A couple have been to over 50 countries after putting family plans on hold to travel full-time have revealed how they do it for as little as £150 ($195) a month.
Digital nomad, Ella Geiger, 25, from Wertheim, Germany, had long-dreamed of being a mother before falling in love with travelling and taking it up full-time in January 2015.
She has now been to more than 50 countries in her lifetime, bringing her husband Waldemar, 28, along to almost 40 of them.
Despite their seemingly exotic and luxurious adventures, the two love birds say they spend as little as £150 a month each on their travels by hitchhiking, staying in local homes and making new friends who invite them for dinner.
Ella always dreamed of becoming a mother when she grew up, and loved being around children so much that she trained to become a kindergarten teacher.
She said: ‘I’m a deeply curious and positive person and I live with an open mind and sense of magic in my eyes and my heart.’
‘I remember when I was just a child, I always wanted to be a mother. The idea of being a full-time traveller never even crossed my mind back then.
‘I even studied to work with children as a kindergarten teacher.’
But things changed when during her training she read an article about a travelling family who were looking for a nanny for their toddler. This article sparked a new direction for Ella and she knew she wanted to travel.
She said: ‘I remember reading this article about a family that travelled for two years with their two-year-old son and they were looking for a nanny. From that day on I knew I wanted to go to a different continent and be a nanny.’
Putting motherhood on hold, Ella decided to become a fulltime traveller, saying: ‘So, I sorted my visa, packed my things and prayed my English was good enough and before I knew it I was on my way to New Zealand to be a nanny.
‘My time there showed me that I loved to travel, and I started to ask myself, “Who am I? What fulfils me? What else is out there in the world that I haven’t learned yet?”.’
Ella and Waldemar also worked in Australia and these jobs paid for further travel before the couple got married in Mallorca, Spain in May 2017.
She said: ‘I met my husband in Spain on holidays in August 2013 and we got married in Mallorca, Spain in May 2017.
‘We continued to travel with money I made in New Zealand, Australia and also some saved back in Germany, but our money was running low, so we started working online as affiliate marketers.’
They then went on to Germany where they saved some more money to travel. But as they continued to travel, their budget started to diminish until they found a way to work remotely as affiliate marketers from their laptops.
From that point on they were free to travel wherever they wanted without worrying about their savings running dry.
Ella said: ‘Now we work anywhere we are, and this gives us a huge feeling of relief knowing we can keep living this travel life.’
The pair have experienced a hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia, 10 day meditation retreats, living with monks in South Korea, teaching English in Cambodia, working on farms in Australia, hitchhiking through Mexico and much more.
She went on: ‘We have travelled to 37 countries together and the experience has been incredible.
‘We took a hot air balloon in Cappadocia, Turkey. There were hundreds of balloons flying over this incredible landscape at sunrise. We spent time in Jerusalem, Israel and there is a strong intense energy there.’
She continued: ‘We also did a ten-day Vipassana meditation retreat in Australia. We weren’t allowed to talk, touch, look into people’s eyes, exercise, make notes or anything.
‘All we could do is meditate all day, every day for ten days straight. We also got to live with monks in a monastery in South Korea and they ultimately invited us to their local ceremony, and we were the only strangers there.
‘We spent time teaching English and sports in Cambodia while living in a local home.’
‘We worked on a farm in Australia, we hitchhiked through Mexico, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia where people invited us to their homes to show us around and made us dinner.
‘It’s crazy because you are expecting to get from A to B and end up spending days with strangers who welcome you into their country. Just wow.’
Ella continued: ‘But the greatest highlight for me are the people around the world. Every time I feel connected to a place it’s because of those we met there.
‘I’m so grateful for all those kind souls who opened their hearts and arms and let us be a part of their life and their stories.
‘I get messages from people we met years ago saying “I’m still thinking of you guys, you made a positive impact on my life”. It gives me goose bumps and tears start to form and the sentiment is mutual.
‘And, to think that all this is doable on as low as £150 a month is incredible. The most upper limit we spend per person is about £760 a month tops.’
But, Ella admits it isn’t all fun and frolics, saying: ‘One of the biggest down flaws to seeing the world is all the rubbish everywhere.
‘I mean, I knew the problem was real but seriously it’s much worse than I ever thought it would be. It makes me very sad to see this.’
‘There are some challenges as a traveller and the biggest is always going to be how much money you have to travel with. This was always something for us to be aware of before we started working online.’
Ella went on to reveal another low moment, saying: ‘Also there was this one time we got robbed. We left all our things, everything we owned, in the car Mexico and they were all gone when we returned. But honestly this can happen anywhere in the world even in our hometowns.’
‘Yes, it was a tough time because we lost everything from one minute to the next, but the true beauty is in bad times when people are there for you.
‘People were offering us their home for a week, friends called for clothing donations and fed us.’
Ella says to start this kind of lifestyle yourself it’s important not to overthink everything.
‘Don’t think about things too much. I know everything is new and the unknown can be a bit scary.
‘Yes there have been moments I thought “I want to get out of here”. But that can happen anywhere and only fills about one or two per cent of my entire travelling experience,’ Ella said.
The best things are to come when you go and just start your journey. Contact someone that is already going this to take away your doubts and answer your questions.’
‘But then, just go. Trust in yourself and trust the journey. There is so much to discover in this world and inside of you. Don’t fear it and remember that if you don’t like it there is always a way back.’
She added: ”What you learn on the road is something you will carry with you for the rest of your life, no one can take this power, this knowledge or this energy away from you.’