Interview With an Expat – Scott & Megan

Scott and Megan have always impressed us with their adventurous spirit. From their photography, videos, and new skills with their hyperlapses, their website is one of our favorite blogs about life and travel in Asia. Last year, they too were teaching in South Korea, but our paths so far have only crossed online. They are currently long-term travelling and have agreed to answer some questions about their lifestyle.


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Tell us about yourselves.

We are a couple in our late twenties itching to see the world while we were young, instead of waiting until retirement to travel.  We are desperate to make it work as we currently have no desire of falling back into the unfulfilling, corporate, rat race. We have no idea what we are doing or what’s next, but we love every second of it. Scott knows the value of money, Megan knows the value of hard work and together we have been working hard to travel and save our future as we go along. Our goal is to inspire others and show that there are other options out there, and you absolutely can travel and save money at the same time.

Where are you now?

We are currently in the incredibly internet unfriendly country of Laos. In the 7th month of what was originally supposed to be a 6 month backpacking trip through Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam. We are about a week away from visiting Vietnam, which is where we will be on the hunt for a new job opportunity.

Bobo and Chichi Koh Mak

How did your traveling lifestyle begin?

We both caught the travel bug a few years earlier (Scott took a 6 month trip after graduating college and Megan did a study abroad program during college) but started traveling together when we took the leap of faith and moved to South Korea to teach English. We saved as much money as we could to put away for a home/retirement and also travel for 6 months. After seeing how easy it was to save for travel while traveling and living in a new country we are hooked and planning on doing it again.

How to you plan and budget for a new country?

Going to Korea was pretty simple, we only had to have about $2,000 to get yourself situated and started for your first month or so before your first paycheck. After that we lived off of one person’s paycheck and saved the other. We would have a weekday and a weekend budget we couldn’t go over. We were able to manage our money to travel on the weekends throughout Korea and not dip into our savings. At the end of the year we saved just over $30,000 and set aside $10,000 for 6 months of travel before we have to find a job again. The rest of our savings will go towards a home. We chose $10,000 because we wanted to travel for six months which gives us a daily budget of $55/day for 6 months.

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While traveling, you try to be minimalistic. What are three things that are unnecessary that you refuse to leave behind?

This is tricky because most of our luggage is electronics to run our blog. We are not minimalistic when it comes to our blogging gear, and sometimes we get strange looks from other travelers when we both are working on laptops at a café that has stable wifi. We even had someone ask us in Laos why we would travel with two computers. So to cut to the chase we have 2 Macbooks, a DSLR camera, 2 lenses, tripod, 4 external hard drives, a handful of SD cards, GoPro, iPad, and 2 iPhones. So for most travelers, those would be things they could probably leave behind! Beyond that you would be shocked at how little we travel with.

Do you have any plans of settling down in the future?

We would like to save and buy a home in California where we will have our nest egg and can rent it out when we travel. Right now we love traveling, and don’t see an end in sight. Once you start you just don’t want to stop and all of a sudden your bucketlist of places you want to go gets longer and longer. Neither of us see the cookie cutter definition at home of settling down with kids and finding office jobs slaving away everyday for one measly week of vacation in our future.

What advice can you give to people who are considering long term travel?

11001730_346335322216535_8109583660770567974_nFor us, there are three things you need to do when planning for long term travel. First is figure out how long you want to travel for and when you are going to leave. Second, figure out how much money you need to save a week in order to accomplish that goal at your start time. Third, start keeping track of every penny you spend. Tracking every expense doesn’t sound very helpful, but we found this one to be the most important because it really helped accelerate the amount of money we saved.

You have to be wise with your money in order to travel long term and not dip into your credit cards. We set a daily budget of $55/day for the both of us. Some days we are $20 under, on travel days we are way over. Overall, it balances out and we are relieved when we are making our budget goals. We write down everything we buy, this helps us keep track of our budget and prevent us from buying unnecessary things. We can’t stress enough the importance of tracking your purchases and maintaining a budget when you travel.


To see even more of their travels around Asia, be sure to check out their blog:

Bobo and ChiChi . com

 

 

2017-03-06T09:21:21+00:00 By |Interview with an Expat|9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Jackie Park June 14, 2015 at 10:15 am - Reply

    I really envy people who can just pack up and go, and just figure things out along the way. Probably because I come from a more conservative family, I don’t dare do such a thing. But reading about other people’s adventures gets me excited, and I feel like I’m living vicariously through their adventures. Thanks for sharing their blog, too. 🙂

    • Hedgers Abroad June 16, 2015 at 12:20 pm - Reply

      Glad you enjoyed it! We have been trying to feature expats and their different journeys away from home as a way of showing people that living abroad is possible and hopefully inspire some others!

  2. Duke Stewart June 15, 2015 at 4:20 pm - Reply

    Wow, it’s so cool to read about these guys and am happy to get a look into their lives while on the road. I’m actually planning an interview with them as well so this will be something good to bounce back to when doing that!

    That list of traveling gear is quite overwhelming and really makes me reconsider the idea of selling my macbook before our big trip in the late summer.

    Thanks for sharing other travelers’ stories with us. Hope to see more of this in the future!

    Take Care.

    • Hedgers Abroad June 16, 2015 at 12:23 pm - Reply

      We too think about the gear we would take on extended travel, and the list is a bit overwhelming. It all just depends on what you are willing to carry I guess. Ryan’s got quite a lot of camera gear though and I wonder what we would take and what he would be willing to leave behind.

      We really like featuring different expats, so we will definitely be doing more of these Q&As in the future!

  3. Wendy Flor June 15, 2015 at 4:35 pm - Reply

    Wooahhhh! To Scotte and Megan: Go travel the world while you’re still young and able. So much stories to tell and Im sure these experiences enrich your world view. I can’t live like that but Im happy for people who can.

    • Hedgers Abroad June 16, 2015 at 12:24 pm - Reply

      Glad you enjoyed it! We are all kind of living the extended travel life while abroad though 😉

  4. Rafiqua Israel (@Rafiqua_Israel) June 16, 2015 at 9:20 am - Reply

    I also love their blog. I wish I came to Korea with someone, perhaps I would have saved more money then? Teaching in Vietnam sounds exciting, I’m looking forward to reading their blog posts!

    • Hedgers Abroad June 16, 2015 at 12:27 pm - Reply

      It is much easier to save with two people for sure. You can budget and live cheaply as a single person in order to save more, but at some point you are going to be sacrificing experiences you could have had while living in Korea. Definitely check out their blog! If you are planning any kind of travel throughout Asia, they’ve got a lot of great tips.

  5. Meaghan Wray June 16, 2015 at 9:22 pm - Reply

    I really love reading about couples who are traveling abroad together. I remember when I was in my teens, I always knew I wanted a life of travel and I felt like I always had to pick between love and traveling. Only now, being in South Korea, I’ve realized that they can go hand in hand (literally and figuratively!) Good luck in Vietnam. I will be in Hanoi July 28-Aug 3!

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