Scott and Megan have always impressed us with their adventurous spirit. From their photography, videos, and new skills with their hyperlapses, their website is one of our favorite blogs about life and travel in Asia. Last year, they too were teaching in South Korea, but our paths so far have only crossed online. They are currently long-term travelling and have agreed to answer some questions about their lifestyle.
Tell us about yourselves.
We are a couple in our late twenties itching to see the world while we were young, instead of waiting until retirement to travel. We are desperate to make it work as we currently have no desire of falling back into the unfulfilling, corporate, rat race. We have no idea what we are doing or what’s next, but we love every second of it. Scott knows the value of money, Megan knows the value of hard work and together we have been working hard to travel and save our future as we go along. Our goal is to inspire others and show that there are other options out there, and you absolutely can travel and save money at the same time.
Where are you now?
We are currently in the incredibly internet unfriendly country of Laos. In the 7th month of what was originally supposed to be a 6 month backpacking trip through Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam. We are about a week away from visiting Vietnam, which is where we will be on the hunt for a new job opportunity.
How did your traveling lifestyle begin?
We both caught the travel bug a few years earlier (Scott took a 6 month trip after graduating college and Megan did a study abroad program during college) but started traveling together when we took the leap of faith and moved to South Korea to teach English. We saved as much money as we could to put away for a home/retirement and also travel for 6 months. After seeing how easy it was to save for travel while traveling and living in a new country we are hooked and planning on doing it again.
How to you plan and budget for a new country?
Going to Korea was pretty simple, we only had to have about $2,000 to get yourself situated and started for your first month or so before your first paycheck. After that we lived off of one person’s paycheck and saved the other. We would have a weekday and a weekend budget we couldn’t go over. We were able to manage our money to travel on the weekends throughout Korea and not dip into our savings. At the end of the year we saved just over $30,000 and set aside $10,000 for 6 months of travel before we have to find a job again. The rest of our savings will go towards a home. We chose $10,000 because we wanted to travel for six months which gives us a daily budget of $55/day for 6 months.
While traveling, you try to be minimalistic. What are three things that are unnecessary that you refuse to leave behind?
This is tricky because most of our luggage is electronics to run our blog. We are not minimalistic when it comes to our blogging gear, and sometimes we get strange looks from other travelers when we both are working on laptops at a café that has stable wifi. We even had someone ask us in Laos why we would travel with two computers. So to cut to the chase we have 2 Macbooks, a DSLR camera, 2 lenses, tripod, 4 external hard drives, a handful of SD cards, GoPro, iPad, and 2 iPhones. So for most travelers, those would be things they could probably leave behind! Beyond that you would be shocked at how little we travel with.
Do you have any plans of settling down in the future?
We would like to save and buy a home in California where we will have our nest egg and can rent it out when we travel. Right now we love traveling, and don’t see an end in sight. Once you start you just don’t want to stop and all of a sudden your bucketlist of places you want to go gets longer and longer. Neither of us see the cookie cutter definition at home of settling down with kids and finding office jobs slaving away everyday for one measly week of vacation in our future.
What advice can you give to people who are considering long term travel?
For us, there are three things you need to do when planning for long term travel. First is figure out how long you want to travel for and when you are going to leave. Second, figure out how much money you need to save a week in order to accomplish that goal at your start time. Third, start keeping track of every penny you spend. Tracking every expense doesn’t sound very helpful, but we found this one to be the most important because it really helped accelerate the amount of money we saved.
You have to be wise with your money in order to travel long term and not dip into your credit cards. We set a daily budget of $55/day for the both of us. Some days we are $20 under, on travel days we are way over. Overall, it balances out and we are relieved when we are making our budget goals. We write down everything we buy, this helps us keep track of our budget and prevent us from buying unnecessary things. We can’t stress enough the importance of tracking your purchases and maintaining a budget when you travel.
To see even more of their travels around Asia, be sure to check out their blog: