Just as working full time sucks the life out of people who are more suited to a life of travel, traveling full time exhausts those who prefer to have a place to call home. Fortunately, there are lots of different alternatives in between.
For example, you can choose to live as an expat in another country and work there, using your days off to explore the surrounding areas. Once you feel like it’s time to move on, you can live in another country. Rinse and repeat as much as you like.
That’s what Yeison and Samantha of Mytanfeet are doing.
Yeison and Samantha met during a volunteer trip in Central America. After 2 years of being in a long-distance relationship, Samantha moved from the U.S. to Costa Rica to be with Yeison.
Samantha started out living as an expat who worked at local establishments and they’ve now managed to build location-independent income sources.
Check out how they did it in this interview!
On your blog, you say that you’re not millionaires, but you’re living a rich life. What does being rich mean to you?
Rich for us means having a happy and loving life.
Of course we all need money to survive, but at the end of it all, we can only take our memories with us when we die. We don’t want to have any regrets during the last days of our lives wishing that we did that or did this, we want to enjoy life as much as we can and appreciate what is given to us. Life is so short and so precious that there’s no use in wasting time over stressing about small things.
I think being happy or finding happiness is everyone’s goal in life and we want to find our happiness not through material things, but through our memories, experiences and time spent with loved ones.
What did you do for a living when you first moved to Costa Rica?
Yeison was a hotel manager and I was working at a veterinarian clinic and tutoring English before we started blogging.
We moved to the beach in Costa Rica right when I moved down two and a half years ago when we started those jobs. The hotel we were working at actually got sold and Yeison received a commission that allowed us to quit our jobs and travel until we started making money from the blog.
You made $30,000 with your travel blog in your first year of monetizing — super impressive. You already have a lot of information about blogging on Mytanfeet, so let’s not get into too much detail. But if you can only choose only three things, what do you do that makes your blog so successful?
Persistence, confidence and having an open mind.
Unless you have previous background in the blogging/tourism/business industry, blogging can be tough to crack to pass the “online diary” stage. But we were consistent with our blog, posting quality content often and always looking for ways to promote it. Not only that but you need to be persistent in learning. The Internet is truly quite young and it is always changing and evolving. You have to keep up or you’ll get left behind when it comes to what works and what doesn’t. If it doesn’t work the first time, come up with another idea and try try again.
You need to be confident in yourself in this business. If you aren’t, well just like any other field you won’t do as well. I realized that blogging has a lot to do with motivation and inspiration – if you feel like you can do it, then you can. If you know you can be really great at it, then you will be. I know that confidence falters occasionally and there are times during blogging when you feel down but believe in yourself and be confident. Anyone can do anything they set their mind to!
When it comes to blogging, there are a lot of ways to monetize a blog. We knew about the basics like Google Ads and Amazon but we knew there had to be more – people make millions from the Internet every year! Having an open mind about your blog and understanding that there are different paths to monetization is key. You can’t focus on just one stream of income, you need to plant seeds in different areas and create several streams.
Is your blogging income enough to cover all your living and traveling expenses now?
Nearly! When we were living in Costa Rica, it was enough to cover all our living expenses. While we were traveling, it was just about enough.
Aside from the blog, do you have any other sources of income?
We are doing a bit of freelancing right now and are going to focus more on it now that we are somewhat settled back in Costa Rica. I write and Yeison does consultations and web design.
How do you decide how much money to spend on your trips away from your current home in Costa Rica? Do you set aside a percentage of your income or does it just depend on where you feel like going?
A little bit of both. We don’t want to restrict ourselves when we travel but we do try to stick to a budget as much as possible.
We’re not so strict on our income that we can only spend a certain amount but we do set aside amounts after we figure out how much transportation and lodging will cost. Then we decide what activities to do from there. We’re really flexible people however, so we’re totally fine with just living the local life rather than going on tours everyday.
You can pretty much live anywhere as long as you have Internet access now. Do you have any plans to travel full time?
Actually no. We just came back from a four-month trip and we realized that though we love travel and we want to do it for as long as we can, we’re not full-time travelers. We like having a home base and settling down somewhere for a period of time.
So perhaps we won’t become full time travelers but we’ll be nomads, staying in one country for several months or even a year at a time. It would be really fun to live in a bunch of different countries before settling down for good whenever that is!
About Yeison and Samantha
Yeison and Samantha are a multi-cultural couple who has been traveling around the world together for the past 4 years and sharing their stories on their travel blog, Mytanfeet. Their home base is Costa Rica where you can catch them watching the sunsets or hanging out with the monkeys at the beach. You can follow their travels on Instagram and Facebook.