I wrote recently about funding a long-term bicycle expedition, and I mentioned that it’s possible to find work pretty much anywhere if you have suitable skills.
I graduated in 2005 with a degree in Computer Science, which morphed upon graduation into occasional bedroom-bound work developing websites for friends of friends. I didn’t make any money doing this. But in the last six months, freelance web work, sitting in my Yerevan flat in front of a borrowed computer, has put enough money in the bank for at least another year of travel! Woohoo!
In case anybody is interested, these are some of the websites I’ve developed in the last six or seven months — a brief departure from the travel theme of my blog, but we’ve all got to pay for it somehow:
1. Project Exposure
Most of my winter was spent developing Project:Exposure and the Tourism Development Bank, which is a new project of WHL Group aiming to give small accommodation providers the opportunity to exchange excess room-nights for professional marketing services.
This also gave Tenny the chance to earn a half-decent wage for her design skills, her previous job’s fixed salary having been less than $200 a month.
2. Cosworth Formula One
British engineers Cosworth build Formula One engines for Williams and Virgin Racing amongst other manufacturers. This is their 2010 season website, full of photos of big shiny pieces of precision-machined metal.
Not the most exciting project — a catalogue site for a company who produce and sell consumer electronics in the UK.
4. Long Clawson Dairy
Since Stilton is my favourite type of cheese, it was quite exciting to be offered the job of developing this site, a cheese-making co-operative situated a few miles from my home village.
And last but certainly not least…
5. Alastair Humphreys
Everyone’s favourite round-the-world cyclist Alastair Humphreys asked me & Tenny to help make his excellent blog look a bit more ‘professional’ — hopefully we managed that!
* * *
If all goes to plan, there’ll be no more screens to stare at for the rest of the year. And in the long run, I’m looking for something to do that doesn’t involve computers at all. I’m no longer content to sit indoors all day.
Last week I sold a license to a design studio to use one of my photographs in a client’s Annual Report. I work hard on my photography but I’ve never considered myself much good — so this offer came as a great surprise. People occasionally ask to use my shots in various publications, but this was the first time someone actually offered to pay cold hard cash for it.
I’m starting to think more seriously about photography and videography if people really do like my stuff enough to pay real money for it. My overall aim is to earn enough to live the life I choose, preferably by living the life I choose.
It’s a daunting prospect — turning heel and heading off in a completely different direction from something you’ve invested years in. But I suppose I already did it once. Maybe I’ll do it again.