How I Travel Full-Time With a Business and A Dog

by gigigriffis

The past month or so, I’ve been doing some interviews. Asking my lovely friend Anna to talk to you about traveling with small children and my equally lovely friend Emily to talk about traveling with a home base and a husband.

Since those posts went over so well, I thought I’d do a little self-interviewing. Because some of the questions I’ve asked them are the same questions you guys ask me from time to time. So, today, I’ll attempt some short answers.

Without further ado, then: How I Travel Full-Time With a Business and A Dog.

1. Tell us a little about yourself.

As you probably already know, I’m a full-time nomad traveling the world with my small business and my small dog. I don’t have a permanent address, but love to travel slow and settle into each new place for a month or two. I love culture, really fresh, flavorful food, hiking, dancing, and writing. And I’ve been on the road full time for over a year.

2. When did you first start traveling and what made you fall in love with it?

I took my first international trip at the age of 14. It was a volunteer adventure to Australia and my main goal was to hold a baby kangaroo (which I did). I spent a beautiful and challenging month along the western coast and signed up for another volunteer trip to Africa immediately upon my return.

The reason I traveled was because I wanted to see and to change the world. And that very next summer, when I spent two months in southern Africa volunteering, the world changed me. It was Africa that made me fall in love with travel—with the beautiful rush of being somewhere utterly new and different, with the mental stretching that comes with stumbling my way through a foreign culture, and with the amazing people who challenged, changed, and loved me and let me challenge, change, and love them back.

Hiking in Assisi

3. What kind of traveling do you like to do? And who do you travel with?

I consider myself a hybrid traveler—somewhere between Adventurer and Culture Enthusiast. I love being outside, kayaking, hiking, trying new things. I don’t mind getting lost in a new city. And many of my favorite moments are from dinner parties with new friends from all over the world.

I mostly travel with just my dog, who is fabulous company. Occasionally, I travel with my amazing travel-savvy friends.

4. How often do you get to travel?

I travel full-time and slowly and hit about eight countries a year.

5. What kind of career do you have? Why did you choose it? How does it impact your travel?

I own a small copywriting and content strategy business called Content for Do-Gooders. I started the business because I wanted flexibility. I wanted to be able to work remotely sometimes, to take a hot bath in the middle of the day, to work when I felt most productive, and to stop working myself to death.

I didn’t even think about full-time travel until I had been running my business for over a year. But now, because I valued flexibility so highly, I am able to work remotely 100% of the time—helping clients build better websites, communications, and ad campaigns from all over the world.

I also, of course, do some travel and inspirational writing, which has been my dream since childhood.

Luna on the beach in Mexico

6. How do you pick where you go next?

For me, it’s a combination of proximity (is it easy and affordable to get there from where I am?), interest (is it a place that intrigues me?), access (are there affordable rentals? Will I be able to get a reasonable ticket there? Can I get the dog paperwork?), and listening to my heart.

7. How do you save for/finance your travels?

I run my business from the road, so I have a fairly consistent income no matter where I am. Also, I try to live on the same monthly budget that I lived in in Denver. In some places, I go a little over. In others, I come in way under. But it all evens out in the end.

8. What tips do you have for others who want to take their show on the road full-time?

Build a great reputation for something you can do remotely (be it writing, design, development, coaching, or something else). Travel slow (monthly rentals are way cheaper than nightly or weekly and transportation costs drop drastically too). Don’t sell yourself short. And do go for a test run: take your business on the road for a month or two as a trial, get clients comfortable with the idea, and then implement your full-on nomadic plans.

Gigi with a monkey

9. Any favorite places?

The Bernese Oberland (Switzerland). Tuscany. Ghent, Belgium. The Okavongo Delta, Botswana.

10. Where are you off to next?

No idea. I’m currently exploring the Swiss Alps and planning a trip on the Glacier Express, but I’ve left my next destination wide open.

Hiking with Emily

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4 comments

Roommate #1 September 9, 2013 - 8:39 am

Hey it’s us! It’s us at Maroon Bells! We are so cute!
More seriously, though, I loved what you said about the challenge, change, and love you find in travel. Great post. :)

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gigigriffis September 10, 2013 - 5:19 am

Aren’t we? ;)

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Maria September 9, 2013 - 9:50 am

I’d like to bottle your energy – it would bring in millions! :-D

reply
gigigriffis September 10, 2013 - 5:22 am

As long as I get a cut. ;)

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