Jen Welzel

Blogging

14 Influential Bloggers For Life Hacking

Posted by | Live Like a Local, Passive Income, Quality of Life, Social Media, Traveling Tips | 7 Comments

The following is a guest post by Destination Freedom member Jen Welzel. For more information on our three-month long social media, passive income, brand building, blogging and Spanish language immersion retreat going on in The Riviera Maya, check out the photo albums on our Google+ or Facebook pages or the ongoing videos at our YouTube channel.

Life Altering Encounters

Chris Guillebeau – Author of two best sellers (The Art of Non-Conformity and The $100 Startup) and a highly successful blog (AONC), Chris set out to change the world, and in my opinion, is doing so one mindset at a time.  I picked up his book last year when I was searching for something more, and his words literally changed my life.  He shares his personal story about how he went from working in the Fed Ex Hub to deciding to travel to every country in the world.

The major theme I took from his books was you don’t have to live your life according to “The American Dream”.  If you have another dream, go for it with every ounce of your being!  The only prerequisite is that you have passion for the things you are pursuing.  Through his books, I have discovered passions hidden deep within my soul that I thought were forever lost, such as writing, researching and connecting.  I have met Chris personally, and not only is he kind, he really wants to help.  And he has helped me in more ways than one.  I highly recommend his products and articles to anyone that is looking for something different in their lives.  Along with books and unconventional guides, he also has a member site called Travel Hacking Cartel where tells you step by step how to get thousands of airline miles per year.

James Clear – This is a newer blog that I have recently discovered, The Art of Becoming Better.  It’s a blog about setting and achieving your goals, but what sets James apart from the 100’s of other goal writers out there, is he breaks the art of setting goals into an easy to understand process that you can use anywhere in your life.  You can find his formula on his post, How To Consistently Accomplish Your Goals.

I am a habitual goal setter, but I never get anywhere because my goals seem so un-achievable!  With James’ simple formula, I have found the confidence I need to reevaluate my goals and actually achieve the things that are important to me.  He wrote another article earlier about the difference between Performance/Appearance based Goals and Identity Based Goals.  For the first time ever, setting goals finally made sense!  I’ve never heard them explained the way James explained them, and suddenly I understood the mechanics of a goal.  You can check out that article here: Identity-Based Habits: How to Actually Stick to your Goals this Year.

T.W. Anderson – During my search for living a location independent lifestyle, I came across an article by Tim at Marginal Boundaries.  The article talked about living in different countries as a local (Live Like a Local 101).  This resonated with me.  Living like a local… that is genius!  He went on to show what his expenses were, and they were far less than what I was paying in America, so I was definitely intrigued and I subscribed to his mailing list.

Shortly thereafter, I got a newsletter about a retreat he was putting on.  Destination Freedom was exactly what I was looking for in my new life plan.  I jumped on it, and as of this publication (March 12th, 2013), I’m in Cancun at the retreat, where we are working on building our brands, social media outreach networking, passive income, Spanish language, friendships and fun!  If anyone else is interested in help setting up their online businesses so you too can have the freedom to travel or do whatever else you are passionate about, Tim has spaces open for his summer and winter retreats, however his winter retreat is almost full!  Contact him for more details.

Justin Mussler – I started following Justin from The Great Family Escape before they left for their big trip, and it was really inspiring seeing his whole family prepare to leave.  It gave me the confidence I needed to believe that I could leave with my kids, and it wouldn’t be as hard as I had imagined.  When I first started on my blog, I couldn’t get past what I should write for my first post and he gave me some great, yet simple, advice.  “Just start writing!!”  So I did.  I love how the traveling family community is so close nit and supportive of new comers.

Favorite for Resources and Information

Derek Baron – AKA Wandering Earl is a new (to me) blog that I found recently which soon will probably graduate to Inspiring Reads list.  I have yet to break into all the wealth he has on his site, but one of my favorite posts so far is 42 Ways you Can Make Money and Travel the World.

I have read a lot of these posts by different people, and so far his is the most creative.  I am already in the process of earning money through freelance work, but a few new ideas I found on this post that i want to look into are:  Chair Massages at Hostels (I used to be a licensed massage therapist, so why not?!), Bartending, and my favorite is Editing English Signs/Menus!  One of the things I really love about Derek is he is very knowledgeable about local cultures and customs, and he is a big supporter of local economies.

I definitely recommend you read his kidnapping post, (Thank you to the Militant Who Stole My Car!).  He had me laughing uncontrollably.  And if you want to join me on one of his tours to India in September and October or his tour to Romania in June, here are the details: Announcing More “Wandering Earl Tours” for 2013!

Nora Dunn –  If I ever have questions about finances on the road or the logistics of travel, I go to Nora’s site, The Professional Hobo.  Her posts are fun and easy to read and understand.  In case you have that nagging feeling in your gut that you might have forgotten something, head over to her resources page, and you’re bound to find something you missed!

Annie Andre –  The reason Annie from Practical Adventurology really caught my eye was because she posted a blog article about having to petition the court to live in Paris for a year with her kids.  I am going to have to embark on a similar journey since I share custody of my son with his dad.  So far, she is THE ONLY single parent I have found that was able to travel with joint custody… so hopefully I will be joining her ranks!  You can read about her journey here: How to Travel or Live Abroad with Kids when you Ex says NO!

Tim Ferriss – I am just starting to read Tim’s book 4-Hour Workweek, and so far it’s great.  I’ve seen a few videos about Tim and the life he leads, please sign me up!  I am not great at time management and putting my energy towards the most productive things, but Tim is.  He has dozens of case studies, and the best thing is, he tries everything on himself first.  Then he shares it with his readers.

Best Lists Ever!

I love lists, and I love packing lists even more!  Here are a few different lists that I have come across that are my favorite.

Devon Mills – Devon from Answering Oliver has a detailed packing list, down to the exact packing devices she used.  I ended up buying the same pack as her because I loved all of the pictures.  Her blog is very heartfelt and honest.  I loved reading about her journey from leaving her job, to her travels overseas, to her realization that she didn’t want to travel long term.  Short term travel suits her better, and I respect her honesty.

Alex Jimenez – Alex runs a blog called Travel Fashion Girl, and if you ask me, she couldn’t have picked a more perfect niche!!  I am completely fashion illiterate, and she makes packing fashionably as easy as learning the ABCs.  I plan on using her London Packing List for my upcoming trip in July.

Erin McNeaney – Erin and her partner Simon run the blog, Never Ending Voyage.  They are digital nomads and live on the road.  This is one of my favorite informative blogs.  They have practical advice, good writing, great ideas.  Simon is an iOs developer, and they have developed an app for travelers called Trail Wallet.  Unfortunately, they don’t have an android version, but I think I should approach them about creating my own!  They do however have an extensive, awesome packing list.  They travel the world full time with 1 carry on bag each.  That is impressive!

Excellent Marketing Blogs

Corbett Barr – Think Traffic is all about building a profitable audience for your site.  I first learned about him when I came across a post about real writing (33 Things I’ve Never Told You or How To Re-Introduce Yourself and Kick Your Watered-Down Self in the Ass).  I was having a difficult time thinking of content to write in my blog and this was a nice catalyst.

Glen Allsop – Glen with ViperChill releases content that is well worth the signup!  One of his specialties is Niche ideas that he doesn’t have time for, and I think it’s ingenious.  You can sign up for Cloud Niche to get in on the goodies.

Pat Flynn – Pat runs Smart Passive Income, one of the leading passive income websites on the web to-date. His entire website is dedicated to helping people get off the ground with their passive income projects, and he has a ton of social media tips as well. From his Be Everywhere post talking about the importance of having multiple networks to his Passive Income 101 section, there are few people out there who are as giving with their information (and income reports) as Pat.

 

Don’t forget to sign up for our free newsletter for several-times-a-week, your-eyes-only travel and entrepreneur tips, plus receive a complimentary copy of our 85-page starter book on location independence and living abroad, 30 Ways in 30 Days.

With over 1,500 copies sold, our flagship 568-page eBook is what started it all. Learn how to travel the world like I do: without a budget, with no plans, funded completely by your website and online ventures.

The Expat GuidebookGet Your Copy Today!

Unplug from The System, cure yourself of The Greedy Bastard Syndrome, tap into your universal potential and create your own reality. Build a brand, travel the world and realize your cosmic consciousness.

Beyond Borders - The Social RevolutionGet Your Copy Today!

Money

10 Ways to Save $25,000 or More for Full-Time Travel

Posted by | 30 Ways in 30 Days, Quality of Life, Traveling Tips | 12 Comments

After years of telling myself I don’t have the money or time to travel, I finally started doing research on how to travel long term.  What I found challenged me to my core.  Was finding the money to do what I loved doing really as easy as adjusting my life’s priorities?

I have had many opportunities to jet set, but I have always backed out for some reason or another.  Excuses abound, and even though I said that travel was extremely important to me, my life’s decisions told another story.  As of late, I have been discussing the idea of long term travel with other people and they all say the same types of things.  “I wish I could travel more, but I don’t have the time or resources”, “I would love to travel full time, but I’m already living paycheck to paycheck”.

I believe there are deeper issues tied to people’s inability to take the plunge into long term travel or a location independent lifestyle, and it boils down to attitude and priorities.

If you get a craving for Chinese food, then you scour the Internet for a good place that delivers.  When you want to lose weight, you make it a priority to get to the gym.  The same applies to traveling.  If you really want to travel, then you will find a way to make it happen.  Even if you are broke.  Once you change your mindset from “I have no money or time” to “how can I find the money or time”, discovering innovative funding to travel with will become much easier.

I decided in March of 2012 that I was going to start traveling full time, no excuses.  Here are some of the steps I took to start saving for my trip, and other great ideas that did not pertain to me, but may work great for you!

1. Stop Buying Starbucks Coffee!!!!  Up until March of 2012, I drank a Grande Soy Latte from Starbucks every day.  Every single day, for four years.  I do not want to, nor will I do the math on how much money I threw away.  I finally decided I wasn’t going to be lazy anymore and I invested in an inexpensive espresso machine, (which paid itself off almost immediately), and started putting that $4 a day into a jar.  I called it my Dreams Jar.  This brought me a savings of $1,460.

2. Get rid of cable – Everyone’s cable bills vary depending on where you are in the country, but when I had cable and Internet, I was paying close to $120 per month.  Get rid of it.  It’s not worth it. Also, consider the fact that you can use public libraries for free Internet if you need it to work for a few hours per day, such as if you are freelancing. I pay $7.99 per month for Netflix, $9.99 per month for Hulu, and $79 per year for Amazon Prime.  I used to have an Xbox that I would stream from, but for $80 I ended up getting a Roku Player, which has been almost life changing!  I don’t even miss cable!  Put the amount that you save each month into your Dream Jar.  That is a total savings of $1,145.

3.  Get a second job –  This isn’t really an ideal option for many people, but if you can pick up a serving/bartending job on the weekends outside of your regular job, or something online such as doing personal assistant work for someone, answering emails and the like, then you will be able to save up a large sum of money in a short amount of time.  I took on a part time job last summer on the weekends, and was able to save $2,400. A great place to look for short term/part time work is www.craigslist.org.

4.  Sell everything you own – Not only does this help you to prepare for your location independent lifestyle (we hold on to too much crap anyways!), it also brings in some extra money.  I love books, and I have a lot of them.  This was the hardest for me to let go of!  I ended up taking them to a bookseller, and got close to $50.  For furniture, housewares, and odds and ends, I recommend www.craigslist.org or a garage sale.  I’m still using a lot of my stuff, but I will be leaving for Mexico Feb 28th, so soon I will be having my Grand Selling Off of Everything I Own Garage Sale!  For electronics, check out www.ebay.com or search craigslist for people that buy up electronics. Jets Like Taxis has an excellent post on the topic called Look Around: You’re Surrounded By Your Travel Fund.

5. Sell or rent out your car – If you own your car, you’ll actually earn something from doing this. I, however still have a car payment, but you’re still saving either way!  In getting rid of your car, you will also be saving on car insurance, gas, and maintenance.  Here is my savings breakdown: Car Payment – $300, Car Insurance – $115, Gas/Maintenance – $500.  If you live in an area where public transportation is awesome, USE IT.  Otherwise, invest in a bike and ride it.  Your body and your wallet will thank you.  You can actually look up bike routes on Google maps now.  The reason this option isn’t really feasible for me is I have 2 young children still, so it makes more sense for me to keep my car until I actually leave the country.  Total amount saved is $10,980.

WOW I wish I had gotten rid of my car a long time ago!  If you would rather hold on to your car, you can actually rent it out to people that need a vehicle.  Relay Rides is a good place to start if you want this option.

6. Stop eating out – Yes I am serious, and stop looking at me like that!  I pay $15 per 3 months for a subscription to www.thefresh20.com which is budget friendly family meals from 20 fresh ingredients per week.  You can basically eat for a family of four for $100 per week or less depending on where you live, and what’s available to you.  It’s so worth it, and tastes so much better than eating out.  It’s designed with the busy family in mind.  You can also check out www.emeals.com and one of my favorite blogs is www.100daysofrealfood.com which has lots of great ideas for eating healthy on a budget.

Plus, once you go global you can start saving over $5,000 per year on your grocery bill compared to the United States. Once you start shopping locally and avoiding the supermarkets and eating all of your meals at home, you can save thousands.

7. Cash in your 401k – If you have decided that you want to break free from the 9-5, and start living your life now instead of in your 60’s, and you have a retirement fund.  Then why not use your retirement fund now?  I know you’re thinking, how irresponsible, but seriously, we have no idea if we are going to be alive when we are 60.  Yes, you will have to take a little penalty (don’t get me started on that) but at least once you cash it in, it’s yours.  And it could be the perfect catalyst to your location independent lifestyle.  Here is more information on how to go this route.

8. Invest in an e-reader – For someone that is addicted to books, my habit gets pretty expensive.  Recently I have started buying more e-books and kindle books.  I personally have a Nexus 7, and I can buy eBooks for a lot cheaper than physical books.  But I think an even more valuable reader would be a Kindle Fire.  The reason being, if you are an Amazon Prime member, you can rent books for free.  Which is awesome!  And think of the money you would save!  Plus you can get your Amazon Prime movies to your device as well.

9. Tax Return –  I know that not everyone has kids.  But if you do have kids, usually you get money back.  I think the child tax credit alone is $3,800 per child this year, not to mention the other deductions.  Last year I got $5,500 back and I expect a similar amount this year!  Make sure you take every deduction you qualify for, even if  you only get a couple of hundred back, that is a couple of hundred you didn’t have before.  The program I use is www.turbotax.com. While you certainly might need the money to cover expenses for your children (and that’s the reason it exists), if you are considering investing in a life-changing career break or program that will change your life and allow you to build a brand and generate an additional passive income to support a life of travel/location independence…it’s money well invested.

10. Find a roommate – This could be beneficial in more ways than one.  Mostly to save on expenses… rent, utilities, internet, maybe even food if you decide to share can be slashed!  Also, if you plan on having a home base from which to travel from, you’ll have a live in house-sitter   You can offer a certain amount for rent, and then they agree to pay half of all utilities.  Or you can do something that is all inclusive, which I find to be much easier than trying to split everything down the middle.

There are many other ways to rake in money for your travels if you really dig deep.  Here are some other great resources for long term travel as well:

Professional Hobo: How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (Or Less!)

Nomadic Matt’s How to Travel the World on $50 a Day: Travel Cheaper, Longer, Smarter

This is the guy that basically changed my life once I read his 2 books.  I highly recommend checking him out. Chris Guillebeau : The Art of Non-Conformity

The Expat Guidebook, which not only has information on how to generate your initial travel fund, but also information on how to build a brand, rank your website, master social media and generate passive income to live around the world on less than $10,000 a year…while maintaining all of your modern amenities and creature comforts.

Wandering Earl’s How to Live a Life of Travel, another excellent how-to manual in the same vein as the aforementioned books/posts.

Are there resources you’d like to share?

Let us know in the comments below!

Don’t forget to sign up for our free newsletter for several-times-a-week, your-eyes-only travel and entrepreneur tips, plus receive a complimentary copy of our 85-page starter book on location independence and living abroad, 30 Ways in 30 Days.

With over 1,500 copies sold, our flagship 568-page eBook is what started it all. Learn how to travel the world like I do: without a budget, with no plans, funded completely by your website and online ventures.

The Expat GuidebookGet Your Copy Today!

Unplug from The System, cure yourself of The Greedy Bastard Syndrome, tap into your universal potential and create your own reality. Build a brand, travel the world and realize your cosmic consciousness.

Beyond Borders - The Social RevolutionGet Your Copy Today!