enjoying wine in Georgia

We are Mark and Monica and we love to travel.  Over the years we’ve been to over 90 countries, all the while running our online businesses, which are 100% remote.  As the digital nomad lifestyle has taken off, and then really accelerated during COVID, it’s made us reevaluate the way we live, work, and travel.  We wanted to go fully nomadic, but for years we had a child at home, as well as two large dogs, so it wasn’t possible.  Once our daughter left for college and our last dog sadly passed, we decided to go full time, but we first had to change the way we planned and budgeted.  We sold our car, gave up our condo in Austin, TX, and put all our belongings into storage, so we are ALL IN on the travel and work lifestyle.

Traveling Nomadically

We’re not independently wealthy.  We’ve been able to do this through a careful examination of our expenses, as well as thorough planning.  We use Monarch Money to track all our expenses and we review them every month. Essentially you trade your expenses from life in the U.S. for expenses of life on the road, which are often lower. You might live and travel in cheap countries, occasionally mixing in more expensive countries.

It’s our goal to show you ways to either join us or incorporate elements of this lifestyle into your own travels. We’ve learned lots of tricks and strategies along the way that make this way of life easier and more affordable. See our Travel Resources page for our recent blog posts.

Traveling by Cruise Ship

We’ve taken over fifty cruises and use them regularly as cost-effective transportation. You can find our tips and suggestions on this blog in the Cruises section, and we have lots of cruise content on YouTube as well.

Why We Travel

Here are the reasons why we love to travel:

  • Seeing the world
    We are at around ninety countries and counting, but there are many more on the list. The more places we visit, the more we want to see. Plus, we want to go back to our favorites!
  • Eating
    Food is a huge motivator and the best way to get to know a culture. Markets, local restaurants and food tours give us access to the best local dishes.
  • Getting great photos
    Although we are amateur photographers, we love beautiful scenery and getting amazing photos of the places we visit. We hope they inspire you to take your own journeys.
  • Meeting really nice people
    We meet awesome people everywhere we go, and although it sounds cliché, it really reinforces the notion that we are all the same. We are conscious of being good ambassadors of the U.S. And in addition to meeting locals, we are part of the global nomad community. We are connected online and we often meet up with other members for dinner, drinks, tours, or sometimes an entire week!
  • Having amazing experiences
    Swimming in an underground cenote; snorkeling with sea lions and hammerheads in the Galápagos; sitting in the jump seat next to the pilot in a prop plane in Tanzania; playing the Game of Thrones theme song on the bells in a church tower in Belgium; seeing normally packed Benagil Cave in Portugal’s Algarve during Covid with only two other kayakers; learning how to prepare Georgian dishes from a local in her kitchen in Tbilisi (while Grey’s Anatomy plays on the TV in Georgian); these are experiences that make a trip incredibly special and memorable.
  • Helping local economies
    Traveling builds awareness and connection, but leaving money in the local economy by booking longer stays, grocery shopping, dining in restaurants and taking tours helps support the people and businesses there, and that makes the world a better place.
  • Saving money
    We actually spend less money traveling the world than we did living in Austin, Texas. More and more countries are offering Digital Nomad Visas for people like us, which allows you to stay in country longer than with a normal tourist visa. Many people take this a step further and retire to another country – establishing residency in places where the dollar goes much further, but the lifestyle is better and the healthcare is much more affordable.

Where We’ve Traveled

We each traveled some before we got married – Mark to France and the Caribbean and Monica all over Europe, including into Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. We quickly discovered that cruises were a very fun and easy way to see the world. In fact, we got married on a cruise in 1997!

Over the years we’ve visited many places on over forty sea and river cruises. Not only are cruises a great way to see many different places (while unpacking only once), repositioning cruises are also a terrific and often cost-effective way to get from one part of the world to another instead of taking a flight. We’ve been to over 40 national parks, including 13 in the United States. And we’ve done almost 70 food tours in 26 countries.

See where we’re going in 2024!

Here’s Where We’ve Been:

Argentina – Buenos Aires, Tierra del Fuego National Park, Puerto Madryn, Ushuaia

Australia – Sydney, Hobart, Melbourne, Darwin, Cairns – Great Barrier Reef, Airlie Beach

Austria – Vienna*, Innsbruck, Hallstatt, Salzburg

*Monica did a college semester abroad in Vienna in 1987.

Belgium – Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp

Belize – Belize City

Brazil – São Paulo

Bulgaria – Ruse

Cambodia – Sihanoukville

Canada – Vancouver, Victoria, Edmonton, Toronto, Montréal, Quebec City, Ottawa, Banff National Park, Jasper National Park, Halifax, Sydney

The Caribbean – Aruba – Oranjestad; Bahamas – Eleuthera, Nassau; Barbados – Bridgetown; Bonaire, Cayman Islands – George Town, Grand Cayman; British Virgin Islands – Tortola, Virgin Gorda; Dominica – Roseau; Curaçao – Willemstad; Dominican Republic – Punta Cana; Guadeloupe – Les Saintes; Haiti – Labadee; Jamaica – Ocho Rios, Falmouth; Martinique – Fort-de-France; Puerto Rico – San Juan, Fajardo; St Barts – Gustavia; St Kitts & Nevis – Basseterre; St Lucia – Castries, Pigeon Island; St Maarten – Phillipsburg; Turks & Caicos; US Virgin Islands – Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas* and Cruz Bay, St. John

💐 Fun fact: we got married in St Thomas, USVI back in 1997

Chile – Puerto Montt, Punta Arenas

China – Haikou

Costa Rica – San José, Libéria, Arenal National Park, Poas National Park, Rincón de la Vieja National Park, Manuel Antonio National Park, Papagayo Peninsula, Tamarindo

Croatia – Plitvice Lakes National Park, Vukovar, Split, Hvar, Dubrovnik, Trogir, Šibenik

Cyprus – Limassol

Czechia – Prague

Denmark – Copenhagen, Egeskov, Ballerup; Faroe Islands: Torshavn; Greenland: Qaqortoq, Nanortalik

Ecuador – Quito, Baltra, Galápagos Islands National Park

Egypt – Cairo, Alexandria

Estonia – Tallinn

Finland – Helsinki

France – Paris, Nice, Marseille, Èze, Tours, Le Havre, Amiens, Rouen, Yvoire, Deauville, Chamonix, Strasbourg, Colmar, Honfleur, Lyon UPCOMING: Cannes

Georgia – Tbilisi, Stepantsminda, Kutaisi, Gori, Telavi, Baghdati, Tsqaltubo, Martvili Canyon

Germany – Berlin, Bonn, Heidelberg, Düsseldorf, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Rostock, Regensburg, Passau, Rüdesheim, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Munich, Cologne, Koblenz, Speyer, Ulm, Augsburg, Frankfurt UPCOMING: Breisach, Mannheim

Gibraltar

Greece – Athens, Santorini, Mykonos, Nauplion, Katakolon, Kavala, Heraklion (Crete)

Honduras – Roatán

Hong Kong

Hungary – Budapest, Pécs

Iceland – Reykjavik, Þingvellir National Park, Isafjordur, Akureyri, Seydisfjordur, Djupivogur, Heimaey

Indonesia – Bali: Ubud, Seminyak, Benoa, GWK, Uluwatu

Ireland – Dublin, Waterford, Cork UPCOMING: Bantry Harbour, Foynes, Donegal

Israel – Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Caesarea National Park, Masada National Park

Italy – Rome, Venice, Florence, Pisa, Naples, Catania, Taormina, Siena, Orvieto, Montepulciano, Turin, Bologna, Ravenna, Orvieto, Arezzo, Pienza, San Gimignano, Cortona, Assisi, Pompeii, Bérgamo, Trieste, Polignano a Mare, Bari, Castellana Caves

Japan – Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Hakone, Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, Aomori, Akita, Niigata, Kanazawa, Sakaiminato, Kitakyushu, Kokura, Hiroshima, Miyajima, Takamatsu, Kobe, Shimizu

Malaysia – Kuala Lumpur

Maldive Islands – Fushifaru

Malta – Valletta, Mosta, Marsaxlokk, Mellieħa, Mdina, Iż-Żurrieq, Siġġiewi, Gozo

Mexico – Cancún, Playa del Carmen, Tulum National Park, Cozumel, Cabo San Lucas, San José del Cabo, Puerta Vallarta, Mazatlán, Manzanillo, San Miguel de Allende

Monaco – Monte Carlo

Montenegro – Kotor, Perast

Morocco – Tangier, Tetouan

Netherlands – Amsterdam, Nijmegen, Arnhem, Rotterdam, Lisse

New Zealand – Wellington, Napier, Tauranga, Auckland, Dunedin

Norway – Ålesund, Bergen, Oslo, Geiranger Fjord, Hellesylt, Kristiansand

Panama – Panama City, Gamboa, Soberanía National Park, Colón, David, Boquete, Gamez Island

Poland – Warsaw, Gdańsk, Kraków, Lublin, Zamość, Wieliczka, Zakopane, Częstochowa, Tatra National Park

Portugal – Lisbon, Porto, Vila Nova da Gaia, Braga, Guimarães, Coimbra, Óbidos, Évora, Lagos, Silves, Carvoeiro, Albufeira, Portimão, Faro, Olhão, Loulé, Monchique, Fóia, Vila Real do Santo António, Aljezur; the Azores: São Miguel – Ponta Delgada, Furnas, Sete Cidades; Madeira

Romania – Sibiu, Brasov, Sighisoara, Bucharest

Russia – Leningrad/St Petersburg, Moscow

Serbia – Belgrade, Novi Sad

Singapore

Slovakia – Bratislava

Slovenia – Ljubliana, Bled

South Africa – Nelspruit, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Cape Point National Park, Table Mountain National Park, Kruger National Park, Blyde River Canyon

South Korea – Busan

Spain – Barcelona, Madrid, Málaga, Alicante, Gijón, Bilbao, Cartagena, Tarragona, Almería, Cádiz, Sevilla, Granada / Alhambra; Ibiza; Canary Islands: Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Las Palmas, Teida National Park

Sweden – Stockholm, Helsingborg

Switzerland – Lucerne, Bern, Geneva, Basel; UPCOMING: Zürich

Tanzania – Arusha, Dar es Salaam, Sumbawanga, Lake Tanganyika/Lupita Island, Ngorongoro Crater National Park, Serengeti National Park, Katavi National Park

Thailand – Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Koh Phi Phi

Türkiye – Istanbul, Ephesus, Kuşadası, Izmir

United Arab Emirates – Dubai

United Kingdom – England – London, Manchester, Bristol, Southampton; Scotland – Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness UPCOMING: Ullapool; Guernsey – St Peter Port; Northern Ireland – Belfast UPCOMING: Londonderry

Uruguay – Montevideo, Punta del Este

Vatican City

Vietnam – Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An, Da Nang, Ha Long Bay

Zambia – Livingstone

Zimbabwe – Victoria Falls and Zambezi National Parks

Where We Went in 2023

2023 was quite a year with 24 countries! New places for us included Northern Ireland, Greenland, Gibraltar, Montenegro and Malaysia. Some of the cruises were repositioning cruises (one-way). Here’s the rundown:

Madrid, Spain (March)
The Algarve, Portugal (March)
Lisbon, Portugal (March-April)
Azamara Onward (April 4-15) Lisbon to Barcelona, plus Sevilla, Gibraltar, Málaga, Valencia, and Mallorca
Barcelona (April)
Berlin (April)
Amsterdam, Manchester (May)
United States (June)
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (June-July)
Virgin Scarlet Lady (July 12-16) Caribbean
United States (July-August) Madison, Chicago, Austin
Viking Saturn (August 20 – Sept 1) NY, Canada, Greenland, Iceland
Belfast, Northern Ireland (September)
Algarve, Portugal and Lyon, France (October)
Oceania Riviera (Oct 30 – Nov 9) Italy, Croatia, Montenegro, Turkey, Greece
Paris, France (November)
Singapore (November)
Virgin Resilient Lady (Nov 20 – Dec 5) Singapore, Bali, Sydney
Phuket, Thailand and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (December)

New countries for 2024 include Curaçao, Albania, and Macedonia. Unfortunately, we’ve had to steer clear of the Middle East for the most part, but we’re hitting some new places and revisiting old favorites.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Chiang Mai and Bangkok, Thailand (January)
United States; Cancún, Mexico (February)
Virgin Valiant Lady (March 2-9) Puerto Rico, Aruba, Curaçao, Martinique, St Kitts & Nevis
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (March)
Azamara Journey (April 3-18) Japan Intensive *cherry blossom season*
RCCL Odyssey of the Seas (April 21 – May 5) Florida to Rome plus Azores and Spain
Algarve and Lisbon, Portugal; Barcelona, Spain (May)
Barcelona, Spain; Cannes, France (June)
Azamara Onward (July) Ireland Intensive to Oslo, Norway; Albania and Macedonia
United States; Riviera Maya, Mexico (August-September)
Paris, France; Barcelona, Spain (October)
RCCL Odyssey of the Seas (Nov 3-17) Rome, Barcelona, Valencia, Cartagena, Málaga, Madeira
Viking Tialfi (Dec 14-21) *Christmas Markets* Basel, Switzerland; Breisach, Germany; Strasbourg, France; Speyer, Mannheim, Rüdesheim, Koblenz, Köln, Germany; Dordrecht, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Plans for 2025

New countries for 2025 include Guatemala, Nicaragua, Colombia, Bermuda, Tunisia, and Taiwan.

Oceania Vista (Jan 24 – Feb 9) Panama Canal cruise, LA to Miami via Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Colombia
Celebrity APEX (Mar 8-21) Fort Lauderdale, FL; Bermuda; Ponta Delgada, Azores; Valencia and Barcelona, Spain
Princess Diamond Princess (Apr 26 – May 6) Tokyo, Japan | Taipei and Hualien, Taiwan | Ishigaki, Okinawa, Kagoshima, and Tokyo, Japan
Virgin Scarlet Lady (June 1-12) Barcelona, Mallorca, Ibiza, Spain; Cannes and Ajaccio, Corsica, France; La Spezia (Cinque Terre), Rome, Italy; Barcelona, Spain
Oceania Vista (June 15-29) UK (England, Scotland, Northern Ireland), Ireland, Norway, and Denmark
Azamara Journey (Sept 29 – Oct 9) Barcelona, Spain | Palma, Mallorca, Spain | Mahon, Menorca, Spain | Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy | La Goulette Nord, Tunisia | Valletta, Malta | Catania, Sicily, Italy | Sorrento (Capri), Italy | Olbia, Sardinia, Italy | Porto Vecchio, Corsica, France | Nice, France

Plans for 2026

New countries in 2026 include French Polynesia. We can’t wait!

Celebrity EDGE (Apr 20 – May 7) Sydney, Australia; Bay of Islands and Auckland, New Zealand; Raiatea, Papeete, and Moorea, French Polynesia; Honolulu, HI