Digital Entrepreneur Interview Series: Jetsetting Fools

Digital Entrepreneur Interview Series.JetsettingFools

I’m all about inspiring others to pursue their dream life.  Life is too short to simply exist.  Everyone has a different story and I wanted to inspire my readers by sharing the stories of other digital entrepreneurs whom have taken the leap. 

I want to SHOW you it CAN be done.  Live life on purpose is my motto and these Digital Entrepreneurs are doing that in spades! 

Today, Sarah and Kris from Jetsetting Fools share their story.

Tell me about yourselves

We are Sarah and Kris – an American couple in our 40s. Married for more than 10 years, we never settled into the traditional American ideology of big houses, multiple cars and numerous kids. Instead, we thrived on travel experiences. While we enjoy seeing the sights in any city we visit, we especially love meeting new people and learning about different cultures. 

Do you travel full time or have a base? 

We are full-time travellers – and haven’t had a ‘home’ since we left the United States in 2014. Almost everything we own is carried in our backpacks – with the exception of a few sentimental items and a change of clothes that we store at Sarah’s mother’s house. 

Our initial plan was to only travel the world for one year – but even then, we never had plans to return to Phoenix, where we were living at the time. Nothing was really holding us there and we didn’t want inconsequential material possessions tying us to the city. 

We let our condo lease expire, sold our cars and donated nearly everything we owned. Purging our belongings was one of the most difficult and, at the same time, liberating things that we did to prepare for a nomadic lifestyle.

Fast-forward five years and we still revel in the freedom of having very few possessions and a rootless lifestyle. While we do travel slower than the average tourist, we don’t like being in one place longer than three months. That said, we do enjoy revisiting places we have already been to – like Split, Croatia. 

How did you become an entrepreneur?  Did you have an ‘ah-ha’ moment?  Or was it something you kind of ‘fell into’?

It’s kind of funny, because we don’t think of ourselves as entrepreneurs. While our blog is a business – and we run it like one – it evolved from our passion for travel and our complete and utter desire to keep traveling. 

The first idea to ‘quit our jobs and travel the world’ was born over a pitcher of beer. We were on a weekend jaunt to California from Arizona – once again escaping the oppressive desert summer heat. The cooler weather and beach vibes had us dreading our return to the Valley of the Sun. It wasn’t simply the heat that bothered us, but our jobs and routine lifestyle that pointed to a future in which we were less than enthusiastic about. 

A conversation ensued about our dream life, which for both of us was to travel. Not escape on weekends, but to travel all the time. 

Rather than let the idea slosh around in the bottom of our beer mugs, we grabbed a cocktail napkin and started writing down what it would take to make our dream a reality. 

We made a plan. We saved our money. And then, three (very long) years later, we left our corporate jobs and material possessions behind and set off on an adventure that we are still living. 

Tell me about your ‘why’ –  why are you pursuing this business in particular?

When we first made our plan to swap jobs for travel, we had never heard the term ‘Digital Nomad.’ (Little did we know that idea of working remotely would take off at the same time we took the leap!) After we hatched the idea to chuck it all for travel, we struggled to find information on how to make an income while traveling. And, to be honest, making money while traveling wasn’t really part of the original plan; our initial strategy was saving money that would fund our yearlong travels. 

However, in our online research, we discovered travel bloggers who bragged about how much income they were making online – and that spurred an idea. Sarah, who has a Journalism degree, was eager to write about our journey – at least to share it with family and friends. And, in her line of business, she was already familiar with the basic idea of how to start a blog. In the end, it just made sense to start a travel blog to chronicle our experiences.  

Once we were about six months into our journey, we were hooked on the lifestyle and going back to America to live and work was no longer an option for either of us. That mindset forced us to take the blog more seriously; we knew we could make an income from it, but we weren’t sure how. We took courses, joined Facebook groups and transformed our hobby blog into a business.  

Jetsetting Fools.views

The big question everyone wants to know –  what’s your main source of income?   How do you make money doing what you do?  

Our biggest source of income comes from the advertisements that are on our blog. We are partners with an advertising company that sorts all the details of ad placement…but we had to reach a certain level of readership before they would work with us. 

Prior to placing the ads on our blog, we made most of our money from Affiliate sales. 

What piece of advice would you suggest to someone considering ‘ditching the desk’ to become an ‘online warrior’?  

Our best piece of advice would be to learn as much as you can. Do the research, join FB groups with like-minded (and helpful) people and take courses that will help you achieve your goals. Also, keep in mind that it will likely be an uphill battle – so it’s best to start as soon as possible!

What’s the one thing you can’t do without to run your business? (Apart from readership…)

Determination; without it, we never would have made it as far as we have. Like the ‘Little Engine That Could,’ we have an innate desire to succeed. We are resolute in living a Location Independent life, so failure is not an option. It’s not always easy – so when we falter, we take a look at our surroundings and take stock in our good fortune…then get right back to work!

Is there anything you miss about having a 9-5 type of job?

On the days when words don’t come easily or we just aren’t feeling it, we miss the luxury of a spending company time hanging around the water cooler. There is no slacking off or lazy days when you run your own business…and no steady paychecks. 

What three things have you learned in the last year?

We probably learn three new things every day! So, our biggest lesson may be that there is always more to learn…especially in a relatively new and always evolving industry like travel blogging. We have also learned – or have come to accept – that our blog will never be ‘done;’ our to-do list will never be completely crossed off. 

Finally, and most importantly, this year we have learned to put more effort and commitment into relationships – both at home with our family and lifelong friends, as well as abroad with the new friends we make around the world. 

What is the best thing about being an entrepreneur?   Or better yet, is there anything that would make you go back to a 9-5 job? 

We think the best thing about running a travel blog is that our work is our passion. It is work, no doubt, but the reward is that we get what we give, so the successes are sweeter. 

Give me a reality check moment that people considering this lifestyle needs to understand, before they take the leap?

I think the biggest misconception about being travel bloggers is that we are on a perpetual vacation, sipping cocktails on exotic beaches. The reality is it takes a lot of work and dedication to be successful in this lifestyle. 

For us, that means often working 10-12 hours every day, seven days a week for weeks on end. Albeit, we get to work in absolutely amazing locations…but, it’s still work. 

If you would do anything over again, what would that be?  

We have very few regrets in how we have ended up where we are now. That said, purely speaking business-wise, it would have helped immensely if we had taken blogging more seriously from the beginning. 

Jetsetting Fools.beach

As a traveller, what is your style of travel? Do you go budget friendly or live life luxuriously? 

We are budget travellers who are easily entertained by ‘normal’ life in foreign places. We love sightseeing, but rarely splurge for high-dollar attractions. Going shopping at the local market or even grocery store is often more exciting to us than wandering around a big museum. We would rather throw back a beer with the locals on a pier than drink a fancy cocktail from a hotel bar. What can we say? We are easily entertained…and that bodes well for our budget. 

How do you keep the budget under control?  

There is a big misnomer that travel is expensive. And, while that can certainly be true, it doesn’t have to be. We carefully choose what we spend our money on; we aren’t travellers that have to do and see everything. We often travel to affordable locations, stay in Airbnb apartments or find housesitting opportunities, cook our own meals and partake in free activities, like hiking and self-guided city walking tours. 

Which country has impacted you the most as a traveller? Tell me why.

We think every country we have visited has left some mark on us; we are constantly in awe of the world’s differences…and similarities. Places like Vietnam and Thailand continue to fascinate us, but perhaps the country that has most impacted us is Croatia. It is difficult to pinpoint exactly what it is about Croatia that intrigues us, but it’s a place we return to time and time again. 

Tell me your best travel tip! 

Set aside time in any place you visit to stop and observe. Don’t get so wrapped up in sightseeing that you miss experiencing the city! 

Do you have something you’d love my readers to know about?  

We love to share our tips for traveling to top destinations around the world. Our detailed travel posts include city-specific information with our best advice for sightseeing, step-by-step self-guided walking tours, off-the-beaten-path adventures and insight into history, cuisine and culture. 

You can find Sarah and Kris here:

Blog: jetsettingfools.com

Facebook: JetsettingFools

Instagram: JSFtravel

Pinterest: jetsettingfools

Interview with Jetsetting Fools
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1 Comment

  1. Patsy
    October 24, 2019 / 11:20 pm

    Awesome story and interview! You 2 are amazing!

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