One of the best ways to spend time as a family is traveling full-time. Traveling together can be fun, interesting, and educational for your children too. But it can also be difficult. My guests today are Jessica and Will Sueiro, and they are two parents who have done it successfully. They left the American rat race in 2014 and haven’t looked back. In this interview, we’ll get into the nitty-gritty details of full-time travel as a family- from health insurance and medical care to homeschooling and finding friends.
In This Episode:
- Making it happen, instead of waiting for it to happen
- How much space do children need away from their parents?
- Medical insurance when you're traveling fulltime
- The language barrier isn't much of a barrier at all
- Making an income on the road (pre and post-COVID)
- Monthly budgets and keeping expenses down
- The questions that everyone should ask, but don't
Links and Resources:
Jessica and Will Sueiro
Jessica and Will Sueiro and their two teens, Avalon and Largo, left the American rat race in 2014 on a mission to adopt a more authentic lifestyle by traveling fulltime. Since then they have been educating their children globally, bonding deeper as a family and making memories, all while focusing on the humanitarian side of travel and embracing the locals they meet along the way. During this time they have found themselves hiking 580 miles for 44 days on the Camino Frances in Spain, motorhoming every country in Europe for three years and most recently buying a sailboat and learning to sail in the Mediterranean with the goal of circumnavigating this incredible earth. This power couple are voracious dream pursuers, never give up’ers and determined to live life to the fullest for all the years they have.
In 2016 they made the bold decision to leave their comfortable digital nomad careers to pursue their greatest entrepreneurial endeavor yet, they launched WorldTowning, a company committed to helping individuals broaden their global experiences through concentrated and immersive exposures to the world’s cultures by way of coaching, group trips and the sharing of their travels on the family YouTube channel. They document the entire journey to show the magic (and realities) of fulltime travel in an effort to help others understand that this lifestyle is possible to everyone, not just the rich. Now let’s get you out there with them.
This Week's Sponsor:
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That's a nice view
Storage in the floor
Laundry day on the boat
The Sueiros don't skimp on educational opportunities
The boat at dusk
The galley from another angle
The main cabin
Jessica Sueiro 0:00
We could all reach our hand out at night and say goodnight and kind of touch each other's hands. I think we have this misconception that kids need this space and they need this kind of air. And maybe because as adults, we might need a little more space than children do. But ours have really enjoyed the small, tight places that we've lived in.
Ethan Waldman 0:18
Welcome to the Tiny House Lifestyle Podcst, the show where you learn how to plan, build and live the tiny lifestyle. I'm your host, Ethan Waldman, and this is episode 158 with Jessica and Will Sueiro. One of the best ways to spend time as a family is traveling full time. Traveling together can be fun, interesting and educational for your kids too. But it can also be difficult. My guest today are Jessica and Will Sueiro. And they are two parents who have done it successfully. They left the American rat race in 2014 and haven't looked back. In this interview, we'll get into the nitty-gritty details of full-time travel as a family, from health insurance and medical care to homeschooling and finding friends. I hope you stick around.
I want to tell you about something that I think will be super helpful as you plan, design and build your tiny house. Tiny House Decisions is a guide that I wish I had when I was building my tiny house. It comes in three different packages to help you on your unique tiny house journey. And if you're struggling to just figure out the systems for your tiny house, you know like how you're going to heat it, how you're going to plumb it. You know what construction technique Are you going to use like SIPs or stick framing or steel framing? Tiny House Decision will take you through all these processes systematically and help you come up with a design that works for you. Right now I'm offering 20% off any package of tiny house decisions for listeners of the show, you can head over to thetinyhouse.net/THD to learn more, and use the coupon code tiny at checkout for 20% off any package. Again, that's thetinyhouse.net/THD and use the coupon code tiny for 20% off.
All right, I am here with Jessica and Will Sueiro. Jessica and Will and their two teens, Avalon and Largo, left the American rat race in 2014 on a mission to adopt a more authentic lifestyle by traveling full time. Since then, they have been educating their children globally finding deeper as a family and making memories all while focusing on the humanitarian side of travel and embracing the locals they meet along the way. During this time, they have found themselves hiking 580 miles for 44 days on the Camino Francis in Spain, motorhoming every country in Europe for three years, and most recently buying a sailboat and learning to sail in the Mediterranean with the goal of circumnavigating this incredible Earth is power couple are voracious dream pursuers never give up ers and determined to live life to the fullest for all the years they have, Jessica and Will Sueiro, welcome to the show.
Jessica Sueiro 3:10
Thank you so much for having us. So
Will Sueiro 3:12
great to be here.
Ethan Waldman 3:13
Yeah, it's really great to have you. I was curious. What were you doing before 2014? And, you know, maybe you could tell us the story of kind of how this happened. Like was it was it some event happened that caused you to be like, screw it. We're gonna do this or was it more of like a slow like, you've been thinking about it for a long time and you decide to do it.
Will Sueiro 3:37
It definitely was a slow rise the top on this thing?
Jessica Sueiro 3:41
Seven years slow? Yeah.
Will Sueiro 3:44
Okay. Back in back in 2011. ish. Would you say when I was pregnant with Largo? Yeah. We were we were we were finagled an opportunity to perhaps move overseas with the company I was working for. And and they came up and they said, you know, would you want to go ahead, move to Madrid? It sounds amazing. You can have all your expenses paid your kids school education paid for. It was an absolute Yes. Me who would want something like that? Yeah. Yeah. You know, we signed on the dotted line, we got ready to go. And we we thought that we were sort of 100% locked in. Once we got there, we realized that there were some, I guess terms and conditions.
Jessica Sueiro 4:26
Once we got there. For the initial meeting before we actually moved there. There were some things that you uncomfortable with, one of them being that I was pregnant, and they were concerned I'd want to go back to the United States. Once I had the kids, the big child, and it was our second child. So that kind of put a wrench in things and they asked for some things that we felt were unreasonable. And we turned down the offer at that point,
Will Sueiro 4:49
they asked me to actually go ahead and fly over to Madrid to start working and then leave me behind leave her behind
Jessica Sueiro 4:55
a pregnant woman in her third trimester with a three year old
Will Sueiro 4:59
You know, we made the conscious choice to say, maybe now's not the perfect timing. But hey, if this one just came around and fell in our laps, maybe something else we'll fast forward, seven more years and nothing else came into our laps,
Jessica Sueiro 5:12
things came and went and never came to fruition. And finally, we said, you know, if we really want to do this, we're going to have to make it happen on our own. And that's kind of that's kind of the short version of it. Travel was always something we wanted to do. living abroad was always something that we wanted to do. But we didn't think I mean, full on, I have always been really fiscally responsible. We didn't know anyone who worked on the road was and was, frankly, responsible for paying our bills and their taxes and taking care of their children and educate them educating them. We didn't think it was possible. Once we learned that after much research and some disappointment with the expert packages falling through, once we learned this was possible and that people do this and live like this live a wonderful life. That's when we said, okay, if other people can do this, or Wilson, if other people can do this, we can. And that's pretty much what we said, that's when we set the ball in motion, we gave ourselves 12 months to kind of sell everything, figure it out. All the logistics, the schooling, the medical visas, and sell everything and then take off before that we had we had a typical, I mean, we've always kind of been a little more eclectic, but we had what most would consider a typical American lifestyle, what was a corporate guy he traveled a lot for for the company, I ran my own business from home lives or overscheduled, we were a bit overextended. timewise wise and financially. And we were I guess most people say we were living the American dream, we had a nice, comfortable life. We'd liked the kids school, we liked our community, we liked our friends, we did not leave the United States to travel full time because we hated our life or because it was something that happened like a death in the family or something like that, that kind of awakened us. That was not our case. So it is often the case for many people that we meet out here traveling. And it's great to kind of have an epiphany, as long as you don't know someone you love. And kind of take action on that dream. That was definitely not the situation price, we have always wanted to travel. And finally, it was kind of time to bring that dream to fruition before we ran out of time we wanted to travel with our kids, which was kind of the big caveat is that we didn't want to wait until we retired and go just the two of us. There's nothing wrong with that. But we wanted to see the world with our kids. And we wanted to focus on making memories and living on less than having experiences rather than consuming Stuff and Being overschedule.
Ethan Waldman 7:31
Nice. So yeah, I love that. And I actually am, you know, excited to kind of jump into those details with you around around your kids. You know, this is a tiny house podcast. And a big concern that I hear or questions that I hear from parents or would be parents about Tiny Home living, especially when that is coupled with travel is just like, Is it even possible? How do I do it? And so, you know, let's jump into those details like the medical, the school, that kind of stuff.
Jessica Sueiro 8:04
You want to do want to start you want me to start by talking about the space and living in a small space together as a family? Because I think yeah, that is a big concern of a lot of people I'm assuming, particularly Americans, I don't know. Somewhere along the way, we were conditioned to think that that children, everyone needs their own room, and they need a lot of space. That's very much an American thing. It's not something we necessarily see across the globe. As we travel. We see multiple kids sharing bedrooms. We've seen families where kids asleep in the living room, it's not uncommon to see four kids in a room together. So when we started out traveling, initially, we went did slow travel, and we had an apartment. And our kids always shared a room. And then once we got in the RV, we were all in one small space together. They had bunk beds, and we had a bed that came down from the ceiling. And some of the questions that we got, we're well, how can that be good for the kids, they need their own space, they need their own this, they need their own that that was never like our kids loved it. They love being on a bunk bed, like rightly tip their head down or up to the other one, we can all reach our hand out like at night and say goodnight and kind of touch each other's hands. I think we have this misconception that kids need this space. And they need this kind of air. And maybe because as adults, we might need a little more space than children do. But ours have really enjoyed the small tight spaces that we've lived in. Now, in contrast to that, now that we're on a boat, they're teenagers, now we have a 16 year old and a 13 year old and it's a little bit different, like they were quite happy to have their own cabin. It's still a very small space, but they have their own private space to go to. However if for some reason we decided we're not going to do the boat anymore. They've been both said that they would be fine with sharing a bedroom again, they don't want to share a bed. They're different gender and they don't want to share a bed. But they don't mind sharing a small space. They actually actually both quite prefer being in a small space and they said they'll never have a huge house.
Will Sueiro 9:57
I think though the bigger reason is The reason why the kids did so well with with sort of being small space is because we started early. Now, you know, it's funny because you know, everything is is a byproduct of you know what you're conditioned to. And if you're conditioned to have your entire you know, space to yourself and have this, you know, monster bedroom filled with all the wants and needs and desires that you know, any any, you know, I guess privilege Westerner would want, then then that's sort of what you expected have, but in our case, we left when our son was six, and our daughter was 10, she just turned 10. And, and when we left, there was always this seat in their head that we're going to be traveling all the time. And so when we left, they were always expecting us to live in smaller spaces, because the way we pictured this entire lifestyle, when when they were growing up, was that, you know, we're going to incredible places, we're going to share small spaces and everything else. So once we took off, it was almost like, Alright, you know, this is time to sort of live a little bit differently. And it was it was just like, totally just welcomed. When we moved to Costa Rica, our first spot, when we left, we had a two bedroom place, the intention was going to be that just going I had one one bedroom and then the other bedroom, which was kind of small but had bunk beds, because we're going to share that it was gonna be their own sort of like, you know, co living space that was gonna be sort of all their own. When we got there, the kids wanted nothing to do with this space. And they wanted to she was a little crazy, too. So we might have having bunk beds and like an A king size bed in one bedroom. And that's how we live for a first year and and that's set the tone for the rest of sort of our living, which we've been doing now for, you know, six plus years. And
Jessica Sueiro 11:36
in Ecuador, we had a three bedroom place because it was the same price as the two bedroom place. We thought oh, maybe they'll want their own space. And they ended up moving their beds into the same room. So they they're used to this and they like it and it's not, you know, it's not an issue for them. So what you would you want to know about how we how we handle medical or schooling? Is that kind of the other question.
Ethan Waldman 11:57
Yeah, yeah, the kind of logistics of parenting that are kind of more no brainers when you're living the kind of standard American lifestyle, but then when you hit the road, and it sounds like you've been to a lot of different places, too. So you have to kind of you have to refigure this out every every time you move a little bit.
Will Sueiro 12:17
I mean, the idea is that when we when we were setting off to go, we gave ourselves like Jessica said earlier, we gave ourselves a year to go figure this whole thing out. And there were back then very few resources available. You know, there were there were blog posts out there, but and this is before anyone did anything on video, yeah, extensively. So there's some blog posts out there, but the blog post, the blog posts were primarily, you know, it's selling the wonder and then the majesty of what it's like to go ahead and be living full time. And
Jessica Sueiro 12:47
also written by part time travelers, they weren't people that were traveling full time, or people that were saying they were traveling full time. But really, it was just a job that they did a couple of weeks, every couple of months and went back to their home base. Right.
Will Sueiro 12:58
So we, you know, there wasn't a lot to go through. So we just had to grind it out on Google, you know, figure out, you know, what are people using on Facebook groups, we had to ask people, you know, what do you guys using, and so forth and so on. And we were able to, to mine out the essentials to get us out of the door, the primary thing is that we gave ourselves, you know, a date that we were leaving. So regardless of whether we were ready or not, we had tickets booked. So we had to go and figure it out. And lucky for us, like the major things like the health insurance, schooling, we found we found providers, the schooling, we found a place to send, our child was going to digit traditional school at the time. And then we also started homeschooling our daughter as we took off. So imagine that you sort of you're leaving to a foreign country where only one of you speaks the language. And you're starting homeschooling for the first time, you're sending your kid to a school to with the language that he only understands one of the languages being taught. And, and, and sort of, we're totally taking ourselves into a foreign country with without jobs. Well, Jessica had a job I had, I brought my business, she took her business with her. I was I was totally 100%
Jessica Sueiro 14:08
and we had never from scratch, and we've never visited the country before. So we didn't do kind of a test run. So there's
Will Sueiro 14:13
a lot of anxiety going on here. Anxiety and sort of and and just like intrigue at the same time. But you know, it was almost like like anticipation before we got there. And then once we got there, the anxiety just hit like like 1,000% like oh my god.
Jessica Sueiro 14:29
So So medical is always a huge question, right? What we have learned and people we've met along the way, many people will take off to go travel and another country lives elsewhere and they won't even have medical insurance. Because the medical care outside the United States in that home, birth country, outside the US is very, very affordable, right? So there are many people just pay as they go. That was not the case with us. We felt more comfortable having medical insurance. And so we have IMG global medical insurance and we have had IMG For the entirety of our travel of our truck,
I think we just cut out a little bit. We have had IMG, global medical insurance for the entirety of our travel time. And what we do is it's, it's, it's some, I think we pay around 4000 a year for the four of us that we come around there. And we we have a huge deductible, we have a $5,000 deductible. So basically what happens is we pay most of the office, it doesn't cover our office visit, unless we hit our deductible. So office visits outside the United States or anywhere between 20 equivalent of 20 and 30. US dollars. And that's in several continents that we have spent time on. DENTIST appointments are not that expensive. So we opted for a higher deductible so that we could pay a little bit less and we just pay out of pocket because all four of us are relatively healthy. People are always freaked out about medical care outside of their home country. I it is one of the first things we have a consulting business where we consult with people on the logistics of full time travel. It is the number one or number two question of people or fear of people going to travel is medical care and finances. Always they kind of flip flop of which one is the scariest for people. I cannot say enough good things about how medical has been such a pleasant experience for us traveling, and has been one of the things that we have worried and stressed about the least from a financial standpoint, from getting good medical care. From feeling comfortable in a country from being able to communicate in the language, if we can't communicate in the language, there's always Google Translate, there's always someone there that's willing to help if you if you can't figure it out. So from a logistics standpoint, the medical has not really been something that's been difficult for us. And that seems to be across the board. We talked to other travelers as well. Like I don't think we're not an isolated situation where it's been so seamless for us. And we've had, we've had some bigger things done. I mean, we'll and I you know, TMI here but when I both had called colonoscopies, I've had pre cancer cells removed, we've had some dermatology stuff done. I mean, we've had, we've had things done outside the US that are not just, you know, just going for a well well visit, and we've been very happy with the results, right? You just have to be like anything else, you know, once you decide to live a little bit outside the norm, you have to be a little bit scrappy in terms of figuring out how to get there. You know, you can always find a doctor, the question is,
Will Sueiro 17:27
you know, who do you have to consult to get to the right doctor? Yeah, and sometimes that takes a little while and you know, that's just, you know, part of the course of sort of living in different places all the time, you know, you we are constantly in the process of resetting our routine. So part of the routine and where you move is, you know, finding local doctors, etc. And we're just like, Alright, here we are. Now, that was a doctor,
Jessica Sueiro 17:50
it was a little more challenging when we were RVing. Because we were not in spaces for very long. So kind of our hack was that, okay, if we're going to need a dentist in the next two months, or I'm going to need my annual female visit, what country do we think we're going to be in? And then I would go to the local Facebook group, ex-pat Facebook group, and I would say, hey, I need a gynecologist or we need a dentist, who would you recommend? And then I'd make an appointment two months out. So there's a little bit of legwork involved, but it's not it's not any different really than a little more work than living a stationary life, but it's not overwhelming by any means. Okay.
Ethan Waldman 18:22
So one of the things that has always intimidated me about international travel is, is language. I'm kind of feeling like I don't want to be that American who doesn't speak the language. But then also, obviously not wanting to be restricted to the countries where I can speak the language, which is English speaking countries and Spanish speaking countries. Sounds like you've been in countries that speak other languages besides English and Spanish. And I'm just curious, how, how do you approach language learning and, you know, how much do you try to learn? And how much do you just get by on English?
Jessica Sueiro 19:04
So our kids speak Spanish, French and English fluently will speak Spanish and English fluently. And I'm Spanglish. She's an English
Unknown Speaker 19:13
so that gets us by on give yourself enough credit,
Jessica Sueiro 19:15
okay? I'm, I'm a little more Spanglish. I am the worst one in the family but if that way, in most places we can get by on those languages. We try not to just go in speaking English assuming that people are going to speak English it's not even we try not we do not do that. If someone says Oh, where are you from? And they start speaking English to us, and they're willing to help us in English and we don't speak their local language then we welcome it but we don't we never go with the assumption that they should speak English. And what's wrong You know, we if we cannot communicate will pull up Google Translate. Will mine or draw pictures will ask someone next to us maybe if they speak Spanish, French or English and they could translate It has not been an issue so far. And I don't know how many, I really I think I don't keep track, but I think we're probably the kids keep track around 70 countries. And most of them we can get by Japan was a little challenging. Our daughter speaks a little bit of Japanese. But Google Translate worked fine. And we have found that if you make an attempt in any country to try and speak their language, or learn the basics, there's all kinds of free stuff out there where you can learn the basics before you go, even please, thank you, we'll get you a long way. People will be kind and receptive. And nowadays, particularly the younger generation is very in tune with Google Translate. So they'll if they, they're curious, they want to talk to you. And they want to know why you're here, what you're doing, they will pull up Google Translate, we were in, we were in Ukraine, and we stopped at a motorbike thing that was going on, we thought it looked cool on the RV. And these kids just started talking to will and they just whipped out their Google Translate because they wanted to know why we were there, because we're the only foreigners there. And it was just this amazing exchange between Google Translate. Now, obviously, it is not as impactful when you can communicate, you know, using your words instead of the phone, but it's better than nothing. And people are really, really receptive when you try to communicate with them in their native language.
Will Sueiro 21:20
I mean, you also start to realize, and it's, you know, for good or for bad, but that there is a universal language being adopted around the world, and it is English. Yeah, you know, and the time will come where you know, that everyone will have learned essentially two languages English and wherever their mother tongue is, you know, I don't know where that would evolve to eventually sort of, but I kind of liked the idea of having to struggle, because it makes the experience more unique. But, you know, it is quite helpful.
Jessica Sueiro 21:53
It's struggle, and it's kind of funny, like, you think you're ordering something at a restaurant, you think you understand it, and then it comes out, you're like, oh, wow, and that's half cooked, and I don't want to eat it. And that's how they did. Yeah, you know, like, there's a lot of fun and interesting things that come out of not understanding the language, you know, and you have some kind of funny laughs like, there's a word, I can't remember what it means. Now, like, I've I didn't know, but there's a word that's on all the buildings here. It's tampon. Well, it's clearly not a tampon, I forget what it means. But every time I walked by the kids get a little laugh, I get a little laugh. Like, it's, it's, it's fun to kind of understand it now that our kids can make jokes in other languages. You know, it's it's really fun to kind of learn another language. I think. We're huge language people. And we really encourage our kids to learn a language from a young age. So I guess if I was if someone was listening and asking kind of questions about that, I would say, find a way to get your kids to learn a language early on in life, it's much easier before they hit puberty. Yeah, their accent is more authentic, and it opens up so many doors for them to meet people all over the world. Yeah, it's one of the best decisions we made with our children.
Unknown Speaker 22:57
Ethan Waldman 23:00
So we touched a little bit on kind of jobs and income, but I'm curious, have you How have you adapted and figured out, you know, how to make money while while traveling?
Will Sueiro 23:17
While there's that's, that's a, that's an ever evolving question. Sure.
Jessica Sueiro 23:21
There's the pre COVID answer. And then there's the COVID answer, okay. When when I started out, like he said, he didn't have the left corporate America, and we had my graphic design business, and we could not survive on that solely in the United States. But outside the United States, we had lowered our our bills by 75%. And we could survive on my income in Costa Rica. And long story short, several months into the game, his old company called them back and said, Hey, we'll let you work remote, we're going to give you what you asked for now. And that was really good to us for about three years, we had a very comfortable income from the combination of the both of our incomes, and it was really lovely.
Will Sueiro 24:00
But eventually they said, okay, we need all outside personnel to come back into the office. And, and they were and they weren't exactly being that hard nosed about it. They said that, you know, I can move to an office in the UK. Yeah, but that would require one bathroom, an office and it required, you know, we had like big plans already scheduled for for us going to the RV and sort of doing our, our trip to 52 countries and however long it took. And essentially we realize that we've gone this far. And you know, we're not turning back now.
Jessica Sueiro 24:36
There was no going back. And there is no going back for us. Unless something catastrophic happens. We can't we talk about this quite often we cannot go back and we will do whatever it takes to not go back. The only reason we would go back to that other life is if one of the kids desired it And at this point, neither one of them have so will and I will have to make a decision. was like a three minute conversation between us and then we got the kids involved and no one wanted to go back into an office working long hours, you know, living in London, none of us wanted that. So I was getting ready to start world townie. And he joined me in that. So world's counting is, is a consulting business that we have. And we consult with people on all the logistics of full time travel. That was a huge suck of our time, sifting through just a lot of junk online. And we wanted, when we started out, we wanted to streamline the process for people a year into that business, we also started offering group trips, travel group trips, and the style of travel that we do, which is really deep immersion into the culture and the people and less on the tourist track. And we were just starting to kind of see an income from that we had been living off savings, and we had been very good about saving money and living very frugal. And all of the hard work that we put in was really starting to pay off. And we were both doing something that we really loved and believed in. And then COVID hit. So
Will Sueiro 26:00
all the while. So I mean all the while we've also been sort of sharing our experiences via via YouTube as well. So, you know, we were always producing sort of content that shows where we are, you know, on Instagram was shared the story. So it was all sort of just one complete sort of compendium of information that showed what it's like to live this life that was you know, that can be
Jessica Sueiro 26:22
Yeah, I mean, all the people that have gone on the group trips with us, found us through YouTube. And they said, You know, I want to travel like that. And that's why I want to go with you on the trip. So COVID hit, we tighten the belt, we had money in savings, we paused our business. We were in, in Japan, at the time going to be traveling around Asia for a year, we came back to France, we have long stay visas, and we have been living as frugal as possible. Since then, it has not been easy. But will and I again had a conversation of do we go back to we go back to the US for a year or two. And we just we didn't think it was in the best interest of anyone in our family, everyone thrives and does really well in this lifestyle. And if it's working, why, you know, what's that saying? If it if it ain't broken, don't fix it or something like that, hey, broke by boat, you know. So in the meantime, our kids are like, what are we going to do, we're not people that can really just kind of sit around and wait for COVID to end we got a project or something. So we entertained, getting like a ruin here and, you know, kind of rundown house and fixing it up. And then this boat came across our path. And we decided that maybe it was a good idea to accelerate, we always wanted to be on a boat, kind of the end game, but maybe accelerate that dream, and learn how to sail during COVID times since we are locked down. And we're pretty severely locked down here in France. So that is what we have been doing for the last seven months. And in the meantime, we have relaunched our group trips, and our first group trip back in the game will be in October. And then we have a whole bunch of trips for 2022. Nice, you know, pending, the vaccine rolls out and COVID gets under control and stuff. So that's kind of, you know, the shortest version of the income I can give you but but also we live very simple. we've, we've always saved money, we do have rental property that we invested in, in our 30s. So it's not a huge amount of income, but it's a little bit extra. And we do make a little bit of money off our YouTube channel. So we kind of have our hands and a bunch of different little bit here a little bit there. We definitely make less money than we did when we were living in the United States. But our expenses are less and our happiness level is much higher. So
Will Sueiro 28:38
that I found that I'm pretty good until we bought a boat until we bought. The cost just went.
Unknown Speaker 28:44
Yeah, boats are expensive.
Ethan Waldman 28:46
They say that the two happiest days of boat ownership are the day that you buy the boat and the day that you sell the boat
Unknown Speaker 28:52
Will Sueiro 28:53
We're looking forward to that day. The seller. Yeah, we know that sort of In fact, we are our thought processes that this is this is our retirement home. Ya know. So I mean, it's easy to say because but we bought far from retirement, I don't see us officially retiring. So we like what we do, but we'll make that joke that this is the retirement that we when we bought our house when we moved to Massachusetts after the first x pack package fell. We're like that's it. We're done. We're moving to suburbia, and
Jessica Sueiro 29:21
we're gonna live here for the next 20 years and we bought
Will Sueiro 29:23
the house and we thought this was this is gonna be our life forever. And and yeah, you know, it's it's funny how sort of life has a way
Jessica Sueiro 29:30
we'll have the speakers put in the ceiling. And yeah, that he was gonna grow there and the travel bug was still there. You know?
Will Sueiro 29:38
Where Massachusetts were you? We were in Milton for the first four years. So it's a suburb just outside of Boston. Okay, we were there for about four years for years ish. And then we moved to Cambridge for the last year and a half with a wooden bass for like seven years. Yeah. So yeah, so probably about five and a half years in Milton, and then a year and a half and Cambridge mass.
Ethan Waldman 30:01
Do you miss winter?
Jessica Sueiro 30:03
No, we just went through
Ethan Waldman 30:08
French winter in France turns Yeah,
Jessica Sueiro 30:10
this South is pretty cold.
Will Sueiro 30:13
Yeah. And when winter is around you and also underneath you, because you're on the water is cold. It's it's like it's like 360 degree immersion. It's kind of
Jessica Sueiro 30:24
in the boat here, but it just doesn't heat well. And I remember saying to will, through the winter when I woke up and it was like ice frozen on the window. I said, that's it. I know I said this before when we went to Asia that I wasn't coming back to the cold, but COVID hit. That's it. I don't want to be in the cold anymore. I want to get the hell out of the cold. And I want to go where it's warm. I'm so over. Yeah. And I grew up in Maine. So I'm just like, I've had enough cold. That's it. Yeah.
Ethan Waldman 30:50
Well, we just, you know, it became spring here briefly, but but for those of you who have lived in the northeast, you know that these March days are a tease, and it can go right back to being winter in April. That might snow tomorrow. Yeah, absolutely. I actually, as a skier, I would be okay with that. But for most of us, we're not, we're not into that. Right. I'd like to tell you a little bit more about tiny house decisions, my signature guide and the resource that I wish I had when I was building my tiny house. It starts with the big decisions, which is, you know, should you build a tiny house yourself or with help is a is a prebuilt. Shell a good idea is a house on wheels better than on the ground and what works better for you deciding on the overall size, deciding on whether you should use custom plans or pre made plans, different types of trailers and more than in in part two, we get into the system. So heat, water showers, hot water, toilets, electrical, refrigeration, ventilation, and we're only two thirds of the way through the book at this point. From systems we go into construction decisions talking about nails versus screws, sips versus stick framed versus advanced framing versus metal framing. We talked about how to construct a sub floor sheathing, roofing materials, insulation, Windows flooring kitchen, I know I'm just reading off the table of contents. But I just want to give you a sense of how comprehensive tiny house decisions is. It's a total of 170 pages. It contains tons of full color drawings, diagrams and resources. And it really is the guide that I wish I had when I was building my tiny house. Right now I'm offering 20% off any package of tiny house decisions using the coupon code tiny, when you head over to the tiny house dotnet slash t h d that's THD for tiny house decisions. Again, that's coupon code tiny when you check out at the tiny house dotnet slash THD. Do you I just on the on the money front, I just if you're willing to share? Do you kind of have like a budget like you know what, what it costs you per day? Or do you I don't know if you get down that granularly? Or do you kind of go by the month or we don't.
Jessica Sueiro 33:19
So we don't get that in manually. But up until the boat because the boat we haven't the boat, we haven't quite figured out our monthly expenses yet, because we spent six months on a dock in lockdown and occasionally going out to learn to sail. So I can't speak for boat life. But the first six years before that, we were about 2500 US dollars a month for the four of us, that is before of us, but that did not include education or business expenses. So the education aspect, because we're huge into education. We never factored that into a budget. We're telling people how much we live on just because some people buy, you know, $50 workbooks, and that last them, you know, the whole school year, and other people are spending 20,000 a year while they're out here educating? Well, we're you know, we're we're I think we're probably about 10,000 a year 10,000 a year on education expenses between the two kids. Okay, so I think 2500 and that, that 2500 has been pretty consistent in the sense that when we lived in Costa Rica, Ecuador and France, we lived in each one of those countries for just under a month in an apartment. But then we were in the RV for just under three years. And we still were able to maintain kind of that
Will Sueiro 34:33
that amount of money each month. Interesting because Costa Rica and Ecuador and France were the least expensive use for education because we got to take advantage. But I would say take advantage but in France we were in the public system there. Yeah. Which you know, that was free. And then in Costa Rica, we for our son who was in the traditional school, he was his school payment was like $300 a month. So and that was for a private school. So you know that that bike comparison to what we're paying now for your programs is by far less Ecuador was along the same lines as well.
Jessica Sueiro 35:07
And also what we do, kind of we keep this as our budget, and then we have to make compromises along the way, like people are like, you spent the same amount living in Costa Rica and Ecuador, as you did the south of France. Well, in Costa Rica, we had a car. And in Ecuador, in France, we didn't have a car. So we took public transportation, or we walked everywhere. And then we had different size apartments in different areas. So we have to, we've always had to been willing to compromise, how we live and how we, our transportation in order to stay within that budget. And we're pretty, we're pretty good at that.
Will Sueiro 35:41
So far, we have a special carve out budget for cheese here
Jessica Sueiro 35:44
for cheese. Yeah, but I think I think that's a pretty reasonable budget. Now we have met people along the way that are getting by on 1000 a month. And it's just two of them. Yeah, like a mom and a son, a single mom and a son. And then we've met people along the way that cannot survive, they claim they can't survive on less than 10,000 a month. So it varies. You know, we don't obviously we don't have gym memberships. We don't go to Starbucks, we don't, we don't spend a lot on on beauty, we walk or we're everywhere we can or we take the bus. I mean, obviously this is all kind of, you know, pre pre boat. Like I said, we haven't really kind of got a hang on that yet. Yeah, but I think we'll be able to stay pretty much in the same area as
Will Sueiro 36:27
outside of boat repeats, it's almost impossible to assess what boat life is going to be because we are. I know that people who say that boat life is just doing repairs and static locations, which may or may not be true. But at this point, we're still outfitting the boat so that we can take off because our goal is to go around the world. And the from the moment that we got it until now we've been sort of chipping away at things to make the boat ready to sort of take off and never have to go back. So you know, there's been a lot of upgrades and just cost that we've been incurring just just on that front that just really just like common maintenance type stuff, which if we're good, and we sort of were on top of our boat jobs, hopefully those are few and far between,
Jessica Sueiro 37:10
right? Like you're not replacing solar panels every year, right, you're not getting an E perb. Every year, you know, that kind of stuff or a one offs are and replaced not so frequently and repair it on your own. So I think we'll be able to stay within the budget. Frankly, I'd like to have an even lower budget, we're always kind of trying to find ways to get our costs down. And our biggest, like I said, Our biggest expense is education. So we won't, I mean, we found it less expensive ways to do things, but we won't sacrifice certain things in the education because we're big on education. And that that's not just necessarily the traditional aspect. But it's also what we do out in the world and what we expose them to and what they learn, which has not been too much during COVID, because we're in a lockdown here in France. Yeah. But outside of that we'll take a cooking class, or maybe we'll go on a hike and sleep at the top of a mountain in a hot where we have to pay, you know, 10 bucks a person or something like that. So we never, we never kind of we, we don't do extravagant things, and we're learning out in the world. But we also we do have to spend a little bit of money to do that as well.
Ethan Waldman 38:12
Got it. I'm curious, you know, Well, we just,what are some things that you know, I guess that I haven't asked you? Or that when people you know, when you tell somebody that you're living this lifestyle? They probably you probably get the same questions, but like, What's something that people don't ask you that you're like, this is actually really important.
Jessica Sueiro 38:35
To you? I've got one, but I'll let you go. Because even
Ethan Waldman 38:37
though you both do one you can do?
Will Sueiro 38:39
It's more so of I mean, there's the question of is easy the question of would you do it again? Okay. And and and that is not the question that I would ask, usually everyone says must be nice. Yeah. All that money, right, without sort of understanding that there are struggles everything else. But you know, what do you do? What do you do it again, and it sort of goes back to the whole concept that when, when I was working for my old employer, even though we're traveling, and they wanted me to go back to the office, you know, we had, we had to make a choice at that point, whether to continue to live, you know, away from our homeland, but still sort of in sort of the system, meaning like having grown an office and so forth and so on. Or you're taking a gamble on life and seeing what what life would sort of come bring to us. And and, you know, at that point, we knew pretty much the answer was let's let's move forward. But even that being said, going back from sort of even today, boy, okay, now you've taken this massive risk. You've gone through COVID, you've basically lost primarily most of your income because of you know, the light, you know, the industry that we're in, would we still do it again? Absolutely. And the answer is, yeah, you know, I just think that we have evolved without sounding too pretentious, I think evolved enough to To make it sound to realize that, you know, we don't want what we had before, you know, what we had before was, wasn't bad. But what it wasn't necessarily a life dictated by by our own, you know, wants, needs, desires, you know, our wants, needs and desires were once upon a time dictated by what sort of the masses were also wanting the desire, and now it's more so based on what we want what really what we really desire, which is, I mean, freedom is such an arbitrary word, that it is true, but it really is, you know, the ability to go ahead and, and, and, and give value that you think that the world really wants. And that is sort of, I guess, awakening that is, you know, just understand that they can do more than just you know, what the program to do,
Jessica Sueiro 40:44
I think will and I, we have this compulsion, and I don't know why, but I guess, I don't know, because we love people. And we realize we hit a good thing here, we have this compulsion to really share this lifestyle with people. And so I'm going to kind of go along, and I don't want to, I don't want to I don't want to take a negative turn. But I think it's really easy to glamorize this lifestyle. And I wish more people would ask us about the hard part, they're starting to, I feel like there's a swing on social media, where people are starting to ask that kind of stuff. And it's almost kind of, you know, hip to share your struggles, because everyone wants to see someone struggling these days, we haven't been asked that a lot. And I think it's really important because what we see on social media, of people traveling full time, is often Instagram worthy, and not the reality of it. And there are two things that we tell our clients and they really don't like this, but it's the truth scares them a little bit. If you want to live like this, and you're not rich, you have to be willing to struggle. And you have to be willing to be an unknown. And when I say struggle, I mean, the highs are going to be higher than you could have ever imagined in your life, but the lows are going to be really low. And you're going to have to dust yourself off and put on your big girl Big Boy panties and bring it and make it happen. And continue to work hard if you want it. And people don't always want to hear that. But if it was that hard or that bad, we still would or not worth it, we wouldn't be out here. And I think it's really important for people to hear the the darker side of it, so that they don't go into it with these kind of rose colored glasses. And the other aspect is, you have to be willing to be an unknown, you know, when when you live a traditional stationary life, it is quite possible with most people that you if you go to your coffee shop, they know you, you know, your mailman, you know, you know your neighbor. And that's quite comforting. And I do think that sometimes I do miss that that familiarity, that just doesn't happen out here as a full time traveler, if you decide to spend, you know, a considerable amount of time and once thought like maybe six months, then you'll get to that point. But if that's something that's really important to you, and you've thrive on that, it just doesn't happen out here. It only happens if you decide to stop traveling, and then you know, you're not traveling anymore, you have the stationary life again, I think a lot of people get lonely out here because they're not prepared for that part of it. So
Will Sueiro 43:09
you have to be ready to be not as some something to somebody, you have to be as something to yourself. Yeah. And I mean, the way I analogize this is that, you know, for us, we'll we'll spend a month at a place, we spent two months in a place, whatever, you know, up to a year and a place. And every now and then, you know, you develop a routine everywhere you go. And you know, for us, we'll we'll find a coffee shop that we like to hang out at, you know, whether it's to get work done, or just because we just like their their style. And by the time that we're ready to go, like we always walk about, we always walk by and say okay, we're leaving now. And for them, either they're very kindly say, oh, we're gonna miss you, or they can see you. And we're like, Well, here's the last free coffee. I want to know that I touched you know why
you're going away, I
want to go into a present. And, you know, for them, it's like, you know, just another guy coming back and forth. And if we willing to sort of realize that, that's just life, you know? And it's not, it's not, it's not you, it's not them. It's just sort of, you just need to be in touch with the fact that you know, you had your time there. And now it's time to do something different. And it's cool.
Jessica Sueiro 44:17
I think we're just one more thing I want to add. So I could I could talk about this all night. People make the assumption that children and travel that they're not okay, and that they're suffering and that they're suffering socially. I can tell you right now, my kids are suffering socially, because of COVID. Not because of travel. Our travel life was so full of social. Because we've been at this for so long, we would meet other travelers we'd met in different countries up on the road. Travelers we'd met traveling had gone back to stationary lives, and we'd be passing through an RV and we'd stay for the night. We run group trips. We're incredibly social with people we don't know when we meet we start talking and we have people over for dinner and and the kids are the same way this life I can't speak for every child out there because every child is different. This lifestyle has been a huge, huge. I don't know what the right word is blessing, I guess, for our kids, they have really enjoyed it. Incredibly. And we talk about it a lot as a family. And they're like, yeah, yeah, that's cool. This is our life. You know, we always talk about do you want to go back? Are you unhappy? They're like, No, no, it's fine. But they don't i don't think they really knew the magnitude of it. Because they've lived this for so long. It's their normal. Yeah, until COVID hit. And when COVID hit. And France has been pretty extreme. We've been locked down since October. So they both have said, Wow, I can't tell you how much I miss traveled. And people and I don't think I can ever live a stationary life. Better than that. So so for anyone listening who thinks their kids aren't going to be okay. Obviously, every kid's different. And it's really dependent on the age leave, if you take them out of their normal at age 16, you're probably going to struggle.
Will Sueiro 45:53
And when you say lockdown, I mean, because it's almost like arbitrary to where you are. But for us locked down and locked out at a marina where there's no one to start with. Right? Yeah, so either way, it's, it's we've been pretty isolated. And the only people that we can hang out with are the people who repair the boat. So we've done a lot of repairs. Yeah, we've broken things off.
Jessica Sueiro 46:14
So anyway, the kids will be okay. That's kind of the point that I think we don't give kids enough credit of how, how resilient they are and how excited they are an interested in learning and exploring because we're looking at it from an older person's mindset, you know, and starting over and whatnot. So just I think that's just really important to kind of add that, you know, the kids will be okay. They will.
Ethan Waldman 46:36
Nice. That's, that's great. I thank you for bringing up the topic of struggles because like, I also, you know, the same kind of thing happens in the tiny house world. It's either the extremes, it's like, a family builds tiny house for $10,000, which is totally unrealistic. And like gets out of debt. It's like, either all rainbows and sparkles or it's like, why tiny house living is terrible, like, why, you know, it's just either all or nothing. So it's, it's great to hear, you know, the balanced, nuanced reflection of your lifestyle, which, you know, that's real life. It's like, it's great sometimes, and it's sucks other times.
Jessica Sueiro 47:18
Yeah. That's that. That is, that's the reality of it. And if it really sucked that much, we wouldn't be out here. Yeah. Right. Because we don't want we don't want to torture ourselves. Right. You know, I mean, we want to enjoy our life.
Ethan Waldman 47:31
Yeah, and, you know, it sounds like, it sounds like you are so congratulations on that. Hey, thank you. One thing that I like to ask all my guests is, you know, what are? What are two or three resources that you recommend? They could be your own resources, but, you know, what are some things you recommend for people who are looking to get started, you know, in a full time kind of travel lifestyle?
Will Sueiro 47:54
To be honest, for me, it's podcasts. I listen to a ton of them. There. There's one. One thing is video. Yeah, and video, but video for me is because I'm you know, I do video I we do our own vlog. Yeah, but video is kind of edited. You know, because you can't just sit there and talk and see what's going on, you have to be very, very dynamic to make that work out on video. You know, so it's always sort of about where you are what you're seeing. So you get to see sort of that side, the colorful side, you know, the, the what it almost everything to the extent of what it is, except for the smells, which is fantastic. But for me, the podcast is everything, because then you can sort of really dig into a topic and you can really get into what someone really feels about and get into their head. And yeah, I would highly recommend digging. We
Jessica Sueiro 48:47
love podcast, I mean, we and we love because because we also love sharing on podcast, because we feel like we can get to the deeper side of it.
Will Sueiro 48:55
Yeah, we want our own podcast. We just don't have time.
Jessica Sueiro 49:00
Yeah, we just haven't had time yet. Right? I know it's on the list. I'm gonna kind of curtail off that and say that my big thing with our resource would be find the people that are doing what you are doing. really investigate if they actually are doing what they're saying they're doing, and then study them and and send them emails and ask them questions. The worst they can say is no. Or you have to pay me or they just don't return your email. We get tons of emails. We don't I can't get to every comment on social media. But I do respond to every email that we get that has a question about this lifestyle. And I think it's important to not listen to Aunt Susie, who went to you know, I don't know Peru once and got mugged and how awful travel is, is to listen to those who are doing it. and not necessarily those who did it 10 years ago and are back living stationary life because things have changed the people that are doing it right now, and what they're doing and how they're doing and pick their brains and study them.
Will Sueiro 50:00
And not only that, but I mean, there, you just mentioned for a moment is something that we do, and I'm not going to sort of self love it, but I guess I am. But you know, in terms of like, when you said to pay somebody, there is there are so many mistakes that I would have rather paid someone an hour, and walk me through how to get this right, as opposed to, you know, nights and weeks of heartache, because oh my gosh, what did we just get ourselves into? You know, it? Yeah, it's not people are out there. And, you know, call them experts call them, you know, just tried and true. Call them that, you know, just been out there for a while, but but they, you know, if they've been doing what you're doing, and they value their time that they think that it's worth money, you know, give someone you know, a little bit just to sort of make your life so much easier. It's just like anything else? It is? Yeah, it is, it is a service that that can be value written, like there's no tomorrow because I know, for us in the RV, we would have, I would have paid someone you know, hundreds of dollars to help me figure out how certain things,
Jessica Sueiro 51:01
right. And we learned a lesson with that with sailing. And obviously, there are plenty of people hacking learning to sail but we hired instructor and we really worked with him. And it was to our benefit to do that it made the process go a lot easier. And and we felt kind of better about this, because it's completely foreign to us like like going off and traveling is very foreign to some people. And you're going to get advice from people who have just visited a place that haven't necessarily traveled full time because everyone's got an opinion about travel, when they haven't traveled full time about what it's going to do to your kids and what it's going to do to your finances and you're ruining your career. And law. You know, we've heard it all. So I think just finding those people who are doing what you want to do and study and pick their brain is a great, great resource.
Ethan Waldman 51:45
Awesome, well, where can people find you?
Will Sueiro 51:49
We got a we are we are World Towning on everything. Okay, we're not always active on everything like Twitter, but but we're out there. Okay. So you know, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube. Yeah, we have we even have like a Snapchat account. We never use it.
Jessica Sueiro 52:07
Yeah, so we're world counting on all social media. We're most active on YouTube, where we release weekly videos about our travels on Fridays, okay. And then on Instagram, where we, we share the daily in and outs of, of whatever adventure when which is currently learning to sail.
Ethan Waldman 52:24
Jessica Sueiro 52:25
Those are the two are the most active in awesome, while
Ethan Waldman 52:27
Also, you were kind enough to share a ton of really awesome pictures with me. And so I'll link to all your stuff and put up some of my favorite pictures at thetinyhouse.net/158. This will be Episode 158. So thetinyhouse.net/158 when this is live, where you can go to get all the details about Jessica and will suero Jessica and well thank you so much for being guests on the show today. This was this was a great conversation. I really enjoyed it.
Jessica Sueiro 52:56
Thank you so much for having us.
Will Sueiro 52:57
Nowadays. This is the best social we've had in a longtime thank you for
Ethan Waldman 53:05
Thank you so much to Jessica and Will Sueiro for being guests on the show today. They sent me so many amazing pictures from their adventures and you can find some of my favorites at thetinyhouse.net/158. There you will also find the show notes for today's episode and a full transcript. So again, that is thetinyhouse.net/158. Well, that's all for this week. I'm your host Ethan Waldman, and I'll be back next week with another episode of the Tiny House Lifestyle Podcast.
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