People dream of quitting their jobs, selling their possessions, and travelling the world on a motorcycle.
But is it really possible? Can you sell everything you own and tour the world on a motorcycle, living off the land and the money you make along the way?
In this post, we’ll explore the feasibility of this kind of lifestyle, share the experiences of those who have done it, and offer some tips for those who are planning to embark on such a journey.
It’s important to mention that I didn’t sell everything to travel the world in the sense you’re thinking of.
I didn’t sell all my worldly possessions and blow it all on a trip of a lifetime. I thought about it – and I almost did. But ultimately, I decided it wasn’t right for me.
But my story involves just as much of that bitter-sweet sacrifice – and so will yours.
A Shift in Metrics
When I reached the point of “I’ve had enough”, I was in my mid-30s.
I had a decent job working in medical sales, was good at what I did, was progressing up the corporate ladder, and had worked my way up to earning around £50,000 a year (around $62,000.) If I hit my bonus, my salary could effectively double.
But it wasn’t ticking the boxes anymore. And as realisation set in, my values, life metrics, and assessment of contentment shifted.
It went from valuing money, career, and stability, to prioritising freedom and living life on MY terms – rather than the terms of the company I worked for (or even the terms of societal norms in which we live.)
So I quit my corporate role and moved to motorcycle tuition. I worked 25% fewer hours and had more freedom. But I also took a 50% pay cut.
Abandoning the System
In an attempt to carve out more time for what I wanted to do, I stopped teaching and took menial jobs at national minimum wage – and did them on a part-time basis.
By now, I’d taken an 80-85% pay cut. But I’d also gained 80-85% control over my life. I’d essentially paid for my own freedom.
With the extra time, I started Motorcycle Tourer – slowly. And as the website grew and did better, I did better (financially and personally) too.
Money is still tight. But I’m now at the point where I go wherever I want on my bike – and still get paid. I don’t ask for permission, I don’t argue with co-workers about being off in the summer months, and I don’t have to explain myself to managers.
It’s not perfect. But I have – and will continue to – carve out my own path in life. A path that allows me to tour the world whilst maintaining some level of financial security.
Can you sell everything and hit the road?
So, is it really possible to sell everything you own and hit the road on a motorcycle? The short answer is: yes, it is. In fact, many people have done exactly that, and they are living proof that it’s possible to travel the world on a motorcycle without much money or material possessions.
Of course, this kind of lifestyle isn’t for everyone. It requires a certain level of courage, resourcefulness, and a willingness to live simply and frugally. You’ll need to be willing to sleep in a tent, cook your own meals, and be self-sufficient.
But it can be done.
Can You Sell Everything and Tour the World on a Motorcycle? The experiences of those who have done it
There are countless stories of people who have sold everything they own and hit the road on a motorcycle. Here are just a few examples:
Jacob Laukaitis is a Lithuanian traveller and photographer who has been on the road for over four years. He’s crossed over 80 countries on his motorcycle and has documented his travels on YouTube. Jacob started his journey with just $1,500 and an old motorcycle and has managed to sustain his travels by offering freelance photography and videography services along the way.
Noraly Schoenmaker (AKA Itchy Boots) quit her job as a geologist in 2018 to embark on solo motorcycle travel around the world. Since then, she’s surpassed 130,000km across 50 countries on five different bikes. She’s now a full-time travel writer and blogger, as well as a video maker and the owner of her successful YouTube channel.
Lois Pryce is a British adventurer and author who has travelled extensively on her motorcycle. She’s written several books about her journeys, including “Lois on the Loose” and “Red Tape and White Knuckles”. In 2003, Lois sold everything she owned and rode her motorcycle from Alaska to the southern tip of Argentina.
Can You Sell Everything and Tour the World on a Motorcycle? Funding Your Travels
Understandably, funding a trip like this is a major concern for anyone wishing to embark on it. But there are options – particularly if you plan in advance.
You Don’t Need to do it all at Once
We see travelling influencers on Instagram, and we instantly think we need to go on trips that take 4 years to complete.
But this isn’t the case.
If you’re single and have money in the bank, then by all means blow it on the trip of a lifetime. But if you have a partner, kids, and a mortgage, you can’t just take yourself off on a 4-year trip!
What you can do is ride it in phases over multiple years. Work, save up, tour, come back, repeat.
If you don’t want to ride your trip in phases (and you have the freedom and money to take a few years off), there are a few ways to fund your choices.
The first way of doing it is to amass a healthy savings account. If you’ve been a good saver throughout your adult life, you can use that lump sum to fund your travels.
How much you have will determine where you go – and how long you go for. $5,000 is a safe place to start, but $10,000 will be better! The more you have, the more choices you can make.
You can plan a shorter trip with more luxuries or ride a longer trip with more budget restraints to stretch your money further. It’s whatever works best for you and your goals.
Work Your Way Around the World
Another good way to fund your travels is to work. We live in a freelance world, and many people these days supplement their jobs with side hustles.
If you’re a photographer, videographer, or writer, for example, you might be able to forge an income from influencers, tourist boards, or companies looking for marketing material.
If you’re good with tech, you could remotely offer SEO or copywriting services.
It’s all about making the most of the skills you have to offer.
Another way you can generate income is by working hands-on jobs. You could earn a minimal wage by washing up in restaurants. Or even exchange work for accommodation and food.
The risk with this is that you probably won’t be able to pre-arrange this kind of work, and it’s not guaranteed even when you get there.
With this in mind, you could try WorkAway – a website that matches people who need a service with workers from across the world.
You might work a few hours daily on a farm or in a B&B in exchange for free boarding and food. Or you might help an elderly person with their daily activities in return for a room and a basic wage.
Au Pair is another option if you’re good with children and enjoy being part of a family.
Lastly, I know many people who have funded their travels by teaching English abroad. It’s not for everybody, and you probably won’t be able to do it part-time. But it’s a good option for the right person.
Have A Passive Income
You don’t necessarily have to sell all of your belongings to fund your travels. Rather than sell your house, you might earn a decent amount from it in the short term if you rent it out instead.
And if you get the right tenants who are looking to stay long-term, this allows you to extend your trip indefinitely. It guarantees a monthly income.
You could also invest in financial funds. I have a mixture of funds – some of which pay me a salary throughout the year, and other ‘accumulation’ funds (where any profit on my investment gets re-invested into the fund.)
This means you can secure short-term and long-term financial security – provided the markets don’t tank! Again.
Lastly, another option I’m looking into for long-term projects is renting out my car rather than selling it. Believe it or not, there’s a strong market for people wanting to rent cars through regular folk rather than expensive car rental companies.
Can You Sell Everything and Tour the World on a Motorcycle? Where Will Your Money Go?
Being on the road for extended periods brings with it common financial responsibilities – in the same way being at home does! In this part of the post, we’ll look at common outlays you’ll have to make. You should be able to budget for these before you up and leave.
Unless you’re one of those fortunate people with a bottomless supply of cash, you’ll be spending a lot of time camping – because accommodation is expensive!
You might book a hotel here and there in certain countries where hotels are cheap. Or you might stop at the occasional hostel when you really need a shower and somewhere to charge your phone.
Other than that, be prepared to sleep in the great outdoors – on campsites, wild camping, or both.
Unfortunately, if you want to travel on a motorcycle, you’re going to have to spend money on fuel! But you can, to a certain extent, control this.
For example, one way to save money on fuel is to buy an economical bike in the first place. Get a frugal bike and be careful with your right wrist. If you’re on a long tour, you shouldn’t be rushing – so take your time and get the most from your tank.
Secondly, stay in locations for extended periods. Rather than riding 300 miles a day, stay in one place for a week or two and explore the area properly. Get to know the people and the culture.
Not only will this save you money, but you can actually earn money by working whilst you’re there.
The tastiest option for food is obviously eating out – but it’s expensive.
You can save a lot of money by buying from supermarkets and cooking on your stove when you camp. If you stop in hostels, you can also use their kitchen facilities to prepare the food you bought rather than eating out.
That said, it’s important to eat as best you can for your health – physically, mentally, and for morale. A good feed in a restaurant occasionally will do you good!
The one thing you can’t really account for is bike maintenance. You’re likely to need something done/fixing at some point. And you’ll certainly need new tyres and components as they start to wear.
But you can’t guarantee when (and how severely) the bike will fail.
The only way to do this is to put aside a fund – one you can access for the sole purpose of bike maintenance.
This also means unexpected bike bills don’t come out of your living budget!
Can You Sell Everything and Tour the World on a Motorcycle? Budgeting & Coming Home
Before you leave, you need to put your sensible head on and think about how much money you will spend on the road (daily) and what you will do when you eventually come home.
When planning your trip, look at how much money you have, how much you will be earning each month, and how much you will be paying out.
This will give you a basic daily budget which you can use to determine where you tour – because some places are cheaper (or more expensive) than others.
It will also give a more accurate idea of how long your trip will last – allowing you to plan more accurately.
Don’t forget that you’ll need to come home at some point. And when you return, you’ll have no house, job, or money!
You’ll be in a far better position if you’ve rented out your house for the duration of your trip. You can give your tenants the required notice for leaving and then move back in when you return.
If not, you’ll need friends or family who are willing to support you financially until you get on your feet and find a job.
Can You Sell Everything and Tour the World on a Motorcycle? Top Tips
If you’re considering selling everything you own and travelling the world on a motorcycle, here are some tips to help you get started:
- Start small: don’t try to tackle the whole world all at once. Begin by planning shorter trips, and build up to longer journeys as you become more experienced.
- Be prepared: ensure you have all the necessary equipment before you hit the road. This includes a sturdy motorcycle, a high-quality tent, a sleeping bag, and cooking equipment.
- Sort out passive income before you go (if you can.)
- Create a fund for bike maintenance.
- Have a ‘returning home’ plan.
- Be frugal: learn to live on a budget. Cook your own meals, camp or stay with locals instead of booking hotels, and be mindful of your spending.
- Make money along the way: offer services such as photography, videography, or language tutoring to make money as you travel.
Can You Sell Everything and Tour the World on a Motorcycle?: Conclusion
So, can you sell everything and tour the world on a motorcycle? The answer is yes – but it’s not for everyone.
If you’re willing to live simply, be resourceful, and embrace the sense of adventure that comes with this kind of lifestyle, then hitting the open road on a motorcycle can be the journey of a lifetime.
It will likely be the biggest thing you ever do. So take your time in the process and do what’s best for you.
Enjoy, and good luck!