As part of our Nomads Around The Globe Series – We carried out an Interview with Audacious Duo, who share some great insight about travelling around the globe as nomads.
When did you start your blog and why?
Karl: We started traveling June of 2017 but we began working on the blog in January. We officially launched the blog in May, the same month we quit our corporate American job, sold our house and sold pretty much everything we owned besides what currently fits in our backpac
Leah: I’m not entirely sure why we started the blog. Blogging is a lot of work. I just knew I had this desire to write and travel so I thought why not combine the two. It was just something I knew we had to try. We began traveling 78 days ago so we’ll see where this blog takes us, but we are very grateful to have this opportunity to be featured on Digital Travel Guru and for being able to share our experiences with readers.
Name Of Your Blog & Link:
Instagram: Audacious Duo
What can our readers find on your blog?
On our blog, readers can find real-life travel stories. We aim to share what we’ve learned both good and bad and be honest about our experiences. We do have some blog posts regarding what to do and see in other countries, but mostly we try to explain our experiences.
How difficult or easy is it to run a blog whilst living the nomad life? Any challenges?
At first, starting a blog was very difficult. Neither of us were tech savvy and didn’t participate much in Social Media. But, we both wanted a career change so writing and building a website has been an interesting journey so far.
Since we’ve be traveling for the last 78 days, it’s been a challenge to keep with social media and to create new content. We’ve been doing a lot of Workaway experiences so it’s been hard to have a full day of free time between working and sightseeing.
During our first Workaway experience in the countryside of France our blog got hacked, twice! It took us a week to get it up and running and it didn’t help that the wifi in rural France was not so good. We find that the wifi in places can really be hit or miss and that can be really frustrating when you want to get things done.
Where was home prior to you starting the nomad life?
Karl: Prior to leaving on this trip, Colorado was our home. We have not been back and don’t really plan to go back for a year or two. So far, we’ve been looking forward to the next destination and haven’t had time to look back!!
Leah: However, we do really miss our friends and family and have been encouraging them to come visit us! In fact, we meet friends around Christmas in New Zealand and we’re really excited about that!
How would you describe the term nomad life in your own words?
Karl: Every day is a new adventure
When did you start the nomad lifestyle and why?
Karl: We started traveling in June 13th of 2017 (78 days ago). We plan on traveling for the next 1-2 years. There’s 3 options that could happen to us during this trip: 1) We find a cool place to settle down in Asia somewhere and open our own hostel/guesthouse/yoga retreat 2) Our blog takes off and we can keep traveling until ……. 3) Move back to Colorado after a year or two.
Leah: We decided to change our lives because we were sick of working in Corporate America day in and day out for just a few weeks of vacation per year. Check Out: QuittingYourJob For A Life Of Travel. We no longer found meaning in our lives and decided to take off to discover what life is really about.
What are some of the pro’s and cons of being a nomad?
Karl: Pro: Everyday is a new adventure. Con: Finding time to relax.
Leah: We love the adventure, like Karl said, but not all adventure is fun. It can be challenging living with other people (both in hostels and with Workaway), traveling can wear you out, jet lag is a bitch, and finding alone time can be difficult. In the end it’s way better than our jobs back home so we’ll take it!
What types of places do you stay in when travelling?
Karl: We’ve been doing a combination of Workaways, Hostels and Airbnbs. Workaways are the best because they’re free but you must do some volunteer hours in return. Hostels have their pros and cons but are the second best when it comes to cost effectiveness. Airbnbs are the most comfortable but come with a higher price tag.
Leah: We love staying in places for a long time. We find that when this happens you can really understand a culture and it’s people. The first month we traveled we only stayed in countries for a short time. Our longest stay was in Scotland for 10 days and our shortest was Germany for six days. The last two months both in France and Spain have been longer visits. About a month in each country and we find this to be a better experience for us. We’re kind of like amateur and untrained anthropologist. It’s really fun for us!
The big question everyone wants to know – how do you earn an income to travel full time?
Currently we haven’t earned a dime (which is fine for now)!! We are enjoying life and truly living out our dreams. When doing Workaway, depending on your host, you can go days or weeks without spending a dimeC
Do you have any tips for people that want to start the nomad way of living? Can you recommend any particular countries to start with? Or what countries you started with and how you found them.
Karl: We would suggest, TRAVEL NOW!!! Just do it. Quit trying to find excuses of why not to travel.
Leah: It’s not easy leaving your comfort zone but in the end it’s so worth it. The memories and experiences are so much more important than working a job you hate or doing things that no longer give yo meaning. Money is often a big issue for people who want to travel long-term so start saving. Here’s a link how we did it: Saving For Travel.
Karl: We started in Europe which is more expensive then lots of other places in the world but has so much history and culture. We’re currently in Spain (which is less expensive than other European countries) and heading to Portugal next.
Leah: Western Europe is a great place to start. Lots of people speak English and it’s easy to get from one country to the next.
Karl: We’ve been to Scotland, Germany, Switzerland, France and Spain so far and plan on Portugal (September) and India (October) next.
Leah: We’ve been doing a lot of Workaways, staying with people in exchange for work. It’s been really fun and this in some ways dictates where were go next. We’ve seen lots of small towns and the country side that most tourist don’t get to see which has been such a wonderful experience for us.
What types of things do people need to plan prior to starting the nomad life?
Karl: Before leaving on this trip, we came up with a 15 month plan. We turned off our cable, we quit eating out, we ended our gym membership, quit going to Starbucks and quit buying new things. We started selling items we didn’t use and started consigning items we didn’t wear. It was difficult at first, but we knew if we could stick with it, things would pay off in the long run. We haven’t looked back since.
We bought health insurance prior to the trip but haven’t used it yet. As Americans, we haven’t traveled to a country that needed a visa. But we head to India in October and we are in the process of getting a visa now so stay tuned to our page and we’ll let you know how that goes.
Leah: I would say to definitely start saving ASAP. Begin placing a value on experiences over stuff to help motivate you to save instead of shopping. I loved to shop for new yoga pants and as soon as we started seriously planning this new life I cut way back on the spending. It was hard but I can say it was definitely worth it as we are already making a ton of fantastic memories!
Have you had any scary or funny experiences whilst travelling?
Karl: Two things I can think of. 1) I had a few too many beers in a beer garden in Germany and had my face painted from a gypsy for €5. 2) As one of my “jobs”, I had to walk a cow down the road in the French countryside to another pasture.
Leah: I think for me the funniest story would have to be the “cheese responsible” story I tell about in the post: Work Away Experience In France. Our first workaway host asked Karl to be “cheese responsible.” I asked “Do you mean you want Karl to cut the cheese?” Karl and I started to chuckle because cut the cheese is slang for farting in the U.S. I know it’s super immature but it was so funny. We explained to our host what that meant and why we were laughing and he responded “Does this mean you do not respect the cheese?” Some things are better lost in translation.
How many countries approx have you lived the nomad life in? Did you encounter any visas or immigration issues?
Karl: We’ve been to 5 countries so far and the craziest thing is that we haven’t even had to show our passports in the last 4 countries been to. We’ve been traveling by train, bus or BlaBla Car and haven’t had any issues.
We are going through the visa process to get to India in October.
Leah: We’ve only been on the road for about 78 days and all in Europe so far so I’m grateful that we haven’t had any of those issues. If we run into those issues down the road we’ll deal with them at that time- taking things one step at a time.
As a full time nomad (what is your back up plan) if the money or work runs low?
That’s a great question.
Karl: I’m the positive one, so I haven’t really thought about it.
Leah: Being the realistic one I have thought about those things and the wonderful thing about the career I left is I can always go back to the U.S. and resume that job if I have to. Preferable I would like this blog to do well so we can continue to travel the world as travel bloggers!
Do you do use any freelance work sites to obtain work from? (if so can you recommend any good sites for people to check out or tips)
We haven’t looked into it. This blog has been keeping us busy but we would like to know as well so leave us a message at www.audaciousduo.com if anyone out there has any recommendations.
When you reach a particular destination – how do you find work? Do you have a strategy or do you try and secure work before you arrive?
Karl: We haven’t earned any money thus far but we do try to find a Workaway host a few weeks in advance so we have a place to stay and it usually gives us time to work on our site and our social media.
Leah: I teach yoga and hope that down the road this will lead to some paid work. But so far we’re focusing on Workaway like Karl said.
What factors do you consider prior to travelling to a country for the nomad life? (how do you decide which country to go to?)
Leah: This is a tough question. We really just go with our heart and listen to our intuition. We also make sure it make sense in our budget and we try not to travel super far distances so we can cut back on airfare, train tickets, etc. For example, we had a couple who live in Madrid contact us through Workaway. They wanted us to stay with them for two weeks and teach them English. Spain wasn’t on our original itinerary but we felt like this was great opportunity and we were already in France so we decided to go! It ended up being a wonderful experience. You can read all about it here! Seven Reasons To Love Madrid
Have you encountered any issues with adjusting to local customs or the culture whilst you have been travelling? What about language barriers has this been an issue anywhere?
Karl: The eating and sleeping schedule has been much later than we’re used to.
Leah: I agree with Karl. They eat and go to bed very late in Spain and France and that took time to get use to.
Also, when you live with people during a Workways communication is so important and can be very tough due to language barriers. One of our host in France didn’t understand my humor and this made it awkward for both of us. I learned quickly not to make jokes with him.
Our travels have been limited to Western Europe so far so we haven’t had too many issues with language and the cultures are different, of course, but wonderful at the same time. India in October will be wayyyy different so like I said before check back and we may have a different answer to the question.
This article states some of our frustrations that occurred in France.
Has been easy to make friends and socialise – whilst travelling around as a nomad?
Karl: It’s been very easy to make friends while traveling. Obviously, hostels are a very easy way to do that but Workaways have even been easier since basically you’re roommates for a few weeks at a time.
Leah: I agree with Karl. Both the Workaway and hostels allow us to meet new people. These situations force me to meet new people which is nice since I can be a bit introverted at times. In Granada we planned a tapas crawl with some people from our hostel and it ended up being really fun. We hopped from tapas bar to tapas bar and really enjoying the different tapas, wine and of course the company. The experience would have been totally different if it had just been Karl and I so I was glad to meet new people.
Do you have any money saving tips for flights / accommodation? Any recommended sites to book on?
Karl: We haven’t spent a dime on flights yet. Prior to our trip, we earned miles with 3 different US credit cards (British Airways, Chase Sapphire Reserve and United Explorer) and have been using those miles every since. Even our flight from Portugal to India is going to be free.
Leah: I would say stay flexible and use Skyscanner when planning flights. It allows you to search flights for multiple days and also multiple locations.
Optional question – : (what equipment do you use for your blog or as part of your nomad lifestyle e.g: drones, cameras, computers, editing software, tablets phones etc)
Currently we just used one MacBook Pro (writing and website), our Lumix camera, one iPad, and my old Samsung Galaxy 4 (upload for Instagram).
What country are you in at present? How have you found the nomad life there? Any recommendation for places to check out or places to hang out for nomads? (nomad communities)
We’re currently in Spain and loving every minute of it. We’ve been to San Sebastian, Madrid and Granada. We’re currently staying in the middle of olive country, relaxing and catching up on our blog.
We haven’t found a place in Spain we haven’t liked so far. Every city has it’s own unique characteristics and Spanish people are so nice and friendly.
What has been some of your top highlights from travelling?
Karl: Hiking the Swiss Alps, Visiting the Highlands in Scotland, Surfing on Mediterranean, Rock Climbing in France
Leah: I have many highlights but here are a few go few of them: Hiking to a hut in the Swiss Alps, a bus tour in the Highlands of Scotland , ghost tour in Edinburgh, meeting 8 extended family members in Wurzburg, Germany and having them walk us around the city telling us stories from WWII, surfing on the Mediterranean, rock climbing in France, eating anything in France and Spain, Going off the beaten path in Madrid, Playing board games with our Workaway host in Spain, painting a totem pole in France.
Below our two links to our month in review:
What is on your bucket list?
Karl: Tour de France (DONE), Backpacking Sri Lanka, Seeing Kangaroos in Australia, Completing another Great walk in New Zealand and others along the way
Leah: African Safari, Yoga retreat in India, Holding a Kola Bear in Australia, Hiking all the great walks in New Zealand, Learning Thai Message in Thailand, eating Thai food, going on a spiritual awakening in Bali and many, many more.
How do you see the future of nomadism?
To be honest, I think we’re still infants in our nomadism so I don’t know what the future holds. We would love to give this interview once we’ve been traveling a while and I’m sure we’ll have an answer for you then.
Has being a nomad taught you any life lessons? If so pease elaborate.
Karl: Be patient and enjoy the moment.
Leah: Yes! Lots! Here’s just a few:
Check out these blog posts:
Please share one quote you love.
“Homesick for the places we’ve never been”