashion Observer — an expert juggler of passions

Such an approach is especially useful for individuals intent on continuous travel. It’s easy to accumulate a legion of knick-knacks while bouncing from place to place, particularly when finances remain healthy throughout (as they should). As an advocate of thoughtful consumerism, Christine reminds to, “Spend only on what sparks joy, and choose quality over quantity.”

Stay Above Inflation

Upon finding your purpose, and utilizing technology to facilitate working remotely, being financially smart shouldn’t take a backseat. In fact, in order to ensure that your ideal existence remains as such, it’s vital to protect and even grow what has been accumulated through healthy habits of saving, investing, and ultimately sharing.

Ideally a set percentage of income should always be set aside for savings. Much like rent, utilities, and food, savings are a necessary “expense” that not only allows insulation from potential emergencies, but also provides the base from which investments can be made.

With inflation rates above interest rates offered by savings and time deposit accounts, it makes sense to allocate a portion of your savings where it can grow, while risking only what you’re comfortable with. If like me, learning about investment platforms like stocks takes too much work and time, there are other options to explore, like those provided by Security Bank’s Unit Investment Trust Fund (UITF). It’s a great way to dip your toes into investing without bearing the burden of risking too much. To learn more about their program, read all about it at the bottom of the article:

Lastly, once you’ve developed a structure for saving and investing, take time to pinpoint how you would like to give back to your community. What efforts do you wish to support, or initiatives you would like to begin? Having secured your purpose, it’s time to help steer others towards a path of an ideal existence.

Security Bank’s UITF:

A United Investment Fund or UITF is an easy and convenient way for the average Filipino to be able to invest in the financial markets.

A UITF pools together the funds of many different investors and is managed by a team of professional investment experts. These seasoned managers choose the appropriate investment outlets in order to provide UITF clients with attratkicve returns. Investment outlets include bank deposits, government and corporate bonds and equities. Minimum investment is just Php 10,000 for Peso denominated UITFs , or USD 1,000 for USD denominated UITFs. Investors in UITFs achieve instant diversification as the funds are invested in not just one , but several different securities.

Interested parties may make investments in UITFs by logging on online through or by visiting any Security Bank branch.


With the help of a Security Bank sales associate, I was able to open my account and begin investing almost immediately.


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