Welcome to The Expat Wanderers travel blog! If you’re feeling dead-ended, in what seems to be an endless spiral of work, pay bills, sleep, repeat – we can relate.
My name is Carly, and my husband Scott and I (you can call us Scarly) embarked on the greatest journey of our lives thus far in October 2016, to break this melancholy downward spiral we had found ourselves in. We were working backbreaking stressful jobs for not enough pay, and felt as if we were working ourselves into exhaustion and bad health just to pay bills – all in the hopes of being able to retire in a few decades.
Just like millions of others, we felt there was no way out. Even though we were active with family and the outdoor activities we love (camping, fishing, rafting, hiking) it just wasn’t enough and we found ourselves in the same depressing rut time and time again. When we simply couldn’t bare the rat race any longer, we made the decision to completely change our lifestyle and leave our home for good.
Mexico (check) > Central America (check) > Loop around South America (five countries down!)
At this moment: Overlanding both Argentina and Chile!
We worked extremely hard for a year and half to make this goal a reality – saving every penny we could, selling off all our possessions (including my house after working our butts off for months doing improvements), and researching our destinations every chance we got.
By the time we left, we had gotten our possessions downsized from filling a smaller three-bedroom house to just four Rubbermaid containers. Everything else we owned went into our backpacks for the journey! We finally quit our jobs, and prepared for our great escape as much as possible. Just three weeks after our wedding, we left our normal American life in Colorado for long term adventure.
Some people have called our grand escape the “never-ending honeymoon”, but we like to call it our never-ending journey. As we waited for our flight to depart, we could officially say that we had achieved our goal. You can believe there was a lot of blood, sweat, and tears involved – but we never gave up. Giving up was simply never an option.
In the grand scheme of things, it was a small price to pay for our true happiness. With one-way plane tickets to Mexico City in hand, we finally flew out of the country without a return date, officially stepping into expat life.
What Sparked our Desire for Adventure
After we met in 2012 during our first round the world trip with the CMU Outdoor Program and the greatest professor alive – Dr. Chad Thatcher, the urge for travel and adventure tugged away under our skin no matter what we did. After all, a 60-day round the world trip visiting 13+ countries and over 20 international cities will change anyone’s world perspective! And it will sow the travel bug deep.
Beginning in London, our 8-person group traveled all through Western Europe during the 2012 Euro Cup, and far up north to Finland. We then caught the Trans-Siberian Railway from St. Petersburg through Russia, Siberia, and Mongolia, ending our life-changing experience in Beijing, China. The trip was thousands of miles, and the longest the Outdoor Program had ever seen to date.
About two weeks into the journey, Scott and I were inseparable (this is how we were deemed “Scarly”), and we have been together ever since.
Though we have shared many happy moments and a great life together in Colorado, we could never find the one thing that made us just as happy as traveling did on that trip. We visited Ireland during St. Patrick’s day in 2014 two years later in hopes to quell our thirst a bit, but as a two-week vacation that proved to be only a short-term fix and we still felt the undeniable need to travel more.
This time around, we have redesigned our entire lifestyle to accompany a life of travel and achieve that goal, and we don’t plan on fully stopping our travels ever again. Even when we find our place to permanently settle, wherever that may be, we will always be wanderers. Since we have eagerly accepted this fact, our happiness level continues to grow, and we are extremely grateful to share our journey with you!
Our Blog and Our Mission
It’s undeniable that there is a growing number of expats throughout the world, even though the exact number is unclear. Whether they be retirees, international employees, travelers, or some other form of expat, it seems more and more people from all over the world are seeking an expat life for a variety of reasons.
As new expats ourselves, we are realizing that it is a constant learning experience to live abroad. We also recognize that for people interested in an expat lifestyle, there are a million questions you want to ask – maybe about a specific place or expat life in general, or a combination of both and then some.
The focus of The Expat Wanderers is to:
- Provide as many useful resources as we can to those seeking an expat life and/or long term travels
- Provide genuine insight into the places we visit and live in abroad, including our honest opinions of these
- Chronicle our travels and experiences, and inspire others to begin their travels and chase their travel dreams!
Since we are practicing slow travel and usually stay in one country for three weeks to a month at the least, we truly get a feel for daily life in the places we visit. We have already mingled with many expat communities thus far, and will continue to do so. Through these experiences, we can provide our readers with a closer insight into expat and travel destinations around the globe.
No, we aren’t rich and we aren’t insane
One of the most common falsities about travel is that it costs a massive amount of money. You can thank decades of luxury vacation advertisements for that bit of brainwashing for sure! To begin and sustain travel, you really don’t need a huge fortune, just more responsible money management and an eye for the road less traveled during planning.
Things such as conversion rates, house sitting, public transport, self-touring, and having the right travel apps can save you tons. We are not rich by any means, and are constantly working towards making a living on the road to further sustain our travels – I as a virtual assistant and writer, and Scott as a certified welding inspector – should we decide to settle down for a year or so for him to work.
(On that note, if you happen to be seeking someone to fill these types of positions, we’d be elated to hear from you. Kindly click here to get in touch!)
Another common misconception about travel is that it is dangerous, because the media tells us that the world is a dangerous and scary place. Many people believe that anywhere other than a western country is extremely dangerous to visit. Through all our travel experiences abroad including the current ones, we have constantly been reminded that the world is not as scary as most people think, even in the poorest of countries.
The world is in fact an immensely beautiful place full of interesting people and experiences. Really, it just takes a small amount of common sense and awareness to protect yourself on the road, should the need arise.
Welcome, and We Are Happy You’re Here!
We love that we have an opportunity to share this journey with the world, and with you! We are simply two regular people, who are now living by the philosophy that it is the experiences we have as human beings that bring the most rewarding happiness, not the amount of wealth or material possessions a person owns.
We have been very determined to accomplish our dreams, and we are firm believers in the fact that if you truly want something, you will find a way, and it will happen.
We are doing this, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to inspire you to accomplish your goals as well! Everyone has the power to accomplish their dreams: just take the first step, and then another… and then another… and it will all come together in one fabulous accomplishment, piece by piece.
Cheers, and thank you very much for following us on this epic journey. We are happy to have you along for the ride!