I have never met Alyson but we bumped into each other in the virtual world before Alyson started her travel dream. I have loved following her journey from before the trip to now living her dream and I know you will too.
What was the first country you visited? Who with and why did you choose it?
As I child in the UK I visited countries in Europe all the time, either with my family in a caravan, or on school language and skiing trips.
When I was very young we visited Brittany, I loved seeing the old ladies in black with the amazing lace headdresses and trying new foods, I found that far more interesting than playing on the beach.
As a young adult, my first real adventure was trekking to Hill tribe villages in Northern Thailand with a small group tour, after that I was totally hooked. Culture, food and a bit of a physical challenge is my idea of heaven!
I’ve always been fascinated by Asia, particularly the Indian Sub-Continent, I want to learn as much as I can about that part of the world, that is what drives me to travel, I think. I’ve been visiting Asia regularly ever since, before and after the children were born.
Work restricted me to 2-3 week holidays for many years although The Chef and I did pack it all in for a 12 month RTW in 2001.
When did you start a travel lifestyle? What inspired that change?
We started travelling full time 3 months ago.
We started homeschooling the boys when we lived in Australia, I think we just realised there was nothing to stop us travelling, we weren’t tied to the school system anymore, we could be free. We see travel as an amazing education for them. Travel is what we love, so it was a no-brainer, really.
We are experienced travellers, so taking kids and backpacks and exploring the world wasn’t scary or unknown, we knew what to expect.
Do you have a base you travel from? Or is it continuous travel? And why do you choose that style?
We still own our house in Australia, it’s rented and gives us an income, but we have no base, just our backpacks.
We will travel full time until the money runs out or until it stops being fun for any of us. We have no plans to go back to Australia; we’ll settle wherever it’s nice, if we settle.
It is far, far cheaper and greener to travel full time, from country to country than to fly in and out on short trips. It’s what they call slow travel. It’s the best way to really get to know a country. We aren’t on holiday, we live our lives from different places. We do most of the normal stuff you’d do at home, except housework, that’s a thing of the past!
How do you fund your travel lifestyle? Is it something you do when travelling or are you a saver?
We saved for twelve months before we left, giving us a lump sum of around $30,000. We sold just about everything, including the car, that’s our back-up money, we won’t touch that if we don’t have to. We’ve rented the house, that gives us a small weekly income and we make a little money through the World Travel Family, Homeschool Group Hug and World Travel Chef blogs.
We travel very cheaply, we aim to spend around $40/day, or under, on food and accommodation, it is possible in many parts of Asia, without being at all uncomfortable. We are in Laos right now in a lovely room on the river for $12/night, a big meal for four, with beers, costs well under $10.
If you could tell yourself one tip before you started your travel lifestyle, what would it be?
It’s not so much a tip for me, I worked this one out a long time ago, it’s a tip for anyone with a dream.
You don’t have to live a conventional life, there are no rules. Who cares what other people think! If you have a dream, find a way of making it a reality. It is possible.
What does 'Living The Dream' mean to you?
We had this dream just 15 months ago, more of an idea than a dream. The idea got bigger and took on a stronger form, we acted on it and we made it happen. . It’s never really been a dream for us, to travel full time with the kids, we knew that if we wanted it and did the right things, we’d be gone.
I’ve heard people on the road use the expression fairly often, “We’re living the dream”. I think they mean other people’s dreams, too many people dream of travel and never act on it. It’s a shame.
If there is one message that I want to put across through the blog, it’s that it doesn’t have to be just a dream.
My dream now would be to make an income through blogging so that full time travel, if that is what we chose, becomes financially sustainable.