There are two types of expats – those who move to another country but retain their current lifestyle and live very much within an expat community as they had back home. Then there are those for whom moving is a chance to embrace a whole new way of life and effectively become a local. Molly Piccavey is definitely the later.
She has spent the last 18 years living in Spain, firstly in Barcelona and now Granada where she is largely welcomed as a local. In this interview Molly shares her experiences of living in Granada, why so many expats move home again and what she feels expats need to consider before moving abroad
You can follow her journey and life in Granada at her blog http://piccavey.com
What I learned from this interview:
So often we see examples of people who don’t travel simply because they wont permit themselves to. In this day and age many people have jobs that will let them hit the road – two such examples are Evo Terra and Sheila Dee. Evo’s work as a digital strategist (and Sheila’s as an instructional designer) gives them complete freedom to work from anywhere, and with their child now of adult age they saw no reason to stay at home.
In January 2015 they headed off covering much of Western Europe before heading down under via Thailand, China and Vietnam. We caught up with them in Australia where they shared their definition of what opportunistic travel is all about. As part of their strategy the two don’t rely on any one source of income, running their own podcast and receiving funds through their crowdfunding site on Patreon where they offer supporters postcards in return for patronage.
You can follow their journey, listen to their podcast and support their postcards at www.shevo.wtf
What I learned from talking with Evo and Sheila:
For Al and Shelly McCullough boredom with their current situation was the catalyst for a move to Panama. Shelly’s job wasn’t proving challenging enough and Al was looking for more satisfaction in life. They had explored Panama in 2012 and decided it would be the perfect starting point for their adventures.
They sold up everything, downsized and hit the road in 2014. 15 months on they have explored Panama, and Nicaragua and have discovered the benefits of housesitting when we caught with them in Panama City. Al in particular has gained a lot of satisfaction from his new found career as a writer and blogger.
You can follow their adventures, see the fun side of living in Panama and get their advice on downsizing and moving away (along with their e-books) at their blog http://panamadude.com
What I learned from speaking with Al and Shelly:
Most people would love to take a year off and experience another culture. The reality is however few give themselves permission to do it – especially where there are three young kids involved.
For Michelle and Keith Damiani a one year experience for their family in Spello, Italy was something they had planned for prior to having children and saw no reason to change their plans once the kids arrived!
In 2012 they embarked on a one year journey that became more than just covering distance – it was a trip that affected every member of the family deeply – providing both Keith and Michelle with a new perspective on life and their children with increased confidence from taking on a new challenge and coming out the other end as winners.
We caught up with Keith and Michelle to discuss their experiences, why they chose to put their children into Italian speaking public schools, how Keith handled the hospital system after a short bout of pneumonia and the secrets to coping with returning home at the end of the journey.
You can catch their journey at Michelle’s blog http://michelledamiani.com where she has written a book “Il Bel Centro: A Year in the Beautiful Center”
What I learned from talking to Michelle and Keith:
If you’ve ever traveled for any period of time you know that you will need some form of technology with you. Whether it’s a means of communicating with home, a device for checking the internet, a power adapter that can charge your phone or a means of completing your work.
Technology has advanced hugely in the last few years and thing you would never have carried 20 years ago are now a stable part of your luggage. That presents problems as well, as sometimes it’s a question of what should you take.
Today we talk with Dave Dean of www.toomanyadapters.com about what you need when hitting the road, whether your mobile phone is good enough for photographs, what size laptops give you the most power to weight ratio and what he carts in his luggage to get his work as a travel blogger done.
For more information check out the website or Dave’s book Hammocks and Hard Drives
What I learned from speaking with Dave:
In this global world more and more children are being raised in cultures that are different to their passport – figures show that there are over 4 million children being schooled in international schools and the number is growing.
Although both from Australia Craig and Lorraine Eldred met while teaching in China several years ago and have spent the time since as international teachers, also working in Vietnam and Dubai along the way. As expat teachers with over 13 years’ experience overseas Craig and Lorraine are in the unique position of giving their perspective both as parents and as teachers at an international school in the UAE.
We caught up with them in Abu Dhabi, where they shared their thoughts including Lorraines perspective as a woman living in an Arabic man’s world.
You can follow Craig’s blog at https://eldredofarabia.wordpress.com
What I learned from speaking with Craig and Lorraine:
There’s a book inside almost everyone and in Virginie Carmichael there was several! The Quebec native and her boyfriend Chris Lippi are building their own publishing empire once step at a time as they look to travel the world.
Virginie has released 6 novels on Amazon so far while finding time to travel through South America and Eastern Europe. Chris’s skills lie in web development which has helped fund their lifestyle to date and he is soon to launch an app to help new authors get their books to a wider audience.
What I learned from speaking with Virginie and Chris:
If you think you don’t have enough money to set off traveling then you’re going to enjoy todays show. Ted and Jen Avery sold up all their home possessions and vehicle raising $11000 in the process and hit the road back in 2012 using the funds to sustain themselves through Central America and beyond. For Ted it was a big move, particularly as he’d never left Canada or taken a flight before 2010!
After a period of time in Sydney, Australia during 2013 where Jen studied and the pair put in a claim for residency, they again hit the road.
We caught up with them in Florida where they shared the secrets to finding vehicles for nothing, how they downsized their life, why the Galapagos islands are easier (and cheaper) to get to than you might think and how airline mistakes can be the source of unbelievable deals if you act quickly.
What I learned from Ted and Jen:
In today’s interview we catch up with Sean and Jen Boyle who left the sunny San Diego area in early 2014 to hit the road. They’ve have since covered much of Central America and Southern Europe and have recently arrived in Thailand. They don’t believe in roughing it but have comfortably kept to an annual budget of around $US40-$US50000 during the last 12 months.
We caught up with them to discuss Air BNB (where they book 80% of their accommodation) and the pros and cons of house-swapping.
You can follow their journey (and try some of the delicious recipes they have included) at their blog http://venturists.net
What I learned from speaking with Sean and Jen:
What do you do when you’ve left University with a degree in Theatre? Travel the world of course! For Chris Walker-Bush staying at home in rural Australia wasn’t an option – and when a friend suggested teaching English in Korea might be a career move Chris decided it was time to start traveling.
After a further stint teaching English in China Chris found himself in the unique position of helping an African safari company develop their business in the Asia region and he has since been on over 20 safaris in places such as Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Kenya.
We caught up with Chris during a visit home to Australia where he discussed his travels and how they have helped him deal with depression. You can follow his journey (and his upcoming 2016 climb of Mt Kilimanjaro) at http://www.aussieontheroad.com
What I learned from speaking with Chris:
A travel agent, an English teacher, a horseriding instructor and now a copywriter. When it comes to making a living on the road Stacey Kuyf has done it all.
The kiwi traveler left New Zealand over 5 years ago and has lived and worked in a variety of countries showing that you don’t need a clear plan in place to start traveling the world. She has always managed to find something she can turn her talents towards and her life has been richer for the experiences she has enjoyed along the way.
We caught up with her in Guatemala where she has been spending the last 7 months and had the opportunity to discuss some of her more interesting working experiences including teaching in China (without a degree), setting up her copywriting business and what she loves about Guatemala.
What I learned from Stacey’s interview:
There’s more than one benefit to having a second passport. Canadian expat Yvonne Ivanescu has used her Polish heritage to enjoy an extended stay in Belgium where she has been completing a Phd – for a very affordable price!
Her tourism course has cost her a total of 800 euros having completed her original degree in Canada and adding on a masters thanks to some hands on experience in Chile.
Yvonne has benefitted from the opportunities of being an international student but her passion for travel has seen her visit much of South America. In our interview we discuss responsible tourism, living in Chile and travel safety which is an area dear to her heart.If you're interested in studying affordably overseas then you'll want to listen to this interview.
You can follow Yvonne’s travel journeys at her blog http://undertheyewtree.com
What I learned from Yvonne’s interview:
There are lots of reasons why people don’t travel; jobs, money, children, health. We’ve managed to make myths of most of them with the interviews we’ve done so far… but the one we hadn’t found an answer to was pets…until now!
Andrew Matheson and Alison Cornford Matheson are a Canadian couple who have spent the last 10 years living in Belgium where Andrew had a corporate position. Inspired by friends they decided they needed a life of less stress and more travel – but with two mature cats how would they manage?
The solution for them was long term RV’íng ( motorhomes) which provides them with transport, cheap accommodation and a home for their pets. With estimated costs of around 20000 euros per year (around $US22000) they get to see much of Europe for considerably less than the cost of staying in Belgium or returning to Canada.
We caught up with them both 4 months into the journey where they share the mistakes they made getting started, where you can stay for free and the benefits of traveling slow (plus the fun of two cats in a confined space!). You can follow their journey via their website http://cheeseweb.eu where they have just released their book on how to appreciate food in Belgium http://cheeseweb.eu/foodie-guide-brussels-local-tips-restaurants-shops-hotels-activities/
What I learned from talking to Andrew and Alison:
If hitchhiking through Iran, joining the Arab spring or camping (accidentally) in a minefield in Bosnia sounds like your idea of fun then you’re going to love today’s episode.
Growing up as a West German living in East Germany was a strange experience for Josh Cahill. The wall had fallen but much of East Germany was still stark and oppressed. He felt like the odd one out and developed a desire to explore the world and discover the realty of things for himself.
The 29 year old has been on the road now for 7 years exploring many exciting places along the way – in fact he often makes a point of seeing the places that the media will often tell you not to go to (Kabul, Afghanistan anyone?) and his experiences have always been enjoyable.
We caught up with Josh in China where he is currently teaching English and he shared his experiences of life there (including how to get around the internet restrictions) , how couchsurfing works for him, and much of the wonderful journeys he has had so far. His website http://www.gotravelyourway.com details much of his journey.
What I learned from talking to Josh:
Here’s a question for you… if you could travel the world or spend the equivalent on a one bedroom apartment in Harlem which would you do? For architect Norbert Figueroa it was no brainer decision.
Having become addicted to travel the Puerto Rico native spent 18 months building up his blog while downsizing and cutting costs ahead of his trip.
Over the last 4 years he has visited 95 countries on his mission to see every one of the 195 countries recognized by the United Nations – his biggest challenge will be getting to Antarctica!
We caught up with Norbert where he shares how to get started as a worldwide wanderer, some of the good and not so good experiences of being on the road and how he lives his travel lifestyle for less than $US20000 per month.
You can check out his blog at http://www.globotreks.com where you can find his book The Ultimate guide to Travel the World.
What I learned from speaking with Norbert:
To many, being a BBC producer sounds like the dream job. It certainly gave Dave and Carmen Allan-Petale a good bragging story at cocktail parties. But deep down, neither of them were happy with their high flying career jobs in London. While at a seminar in Portugal, the two Aussie natives heard some travel bloggers talking about their lifestyle and it ticked all the boxes…could they do it too?
With some savings to their name, they headed off 2 years ago to start their journey. They’ve travelled through North and South America, the Caribbean and a good chunk of Asia, saving money along the way…yes you heard me right, these two make a living while copywriting along the road and are able to live comfortably on around US$2000 per month! You’ll enjoy their sense of humor on this interview, and can find out more about their travels on their blog www.double-barreltravel.com where they have recently launched their book “ Make Your Travels Appy” where Carmen reviews 50 of the top travel apps that can save you time and money while you travel. (Check out the book here on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0166JPL8E )
What I learned from speaking with Carmen & Dave:
If the harsh Minnesota winters get a little too much for you after a while there is always an alternative. Betsy and Pete Wuebker were ordinary 50 somethings living a suburban lifestyle and working the corporate job – in Pete’s case in a stressful marketing position. Deciding they needed to supplement their income with retirement on the horizon they took to online marketing as a means of building a business and soon realized after a period of time that they were doing well enough to throw in their day jobs.
With freedom now an option they moved to Hawaii, a place still dear to their heart, but after a trip to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia in 2014 they decided that a life of travel was what they needed most.
They’ve been on the road since last year using housesitting as one of their primary means of reducing costs while their online income from various sources keeps them in the manner to which they are accustomed.
You can check out their blog at http://passingthru.com
What I learned from Betsy and Pete:
How many habits do you live by? Most of us are inundated with things we do without really thinking. Chris Backe sees life very much as an experiment where you question every option you have – including where you want to live.
Since leaving Kentucky in 2008 Chris has lived in South Korea as an English teacher and over the last three years has taken to trialing life for 6 months at a time in a variety of places including Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen, and Krabi in Thailand. He is currently settled in Medellin, Colombia where he will spend a few months before trying another Colombian destination then heading for Ecuador – and who knows where else!
If you’d like to find out more about Chris and his social experiment plus check out his impressive range of books he has written on the countries he has visited check out his blog at www.oneweirdglobe.com
What I learned from Chris’s interview:
Dan and Cindy Gaskell left the comfort of Wichita Kansas for the climate of Costa Rica only a few months ago. Their website 82 Degree Quest refers to their search for the perfect climate but in many ways it is a metaphor of their search for the perfect life. So far they have found it in Gracia a mountainous city that gives them ideal living conditions with everything they could need
Dan and Cindy did a lot of research talking to others before they moved and they believe hearing others talk about their Costa Rica experiences is critical for anyone considering the move themselves. With that in mind they set up their 82 Degree Quest podcast (link here) last month to talk to fellow Costa Rican “gringos” about their experience of living in the country that has been called the friendliest on earth.
You can check out the website and get the link to their podcast here.
What I learned from talking to Dan and Cindy:
You can’t get further contrast than moving from the beaches of Sydney to the mountains of Canada – for Kate Wan the shift was a continuation of an expat lifestyle based around her husband’s career in the mining industry.
Having traveled extensively during their younger days the couple have experienced the expat lifestyle in both the US and Canada. For Kate the move overseas provided an opportunity to start her own business which now operates in 3 different countries – but it’s not all about work. Kate has created a business based around work life balance in one of the most beautiful places in the world – and manages to find time to ski a couple of times per week during the winter.
She has written for Huffington post among others and will shortly be releasing a book that has already picked up awards ahead of its launch. You can find out more about her journey via her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/tradesecretsbusinessconsultants
What I learned from Kate’s interview:
Fancy life as a luxury travel writer? Would you like to be whisked around the world, all expenses paid being wined and dined in some of the world’s most celebrated restaurants, resorts and hotels?
For Leah Walker it is a dream come true. The Texan girl gave up her former career as a teacher to become a fulltime travel writer only a few years ago. She now writes articles for prestigious publications such as Bonjour Paris, Luxe Beat Magazine and Forbes Travel Guide to name a few.
Despite the glamour and perks that come with the job (she was heading off the next day to Austria to interview caste members of the Sound of Music in celebration of the movies 50th anniversary) Leah’s job is not easy or her real life as glamorous as her alter ego writer gets to portray.
During our interview she shares the realities of travel writing and what you need to be prepared for if you plan on following in her footsteps.
You can follow Leah more closely via her blog at http://leahtravels.com
What I learned from Leah’s interview:
If you are a digital expert who talks to their clients about being location independent it certainly helps if you can show them by example! That’s precisely what Michelle Frost and her husband Simon did when they embarked on a long term trip around the world with their 3 teenage children.
The Frosts left Australia just over 12 months ago and have traveled through Asia and Europe spending long periods of time in different locations living much like the locals. They have successfully home schooled their children with the support of their school back home who felt the children would be richer for the experiences they would encounter.
We caught up with the Frosts in their current location of Formello, Italy where they had just spent the day delivering the olives they had picked to the factory to be pressed – ah the joys of travel!
You can find out more about them and their journey via their blog at http://upsticksandgo.com or get their tips and advice on being a digital nomad and building your audience at http://mission-mojo.com/ and http://michoninternational.com
What I learned from speaking with Michelle and Simon: