9+ Years of World Travel & Working Online – Couple Shares Experience

>>MAT: Hey everyone in this video, we’re gonna meet up with Kristen and Siya. A couple that’s been traveling for almost 10 years now and that figured out a way to make a full-time living out of their travel lifestyle. We actually featured them in another video last year, about their experience living in an Airstream trailer which is the home base that they go back to when they’re not traveling. But in this video, Kristen and Siya are going to talk about how they’re able to make an income from traveling, how they got started and how they’re helping others to live a similar lifestyle. This video is sponsored by NordVPN. We’ll give you more information at the end and a discount code for a great deal on their VPN service. [Music Playing]>>SIYA: We’ve traveled together as a couple. We’ve also traveled solo and now that we’re starting a family, we’re going to be traveling as a family as well and teaching people how you can travel as a family.>>KRISTEN: We met in high school. We were best friends first. We were 15.>>SIYA: We dated for 10 years and got married on our 10-year anniversary. Now the next chapter of our life is to be parents with this little baby in here. We’ve always been interested in travel, like we were travelers first. So in high school, we each took a semester and went to Paraguay and lived in cities down there and learnt Spanish and taught English in schools. So when we were, you know, 16-17 we had already had this travel spirit, this nomadic lifestyle, and then we went to college for TV, film, broadcasting, media, so we learned how to use a camera and learned how to use like editing software and right after college, we both took time off, quit everything, and went to go travel the world.>>KRISTEN: And then that’s when we started the blog and started documenting our travels and then it turned into a career, not on purpose. It was just for passion. We started our blog in 2010 and it was just for friends and family. It was like I want to start a blog. I want to learn how to build a website. So I googled HTML how to build a website and did it. It took a month and a half and then it and then we just started getting emails from people we didn’t know and asking us questions about travels. We were like this is so cool to connect with people all around the world through something that was just meant for our friends and family and then it kind of just went from there.>>SIYA: With a video as well, we were creating travel videos before YouTube was what it is today and it just kind of kept growing and kept growing to where we’ve been doing it full time. And it’s like funding our lifestyle and funding both of us and now we’re hiring employees because the company is growing.>>KRISTEN: I think that’s what’s so special about it is that it started off as just a hobby and a passion and something that people weren’t making money from it and it just like happened that it turned into our career. We love it so much. [Music Playing louder] How we make money on the road so that we can keep doing this is through our website, through our YouTube channel but it’s basically, we work with brands and destinations. So destinations will pay us to go and document our travels like we’ll put together an itinerary together or be spontaneous but as long as we’re showcasing certain cities. That’s basically how we make a living. And then there’s also like affiliate marketing or we have some passive income from courses, we have a course, that we made on how to do what we’re doing, how to make YouTube videos and travel.>>SIYA: There’s probably ten different ways that we’re making money and it’s all online.>>KRISTEN: There are many different streams these days that when people say like if I started now, would I still be able to do this full-time? I always say yes, like there’s room because there’s so many opportunities.>>SIYA: We realize how privileged we are. That we’re at this stage in our lives. So we started this. We had this dream and we always take moments now to really appreciate what we have and to really appreciate that we can do this full-time.>>KRISTEN: And overnight successes may happen, but I’m glad it didn’t happen to us because it allowed us to really appreciate the journey. And put in the work so that we can appreciate it even more. We would spend like I remember working 15 hour days serving at a restaurant and working for another company; and then coming back and working on the blog. We put a lot of hours where we weren’t making money for years.>>SIYA: Yeah, absolutely Like if this is zero dollars in our bank account. We did this.>>KRISTEN: We went down. We were in debt.>>SIYA: For like 10 years, we were like, maybe make a bit of money and go down. We were not making any substantial money until you know maybe the past couple years. [Music Playing]>>KRISTEN: We have traveled to over 60 countries. I can’t remember the exact number, we would have to tally it up again but definitely over 60. And a lot of those countries, we’ve traveled to multiple times. Some of my favorite destinations are India and I’m a restless person and India keeps me on my feet. It just stimulates all your senses at once. It’s always on and it’s very, very interesting and different. I love Thailand because it feels home to me. It’s comfortable. It’s beautiful. The food is delicious. It’s budget-friendly. The people are great. And I also love Indonesia. It’s like a fairy land and moss grows on everything. It’s just so beautiful there. It’s so beautiful there.>>SIYA: Yeah Canada is also one of my favorite countries, might be my favorite country. It’s just by coincidence that I was born here and that I am Canadian. But this country is incredible. Canada is so diverse coast-to-coast.>>KRISTEN: I’d say on average, we’ve traveled probably about five months out of the year at least.>>SIYA: Canada’s always been our home base. Whether that’s staying in Ontario or whether we’re in BC or somewhere else. Canada’s always been the home base, the place we come back to. Usually we’re gone for a couple weeks at a time or maybe a month and then we’ll come back. When we’re traveling, we generally stay in hostels or like little accommodations, even Airbnb now but we’re not luxurious people. We’ve stayed in five-star resorts but if we were to pick, it would be something on the homier side, something like small and compact or something unique. We want to stay in a treehouse. We want to stay in a little cabin or something cool.>>KRISTEN: Airbnb has been awesome or any type of resource like that where we can actually stay in locals houses or house-sitting for example, because you’re in the neighborhood of the place a new place surrounded by locals. You are immersing yourself in the culture and that is what we love the most. We love to be part of the culture that we are there to experience.>>SIYA: When we arrive at a new place, we really like to go to markets, so outdoor markets, fruit markets. We love finding new fruits. Whenever we find a cool new fruit, we’re so interested in the flavor and the texture and knowing the name of it, the local name, and the tree that it grows on. We just find it fascinating.>>KRISTEN: And also just being in nature and getting lost. Walking through different neighborhoods and not really knowing which way to turn and who cares because we want to get lost. We want to meet the locals and we want to end up in places that other people don’t typically go to so spontaneous travel.>>SIYA: We love renting like a moped if we can and just go cruising and just go up a mountain and get lost and have fun. We love different forms of transportation. It’s always exciting. [Music Playing]>>KRISTEN: How we deal with language barriers. We do speak Spanish. We’ve learned just through our travels. And you speak French.>>SIYA: I went to school and I learned French; and it helps tremendously to know other languages. But we also always like to know simple phrases when we travel, how much, maybe the numbers one to ten really helps. Just to know thank you or hello in a new language goes a really long way.>>KRISTEN: It’s respectful and it shows that you care, that you’re putting an effort and the locals really appreciate that. Being on the road as often as we are, it’s hard to sometimes connect with our friends and family because we don’t get to see them as often. We miss out on things, like weddings or births or just get togethers, holidays.>>SIYA: Routine is the hardest thing for this lifestyle. It’s amazing because we’re always on the go. We’re experiencing new things. Like I was on a safari last week in Africa, and it was remarkable! But also how do you keep a sleep schedule when you’re in different time zones? How do you go to the gym regularly when you’re like all over the place and living out of hotels? How do you find like a local coffee shop that you love going to all the time? And routine is the biggest downfall to being a traveler. [Music Playing]>>KRISTEN: We love the unknown, the spontaneity, trying new things, meeting new people, learning about different customs and traditions. We love being uncomfortable. I love culture shock. I love to be out of my element in a new place. For me, that’s the most exciting feeling.>>SIYA: I travel for micro-moments. It might be just seeing two people kiss on the street or it might be one bite of some incredible homemade pasta or it might be, you know, something that you overhear music, it can be an accordion. Micro moments is what drive me to keep traveling; and I find that those really stick in my mind and that’s what I remember for years and years to come.>>KRISTEN: We want to show our child the world because it’s an amazing way to learn and be open minded and learn about people and cultures and I think that’s so important. Will travel be different? Yeah, of course, but I think it’s gonna be really cool to see the world again and in places we’ve even been to, through the eyes of this innocent being, exploring it for the first time.>>MAT: Hope you enjoyed the video. If you want to follow Kristen and Siya, you can check them out on YouTube. I’ll put a link to their channel in the description of this video. We also want to say a big thank you to NordVPN again for sponsoring this video. If you’ve never heard the term VPN. It stands for Virtual Private Network and it’s a service that you can activate when surfing the web to give you a secure connection like if you want to log into your online bank account at a coffee shop, for example. They’re offering our audience a great deal with 75% off a three-year plan which ends up being $2.99 a month. You can get the deal at NordVPN.com /exploringalternatives and use our exploringalternatives discount code to get an extra month free. We’ve been using NordVPN for almost a year now and when I think of it, it seems kind of crazy that we haven’t started using a VPN service sooner. When we’re on the move, we’re always using so many different public Wi-Fi networks. So for us it’s just become an essential tool to protect our online information. They have a great 24/7 live chat and email customer support and it’s also nice that for people trying it for the first time, they have a risk-free 30 day money-back guarantee. The link to get the 75% off deal is NordVPN.com/exploringalternatives and you can get an extra month free with our exploringalternatives discount code. So we’ll put all of that in the description of this video. Thanks for watching. See you next time!


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