It was about 2 months ago to the day that we made the decision to head out to travel full-time. This wasn’t a new idea to Kendall and I, but it was something that we had been working towards happening several months down the line. However, life brought some huge change and we made the decision that there was no time like now to go.
There are so many questions we have gotten from friends, family, and people who are beginning travel themselves. I made the decision to answer some of our most asked questions.
Why Travel Full-Time?
Traveling full-time is something that we have been working towards for a really long time, though we weren’t always sure what it would look like or if it was realistic for our lives. We love the idea of experiencing places that are vastly different from what we know and expanding Marie’s worldview. We want to travel slowly, truly spending time in a location and experiencing the local scenes. We want to connect with people all over the world.
As we begin our travel journey, we don’t have it all figured out. We have our Fall planned, but that is about it. We are looking forward to the experiences that will come that we don’t see coming right now.
How do you make money?
This is hands-down the question we get most frequently. The quick answer to this is, we work online. But let me break it down a little more. Our income comes from a variety of sources including the following:
- Video Editing
- Pinterest Management
- Art Sales (Originals, Prints, & Commissions)
- Ad Revenue
- Affiliate Sales
- Misc. Freelance Work & Services
The reality is that we have to diversify our income so that if one source changes, we aren’t totally screwed. We are constantly working on increasing these revenue streams and adding new ones consistently. Some income sources that we are in the process of adding include:
- Brand Sponsorships
- Digital Products
- Physical Products
- Freelance Travel Photography
- Freelance Writing
You must have a ton of money saved up, right?
This piggybacks on the last question, but the answer is Nope! I wish we had a larger savings than we currently do and we are working towards building it. Ultimately we are just replacing our monthly bills with our travel expenses and continuing to work online.
We are also cutting our expenses significantly by traveling. This may sound counter-intuitive to what people think when they think of travel, but we are actually SAVING MONEY by traveling full-time. We are choosing to house sit and camp for most of the places we stay (with the occasional Airbnb), which makes our accommodation costs limited. We also don’t pay utilities, continue to make our own food and limit how much we eat at restaurants.
Oh, and we have a Prius… So gas really isn’t an issue for us right now.
What is House sitting? And How do meet these people you are house sitting for?
House Sitting is where you stay in someone’s home while they are traveling to take care of their plants, spend time with their animals, or just keep up with their home so that it isn’t sitting empty. You can find house sitting jobs from 1 day to several months. I have even seen them for a year. Typically if someone is doing some extended travel and they cannot take their animals with them, they will choose to get a house sitter instead of boarding their animals.
There are several websites that you can use to find house sitting jobs. But the two that we are currently using are:
Each website has their own membership costs. You simply create a profile on these websites and then people put out listings looking for house sitters. Each website has their own verification process that usually includes sending identification and such to prove that you are who you say you are. Then you apply to each job and you will message back and forth with the homeowner as they make their decision. We usually Skype with the homeowner as well, so that you have the opportunity to “meet” them prior to showing up at their home.
So, you get paid to watch someone’s home?
No, we do not get paid for house sitting. Instead, we get to stay somewhere rent-free in exchange for taking care of their home and spending time cuddling animals.
Where are you going?
We are beginning our journey in Fort Walton Beach, Florida where my grandparents have a condo. I am currently over-looking the ocean while writing this post. Then we head to our first house sitting job in New Mexico, spending a bit of time in New Orleans on the way. After this job, we will be heading up the California coast to our next house sitting job in Oregon.
There are still a few details that we aren’t yet sure about, but we are working them all out along the way. We will continue to share our itinerary as it expands.
How long will you be traveling?
Honestly, I am not sure. Right now we have about 3 months planned. A dear friend of mine said something to me prior to leaving that has really stuck with me.
There is no failure in this. It could last 3 months, 3 years, or your entire life. And any of those are totally fine.
This is something that I have been really living by. Right now we aren’t sure what is next and we are just going with things as they develop. We are learning so much about ourselves along the way, which will help determine how long we full-time travel.
Will you be blogging or anything about your trip?
Why, yes, we will be! You can find blog posts about the places we visit and so much more here on The Sleepy Pine. If you are interested in getting new posts directly to your inbox you can sign up for our newsletter HERE or at the bottom of this post.
You can also find tons of images and videos on our Instagram @thesleepypine.
We also share travel videos and more on our YouTube channel @thesleepypine.
Will you be homeschooling? What does that look like?
We were already homeschooling Marie before we made the decision to leave, so we will continue that on the road. Our homeschooling philosophy is actually closer to what is called unschooling. We don’t follow any specific curriculum and instead follow Marie’s interests and allow life and curiosity to teach the things that we need. We do have some “formal” learning time when necessary, such as learning another language. Most things, however, are taught during everyday activities like grocery shopping, exploring the world, video games, etc… We are also learning from all the different places that we travel to.
We follow the laws of our home of record (Illinois), which fortunately are very flexible. However, we still keep records of where she is at educationally and the things we do, just in case we ever needed it and to make sure that Marie is generally learning the things she needs to know. She is currently ahead of her age group, if you were wondering.
But what about socialization & friends?
Oh, socialization… Marie is social all the time. Whether it is playing with kids at the park, talking to a cashier at the grocery store, texting family and friends, or talking to us. Kids are constantly social. We are led to believe that schools are the only place to grow social skills, but that isn’t true at all. Actually, schools aren’t even that social if you think about it, kids are constantly told not to talk and to just be quiet and listen. They can only talk during certain, pre-determined parts of the day.
As for friends, there are so many solutions to this. Not only will she meet kids everywhere we go, but we also live in a time where she can video chat her cousins while playing a video game online with them at the same time. Technology definitely helps.
Have additional questions?
If you have any additional questions, please feel free to send me a quick email or comment below. I would love to answer any questions I can!