Our Big Announcement: Travelling the World Full Time

by Nov 19, 2015100 Things, Moving, Our Happiness Project, Planning13 comments

“One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted.

Do it now.”

– Paulo Coelho

We’ve been not-so-subtly hinting at our exciting new plans for the last few months and now we can finally speak freely.

So what is this exciting new plan?

We’ve quit our jobs to commit to travelling the world full time and finding a way of making money doing work we love.

We don’t know exactly what shape this will take; it could mean we start our own business or work online or it could involve just finding jobs that we love working for companies that we believe in.

The only thing we really know is that we will be heading off on this journey around the world on 1 December 2015!

A year long trip is already an item on our 100 Things List but we’ve decided to set ourselves a slightly loftier goal by aiming to make it to at least 1000 days. Ideally, we’ll use that time to create sources of income that will let us becoming location independent so we can choose where we want to be, for how long, and when.

However, we know there is also the potential outcome that we just burn through all our savings and have to get jobs to make ends meet; we’re just hoping we can make it to at least 1000 days before that happens.

So yea, should be pretty easy right? Ha!

In this post we’ll talk about why we’ve made this HUGE decision, our short and long term travel plans, what our plan is for this blog, and how the heck we’re going to pay for it all!

matt and dayna travelling the world

So, why the big change?

We’ve loved our time in London and all of the trips we’ve managed to make while living here for the last three and a half years. It is an awesome city to live in and the best base to explore Europe.

But at the end of last year we realised, we weren’t really happy.

Our trip to New Zealand could not have come at a better time. We got to relax and contemplate where we had gone wrong. We chatted through it all and spent a lot of time figuring out what was affecting our happiness.

We had let our health slide, were constantly tired and stressed from our jobs, didn’t have a goal/plan/direction, and were putting way too much emphasis on measuring our success in life based on the number in our bank account (a common thing in London!).

So we made a plan and started actively trying to dig ourselves out of the hole we had gotten ourselves into.

It meant making a lot of tough decisions and big life changes.

As we did an audit of all aspects of our lives we realised a few things:

  • We were/are a bit disillusioned with the grind of full time employment where we’re doing work that we’re not really passionate about.
  • We are happiest when we are in control of how we spend our time…which conveniently usually coincides with when we’re travelling.
  • We’ve always had it in the back of our heads that one day we’d have our own business(es) but haven’t had the time (or been brave enough) to turn that into a reality.

Which lead us to ask ourselves some questions:

Why do we spend such a large part of our lives doing stuff we don’t want to do in order to spend a small part of it doing the bits we DO want to do?

Why work at something we don’t love for 261 days a year just to watch netflix on the weekends as we recover from all that hard work whilst looking forward to the few weeks of annual leave available for travel and doing what we really love?

Why do we put such an emphasis on how much money we earn instead of thinking of time as our most valuable currency?

We worked out that we spend over a third of our lives in London either working, commuting or doing chores we’d rather avoid. Considering roughly another third is spent sleeping, that means that well less than a third of our lives is actually spent doing what we want. And a lot of that time gets wasted in front of screens as we recover from working so hard.

We want to flip this around and spend our time thoughtfully, working hard on jobs we’re passionate about, doing things that make us happy (like travelling the world), and knowing that we’re living a life we love when things inevitably get tough.

We want to take ownership of our own lives, and be free to spend our days how we see fit.

As all-or-nothing type of people, we know that if we don’t take the leap and commit to finding work that we’re passionate about and travelling the world full time now, we never will.

We get that a nomadic life is not everyone’s dream and we’re not preaching in any way that others have to follow suit to be happy. We think everyone should at least travel a little bit but having a great home and a 9-5 job we are happy in could easily suit us one day too.

People and priorities change but we’ve decided we want to do what is best for us right now. Even if it is incredibly nerve-racking and not the most responsible thing we’ve ever done!

So where are we going on our travels? And how the hell are we going to pay for it?!

matt and dayna travelling the world

rOur short term travel plans

We are kicking off our travels in style flying upper class with Virgin Atlantic to San Francisco on 1 December (Dayna will be doing a separate post on how we used our credit card points to cover these £14,000 flights…yes, you read that right).

We’re then doing one of our dream trips; a road trip down the Pacific Coast Highway to San Diego. Matt has a broken wrist that is only about 75% healed now so fingers crossed he’ll actually be able to drive comfortably!

After a few days of visiting Matt’s favourite places in San Diego (mainly Mexican restaurants and bars…he did a semester abroad there as a student at UCSD in 2007) we’re then flying to Phoenix for another road trip around Arizona and Utah before heading up to Canada for some time with Dayna’s family over Christmas and New Years.

Next, we’ve got a flight to New Zealand booked in for the end of January. We’re still playing with a bunch of ideas for how to spend our time there (such as buying a car or even a campervan to tour around the country) before going to a couple of weddings in March.

Long term travel plans

After our time with friends and family in NZ we’re actually not sure where we’re heading.

Visa rules for Dayna mean she can only stay in New Zealand for 90 days and we’ll need to book an onward flight before we arrive. We’re currently thinking of heading back to Thailand (with a potential stopover in Melbourne) to kick off the rest of our travels, however, we need to get some type of travel insurance before we do that. (try this if you are also interested on finding a travel insurance)

Dayna’s been researching a fitness centre in Phuket that would allow us to spend some time focusing on getting healthy and fit before we head off exploring (something we’ll probably need after a few months of enjoying foods we’ve missed in North America and New Zealand!).

So our travel plans aren’t very set in stone (which is unusual for us) but what we do know is that we want to take our new slow travel approach all over Asia & the rest of the world.

We’ve never been able to travel freely without everything booked in so we’re excited to be flexible with the where and when and just go where we feel like going.

If we start feeling sick of the humidity of Southeast Asia then maybe we’ll head back to Europe to spend a few months exploring countries we’ve not yet visited. If we start burning through too much cash then maybe we’ll head to some of the cheaper parts of Central or South America or if we’re craving new continents to explore then there’s always Antarctica…the point is we will be free and open to opportunities as they come up.

And we have a big bucket list of ideas if we ever get stuck…

matt and dayna travelling the world

How are we going to pay for all of this?

Well to start with we’ve spent the last few years saving as much as we can in between our travels. We’ve talked about how we save for travel here and we’ve been working hard at it.

We also want to make long term travel sustainable and that means we need to travel as cheaply as possible (which is tough because we like nice things!) and we need to bring in some income too. There are a few ways we’re looking into doing this…

Making long term travel cheaper

Slow travel – we’ve already talked about why we love slow travel and one of the perks is that you can do deals for longer term stays and renting apartments for weeks at a time. This will help us reduce the average daily cost of travel massively when compared to a new hotel every night or two plus paying for the travel in between.

House & Pet-sitting – we’ve signed up to Trusted Housesitters and as our plans become clearer we’ll hopefully have some luck at applying for and securing some long term housesits that would save us a lot of money since accommodation is the most expensive bit of travel usually. Which reminds me that we still haven’t done our awkward intro video that we need for our profile.

Making money on the road

Oh the ideas we’ve had….some of them great and some of them that will never be mentioned to anyone ever.

We’ll be writing about how all of these ideas pan out as we actually put time and effort into them but for now here are just a few examples of the type of things we’re going to look into and try:

  • Freelancing – our careers and working on this site have helped developed quite a variety of different skills that we’d love to use for contracting on the road. Whether it’s using our contacts from old jobs to find projects or sites like Upwork.com, there is a bunch of work out there (although we realise it is a crowded, competitive market of freelancers).
  • Teaching English – Matt’s thought about teaching as a career in the past and given teaching english is one of the best options for jobs in some exotic locations, we’re going to look into this once we’re on the road (although it will mean some study and a course somewhere along the line).
  • Our own online businesses (we have a few different ideas here but will share things once they become more concrete).
  • Niche websites (websites focused on a small, focused area)
  • Affiliate income – we have only just started learning more about and experimenting with the world of affiliate advertising but already love the idea and model as an option for monetising websites.

How does affiliate advertising work? It is just where a link is added to a post or email that when clicked goes off to a retailer’s website. If the product is purchased (there’s no extra cost to the buyer by clicking the link) then a small commission is paid to the source of the click (which would be us). Win/win.

It works well for us because we’re already writing and providing useful information about hotels/tours/experiences that we’ve paid for ourselves and would recommend to others, and if we can earn a little bit of income from doing so, great!

We’re planning on adding these into our posts on this site occasionally but more so we’ll use this for any niche websites we come up with.

matt and dayna travelling the world

What’s our plan for this blog?

As you may have noticed this year we’ve been slowly tweaking our site and trying out a few different types of posts as we think about what we want to write about and share.

Well now we’re at the point that you could almost call this a bit of a re-launch (especially when we’re about to be able to write & travel full time).

So what are we going to be writing about?

We want to write about what we’re passionate about, our travels, what we wish there were articles on, the things that have helped us, and the details of our trip that will keep us accountable (how much we spend etc). We also want to be guinea pigs and continue to try out different routines, tips and tricks that people recommend for a happy life then write about how we found them.

We want to be more creative and through telling stories, photography and video we’ll be able to do that and keep ourselves busy and motivated.

We want to get back to writing more stories and sharing the funny mishaps and misadventures that we like to read ourselves.

There are a million factual, informative “top 5 things to do in X” posts out there but we prefer to write about the stuff that really makes us happy or angry or sad or excited. We can still add the factual, informative info to the end of stories (since we love it ourselves when we can get tips from blogs) but have more fun with it along the way.

Occasionally we will be posting those more informative posts, guides and itineraries but only when we have a hard time finding the info ourselves and wish someone else had done it for us.

Working busy, full-time jobs whilst trying to keep up posting semi-regularly has been hard so we’re excited to get back to writing more often, when we actually want to and posting a lot more regularly.

matt and dayna travelling the world

Subscribe to get our new Newsletter and weekly updates by email

From next month we’re starting something new, a weekly update email plus a monthly newsletter!

Weekly Update/Summary Email

Right now (if you’re already subscribed), you get an email whenever we publish a new post. Since we’re planning on posting a bit more often, we don’t want to annoy you with lots of emails. So, we’re changing to a new email format that is sent once a week and includes an update from us, a list of our new posts & videos from the week which you can click on to read or watch in full, plus other tidbits that won’t be on the blog.

Monthly newsletter

Our monthly newsletter will include some of the highlights of our travels and some of the key details like how much we spend and how much it really costs us to travel the world. Hopefully sharing that info will help keep us accountable and not spend too much!

If you’re subscribed already then you don’t need to do anything but otherwise sign up in the box at the bottom of this post! (especially if you’re interested in all the costs and details of our trip)

Where else can you follow us?

Youtube – We’ll be posting videos 2-3 times a week with vlogs from our travels. Subscribe here to get notified of new videos as they go live (all you need is a google or youtube account).

Instagram – we’ll be posting pretty pictures from our travels daily.

Facebook – we have sucked at posting much on facebook in the past but that is going to change when we’re on the road. We’ll actually have time to share pics and updates!

Twitter – Dayna updates Twitter more frequently than our other social media accounts so follow us there for our most up to date details from the road.. So subscribe, follow, comment, like, and all that good stuff.

What do you think? Are we crazy? Have any advice, tips on where to go or words of warning for us?

And if you have any questions, ask them in the comments (or email us)!