It was daunting, when my husband Duncan and I fired our corporate life for a life of travel. Family and friends said we had lost our minds
Our eldest son inspired us to go live our dreams and get out of our crazy corporate world. He had set off on a year of travel, a late gap year, back in 2011 and we had caught up with him in Greece in 2012. We had stalked him on Facebook throughout Peru, Brazil, Argentina and his onward journey to Europe. His Instagram photos wowed us. His stories were compelling; full of adventure and fun.
So we took the plunge, downsized, sold our family home, gave notice to our corporate roles and set off in February 2013.
Our 12-month adventure took us from Australia to South America, the U.S., Europe, Middle East, and Asia. We lived the dream that year, and we are still living the dream five years on.
We live by our two mottos in life:
- Age is no barrier when it comes to travel
- Chase time not money
Nowadays we look back and laugh and say to each other, “We dodged a bullet.” We would have still been on that corporate treadmill. Both of us would be working a minimum 40-hour week, spending two hours a day traveling just to pay the mortgage and live a normal life (whatever that is). Since 2013 we have given ourselves 1,825 days of vacation, you can’t get much better than that.
Our travel lifestyle and living out of a carry-on suitcase is not for everyone. We like to inspire folks by showing how you might achieve a portion of this lifestyle. Firstly, on the assumption you want to travel frequently and live a downsized minimalistic life, then follow these tips:
- Create a travel wish list and prioritize by low-cost countries
- Consider downsizing the family home
- Know your current costs in detail
- Reduce your costs by letting go of the need to buy goods
- Travel for three months or more
- Take out travel insurance
- Consider renting out your property
We learned very early in our travels to slow our travel down and to travel to low-cost countries where our dollars go further. We live like locals, shopping in the local markets, exploring new places on foot or taking local buses. We avoid high-cost destinations especially during the peak periods of summer, Christmas, and Easter
We created our travel and lifestyle blog To Travel Too back in 2013, just before our first big adventure. We thought it would be a perfect solution to keep in touch with our family and friends with an aim to move it into a business for us. Unfortunately, we had issues in getting our website up and running that year, which we believe put us behind the curve in monetizing our travels earlier. In fact, it took two years before we eventually had a website up and running
We have investments back home that help fund our travel lifestyle. In the last two years, our affiliate marketing plan has started to earn us an income as well as writing for international lifestyle and travel magazines.
Tourism boards, hotels, restaurants, and tour operators now host us in exchange for social media exposure. We write articles, and use Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Pinterest in our promotion of their product or service. We also work with travel brands with which we feel comfortable.
We are living our dream!