It is absolutely possible to work while traveling. Mind you, working while traveling has its challenges. Some places are easier to work from than others.
I have run my own and other people’s online businesses while traveling. I set up a real-world retail business and designed it to operate via a virtual office, with staff in different parts of the world. None of these caused me any issues anywhere.
The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.
Let’s take a step backward and sort out the bigger picture first. For instance, you can do different types of work while traveling. Shall we make a list?
Working a physical job
By this is means where you are working in a physical job at a specific location and being paid. In your home country, this is simple enough But if you are abroad this will require a work visa if you aren’t already a resident.
Voluntary work for no pay
Some countries, like Indonesia, consider this the same as a paid job and requires a work permit. Be sure to get if you are in such a country as things can become very difficult for you if you are and the authorities discover it.
Working as a freelancer, usually for an online business
When you are working for other people, generally providing some sort of service and it is usually online, if it is to a person or company not in the jurisdiction you are in, then you are generally fine, but if it is providing online services to a client in the jurisdiction you are in, then you almost certainly will need to have a work visa or be a resident.
Taking care of your own business (mostly online)
This is generally going to be an online business that you own and operate if you are abroad it would be difficult for the country’s immigration services to say you are working in that country and need a work visa or residency unless the online business has been set up in that jurisdiction.
There are caveats, Switzerland, for instance, has special tax categories. These do not permit you to work anywhere in any active business, you can only manage your assets… This can become very grey!
Managing your investments
It doesn’t matter where your investments are, you are just managing them. It might be real estate or a share portfolio, it might be a day a week or every day for 5 hours. Generally, this is not going to require any sort of a special visa if you are abroad unless the investment is in the country you are in and could be construed as paid or unpaid work.
Always do it by the book
Don’t risk working illegally anywhere, it is always going to be a big problem for you. being caught can mean being banned from returning. You will be deported in almost all circumstances. It is a painful and slow process that can often involve you being incarcerated for a period of time in the process.
If I am making the consequences of working illegally in another country sound bad, it’s because it is.
Authorities use social media monitoring to see what people are up to, you would be amazed how many people are deported from Indonesia each month for posting what they are up to work-wise in their social media profiles.
Saying stuff like your share portfolio is doing well this week won’t generally be a problem. Saying you did a photoshoot for a villa can be a huge problem. Advertising your services in a group will do it too.
What sort of work is best?
I’m going to tell you that two types of work are generally fine.
Run your own online business. Be sure to check in with anyone who is knowledgable about the local immigration laws. It might still be an issue.
Manage your investments, you can rarely go wrong with this.
I had done a huge amount of research on residencies, second residencies, citizenship by investment programs and all that sort of jazz. I am happy to give some specific advice if you want some. Just drop me a line and I’ll help if I can.