As you drool over the photos of faraway places, or relax and dream over picturesque descriptions. Do you wish you were there, leading the same life as your favorite blogger? The reality, as so eloquently pointed out by Wandering Earl recently can often be far from the truth. It seems that not all bloggers, are actually living the lifestyle they write so avidly about. Some of them rarely leave home, spend hours slaving away on their computers to make a few bucks, and never even visit the places they write about.
Although we are not really a travel blog– more about lifestyle choices—we wanted to share the truth about our lifestyle. All of it…………….. the good, the bad and the ugly.
Don’t worry, you won’t be gasping in horror of tales of spending 18 hours a day in crummy hostels, slaving on our computers to make a few bucks. Or living on toast and two minute noodles so we can afford our next airfare.
The reality is that the stories here are true; we do live a dream lifestyle, often in luxury villas in exotic destinations. We also did quit the rat race at 44 and 53. We were able to do that not because we are millionaires, inherited money or won the lottery but because we worked hard for years. We also spent our money wisely—instead of buying big fancy houses and toys—we lived within our means and bought and paid for our house in record time.
You see although we have a blog and have spent hours on it, it costs us more to run than we make on it. True, we only have a small following and could make a little more if we put ads on it and spent more time promoting it. The truth is that a lucrative and successful blog takes years of hard work, before it takes off, if it ever does. It’s a bit like being a professional football player, you have to have talent, lots of hard work and a whole lot of luck.
When we set out to become roving retirees our monthly income came from having full time tenants in our home in BC. and the majority still does. We started our blog primarily to inspire other would be retirees and allow family and friends to keep track of what is going on in our lives.
Six months into our travels, we realized that–due to factors beyond our control– our forecasted cash flow was short. To keep traveling in the style we preferred we needed to do something, not only to earn a little extra but also to keep our brains active. Instead of finding jobs, or trying to promote our blog, we decided to work on what we wanted to work on and turned our hobbies into cash. Yvonne started travel writing and Michael started selling some of his photography.
Yvonne’s first articles were for International Living and we developed good relationships with the editors. This in due course led to the co-production of ‘The Ultimate Housesitters Guide’. Still in its first year the Guide, although maybe not a bestseller, is a success, as the extra income has filled the shortfall. With these two sources of income, we can say we are ‘retired’, because we only work when we want to, not because we have to, which to us, is the definition of retirement.
Even with this extra income, it is not all a bed of roses; we do live on a budget. Even on a budget, we have visited over 30 countries and lived in Tuscan farmhouses, Spanish casitas, French vineyards and Caribbean villas. We have also lived in student housing in Grenada, vacation rentals, the occasional grotty hotel and yes even the folks basement suite.
We live and live well on around CAD $2000 per month. Our budget stretches to include the occasional fun thing like scuba diving or catamaran sailing trips, or going out to the impromptu jamming session at a local bar. However, we don’t have unlimited funds and we do carefully consider what we spend. Which means that we don’t do all the fun things that we could do, such as visiting all the tourist attractions in Barbados and we can only dream of a future trip to the Galapagos islands.
What this does mean, is that we won’t tell stories of places we haven’t been to, or of things we haven’t done. What you do find here is the truth and the truth is that we have made more money from publishing our first kindle books than we have made from our blog. What this means is that if we have been quiet for a little while, it’s because we have been busy working away on a new book project.
This is also the first year we have done repeat housesits, which is why there have been no new country stories either, we are hanging out in St Vincent and the Grenadines again. Don’t despair we will keep on with our blog, but as with all bloggers the truth is it can get pretty boring slaving over a keyboard. However, we get a real kick when we hear from readers who have been inspired by our tales and adventures. So keep those comments coming, otherwise we will be out at the beach.
Check out our first Kindle eBook to find out how we managed to ‘Retire in 5 Years or Less’
Dream Big – Live Large