Welcome to the Grateful Gypsies!

by Sasha Savinov

In 2010, we were down and out. We were struggling to find work, borrowing money, and even had to get on food stamps. A few years later, we set off on a gap year to travel the world. We’ve lived in three different countries and traveled to 17 others and counting. Now that we’re teaching English online and doing some freelance writing, we’re finally able to live the digital nomad lifestyle!

Read on to see how we can help you do the same.

Who Are the Grateful Gypsies

Teaching English Abroad Changed Our Lives

We’re Sasha and Rachel, and we’re here to show you that a life of travel and adventure is possible, even if it seems otherwise. It’s true that we were living on food stamps just a few years ago and seemed to have no way out. With few opportunities at home, we moved to Beijing with what very little money we had.

Gubeikou Camp

Camping on the Great Wall

We lived with a friend and took whatever work we could get teaching English. Within a year, we had our own 3-bedroom place in a great part of the city and were heading off to backpack Thailand and Laos for a month. Whoever said teachers don’t make any money? Head over to our About page to read the full story.

Since then, we’ve enjoyed a comfortable life in Beijing, Kunming, Bali, and Puerto Vallarta and done a ton of traveling.

Gotta love those Bali sunsets!

Our list of travel experiences is quite extensive but here are some highlights:

These are just the first things that come to mind, and they barely scratch the surface. Now, we’re bouncing around South America.

That’s the best thing about this lifestyle we’ve created for ourselves – the freedom. We can hit the beach on a Wednesday afternoon, take a 3-4 day weekend with no trouble, and even plan to spend a few weeks to a month in another country. Life isn’t meant to be lived inside of a cube, and we’re living proof that it doesn’t have to be.

We want to help you do the same! We’ve compiled a list of our posts to help you get started.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico


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How We Can Help You

Travel Tips

 We put a lot of time and effort into planning our travels. It’s something we pride ourselves on. We love offering advice about things to see and do in the places we visit. Check out all our tips and don’t hesitate to reach out if you can’t find what you’re looking for!

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Our Favorite Travel Gear for All Types of Travel

Choosing the best travel gear for any kind of trip can seem like a daunting task! It’s especially difficult if you’re planning your first long-term trip! We went on our first big…

Exploring the Old City of Cartagena

Located on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, Cartagena is a gorgeous city with a long history and vibrant culture. It’s also the most popular tourist destination in the country, thanks to its…

Teach ESL (English as a Second Language)

 We started out teaching English in Beijing and taught to students of all ages. We then took our skills to Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province. Now we teach kids online. This enables us to do it from anywhere!

This area of the site has interviews with other people who are teaching abroad. If this is something you’re considering, this is the section for you!

How Teaching English in China Led Us to Location Independence

Are there any points in your life that were a major turning point? There are several decisions that I made that changed my life path. We’ve written about a few of those…

ESL Around the World: Teaching English in Dubai, UAE

This interview in our ESL Around the World series is all about teaching English in Dubai! We created this series to inspire people to take the plunge and teach English abroad. Each…

Everything You Need to Know About Teaching English Online With VIPKID

Updated September 2018 to reflect the current recruitment process. Teaching English online is becoming very popular. It’s a great way to move abroad without the stress of lining up a job first.…

Digital Nomad Life

Thanks to our online teaching jobs, we’re able to live and work wherever we please (as long as there’s wifi, of course). We’re currently bouncing around South America.

When we’re not teaching, we’re working on more awesome content to help you out! This is where you’ll find information about the cost of living in various cities as well as best places to work and all things digital nomad.

Our Experience Traveling South America as Digital Nomads

There’s a big difference between traveling as a backpacker and traveling as a digital nomad. We should know, as we have gone on two separate 7-month trips – once as carefree backpackers,…

Everything You Need to Know About Teaching English Online With VIPKID

Updated September 2018 to reflect the current recruitment process. Teaching English online is becoming very popular. It’s a great way to move abroad without the stress of lining up a job first.…

How to Live Abroad and Travel the World as an Online English Teacher

Photo by: Acachia Photography | acachia.com This blog post is all about how you can earn up to $2000 per month teaching a few hours from anywhere in the world (with WiFi).

Take a Gap Year

 As Americans, the concept of gap year was foreign to us until we took our first backpacking trip in Thailand and Laos. During that month-long trip, we met plenty of Brits and Aussies in the midst of their gap years – a year off in between high school and college or graduation and the working world. We strongly believe it’s something everyone should do. Find your inspiration here!

Saving, Planning, and Budgeting for a Gap Year

“You’re traveling for how long?!” “What about bills?!” “How can you possibly afford to do this?!” These are all questions that we heard many times before hitting the open road for our…

Our Gap Year

Planning a gap year trip is no easy task. We spent a lot of time staring at maps, reading travel sites, and formulating our plan before we hit the open road. To…

Should You Take a Gap Year?

Deciding to take an entire year off of school or work to travel extensively is no easy decision. Chances are you’ll have plenty of naysayers in your ear from the get-go: “You…

Don't Be Afraid to Reach Out!

We’re here to help!

Beyond just offering a wealth of information for travelers and expats alike, we also make great business partners. We’ve worked with villa owners, tour guides, festivals, and more to produce original content – written posts, high-quality photos, short videos, and social media campaigns. If you’re interested in working with us, just drop us a line.

So, if you need help planning that big trip, are looking for advice from experts about living abroad, or have a great travel product/service that the world needs to know about, get in touch! We’re all over social media – Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat. Or you could always go old-fashioned and send us an e-mail.