Living an Expat lifestyle and leaving the 9 to 5 routine doesn’t necessarily meaning not exploring your own country as part of the journey. For Alabama native Kyle Brady and his partner Olivia Gould their old lives left them feeling trapped and not going anywhere. They had a desire to see more of their own country – Olivia hadn’t even seen a mountain prior to going!

The couple started their planning in September 2014 and after 12 months of downsizing and saving up (they set aside $300 per week by, amongst other things, not eating out) they hit the road with their renovated 16 foot RV and haven’t looked back. As Olivia rightly said, “Why live somewhere when you can live everywhere!”

We caught up with them at Slab City California where they detailed the process of their planning and preparation and how their Etsy store is able to provide them with enough income to sustain their monthly journey.

You can follow their blog at www.drivinandvibin.com and check out their Etsy store at https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheWoodenEarth

Olivia and River Rv camping RV

What I learned from Kyle and Olivia’s interview:

  1. Having a vision board (this worked for John and Monika Mundell as well) is a great way to focus on the outcome you want and can be a wonderful reminder when things get tough as to why you are saving money or throwing out that old dress you used to love. It helped having the extra incentive of a free pizza from their friends but is an exercise worth doing yourselves.
  2. You can RV with a dog. Although they are restricted from taking their pet into national parks they can generally find somewhere that will mind him for the day while they head off on a trip
  3. Check out Etsy as an option for funding your new lifestyle. Like Micah and Jenna Kvidt these guys have found the online world can help fund their lifestyle – in fact the $2000 per month they are making will cover their total costs.
  4. If looking to go the Rv route there is a wealth of online information available to help you and Kyle and Olivia have found a supportive network on the road as well. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel when others have the answers for you
  5. You can work RVing to your budget. These guys spend mostly on camping and food however there are places you can camp for free and they are self-sufficient with cooking. They can slow the speed of travel to save on gas.
  6. You don’t have to leave the country to enjoy an expat lifestyle. Like Chuck and Lori Ros and Heath Padgett Kyle and Olivia have learned to appreciate what their own country has to offer. Every country is an expat community to somebody!

Check out this episode!

Leon Logothetis was a London stockbroker working in the city. On the outside he had it all but on the inside he felt miserable and depressed. His future looked set in stone until one day he watched an inspirational movie called the Motorcycle Diaries and he realized that his future was not going to improve unless he changed. Inspired he headed off on an adventure to travel the world spreading kindness along the way.

Leon has gone on to visit over 90 countries and inspire thousands with his books and television series including Amazing Adventures of a Nobody and The Kindness Diaries. His work tabling the generosity of others has featured on CNN, Good Morning America and television and newspaper around the world.

We caught up with Leon where he shares his philosophy on kindness and tells us some of the incredible people he has encountered on his journey. You can check out what Leon is up to on his website http://www.leonlogothetis.com

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What I learned from talking to Leon:

  1. Bhutan measures its national happiness…shouldn’t all countries do that! Im not sure how they measure it but the fact that they do is a big head start for me. Better put it on my list of places to visit.
  2. We talk often on the show about how travel confirms we are more similar than we think. We also are often amazed at the generosity of others while traveling and Leon’s adventures confirm this. His stories are uplifting and a tribute to humanity. Sometimes we do get the formula right.
  3. Small acts of kindness can leverage into greater benefits to all. Leons story of the homeless man in Denver who offered him shelter led to a $60,000 crowdfunding campaign for the man and the opportunity to leverage the generosity to a higher level.
  4. Trust your 6th sense for danger. This is your body’s intuition and shouldn’t be ignored. Travel is one the best ways to develop this sense further.

Check out this episode!

From Greeks Islands to the Emerald Isles; Our Family Sabbatical in Greece and Ireland

Tina Lavelle had traveled Europe when she was younger, and the urge to return had never left. Her husband Ralph had grown up in Ireland and both felt a desire to leave their suburban Australia lifestyle for some freedom abroad. In 2015 they packed up their two children, rented out their home and firstly headed to the Greek island of Zakynthos where they enjoyed 4 sun filled months before heading for Dublin where they are now settled in.

We joined Tina to discuss the process of schooling her children locally in both countries, how accommodation sharing sites like Couchsurfing and Helpx have provided them with much more than saving money and how you can self publish a book of your adventures while away.

You can check out their blog at http://kouklahouse.com where you’ll find their book “ On a Greek Island; A Season in Zakynthos”

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What I learned from talking with Tina:

  1. Kids are so adaptable when it comes to schooling. Tina’s children have spent time both in Greek school and now in Irish ones during their journey. Like the Wagoners , Scarlett Thomas and Danna Bowman they found their children can adapt quickly to a new environment in local schools
  2. If you’re looking to earn a little money from your adventure then why not write a book and self-publish? Tina’s husband has written a story of their life on the Greek island of Zakynthos and published via Amazon. Although not likely to fund your entire journey it can provide a small top up in income. Check out our interview with Virginie Carmichael who has also self-published several books
  3. Couchsurfing has been a great way to get around and get to know cultures. Even as a family of four they have been able to enjoy the benefits of local hospitality. They have also used Helpx – another unique accommodation sharing site where people can trade accommodation for work. This allows them to stay longer than couchsurfing.

Check out this episode!

Tommy Walker grew up in the north of England with stories of travel and adventure as a part of his life. With many relatives living overseas and an Uncle who had shared his stories of traveling in South East Asia Tommy had long held the goal of seeing more of the world for himself.

Just over 3 years ago he headed off on an adventure to Thailand that was only supposed to be for 3 months. Hooked by the experience he explored much of Asia and Australia for a year and then spent 12 months traveling around South America including visiting Brazil during the World Cup.

We caught up with him in his new short term home of Melbourne ahead of his 2016 adventures which will include Central America. We discuss the short term financial sacrifices a backpacker has to make, what it was like to mountain bike the world’s most dangerous road and how having too many expectations can be a downer for your overseas adventure.

You can follow Tommy’s blog at www.thewanderingwalker.com

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What I learned from talking to Tommy:

  1. Tommy’s trip to Paraguay showed him that listening to other travelers is not always the answer. He loves heading off the beaten track and can always find something worth seeing in every country he visits
  2. He is willing to work long hours when he needs to as he knows it provides him with much needed funds and a longer period of time on the road. Much like Tomislav Perko a little bit of time sacrificed to a job can provides months of travel experiences later.

Being a backpacker works best if you’re a social creature who likes to talk to people but don’t worry if you aren’t; the process of travel helped bring Tommy out of his shell and it would be fair to say it may just do the same for you. As Tommy said travel finally allowed him to be himself and it may just be the same for you

Check out this episode!

To many parents the idea of raising children in an underdeveloped African nation would seem scary. For Sara Sullivan it’s just another adventure in a life that has seen her explore new boundaries both personally and professionally.

The mother of two has followed up time in Pakistan with starting a family in the Southern African nation where she lives with her family in the capital of Gabarone.

Today she joins us to share her experiences of the Botswanan culture, how she raises her children in a foreign environment and how living the expat life can provide you with some very tangible benefits.

You can follow Sara’s adventures in Botswana at her blog http://outland-ish.com

Safari Jeep Sara with Elephant Trick or Treating in Gaborone

What I learned from Sara’s interview:

  1. There is such a huge perception at the moment that westerners are hated in Muslim countries. As our interviews with Josh Cahill and Audrey Scott and Daniel Noll will confirm this is simply not the case. Although Sara did see some anti American signage during her time in Pakistan she was treated very well and with great interest by the locals. Our opinions are shaped by the media who allow the actions of an extreme few be representative of the silent majority when it simply isn’t the case.
  2. If you have safari on your mind then maybe skip the more traditional Kenyan or South African options and look at Botswana. The Okavango delta is world famous for the range and amount of wildlife there and the experience is meant to be well worth it.
  3. Botswana sounds like a meat lover’s paradise! Cows are highly regarded and a staple part of the diet. It’s a long way to go for a steak but you’ll find them far more affordable than back home.

Check out this episode!

Kay Dougherty was a successful well paid but stressed high heeled member of the Boston financial establishment when the financial crisis hit in 2008 and her company chose to downsize. In her mid 50’s Kay found getting a new job to be a challenge. Always a lover of travel she discovered a new role as a marketing consultant which paid the bills and have her increased freedom to travel more.

Her travel blog of her adventures with her sister drew attention thanks to Kays contagious humor and led to a large social media following which opened up opportunities for Kay to enjoy sponsored trips from travel companies.

Nearly 4 years on Kay is able to travel 3-4 months per year but is on the brink of expanding herself further and devoting more time to travel and earning an online income from it. In this interview she shares her take on becoming a travel writer, travelling safely as a woman and what young people should consider before jumping into an expat travel lifestyle.

If you want travel stories with a sense of humor you’ll love following Kay on http://blondebrunettetravel.com

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What I learned from Kay’s interview:

  1. It does take a lot of followers to make a living from travel blogging. Kay freely admits that despite having a large following on social media circles it’s no guarantee of income. She does get a lot of complementary travel opportunities however and that is certainly a perk worth having!
  2. Kay raised a very good point about safety. A lot is written about the dangers of traveling overseas however most trouble spots in foreign countries are easy to identify and stay clear of – more so than is becoming the case in western countries where outbreaks of violence or terrorism are more random.
  3. Kay’s development into travel writing was quite slow. She initially went from an employment situation where her limited holidays were an add-on to her work schedule to a consulting situation (admittedly not of her own choice) where she was able to plan her holidays first and fit her consulting around it. This has enabled her to find her feet, increase her travel experiences, build some key relationships with travel boards, cruise ship companies and other travel providers, and develop her blog to the point where she now has a platform to develop a larger income stream and travel more.

Check out this episode!

Well they say love can make you do things you don’t expect. For Andrea Gomez the prospect of moving from her home in Colombia to the Netherlands was not something she had expected growing up in Bogota!

Andrea moved to be with her Dutch boyfriend around 8 months ago – to a small village near the border with Germany, and is slowly getting used to European life including climate changes that she never had to deal with before.

In today’ s interview Andrea talks about what she loves about the Dutch way of life and the process she went through to gain her residency. She also discussed how she was able to start not one but two online businesses with no previous experience.

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What I learned from speaking with Andrea:

  1. If you are looking to become a Dutch resident brush up on your language skills. This is a requirement for initial residency and then again, with more advanced skills, when seeking a longer term residency. Andrea initially had to travel in and out of Holland for 90 day periods at a time until her initial paperwork was passed.
  2. What hidden talents have you not exploited? Andrea knew she had some talent as an artist but it took the expat experience to bring it out of her – and develop a surprising little business that probably wouldn’t have started had she stayed in Colombia.
  3. Shifting is a wonderful time to break out of your old mental barriers – many of which are self-imposed. No one knows you and no one cares. It’s a liberating time to explore things about yourself you may never have discovered.
  4. Cycling is the way to go in Holland. The flat countryside lends itself to it and bikes take priority over all other modes of transport meaning accidents are relatively rare.

Check out this episode!

Cambodia offers its visitors a land of contrasts. Larger cities like Phnom Penh are fast developing a western style with many of the fast food chains setting up shop. But head to rural Cambodia and you take a step back in time to a place where life is a lot simpler.

One person enjoying the benefits of Cambodian village life is Kirsty Thorpe, an Australian teacher who has been volunteering with a child rescue organization a couple of hours from Phnom Penh.

In todays interview Kirsty shares what she loves about Cambodia, how she came to be involved in helping these young people and what you need to be wary of if you plan on volunteering overseas.

You can find out more on Kirsty blog at https://cambodianlife2015.wordpress.com

 Kirsty Thorpe - Cambodian Life Kirsty Thorpe - Cambodian Life

What I learned from Kirsty’s interview:

  1. It amazes me the attitude of people who have been through so much. Cambodia lost up to an estimated 3 million people -almost 25% of the population – to Pol Pot’s oppressive regime yet the people are consistently ranked amongst the warmest you can find.
  2. Again South East Asia gets top marks for safety. We’ve interviewed a number of women including Alice Nettleingham who consistently tell us how safe they find it and Cambodia is no exception.
  3. If you plan on volunteering ask where the money goes. Many organizations are honorable but there are others who are profiteering majorly from their efforts. Talk to those in charge, determine if the costs are relative to where you are going and make sure you get full disclosure on where the money ends up. If it goes to the community great, but in many cases administration charges can be inflated.
  4. Would your career benefit from the experience of volunteering? As a teacher Kirsty has been able to further her professional development through her teaching there. Perhaps your job could provide a similar opportunity?

Check out this episode!

Steven Courtney was no experienced traveler. In fact the 22 year old hadn’t even known what a youth hostel was when he made his first trip across the US on a work trip. He discovered a whole new world of multiple languages and adventure that he had to be part of.

From that point forward the standard two week holiday was spent experiencing the world but limited time wasn’t enough and he knew he needed more.

4 years ago he took the plunge to becoming a fulltime traveler and hasn’t looked back. You’ll enjoy this interview with Steven – his passion hasn’t diminished from his time on the road – in fact he is more amazed and curious the longer he travels.

Steven shares his journeys via periscope and you can check him out there at http://www.perisearch.net/user/Travel_Visions or http://www.perisearch.net/user/Guyz_TV

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What I learned from Steven:

  1. Working part of the year is often enough to fund the rest of the years travels. Like Brendan Lee and Tomislav Perko Steven was able to fund a good period of the year (9 months) from just 3 months of working in Australia
  2. If you’re looking for somewhere different to visit check out Tonga. As Steven says it often appears on lists as one of the least visited countries in the world but he has had one of his most magical experiences there. The people are friendly and you can experience the sort of lifestyle unlike what you might find elsewhere.
  3. Don’t dismiss traveling alone as an option. Many people told Steven to try it this way before he left and he was initially reluctant but loves the flexibility it affords him. There are pluses and minuses of traveling alone or with others and you need to find what works for you.
  4. Steven’s method of travel has evolved as he has gone on. Initially moving constantly he has now settled into a system where he will base himself in a hub and go out for journeys from there, returning to the hub when required. This gives him more of a base, some familiarity and reduces the need to cart everything with him every couple of days.

Check out this episode!

Not everyone plans a move overseas. For Samantha Wei it was meeting her partner Yeison, a Costa Rican native,that was the catalyst for her move there from the United States 3 years ago. After an initial period of settling in she now considers Costa Rica to be home and has made a new life, and a very successful online business since moving there.

We caught up with Samantha to discuss the process of adapting to a new country and culture, the relative merits of the two towns she has mainly live in Jaco, and El Coco and how they differ to city life in San Jose, and some of the myths around moving to Costa Rica (not everything is as cheap as you think).

You can find out more and grab a copy of Samantha and Yeison’s free e-book “Travel and Discover Costa Rica” via their blog www.mytanfeet.com

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What I learned from speaking with Samantha:

  1. Sometimes learning a language can be easier learning with someone else than with a local. They tend to speak slower and are more patient with you as they are in the same situation
  2. Although Costa Rica is cheaper in many ways there are things you need to be aware that are more expensive than the US. Gas is dearer as is purchasing vehicles, and you will be charged an annual tax on the value of your vehicle even if you bring your old car in with you. Some food such as cheese and meat can also be dear as are electronic goods. If visiting home it can sometimes be a good idea to load up on things you can’t find affordably while living there
  3. Internet can be a problem and is also quite expensive. Samantha found however that having a portable hotspot was cheaper than normal internet and gave her the chance to work from anywhere – including the beach!
  4. Healthcare is generally pretty good. You may be looking at paying out of pocket which is cheaper than the US but if you choose to become a resident you may qualify for the government’s monthly healthcare package of around $40.
  5. $US are widely accepted in most places but if you have other currencies you will need to switch to Costa Ricans colones.
  6. Costa Rica has 26 different micro-climates, something for everyone. It doesn’t matter where you are you will only be a few hours away from a temperature and conditions that will suit you!
  7. Check out our other interviews with Danna Bowman and Dan Gaskell for their perspective on living in Costa Rica.

Check out this episode!