It was fearful firing our corporate life for a life of travel. Family and friends said we had lost our minds.
All those “what if” thoughts plagued us as we were planning our escape:
• What if we ran out of money?
• What if one of us became ill?
• What if we could not speak the language?
• What if our luggage was stolen—or even worse, our passports and money?
• What if we had to come home? Could we get a job? Where would we live?
It was our eldest son who urged us to go “live our dream” 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 and full of adventure and fun. Could we actually do this, too?
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, round-the-world adventure took us from Australia to South America, the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Did any of those “what-ifs” happen? Of course, not. We lived the dream that year, and here we are, five years on, still living it.
We are Jane and Duncan, baby boomers from Australia, who are now travel bloggers and write about our adventures and lifestyle. We also help others to take the plunge.
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 with only 20 vacation days a year, spending two hours a day traveling just to pay the mortgage and live a normal life (whatever that is) in Sydney.
Since 2013, we have given ourselves 1,825 days of holiday. You can’t get much better than that. In 2015, we downsized again and all that we have left is a box of 7-year-old tax files, an Australian Government requirement.
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… follow these tips:
• Create a travel wish-list and prioritize by low-cost countries
• Consider downsizing the family home
• Let go of stuff to become free to travel
• Know your current costs in detail
• Reduce your costs by letting go of the need to buy goods
• Travel for three months or more to test it out
• Take out travel insurance
• Consider renting out your property
For us, it’s cheaper to travel overseas than to sit on the sofa back in Sydney, Australia. We learned very early in our travels to slow down and to travel to low-cost countries where our cash goes a lot further. We live like locals, shopping in the local green 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’re frequently asked how we fund our travels…
We created our travel and lifestyle blog, To Travel Too, back in 2013 just before our first big adventure. The inspiration to blog came about reading an article in our local papers about an Australian family—YTravelblog—who were traveling and blogging with two young children around the world. Unfortunately, we had issues in getting our website up-and-running that year, which we believe put us behind the “eight ball” in monetizing our travels earlier. In fact, it took two years before we eventually had a website up.
We have investments back in Australia that help fund our travel lifestyle. In the last two years, our affiliate marketing plan has started to earn us a small income as well as writing for international lifestyle and travel magazines. We now present internationally on subjects ranging from downsizing, traveling on a budget, and traveling long term for retirees, etc.
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 that we feel comfortable with.
We are living our dream!
[Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can fund your travels and make an extra income with photography, travel writing, blogging, and more in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel. Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Five Fun Ways To Get Paid To Travel: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]