How to Travel the World as a Broke (but Happy!) Yogi

Sustain your wanderlust by finding local work—wherever your local is—with these websites

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We all have that person we follow on Instagram. You know, the one whose every post is met with immense envy, followed by the burning question How on earth can they afford to travel to so many gorgeous places all the time?

While world travel is a growing trend among Millennials and all-around free spirits (the World Youth Student and Educational Travel Confederation found an increase in young travelers taking extended trips from 2007–2014) this kind of wanderlust doesn’t require spending top-dollar on things like room and board. You can, in fact, make worldwide travel affordable by doing what you love.

Thanks to websites like Yoga Trade and YogaTravelJobs, it’s a lot easier than you think. These platforms are like a, connecting travelers to work-trade opportunities that usually include some sort of payment, accommodations, or other perks in exchange for your time and talent. If you’re looking to give in to your wanderlust ways, pack your essentials into a carry-on, and teach and practice yoga for a living, these websites are made for you.

You can, in fact, make worldwide travel affordable by doing what you love.

Yoga Trade offers jobs related to yoga in many capacities, including yoga instructors as well as marketing assistants, graphic designers, gardeners, I.T. staff, massage therapists, brand ambassadors, interns, assistants, volunteers, and more. The length of the gigs varies from a monthly or weekly basis to a specific set of dates to open-ended jobs that continue until you feel you’re ready to venture into another part of the world.

Wondering what kinds of opportunities you’ll find on these sites? Check out this job listing currently on Yoga Trade seeking an instructor in Nicaragua as an example:

Live on the beach and teach yoga. Available in August, September and October 2015, one month at a time. Speak Spanish, save sea turtles, surf. We offer full board, compensation and Managua transportation in exchange for yoga instruction and customer service.

(Note: To view jobs on Yoga Trade, you need the Passport edition, which is $12 for the year.)

Pretty sweet, right?

Another huge part of the draw to these services is the sense of community they foster. Yoga Traders share their knowledge, practice, and passion with the people and places they encounter, and it is their belief that by fostering this cultural exchange and mutual respect in the global yoga community, we grow closer to one another, our planet, and ourselves.

“The popularity of yoga and work/trade travel is gaining momentum, with thousands of people from all walks of life looking to travel the world with a focus on engaging with communities for more meaningful experiences,” says Erica Hartnick, founder of Yoga Trade. Hartnick says she’s noticed a trend in membership numbers over the years as this lifestyle is becoming more and more attractive.

It’s a lifestyle that extends far beyond the yoga community. As reported by The Atlantic, World Youth Student and Educational Travel Confederation’s 2014 report also found that Millennials are now traveling for “meaningful experiences.” And with the average trip lasting 58 days (a full week longer than when the survey was last conducted in 2007), websites like Yoga Trade that make extended travel more economically feasible are becoming increasingly useful.

Perhaps not everything on social media is real, but the chance to do crow pose in Cambodia is much more realistic than you think. So the next time you see an Instagram photo of one of your globetrotting friends swimming in Ionian Sea or hiking Machu Picchu, just think: that could be me.

Photo of Eoin Finn by Ali Kaukas

jayme-lammJayme Lamm is a sports + travel + fitness writer based in Houston, TX. She lives for telling fun and unique stories and when it comes to sports and athletes is always on the hunt for compelling human interest stories. Her work has appeared in ESPN, CBS, Women’s Health, and many others and she also founded the award-winning sports column The Blonde Side. Follow her many adventures on Twitter and Instagram @JaymeLamm.