How the Don’t Forget to Move Couple Live Off Their Blog While Traveling the World

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

We’re Jules and Christine, from the adventure travel and sustainable tourism blog, Don’t Forget To Move. Jules is from Melbourne, Australia and Christine is from San Francisco, California. We met while volunteering in Peru at a disaster relief organization in 2012, and have been traveling together ever since. We LOVE traveling to new places and diving deep into local life wherever we go. As well as a love for travel, we’re also dedicated humanitarians and have spent many years working in international development projects around the world. When we’re not on a bus, plane or in our van, Jules loves to surf and Christine loves to do yoga.

How and why did you get into travel adventuring and become a nomad?

We both started traveling solo in our early twenties. Christine did her first backpacking trip through Central America and Jules traveled from Canada down to South America. After meeting in Peru and volunteering together for six months, we decided to keep the dream alive and continue traveling. Since then we’ve been all over Latin America, volunteered in Southeast Asia, traveled through Europe and have spent time exploring our respective countries.

We’re both really lucky in that our families were very supportive of our travels. Both of our parents encouraged us to go and see the world. Christine was especially lucky to be so supported by her family because female travelers can often be discouraged to travel solo.

This lifestyle is so important to us because we value freedom over pretty much everything. Even though we’ve slowed our travels down a bit, we still spend most of our time abroad, living in different countries. We love the fact that if we get bored with a place we can pack up our things and go somewhere new. Working at nonprofits abroad has influenced us to be so grateful for what we have. Travel has showed us that ultimately, experiences and relationships are much more important to us than things.

How do you finance your nomadic life?

We finance our nomadic life through Don’t Forget To Move (blog and social media channels), as well as other online projects like our creative agency Passionfruit Creative. For Don’t Forget To Move we work with companies in the travel industry, including tourism boards, other travel websites and travel gear companies. Our budget per month changes significantly depending on where we are in the world. When we were backpacking in Cuba in 2013 we were spending $80 per week each. In Europe, when taking a road trip in Spain or traveling to Estonia, we were spending closer to $300 a week. Sometimes we get free hotel stays, transportation or freebies through our blog, so that definitely helps our budget travel!

How do you build a social life as a nomad?

Life as a nomad can get lonely. Luckily we travel as a couple, so we have each other for company. But we do meet a lot of new people through traveling and by living in cities that are popular with digital nomads. For new nomads, I would suggest starting out in a city like Chiang Mai, Thailand or Bali, Indonesia, where you’ll make friends with other nomads and remote workers easily. There’s often meetups and workshops, so it’s not hard to connect with other nomads there. Then you can move on from there with a whole network of people to visit around the world!

Where do you live and work as a nomad?

If we’re traveling, we’ll stay in a mix of hostels, hotels and Air BnBs. Lately, we’ve been preferring the latter because we have our own space to work. If we’re in a location for a couple of weeks, we’ll ask around about apartment rentals. Often AirBnBs are more expensive than if you find a room or apartment through local networks. Most recently we finished up four months in Canggu, Bali, where we rented an awesome room in a guesthouse for four months. Having a base in Canggu allowed us to explore the beautiful island of Bali and check out places like Nusa Lembongan and the Gili Islands.

Where we eat depends on the country. In Thailand we almost always ate out because the food is delicious and cheap. If we rent an apartment we try to cook for a couple meals a day to save money and stay healthy. It can be difficult to stay fit while traveling because you don’t have access to a stable gym or workout routine.

We usually work from wherever we’re staying or at local cafes. We love to work from cafes, because it gets you into the local life of the place. It also allows you to meet other people that live and stay around you. Finding a place isn’t usually the hard part, the most difficult thing about working as a digital nomad is dealing with bad internet!

How do you bring your things with you?

We travel with big backpacks and day bags. Over the years, we’ve had to add much more gear to our packing list because of work. Now we travel with our laptops, cameras, tripod and drone, plus all the little accessories that go with each item. It can be a hassle to take care of so much gear, but it produces good content, so we have to have it! Depending on where we’re going also depends on how much we need to bring. When we’re packing for Southeast Asia it’s a lot different to packing for Northern Europe in the winter!

Christine has a 60-Liter Deva Gregory backpack, which is a pretty standard backpacking bag. Jules has a 70-Liter Kathmandu Interloper. We both have smaller day packs as well. Christine never feels like she has enough room, because she always overpacks!

How do you organize things in your bags?

We swear by packing cubes! We have about 10 or so between us in all sizes to separate our clothes. They make our bags so much more organized. We like our backpacks, but it would be great if there was an easy way to turn our backpacks into a rolling suitcase. We also travel with a dry bag, just in case we go on a trip where our stuff in getting wet, but honestly we don’t use it that often!

How do your bags and gear hold up?

Our bags have held up pretty well. Lucky for Christine, she bought her first backpacking backpack at REI and after years of use they exchanged it for full store credit! We were actually able to buy the same bag back for $10 at their membership sale, just to keep as a souvenir. REI is an amazing store that treats their customers really well!

In the old days, we were rough and rugged with our gear, so it wore out a lot quicker. Now that we travel slower, and don’t move as quickly, we find our gear holding up a lot more.

Any gear you wish you had brought with you from the beginning?

I wish we had used packing cubes from the very beginning! Our bags were so disorganized when we first started traveling and it was such a hassle to get anything in or out of them. The more that we travel with them, the more I’m grateful for our packing cubes!

Our motto for packing is: Less is more! We don’t always follow our own advice but it’s always better to pack less than you’re planning because it’s a pain to carry useless stuff around!

What has been your best gear purchase below $100?

Some of our best travel gear purchases include our Vapor collapsible water bottles, which are perfect for space saving and also helping reduce plastic water bottle purchases. Our JBL speaker is also awesome to travel with, cause it gives us tunes on the road and means we always have a road trip playlist ready to go. Resistance bands are awesome for maintaining a bit of fitness while on the road and they don’t take up a lot of space.

What is your best advice for new nomads?

Our best advice is to just go! So many people put off traveling for the right moment, when they have someone to travel with, or when they retire. But if you keep putting it off, you’ll never go. Save up some money, start planning and then buy a plane ticket! You’re the only one who can make it happen, so it’s up to you to take the plunge!

What will the future bring?

One of our favorite parts about being a nomad is that we never really know where we’ll end up! But no matter where we go, we know we’ll always have an adventure! We spend a bit of time in Melbourne and California, where our parents and friends live, otherwise it’s Bali to surf or somewhere else that offers the next adventure!

Visit Jules and Christine on their website and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

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