There are lots of reasons you might want to start proofreading for a living. Maybe you want to stay home with your kids. Maybe you want to pay down debt. Or it could be my favorite reason: you want to become location independent and have the freedom to travel full-time.
I can totally identify with wanting to travel more. I created my Transcript Proofreading course while I was traveling in South America for a year. Having the freedom to work from anywhere and getting to explore new countries while I grew my business was awesome! I’m planning to do some more traveling very soon in my Airstream, y’all!
Proofread Anywhere graduates are extremely well-traveled! We’ve got proofreaders who are making money doing excellent work in Kenya, the Philippines, Ecuador, Costa Rica, the UK, Mexico, Canada, Thailand, Ireland — the list keeps growing.
Keep reading if you want to become a location independent proofreader. I’ll be answering some of your questions and highlighting graduates who are proofreading anywhere in the world!
Seriously, you’ve got to be pulling my leg! How on earth can I work as a proofreader and still get to travel the world without going into debt?
You better believe it, baby! There are lots of people around the world who make a living proofreading while they travel. And you can be one of them.
Take Jacki, for example. Jacki was totally bummed out when she realized she would only have a couple of weeks a year to travel if she stayed in her “real job.” Her boyfriend was already working online, and she could see how many more trips he was able to take. When she hit on the idea of proofreading, she was thrilled and soon started her travel adventures hanging out with elephants in Thailand.
Since then, Jacki has traveled to Bali, Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia, back to Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Australia, and New Zealand — proofreading everywhere along the way!
Jerrica and her husband had to cancel their first trip to Europe three years in a row due to work schedule conflicts. She finally decided that enough was enough and began searching for a way to find more flexibility to travel. Now, thanks to proofreading, they have a vacation to New Orleans paid for and their trip to Europe has expanded into a three-month adventure!
Isn’t traveling just for people in their twenties? Surely I’m too old to work while I travel!
Nope! You’re as young as you feel, and if you’ve got the energy and desire to jet-set around the world, then go for it!
Lona started proofreading professionally at the age of sixty-six. Having worked as a humanitarian for decades, she was looking for a job that would allow her to be mobile. Lona had spent seven years confined to a desk job, so when she was almost done with the course, she quit her job, sold everything except for her car and a ten-foot truck full of necessities, and drove to Los Angeles in time for the birth of their daughter’s first child.
Lona and her husband didn’t stop there, continuing on to Hawaii and then Sydney, Australia, where they traveled along the beautiful east coast of Australia house-sitting and caring for people’s pets. As long as Lona has her iPad, internet connection, and clients, she can work anywhere.
I’ve been in the same job for years, but I want to make a change now so I can travel more. Can I proofread as my second career?
Yes! You’ll likely have built up lots of transferable skills over your working life that you can apply to your career as a proofreader, such as attention to detail, organizational skills, and time management. If you want to start focusing on what’s important to you now, then proofreading is a super flexible option.
After a successful career in aviation maintenance that allowed her to travel sometimes, Elizabeth and her husband decided to sell their house and transition into RVing full-time — and proofreading allows her to earn money so they can stay on the road!
I’m already traveling, but I’m running out of money! Help! Can proofreading help me keep traveling for longer?
Caitlin to the rescue! Yes, you can earn enough money from proofreading to keep traveling for longer. And you can get started relatively quickly.
But don’t think that you can just start proofreading tomorrow or that your high school English skills mean that you’re an expert. Make sure you take the time to brush up on your grammar, spelling, and punctuation skills, or your career as a location independent proofreader will be pretty short-lived!
In 2014, Kirstin decided to quit her job in retail management to travel the world. She survived on her savings for quite a while, but she knew she would need to make money again at some point. She also knew that there was no way she was going back to her old way of working. Her first step was thinking about the skills she possessed that she could easily leverage into an income that she could maintain on the road. This led her to freelance proofreading.
But Kristin didn’t just hang out her shingle without doing any training. She invested in herself and made sure that her skills were fit for purpose — ensuring her long-term success as a proofreader.
Do I have to travel full-time or can I take regular short trips and proofread while I’m on the road?
You can travel whatever way you want from weekend trips to regular short trips to being a full-time digital nomad. There isn’t one perfect way to travel. This is your life; you call the shots!
Allie was a stay-at-home wife looking for something to stop her going stir crazy, but she didn’t want to get the type of job where they would have to work around another work schedule if they wanted to travel. Since she started proofreading, she has been able to take her work with her on their frequent trips to visit family out of state.
She also proofread her way through Yellowstone and Grand Tetons National Parks on a road trip with her hubby in September 2016. She loves having the freedom to earn income from ANYWHERE! Oh, and she got her first client on Day 1!
Melinda takes regular shorter trips. Over the summer, she and her dog took a month-long road trip, where she worked from her rentals about twenty-five hours a week and played, explored, and hiked the rest of the time between drives.
What if I don’t want to proofread while I travel? What if I just want to take off for a few months and not have to work? Can I do that without losing my clients?
Of course! You don’t have to travel full-time if you don’t want to. Having the flexibility to take some time off when you want or need to is one of the benefits of being your own boss.
Rachel had a dream of thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail (a 2,192-mile trail from Georgia to Maine), and because of her proofreading business, she was able to save up the money needed and take the time off to do it.
If she was still at her old 8–5 job, she doubts that they would have allowed her to go and hold her job for her. But she was able to get her clients taken care of so she could take the time she needed to complete this dream. Every single one of her clients has taken her back since she came home!
Note from Caitlin: Rachel documented her whole trek on her YouTube channel Hiking with Arrow! Check it out if you’ve been dreaming of hiking the Appalachian
Trial Trail. (Would you have caught that typo? If so, click here!)
My spouse travels a lot for work. I’d love to be able to go with them, so we don’t have to miss out on time together. Can I really proofread anywhere?
It can be hard to spend time with your spouse, significant other, or even your friends if one of you is stuck at home due to work commitments, while the other travels regularly for work. If you want to have the freedom to go with them whenever they have to go away for work, something’s got to change!
Patrice’s husband works from home, but he also sometimes travels for work. When she was a childcare provider, she didn’t have the flexibility to travel much.
Since she started proofreading for court reporters, she loves being able to travel with her husband. She can proofread in the car when they go on long trips, so the travel time passes quickly. #marriagegoals
We’re a military family. I’m fed up with having to look for a new job every time we move. Will proofreading solve that problem? Can I take my business with me wherever I go?
Moving around can be really exciting! You get to experience different parts of the country or world and meet new people.
I know what I’m talking about here: I’ve pulled up stakes several times and lived in Germany, South America, and Phoenix, Arizona.
But it can be difficult to keep having to start over. Constantly trying to find a new job and establish yourself in a community takes time, and you’re just getting settled when you have to pack up and go again.
The problem with most jobs is that you can’t take them with you when you move. Not a problem with proofreading!
As a military wife, Jody was used to starting over every time her family moved, but she was looking for a job that could move with her. Now she’s finally got her dream job as a proofreader and she’s thrilled she doesn’t have to start over every two to three years!
Danielle is an Air Force veteran whose husband is also in the military. When he got posted overseas in London, Danielle went with him. She struggled to find traditional work, so instead, she started a proofreading business.
Since then she’s lived in Washington, D.C. and she’s getting ready for another overseas move to Lima, Peru. Danielle says the best part about this gig is that she can work from anywhere that has an internet connection, so she’s been able to maintain continuity in her work regardless of where her husband’s work sends him!
Most unusual place she has proofread? On top of the neighboring mountain to the Matterhorn in Switzerland!
Is proofreading something I can only do in the United States? What if I live somewhere else?
One of the most frequently asked questions we receive at Proofread Anywhere is “What if I live outside the US? Can this still work for me?” We have a FAQ post dedicated to answering that question, but I also love to brag about all the PA grads who are crushing it outside the US.
Catherine is just one of them. She started her proofreading business when she moved from Ireland to Canada in early 2017. She was dreading trying to find another soulless office job, so instead, she started thinking about what skills she had that she could use to work from home — or anywhere she chooses.
Since starting her business, Catherine also traveled around the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico, and afterward, she moved back to Ireland. She can take her business with her wherever she goes!
Catherine shares her top tips for proofreading while you travel in this blog post so you can feel confident that your business will run smoothly while you’re on the road!
Ashley started her transcript proofreading business after she moved to England with her fiancé and was looking for a way to earn an income from anywhere. Get this though — Ashley’s dream job has always been to be a proofreader! I love it when the stars align!
You might think that it’s more difficult to get transcript proofreading clients when you live outside the US, but it’s really not. Ashley finds that the time difference often works in her favor!
Do I have to keep proofreading when I return home from traveling? What if it’s just a means to an end?
That’s totally fine. Proofreading isn’t everyone’s main passion in life. It may be just something you’re really good at that you can use to earn money from anywhere when it suits you.
Before traveling and proofreading, Jacki’s day job was working with children with autism. She loved it, but it was physically exhausting. Proofreading was a way for her to travel more.
Once Jacki gets home from her travels, she plans to return to that field part time and supplement her income with proofreading. She’s never been someone who enjoys doing ANYTHING forty hours a week, so she’s thrilled she found proofreading to complement her other career!
Wow! I’m stoked that so many people are using their word nerd skills to fund their location independent lifestyle. Proofread Anywhere means just that — ANYWHERE! It doesn’t matter if you want to proofread from the comfort of your own home, in an RV, or your Airbnb in London, it can fund your dreams — whatever they are.
Dying to start traveling the world but don’t want to end up in debt? You don’t have to! Become a location independent proofreader so you can earn money while you travel. Get started here!