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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Nov 8, 2015

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


What I learned from speaking with Duncan and Jane:

  1. If the children are keeping you from going then clarify why. When Duncan and Jane established their children were seeking financial rather than emotional support it made it easier to make provision and not let guilt stand in the road of their adventure.
  2. Ask good questions. Don’t assume something is impossible, instead ask how it can be done. Their expectations of the budget they could live on was higher than it needed to be until they encountered the experiences of others who were doing it for less.
  3. Slow your travel down. The cost of relocation is significantly reduced on a daily basis the longer you stay in one spot – and you get a truer experience of what a place is like if you can stop to smell the roses.
  4. Again they emphasized the benefits of housesitting as a means of reducing costs. They got a few housesits under their belt at home in Australia before they embarked.
  5. If relocating don’t just consider airlines. Cruise relocations such as their Miami to Barcelona sailing cost $800 for 14 nights – an average of $57 per day including accommodation, all meals, transport and entertainment. Try matching that on an airline!
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