Rank #1: Living and Traveling in Costa Rica
Not everyone plans a move overseas. For Samantha Wei it was meeting her partner Yeison, a Costa Rican native,that was the catalyst for her move there from the United States 3 years ago. After an initial period of settling in she now considers Costa Rica to be home and has made a new life, and a very successful online business since moving there.
We caught up with Samantha to discuss the process of adapting to a new country and culture, the relative merits of the two towns she has mainly live in Jaco, and El Coco and how they differ to city life in San Jose, and some of the myths around moving to Costa Rica (not everything is as cheap as you think).
You can find out more and grab a copy of Samantha and Yeison’s free e-book “Travel and Discover Costa Rica” via their blog www.mytanfeet.com
What I learned from speaking with Samantha:
- Sometimes learning a language can be easier learning with someone else than with a local. They tend to speak slower and are more patient with you as they are in the same situation
- Although Costa Rica is cheaper in many ways there are things you need to be aware that are more expensive than the US. Gas is dearer as is purchasing vehicles, and you will be charged an annual tax on the value of your vehicle even if you bring your old car in with you. Some food such as cheese and meat can also be dear as are electronic goods. If visiting home it can sometimes be a good idea to load up on things you can’t find affordably while living there
- Internet can be a problem and is also quite expensive. Samantha found however that having a portable hotspot was cheaper than normal internet and gave her the chance to work from anywhere – including the beach!
- Healthcare is generally pretty good. You may be looking at paying out of pocket which is cheaper than the US but if you choose to become a resident you may qualify for the government’s monthly healthcare package of around $40.
- $US are widely accepted in most places but if you have other currencies you will need to switch to Costa Ricans colones.
- Costa Rica has 26 different micro-climates, something for everyone. It doesn’t matter where you are you will only be a few hours away from a temperature and conditions that will suit you!
- Check out our other interviews with Danna Bowman and Dan Gaskell for their perspective on living in Costa Rica.
Feb 10 2016
Rank #2: Living the Good Life in Bangkok
Not all expats move to cut costs and living the expat life doesn’t have to mean living on the smell of an oily rag. Today’s interviewees have transformed their lives from management consultants slogging the 9 to 5 and longer, to internet marketing experts who have built themselves a digital empire and given themselves the lifestyle and freedom they’ve always wanted.
In 2013 Andrew and Daryl Grant left the Gold Coast, Australia to enjoy the benefits of Bangkok, taking their two pre-teen children into a new way of living that an online business gives them the freedom to pursue.
Today we discuss with them why they love Bangkok, how home schooling their children has provided them with a better education than they would have received in school, and they share some of the secrets of how they built their own online businesses.
You can get some great advice on starting your own online business from their website resources at www.ourinternetsecrets.com
What I learned from speaking with Andrew and Daryl:
- Although Bangkok has a pretty good transportation system the Grants have mastered the art of driving locally and purchased a car. It has enabled them to travel much further than the BTS system would allow them and they feel they’ve got to know the city much better for it.
- Bangkok is interesting in the sense that it acts like a series of villages. The way locals interact with each other - and the Grants - displays the sort of small town feel that a city of this size normally wouldn’t have
- Daryl feels incredibly safe there, more so than in Australia, and has no qualms about allowing her 15 and 13 year old to travel around the city on their own
- They have found by home schooling the kids they get the opportunity to offer them so much more than a standard curriculum. Travel among other things is a big part of their education and the children have enjoyed some unique experiences they would never get in the classroom.
- They shared some great advice for building an online business including choosing a niche that you can be the expert in, setting up a business with continuity where you can be paid over and over for your services, and be persistent if you want results
Nov 20 2016
The World Wanderers Podcast
This Week in Travel
Indie Travel Podcast (enhanced)
Extra Pack of Peanuts Travel Podcast
JUMP with Traveling Jackie
The Location Indie Podcast
Travel Freedom Podcast
Keep Your Daydream
Become Nomad - Digital Nomad Lifestyle and Long Term Travel
Tips For Travellers
Travel in 10
Andy Steves Travel Podcast
Rank #3: My Expat Life in Granada, Spain
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:
- Be conscious that moving overseas is not a magic bullet. If you are looking to escape from something then be careful you aren’t taking the problem with you! Molly recommends spending the first period of time in a new culture observing how things are done and adapting to the new lifestyle. You are in someone else’s territory and need to embrace the fact.
- Be conscious of exchange rates if relying on income from back home. If you can spread your risk by earning some local income this will definitely help
- Be careful buying property. There is a lot of paperwork to deal with and Molly recommends getting a local helper to ease you through the experience and red tape
- Spain is a great environment for families as the Wagoners showed. Family culture is important to the Spanish and they embrace it in everything they do.
Jan 06 2016
Rank #4: How To Make $20,000 Per Month From a Location Independent Business
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:
- Living an expat lifestyle doesn’t mean doing without. Johnny still lives comfortably on considerably less than he’d spend back in the US but his strong income gives him peace of mind and the chance to build investment savings while he relaxes on the beach.
- Online income can be erratic – you can’t guarantee it’s consistency but it pays to have more than one string to your bow. Johnny had initially built his income from drop shipping (the process of selling online where the manufacturer sends the goods direct to the buyer and you don’t have to handle it) but now gets just over half his income from affiliate marketing (promoting other people’s products)
- Johnny does much of his own work because he enjoys it with limited use of outsourcers. His income however is largely not connected to the time he puts in – most of the time he does spend is on growing his business and adding other forms of income.
- Get help from others. When he was learning he would regularly take entrepreneurs out for coffee and pick their brains and he doesn’t stop learning now just because he has achieved success.
Dec 01 2015
Most Popular Podcasts
Rank #5: Everything You Need To Know About Panama
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:
- The length of your visa can depend on whether you choose to drive in Panama or not. Having a vehicle does seem to restrict you in terms of length of time you can stay there, or certainly drive, and this may be worth checking out further if you’re planning to go.
- Be careful if looking to “fix” speeding tickets of traffic infringements with the officer who stops you. It’s not uncommon to pay “instant fines” there and many seem to prefer it as a means of avoiding a long drawn out process but you don’t want to be the one making the first offer.
- Again we’re reminded of the affordability of Panama and Central America generally. The McCulloughs live pretty comfortably on less than $1000 per month while housesitting and around $1400-$1500 when renting. This is not having to rough it.
- Explore all your income options. The McCulloughs found a nice little side earner in pet sitting for expats who head away. Although not going to provide you with fulltime income as part of a plan to pick up money from different means it makes for a good little top up.
- Check out some other perspectives on Panama with Michael Long and Susanna Perkins
Jan 04 2016
Rank #6: $5000 Per Month From Blogging
One of the great advantages of the internet is the ability to create a portable income, one that isn’t time dependent and one you can earn from anywhere in the world. In fact if you’re an expat with a story to share that very fact could be a source of income in itself. If you’re looking for a means to earn some online income as an expat then blogging could be an option for you.
Today we talk to Yeison Kim and Samantha Wei who are enjoying the good life in Costa Rica. Samantha is from the United States and started their blog just on 3 years ago. They are currently getting around 80000 website visitors every month and now earn an income of around $US5000 per month from their blog.
We spoke with them about how to set up a blog, some mistakes they made in getting started and what options are available in monetizing a blog if you hope to go down this line. They share the secrets that have helped them get their blog to the point of being a source of income they can now comfortably live off while enjoying the pleasures of Costa Rican life.
If you’re interested in knowing their tips then listen to today’s show. These guys are very transparent about what they do and how they monetize it and you can get all the details including website traffic and monthly income on their website at www.yeisonkim.com or follow their stories from Costa Rica at http://mytanfeet.com
What I learned from speaking with Yeison and Samantha:
- If you want to start monetizing a blog build your email list from day 1. When they started they focused mainly on social media fans but unfortunately you can’t control ownership of these lists and access to them can be more expensive if you want to advertise later. Building an email list gives you control of contacting people and it’s free.
- It’s important to have a niche. There are a lot of travel bloggers out there so you need to have a point of difference
- Don’t get hung up about keeping Google happy. Write good content that people will want to read and Google will naturally take care of itself (but you can do a few things that will help). Concentrate on making your posts and photos easy to read and neat to look at.
- Be genuine. Although they offer affiliate links to their followers they never offer a product they don’t believe in and they are very careful to protect the relationship with their followers. Blogging is not a quick buck. Don’t burn bridges, focus on treating your followers well and the money will take care of itself.
Sep 28 2015
Rank #7: You're Never Too Late to Start an Online Business
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:
- You’re never too late to start an online business. These guys were into their 50’s before they started to learn how to make money online. From a standing start they’ve built a thriving little business that enables them to live their travel lifestyle on their terms.
- Have a plan and a vision for your online income. They treat it as a serious business and regularly hold meetings to plan and strategize. Like many others they don’t rely on one income but they do like to bring traffic back through their blog – a central spot where they can build a good following before sending people out to their various income methods.
- Their secret to picking up housesitting gigs is to build a good rapport with the home owner. They let their seniority work in their favor – showing themselves as the ideal prospects to look after anyone’s home. They have followed Nat and Jodie’s recipe at the Housesitting Academy which has helped them get more housesits than they might have otherwise.
Dec 10 2015
Rank #8: Living Well in Europe For Less $1000 Per Month
If your image of the typical house-sitter is a cat loving baby boomer than think again. Laura and Tanbay are two twenty somethings travelling the world and enjoying it without the cost of accommodation.
A chance search for how to live rent free led them to discover the art of minding houses and three years later the two young people have enjoyed many parts of the world while living on minimal costs.
Their adventures have taken them from Australia to the Azores. We caught up with them both in Germany where they were visiting friends and family between housesits.
You can follow their adventures and grab a copy of their e-book: Housesitting in Australia; A Guide for First Time House-sitters at their website http://www.travellingweasels.com
What I learned from speaking with Laura and Tanbay:
- Housesitting can save far more than just the cost of renting or hotel accommodation. Food is one of the most expensive parts of living and eating out from a hotel can be a killer. Housesits of course come with kitchens and the ability to save more money in this area. Housesitting also cuts down on possessions and saves money being frittered away on things that you don t necessarily need
- Get a police check done before you start. This gives you a credible reference and more peace of mind for people seeking housesitters.
- Start with friends and family so you can build references. It can be a catch 22 otherwise – no housesits without references and no references if you don’t go housesitting first
- Make sure the rules are clear for both parties. Everyone has expectations that are different and this needs to be discussed, often via skype, in advance.
Oct 19 2015
Rank #9: An Expat in Central America
Not everyone chooses the expat lifestyle but there are few who regret it once it’s happened. The global economic crisis put paid to Susanna Perkins plans to stay in the US and she was forced with her husband to find a more affordable location. A one week reconnaissance trip and they were off. Although Susanna wouldn’t recommend the speed of her transition the experience has proven wonderful as her husband and her settled into small town life making friends along the way.
Susanna has put her experience to good use. She has shared her experiences and knowledge via her website where she has her free e-book on finding your ideal expat income.
Sep 23 2015
Rank #10: An Uncluttered Life
Show Notes – An Uncluttered Life; Warren and Betsy Talbot
One of the first steps in any journey to become an expat is getting rid of the clutter – be it physical or mental – that is part and parcel of any home and any life.
The first step on this journey is having clarity in what you want and what you need in order to achieve it, then eliminating the surplus that sucks your time and energy; be it items, issues or relationships.
Today via livestream Blab we speak with Warren and Betsy Talbot of www.anunclutteredlife.com about their journey towards an uncluttered life from their former stressed corporate lifestyles, how to focus on what you should eliminate from your life and the simple steps to saying no that can release you from the guilt that others might put upon you (or you upon yourself)
If you’re seeking more clarity and less clutter in your life I urge you to check out their Clarity Clinic program at http://clarityclinic.anunclutteredlife.com/ref/12/
If you’d like to join our live stream interviews where you can ask questions via your keyboard check out our page at https://blab.im/theexpatchat and follow us for updates on future livestream interviews.
What I learned from Warren and Betsy:
- Uncluttering your life doesn’t have to mean minimalism. Each person’s definition is different and if having a big house is still part of your plans don’t feel you need to give up on it. Warren doesn’t have a mobile – this is part of their definition but doesn’t have to be yours. Do what works for you.
- Happiness is not about adding more to your life but taking things away. We all have habits we have created, many of which don’t serve us but we still do them. Even taking little steps can be a good start. Change the way you go to work for example. Question everything you do, everything you spend and everyone you deal with and whether they are there from habit or there on merit.
I love their way of saying No! Don’t say “sure” if someone asks a favor until you know what you are getting yourself into. Be clear in saying no but add “this time” after it so you’re not completely closing the door – and offer an alternative solution that works for you and still helps keep the other party happy
Oct 23 2016
Rank #11: Cruising the World Doesn't Cost What You Think
In March 2014 John and Monika Mundell said goodbye to their 11 pet birds and set sail (literally) on an adventure that so far has taken them to 4 continents and counting. Their journey, often by cruise ship, has seen them visit Papua New Guinea, Japan, Russia, North, Central and South America and across to Europe where we caught up with them housesitting amongst the vines in the beautiful French setting of Pellegrue, a quaint village of around 1000 locals approximately one hour east of Bordeaux.
They took time out of their (let’s be honest) fairly relaxed morning to have a chat with our show about their experiences so far and they provided us a breakdown of their costs to date (John’s the money counter!) which has been surprisingly affordable given how much time they’ve spent on cruise ships (and no cheap inside cabins for these two!)
What I learned from John and Monikas interview:
1. How Colombia is not what it used to be. These guys spent several months there and rate it their favorite place to return to. The old image of drug lords and random killings has largely disappeared thanks to a large scale clean up and Colombia is welcoming tourists and expats with open arms – plus apparently it has first class dental care; Monika has already earmarked her next lot of dental work for when she returns.
2. Cruise ships are a very viable way to get around. These guys were averaging $15 0 per day when onboard a boat, certainly more than the cost of many if their longer term accommodation arrangements in cheaper locations but given they weren’t scrimping 9they admit they could have done it cheaper), and cruising involves food, accommodation, entertainment, and transportation all rolled into one it’s not a bad way to get yourself from A to B.
3. You need less than you think. They started with several suitcases, packs and day bags but have now jettisoned much of what they thought they needed and are travelling with a combined weight of less than 60kgs – furthermore they aren’t missing for anything proving the fact that much of what we gather in possessions really aren’t necessary to have a happy life.
Sep 11 2015
Rank #12: How To Take Your Job From Chicago to Costa Rica
How long would it take you to get tired of Chicago winters and two weeks holiday per year? For Illinois couple Jackie and Junior Minchillo it wasn’t long. The corporate life of all day meetings and working into the night proved to be too much and in April this year they made their move to sunny Costa Rica with their pet dog Harvey.
After some initial problems with the first house they stayed in they have now settled into a local expat community in Playa Langosta a small beachside community of less than 1000 people near the town of Tamarindo and they haven’t looked back.
Their new life now gives them the best of both worlds with their income in US dollars while their costs are in Costa Rican colons giving them far more spending power for their dollar.
If you have Costa Rica as one of your potential relocation spots then you’ll enjoy hearing from Jackie and Junior. You can reach them both at Jackies blog www.daywelllived.com or Juniors website where expats can share information www.expatsknow.com
What I learned from Jackie and Juniors interview:
1. Check out blogs before you go. They struggled to find information from local businesses before they made the move but the expat community was a source of great help. It emphasizes the need to reach out to people in the locations where you want to go. All expats have been in the same situation and you’ll find no shortage of people ready to help you out, both online and when you arrive.
2. Your job may be more transportable than you think. Although Juniors web design work was portable Jackie expected to have to throw in her job as a public relations consultant and start fresh, but once she spoke to her bosses they discovered a way she could continue to work remotely from Costa Rica. Is your job more transportable than you think? Don’t assume you have to give up the benefits of your day job. Jackie can continue to do the work she loves but with much better hours and a far more enjoyable and warm environment.
3. Look at hubs when planning any flights you take. Jackie and Junior found they halved the cost of going to Brazil when they planned a trip from Costa Rica via Miami to what it would have been to travel directly to Brazil from Costa Rica. We regularly find the same thing in Australia when we travel in Asia – a flight routed through the relatively cheap hub of Singapore to other Asian destinations is usually cheaper than going directly from Australia to the Asian country you have in mind.
Sep 17 2015
Rank #13: Raising Our Kids without School - Our Mexican Life
In today’s interview we speak with Martin and Lorena Cagnotti – two expat Argentinians who made the decision 13 years ago to move from their home town of Buenos Aires to the hubbub of Mexico City. After 7 years there they have now settled into the idyllic seaside community of Playa del Carmen where they are raising their two children through unschooling.
We met up with them to discuss living in one of the world’s largest cities, why they moved to Playa del Carmen and to talk about many of the myths and fears round home schooling and unschooling children and why they feel it has been the best thing for their development.
You can follow their adventures and ask them questions about living in Playa del Carmen at their website, http://thenomadicadventures.com . If you’re a family and into home exchanging with other families of similar age then check out their new home swapping website www.familyhomeexchange.com
What I learned from speaking with Martin and Lorena:
- Mexico City has an unfair reputation as an unsafe place to visit. The Cagnotti’s loved their time there and had no issues with safety. Mexico is a city of extremes in wealth and poverty yet all seem to live together side by side with no ill feeling or tension.
- Playa del Carmen offers a quieter lifestyle than the busier party town of Cancun only an hour away. If you’re after a slower pace of life it’s certainly an option with an increasing number of expat families and retirees settling there. Like any holiday town it has it’s tourists areas and local areas and it’s important to get out and about and explore beyond the beaches if looking to shift there (if you want to know more about Cancun check out our interview with Jen and Jay Kerwood)
- Unschooling is not about leaving your children to run amuck. It is really about letting them discover what they are interested in then showing them how to learn the relevant skills to help them. By understanding why they need to learn and how to practically apply it, it gives their learning more purpose and gives them a reason to learn.
- Unschooling or home schooling doesn’t mean your children are outside the curriculum indefinitely. In Mexico they are still able to pass exams that allow them to tick the right boxes for further education and as Lainie Liberti also spoke about more and more colleges and universities are accepting children who have been raised in an unschooled environment.
- As Alyson Long and Andrew and Daryl Grant will also testify to unschooling or home schooling does not leave your children lacking for social interaction. The Cagnotti kids still attend classes in art and music and interact more often with other children who are being home schooled or unschooled than they would have done in the classroom environment. They love what unschooling has offered them and wouldn’t change what they are doing.
Nov 27 2016
Rank #14: Eradicating Leprosy, Raising Kids and Selling Coffee
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.
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.
Apr 15 2018
Rank #15: How We Pay For Travel with a Camera and an Etsy Store
One of the tricks to being able to travel is making sure you have enough money to do it. It’s less expensive than you think but some form of income is still going to be handy! Sometimes this might involve an existing skill you have or sometimes you develop new skills that can be used anywhere you go.
Jenna and Micah Kvidt are Minnesota natives who in the last twelve months have made the world their oyster. Through their website www.wanderthemap.com they’ve been everywhere from Iceland to Japan and large parts of the US and Canada as well. They have developed their skills to the point where Micah earns a living as a freelance photographer and videographer while Jenna supplements their income through her online Etsy store. Like many others they gave up their corporate jobs to travel and haven’t regretted it since
What I learned from Jenna and Micah’s interview:
- There are dozens of opportunities to make money online and travel the world. They were both surprised how relatively easy it was to start making an online income using their respective skills. Their travel is now supplemented by a hotel group who they do work for – and the best part was the hotel group approached them!
- You need to make sure you treat your income source as a business. It’s easy to get distracted while traveling and not get around to doing the stuff that is important. You still need to make that income and just because your surroundings are exciting is no reason to forget the work that must be done. Make sure you travel slow enough so you don’t begrudge the time you spend on paying the bills.
- Don’t forget those air miles and hotel points! Jenna and Micah use these wisely to cover the cost of more expensive areas. They seriously reduced the expense of going to places like Norway, Iceland, and Japan by using the points they had accumulated while saving their money for cheaper destinations and those closer to home.
Oct 26 2015
Rank #16: 28 Flights for $1500 - How We Travel Hack Around the World
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:
- I knew many credit card companies gave you bonus points for signing up – I didn’t know that some of them will give you enough for a free flight straight away. Leanna got her sister onto a card that paid for her return flight from the United States to Germany – not bad for filling in a bit of paperwork!
- Not all credit card points are created equal. It’s worth taking the time to investigate which ones give the most points – and what those points will get you. Sometimes less points can be worth more for different airlines…there is a reason they give you points and not dollars!
- They live by the mantra that "Travel doesn’t have to be expensive – just memorable”. Leanna confesses that they are particularly frugal, but they have prioritized travel in their life and don’t feel they are sacrificing anything in order to achieve it. It’s the same old story – most of what we spend money on is “stuff” that has little or limited benefit after the normal purchase. These guys prefer moments over mementos and are richer for the experience. Living on $35000 per annum is fairly economical living for most couples living in suburbia – but what if you could live on that amount AND see 10 countries per year as well? If Leanna and Andy can do it why can’t you?
Nov 22 2015
Rank #17: Wwoof Your Way Around the World - How To Be a Travel Volunteer
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:
- Wwoof provides an opportunity to swap work for travel in over 100 countries worldwide. You can choose your destination and generally only have to give up a few hours per day of your time – but it’s not luxury living and suits the backpack fraternity best. As 40 somethings however they enjoyed the experience and didn’t feel out of place with the younger travelers they encountered.
- Earning from your old skills is always an option. Who would have thought a pharmacist could still make money while traveling? For Lisa she is able to top up her income checking medical records and doing some medical writing p roving that almost any skill or career can provide you with money while you travel.
- Ask the right questions. These two are a glass half full couple! They ask how they can do things not complain about why they can’t and it has opened many doors for them.
Dec 02 2015
Rank #18: From Corporate Lives to Cafes in Laos
Not many people are willing to leave suburbia, head for the jungle and run a business that gives all its profits away, but todays guests are the exception to the rule. Andrej and Karen Brummer said goodbye to two well paying jobs and left their western lifestyle to head for Laos 4 years ago. They swapped their big city lifestyle for an environment of jungles and temples on the edge of the Thailand border and have become an important member of their local community thanks to their western style café that not only provides training in hospitality and English for the local staff but helps fund the nearby schools in the town in which they live.
We caught up with Dre and Karen and discovered what made them choose Laos as the place they wanted to spend their life, how the jungle lifestyle has changed their purpose in life and how you can use your own unique skills to enjoy an authentic lifestyle experience for free.
And now…let’s talk to Dre and Karen…
What I learned from Dre and Karens interview:
1. Its good to spend time somewhere before you commit. Laos is a big jump for many people and is not a decision that should be made lightly. Karen and Andrej spent quite a bit of time there, visiting more than once before they made their final decision to shift.
2. You can have the best of both worlds. Although they are living near a jungle in Laos they are only just across the border from the relative civilization of Thailand. This gives them the chance to return to a less primitive lifestyle and also access to better quality healthcare – something that’s not so easily available in Laos
3. Although Laos can be described as a step back in time these guys aren’t roughing it. They live in a comfortable home, have access to western food and pretty reliable internet. Laos is one of the most affordable places in Asia (try less than $2000 per annum for a 4 bedroom home!) and is a country with virtually no crime – far safer than anywhere in the west that’s for sure!
Sep 11 2015
Rank #19: Traveling the World on $US63 Per Day - An Experiment in Retirement Living
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
Nov 12 2015
Rank #20: Why 50 is the New 30 For Travelers
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 https://travelpast50.com
What I learned from speaking with Tom and Kris:
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Nov 03 2015