The Easiest Way to Earn a Good Online Income

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Posted by The Savvy Retiree on January 26, 2021 in Portable Incomes

My day usually starts at the ocean around sunrise, which this time of year, is right about 7 a.m. here on the coast of Oaxaca, Mexico. The sun sets about 11 hours later, and there’s nothing but sunshine in between. I can’t imagine a better environment.

But my days weren’t always like this.

Years ago, when I had a “regular job” back in the States, my days still started at the same time, 7 a.m., but it was pitch black as I put on my boots, gloves, hat, and parka to step out into the snow, scrape the frost off my windshield, and warm up my car before my long commute to work. The sun came up after I was already at my desk, and it started to set just as I was returning to my car, nine hours later. And there was nothing but blowing snow and freezing temperatures in between.

Surviving those harsh winters felt like being trapped in a world of cold, darkness, and isolation. I now live in a world of warmth, sunshine, and I literally swim in the ocean daily. What a contrast!

How did I trade in the cold of the northern U.S. for an ocean paradise in Mexico? I started teaching English.

I had always wanted to live abroad and experience another country and culture from the inside, not just as a tourist. But my career as a U.S. forest ranger wasn’t conducive to working abroad. So, I decided, if I was going to make my dream a reality, I had to find another way to earn that would allow me to live overseas long term. It didn’t take much research to realize that teaching English was the obvious choice.

Nearly every non-English speaking country in the world has an English teacher deficit. And native speakers, like me, are especially in demand because the majority of English as a foreign language teachers worldwide do not speak English as their mother tongue. This means native speakers will almost always make more money than non-native English-speaking teachers, both abroad and online.

And, sure enough, that was my experience. My very first day teaching, I was making 20% more than my Mexican counterparts, who had far more teaching experience than I did at that time, which was none! But, as an American, I was considered to have a skill they did not, native-speaking abilities.

After three years, I felt confident enough to take my English teaching freelance. I moved to the beach and started tutoring English one-on-one. I found, as a private tutor, I also was able to charge higher rates. This meant I could work less and, because my services were in-demand, I determined the days and times I was available. No more 7 a.m. classes. That time is reserved for my morning swim in the ocean.

Now, you might think that my ability to dictate when I worked and how much I charged as an English tutor was solely dependent on the fact that I live in Mexico. But location is much less important than my skill as a native English speaker. In fact, as a native speaker, you can tutor English online from anywhere in the world. All you need is a good internet connection.

I still live in the same small beach town I moved to 10 years ago, but now I teach exclusively online. My clients, meanwhile, live all over the world. This allows me even more flexibility because I’m not restricted just to students who live in my immediate area.

Truthfully, nowadays I never start work before 10 a.m. My mornings are reserved for the pure pleasure of walking on the beach, swimming in the ocean, and reading my favorite books. I never have to rush to a meeting or cancel a get-together with friends because I have a deadline to meet at work. Teaching online means I can block off weeks at a time to travel or spend time with family or I can double down on my weekly hours and earn extra spending money for an upcoming trip or special event.

I’ve even been able to maintain my teaching schedule while traveling for weeks at a time, so I didn’t miss out on earning, but was still able to enjoy vacationing abroad. All I need to earn is my computer, my headset, and an internet connection. And you can earn this way too. With a basic computing set up and your ability to speak English, you can earn from anywhere in the world, even from right there in your own home. Or, like me, you can find a new place to call home and spend your mornings doing exactly what you love most, whatever brings you the most joy.

By Kary Vannice