Since 2009 we have been working remotely and ran our businesses from a coffeeshop or restaurant. In 2011 we decided to sell everything we owned and step into a life of adventure on the road and take our work with us. That first year we lived off our savings, which ran out somewhere in September 2012. Meanwhile we discovered what we really loved to do in life and we developed new skills. In the summer of that same year we started to experiment with making money while traveling. We produced our first WordPress website in Spanish for a hotel in Mexico. Part of that collaboration was an exchange of accommodation and food and for teaching English to the hotel staff, new pictures and a great website. An awesome experience we can recommend to any traveler out there: to create something using your own skills and talents and leaving behind a stronger company. Ever since this first experience with exchanging for skills for a place to stay and food and drinks, we have not paid rent while being in Mexico.
We typically travel and live abroad 10 months a year. As such we do not have any running costs in the Netherlands, like paying rent or a mortgage. We don’t have any kids and we are of good health. We do pay for travel insurance and the obligatory healthcare insurance in The Netherlands. Part of the collaborations we do, is therefore paid in cash to accommodate the money that we cannot replace by exchange.
Both of us were born in the eighties and part of the Y generation and we learnt that if you have a good job, if you make enough money, you are successful. You get that job by studying hard and getting a degree. You are ready to succeed in the money economy. The system that was created around money as we know it, our money economy, did not make us happy at all. We experienced it ourselves: we had a degree, a good job, a ‘career’ even. We felt a relentless urge to make more and more money and some more, and with that a focus on the what money buys: the car, the house, the stuff we collected. We connected the ability to experience things and emotions to having money. You can only do the things you love when you have a million in the bank right?
We believe that the ability to experience does not have to be defined by how much money a person has. We believe it is possible to get access to experiences in a different way. By exchange and by simply giving it away. With this belief and action to live with as little money as possible, to give away whenever we can and to exchange for the experiences we’d love to create, we take the responsibility of our generation and give an example to those to come: we help create a new story of money.