About Mick and Jen
We’re Mick and Jen from Australia. We took our first big trip together in 2004 to London on a working holiday. We immediately caught the travel bug and have since spent most of our time dreaming and planning our next adventures.
During this time, we also discovered a love of snowboarding, so much so that it determines most of our travel destinations. We even got married in the snow, that’s how much we love it! From that love came our travel blog, The Snow Chasers Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
1- What inspired you to decide to live this nomad lifestyle?
In 2007, we did a snow season in Canada for 7 months and took a break from our ‘real jobs’. We had so much fun and once it was over, we went back to Australia and the daily grind. Over the years, we kept looking back at that time and how much we enjoyed it. With a bit of research, we found out that there are so many people living a nomadic lifestyle in various ways and that’s when we realised the dream could become a reality. We spent the next 6 years saving and figuring out a plan to make that work for us. In 2015, we took off on a 9 month adventure to the USA and Canada.
2- Is a travel lifestyle as glamorous as people think?
No, definitely not but we wouldn’t have it any other way. No matter where you are in the world or what it is that you are doing, there are things that can go wrong. That’s not always a bad thing as you can learn a lot in these situations. We are grateful that we get to spend so much time doing the things we love.
3- What keeps you motivated to keep on travelling?
Once we started travelling, we realised it would be a big part of our lives forever. Travelling changes you. Your mind is opened up in ways you never thought possible through experiences of different places and different cultures. The more places we go to, the more we realise that there is to discover.
With snowboarding as our passion, each mountain we snowboard is a new experience, and every mountain has something special about it. We’ll never get to every mountain, but we sure are going to try!
4- What do you love most about long term travel and what do you dislike most?
Having the opportunity to really know a place and to see it through the eyes of a local. You really get to immerse yourself in the local culture and discover things off the beaten track.
Probably the hardest thing about long term travel is being away from family and friends.
5- Have you had any major troubles on your travels?
We’ve had a few snowboarding injuries on our travels. We are massive advocates of travel insurance so this has saved us on several occasions. Without it, one of those injuries would have cost us over $25,000 US. It’s not an ideal situation to be injured in the first place, let alone whilst you’re travelling but sometimes these things happen. We always make sure we have the right insurance in place for our snowboarding holidays. Read more
6- How can you afford long term travel?
We set a goal and worked towards it. We are big on keeping a budget and keeping track (even to this day) of all of our expenses. People are often surprised at how much and what they spend their money on. Having a budget allowed us to estimate how much we would need to save for long term travel and where we could cut down on unnecessary spending.
Sticking to a budget has not only allowed us to save for travel experiences but with careful planning, it has allowed us to pay down our mortgage and invest in shares. It’s great when you’re on the road and you have your rental income or share dividends to help subsidise some of your travel expenses! Eventually we see these investments allowing us to travel as much as we like. In the meantime between our travels, we’ll pick up short term work to help top up the travel kitty. Our travel blog helps a little too. Read more
In addition to saving for travel, once we’re on the road we try to make our dollars stretch as far as they can. With a bit of forward planning and research, we look for the best deals we can such as RV relocations or volunteering our time with HelpX in exchange for food and board.
7- Where are you now and where are you going next?
We’re currently back in Australia. Our next destination will be Queenstown, New Zealand where we plan to spend a year or two. We’ve been there so many times for snowboard trips but not had the opportunity to really experience all that it has to offer. We’re excited to be there for all seasons too, not just the winter!
8- Of all the places you’ve been, which one would you recommend for digital nomads and why?
That’s a tricky one as we have only really experienced the digital nomad lifestyle in Canada and USA. The things we look for are strong wi-fi, well priced accommodation and good workspace. A good workspace is important for productivity.
9- What item/gadget don’t you travel without?
Our iPhones. We’d be totally lost without them. We use them for emails, looking up things on the internet, countless travel apps, social media and most of our travel photos.
10- What advice would you give to someone who is about to start long term travelling?
Plan, budget, save and DO IT!