In this 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!
Jon Howe and Kach Medina Umandap of Two Monkeys Travel Group have been living and traveling around the world for about 2.5 years. They hover between active travel and expat life; after a stint of travel, they like to choose a place to live for a while to make a deeper connection with the people and places they visit. They’ve amassed a variety of skills that allow them to work anywhere in the world. Read on to learn more about how they do it!
Where have you traveled to?
We’ve been to Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Singapore, India, The Maldives, The UK, Croatia, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, Colombia, and Brazil.
Please describe what you do for income.
We both started out teaching English in Hanoi Vietnam, but when we traveled around India, we trained as yoga teachers and massage therapists, specializing in Ayurveda therapy. When we moved to Peru, we taught private English classes and turned the spare room of our apartment into a massage therapy room. In October 2014 we started to take Two Monkeys Travel more seriously and it started to generate some income for us, as well as simply supporting our travels.
How many hours per week do you work on average?
When we taught English in Vietnam we worked about 30 hours per weeks each and lived an extremely good life. In Peru our combined teaching and massage hours were about 45 to 50 hours per week, but with the website this jumped up to 16 hours a day!
Now that we’re traveling again and our only income is the site, we do our best to only work half of a day maximum and spend the rest of the day exploring.
How much money do you make?
We haven’t yet had a full year of income from Two Monkeys Travel, but right now we would be earning an average of $30K a year, spread across various indirect advertising – like sponsored posts – affiliate sales, freelance writing and product sales.
Do you make enough money to support your lifestyle?
Our lifestyle is something else that changes constantly, depending on whether we are traveling and where we are traveling. We generally make more than we spend, so we put some aside for our future plans.
What is your vision for the future of your lifestyle on the road?
We probably have another year or two of traveling before we decide to settle in a place for a longer period of time. We plan to buy a piece of land on an island to build our own Yoga and Ayurveda retreat, so we can get married and have a family in paradise.
Any advice for the aspiring traveler about living and working on the road and managing finances?
Be prepared to adapt to a variety of situations, economies and markets, unless you’re income is based entirely online. If you plan to work in each place you visit, then it’s practically essential to have more than one skill that can be used to create income.
Want to know more about how to design your life so you can earn money while traveling the world? Check out Working on the Road: The Unconventional Guide to Full-Time Freedom.