If you’re searching for a pair of inspiring travelers, Nick and Dariece certainly fit the bill. Originally having quit their jobs for 12 months of travel abroad, before they knew it, one year had turned into two, two into three, and three years into four.
Having now been on the road for five years, their extensive list of adventures include going on safari in Kenya, sailing the Nile River in Egypt for 4 days, staying in an ashram in India for 3 weeks, and trekking the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal for two. Though these are all merely honorable mentions when it comes to their most memorable moments abroad.
Having realized quickly that the nomadic lifestyle offered the freedom and happiness they both craved, they focused on building their blog (Goats on the Road) to a point where they could fully sustain their travels from the money earned through advertising, affiliate sales, press trips, and freelance writing. And as such, they now make enough money through online pursuits to stay on the road full time.
Nick and Dariece aim to inspire others to live a life of travel, adventure and freedom. These “goats” are this week’s inspiring travelers.
What do you love the most about travelling?
I think an easier question to answer would be “what do I love the least about travelling”! There are so many incredible aspects to travel that it’s hard to narrow it down, but I’ll try.
I’d have to say that I love meeting new people the most, and learning about their ways of life and their culture.
We’ve met so many people from all over the world and have become very close friends (still to this day) with people from Iran, England, The USA, Canada, Germany, China, the Philippines and Grenada.
We believe it’s very important to immerse ourselves in the local community and culture of whichever country we’re in, and we’ve learned a lot over the years by doing so, and had some very eye-opening experiences along the way.
What inspired you to start travelling?
I’ve always wanted to travel, ever since I was in high school. I used to joke that one day I’d be a coconut and pineapple vendor on a pristine beach somewhere in the tropics!
When Nick and I started dating, we began watching a Canadian television program called Departures. Three Canadian guys in their late 20’s drop everything to travel the world for a year, and they made a weekly tv show about it.
We were so inspired after watching a few episodes and knew that we had to quit work and travel for a year, which then turned into two years, which then turned into three… etc. We have now been on the road for 5 years.
What is ‘Goats on the Road’ all about?
When we first started out, we were all about sharing our stories from the road and providing our readers with backpacking tips and advice.
Although we still have our Ultimate Backpacking Guides to various countries, we’ve started to lean towards financially sustainable, location independent travel.
Nowadays we’re incorporating our inspiring travel tales with information and advice on how to make money abroad, extend your travels and be free!
Why did you choose “goats” for your blog name?
Well, there are a few reasons.
1. We love goats. We think they’re cute, smart and hilarious animals.
2. Everywhere we go in the world, there are goats on the road. No matter where. Sometimes they’re even in the trees!
3. We call each other “goat” as a sort of pet-name, and since we’re also on the road, Goats On The Road seemed fitting.
We’re glad we came up with it because it’s a memorable name, plus, we love that people send us photos of goats on the road from around the world!
Apart from quitting your jobs, selling your home and leaving Canada to pursue your dream of travelling, what else have you done?!
Lots! We have many highlights from our 5 years on the road, but a few of them stand out:
Living in China for a year teaching English was huge. We didn’t even have a job secured in China when we booked our flight to Hong Kong. But, when we arrived it all came together for us.
We spent a year living in the city of Yangzhou teaching to kids aged three up to sixteen. We created amazing bonds with the other foreign teachers that we worked with and made some incredible friendships with some of the Chinese people as well. Learning about the country and its culture and food was a great experience.
After a year of teaching, we took off on a 4.5 month adventure through Mongolia and the ‘Stan countries. The whole trip was epic, but one of the most intrepid things we did was to trek on foot for 8 days through the Mongolian steppe with nothing more than our backpacks, a tent, a map, a compass and some food.
We (Nick) plotted a route on Google Maps that had us following a river in the middle of nowhere. After approximately 9 days, if all went well, we would find ourselves at a popular lake with accommodation options.
The journey was about 145 kms and took us 8 days of walking, but it was worth it! We met some lovely nomadic people along the way and being out in complete nature with just each other to rely on was truly an adventure that we’ll remember forever.
Honourable mentions: going on safari in Kenya, sailing the Nile River in Egypt for 4 days, staying in an ashram in India for 3 weeks and trekking the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal for 2 weeks.
You’ve managed to turn your travels into a lifestyle – how can you afford to stay on the road and enjoy a life of continual travel?
We feel very blessed to be able to live a life of travel, which for us ultimately equals freedom. Over the past two years, we’ve built our blog to a point where we can fully sustain our travels from the money earned. Through advertising, affiliate sales, press trips, and freelance writing, we’re able to make enough money to keep us travelling.
We are also house/pet sitters which allows us to enjoy free accommodation, the experience of living like a local and the company of a furry friend. Although we don’t house sit everywhere we go, we really enjoy it and think it’s a great way to immerse ourselves into the community.
For more on becoming a house sitter and to find out how we saved $24,000 in accommodation costs, click here!
How long will you keep travelling?
For however long it makes us happy! We don’t see any end in sight at the moment and although we love travel, we have found that we’re slowing down a bit.
We prefer moving at a snail’s pace these days in order to work on projects for our website, keep on top of articles that need to be written, and to better understand the country/city that we find ourselves in.
Plus, travelling at a fast pace can be quite expensive…not to mention, exhausting!
Top tips for those wanting to turn travel into a lifestyle? What can people do to make this actually happen?
First and foremost, you have to really want it. So many people say things like “I wish I could do what you’re doing”, and the truth is, everyone could do what we’re doing if they truly wanted to.
It takes a lot of courage to quit your job, sell your home and take off into the world, but once you make the leap, you’ll never regret it.
Once you’ve decided that you want to live a life abroad, you’ll need to figure out how you’ll make money. Will it be online? Will you house sit to cut accommodation costs? Will you teach English? Will you bartend, open a business, be an au pair or become a masseuse?
There are numerous ways to make money on the road. Or, perhaps you can retire early and live off of Government pension plans and savings!
Living a location independent lifestyle may not be conventional, but more and more people are choosing to be free and work remotely. Would you rather work in a cubicle, or from your computer on the beach?
If you’re ready for a life of freedom, travel and adventure, then just go for it!
For more information on giving it all up to live a freer, happier lifestyle, check out our Ultimate Guide to an Early Retirement here.
Do you ever get bored while travelling the world?
No, never. Every day is exciting.Every day is an adventure with something new waiting around the corner.
If we’re feeling antsy, we move on!
What are your secrets for travelling full time with your spouse?
Good question! We’ve been travelling together for 5 years, and spend practically every waking moment together…you do the math, that’s a lot of hours with each other.
We have the odd argument here and there, but basically everything runs smoothly. Here’s why:
1. We’re patient with one another.
2. We look after each other.
3. We eat! More arguments happen when one person is hungry, or tired.
4. We each have our “jobs”. If one of us is in charge of budgeting money, then the other has to figure out the transportation. One of us does the laundry, while the other cooks dinner. We think it’s important to share the work load.
Travel is the coolest thing you can do with your significant other. You really get to know who your spouse is and see them for who they truly are.
You’ll learn more about that person after travelling together for one year, than if you were together at home for 10 years.
Have you ever been worried about your safety?
A couple of times actually and both of them were in Kenya.
Nick and I were sitting on a curb on the side of the street in the city of Mombasa waiting for a bus, when a disheveled looking man approached me. He was clearly drunk, homeless and looked very wild-eyed and crazy. He reached into his pants and I immediately turned away (assuming he was about to pull out the family jewels).
The next thing I know, Nick is sprinting down the street, chasing and screaming at the guy. When he came back, I said “why were you chasing after him?” His reply:
“Because he held a knife to your head.”
The other time was on the island of Lamu. We were there in 2011 when the Somali Pirates were kidnapping westerners for ransom. So far, 4 people had been kidnapped and two were dead.
The US Army were patrolling the skies in helicopters throughout the night and day, but we pretty much felt like we wanted to stay in our guest house and not be seen!
Three things you cannot travel without?
Laptop – for obvious reasons.
Travel towel – it’s quick-drying, rolls up nice and small and has come in handy on many occasions.
Tiger Balm – this Chinese menthol medicine is great for muscle aches, nausea and for when there are nasty smells in the air that you want to mask.
What is your favourite form of transportation?
Trains. Travelling by land has always been our favourite, but trains are extra special.
We love seeing the world go by and seeing all of the “in-between” landscapes that you would otherwise miss on a plane. Plus, they’re usually quite comfortable, unlike buses.
Why should people travel?
I think people should travel in order to gain a better understanding of people and cultures, and to realize that the world we live in isn’t a scary place – despite what the media may have you believe.
That’s probably the biggest reason. Go. Travel. See for yourself.