Ever dreamed about packing up a suitcase, taking your lover by the hand and travelling from one amazing country to the next together with no end date in sight? Doesn’t it just seem like the most romantic, exciting, wonderful idea in the world?
Of course it does!
But the reality is, for most of us, that dream simply remains a dream – an idea that never makes it past the thought process.
So what is it that’s holding you back from doing it? Uncertainty? Fear? Lack of stable income?
Well today I want to prove to you that it is possible to take to the road with the one you love without being left broke, homeless or single at the end of it.
Meet San Franciscans Chris and Danika, full time travellers and founders of the wanderlust-inspiring luxury travel blog, No Destinations. I’m about to interview them.
“Hi we’re Chris and Danika, a couple of tech savvy, food loving thirty something’s, who left an awesome life in San Francisco for a life of travelling around the world… for the next few years anyway.
Somewhere between Paris and Berlin we created our travel blog, No Destinations to document our travels and share the beautiful views we get to see. My husband and I both work remotely with a handful of clients – Chris is a website developer and I am an online marketer.
Together we’ve been travelling the world for almost two years as digital nomads!”
When did you first start travelling independently and where did you go?
Before we started dating, we had both travelled a little bit. Chris had been to all the major European cities and I had been to a few places in S. America, Mexico and Jamaica.
Once we got together we started taking a lot of vacations to Mexico and that’s when we decided we wanted to see more of the world and not be confined to “vacation time”. For this trip we left in March of 2014 with a one-way ticket to Rome.
What then inspired you to travel more?
We wanted to see the world and we just couldn’t do that with 2-4 week vacations a year. Over cocktails one night, we talked about taking a year to travel and decided this is what we had to do – 3 months after that night we were on our way to Rome.
What are your 2 favourite travel destinations and why?
That is such a tough question and our answers constantly change ☺. Today my most memorable travel experiences have been visiting Iceland and the Maldives but I’m also in love with Bali and Rome. Chris’s favourite destinations are Vietnam and Paris.
What is your travel style and what kind of impact does this have on the way you budget, save and earn money before and during your travels?
Our style is more on the luxury side with tons of adventure added in. We like to come home to comfortable accommodations and prefer extra space.
Since we are both working remotely now, it’s important for us to have privacy and a work area in our hotel or apartment, so hostels, shared spaces and budget friendly hotels, don’t really work well for us.
Since we do work and bring in an income we can afford to rent apartments and be a little extravagant at times.
We also don’t have to worry about all the costs associated with staying in one place. We no longer have a car payment, our health insurance is a lot less expensive than what we paid in the US, we have renters in our apartments (so no mortgage payment) and overall our cost of living is just a lot less now.
The extra money allows us to save, travel more and just be happy.
Before we left on our trip (almost two years ago) we weren’t sure how the whole “working remotely” thing was going to pan out. We figured worse case scenario, we had a savings account that could get us by for a year and then we would have to come back…that was almost two years ago and we never once had to touch savings.
Budgeting now is really no different than how we budgeted before; the only difference is our location frequently changes.
What strategies do you use to fund this lifestyle?
Simply said we both work. If we didn’t work while on this journey, our style would be a lot different or we wouldn’t have been gone for as long.
We both have and independent freelance business and we share our travel website, No Destinations.
When Chris isn’t busy with his clients (he’s a website developer) he’s photographing and editing our thousands of photos.
I now work on our website full time and do the content creation and business development. Our website has definitely opened a lot of doors for us and allows us to do some really great things.
Recommended Reading: How To Create a Life of Travel
What pre-travel money saving tips can you give us?
- Sell all your stuff (seriously all of it). We did a good job selling most of our stuff before we left, but there were a few things I insisted on keeping because I didn’t want to have to rebuy it. We kept my Vitamix and mixer and now I’m not sure when I’ll see it again. I would much rather have the money, than pay for storage for something that I won’t need for awhile.
- Even if you don’t think anyone will buy something you have, try anyways. On weekends we would create post after post on craigslist and people bought everything – even Chris’s old T-shirts and my worn out shoes.
- Stop buying so much. I never realized how much my little trips to Nordstrom, Forever 21 and Target used to cost. Just stop.
- Learn to buy better. Sometimes you have to spend a little bit more money on something that will last you longer and be of higher quality
- Get a Charles Schwab account and a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. Charles Schwab is the ONLY bank we found that reimburses foreign ATM transaction fees and the Chase card reimburses credit foreign transaction fees.
What are your top go-to resources for booking flights, accommodation and tours?
- We tend not to book organised tours. If there is a destination where we have to book a tour, we look for small private operators. We stay away from the big name tour operators – they tend to be just tourist traps.
What is the most important thing you have learned through travel and with that in mind, what valuable advice can you give aspiring travellers?
Life is too short to spend your time working, only so that you can buy material objects, a bigger house, or a nicer car. Instead live smart and wealth will come.
Find a skill that you can do remotely and figure out a way to earn money from it – it won’t be easy, but the reward is life changing.
And finally, what have you got planned next?
Right now we’re in Amsterdam catching up on work and enjoying having a kitchen again. Soon we’ll be off to Morocco, Dubai and back to the US in time for Christmas with our family. 🙂
If this interview inspired you to grab your lover by the hand and set off to wander the world together, please share it!
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