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How I make money living on the road (solo female van life Australia)

The question that so often arises for those wanting to live life on the road is:

But how will I make an income?

In this vlog I will share with you how I make my income whilst living life full time on the road here in Australia.

As I’m relatively new to life on the road, I wasn’t yet prepared to do a vlog on income however I know that many seek answers for themselves so this may potentially give you some ideas to support you on your journey.

My business is Destination Sacred Grounds. I started it in the very early stages of Covid without knowing what was to be of the world. I had just resigned from a role due to ongoing workplace stress and burnout and had worked 20 years within the community services realms. I decided that was not the life I wanted to live even thought I loved the work I did. It was up to me to turn my life around, so I set out on creating a new future living life on my terms according to my dreams.

I had savings as well as departing with annual and long service. This allowed me to set up for business, motorhome life and have money to fall back on. My plan was that if I couldn’t survive from my business, I would find work however it was a hard slog through Covid.

Whilst I will talk about my streams of income in a moment, I want to be completely upfront and honest right here. Many people suggested I gain financial support through Centrelink to help get me by as the work I had set up for my business had fallen through due to Covid. Centrelink was not on my radar and I did not apply for many months (preferring to spend money I had saved). As I watched my savings start to dwindle, I realized that it was in my best interest to apply and ended up received support for a few months. I know there will be many who will not agree with this due to the stigma around travelers and Centrelink but I also believe that if someone needs financial support there should be no shame in accessing this.

I had been homeless, in refuges, couch surfing and slept in some pretty scary places on the streets when I was young. After working for the large proportion of my adult life with at risk community members, I felt there were people who needed this more than I. However I wasn’t on it for long before applying for the NEIS program which is a nine month government subsidized program to help small businesses start up.

This NEIS program supports small business owners to gain the knowledge and skills to run a successful business and yes whilst I do receive a small payment whilst on this program it has been invaluable in supporting me to develop the skills needs for my business. There are strict regulations to be a candidate for this program and many deadlines to be met but I will provide the link down below for anyone who wants to check this out.

I also want to add here that operating my business is more than a full-time role and I’m sure many other business owners will tell you the same. It takes great hard work, dedication and grit but it is my passion in life to do what I love and that is supporting others without having to work for the man.

So, getting to it now, I have multiple streams of income. I would definitely suggest you have multiple streams in mind if looking to support yourself living on the road. I had a few situations where I had work cancelled which was completely out of my control so there needs to be plenty of backups.

I have eight streams of income and even though some of them are quite small, it all adds up.

Income streams

1. I am a support worker for those who are on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and within this role I have a client base. Some of which I visit face to face weekly, others by phone and then there are some I provide videography sessions for (making videos on emotional regulation/stress reduction) This is currently through a third-party platform (Mable) however I am in the process of becoming my own provider which will allow me to provide further supports such as group retreats in the Kalypso the motorhome.

Reflection - Do you have a profession or something you know well? Can you alter this to make it fit to a life on the road?

2. I run Earth Based Mindfulness face to face sessions in the community as well as offer an online course for those wanting to connect more to the land.

Reflection - Do you have hobby’s or passions in which you could teach in the community or online?

3. Casual employment through an organization in a support work role.

Reflection -There are loads of options in finding casual work and even online groups which which advertise work for travelers. See links below.

4. Develop and facilitate educational based programs for groups/services in the community

Reflection - Is there something you could teach within a group setting, can someone else gain from your teachings?)

5. More recently and due to requests, I have started making crystal healing creations. I work energetically on the crystals and then weave a macramé design around them in order for them to be worn.

Reflection - Do you have any crafty abilities, perhaps something in which you could make and sell?

6. I have now added my Ko-Fi page which is a page designed for those wanting to shout me a coffee/donate money/support in return for the content I provide on YouTube.

Reflection - There are loads of options when it comes to providing content and gaining an income in return. This is just one, others are monetization of a YouTube channel, Patreon, gain sponsors etc)

7. Holistic counselling and healing provided to individuals upon request, I hope to do more of this on the road when travelling however still just getting my bearings.

Reflection - I hear of many who provide healing, hair dressing, tarot you name it, on the road so I’m sure there will be many other things you can offer along your way.

8. The last stream of income is the NEIS program which I have mentioned above, this is only for nine months, enough time to get you started on your business.

When considering your options look outside the box, take a moment to reflect on what you love to do and the things you are good at. Talk to as many people as you can to get ideas. There is a wealth of knowledge from other travelers and you will find these people on Facebook groups, online forums such as grey nomads etc. A big shout out to all of those people by the way. I actually wish there were more people vlogging their experiences here in Australia. These are all the things I wanted to know when starting out so I hope this helps you.

Links for helpful groups :

Feel free to reach out with any questions you may have!

Happy Streaming!


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