Guest Post: How To Afford Full-Time Travel with The Chiang Gang
Hi Guys! We're Carol-Ann, Jimmy, Lana (12) and Alyssa (10) from North Carolina, USA. We're a multi cultural family traveling the world. Us parents are originally from Scotland and Taiwan so we bring many influences to our family dynamics. Our travel journey started long ago when we met through an around the world trip that ended in love. Sadly, travels took a back seat for quite some time due to work constraints as we're a former Military family turned entrepreneurs/small business owners so time off together was pretty limited.
Why do we full time travel?
Lots of life changes and transitions lead us parents to a place we were no longer happy with in life. Stressors began affecting our relationships and we decided we needed a drastic but exciting change to jolt us into the life we had talked about living. We wanted to experience that with our kids too. We needed time to work on ourselves and to live life the way we should be, not through other's expectations, the daily hamster wheel or by trying to keep up with friends and neighbors.
We decided to sell our CrossFit gym business, all of our possessions and rent our home to travel full time. We've been traveling now for 11 months. It's taken us road tripping around North American, to Greece, London and now we're in Thailand for several months. We've had some ups and downs throughout but we think that's part of the full time travel journey and we've learned a lot through it all.
How we afford it? Did we save?
In a nutshell, no! Our decision to travel wasn't planned out too far in advance and, when we did make it, we acted on it quickly. We raised the funds we needed to travel through the sale of our business and by having a giant living estate auction where we sold everything we owned. You can check that out on our YouTube channel. It was pretty epic and lots of fun for everyone involved. It took us 3 months from making our decision to go to having the funds to make it all possible. Looking back, it amazes me now. We had a lot of stuff we didn't need and had spent years accumulating excess. It was great to actually feel it had a purpose and to finally shed the load of it all.
Do we work? Income/Job/remote work?
Our journey so far has mostly been about following our interests, passions and spending time together seeing the world. These are things that a military career and the demands of entrepreneurship curbed for a while so it's been nice to focus on them together for once. We're not working as we travel right now but we hope to sustain travel through a remote income and are confident that having the chance to pursue interests will make that a possibility in the future. We do get some income from a small pension and from a few rental properties we own and those streams both help fund our adventures.
Are we budget travelers?
We definitely budget travel and try to be smart about how we spend. We've stayed in plenty of low end hotels, Airbnbs and we've saved a lot on accommodation costs through house and pet sitting. We negotiate rent for extended stays in one area, we use budget airlines, we travel light to avoid baggage fees, we cook our own meals and when we do eat out it's at inexpensive places - one of the reasons we love Thailand so much! We avoid paid attractions or the usual tourist hotspots. When we do splurge it's generally for an experience we know we can learn from and have fun with. Our girls are world schooled so these experiences are key for development and education. A good example of a recent one would be the whole family getting open water dive certified in Thailand and advancing those skills.
How we connect (social media) and what we aim to do as we travel?
Our mission is to inspire others to make bold moves, take risks, pursue their passions and most importantly to enjoy life! We do that by sharing our journey and the realities of it. We're just a regular family who can relate to so many others out there who keep dreaming of doing something a little different but wonder how to make it happen. That was us not too long ago too! Keeping it real and authentic is very important to us so we often share the rough with the smooth. We also love connecting with other families out there who adventure together at home, travel like us too or are thinking about starting their own travel journey together.
You can follow our journey to learn more of our story through our social media channels and youtube. We're always looking for new families to connect with or to hopefully inspire.