One of the biggest fears for any would-be-expat is throwing away the day job and moving overseas. Unless you’re well set financially then another source of income, however small, needs to be set up.

One great opportunity to earn a living in this area is by teaching English. As English speakers we are blessed to already know a language that is universal and many people are ready and waiting to learn it. There has been an explosion in this area in recent years and with the continuing evolution of the internet the chance to reach a captive market is getting easier and easier.

There are many misconceptions around this topic and today we speak with Jack Askew of who shares his knowledge about the increasing demand from English learners, where the online opportunities are heading and what you need to do if you want to get started as an English teacher, either online or in a foreign country.

You can get some handy hints on getting started in this space with Jacks free e-book 15 Amazing Tools and Resources for Teaching English Online

Sit back with a good cup of coffee and hear what Jack recommends you do if you want to get started in this space.

What I learned from Jacks interview:

1.    Teaching English is easier than you think. You don’t need to be an academic to teach it, particularly in the online environment and you don’t need to have mastered a second language in order to get your point across. Most of the resources are available online that you will need and with a recent free British government course in teaching English having more than 1 million people sign up there is no shortage of demand

2.     You need to find a niche in which to specialize. If you teach English generally you will be facing increasing competition from other teachers but diving into a specialist area and becoming the expert in it is the way to make a good income for yourself (Jack gave the example of helping Australian immigrants deal with passing the English test to be admitted as a citizen as an example)

3.     Empathize with your learners. Learning language can be frustrating for people. If you have a good ability to listen and appreciate what they are going through then you will support them better and grow your business accordingly. Although learning a second language yourself is not necessary if you’re undertaking the expat lifestyle this could be a good skill to have and will help you understand the frustrations of your clients.


4.    Start one on one. Although this doesn’t leverage your time as well as online can it will help you understand the needs of your market and hone your skills better.

Check out this episode!

How long would it take you to get tired of Chicago winters and two weeks holiday per year? For Illinois couple Jackie and Junior Minchillo it wasn’t long. The corporate life of all day meetings and working into the night proved to be too much and in April this year they made their move to sunny Costa Rica with their pet dog Harvey.

After some initial problems with the first house they stayed in they have now settled into a local expat community in Playa Langosta a small beachside community of less than 1000 people near the town of Tamarindo and they haven’t looked back.

Their new life now gives them the best of both worlds with their income in US dollars while their costs are in Costa Rican colons giving them far more spending power for their dollar.

If you have Costa Rica as one of your potential relocation spots then you’ll enjoy hearing from Jackie and Junior. You can reach them both at Jackies blog or Juniors website where expats can share information

Jackie and Junior rafting Jackie on the beach

What I learned from Jackie and Juniors interview:

1.    Check out blogs before you go.  They struggled to find information from local businesses before they made the move but the expat community was a source of great help. It emphasizes the need to reach out to people in the locations where you want to go. All expats have been in the same situation and you’ll find no shortage of people ready to help you out, both online and when you arrive.

2.    Your job may be more transportable than you think. Although Juniors web design work was portable Jackie expected to have to throw in her job as a public relations consultant and start fresh, but once she spoke to her bosses they discovered a way she could continue to work remotely from Costa Rica. Is your job more transportable than you think? Don’t assume you have to give up the benefits of your day job. Jackie can continue to do the work she loves but with much better hours and a far more enjoyable and warm environment.


3.    Look at hubs when planning any flights you take. Jackie and Junior found they halved the cost of going to Brazil when they planned a trip from Costa Rica via Miami to what it would have been to travel directly to Brazil from Costa Rica. We regularly find the same thing in Australia when we travel in Asia – a flight routed through the relatively cheap hub of Singapore to other Asian destinations is usually cheaper than going directly from Australia to the Asian country you have in mind. 

Check out this episode!

Not many people are willing to leave suburbia, head for the jungle and run a business that gives all its profits away, but todays guests are the exception to the rule. Andrej and Karen Brummer said goodbye to two well paying jobs and left their western lifestyle to head for Luang Namtha , Laos 4 years ago. They swapped their big city lifestyle for an environment of jungles and temples on the edge of the Thailand border and have become an important member of their local community thanks to their western style café that not only provides training in hospitality and English for the local staff but helps fund the nearby schools in the town in which they live.

We caught up with Dre and Karen and discovered what made them choose Laos as the place they wanted to spend their life, how the jungle lifestyle has changed their purpose in life and how you can use your own unique skills to enjoy an authentic lifestyle experience for free.

If you enjoy their interview you can catch up with them both at where they help those wanting to combine work and travel while staying for free or find them on Facebook at    

Andrej enjoying a swim Queueing for lent in Laos

What I learned from Dre and Karens interview:

1.    Its good to spend time somewhere before you commit. Laos is a big jump for many people and is not a decision that should be made lightly. Karen and Andrej spent quite a bit of time there, visiting more than once before they made their final decision to shift.

2.    You can have the best of both worlds. Although they are living near a jungle in Laos they are only just across the border from the relative civilization of Thailand. This gives them the chance to return to a less primitive lifestyle and also access to better quality healthcare – something that’s not so easily available in Laos. Plus they can (and have) easily traveled through much of South East Asia from their base

3.    Although Laos can be described as a step back in time these guys aren’t roughing it. They live in a comfortable home, have access to western food and pretty reliable internet. Laos is one of the most affordable places in Asia (try less than $2000 per annum for a 4 bedroom home!) and is a country with virtually no crime – far safer than anywhere in the west that’s for sure!

Check out this episode!

In March 2014 John and Monika Mundell said goodbye to their 11 pet birds and set sail (literally) on an adventure that so far has taken them to 4 continents and counting. Their journey, often by cruise ship, has seen them visit Papua New Guinea, Japan, Russia, North, Central and South America and across to Europe where we caught up with them housesitting amongst the vines in the beautiful setting of Pellegrue, France – a quaint village of around 1000 locals approximately one hour east of Bordeaux.

These two perpetual travelers took time out of their (let’s be honest) fairly relaxed morning to have a chat with our show about their experiences so far and they provided us a breakdown of their costs to date (John’s the money counter!) which has been surprisingly affordable given how much time they’ve spent cruising (and no cheap inside cabins on cruise ships for these two!)

Enjoy the show and if you want to reach out to them both you can contact Monika at and follow their blog at

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What I learned from John and Monikas interview:

1.    How Colombia is not what it used to be. These guys spent several months there and rate it their favorite place to return to. The old image of drug lords and random killings has largely disappeared thanks to a large scale clean up and Colombia is welcoming tourists and expats with open arms – plus apparently it has first class dental care; Monika has already earmarked her next lot of dental work for when she returns.

2.    Cruise ships are a very viable way to get around. These guys were averaging $150 per day when onboard a boat, certainly more than the cost of many if their longer term accommodation arrangements in cheaper locations but given they weren’t scrimping (they admit they could have done it cheaper), and cruising involves food, accommodation, entertainment, and transportation all rolled into one it’s not a bad way to get yourself from A to B.

3.    You need less than you think. They started with several suitcases, packs and day bags but have now jettisoned much of what they thought they needed and are travelling with a combined weight of less than 60kgs – furthermore they aren’t missing for anything proving the fact that much of what we gather in possessions really aren’t necessary to have a happy life.

Check out this episode!

Can you really sustain a lifestyle caring for other people’s houses and never have to go home again? Today’s guests are living proof of the fact. Their lifestyle effectively means they can live for free when it comes to accommodation.

Michael and Yvonne Bauche gave up a comfortable but stress-inducing lifestyle in Vancouver Canada 3 years ago and they haven’t looked back. Their income is lower but so is their living costs giving them the opportunity to live a millionaire’s lifestyle on less than $C2000 per month all without having to eat into their savings.

They’ve met interesting people and made new friends for life. They’ve housesat in many parts of Europe, Central America and the Caribbean and now spend over 70% of each year minding houses, often for repeat clients who have them back. They have so many requests in fact that they have built up a network of fellow house sitters who can take care of the clients they can’t get to!

But the best part is they have their freedom back. In today’s interview we caught up with them on the Caribbean island of St Lucia whereyou’ll discover just how easy and cost effective housesitting can be and the opportunities it can open up for you to live your life to the fullest.

IMG_0862 The Bauches and The Pitons

If you’d like to know more about housesitting check out their website at   or you can grab their free report at

What I learned from their interview:

  1. If you’re serious about housesitting travel light. Both Michael and Yvonne exist with hand luggage only and don’t really feel they miss anything from doing so (Yvonne even confesses to not carting heels with her!). It helps they have mainly focused around warmer climates but if you want to make life easy (and save on luggage costs and insurance ) then travelling light helps
  2. Housesitting offers a far more meaningful way to enjoy an area. You can be treated as a local. Michael and Yvonne encourage their hosts to set them up with a network of people when they arrive which makes the whole process far more comfortable for them
  3. Don’t spread yourself too thin. The Bauches concentrate on housesitting in regions resisting the urge to leap around the world and incur bigger travel costs.

Check out this episode!

Not many people would be prepared to walk away from a well-paying career job in the prime of their earnings life, but somebody who was is David Dean. The New Zealander left his corporate position in Australia in 2011 to embark on a road trip that looks like lasting for the rest of his life.

It may sound to many like a rush of blood to the head but Dave had carefully planned his exit from the rat race for a period of time and had developed a secondary income stream that he knew could sustain him in his original destination of choice – Thailand. He had no plans to be a perpetual traveler without income.

Since then Dave’s online business has grown to the extent that he can now travel the world and sustain his lifestyle on a monthly basis – but we’re not talking about big dollars here. Thanks to his blog and his travel technology website Dave is able to live his idyllic digital nomad lifestyle, most months, for less than $US2500 – proving that paradise doesn’t have to cost you a fortune.

We spoke with Dave shortly after he settled in to his current location Porto, Portugal. Listen to the podcast for the full details of how Dave does it, how he is able to make this lifestyle affordable and how his experiences have changed his life.

dave Dave Dean in Portugal Dave Dean Color run


What I learned from Dave’s interview:

  1. He had a clear plan. This was no “swear at the boss and walk out” moment. He did his homework, knew his target for income he’d need (which was shockingly low at $1000 per month) and worked towards a date
  2. Living an expat life and being location independent is incredibly affordable even allowing for moving around. Dave works the hubs of Europe and Asia getting cheap flights and deals within regions which allows him to keep expensive long haul flights to a minimum. He also uses online sites like Airbnb to secure apartments (and off interview he shared with me that negotiating monthly rates for Asian hotels can have you getting some fantastic deals from as little as $500 per month)
  3. Health care is not only a non-issue, it’s actually a benefit. Many larger Asian cities have Western trained doctors in high quality clinics at extremely affordable prices that make Western hospitals and surgeries look very ordinary. In many cases you can walk in off the street and be treated in these clinics in a matter of minutes for less than $50. Dave gets his dental work done when in Asia and has no regrets about using their services.

Check out this episode!