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The Expat Chat: Lifestyle Travels and International Living

The Expat Chat is a weekday podcast where we interview inspiring expats who have thrown off the constraints of western congestion to enjoy their dream lifestyle in other parts of the world...often for a fraction of their cost of living back home. If you want the travels of Rick Stearn with the freedom of Tim Ferriss this podcast is for you.Subscribe today.
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The Expat Chat: Lifestyle Travels and International Living
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Now displaying: March, 2018
Mar 31, 2018

It seems in this day and age most of the world has been explored. Trying to find a destination which isn’t crowded with tourists and cameras is an increasingly difficult job. Today’s interviewee however has found the perfect place to live where few people will bother him.

For most people the idea of a job for life would seem like perfect security. For Christian Bruttel life in the German education system as a teacher was enjoyable but he felt trapped, as if his life was already played out. When the opportunity to become a guide on the remote island of Svalbard came up he leapt at the chance to follow his dream.

Four years on he’s mastered everything from chasing off polar bears to building igloos and he has the photos and memories to prove it.

Christian joined us to discuss one of the most unique jobs in the world, why Svalbard is a place of such great beauty and how living in this unique location has changed his perspective on life.

You can check out Christians stunning photos and even purchase prints at his blog http://polarchris.blogspot.com/

 

What I learned from Christian’s interview:

  1. I have to admit to having no idea about Svalbard (or Spitzbergen as it’s also known ) before I spoke with Christian but the picture he paints of some of the truly unique experiences there now makes me want to go. Where else can you find a place that gives you polar bears, whales, icebergs, igloos and the Northern Lights in a ready-made package? It sounds reasonably affordable to get to despite the limited opportunities for flights.
  2. Thanks to melting ice Christian does have the excitement of seeing things that may never have been seen by human eyes before but the melting is a reminder that our planet is susceptible to change and we must do all we can to protect areas like Svalbard for the sake of all of the planet.
  3. Remember Christian had no experience of this and have never been into the Arctic but he has developed a skill and a passion over the last 4 years. There are lessons for all of us in the journey he has made.
Mar 29, 2018

One of the biggest and most emotional stages of preparing for an expat life is downsizing and leaving your current home. It’s a process fraught with emotion and the job of determining what passes the test of fitting in your suitcase or backpack for the travels ahead is daunting for most people.

Today we speak to personal organizer Donna Donaldson about the process of preparing for your big move abroad. Donna has years of experience on helping people to downsize and declutter their homes and gives us a few great pointers on how to go about it without it turning into arguments, the tricks she uses to determine what stays and why you should think twice about putting things into storage

For more great advice from Donna check out her free decluttering report at http://declutterandorganizeit.com or for personal assistance her website http://organizeit.com.au

What I learned from Donna’s interview:

  1. Remind yourself what you are doing it for. If you focus on the big picture (the trip) each time you are looking at an item and deciding if it stays or not it will make it easier.
  2. Don’t buy anything new. Resist the urge to keep adding stuff during the purge process. Tell friends and family you are traveling and you don’t need more clutter for birthdays or Christmas, and definitely don’t take the junk they are clearing out!
  3. Get a good system for paperwork. Only deal with it once and stop all junk mail. Scan important documents you need such as tax records as even in storage they are vulnerable to damage.
  4. Purge in waves. It is less intimidating and as you get better at it you will find it easier to keep eliminating more and more at every step.
  5. If you do have new stuff coming in make sure you remove one item at the same time – better still be tough and insist that several items must leave for every new arrival.
Mar 28, 2018

Many of our interviewees have an ah-ha moment when the decision to travel becomes a reality. For Carmen Tseng it came while chopping mushrooms!

Her partner and her were discussing options for a holiday to Bali when the realization occurred to both of them that they could stay in a hotel there including breakfast each day for less than the cost of their suburban Perth apartment.

From there a plan was hatched. They had always loved travel and once they knew it cost them less than their old lifestyle they were in! They headed off from Australia in January of 2015 and have covered much of Asia before settling in their current location in Germany

Carmen joins us to discuss the moment she realized her new life was possible and how we all have skills that can be turned into a way of making money on the road.

You can follow her blog at http://www.twohundreddays.com and learn how your skills can be turned into the business of your dreams at http://www.gorgeoussuccess.com

What I learned from Carmen’s interview:

  1. Ask yourself “what is the worst that can happen” then be prepared to accept it. Sometimes the mind can blow things out of proportion and giving it a dose of reality may be all that is needed
  2. What skills do you have you can take with you? In Carmen’s case her retail success led to coaching other business owners and the seed of a business was started that she has continued to grow while on the road. John and Monika Mundell are another great example of how you can take a coaching business on the road with you.
  3. Udemy (http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=N14wfIQJPlQ&offerid=323058.7&type=1&subid=0 ) offers an opportunity to sell your skills online. If you have a talent or knowledge for something you can create video courses and sell them through the Udemy platform. Carmen has also explored drop-shipping of product, an option also used by Johnny FD. It again shows that lots of small amounts can be enough to sustain you while on the go.
Mar 28, 2018

For most people just moving to a foreign country would be a big enough challenge. Starting a new business from scratch while raising 7 children (5 adopted locally with special needs) and supporting a wife who has moved mountains in terms of helping eradicate leprosy from large rural areas of China would be a huge ask but for Joshua Jagelman it’s just another day at the office.

The office for Joshua is not normal however. He and his home schooled family divide their time between Chiang Mai in Thailand where some of his children receive treatment, his original home in Sydney where he has investments built up over the last ten years from his Chinese base and their two homes in China where his wife Alex works hard to continue serving rural communities in the areas of heath and nutrition.

If you’re a coffee lover check out the locations for Joshua’s fine coffees by visiting http://ynct.co and http://pabloandrustys.com.au

What I learned from Joshua’s interview:

Normally I come up with a list of the key learnings laid out step by step but too be honest I’m still coming to grips with the extent to which Joshua has built a life that I don’t think even he would have imagined 15 years ago. It would have been easy to have stayed teaching in Sydney and I guess he would still be there now if things hadn’t changed. Instead living an expat life has introduced him to a remarkable woman on an amazing crusade, raising 7 children and creating successful businesses that have allowed him to give his family a freedom of lifestyle that others can only envy.

Most people spend their lives avoiding heartache and difficulties. The idea of voluntarily raising children in need of special assistance is not something that many of us would consider doing. The idea of working to eliminate one of the most debilitating health scourges would certainly be a bridge too far. The world is a better place for people like Joshua and Alex and it was a privilege to meet with Joshua and share his story today. I hope you enjoyed it too.

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