When I was in research mode to prepare for our life on the road, I came across a travel blog that not only inspired me but excited me! They talked about their life of full time travel and I started to realize my dreams really were possible!
The blog – GlobetrotterGirls.com. These girls have been traveling full time for 3 years and have many stories to tell!
What advice can you share for those who want to travel full time but are scared to take the leap?
For all those things you worry about that keep you from traveling – don’t. Everything always works itself out. There are so many ways to travel and ways to pay for it. It is simple: Just go. Your life will never be the same, and you’ll be better for it.
Was there a catalyst moment that made you want to travel full time?
There wasn’t a moment, but more of a build up of discontent and then mutual recognition that if we changed our lives entirely, the thing we would both have wanted to do was to travel long-term. Dani was turning 30 the year we left London, and she knew that if she’d wait any longer, she’d never go on the backpacking trip she had always wanted to do. So we semi-spontaneously packed up our apartment and left on our trip (then not knowing it would turn into an indefinite adventure!).
What is the most challenging part of full time travel?
Finding balance. The highs and lows are constant, everything is always new and right when you start to get into a groove, something changes or you move on. Specifically as digital nomads, finding balance between travel and work is by far the most challenging aspect of our lives. We work hard and play hard, but find that two months of heavy travel is about as much as we can do before needing to slow down and stay somewhere for a couple of weeks at a time. Being constantly on the move also means constantly planning our next stops – researching and booking transportation, hotels and planning activities, which is tiring and time-consuming.
How long did it take you to plan your epic adventure? What was the most challenging part of the planning?
Plan? What plan? The advantage of having freedom is not having to plan. Even back when we thought this would only be for a year we bought one-way flights and only knew our first two stops. After that we had a rough idea but were well aware that plans change. Within a few weeks, they did.
Did you have any obstacles to cross in order to travel full time?
I am from the U.S., Dani is from Germany and we were living together in London. This meant that as young expats we didn’t have much in the way of loose ends to tie up. I think our biggest challenge was getting ourselves straight mentally. We were both unhappy and unfulfilled, and so once we became nomads, the challenge was letting go of that past that didn’t suit us and accepting our freedom.
What has been your most memorable ‘out of my comfort zone’ experience?
Some people have called us brave, referring to our lifestyle, but when it comes to adventure sports, we consider ourselves more urban types. So spending an entire day hiking into the back of a deep cave with water up to our necks to see a fully in tact Mayan skeleton in a jungle in Belize showed us just how capable we are in the adventure department!
You housesit while you travel – What do you like most and least about this method of travel?
We don’t housesit exclusively, but love when a housesitting opportunity fits our schedule. Although not paying for accommodation is definitely useful (we estimate that we’ve saved $20,000 at least at this point thanks to all our housesits in the last three years), what we really love is the quality of life it affords us as we travel. We take care of some beautiful homes, which means that we have the luxury of living in them ourselves: infinity pools, in-home theatres, fully stocked kitchens with every type of cooking utensil, etc. What’s more, Dani and I both adore dogs and cats, and if we thought we could travel easily with pets, we would. Instead, we get to spend weeks or a couple of months caring for pets, which we really enjoy.
The negative side of housesitting is that we can’t control it. So, if the perfect housesit comes up, but it’s in Japan and we’re in South America and flights are $2,000 to get there, it’s just not worth it to apply. We just turned down one housesit in Abu Dhabi because the timing wasn’t quite right, but even though we were dying to go, we couldn’t ask the homeowner to plan her vacation for two weeks later, obviously, so we had to turn it down.
What is the best and worst thing about traveling as a couple?
The best thing is that the person you love most totally understands everything you go through on an everyday basis. The worst thing is that spending so much time together means that occasionally even a tiny little habit can start to drive you crazy, and since you’re always together, there’s no other way to escape than just accepting it. It’s intensely intimate, but neither of us can imagine not being able to share this with each other! Plus, it’s nice to have someone always watching your back and making you feel safe.
Fast Fun Five
If you could only describe yourself as one would it be: beach bum, city slicker or country bumpkin?
Even though we lived on or near beaches for six months last year, we feel most in our element in the city.
If you had to chose a country other than your own to settle down in, where would it be and why.
Ha! That’s our eternal question, and we thought traveling would help us answer it. Instead, the bigger our world gets, the harder this is to answer. We both love the mix of culture and grit that Lisbon, Portugal offers, Dani would live in America if we could get her a visa; we both love Mexico and feel at home there, too. For the foreseeable future, we think we could settle in a new country every 3-6 months and feel best that way.
What city was best value for money?
Chiang Mai, Thailand
If you could travel with one celebrity, who would it be and why?
P!nk, hands down. She is fun, adventurous, laughs constantly and is so outgoing we’d have no trouble meeting loads of new people. While she has a wild exterior, I think she seems super accessible and someone you could bond with to have really meaningful experiences with, too.
If you could travel back in time, which era and place would you go to and why?
Any time before 2001 would feel so liberating compared to now, but the 1950s and 60s seem like a great time in history to travel. The world had yet to go global, things had calmed down after the world wars, Vietnam War had not yet begun, but many countries were well-developed and while you could choose to fly, things like hitchhiking, buying a used car and traveling with strangers was still safe enough around the world to really get authentic, shared experiences with people from many different cultures.
Dani would love to travel in Egypt during the time of the pharaohs and is also fascinated by the ancient Rome, under Marcus Aurelius, or one of the earlier emperors – having learned so much about that period in seven years of Latin classes during high school clearly left a mark.
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