How We Achieved Location Independence: Our Private Journey

We’ve written lots of articles on this weblog about journey jobs, find out how to receives a commission to journey, the place to seek out distant work and find out how to make cash on-line, however how precisely did we handle to create a enterprise whereas travelling the world?
How did we go from working 12 hour shifts at our jobs in Canada, with solely 2 weeks vacation per yr, to travelling full-time, working 15 hours per week and incomes greater than we ever did at dwelling?!

This can be a query that we get requested lots and whereas we will share with you many various jobs that you are able to do remotely, I do know that lots of you actually wish to know the way we did it.
How we saved up cash for our first ever world journey. How we found out find out how to make cash on the street. What we did once we ran out of cash. And, how we sustained our travels at first, once we have been hardly making something in any respect.
We’ve now spent over a decade on the street and we’ve created a way of life for ourselves that neither of us might have dreamed of. We had no prior expertise in on-line enterprise, instructing english and even in journey, however we made it work.
On this article I’m going to share with you our journey to location independence and the way it utterly modified our lives and the way in which we see the world.
The Resolution To Make a Change
It wasn’t like we had a horrible life in Canada. Wanting again now, after having met individuals in nations we visited with far much less, I now know that we had it very effectively. Dariece and I each had well-paying jobs, we owned a home, a automotive and had fairly just a few “issues”. We had a circle of pals, supportive relations and we had one another.
The issue was, we merely weren’t minimize out for the monotony of dwelling life. I labored lengthy hours with a view to make the cash I made, and Dariece had lots of stress, coping with multi-million greenback contracts and mortgage closings at her job as a paralegal.
We each wished to journey, however our measly 2 week trip time per yr merely wasn’t sufficient to do something in addition to a fast vacation all the way down to Mexico (which we managed as soon as).
I didn’t like my job. I beloved the individuals I labored with and I loved the pay checks, however I felt depressed each single Sunday evening once I knew I had 5 12 hour shifts to overcome earlier than I noticed one other time without work. The work was strenuous and unfulfilling, however it paid effectively. So, like so many different Canadians, I caught with it due to the monetary safety it provided.
Dariece favored her job greater than I did, however she nonetheless hated going into work on Mondays and we each got here dwelling confused and exhausted each evening. I used to be working lots of graveyard shifts so we didn’t see one another fairly often, and once we did, we’d normally be so drained that we’d simply sit on the sofa and watch TV.
We knew we wished a change, however again then there weren’t lots of people simply quitting their jobs and hitting the street. “Hole Years” aren’t a preferred factor in Canada (like they’re within the UK and Australia), so we’d by no means actually even thought-about saving cash and leaving for an prolonged time frame.
2009 within the south of India
Someday, after a very tense shift at work, I got here dwelling exhausted, however as an alternative of sitting on the sofa like I usually did, on today I went on the pc. I simply wished to flee. I used to be so sick and uninterested in working for another person and I felt like there needed to be extra to life than work, eat, sleep, celebration on weekends and repeat.
I began researching journey (as one does after they’re uninterested in work). I feel we’ve all sat at work and stared at that very same display saver of that very same seashore within the Maldives and wished we might teleport to the solar loungers and order a cocktail delivered to the sand.
However on this (fateful) day, as an alternative of looking for low cost holidays, I began researching find out how to journey for an extended time. I’d heard of individuals “backpacking” however I had no concept what it meant. How a lot does it price? How do you lower your expenses for a visit like this? The place are the most cost effective nations to go to? Are you able to do it with no prior journey expertise.
This took me down a rabbit gap of pioneer journey bloggers like Nomadic Matt and Knowledgeable Vagabond who had by some means found out find out how to journey for a yr or extra at a time.
At the moment, there have been only a few journey bloggers and of them, not many have been making an actual dwelling, so lots of the posts I used to be studying have been nearly find out how to journey on little or no cash and find out how to get from place to put.
I nonetheless had no concept that we might really make a dwelling whereas on the street, so in my head I had determined that I wished to save lots of up my cash and go travelling for a yr. By the point Dariece got here dwelling from work I used to be totally engulfed in my analysis. She walked into the room and with out even saying whats up, I merely mentioned:

“In the event you might journey to anyplace on the planet for a whole yr, the place would it not be?”

With out lacking a beat her response got here swiftly and confidently:

“Southeast Asia.”

We didn’t understand it on the time, however these two sentences, spoken with out a lot thought in any respect, had utterly modified our lives. Dariece sat down subsequent to me on the laptop and we each continued down the rabbit gap of long-term journey collectively.
Inside eight months we had saved up sufficient cash, bought our home, bought our automotive, saved the rest of our belongings and left for Southeast Asia.
How We Ready
Getting ready for this journey didn’t come simple. There have been at all times doubts in our heads like:
Are we loopy?
What if we by no means get good jobs like these once more?
How are we going to promote all of our issues?
What if we run out of cash utterly?
These have been all utterly rational ideas, however we knew that if we didn’t make this occur now, we could lose the chance to journey perpetually. We wished to see the world, and we have been decided to make this journey occur.
Saving Cash
The very first thing we did is ready up an computerized withdrawal from each of our accounts right into a journey financial savings account. This account was not a particular sort of account, it was only a separate joint financial savings account that we might each put cash into. (On the time, we weren’t sharing cash. We hadn’t been collectively for very lengthy!)
We wrote out all of our bills (together with mortgage, automotive insurance coverage, electrical energy, meals, fuel and many others.), after which subtracted that quantity from our earnings. We then gave ourselves $50 / month for leisure. No matter cash was left over after paying for our necessities, we might put into that journey financial savings account — each penny of it.

Whereas we have been calculating our bills, we seen that not all of them have been 100% crucial, so we in the reduction of our cable TV to the most cost effective attainable plan, in addition to our cell telephones, web, insurance coverage and just about all the pieces else we might minimize. We have been like Wal-Mart rolling again costs, however we have been rolling again the bills of our life-style in Canada, in order that we might dwell a greater life on the street afterward.
I additionally took as many time beyond regulation shifts as I might. Any more money we had above and past our $50 leisure finances, we’d put straight into the journey financial savings account.
Click on Right here to learn extra about how we have been capable of save $40,000 CAD in a single yr dwelling in Canada.
Promoting The Home
This was a extremely tense a part of this complete course of. Dariece had bought a home with a good friend as an funding and had fallen in love with it. We each lived in it collectively and it was an exquisite place, proper downtown in Calgary. However after calculating the price of a property supervisor, the mortgage, and what we might make if we rented it out, we realized we’d be shedding cash every month (that is earlier than Airbnb).
Dariece knew we had no alternative however to promote it, however each week the housing market was dropping.
That day once we determined to journey to Southeast Asia for a yr was in February of 2008. The worldwide monetary disaster was already looming on the horizon, and this was yet one more doubt we had in our heads and one other excuse to not go. However we pressed on.
Fortunately, due to its glorious location, we have been capable of promote the home at round $18,000 revenue. I additionally bought my automotive for $eight,000, so collectively by the point we left we had round $40,000 CAD together with our financial savings.
Storing our Stuff
This was one other large stress, however simply as many issues did throughout this transition interval, a brand new path opened up that allowed us to get previous this hurdle.
We had regarded into storage amenities and so they have been costly. We knew that with our financial savings, we have been already going to barely be capable of go for a yr, particularly contemplating the truth that we each wished to come back again with no less than $7,000 within the financial institution in case we couldn’t discover work.
Simply as we have been about to pay an exorbitant sum of money to retailer issues that we might in the end by no means see once more, my brother bought a enterprise which occurred to come back with just a few large storage containers. Excellent! We saved the remainder of the issues that we hadn’t bought on this new house and we have been one step nearer to leaving.
Telling Our Pals and Household
This was one other main milestone on our journey in the direction of leaving dwelling for the primary time. We waited months earlier than we broke the information to our family and friends. We wished to make it possible for the plan was really possible, that we’d be capable of save sufficient cash and that it wasn’t only a pipe dream that got here from a nasty day at work.
Fortunately all of our family and friends have been extraordinarily supportive. All of them urged us to go and have been excited for us, although I’m positive behind a few of their minds, they have been doubting that it might work out. The timing couldn’t have appeared worse to them, plus, Dariece and I had solely been courting for a bit over a yr.
Canada and the remainder of the world was falling into what information broadcasters have been calling the subsequent melancholy, and folks all over the place have been shedding their jobs.
Nonetheless… we pressed on.
Leaving Canada
I actually can’t specific the sensation we felt once we have been sitting on the Vancouver airport ready to take off on this unbelievable journey. After a really teary goodbye with my mother, we simply sat slumped in airport chairs in shock.
Had been we actually doing this?
By the point the aircraft wheels left the tarmac, this unimaginable feeling of aid and accomplishment came to visit us each. I’ll always remember the sensation and I nonetheless get goosebumps fascinated with it to today. It was like a heavy blanket was being lifted off my whole physique that I didn’t even know was there within the first place.
Goodbye Canada, we’re off to Southeast Asia!
There we have been, two 24-year-olds (I turned 24 that day once we landed in Bangkok) about to embark on the journey of a lifetime and we had no concept what was in retailer for us. We’d left the norm behind, and to us, we felt like pioneers. We felt loopy for having considered this concept and we felt blessed to have really made the dream right into a actuality.
At the moment our minds might solely fathom one yr on the street. However in that second, as we sat in our airplane seats 30,000 toes within the air, that one yr felt prefer it was going to be an eternity
When had we ever had one full yr to do no matter we wished? From the time we have been in kindergarten, we solely had 2 months of summer time holidays, and at this level having been out of faculty for six years, working full-time, even two months would’ve felt like a lifetime away from work.
This was a degree of freedom we had by no means felt, and the feeling of having the ability to do what we wish was so intoxicating that I feel we grew to become hooked on it, proper there on that aircraft earlier than our journey had even actually begun.
Operating Out Of Cash
Operating out of cash after a yr of travelling is like coming down off of essentially the most euphoric excessive and immediately realizing that you need to return to the actual world. A world the place we have been nearly broke. A world that has been in a monetary disaster for over a yr. A world that we felt like we now not belonged in.
The crash of returning dwelling was laborious and it practically devastated Dariece. We have been so completely satisfied to see our family and friends once more and for the primary few days, it was enjoyable to inform everybody about our travels, however because the novelty of our return dwelling wore off and the fact sunk in that we’d have to return to work, we each felt misplaced.
Fortunately nonetheless, by some means we had each managed to get our identical jobs again.
I had known as my work from the street, a couple of week earlier than returning to Canada and I’d managed to snag the one opening accessible, forward of greater than 200 different candidates who have been ready in line. Had I known as per week later, I don’t know what would’ve occurred.
Dariece additionally received fortunate and had fashioned so many nice relationships within the authorized group that she managed to get her job again, regardless of the same lengthy line of candidates.
Although we obtained our jobs again, we knew they weren’t going to be everlasting. We have been going to save lots of as a lot money as attainable and hit the street once more.
I began work a couple of week after returning to Canada, however to my shock I used to be lit with a brand new vitality. I now not had the identical feeling about cash. Previously, cash had at all times meant I might purchase new possessions. Cash was standing. Cash was my automotive, our home, our large display TV, our safety.
However now cash was freedom. Cash was experiences that I might have on the street. Cash held no standing, and but it held the important thing to my exit from a world that I now not understood.
Whereas my co-workers have been nonetheless unfavourable and complained on daily basis, I used to be completely satisfied. I feel it drove them nuts!
All I might assume was that each hour I spent working, I might put that cash in the direction of a scuba dive in Thailand, a bike rental in Laos, a waterfall tour in Cambodia. Each time beyond regulation shift was per week on the street and each week I spent at work was one other week nearer to our departure date.

Dariece had a tougher time returning to work. At first she was depressed and couldn’t see the sunshine on the finish of the tunnel. However slowly, collectively, we each managed to save lots of up cash once more.
This time I labored much more time beyond regulation shifts. My new-found love for journey stored me at work 70-80 hours per week, just about each week for a whole yr. Dariece took on freelance work which she might do at dwelling and we each crawled our approach again to our purpose of leaving Canada on a fair longer journey.
We’re Not Coming Again
After 13 months of being dwelling and dealing lengthy hours, we had managed to save lots of $75,000 CAD. This was greater than 60% of our take dwelling wages for the yr. We needed to settle for much more sacrifices, and have been on a really tight finances, however we had just a few fortunate breaks as effectively (one among our pals left Canada and provided us a spot to remain for a really discounted fee).
This time we bought much more of our issues and we determined that this cash could be sufficient to final us 2 years on the street, however when it ran out, we weren’t going to return dwelling. This time we have been going to discover a option to make it work. We weren’t going to dwell in Canada once more.
We took off on February, 2011 and haven’t resided in Canada since.
That journey took us backpacking round Africa, The Center East, Northern Asia, the Subcontinent, Southeast Asia and Europe. Once more, it was an unbelievable, eye-opening journey.
On the time, the one approach we knew find out how to make cash overseas was instructing English in China, so we knew we might do this, however then we heard about running a blog…
Beginning The Weblog
After over a yr on the street, we nonetheless hadn’t made any steps in the direction of determining what we have been going to do once we ran out of cash once more. We have been principally simply travelling and having the time of our lives with out actually fascinated with it.

Someday at an web cafe in India (this was in 2011 while you nonetheless needed to go to web cafes to examine emails), Dariece stumbled throughout Johnny Ward’s weblog. In one among his “Motivational Monday” weblog posts, he talked about how he had grown his site visitors and was now making $three,000 per 30 days from his weblog.
$three,000 / month???!!
Dariece shortly turned to me and mentioned:
“Now we have to do that. We’re beginning a journey weblog.”
In fact, neither of us had any concept find out how to even get began. We’d by no means edited a web site, we didn’t perceive code and we might barely even handle to put in writing and ship emails. To not point out we have been horrible photographers. We have been whole newbies.
Nonetheless, regardless of our full lack of expertise, simply 2 months afterward February 17, 2012 we began our weblog Goats On The Street on Koh Phangan Island in Thailand.

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Dariece’s Breakdown
After a yr and a half on the street, we had run out of cash. This time we had run out a lot before we had anticipated and the considered going again to Canada a full 6 months before we had deliberate practically broke Dariece.
By now we have been alleged to be in China, working as English lecturers, however with the financial institution accounts stretched to the ultimate few weeks of journey, we have been sitting on a seashore in Thailand not figuring out what to do subsequent. We had solely simply began our weblog and at this level it was a distant dream to in the future really make just a few from it.
Dariece broke down in tears because the considered ending this life-style that we have been so in love with sunk in. I didn’t know what to say to her however I knew she wanted an answer so I mentioned:
“Hear, we’ll ebook flights to China now. We’ll hand out resumes to each college within the nation till we discover a job. We’ll make this work.”
This appeared to consolation her in the meanwhile and despite the fact that I had no concept how we have been going to make it work, we booked our flights and headed to China just a few days later.
Instructing English
This was our first step in the direction of a location unbiased life, and we beloved it. Upon touchdown in China we had began (just about) handing out resumes and calling each “Instructor Wished” advert that we noticed posted at hostels, cafes and eating places. After only a week we had landed a job at a faculty in Yangzhou, China. We have been ecstatic.
Not solely did this imply that we wouldn’t run out of cash, it meant that it doesn’t matter what occurred, we’d at all times have instructing English to fall again on. As long as we didn’t wish to return to regular life in Canada, we might educate English world wide.

This was a large weight lifted and at last Dariece’s breakdown was in our rear view mirror and we had taken our first steps in the direction of a considerably location unbiased life-style. We spent a yr instructing English in China, and it was a beautiful expertise.
The Weblog Begins Making Cash
In June of 2013 we made our first “actual cash” from the weblog. Certainly one of my favorite bloggers on the time, Nomadic Samuel, added us to a Fb group the place different bloggers (way more established than us), shared promoting contacts. Whereas we didn’t contribute practically as a lot as we benefited, after having our weblog for simply over a yr, we made $585 within the month.
By the point our instructing contract was up in July of 2013, the weblog was incomes between $600 – $1,100 CAD from promoting, principally within the type of sponsored content material.
It wasn’t some huge cash, however it was sufficient to considerably complement our bills for our subsequent 5 month journey — adventuring by means of Mongolia, Russia, Central Asia (the ‘Stans), and Iran.
We Hear About Home Sitting
Most journeys in the direction of location independence include stepping-stones. Only a few of us merely stop our jobs and begin making sufficient cash to assist our travels straight away. The general public who are actually location unbiased had these sorts of stepping-stones alongside the way in which that allowed them to save lots of a bit of cash, or make a little bit of facet cash, whereas the final word dream of an internet enterprise slowly nears.
For us, home sitting was a significant stepping stone and it got here on the excellent time. We discovered our first home sitting job on the Caribbean island of Grenada by means of We have been amazed that after only a few weeks of getting our profile on-line, the proprietor of this lovely dwelling and beautiful canine had contacted us and requested us to remain.

By the point we began the home sitting job in April of 2014, the weblog was making round $1,500 / month on common, with some months as excessive as $2,500 and a few as little as $500. For sure, the weblog revenue was very unstable right now, so the free housing and automobile (in alternate for taking good care of our new furry good friend) was the proper buffer for our lack of funds.
One other stepping stone that we discovered whereas we have been home sitting in Grenada, was that we might write articles for different web sites and receives a commission. We spent months pitching completely different blogs and websites and finally discovered just a few that have been keen to pay us to put in writing a set variety of articles every month. This gave our weblog a little bit of steady revenue and I imagine with all of our freelance collectively, we had a base revenue of round $1,000… which helped lots.

See Additionally: Get Paid To Write On-line – 99 Journey Publications That Pay Up To $four,000

We Work On Our Weblog Whereas Home Sitting
Home sitting not solely gave us the financial savings we wanted to outlive on our fledgling weblog’s revenue, however it additionally gave us the time to cease travelling on daily basis and to sit down down and give attention to the web site. We spent 6 months in Grenada throughout that first home sitting job and in that point we managed to develop the weblog to a degree the place we felt prefer it might really maintain us long-term.

Hitting Earnings Milestones
Because the weblog grew through the years, we began hitting monetary milestones. The primary and most necessary was making it to $three,000 USD. That’s the quantity that Johnny Ward had written about incomes approach again in August of 2011. Once we had learn that submit in December of 2011 in that web cafe in India, it set a purpose in our minds.
As our weblog began to develop, so too did our horizons. We began to assume that this factor might really be a enterprise in the future, however nonetheless we took it one step at a time.
We didn’t constantly hit $three,000 per 30 days till across the center of 2015. By this time we had been running a blog for over three years and had been spending on common 20 hours per week on the web site. Once we reached this level in our running a blog journey, we rejoiced. At this level the weblog was making first rate revenue from associates, our freelance work and a few direct promoting.

The revenue solely continued to develop through the years and we’re completely satisfied to say that, our web site is now one of the trafficked journey blogs on-line, and the revenue we’re incomes now’s excess of our salaries in Canada.
Again once we began, journey bloggers would’ve dreamed of creating six-figures a yr, however lately there’s a lot extra alternative for model partnerships, promoting and press journeys. That’s why I at all times inform people who the market isn’t too saturated to start out your individual journey weblog right now.
Certain, there’s much more bloggers and you need to carve out a extra slim area of interest than simply “journey blogger”, however there’s way more cash being spent within the on-line house than there was once we began. Now’s one of the best time to launch your web site.
The Life-style
I nonetheless can’t imagine how far we’ve come over the previous 10 years. From quitting our jobs in Canada and travelling on a super-tight finances by means of Southeast Asia, to creating our personal on-line enterprise that hires practically a dozen individuals world wide. It feels very surreal.
I usually assume, what if I might return to earlier than we left on the primary journey and speak to myself. What if I might time journey to these moments when Dariece and I have been confused about promoting the home in a diving market, or once we have been exhausted from working time beyond regulation shifts and I advised myself that this present life-style was on the horizon.
Or what if I might journey again to that breakdown that Dariece had on the seashore in Thailand and as an alternative of giving her the generic band-aid of instructing English, I defined that in only a few years we’d be making more cash and dwelling a greater life than we ever thought attainable.

For my part, being location unbiased is one of the best factor on the planet. Now we get up once we need, work when (and the place) we wish, and journey wherever we wish. That is all due to the web, to the abundance of knowledge and coaching on-line, and to the world of English instructing, home sitting and running a blog. And naturally, an enormous thanks to you, our readers for supporting our journey.
I’m so completely satisfied that we determined to simply go for it.
Wanting Again
Now that I look again on that fateful day once I requested Dariece the place she’d go for a yr, I’m so completely satisfied she didn’t hesitate. I’m completely satisfied that she had the identical mindset as me and was keen to take this journey with me. I’m completely satisfied that we had household and pals who supported us and I’m proud of each single factor that occurred to us alongside the way in which.
I wouldn’t change a factor.
Even the instances we ran out of cash. Even once we had to return to work. Even the hours I spent slogging it out at a job I hated. Each single second introduced me right here, to this location unbiased life-style and each second was value it.
In the event you’re studying this (extraordinarily lengthy) submit and fascinated with making a change, however don’t know the place to start out. Begin now. Begin right here. Don’t put it off any longer. I’m not a motivational speaker. I’m no Tony Robbins. I’m only a man who has carried out it, and I do know that the one remorse I’ve will not be doing it sooner.
When you begin taking steps in the direction of a location-free life, issues will begin falling into place. As soon as you are taking the primary steps away from a lifetime of stress and monotony in the direction of a lifetime of freedom, journey and journey, you’ll really feel a shift on the planet round you.
As soon as the aircraft wheels lastly depart the tarmac and also you’re off to start your life on the street, I’m assured that you simply’ll really feel the identical blanket raise out of your soul.
If you need it, go for it. There’s by no means been a greater time to show journey into a way of life.

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