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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Oct 27, 2015

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


What I learned from speaking with Tom and Kris:

  1. Safety hasn’t been a big issue for them traveling, although they haven’t had the best memories of Quito, Ecuador in terms of theft! Even traveling the Middle East they felt reasonably comfortable. They believe that in more dangerous zones you can be better traveling alone like a local rather than in tour groups where you might appear more as a target. As Tom correctly pointed out there may be 3000 Americans killed by terrorists in the last 20 years but over 30000 have died from handguns – he feels much safer overseas and you can understand why!
  2. Travel is very much about the people you meet. Most of their itinerary is now dictated by catching up with friends and fellow travelers they have met along the way. They have already made a number of trips to meet up with friends they made while walking the Camino Santiago in Spain.
  3. Do what works for you. Although Tom and Kris don’t go high end they also prefer not to skimp. They use a variety of accommodation options and recommend that when it comes to travel you find what makes you comfortable.
  4. Spain is high on their most enjoyable venues – as many travelers comment they love the Spanish joy for living and the relaxed way they approach life.
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