My wife and I love to travel. During our 5 years together, we have made many unforgettable memories during our trips abroad.
But in July 2021 we went on a cruise on the Greek Islands for my wife’s 49th birthday, which really changed our lives. While sitting in a cabin overlooking the ocean, we talked about how we would spend our years of empty nesting. Our five children have all moved out.
It feels incredible to travel again after the Covid-19 shutdown has eased. So we took the leap and sold our stuff to travel full time as digital nomads.
Several factors influence our decision. First, my wife and I run a advice company and online educational program that teaches entrepreneurs how to brand and market themselves. Our job does not require us to be in a specific location.
We are also frustrated with the plight of people of color in America. We regularly face racism in the comments section whenever we post articles and videos online. We even had someone tell us they wouldn’t do business with us because I’m African American and my wife is Puerto Rican.
But after watching YouTube channels like Our rich journeyread blogs like Nomad Matt and listen to podcasts like Chris The Freelancer’s Podcast, we realized that we could save money abroad. YouTube channels like Passport is heavy also showed us that there may be less experience of racism than in other countries.
So, after the cruise, we sold our car and belongings, except for a few special items that we kept in storage. We also sold our three-bedroom, four-bath, 3,100 square foot home in Lakewood Ranch, Florida for $810,000 and our second home in Bushnell for $265,000.
We used the profits to pay off debt and invest in our retirement and emergency funds. Part of that money also helps pay for our first six months of travel, including our Airbnbs and flights.
In October 2021, we finally landed in Puerto Rico, where we were able to connect with my wife’s legacy. Since that trip we have lived in places like London, Rome, Lisbon and Nice.
In addition to our online business, which generates an average monthly revenue of $19,000, my freelance writing business also makes around $1,000 per month.
When we first started traveling, we committed to not spending more than when we were in Florida. Our average monthly costs back then were:
- Mortgage (on two houses): $5,686
- Maintenance and insurance fees (on two houses): $2,385
- Utilities and phones: $621
- Car and gas payment: $2,058
- Car’s insurrance: $275
- Health Insurance: $548
- Food (grocery and eating out): $2,500
- Fitness membership: $438
- Streaming service: $65
- Credit card debt: $525
Our goal is to live a comfortable and joyful life while saving money. Now we’ve cut our monthly budget by more than 50% and we give ourselves up to $8,000 per month to fund our lives as digital nomads.
So far, our monthly costs have averaged $7,886. We put every possible purchase on our credit card to accumulate points and miles, then redeem them for free flights.
We spent February of this year in Lisbon, Portugal. Here’s our monthly cost breakdown there:
- Rent (Airbnbs): $2,683
- Flights: $1,498
- Transport: $131
- Food (grocery, dining): $2,137
- Streaming service: $65
- Phone: $121
- Auto insurance (our daughter’s car): $195
- Small storage unit in the US: $95
- Therapy: $780
- Entertainment: $81
Total: 7,786 dollars
We choose our destination based on seasonal weather, cost of living, and whether the country is on one of our bucket lists.
We stay at Airbnbs more than hotels because we want places with big kitchens, washers and dryers, nice views, and a dedicated space for us to work. The hotel cannot provide all that.
We spent one to three months in each place. For some, it can be exhausting to have such a fleeting lifestyle, but we love it.
Work takes up most of our week. We use computers and phones Monday through Friday, usually from 8 am to about 4 pm. I’m the cook in the family, so we eat at home on weekdays.
Weekends are when we really get to have fun. We slept in on Saturday morning, and I woke my wife up with coffee and homemade breakfast. Then we have a list of attractions we want to visit from the YouTube videos we have watched.
We explore each country we travel to, delighting in local delicacies and walking a lot. Our favorite city by far is Rome. The Italian food there is unbeatable.
We love that we can walk from our Airbnb near the Vatican to the center of Rome in about 25 minutes. We could leave and enjoy a pizza or gelato right away. Walking around the city and back to our Airbnb helped us burn a good amount of calories.
We’ve been digital nomads for seven months and we don’t regret our decision to sell everything and travel full time.
We are currently in Medellin, Colombia.
While traveling, we use Zoom and FaceTime to stay in touch with people back home. Technology allows us to live a full-time digital nomad lifestyle without feeling distant from family and friends.
We’re saving money and staying in countries that welcome us as people of color. Europe has been such a good experience that we are considering a long-term stay there.
We are grateful to be living a life of freedom and where every day feels like a new adventure.
Kimanzi Constant is an entrepreneur and a freelance writer. His work has been published in Fortune, Entrepreneur, Black Enterprise, SUCCESS, NBC, Travel & Leisure, CBS and Father, among many others. Follow him and his wife on YouTube to keep up with their travels.
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