Who’d have thunk that you could become a prospering digital nomad by listening to the advice of a few goats?
You can. Today on Blogging from Paradise we’ll feature 2 of my favorite travel blogging buddies. Nick and Dariece, also known as the Goats on the Road, caught my attention a few months ago. Actually, they caught my attention a while before that but when I created Blogging from Paradise I made it a point to build bonds with some of the best travel bloggers out there, hence our cyber bond forming.
The Goats qualify as some of the best travel bloggers out there. They are smart, funny, and more than anything, generous, successful bloggers who’ve engineered the internet lifestyle which Kelli and I enjoy. They truly have retired to a life of island hopping through smart blogging.
I see so many parallels between the Goats and I, which is why I jumped all over the opportunity to interview one another for our blogs after Dariece emailed me a few weeks ago.
We’re both traveling couples who do the full-time, pro blogging bit, and both couples are freelance writers (among other online income streams we work). Neat.
This line from their blog is totally up my alley, too:
“We’ve found many ways to be free & travel forever and we share our secrets, stories & ideas here!” ~ The Goats on the Road
That’s it. They get it. Being free and traveling forever are part and parcel with retiring to a life of island hopping, through smart blogging, so you better believe I found a match when I read this line on their blog, and when I saw that they completely embody the digital nomad lifestyle Kelli and I have experienced for the past 42 months.
The Goats on the Road
I appreciate their hustle. Everywhere I turn I see them being interviewed, publishing a kick butt guest post or posting helpful, thoughtful comments on travel blogs. They embody so much of what I do here that I felt my neighbors from the north – well, at least, in our respective homelands – would be a perfect match for my audience.
Since this one’s an interview we won’t be doing the 3,000 word bit today. I want you to have enough time to read this interview, to visit their blog, and to get to know them. Learn more about the Goats, what they do, and how their services can benefit you.
Don’t forget to become friends with them too!
Without further delay, let me introduce, The Goats on the Road.
1: Hi Guys, please introduce yourselves to our community.
Hi Everyone! We’re Nick and Dariece, a 30-year-old couple from Canada, but we haven’t lived there in 5 years.
In 2008, after realizing we weren’t totally happy in our lives, we gave up our “great jobs” back home and set off on a 13 month backpacking trip through SE Asia and India. Needless to say, that trip changed our lives. We knew we couldn’t live the traditional western lifestyle anymore. We decided to spend 1 final year in Canada and save as much cash as possible before heading off again.
We left after one year of saving and haven’t looked back. Our travels have taken us through the Middle East, Africa, the Caribbean, Europe and practically all of Asia.
We love travel, adventure, food, meeting new people and living life on the road! Travel has definitely become our way of life 🙂
2: I’ve seen nothing like your brand/blog name in the travel blogger niche. Well done 🙂 What made you choose the blog name, “Goats on the Road?”
Haha, it’s quite a different name, isn’t it?! Well, everywhere we travel in the world, no matter where, there are goats on the road (and in the case of Morocco, they’re also in the trees!) Plus, Nick and I started calling each other “goat” as a sort of pet name…and we’re also on the road. Also, we love goats! So, Goats On The Road seemed fitting.
3: As a fellow full time professional travel blogger what do you feel is the best way to rake in the dough – or simply, to make money – while living abroad?
There are numerous ways to make money abroad, some we’ve tried, some we’ve yet to try, and others we have no desire to try!
We believe that the best way to make money on the road is to run an online business, or blog. That way you work 100% for yourself and you can blog/write from anywhere in the world. All you need is a computer and an internet connection. For us, this is the best way to make money abroad, as it gives us complete freedom. Freedom to travel where we want and freedom to work when we want.
Making money online can take time and patience, and although our freelance writing and our website fully sustains our lifestyle now, it took us about 2 years to get to this point. During the time when the website wasn’t making money, we taught English in China, which is another great way to make money abroad.
4: My audience here at Blogging from Paradise knows I’m all about sharing my wild travel experiences. I remember reading a while back that you suffered through chikungunya. I’d never heard of that disease, but it sounded quite serious. Can you share your experience here?
I’m actually still suffering from it over 3 weeks later! Chikungunya is another nasty mosquito borne illness like Dengue Fever or Malaria. It’s found in Africa and Asia and as of a year ago, the Caribbean. We recently had an outbreak here in Grenada and everyone on the island pretty much has it, or has had it in the past.
The symptoms are: full body rash followed by high fever, aching joints, insomnia, fatigue, swollen limbs, swollen lymph nodes and glands and sometimes, numbness.
The virus mainly attacks the joints and I’m still walking like I’m 100 years old! Stiff, and sore joints are the worst because we’re very active people and we just want our life back. The actual fever and debilitation lasted only 3-5 days, so that wasn’t so bad…it’s just this lingering pain that were sick of.
5: You’ve been to 43 countries so far. What’s your favorite country to visit?
This is a tough question because everywhere we’ve been has left a mark on us in one way or another. For us, the best countries to travel to are the ones where we can have great connections with the local people. We really enjoyed Iran, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Mongolia, China, Egypt and Turkey. I realize that’s more than one country, but there are too many amazing places to choose from!
In Iran, we were invited into the home of complete strangers and spent 6 nights there with them! This lovely couple cooked us authentic meals, showed us around Esfahan and even took time off of work to hang out with us. Everyone in Iran was so welcoming and kind.
China was great because the people there are so interested in foreigners! Even though many Chinese people don’t speak much English, they’ll try really hard to have a conversation – think lots of charades and hand motions.
Turkey was awesome as well for local experiences. We couldn’t go far without being invited in for tea and a chat with shop owners, random people on the street and even restaurants! I think that has to do with the fact that we travelled to the far east as well, it’s less touristy there.
We made wonderful friends and had authentic experiences during our 8 day trek in Mongolia as well, being invited into family yurts was a definite highlight.
Talking about these experiences makes me want to travel!
6: Many travel bloggers are looking to diversify their online income streams. As successful freelance writers, what practical suggestions do you have for them?
I think we as a community of travel bloggers think too much “inside the box” rather than outside of it. We’re always looking to write on other travel blogger’s sites and hoping to make money from sponsored posts & advertising (the former everyone should avoid).
It’s time to branch out more! We suggest writing for other fields outside of the travel niche. Check out websites related to finance, lifestyle design, cuisine, expat life, etc. any topic that you know a little bit about, and then try to write for them. This is a great way to get your name out there, make some money and expand your circle of contacts…who knows what kind of opportunities could arise!
We also suggest joining affiliate programs. Think of the items/services the visitors to your site may need, and then join those programs. As an example: we house sit, travel and run a website, so we’ve joined affiliates with a house sitting company, website hosting company, hotel companies and travel insurance as well. Find out what your visitors need, and you’ll end up making some decent money off of the sales, while helping them to find what they’re looking for.
7: What is far and away the biggest challenge for you as digital nomads?
I think the biggest challenge is finding a balance between work and travel. We love being on our website and are constantly thinking of ways to improve and expand, so we really enjoy our work, but we’re travel writers and in order to write about travel, we have to get out there and explore! We’re getting better at this, but it’s hard when we’re in a hostel and everyone is partying or hanging out and we’re on our computers.
Another challenge is finding decent internet connections!
8: We’re house-sitting now in Fiji. Where have you house-sitted during your world travels? What have your experiences been like?
Here in Grenada is the first overseas house sit we’ve done, and it’s one that will be very hard to top! We’re actually just pet-sitting the most amazing dog ever, his name is Spare. We have our own cottage just steps from the beach and it’s set on the most beautiful property we’ve ever seen. We have nothing to do with the owner’s home, our main responsibility is taking care of Spare Dog. Grenada truly is paradise and it will be hard to leave here after our amazing 7 month stay.
9: What do you feel is the ideal frequency for updating your blog?
We post new articles to our blog 5 times a week. We try to be very consistent with it as well, as Google likes that! We always post a GoatLife TV episode on Mondays, then an article on Tuesday and Wednesday (and sometimes Thursday) and then a Sunset photo for our Sunset Sunday Series.
We used to post more often, but I think it’s overwhelming for our newsletter subscribers to receive 5 articles or so a week.
Plus, with our freelance work, posting more than 4 times a week would be difficult to stay on top of.
10: Where can we get in touch with you?
If you want to say hi, you can send us an email to:
dariece (at) goatsontheroad (dot) com
nick (at) goatsontheroad (dot) com
Our Website: Goats On The Road
The Wrap Up
Thanks Goats! It’s freaky when you read an interview and keep nodding your head, from the income stuff, to the house sitting stuff, to pretty much everything. Loved the interview, and I so appreciate you Nick and Dariece for taking the time to share your thoughts with our audience.
About the Goats: Nick and Dariece are the couple behind Goats On The Road, a website designed to inspire others to live a financially sustainable, location independent lifestyle. Masters at making money abroad and turning their travels into a way of life, they’ve been on the road since 2008 and have explored some of the least visited places on earth, finding adventure wherever they go. Visit their blog at Goats On The Road.