Sometimes circumstances outside of your control can be the catalyst to finally make the step to becoming an expat.
For Ron Perry the 2008 economic crisis forced him to downsize his web design business and think about how he could run his operations while being location independent. Influenced by The Four Hour Workweek Ron made a conscious choice to reorganize his life and in 2010 he headed abroad setting up shop in Chiang Mai Thailand.
In this interview he talks about the challenges of setting up a bricks and mortar bar in Chiang Mai, the online tools that have helped him build his web design business https://egnite.biz/ to being 10 times bigger than it was before he left and the excitement he gets from living in his new location of Tel Aviv, Israel – and why it’s not as dangerous as most people think.
What I learned from Ron’s interview:
Some business headaches were the catalyst for Tom Bartel and Kristin Henning decision to leave their Minnesota home and start traveling the world in 2010. Their publishing business had met some resistance with the global financial crisis and the couple decided it was the perfect opportunity to put their plans for a location independent lifestyle into gear.
5 years on the couple have now seen much of the world and have no intentions of slowing down anytime soon. We caught up with them visiting family at Lake Tahoe during one of their return trips to the US.
They show age is no barrier to travel! You can follow their journey at https://travelpast50.com
What I learned from speaking with Tom and Kris:
It took Brendan Lee around 72 hours as a chartered accountant to realize that it wasn’t the career for him. But leaving wasn’t easy – he was on a committed tenure that meant he had 4 years to work – and what about his degree? 4 years of his life looked like going up in smoke, plus the additional time he had to spend working it off.
It would have been enough to worry most people but Brendan had a goal – travel. He knuckled down, paid off most of his student debt, worked out his tenure saving 50% of his salary along the way – and in 2010 embarked on a travel journey that doesn’t look like ending.
His travels have taken him through China, Asia, South America, Africa and parts of Europe – spending 8 months or so of each year overseas with 4 months back in his home country New Zealand.
We caught up with him in Zanzibar where we discussed the affordability of travel; why more people don’t do what he does, and why the current education system doesn’t provide people with the skills they need for the new global world in which we live.
This interview is a little longer than most but worth every minute. You can follow Brendan at http://www.brenontheroad.com where his new book is due for release shortly
What I learned from Brendan:
The Middle East can seem a scary place – and not the ideal location for a single British woman to be heading to. For Amanda Settle spending more time in the British education system as a teacher wasn’t going to provide her with the fulfillment she was after. Feeling disillusioned she took a teaching position at an international school in Kuwait.
Since then she has worked in Qatar and Dubai, meeting her husband along the way. Amanda has now taken a break from teaching and relocated to the Greek island of Rhodes very close to the mainland of Turkey where she is enjoying the slow pace of village life.
Amanda joins us to talk about her experiences as a single woman in the Middle East and how she is enjoying the slower pace of life living in Greece.
Catch up with her at http://www.amandasettle.com
What I learned from Amanda:
Traveling can be a fantastic experience at the best of times but it’s even better when you can combine it with something you are passionate about. Diana Edelman took to the road in 2010 after realizing that her “dream” career in public relations wasn’t making her happy.
She’d developed a passion for elephants ever since first encountering them and badgered her way into a volunteer position taking care of the magnificent creatures in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
After 2 ½ wonderful years there Diana decided to move on to her new home base of Madrid – a city she had fallen in love with on an earlier trip.
We caught up with her and her two traveling cats where she shares her experiences of living in Chiang Mai, the opportunities ahead for her in Madrid and we discussed her passion for responsible tourism
What I learned from Diana’s interview:
Although Barnaby Andersun had lived the typical suburban lifestyle of house, mortgage and car for 18 years in Brisbane,Australia he always knew that with a portable business there was a less stressful option that would cost him less and allow him to travel the world on his own terms.
In 2012 he finally made the leap, taking his branding business with him. He started in Bali, before moving to Chiang Mai, back to Bali, on to Canada and New York before settling in over the last 6 months in Mexico. Barnaby sees himself as a citizen of the world and loves the freedom his lifestyle affords him.
He now runs an online business which employs over 50 web designers (all based in the Ukraine) and he’s currently doing it from a beachfront housesit overlooking the Carribbean in Xcalak Mexico .
To find out more about Barnaby check out his website at http://learntolivefree.com
What I learned from speaking with Barnaby Andersun:
Do you consider yourself too old to move countries? Maybe you’re a middle aged single woman who’s fearful of the world… or perhaps you have no skills to earn money with if you do shift. All perfectly legitimate barriers to becoming an expat.
Or are they? Barriers often only exist in the mind – and for Nancie McKinnon they weren’t going to be factors that stood in her way. The Nova Scotia native left Halifax 15 years ago, leaving behind a corporate lifestyle and embarking on her new career as an English teacher.
After a period in Taiwan Nancie moved to Korea where she has continued to teach – combining her university position with the opportunity to take a couple of semesters off each year to travel where she spends part of her time in Chiang Mai Thailand and the rest traveling whichever parts of the world take her fancy.
We caught up with Nancie in Seoul where she discusses the process of becoming an English teacher, what she loves about Korea, and why Chiang Mai and Portugal are two places on her radar for an expat to live. You’ll follow Nancies story and enjoy her Travel Photo Thursday updates at http://www.budgettravelerssandbox.com
What I learned from speaking with Nancie:
One of the tricks to being able to travel is making sure you have enough money to do it. It’s less expensive than you think but some form of income is still going to be handy! Sometimes this might involve an existing skill you have or sometimes you develop new skills that can be used anywhere you go.
Jenna and Micah Kvidt are Minnesota natives who in the last twelve months have made the world their oyster. Through their website www.wanderthemap.com they’ve been everywhere from Iceland to Japan and large parts of the US and Canada as well. They have developed their skills to the point where Micah earns a living as a freelance photographer and videographer while Jenna supplements their income through her online Etsy store. Like many others they gave up their corporate jobs to travel and haven’t regretted it since
What I learned from Jenna and Micah’s interview:
To many a comfortable lifestyle in Corpus Christi Texas would sound like retirement bliss and for Anita and Richard Oliver it had its benefits. Anita was still working as a pharmacist while Richard had retired and enjoyed his mornings walking or catching up with friends. They had the typical house with the typical toys – but something was missing.
3 years ago they made the decision to sell up or giveaway most of their possessions except the house and start travelling. After working their way through much of central and South America they travelled to Europe where they fell in love with the Algarve region of Portugal.
We caught up with them back in Corpus Christi where they were housesitting while waiting for their Portugese visas to be come through.
You’ll find their blog at http://noparticularplacetogo.net
What I learned from Richard and Anita:
Today’ interview is longer than our normal but I think you’ll agree it’s worth every minute.
Just over 4 years ago Talon Windwalker was dealing with depression and his 9 year old son was battling with anxiety. He had become disillusioned in the US and felt the education system wasn’t providing his son with what he needed.
Together they embarked on an adventure that has seen them travel through 6 continents and share the sort of father and son experiences that few others would have had.
We spoke with Talon housesitting in England where we discussed the pros and cons of travel and the opportunities that self-schooling can provide a young boy which traditional education doesn’t.
Their story is inspiring of what you can do with children when you don’t conform to the norm. You can find out more here at their blog http://1dad1kid.com
What I learned from these two travelers:
One of the issues facing perpetual travelers and those wishing to become global nomads or expatriates is “where do I make some money?” Well there are lots of options available online but if you’re into a more traditional form of work and don’t mind giving up some of your privacy then being an au pair or child carer could be the perfect option for you.
Today we talk to Roisin Grace about her experiences of being an au pair in Paris, the do’s and don’ts of being an au pair and where you can start if you’re wanting to become one.
You can follow Roisin’s blog at http://roisingrace.com
What I learned about being an au pair:
Being a perpetual traveler is one of the new ways to see the globe but 30 years ago it was more a rarity – and even more of a rarity for a single woman to be doing it on her own.
For Leyla Giray Alyanak travel was in her blood. Her parents and grandparents were all expats and she grew up on the move. When the time came to make the decision to end her journalism position and take to the road it was probably no surprise to anybody.
30 years on this multi-national citizen has settled in to France as her home but the urge to travel is still strong and she will again be hitting the road ready to use her multi language skills to help traverse the globe.
We hope you’ll enjoy today’s interview where you’ll discover how travel has changed and Leyla’s opinions on what a modern day traveler would need to do if they want to follow in her shoes.
Leyla is indeed one of the grandmothers of modern nomadic travel. You’ll find her blog and e-book at http://blog.women-on-the-road.com
What I learned from speaking with Leyla:
If your image of the typical house-sitter is a cat loving baby boomer than think again. Laura and Tanbay are two twenty somethings travelling the world and enjoying it without the cost of accommodation.
A chance search for how to live rent free led them to discover the art of minding houses and three years later the two young people have enjoyed many parts of the world while living on minimal costs.
Their adventures have taken them from Australia to the Azores. We caught up with them both in Germany where they were visiting friends and family between housesits.
You can follow their adventures and grab a copy of their e-book: Housesitting in Australia; A Guide for First Time House-sitters at their website http://www.travellingweasels.com
What I learned from speaking with Laura and Tanbay:
So you’re looking at heading overseas and want to set up an online business, maybe a travel blog, to bring in a little money. Trouble is you don’t know the first thing about website building, affiliate marketing, and have never run a Facebook ad in your life. No problem!
The good news is you don’t have to know it all. There are well qualified people with the expertise to do all the technical stuff you don’t know so you can focus on the more important parts, namely sunning yourself on the beach and having a good time!
Today we talk with Sam Patton an outsourcing expert who explains what outsourcing is, why you should use it, how you can use outsourcing both to help with an online business and the personal aspects of your travel plans, and he shows you some cool tools you can use to make outsourcing easier for you if that’s the way you’re planning to go.
If you want to know more about outsourcing and how to get started you can contact Sam through his website www.savetimeoutsourcing.com . He has a great little report on 77 things you can outsource from your business and your life at www.savetimeoutsourcing.com/task-list
What I learned from speaking with Sam:
Travel can be tough if you go against the norms of society. You left the career path you had lined up to do what? You’re travelling the world with two kids under 5…are you nuts??
You could listen to others…or you could do what you knew was right for you. For Billy and Scarlett Thomas the standard well-worn path of get career, have kids just didn’t feel right.
There motto is “have kids, will travel” and indeed they do! Since leaving the United States 3 years ago their young family have journeyed through much of Europe, and Central and South America discovering what people and life has to offer along the way.
Today we talk with the Thomas’s during a break catching up with family in Utah (they are about to head to Japan for six months). During our talk they discuss the expectations that society can put on you as a graduate and as parents, and how what they have done have helped both them and their children grow. They also discuss education options for children when travelling and how you can combine travel with running a bricks and mortar business back home.
What I learned from speaking with Billy and Scarlett:
Do you live to work or work to live? This is a question Margo Eggeling finds herself asking more frequently after her experience of living in Heidelberg Germany. Her time away has provided her and her husband with fantastic memories, great photos and an ever expanding group of friends in all parts of the world – but the question of what she wants to do with her life is now foremost in her mind.
A child of the American university system who has to date followed the corporate line Margo has recently returned from her expat experience looking for new adventures. With her husband, a former accountant with KPMG, they are now ready to embark on the next stage of life’s adventures – a one way ticket to Bali is already booked with no clear cut plans of where they will head to next.
We spoke with Margo about her experiences of Germany, how cheap and easy travel is around Europe when you’re based there, the true experiences of Heidelberg beyond the tourist regions and how her experiences have changed her priorities in life.
If you’re keen to find out more you can contact Margo through her blog http://www.theoverseasescape.com
What I learned from speaking with Margo:
Facing death is the ultimate motivation to revisit your life’s purpose and ask yourself whether what you are doing is truly making you happy. For Barbara Weibel that challenge came to a head in 2007 when, dealing with lymes disease, she realized her corporate life was making her richer but leaving her feeling empty inside.
She hopped on a plane to Vietnam writing the story of her journey while away. Upon returning to the US she discovered that over 1200 people had found her journey worth reading and with that as her motivation she embarked on a permanent travel lifestyle that has taken her to 60 countries over the past 9 years.
Barbara has become one of the world’s biggest travel bloggers and has proven that a single woman in her 50’s can travel the world safely with the right attitude. Her saying “Faith and fear can’t live in the same place” has been her source of comfort along her journey.
We caught up with Barbara in Croatia where she shared her insights into how she lives her life and why the American dream is not delivering on its promise.
You can follow Barbara’s journey at her popular blog www.holeinthedonut.com . If you’re looking to send a picture from your own journey Barbara offers $1 e-postcards of her travel photos. Barbara is a strong supporter of charities in many of the countries she visits and you can support her work with an e postcard from her many travel photos at www.holeinthedonut.net
What I learned from speaking with Barbara:
It’s a long way from California to the west coast of France, especially if you’ve never visited before. Daniele and her husband Mike made the big move after Mike got a job opportunity in the French city of Biarritz, one of the surfing capitals of Europe.
Although something of a culture shock Daniele has so far enjoyed the tradition – swapping the business suits of her former life as a lawyer for the running shoes as she enjoys a more relaxed lifestyle in France.
Today we talk with Daniele as she discusses the culture shocks of France, how travelling opportunities have opened up from her new European base, and why the French have mastered the art of living in a way that is both challenging and refreshing to enjoy.
You can follow her and what’s happening in Biarritz at www.lexpatblog.com
What I learned from Daniele’s interview:
What do you do if you’re a stand-up comedian who has just lost his day job and your artist girlfriend has also lost hers? You move to France of course! Today we interview Tommy Barnes who with his girlfriend left London 5 months ago to get away from the rat race and stress of big city life.
They moved to the Auvergne region of France and have embraced the contrast between their old London existence and what small village French life has to offer. They have even dispelled a few myths about the French way of life that the English have stereotyped the French as having. To many their existence may seem precarious – Tommy has spent his days writing a book he hopes to publish while Rose looks to sell her sculptures, and they currently are surviving on redundancy money. Despite this however they are happier, healthier, and with their recent commitment to buy a house in the Loire valley, they are now determined to make France their long term home
We caught up with Tommy one beautiful summer’s morning. You can follow his hilarious stories about life in the French countryside at http://thomasprinceoffrance.blogspot.com.au
What I learned from Tommy’s interview:
If you’re keen to live the expat life but overseas travel and cultures are not for you then why not consider being an expat traveler within your own country? Lots of people are doing it and todays travelers are no exception. Chuck and Lori Ros are combining the best of overseas travel with the chance to see more of the United States and they’re using a multiple of methods to cover the cost of their adventures including swapping work for travel, housesitting, house swapping and some very affordable one way cruise deals we’ll share with you on the show!
They are loving their new life and don’t see themselves going back to the old one anytime soon. If you want to hear more about their new lifestyle and how you can enjoy the benefits of your own country affordably as an internal traveler then listen to what they have to say.
You’ll find out more on their blog at www.chuckandlori.com
What I learned from speaking with Chuck and Lori:
If you’re in need of some heart repairs would you be comfortable with having it done in another country? For many people the thought of this would seem terrifying – but as an expat living in Colombia Michael Kershaw was able to relax confident in a medical system he knew would look after him.
Colombia is fast developing an excellent reputation for both medical and dental care and medical tourism is on the rise. Michael’s hospital visit was covered under his medical insurance with no out of pocket expenses and considerably less hassle and better care than he received in the US.
In today’s interview Michael talks about medical care in Colombia from his first-hand experience plus shares the journey that brought in there and why his life is so much richer for the experience of relocating from the United States. He dispels many of the myths surrounding the safety in Colombia as well and explains why it should be on your radar if you’re looking for an expat location to move to.
You’ll find more about Colombia, and the best places to get a good coffee, on Michael’s blog at www.michaelandgraciela.com
What I learned from speaking with Michael: