In the spring of 2013 I was fed up with hitting the wall in my industrial sales job. I was working long hours in international sales, calling and emailing at all times of the day, and although I was somewhat successful, I was tired of the grind.
I knew I wanted to get out and head abroad. I had lived in Paris in 2008 and wanted to go back. At the same time, there wasn’t a lot of savings or available cash for me. If I was going to leave the job and head back to visit I would have to figure out how to do it on the cheap.
So I got to work to make the move happen for pennies on the dollar.
I leveraged my personal network to find places to live
Social media has made it very easy to reach out to and network with friends living abroad. A simple “Hey, I’m heading to Europe in mid April, is there anyone I can stay with?” ask connected me to dozens of friends and friends of friends. It was admittedly easier for me due to having lived in Paris previously in 2008, but there are tools such as CouchSurfing.com that can allow anyone to find a place to stay. Outside of staying with a total stranger, a simple open Facebook ask could connect you with dozens of people who you could stay with.
I mobilized my job
If I was going to living in Europe I would definitely need an income in addition to the savings I had. I opened an account on eLance and reached out to former networking contacts looking for simple marketing and independent sales work. With a simple Skype subscription I made myself available for working abroad. No Visa even needed!
I minimized my expenses at home
My truck, my apartment, all my things I either sold, loaned/rented to others, or placed in as cheap a storage situation as possible. I moved my cell phone number to a storage website to prevent people from losing contact with me. I even wrote a contract with a friend who was borrowing my car for the time I was gone and had him sign it and got it notarized to make it legal.
That’s it! Simple enough. When I was in Europe I kept my expenses low by buying food from grocery stores and didn’t eat out at restaurants very often. At he end of the trip I added up expenses and minus the cost of tickets the whole experience was only about $7,000. Included in that were trip to both Germany and the UK.