Meet Sarah Richard. She doesn’t have a 9-5 job, direct debits or exuberant rent to pay each week Why? She chose to enjoy her daily coffee with a slice of life. She’s been travelling the globe for the last 4 years and sharing her tales at coffeewithasliceoflife.com.
What was the turning point when you decided to pack your things and live a life on the road?
Unfortunately it was my Mum passing away suddenly that changed it all for me. I had 2 choices – to either give up or to go out and live my life like it could also end tomorrow. 4 years later I still live everyday as a blessing. It is awful that it had to be those circumstances that gave me the motivation to see the world, but I am so grateful for the opportunity it gave me. I now know not to wait around to do the things I really want, I do them straight away.
How did you go about wrapping up life as you know it in the UK?
I didn’t look it as ‘packing up’ I never really knew that my first trip to South East Asia would still see me on the road so many years later. Over the years I have been back and fourth to the UK to collect things/drop things off, although it no longer feels like home, my family live there so I will never ‘pack away’ that part of my life.
Where is your favourite country?
Colombia. It is undoubtably one of the most misunderstood countries in the world. That place is incredible – the people, the scenery and the salsa! A part of its charm is that it kind of feels like a well kept secret, a place that people think is too dangerous to visit, but the ones that have visited leave with the biggest smile.
What’s the best thing you’ve done or experienced while traveling?
It’s hard to pin point one. I am smiling just trying to answer this as so many pop into my head. OK, I have to go with swimming with whale sharks in Mexico- I was completely alone the whole time in Mexico, for some reason I never met any other travellers so everything I did was alone. I was on the boat for about 2 hours and every minuet of those I couldn’t stop thinking about how wonderful it felt to be exploring solo. I finally loved the feeling of my own company. Soon after those thought I saw about 15 whales sharks and got to swim with them for another 2 hours. That whole day will remain very prominent in my life as the time I got to swim with my favourite fish and the time I felt completely comfortable in my own company.
FOR THE SCUBA-OBSESSED:
As a scuba diver, how much of the year do you spend scuba instructing?
If money was no object I would spend about 360 days a year in the ocean… But unfortunately it doesn’t pay well at all. Especially with all the equipment you have to buy. Realistically I will do one season as a DiveMaster a year for about 3 months and then carry on travelling and get a better paying job while still diving for fun as much as I can.
Where is your favourite place in the world to scuba and why?
Ohh thats a hard one. The ocean is my favourite place..haha. But seriously the ocean its self is breathtaking where ever you are. However I do prefer warm tropical waters full of marine life, so maybe Egypt or the Maldives would be up there with my favourites.
FOR THE TRAVEL BLOGGER-TO-BE:
Top 3 benefits of being a digital nomad?
- It’s cheaper. Yeah really it is! Accommodation in hostels is barely more than $15 a night, food in markets are a third of the price and even a night out on the town wont hurt your wallet as much as it would at home.
- You are really seeing the world. Not just through the eyes of David Attenborough or through the pictures of Nat Geo. You see all that stuff yourself, and its even better than you could ever imagine.
- You fall in love in a different way. With places, with people, with cultures and languages. Your heart is so full of love at all times. A different kind of love than you experience from being at home, one that it is hard to explain until you feel it yourself.
Top 3 struggles of being a digital nomad?
- Wifi is the worst invention ever. Okay, thats an exaggeration, but setting up a life based on the hope that the next place you go to has Wifi can leave you in all sorts of first world panics. And yeah; the next place you went to DIDN’T have Wifi.
- Every bit of food, every sunset, every jump into the ocean has to be put on Instagram. You become that annoying blogger to hang out with.
- Sometimes you have to say no to doing something you really want to do, in order to sit inside and write articles or sort out a website issue. It really isn’t always as glamours as it seems.
Read more on the high’s and lows of long term travel, by Sarah – here.
Did you have a big pot of savings to help get you started?
When you say a big pot I presume you mean a pot the size of a thimble? I really didn’t have a lot of savings- but I had a lot of courage, a lot of motivation and an attitude that it was now or never. It actually helped me leaving without a ton of money because it forced me to find work and volunteering opportunities which lead to some of the best memories of my travels.
Read Sarah’s guide to cheap long term travel here.
How hard (or easy) is it to make money through travel blogging?
I never even knew you could make money from blogging. Seriously I never knew. I started my blog as it was easier for me to write a post than send out a hundred different emails to friends and family. I loved getting peoples response and that spurred me on to keep it going. I only started making money this year from the blog, because it now has quite a lot of content on it. But it is not EASY. And don’t expect to start making your millions. Mainly companies approach me as they see an article I have written. Advertisers get in contact a lot, but you can tell a lot of them are just generic emails. I only accept advertising offers that would benefit my readers. It really is hard to know how much to charge as its all very hush hush in the travel industry, but again I only work with people I am also interesting in, so usually we can come to a decision between ourselves.
Where would you recommend travel bloggers and digital nomads first travel to?
Travel where ever YOU want. In the first 6 months of blogging do it just for yourself, in fact always do it for yourself. The moment you start blogging for other people is the moment you forget to enjoy it. Travel blogging / nomad lifestyle aside, I’d say South America. Get there before the crowds do, it truly is an inspiring place.
Where to backpack in Central America, by Sarah – here.
Top 5 cheapest countries to for temporary living, as a digital nomad?
- Bolivia- around $100 (USD) a week- thats food accommodation and partying included.
- Ecuador- $100 a week
- Indonesia $160 a week
- Nicaragua- $185
Do you meet up with other travel bloggers?
I do, and actually thats probably one of the most rewarding parts of having a blog. Today I met up with one of my readers who messaged me to say she was in Hong Kong and would love to meet up. We walked around the city for hours and it was so great meeting a like minded traveller! I am also part of blogger communities on Facebook which are absolutely awesome, and I am never afraid to ask fellow travel bloggers for tips and advice!
Top tips for those looking to become a travel blogger?
I’d say don’t go out with the intention to do just that. Go and explore the world and if you find an opening or a chance to do what it is that you really love while you are travelling then take that opportunity with both arms. To be a successfully digital nomad you have to do what you love and let it shine through you. Also don’t compare your chapter 1 to some one chapter 21. We are all on different journeys and we all have different times for things to fall into place for us.
Got a question for Sarah? Ask away via the comment section below!
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