In 2015 we were faced with an empty nest. Our 4 boys had grown up and left the house to start their own lives. We read Vagabonding by Rolf Potts and The 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss. Those two books created a paradigm shift for us and helped us realize that we did not need to wait for our Cancer years and hope that we had the ability and resources to travel as we always wanted to. We spent the next 2 1/2 years purging, paying off debt, and creating an income online that was not location dependent.


EDIT: 7k was what was left after we paid off all of our consumer debt before we left. We had no home as we lost that in 2008. Based on The 4 Hour Work Week we decided that we would need to create an income of 2k per month to live to our desired comfort level. Some countries it would be more and some less, hence the average. Whe we left we were not quite there so we had to dip into that savings some as we continued to work to get to that 2k number. We are now at that number and are working on the savings and building additional streams of income that are more passive and take less effort. Writing a book. Amy already has and we are beginning to market that, a new drop shipping business and in the future yes, we hope to monetize our blog but it is not currently ready for that. Here is the break down on our income and it is all location independent as it allows us to move around as we desire. Teaching English 1200-1400 per month. this is based on about 15 hours a week. We can easily make 2k a month off of just this if Amy work more hours. Royaltees from a Moonshine we created and brought to market 300 - 500 per month. Consulting other startups and bootstrappers 0 - 500 per month. and reisduals from a network marketing company 300- 500 per month. We have basic health insurance that is designed for expats and people who live abroad and spend most of their time outside the US. We have term Life insurance that covers expenses associated with either of our deaths.

This decision was made 2 1/2 years ago with the blessing and encouragement of our children. It was then execution of the plan over the next 2 1/2 years to pay off all of our debt, free ourselves from our possessions and find a way to make money online.

I have tried to answer as many comments as I could. Some from My inbox and other here on the thread. I am sure it is easier to respond to an AMA that it is to run one! I have not dodged any questions I just may not have seen them all.


Comments: 4076 • Responses: 45  • Date: 

karmapopsicle1284 karma

Is the online income source you've created based around posting content about your journeys, or something entirely separate?

letsvagabond1270 karma

While we have created a blog and post content, we are still finding our way and narrowing down our niche and trying to create good content. We have not even begun to think of site monetization yet. We have a few other sources that are independent of our blog. We left the states with zero debt and about $7,000 in savings. Amy teaches English online a few hours a weeks and we try to line up workaway opportunities where we can. We also have a few hundred a month coming in residually from a couple businesses we started in the states.

jimmycarr1629 karma

You said elsewhere that your costs are currently $2,000 a month. I'm guessing your income is lower than that so what is your long term plan to afford to keep travelling?

letsvagabond516 karma

we are very close to that 2k a month and should close the gap in the next month or so. We have used a portion of our savings but still have most of it

DrinkyDrank215 karma

Passive business income that is reliable and doesn't require massive amounts of attention from you? There's your real secret...

Snagsby133 karma

Yeah how do "a couple of businesses" just run themselves?

letsvagabond127 karma

They do not run themselves but take very little time. One is just royalties

dokkythos622 karma

How are you accounting for the risk of illness or injury? Do you carry any insurance that would protect you from financial ruin if one of you had a serious illness?

letsvagabond388 karma

We absolutely have Insurance we purchased in the states that covers us. It is actually pretty good insurance and has a million in coverage for each of us.

MR-DEDPUL154 karma

What's the worst thing that's happened to you while traveling?

Conversely, what is the most eye opening thing that has happened during your travels?

letsvagabond120 karma

Honestly we have been really lucky and have not had anything bad happen. Had a dangerous trip from the Islands in some bad weather ans worried about capsizing in Thailand but so far so good!

letsvagabond104 karma

I am going to post here for some clarification. We have income! We make about 2k a month. That was the target and we were a bit short when we left and had to use some of the savings to make up some the first few months. The savings is just that savings. It is our oh shit fund. We make money teaching English, Consulting startups and boostrapping companies and have royaltees coming in from part ownership in a Spirit Company in the states. We also make a few more hundred a month in net work marketing. We have health and life insurance that is designed for expats and people who spend the majority of their time abroad and out of the states. We are not running from anything and pay our taxes. We have a credit score in the high 700s and are 100% debt free. We executed a plan that was in the making for 2 1/2 years and it is going pretty well. While the title says we have no plans of coming back, that does not mean that it is off the table or that we will be doing this until we die. It means just that, we have no plans at this time. I apolgize if I have not answered every question directly. I am honestly overwhemled at the response as this thread has at this time 1.6k comments. I have been answering for a couple hours now and will pick it up again tomorrow as it is 1246 am here in Thailand.

cullcanyon95 karma

When I left the states to go to Morocco they wouldn’t let us in unless we had a round trip ticket. Have you had any problems like that?

letsvagabond76 karma

Some countries do require onward travel. It takes a bit of research before you go. We had to have onward tickets from Thailand and we need them for India. Most people do not realize visitors to the US need it as well

mannulusmeum93 karma

Which countries have you visited so far? I also saw you alotted yourself a mean budget of 2 grand a month. What places do you sleep at to stick to that budget?

letsvagabond138 karma

So far we have been to Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand. We are leaving for Malaysia and India in the next week. Most of the places we stay are inexpensive 2 and 3 star places. The ammenities we absolutely need are Internet and a place for Amy to teach so a private room. We have stayed in Hostels, Home stays, airBnbs and hotels. We use for most reservations and rarely spend more than $20 USd a night

Jabarumba162 karma will get you better deals in Asia. At least that's been my experience.

letsvagabond23 karma

I have really tried to like Agoda but It annoys me. I am a Genius member of Booking and use it primarily. I have used Agoda but only about 15% of the time.

HateHandles70 karma

What was your current health and fitness activity in the states? What is it now? Did your exercise levels change?

letsvagabond60 karma

Decent health before we left. I have actually put on a few pounds but have started working out again. Yoga and such. Plenty of time for it :)

HornedLord23 karma

How badly do you smell?

letsvagabond10 karma

funny they have running water over here

lslvr14 karma

Holy shit. You can tell how bad we've been conditioned in the US when almost all of the questions or statements here are "what about when you get hurt how are you going to pay for that?"

I'll just go with a simple question. What has been the most fun of the experience to you? Was it a certain place or the actual act of traveling or?

letsvagabond1 karma


we get so conditioned to think worst case scenario and that fear keep us in the Matrix being productive for someone else. We live our lives for us and no matter what happens we will NEVER look back on our lives and think, "if only we . . "

Igor_Lascaux8 karma

What do you plan on doing once the money runs out?

letsvagabond5 karma

if for some reason our all of our monthly income dries up and we need to get into our savings to get back we can easily pick up work in our previous fields. Since we are debt free we could litterally survive on 24k a year if we needed to

[deleted]-12 karma


letsvagabond11 karma

Not sure what you mean lol. Being absolutely debt free we are in a better state than most people our age even if this does not work out. Living a minimilist lifestyle we have figure out how to live with less and be happy. Even if we come back to the state the income that we generate now will be more than enough for us to live even without US social security.

letsvagabond1 karma

but yeah our kids hahahahaha