Scrubbing Toilets in Malaga

May 1, 2012 at 2:26 am

I once said I would do whatever it took to go overseas and earn income, even if I had to scrub toilets with a toothbrush in Malaga, Spain.

Thankfully for the Internet, I can go to Malaga to brush my teeth and not the toilet.

It’s not that easy to uproot, to find a job, to pay for travel expenses, home expenses and loans, to learn a new language, adjust to cultural differences, or to scrub toilets.

I used to spend hours (at work, sorry Inger Reilly, it was only “hours” because the Internet was dialup!) researching ways to live and work abroad – visas, stories, tips, how-to’s.  Not much existed when the Internet first started.  Even still, we continue transforming in the digital era.  The Internet and technology evolve rapidly but humans are much slower to make shifts.

After having a first taste of life in Spain, I was hooked and needed to find a way to get back to exploring new cultures, languages, and places.

Finding a serious boyfriend, moving to Seattle, and getting a job at Adobe, “life” eventually hit me.  I got caught in the rat race and looked at what was around me, not within me.

There are a few ways to travel as a profession, and by that I don’t mean busking on the street and eating out of trash cans (though I’ve seen former corporate slaves do this).  You can be a writer or journalist, a photographer, become a roadie with a band, be sent overseas by your job, contractor.  For me, I tried many of these things (except for the band).  My options are contract work, self employment, and earning revenues either residually from business or from the sale of my company.

I’ve tried or am trying them all.  I have taught English in Spain, sold artesian crafts with gypsies on dirt streets, built websites in Hungary and Nicaragua, helped translate and sell tours in Oaxaca, promoted and sold tickets for a disco in Costa Rica, helped a musician friend panhandle in Argentina, and I once sold an octopus to a restaurant in Mexico …. so for the record, I just might scrub the toilet.  I have some great stories, though thankfully, there are better ways. Read on!