Becoming a Shaman

I've been teasing you with tales of transition for months now. So finally, here it is: my next big step in life - I'm becoming a shaman.

Becoming a Shaman Becoming a Shaman

Financially Sustainable Travel: My 2014 Income

Every year, I publish my annual cost of full-time travel as well as my income. Here's my 2014 income, where it came from, and what's on tap for 2015.

Financially Sustainable Travel: My 2014 Income Financially Sustainable Travel: My 2014 Income

Financially Sustainable Travel: My Cost of Full-Time Travel in 2014

What does it cost to travel full-time? That answer varies, as it has for me over the years. Here's my cost of full-time travel in 2014.

Financially Sustainable Travel: My Cost of Full-Time Travel in 2014 Financially Sustainable Travel: My Cost of Full-Time Travel in 2014

The title of this post might seem obvious to anybody who earns their living online. Of course internet speed makes a difference! (And of course, you should care).

It was also obvious to me, but it wasn’t until recently that I truly understood (and then decided I didn’t care).

Let me explain.

Here in rural Peru, I have internet courtesy of a 3G USB stick that I plug into my computer (or a wifi router) that costs about $50/month for unlimited internet. (It’s one of those who-you-know deals, since unlimited internet on sticks like these isn’t commercially offered any more; it’s only grandfathered onto a few precious USB sticks that are like gold if you can get your hands on one).

So I’m lucky.

The internet speeds of course are not great (nor reliable); Skype calls often drop, streaming video is rarely possible, and sometimes for whatever reason – clouds, wind, electromagnetic-whatevers – surfing is virtually impossible.

But I’ve learned to work around it. (At least, I thought I had).

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In this financial case study series, we’re exploring the various careers of world travelers, and how they make ends meet financially while living abroad. Yes, financially sustainable full-time travel is possible!


The Denning familyRachel Denning and her husband Greg and six children (!) have been living on the road since 2007. In addition to running their popular blog Discover Share Inspire, Greg is an online teacher and Rachel provides web services. Here’s how they juggle it all – including the finances. (Note: You can also read about a week-in-the-life of the Denning Family driving from Alaska to Argentina back in 2011)!


Where have you lived and traveled to?

We’ve driven from Utah to Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama; lived in Costa Rica (twice); lived in the Dominican Republic; lived in India; lived in Alaska; drove from Alaska through Yukon, British Columbia, US, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica; lived in Guatemala; visited Peru (hubby lived there two years before we were married). We’re currently living in Germany; on a road trip to France, Luxembourg, and Belgium.


Please describe what you do for income.

Greg is an educational mentor for homeschooled students and a teacher at an online high school. I do web design and social media work part time, as well as blog and write.

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As some point if you’ve been on the road for a while, you’ll need to visit your hometown. This isn’t always an easy process, with reverse culture shock (yes, it’s a real thing), dealing with evolving (sometimes dissolving) friendships, and an often over-full schedule of things to do and people to see.

After nine years of living on the road, I’ve distilled hometown visits down to a fine art. Here are my hows and whys:


How to Visit Your Hometown

My trick: I only tell about five people that I’m in town. Because in my experience, no matter how long I visit for, it’s never enough time. The first time I looked for cheap flights to fly home after a couple of years of travelling full-time, I went for six weeks, thinking it was sufficient time to see anybody and everybody – including former business acquaintances and casual friends.

It wasn’t.

I was run off my feet, and I departed having barely seen the people who are really important in my life – my family and lifelong friends. It wasn’t fair to them, nor to me (who needed a vacation to recover from my hometown “vacation”).

Ever since I was in a near-fatal accident in 2013, I made some decisions about priorities, and my “chosen family” are tops on the list. We may only see each other every year or so, but our mutual commitment to one another is strong. And we’ve all learned together that we don’t need to live in the same city (or even the same hemisphere) to honour that relationship. So when I’m in town, these are the people I focus on.


Why to Visit Your Hometown

In the last few years, I’ve come to appreciate my visits home for new and different reasons. It’s a great way to “check-in”.

See, your hometown family and friends are (usually) the people you’ve known longest in life. As such, they can be a great contextual baseline for how you’ve changed and grown as a result of your travels. And because of the gaps in time between visits, changes are more evident and observable.

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Financial Case Study: Deborah Benbrook – Rehoming Street Dogs

09 | 21 Financial Case Studies

In this Financial Case Study, we chat with Deborah Benbrook, who currently lives in Thailand rehoming street dogs. Find out how she makes ends meet here!

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Peru vs Canada: Differences in Daily Life

09 | 14 Canada

After living in Peru for a while and then returning to Canada for a visit, I was surprised by some of the differences in daily life. Check it out:

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Financial Case Study: Janet Brent, Graphic Designer

09 | 07 Financial Case Studies

Here’s a financial case study of graphic designer Janet Brent, and how she makes ends meet while living and traveling around the world.

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A Month in the Jungle, Part 5: Jungle Journal Excerpts

08 | 31 Peru

Here are some of my jungle journal excerpts after spending the month of June in the Peruvian jungle.

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Financial Case Study: Wade Shepard – Journalist, Blogger, Author

08 | 24 Financial Case Studies

Here’s a financial case study of Wade Shepard, who lives around the world full-time while earning a living as a journalist, blogger, and author.

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A Month in the Jungle, Part 4: Doing a Plant Diet and Ayahuasca Retreat

08 | 17 Peru

The reason for my month in the jungle of Peru was to do a plant diet and ayahuasca retreat. Here’s what you can expect from such an experience.

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