As fun as it will be to run around the country, taking pictures of the Grand Canyon (I really want to visit Supai, one of my Anthropology professors said it’s gorgeous) and car-dancing to classic rock radio on Route 66, there will have to be some work getting done; I’m not some privileged trust-fun baby. In order to afford my adventures (and still pay off my student debt), I’m taking up freelancing in a number of areas.
It will take some more practice and studying, but I do have some experience with front-end web development. I don’t expect to make $80k a year, but I don’t need to. Here’s a rough breakdown of what I’m expecting so far:
25/30 days per month parked in campsites: At an estimated $25/night for a hookup, $625/month for a place to park, have water, and electricity. Depending on how long I’ll be in any given place, I’ll spring for sewer, but I’m sure I’ll become vary familiar with free dump stations in the states before long.
Food: I don’t eat much. Between farmers markets in the summer, and cheap discount stores in the winter, I’m budgeting $100/month for food.
Gas: I haven’t estimated this out yet, but I’m budgeting $200 for now.
Student Loans: My big hold-back–We’ll just say $500 for the sake of argument. It’s not quite that, but I’d like to get them paid off ASAP.
Roughly, I feel like I’m looking and a necessary income of $1500 per month. At (Michigan) minimum wage, that works out to be 50 hours per week. However, if I can pull an average of $10 per hour for my work, that’s just under full-time. As exciting as travelling will be, I am not going to be living it up 24/7; I think I’d go crazy anyway, from boredom. Trees are only beautiful for so long, you know. Between writing, blogging, and web development, I should have enough to keep me occupied and in food for the time being.
Obviously, this is all very, very rough guesstimating. (Surprisingly, Chrome recognizes that as a word!) I won’t know more details until I know what trailer I’ll have, what sort of car I’ll be towing it with, and the like. But for now, I have a ballpark figure to work towards. I have a general idea of what I will need to do, and that’s enough to get me started. If I begin now, I’ll have time to build up enough of a reputation on the freelance sites I’m a member of that I’ll have less trouble keeping up with the money when I finally get on the road.
If worse comes to worse, I can always ‘camp’ at various relatives’ across the country for a few months at a time while I get things back together!