Ever heard of Wwoofing? No it doesn’t involve howling at the moon! Wwoof is a means of swapping work for travel where you trade a couple of hours per day in return for accommodation and meals on an organic farm. Today’s guests have successfully wwoofed their way around the world in a variety of countries but in recent years as their desire to live a backpacking life has diminished they have switched to housesitting as a means of reducing their travel costs.
Cheryl MacDonald and Lisa Chavis spend around 8 months of the year overseas while still generating income online working in their respective areas of expertise. For the four months back home they up the rate of earnings and plan their next adventure. Their lifestyle has enabled them to see much of the globe while controlling their living costs and topping up their income during the months they are back in the US.
We spoke with Cheryl and Lisa where they shared their experiences of Wwoofing and talked about the perceived boundaries that make people stop living the type of lifestyle they now have. You can find out more about their adventures on their website http://whatboundariestravel.com
What I learned from talking to Cheryl and Lisa:
One of the benefits of living an expat lifestyle is that you can save a fortune living in some wonderful countries that offer a high quality of life for cents on the dollar compared to the western world. But who says you have to sacrifice income and live on the smell of an oily rag? Today’s guest has combined the best of lifestyle with building an online business that last month provided him with over $22000 in largely passive income.
Johnny FD (the FD stands for fighting and diving - his two Thai passions) left Los Angeles and a corporate job with Honeywell to enjoy an overseas holiday in Thailand. Loving the experience he returned to his cubicle intent on relocating – after all he knew he could live on $600 per month while there. Depending on savings for the first twelve months he took a dive course to be an instructor but knew he needed an alternative if he didn’t want to turn his passion into a chore. He investigated online income options and created an e-book that generated sales but a coffee meeting with an entrepreneur who made money from drop shipping convinced Johnny that there were more opportunities on the internet than he had investigated.
Three years on and he now has several successful online stores but is earning just over half of his money from affiliate marketing. He hasn’t lost his passion for work but now focuses on building his income rather than trading time for money – his income occurs whether he works or not
In this interview Johnny shares the story of how he got started and some tips on how to determine an online income that works for you. You can follow his exact recipe via his blog http://www.johnnyfd.com
What I learned from talking with Johnny:
Fancy a lifestyle hanging out with Hollywood A-listers? Life in the movie industry had its pluses but for Brit Gillie Hutchinson the birth of her child in her mid-30’s meant a slower less glamorous life was necessary. She returned to her roots in the fashion industry working for the Countess of Carnarvon at Highclere Castle – a location better known as the setting for Downtown Abbey. To all intents and purposes she seemed to have the perfect career selling fashion for a recognized brand and swapping Hollywood for the landed gentry but for Gillie she never really felt at home.
A 2002 holiday to Gibsons in British Columbia changed everything with her husband and her returning with the deed to a new holiday home. 4 years of visits and they had had enough of just being holidaymakers – and in 2008 the family of 3 moved to Canada permanently. Her husband’s job in computer software was able to provide for them – but left Gillie wondering what to do. Well what else do you do when you have a view of a harbor? Gillie bought a boat and took up sailing and now spends her time giving sailing lessons and skippering charter boats in places as diverse as New Zealand, Croatia and the Mediterranean. You can find out more about her experiences in British Columbia and her various sailing tours on www.ladysail.com
What I learned from Gillies interview:
If others can make money online why can’t I? That’s the question that Sharon Gourlay asked herself in 2013. With her kids still of pre-school age she knew she had a window of opportunity to give up her job, build an online income and move overseas, enjoying the world while living off her digital income.
Within 12 months Sharon had started to get results – she has since built her online business up to $5000 per month and growing while she enjoys living in Penang (very affordably) and traveling the world from her base with her family of 4 (also very affordably).
In this interview Sharon shares the story of how she built her blog, how she finds living in Penang, and gives some tips on how to monetize a travel blog which she also shares via her website www.digitalnomadwannabe.com
What I learned from Sharon’s interview:
If you’re looking to travel than teaching English can be a great way to fund your lifestyle as Jack Askew showed in an earlier interview. Jo Bruce headed to Korea from New Zealand 10 years ago armed only with a child care degree which was enough to give her a foot in the door of the English teaching game. Once there she was able to upskill sufficiently to relocate to Malaysia where the criteria for accepting English teachers was much stricter.
Jo is embarking on a new adventure, walking the Te Araroa walk from Cape Reinga to Bluff, the full length of New Zealand which will take her around 5 months and cover 3000kms. She then plans to walk even further traversing the Pacific Crest trail from the Mexican border to Washington State made famous by Reece Witherspoon in the movie “Wild”.
If you’re interested in embarking on a career teaching English overseas, or are an avid hiker looking for inspiration then you’ll enjoy listening to Jo.
What I learned from Jo’s interview:
Most people would think about visiting a country before making the leap to shift there. Most people would also think twice about relocating their business to a foreign country that they can’t really speak the language of – but Rachel Taylor is not most people. To coin her own phrase sometimes it’s easiest to step off a cliff!
Rachel made the move from Sydney, Australia to Paris, France just on two years ago and has settled in well to the Parisian lifestyle where she shares a flat with two room-mates. Her graphic design and website business has traveled with her and she still gets most of her work from back home along with some business she picks up from the expat community in Paris. So far she has loved the experience and doesn’t regret her decision in the least.
Today we talk to Rachel about the costs of living in Paris and how to relocate your online business successfully overseas.
Rachel can be contacted via her website http://petecreative.com.au
What I learned from Rachel’s interview:
To all intents and purposes Danna Bowman had the perfect life, living in Dallas they owned their own business, went to all the right places, spoke with all the right people and by her own confession did a good job of keeping up with the Jones. It came at a price though as they lived on the treadmill of working hard, getting more debt and buying bigger things.
One day they received an email about the benefits of living in Costa Rica – and it got them both thinking. On her husbands 40th birthday they flew off to their new life in Atenas Costa Rica – never even having visited the country before with their two young children aged 7 and 4.
7 years on and they still call Costa Rica home living in the area recognized as having the world’s best climate. Danna loves her new life despite some of the short comings of small town Central American life and is glad they made the move.
Since moving to Costa Rica Danna has been diagnosed with a thyroid problem – you can find out more about this and her involvement in helping others with thyroid issues on her website www.thyroidnation.com
What I learned from Danna’s interview:
Sometimes good things can come from bad experiences and you can look back and be grateful for what went wrong. For Nat Smith and Jodie Thompson a failed business deal in Dubai left them with two choices – head home to Australia with their tails between their legs or embark on something new. Deciding that Europe was closer than Australia they made their mind up – but with only a few hundred dollars to their name how were they going to survive?
That’s when they discovered housesitting and its ability to not only provide a free roof over your head but the opportunity to experience a community in a unique way other accommodation just couldn’t provide.
Several house sits later having enjoyed the experiences of Britain, Europe, Central and North America they found people beginning to ask them what their secret was to finding good housesits on a regular basis – and from that House Sitting World was born – their online resource which provides forums, books, magazines and online training for the new and experienced housesitter to learn and share from.
If you’re interested in housesitting then you’re going to live this interview. Nat and Jodie generously share their top 8 tips on what you need to do if you want to get into housesitting. Check out the academy here
Here’s Nat and Jodie’s 8 Tips to Becoming an Effective Housesitter:
What’s the best way you could spend $1500 on travel? What if I told you, for that money you could get 28 flights? What if some of those flights were business and even first class? What if those flights enabled you to travel from Europe, through Asia, Australia, New Zealand and back? What if it included some 5 star accommodation and the chance to sip champagne and nibble in airline lounges while you await your flights?
Seems too good to be true? Well it did to me to until todays guest told me they have done it…and they do it all the time!
Leanna and Andy Brown are expat Americans living in Germany, using it as their base to travel much of the world. Leanna and Andy are travel hackers – people who devote a good portion of their time to searching out the best ways to save money on their travel deals. Today we speak with Leanna who shares with us much of the secrets of what they do – including how they come to own 60 credit cards (none of which they use) and why they pay each other on Amazon!
I knew I was going to like this interview, and you will too! Check out their website www.economicalexcursionists.com and their Very cool free tool - the Flyer Miler - for working out which credit card can give you what points for which trip http://www.economicalexcursionists.com/flyermiler
What I learned from talking with Leanna:
How does 12 months traveling the world with 4 children sound? What if you had to spend 10 of those weeks together in a combi van? For some people this would be too much of a challenge – for the Morgan Family; Jarred, Iri and their four children aged 5 – 13 years it’s been the making of them as a family.
The Morgan’s left Perth, Australia in December 2014 on a one year journey around the world, starting in Bali, heading up through most of Asia, then heading to Europe and Great Britain before leaping across the ditch to Canada and the United States where we caught up with them visiting family in Wisconsin.
The catalyst for their journey was the death of a young relative with leukemia. On the way to the funeral they discussed their own future and the opportunities they could give their children to live life to the fullest – and an adventure was born.
You’ll love this interview about how a normal family were able to transform their experiences and relationship with each other while on the move.
To follow their journey make sure you catch their blog at http://morgansgotravelling.com
What I learned from speaking with Jarred and Iri:
The benefits for children are every bit as good as for adults. The Morgan’s have home schooled and have been able to provide their children with many real life examples during the journey. More formal learning can be accessed online
If you think traveling the globe has to be all about scraping by on meagre savings and sleeping on dirt floors – think again. There are many travel bloggers who have built very successful businesses from their adventures and today you’re going to meet one of the most successful.
US citizens Audrey Scott and Daniel Noll first hit the road in 2002 living in Prague, Czech Republic while working corporate jobs. After 5 years they decided they needed some adventure and in 2006 hit the road on a journey which, given the savings they had, was expected to last around 12 to 18 months.
They were amongst the earliest travel bloggers out there and realized after a period of time that there were people interested in their story beyond family members. With an ever growing following they worked on their website and blog to the extent that it now provides them with an income through sponsored arrangements and leads through speaking engagements including Ted Talks they have given.
If you want to learn more about their travels and how they have successfully built a thriving travel business from their journey you can check out their resources at http://uncorneredmarket.com/world-travel-resources or see them speak at the TBEX Dublin travel conference
What I learned from speaking with Audrey and Dan:
If you love inspiring stories of people who don’t let limits stand in their way then you’ll love today’s interview. Gwen McCauley suffered the loss of her first husband in an accident 40 years ago. Looking to escape for a while she booked a holiday to the Algarve region of Portugal, and fell in love with the place.
35 years on at a stage when many people are looking to settle quietly into their senior years the 60 something made two life changing decisions – she was going to relocate from Ottawa to Nova Scotia, Canada and she was going to step up her visits to the Algarve. This year, at the tender young age of 68 Gwen will be spending half the year in Nova Scotia with a full 6 month winter in Portugal where she has an apartment lined up and more work ahead as a restaurant critic.
We spoke with Gwen in Nova Scotia where we discussed living in the Algarve, and how being on a pension is no barrier to living the life you want to lead.
You can follow Gwen’s travels at her blog http://www.gwenmccauley.ca
What I learned from Gwen’s interview:
Sometimes travel is just such a passion you will move heaven and earth to do it. For Italian Claudia Tavani she knew from a very young age that she needed to do it as much as she could.
Born on the island of Sardinia, Claudia developed a love of travel with trips growing up with her family. She eventually left school to study and soon became entrenched in the world of academia, getting her Phd and marking papers as a means of earning in livelihood in the hallowed halls of England and Italy.
But she became increasingly frustrated with life as an academic and embarked on a backpacking trip through South America where she discovered the world of travel blogging during a conversation with a fellow traveler.
Two years on and she has committed wholeheartedly to a life of travel using her home in Sardinia as a base. No more academia for her!
You can follow Claudias story and her travel planning business at her website http://www.myadventuresacrosstheworld.com
What I learned from speaking with Claudia:
Be a patient traveler. Much of Central America needs a lot of patience, but if you relax and just go with it you may find a better person coming out the other end
If you’re worried about being a victim of the next round of redundancies why not take the bull by the horns and fire yourself! That’s what todays interviewees Alan and Heidi Wagoner did.
Deciding that it was only a matter of time until one of them faced a corporate axe they terminated themselves, sold up the home and with their two younger children relocated to the picture postcard seaside town of Almunecar, Spain.
The children enrolled in a local school without knowing any Spanish and within months were reveling in their new school environment. The Wagoners recently took several months off to travel Asia home-schooling their children along the way.
We caught up with them back in Spain where we discussed the Spanish lifestyle and how to integrate your children into a new culture and environment.
You can check out their blog along with the costs of their new lifestyle and how they raise their children at http://wagonersabroad.com
What I learned from speaking with Alan and Heidi:
Visa requirements are not too onerous for non-Europeans with the initial 90 day visa in Spain providing time to meet the requirements of applying for a 12 month visa. This can then be extended to 2 year and 5 year once the initial period has ended
Feeling jealous about your children enjoying a gap year overseas? So were Duncan and Jane Dempster-Smith until they asked the question “Why can’t we have a 12 month overseas escape too?” They failed to come up with a good reason why not, and in 2013 headed away on a 12 month sabbatical with the goal of seeing the world and living on $A185 per day – the target for what it would have cost them to have stayed at home.
Experiment over, they decided on their return that it was possible to gear themselves for a more permanent travel experience and, after a short period of housesitting, they embarked on a more permanent overseas lifestyle with the goal of living on the equivalent of the Australian pension of $A92 per day, around $US63.
Well into their experiment the Dempster-Smiths are hitting their expense goals while having a ball traveling the world. In our interview with them they talk through the process of planning, how to ask the right questions before you start and how to keep your travels to an unbelievably affordable budget
You can check out their blog and investigate how to get started on your own adventure with their handy resources at http://totraveltoo.com
What I learned from speaking with Duncan and Jane:
Turning a part time travel blog into a fulltime means of income may not be as easy as you think. For Italian Margherita Rag and Australian partner Nik Burns the decision to start fulltime travel wasn’t a hard one.
The two met in London and started their travel adventures in 2009, initially living off savings. They developed their blog which initially had a short hiatus but have committed to using it as a regular source of income in the last 12 months.
In this interview Nik and Margherita talk about their adventures in Europe, their experience in Iran, and offer some great advice on how to develop and monetize a successful travel blog.
You can check them out at http://www.thecrowdedplanet.com
What I learned from Nik and Margherita’s interview:
Iran should be on your bucket list! Far from being dangerous it had some of the most welcoming people that they had encountered on their travels
You never know where a chance meeting can take you. A train ride to London saw Alice Nettleingham sitting beside a girl who had just come back from teaching English in India. Alice’s life in the English National Health Service wasn’t unhappy but she felt there was more. Inspired by her talk Alice decided to venture out and explore the world and three months later found herself in South Korea.
She has since explored much of Asia, falling in love with the region and its people. She will traditionally spend a good period of time in each place she visits getting to know it properly, and never quite knows where her next adventure will take her.
We caught up with Alice in Taiwan where she has been for the last month. You can check out her blog at http://teacaketravels.com
What I learned from Alice’s Interview:
Taiwan is very affordable. I had assumed as an economic power that it might be on a similar costing to places like Japan but transportation and meals are very cheap there
Today in our first ever on-location interview we caught up with Daniel Chen, an expat American and Steve Struyck a retired Dutchman who have both made the move to Penang, Malaysia. In this interview Daniel and Steven share their experiences of Penang, why they love living in Malaysia, and the cost of living they have in this country.
It was great to do our own research into expat living while we were here. Accommodation is very affordable, with an average 2 -3 bedroom apartment going for around $400-$600 US per month. Food is extremely cheap, especially if you enjoy the local street markets and Penang itself is an interesting combination of cultures with Malay, Chinese and Indian all being integral to the community – and an ever growing number of Western expats flavoring the mix.
Let’s let Daniel and Steven share their views:
What I learned from Daniel and Steven:
Was he the world’s first digital nomad? Maybe, maybe not... but there is little doubt that James Clark was one of the first people to make an online living while traveling.
The Melbourne native took to the road fulltime in 2003 while earning an income from his website business and he hasn’t stopped moving since. Currently based in Vietnam he spends much of the year traveling between various hubs catching up with online colleagues. James has built his business to now include travel blogging and helping others start their own online travel business.
We caught up with James on the move in Singapore where we discussed his early beginnings, life in Vietnam and where he sees the opportunities ahead for people wanting to do what he does.
You can catch James blog at http://www.nomadicnotes.com
What I learned from speaking with James:
Thanks to the growth of the internet more and more people are enjoying the opportunity to work from wherever they wish, anytime they wish. It is the biggest change in our working environment since the industrial revolution created the growth of cities. It provides freedom on a level our ancestors would struggle to comprehend. It’s creating the perfect cloud based nirvana for those wishing to travel.
But even a digital nomad sometimes needs an oasis in the desert.
Traveling the world making money online can be a lonely business – at times you wish you had somewhere to go where you could have internet that works and a place to relax with like-minded online entrepreneurs. Hubud is exactly that.
Founded in 2012 Hubud is a collaborative space established in Bali (hence its name; a mixture of Hub and Ubud). It provides a relaxing environment with work space for numerous online advocates, along with meeting rooms and regular seminars designed to provide you with the latest in technical knowledge.
We met up with Hubud co –founder Steve Munroe on Skype to discuss the future of international working hubs, Bali generally and how Hubud provides Knowmads as Steve calls them, with more than just a working environment.
What I learned from Steve’s interview: