One of the most common questions we get is “How do you guys travel all the time?”
For the past four years, we’ve been working remotely and independently. It wasn’t exactly a smooth and easy transition into digital nomad life. We had some help along the way.
One of the biggest reasons we’re able to live a location independent lifestyle is the Paradise Pack. A few years after picking up this amazing bundle of resources, we’re proud to be a part of it this year.
If you spend hours a day staring out the window, daydreaming of traveling more and working on your own time, then read on for everything you need to know about the Paradise Pack and going location independent.
What is the Paradise Pack?
Before I get into the feel-good story of how we made the transition into digital nomad life, let me introduce the Paradise Pack. Actually, the founders did a pretty good job of introducing it, so I’ll just quote them:
This comprehensive collection of educational products by renowned location independent business and travel experts is designed to give you the real skills and knowledge you need to create a life of total freedom and flexibility.
Every year, the Paradise Pack features a different collection of guides, courses, and programs.
These cover a wide array of topics, including travel writing, affiliate marketing, SEO, language learning, entrepreneurship, teaching English online, and so much more. Best of all, these all come from experts in their field who have years of experience.
How the Paradise Pack Changed Our Lives
I don’t know about you, but I was never cut out for a “real job.” For one, I can’t stand the thought of sitting in a cubicle for 40 hours a week. I also don’t like asking a boss for time off and I can’t fathom only having two weeks of vacation a year. It’s only April, and I’ve already used more than that!
I’m writing this from a cafe in Antigua, Guatemala. Last month, we were traveling around Costa Rica. Next month, we’ll be back in the States for a wedding and then moving back to our beloved Puerto Vallarta for a few months. In August, we’ll fly up to Denver to see friends and our favorite band, where I’ll finally get my 100th Phish concert.
Life is good.
This fall, we might try our hand at house sitting. Or we might go backpacking in Europe for a bit. Perhaps we’ll move back to the other side of Mexico and use it as a base to visit places like Belize and Cuba. Who knows?
Having the freedom to do what we want, when we want is invaluable to us.
It’s been a learning process as we moved from teaching English in China to being digital nomads. Without the fantastic resources that we acquired in the Paradise Pack, I truly believe we wouldn’t be where we are today.
Here’s a bit of a backstory so you can see just how far we’ve come in a few short years.
Catching the Travel Bug
When we were living in Beijing, we had pretty cushy lives. We had a nice apartment in a great area, well-paying jobs in one of the best English schools, and a great social circle. Even on weekdays, we could afford to go out for dinner and drinks with friends. Weekends were full of fun day-trips and wild nights, and short holidays were spent exploring China.
Even though we had it made, it just wasn’t satisfying enough for us. We knew we wanted to travel more and on our own terms.
It was an incredible experience that we just didn’t want to end.
Sadly, our bank account deemed it necessary for the trip to end. We were spending more than we were making, so it was time to get back to work.
Rachel signed a contract teaching English in Kunming and we “settled down” again. I had a mountain of freelance work to do, so I just picked up some teaching hours on the side and mostly worked from home.
Needless to say, it was a tough transition back to “real life.” Rachel had to work six days a week, which seriously limited our ability to travel together. She had a working visa, but I was just on a tourist visa. As such, I had to leave the mainland every 90 days on visa runs. Because of her schedule, she wasn’t able to come along with me.
We knew something had to change.
Let’s Move to Bali
One of our favorite places we’ve been to is Bali. There’s just something special about the Island of the Gods. It was there that I got the idea to save up and quit our jobs to take a gap year. We returned on our gap year and had another amazing time exploring the island.
While we were in Kunming, I decided to apply for the Darmasiswa Program to study Indonesian language and culture in Bali. I was writing for an Indonesian blog and I had already been there twice, so I figured I was a shoo-in. We set about planning our wedding but held off on making plans for that fall until I got the result.
One evening, I was sitting at my desk writing when I got an e-mail. A minute later, I ran into the living room and asked Rachel, “So… wanna move to Bali?”
I was accepted into the program, and we were going to move to our favorite place in the world for an extended honeymoon! The only problem was – how the hell were we going to afford it?!
Searching For a Way to Make Money Online
At this point, I was making pretty good money writing and editing videos for the language blogs.
Grateful Gypsies was still quite new, and we really didn’t know what we were doing with it. We both agreed that we needed to put more time and effort into it and that there was potential for us to start earning an income from it.
Once again, a small problem faced us – running a successful blog that actually earns money ain’t easy.
In fact, it’s very difficult, time-consuming, and stressful. Just Google “how to start a blog” and you’ll be overwhelmed with millions of entries. We wanted to sift through the riff-raff and get guidance from people who were already successful.
One day, I got a newsletter from Travel Blog Success about a thing called the Paradise Pack. Their course on travel blogging was going to be a part of it, and it was something I had thought about buying for a while.
When I saw all the other amazing resources that would be included along with it at a super discounted price, I decided we should go for it.
Becoming Digital Nomads
Once Rachel finished up her contract in Kunming and joined me in Bali, we were officially digital nomads.
In addition to attending my Indonesian classes, I was still writing and editing for the language blogs. Since she was now a “Balinese housewife,” Rachel got to work on learning the business of blogging.
More people visited us in Bali over the course of nine months than they had in six years in China. Go figure!
It wasn’t all fun and travel, though, as we learned a ton about blogging, SEO, affiliate marketing, and a lot more. Thanks to the resources in the Paradise Pack, we greatly improved Grateful Gypsies and started to see results.
Rachel also got introduced to many different online groups as a result, one of which helped her land a new job.
Teaching English Online
With our time in Bali coming to an end, we debated what to do next.
Of course, we could always move back to Kunming to teach again. That felt like going backward, though, so we wanted to do something different. We began looking into teaching ESL in Latin America but were disappointed to see how low most jobs pay there.
As luck would have it, Rachel learned of an opportunity to teach English online for a Chinese company called VIPKID. While they’re quite big and well-known these days, this wasn’t the case back in 2016.
Thanks to the community she had built through the Paradise Pack, Rachel got in with VIPKID before they really took off.
After she finished her first contract successfully, I decided to apply as well.
With both of us teaching online, my freelance income, and the growing traffic to our blog, we felt confident enough to hit the road as digital nomads.
Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
First up on our journey as digital nomads was Mexico.
We caught the bus headed across the southern border to Monterrey and then visited Mexico City, San Miguel, Guanajuato, and Guadalajara. Perhaps it was the tacos and tequila, but we fell right in love with Mexico!
Next up was a month in the popular beach town of Puerto Vallarta. As happens to so many other gringos, we got sucked right into this beautiful place. We ended up staying there for seven months thanks to the low cost of living and an abundance of fun things to do.
Even though we love Puerto Vallarta, we still got itchy feet.
Thanks to our newfound location independence, we hit the road again, this time to South America. For the next seven months, we traveled across the continent as digital nomads.
We based ourselves in amazing cities like Medellin, Lima, and Santiago, where we studied Spanish, found the best cafes and co-working spaces, and explored on weekends. Along the way, we were still making use of the resources we got in the Paradise Pack and always learning something new.
In between those longer stints full of productivity, we embarked on some pretty epic adventures. We stayed at a floating hostel in Colombia, visited the freaking Galapagos Islands, celebrated Carnaval in Brazil, toured the Salt Flats of Bolivia, and trekked our way to Machu Picchu.
Take that, bucket list!
Thanks to the Paradise Pack, Rachel also got introduced to the Location Indie community.
We were guests on the popular Zero to Travel Podcast, which you should definitely listen to! She also got invaluable advice and tips on the places we were visiting thanks to other members, many of whom we met along the way.
Starting to See Results
I’d be lying to you if I said I was all gung-ho about getting the Paradise Pack and putting all this effort into growing our blog. It just seemed like such an insurmountable task. What can I say – I’m a hippie slacker and I really don’t like to work that hard.
However, even my pessimistic attitude couldn’t deny the results we started to see.
Our blog started to get more and more visits each month. People were sending us e-mails asking how they could get started teaching online, and we made decent money coaching some of them through the process.
Other people started to take notice as well. While we were traveling around South America, I was offered a few well-paying jobs writing for some of the most popular travel blogs out there.
We also managed to partner with a few tour operators in the region, getting offered discounted or even free tours in exchange for covering them here on our blog.
Thanks to the knowledge we gained in the Paradise Pack, we began implementing some affiliate marketing strategies on Grateful Gypsies. After a few years of making zero to very little money off of the blog, we finally saw some dollars coming in last year. We’re even an official business now with cards and everything!
It’s been an exciting couple of years, and we really can’t wait to see where we go next. Our journey to location independence has come full circle this year.
Because four years after purchasing the Paradise Pack ourselves, our new online course is included!
What’s in the Paradise Pack 2019?
This particular Paradise Pack is chock full of some of the best educational resources on the market that will help you create a freer life for yourself.
If you already have a blog but you can’t figure out how to get more eyes on your content, then the SEO Made Simple course by our friends at Goats on the Road will teach you all the right methods to get your blog posts on the first page of Google.
Once you get that going, the Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers course by Matt Giovanisci will teach you how to earn some money from those blog posts. You can take it a step further with the Passive Income Powerhouse course by Jonathan Levi and apply his simple frameworks to other methods and earn an income while sleeping, traveling, or working on passion projects.
Our course is called Teaching for Freedom. It will help you land a job teaching English online with a company that does the legwork of finding students and making lesson plans. This will give you more free time to travel and work on passion projects.
Once you get the hang of teaching English online, you can apply the concepts in the Sign Ups from Scratch course where Gabby Wallace teaches you how to start your own online teaching business.
Even if you have no interest in building your own business, you can learn how to land the remote job of your dreams with the salary to match in the No Bullshit Road to Remote Work course by Taylor Lane.
All of these courses plus even more resources are in this year’s Paradise Pack. It’s really quite impressive how valuable this one is.
Click here to see everything that’s in the Paradise Pack 2019!
Why Should You Get the Paradise Pack?
There are so many reasons why but I’ll try to keep it short and stick to the most important ones.
If you want to be able to control your own schedule, live your life on your terms, have the freedom to travel and live around the world, all while earning a sustainable income, the Paradise Pack is your ticket.
After reading our story above, you know we can attest to that. We would not be sitting here in beautiful Guatemala after taking a 2.5-week vacation to go to two different music festivals in two different countries and then decompress while chillin’ with sloths in Costa Rica if we had never found the Paradise Pack.
And through Rachel being a member of Location Indie and following Jason and Trav’s podcasts for a few years, we’ve gotten to know them pretty well. These guys care and they want you to succeed.
Inside the Pack, they include a road map telling you exactly where to start based on where you’re at and what your goals are.
You’ll get access to a secret Facebook group with the other “Paradise Packateers.” There’s nothing like getting support and accountability from your peers who are also beginning their digital nomad journey.
Finally, Jason and Trav will host free workshops to help you get going on the courses in the Paradise Pack.
In short, they will do everything they can to help you take your life and business to the next level.
Getting the Paradise Pack is really a no-brainer if location independence is what you want.
In the last four years since we bought the Paradise Pack, Rachel and I have gone from no idea how to achieve this lifestyle to becoming online English teachers and growing our blog into a business that earns money month to month. All this while living by the beach and traveling to multiple new countries.
Not only will you get multiple resources to help you get the lifestyle you want, but you’ll also get an amazing community of like-minded people who want to help you succeed.
We are honored to be included in this year’s Paradise Pack and we can’t wait to see you on the other side!
If you have any questions or concerns at all, drop a comment below and let’s talk about it!