Tell us a bit about your big decision to sell your home and travel full time?
We decided to sell our home while we were in Mexico on a winter vacation. I think all couples have that talk when they are poolside, right? “Honey, why do we have to go home?!” Only our conversation ended with us listing our condo and accepting an offer on it before we even left the hotel.
When we got home we had 1 month to sell everything, vacate the property and start our new adventure!
Wow, that sounds like a quick decision – have you always wanted to work remotely?
Since getting together in 2014, my now husband Trevor and I were already travelling 4-6 months of year. Each trip we took gave us an even bigger hunger to stay on the road. When we honestly asked ourselves the question “Why do we NEED a home?”, the answer was “We don’t!”
Society has always told us to go to school, get a career with a pension, get married, get a mortgage and pay it off for 25 years, but we didn’t want anything to do with that outdated template.
If we can work online and love to travel any spare second we have, why do we need to pay for a property while we are gone? Bills like the mortgage payments, property tax, insurance, electricity, gas, water, repairs… it’s a waste of our income and energy. We would rather SAVE the money we would have given to the bank in the form of interest (which equals hundreds of thousands over 25 years by the way) and use the rest of our income on living all over the world.
This way we can ‘sample’ what it’s like to live in many different countries. One month we might be an ocean front condo in the Florida Keys and the next a mountain chalet in Switzerland. We can stretch our budget when we have a good year and we can live frugally in cheaper countries when we are experiencing a slower time.
How did you find selling all your things and home?
When I first started wrapping my mind around selling ALL of my things, it was overwhelming to say the least. It’s insane how many things two people can own. I thought I would ‘be without’ or feel a lot of lack, but the opposite happened! The more I sold, the better I felt and it drove me to keep selling!
We ending up selling over 95% of our things.
We kept 2 boxes of family heirlooms, photo albums, tax papers, etc.
Then we got ourselves down to 2 suitcases each.
As a girl who loves fashion and makeup, this was the hardest thing to do! I do have a bit of a ‘cheat’ though that has allowed me to not totally lose my mind! I have a virtual closet in the cloud, called DUFL. Just like you would put your movies and music in the cloud, DUFL has most of my clothes in my virtual closet. I have an app that has photos and details of everything and I can simply pick what I might need that week and they send it to me worldwide in a few days.
This was essential for me to get down to 2 suitcases because I had to account for all my clothes. The winter coats and the winter boots for colder climates. Formal dresses for events and galas, sports gear, summer clothing, business attire, shoes, accessories, etc.
There would have been no way I could carry around winter gear with me for the next 10 years, it easily takes up 1 suitcase on it own.
We sold most of our things on Facebook buy/sell groups. We took clear photos of everything, the price we were asking, and requested people come to pick it up. For weeks straight we had hundreds of people coming to buy everything from throw pillows, to electronics, to kitchen appliances. The sale of our personal items totalled $8,800 which we used to clear off the last bit of debt we had accumulated! win/win
Tell us about your online businesses?
My husband runs an online health and fitness business that he has been involved with for over 5 years. He used to lead fitness classes and bootcamps in person, but he found there was no growth potential in it. He was trading time for money and his income was dependant on how many people he could fit in the room and how many classes he could host a day. Moving his services online, he is able to help thousands of people and change more lives than ever, all on his own time.
My business is documenting our journey so we can inspire others to take a similar leap themselves. We started to get so many questions about decluttering, downsizing, working online and full time travelling, so I saw the opportunity to turn that into something valuable.
I will be making insider travel guides for the places we visit, sharing my best tips on embracing minimalism and becoming debt free, and consulting on making a business that allows for full time travel.
I’m also writing a full length book that will come out later this fall!
What advise would you give those wanting to set up their own online business?
Starting your own online business can be one of the most gruelling, yet ultimately rewarding things you will ever do. To minimize the moments that you want to slam your head against the wall, I would highly suggest creating a business that revolves around your passions. If you are doing something you LOVE, you have a lot more patience, focus and energy to stick with it.
First make a list of all the things that make you happy. Even if they don’t seem ‘business’ related (like videos of cats on Youtube) write them down anyway!
Now make a list of all the skills and strengths you have. They could be technical skills like welding, or even social skills like ‘I’m a good listener’.
Looking at BOTH of these lists, discover a problem that exists in the world today that you could solve using your passions, skills and strengths.
Example: Let’s say your lists say you love being in nature, you have some photography experience, basic web design knowledge and you like to teach people new skills.
Now what is a problem that exists relating to these things? I would say the problem is: Many people don’t know how to get started with nature and landscape photography and traditional classes are too costly and time consuming.
Your Solution: You could create a 10 step online nature and landscape photography course that teaches people the skills they need to take better pictures on their own time.
BOOM! The start of an online business.
If you can solve a problem using your skills that revolve around your passions, you are destined for great things!
What is a typical day like working on your online business whilst travelling?
Some days are more productive than others!
We usually try to get an early start on the day so we can get late afternoons and evening off for exploring, but that’s only if we get our work done.
I’ve seen digital nomads online promote the lifestyle like it’s 90% chill and 10% but I am calling BULL on that. I know from experience that our business is what allows us to live this life and it can’t be put on the back burner. Even in a slower month, we are still devoting at least 30 hours a week of focused work. A busy month might require 50-60 hours a week. At the end of the day, we still fit in time to experience the culture together.
So, where is your first stop?
In just two weeks we are heading to the UK and we’re staying there for 3 full months. We have plans to tour London, Bath, Brighton, Leeds, York, Manchester, Edinburg, and Belfast!
Where are you planning on going over the next few months?
After the UK I think we are headed somewhere warm! We are flipping a coin for either Australia or Vietnam.
Honestly, the bucket list is so long and it seems to grow every day! In the next year we are hoping to also see Malta, Romania, Singapore, Italy and Portugal.
What advise would you give to others who want to travel full time?
Do it before it’s too late! Why not, right?
If you already work for yourself or are transitioning into it, you don’t really have anything to lose but giving it a test run. You don’t have to sell your home and all your things right away, but maybe you could rent your apartment and take off for a month. Full time travelling and working in foreign countries isn’t always a fairly tale experience. It’s good to get a taste of it before you decide you want to do it for the next 10 years.
Trevor and I did a test run in Ecuador for 6 months and then another 4 month test run in Mexico before we decided to jump in full time.