How do we travel around the world for just 25 dollars?
Last week I made an interview with Tommo & Megsy. They are travel bloggers which enjoy in every day of their life. You can read above their story about being a travel blogger. It’s really amazing.
Who are Tommo & Megsy?
We travel, and have traveled to over 80 countries around the globe and to every continent (including Antarctica!). This number is set to rise, possibly indefinitely (Maybe we’ll make it to Mars one day).
Megsy is a former travel agent, so knows the travel industry from an insider perspective.
What was your life before you traveling?
We had an apartment in Brisbane, Australia. Megsy worked as a travel agent and was often working 10 hours or more each day. It was a stressful job. I worked as a musician, which although can be a lot of fun, it also meant a lot of hours driving to gigs, a lot of late nights and being on different work hours from each other. This made it very difficult for our relationship.
In 2012 we were saving for a mortgage, but by the end of the year we had decided that buying into a lifetime of debt with a mortgage just wasn’t for us. We took all of our savings with a plan to travel for 18 months and try and work out how to make money blogging while doing it. Almost 3 years later, we make money through our blog, enough that our 18 month trip has never ended.
So, there was a moment when you’ve decided to go on a travel. How was yours first days of trip?
It was almost a year between deciding that our current life wasn’t for us, and actually getting on the plane. After a long flight from Australia, we arrived in Bangkok just a couple of days before the Famous Songkran water festival.
The water festival is still one of the best experiences we’ve had since we started travelling. It’s the biggest water fight in the world. Thousands of people converge all around Thailand and other countries in the region for a 4 day soaking!
Everyone wants to be full-time traveler because that looks amazing. But this is just one part of that life. Which problems do you have in new lifestyle regime?
The amazing world we see and experience is the highlight of the lifestyle. What people don’t realise is, we have to work very hard as bloggers to make money. We spend a lot of hours on our business everyday. If you travel a lot, finding accommodation as you go, eating properly and exercising… All of these things are hard. Learning new customs, avoiding new scams in every country. Travel is also a lot of work.
Sitting at home you see all the pictures and think we are living a dream. Actually, we are just living an alternative. It’s more exciting than regular life, but it is still very challenging and we know a lot of people who have given up and gone home – at least for a while.
You travel a lot and have a lot of cool memories. How do you decide in which country you’re going next?
We used to base our choices around wherever we could get the cheapest flights or transport. We let fate decide. Countries like South Korea, Philippines, Portugal, had not been on our travel list, but we ended up there accidentally and now they are some of our favourite destinations.
But, after visiting 40 countries in 3 years, we now feel our decisions are also based around going to places that have some English speaking community – so we can have friends – as well as countries that are just easy, like Thailand. After visiting places like India and China, that are very hard work to travel on a budget, we just like travel to be fun, not stressful.
Let’s talk a little about numbers. People believe, that for great trip you also need a lot of money. You are saying opposite! How much money do I really need for a travel to some interesting destination? How much you spend on transport, sleeping, and food in different places?
We tracked every dollar we spent for the first 2 years. Our average spend was less than $25 USD per person per day. That included things like learning to scuba dive, visiting wonders of the world, like the Taj Mahal etc.
We balanced the expensive days out with the cheap days and it ended up being very affordable. Slow travel really saves you a lot.
Travel is only expensive if you are on a one week trip where every day is packed with expensive restaurants, attractions and long haul flights. A month of slow travel, maybe staying in one city the whole month, will cost less that a few days of “vacation” travel.
Are there any things you get for free on a trip and how do you get them?
We’ve saved thousands of dollars of the last year because of this. But, this stuff is not really free. Hours of work goes into building a relationship with these companies and producing great content that they can appreciate. We talk a lot about exactly how we do this in an article (with accompanying podcast).
Please, describe me one day of your life. What you do trough a day?
Before our blogging business expanded we might write for 2 or 3 hours, then go see a local attraction, then have a beer at sunset and chat to locals or expats.
Now we are running a full time business, we typically work 8 hours a day, just like everyone else. The main benefit is, when we have days off, we are in other countries. We can go and explore. Once you have been on the road this long, reality takes hold. You have to work, and you don’t want to go exploring everyday anyway. It’s just too intense and overwhelming after a few years. you have to take it easy. We have had travel burnout quite a few times. We just have to sit and watch TV all day to reset our brains.
There is so many interesting information on your blog for people who want a be full-time traveler. Do you have a blog only to share your experiences and tips for traveling or is there any profit you have from the blog?
We make money from Freelance writing, Sponsorship, ebook sales and affiliate sales mainly. Though we have lots of small revenue streams all over the place. I don’t like to promote the life of a “full time traveller” so much. More of being location independent.
Location independence gives you the flexibility to live wherever you like, for as long as you like. If that means spending 6 months of the year at home, and 6 months living at the beach, that’s cool. If it means backpacking around the world non-stop, that’s fins too. Just, from experience, as I said, full time travel gets too much. So we spend a long time in each location when we can, to have a break.
Do you ever wonder how your life will be in 20 years? When it comes to time for “retirement”, do you have any plan?
The world is changing so fast, it’s hard to know if anything will really be the same in 20 years. As I say, being location independent is about flexibility. I don’t think I could keep up a full time travel life forever, but I have certainly embrace minimalism and the idea of giving it all up and just staying in one place sounds pretty boring.
Our business is still in the early stages, but we hope to be experts at what we do as the years go forward. The more established you are, the more money you can command. Like any other business, I don’t see what we do as being any different from anyone else who is self employed. But I’m sure we’ll retire in the sun somewhere.
Would you like to settle down in your old days or maybe travel even more?
I don’t think we’ll stop in one place. Our current plan is to choose 2 to 3 places that will be more regular “homes” for us. I doubt we will travel more though. The same or less I think.
You have meet a lot of amazing people, cultures, and places. How much has all that affected on your life? Please, write a couple of reasons why my readers should travel more.
It’s impossible not to be changed for ever when you travel. The most important thing we learned, and see everywhere, is that almost everyone on this planet just wants to be safe and happy. That is it. Whatever the news says about this horrible world we live in… it’s wrong. It’s 0.05% of the world that want to ruin everything for the rest of us.
The more you travel, the more you realise we are all the same. Regardless of religion or upbringing.
The memories you form traveling will live with you forever. Travel gives meaning to everyday. You can look back at photo of something you did 2 years ago and think about all of the things connected with that moment. Day to day life is so similar every day, that very few days have more meaning than the next. Travel makes everyday important.
You are currently in Bangkok. Where do you plan to go next? Do you have in plan some new adventures and projects?
We are actually in Chiang Mai. This is the biggest digital nomad hub in the world right now. It’s the perfect place for small businesses to come and meet other like minded people. Share ideas and learn new ways to make your business work better. We have few new projects happening, but I can’t talk about those right now. You’ll have to come visit our site and subscribe to our newsletter 🙂
Please conclude with a couple of sentences that might motivate my readers to live their dream life just like you.
Travel matters. Travel inspires.
It activates your mind, opens it and makes you think in new ways. It frees you from the drudgery of everyday 9-5 life and makes every moment more meaningful and memorable. There is no ‘dream life‘, only the life that is right for you.
Take steps towards living the life that will make you happy, whatever that life may be.