How to Earn in the U.S. But Live in Europe…

My husband and I have been traveling full-time for a little over three years. It started in 2010 when we sold most everything we owned and moved into a 30-foot motorhome. We spent 14 months traveling the East Coast of the U.S., while running our marketing and technology business from the small dining room table—you know, the one that also converts into a single bed.

While living in the RV we visitied 12 states, two provinces and traveled over 7,000 miles. It was the experience of a lifetime, and we would have continued the road trip had it not been for an important family wedding in Zurich, which inspired us to pack our bags and move to Europe.

We are currently living in Sitges, a small Mediterranean fishing village just outside of Spain‘s second largest city, Barcelona. This area of Europe has so much to offer in terms of climate, landscape, cultural activities, and standard of living. Plus, the international airport is well connected, allowing us to easily travel throughout Europe…which we do often.

Since moving to Spain in March 2012, we’ve wandered the streets of Rome, eaten pizza in front of the leaning Tower of Pisa, tasted wine in Tuscany, traveled to the tippy tops of the Swiss Alps, enjoyed fish and chips in an old English pub, locked our love on a bridge in Paris, explored dozens of ancient castles and so much more.

The best thing about living in Spain, however, is that we don’t have to travel anywhere in order to enjoy ourselves. The Mediterranean Sea is literally our backyard, where we soak in the sun, play paddleball, surf and boogie board as often as we can. It never grows old.

On a typical day, we wake up around 8 a.m. to sip a café con leche and eat a big breakfast on our seafront balcony. Then we hang out at the beach or run a few errands together, which might include a short walk along the beach and up a few cobblestone streets to our local market. There we buy fresh seafood and produce for half the price we pay in the U.S. We don’t own a car because we don’t need one—we can walk everywhere. And if we need to visit the city for some reason Barcelona is only a 30-minute train ride away.

In order to afford this lifestyle, we start working around 2 p.m. We are too young to have retirement funds or pensions, and we don’t come from wealthy families, so we have to produce an income each month.

We’ve always had the dream of running a business together, so we decided to build our services around a portable business model. We use video conferencing, document sharing, and other web-based services to help us collaborate with clients. Most of them know we travel regularly, but they don’t mind at all. As long as we have a reliable Internet connection, we are able to provide quality services from anywhere in the world.

Juggling different time zones can be a challenge sometimes, but the freedom and flexibility of a portable business is definitely worth the extra effort. I don’t think we’ll be giving up this lifestyle anytime soon.

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