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What is it like to travel around the world? (Reader Questions)

Most people are curious about someone who lives a completely different life than they do. I know we are. So it isn’t a surprise that we get reader questions about our experience traveling around the world. Instead of answering these one by one, we decided to start a video series to share these responses with everyone who might be curious about what it is like to live out of a backpack all over the world.

In this episode of “What is it like to travel around the world?”

  • Do you ever get tired of wearing the same clothes over and over? (where we agree to disagree…sort of)
  • Do you cut your own hair? (where I get a little miffed at the suggestion)
  • What do you miss most from home? (where we reveal what we couldn’t pack but wanted to)

(Click here if you don’t see the video below.)

Do you have any questions for us? Let us know via email or (to make it more fun) in the comments below. I mean, if we’ll share our financial business with you, it means we’re open to sharing almost everything.

Ask away!


PS: Hey, what do you think of our new Kodak PlaySport x3 video camera? We shot this outside, in a city, with a bit of wind and the sound and picture is great! We can even film underwater next time we get to a beach. (We have already pre-tested this by dumping the camera in a glass of water and taping the cats at our house sit. ‘Cause we’re thorough like that!)


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About Betsy

Betsy Talbot can't live without a Moleskine notebook, her passport, and happy hour. She sold everything she owned to travel the world with her husband Warren in 2010, and she's been enjoying her midlife crisis ever since. Betsy writes about creating the life you want from the life you already have in her books and on the Married with Luggage website. Drop her an email at btalbot (at) marriedwithluggage (dot) com and check out her Google+ page.


  1. Love your vlog! Thank you for sharing your journey and inspiring people like me to give serious consideration to a sabbatical trip or even open-ended travel in the very near future. How do you fund your trip? Health insurance? And how do you plan for retirement funds while on the road? Thanks again. Looking forward to more. :-)

    • Hi, Kelly. We have just written *the* book on how to amass the cash for a big trip like ours and will be pushing it out on the interwebs in October. As to your other questions about insurance and retirement, we’ll cover those on the next video segment. Thanks for asking!

      (PS – If you are thinking about a sabbatical you should look into Meet, Plan, Go to meet up with other like-minded career breakers – the events are all over North America on October 17, though you can check out the website/newsletter anytime)

  2. Ha Kelly and Paz beat me to it! I was going to ask money questions too, especially about retirement planning.

    Love the video! Love the both of you. So happy and inspiring :)

  3. rob philip says:

    The times I moved elsewhere for long periods and put most of my stuff in storage I quickly realized that I didn’t need that stuff. Of course, when one returns and unpacks everything, it quickly re-integrates into life. Clearly the answer is to get rid of the stuff rather than storing it next time :)

    The money and retirement question is one I’m interested to get your take on. I’m closer to “retirement” than you two and continue to consider the concept absurd. Of course, I like what I do quite a lot and break up my work life with a 6-month sabbatical every 4-5 years…

    And I think your hair looks fine. :)

    • We were just talking to some new friends about that last week – they’ve been without their stuff for a few months after an international move for work, and when it arrives next week they aren’t sure what they are going to do with it!

      Rob, I think you have the right strategy. I’m not sure I ever want to retire – even in old age – but I certainly want to pick what I do and when I do it. And thanks about the hair (I’m feeling much more shallow than I really am after seeing all the comments of reassurance!)

  4. Yay! You took my suggestion. Love it. And betsy, your hair looks very funky and fab, so no worries on that front. :-)

    PS, love the new camera. Am wondering if you gusy just set it up yourselves and start chatting or is someone else filming you? And PPS, you are both getting so on-camera savvy. I can see a drastic improvement from your first video years ago. So relaxed, eloquent and appraochable. Your media career awaits if/when you ever get back!

    We miss you lots…..

    • Hey, Maria. Thanks for the great suggestion on the “reader questions.” Would you believe we did that video in one take? We go the extreme of either “one take wonders” or “27 takes and I need a drink!”

      We have a gorilla pod tripod and we just set it up on the terrace railing/tree branch/flat surface, check for position, and then start chatting. You make a really great point about the the difference between then and now in quality, and one I want to write about soon. If you don’t start with the yucky, weird, not-even-close-to-good-but-at-least-genuine efforts, you will never get to the point of shooting a video on the fly between grocery shopping and writing and have it resonate with your audience. It goes for every single thing in life, and I’m relearning this lesson again with my book project in requesting feedback. It isn’t great to share your “iffy” stuff, but it is the only way to eventually get to the good stuff. So thanks for bringing that up (now I need to write the post!). :)

  5. You two look great! I for one, LOVE your haircut. (I should, i had it this winter). The camera worked amazingly well. good purchase! Along with shirts. Having sold 70% of our belongings (including a house we poured heat and soul into, and 2 cats) to move to NYC I have to say there is very, very little of all those things that i miss. the 30% we are living with suits us well.

    Have a wonderful time Lyon! It is a fun, managable city with lots of good food and a funicular (I love those!). The textile musuem was a particular hit with me.
    Bon Voyage!

    • Darcey, your hair always looks fantastic, and if you had the same haircut I’ll stop fretting. I remember seeing the video you made of your house before selling it, and I could see all the love and work and attention to detail that went into restoring it. If anyone should be missing a home or possessions after a big life change it should be you. And since you’re not, I think that bodes really well for the rest of us thinking of change of scenery!

      Thanks for the suggestion on the textile museum and funicular – sounds terrific!

  6. Love the video! My vpn actually stayed connected long enough for me to watch it and Youtube played along nicely too.
    My question might be one you get a lot…but here it goes.
    Now that you have decided on living abroad how worried are you about money? If you are not that worried why is that?
    I am guessing it is mostly because you are well under your daily budget and still have two years of funds left…but are you worried about what will happen in two years?
    Warren your Spanish is very good. :)

    • Hey, Paz. I’m glad your technology issues in China are starting to work themselves out. The joys of expat life, eh? :)

      I don’t know that anyone is ever *not* worried about money, even really rich people (maybe even especially rich people, I dunno). But I do think tracking our spending every day helps us stay on top of the budget we’ve set. We will cover your excellent question on worrying about the future in an upcoming video. Thanks for asking!

  7. Tranque Fuller says:

    Yeah, you videos are great; just relaxed and kick-back. Doing videos has always been something I have struggled with; camera goes on . . . brain shuts down–mouth goes into “babble over-drive”! And it becomes an “uh” fest! “Hello . . . uh . . . this . . . uh . . . is . . . uh . . .” Spit it out already! I’ve finally taken to doing those “edgy” videos with all the massive cuts and and edits — not because its “hip” . . . just because it is the only way I can get a video done. lol!!!

    You two on the other hand . . . that’s one take? You gotta be kidding me! Even funny and witty of-the-cuff comments to boot.

    The hair question has NOTHING to do with the quality of the cuts, I assure you. It is only because either they’ve read where you have said you did your own hair or people just think of the circumstances of your life traveling around like you do and think, “Hey, they must need to cut their own hair.” (Women must be asking this . . . I don’t think guys would think it through like that.)

    By the way Betsy, I think your cut is great–very “hip” and . . . I dunno . . . perky? Warren on the other hand . . . have you considered a Mississippi Mudflap? Or maybe a total shave except with the pony-tail coming of the side a la Yul Brynner in the Tend Commandments — something that really speaks to your personality more. ;)

    As far as questions go . . . I . . . uh . . . can’t seem to think of any. And why would anyone want to ask you questions anyway? lol!!!!!! (Relax all yous guys that think I’m “being rude” –its an “inside joke”. ;)

    My Question:
    Of course, even “on the road” life isn’t all about seeing sites and hanging out in bars and restaurants and drinking fine ales and great food (uh . . . or is it?),

    Anyway, What are the sorts of things you do on your “down” time, and what is your typical “mix” of being out “seeing sites” and just being back “home”. Also, how much “touristy” stuff do you partake of — do you find yourself doing any of the typical stuff that “tourists” do and how have you integrated that into your budget as this stuff is usually more expensive?

    Be Present. Expect Success. Live with Passion!

    • Tranque, you crack me up. That is also a question we get a lot – “what do you guys do all day?” An excellent topic to tackle on a future video. The answer just might surprise you.

      As for the videos, like I told Maria above, sometimes it is one take (actually, most often), but when it goes past 1 take we know it is going to be a doozy. We usually just put it off at that point because the mojo is just not there. Better to wait for it to return than to try to force it.

      But then, we have a very benevolent production company that lets the talent call the shots. :)

  8. Your hair looks great, Betsy, and it’s so cute the way you look at each other. Like you’re absorbing each other’s energy and giving some back at the same time. Super-charged radiance!

  9. Hi guys…love your video (and love your hair Betsy…lucky you don’t have to colour the grey away every month like me, now that’s an added expense I can’t live without!).

    I guess my question has to do with the future too – do you guys ‘check’ out the places you visit and think ‘hmm, this is where I’d like to spend my retirement’, or do you plan to return to the US when you are too old to travel..and at least you are close to relatives?

    My husband and I aren’t too much older than you but for some reason I can’t get over thinking where I want to ‘end up’. I mean, I want to travel AMAP (as much as possible) while I still can, that is, while I’m still healthy and can still afford overseas health insurance (which, at least for us Canadians, skyrockets when you have health issues or are over a certain age). Maybe it’s because I live in a town with a really high seniors population (almost 20% of our 20,000 population are over 65)…don’t get me wrong, I love seniors but I’m constantly reminded I’ll be one before I know it!

    • Joanna, this is a great question. I tease Warren all the time about turning into an old man with the loose change jingling in his pocket and a ready supply of hard candies with him at all times. He is a grandpa in the making! The future is something people ask about a lot and we will cover it in a future episode. (Have you ever thought those seniors are looking at you and wishing for the good old days?) :) Thanks, Joanna!

  10. You are both too cute!! Thanks for another great video. I look forward to your posts every day. Thanks for being such an inspiration, not only when it comes to travel, but life in general! I can tell you really like each other and enjoy life.

    • Thanks, Daryle. You know, we really worried about being together 24/7 when we left on this trip, but it has worked out remarkably well. I think it is a make-it-or-break-it way to test a relationship (and yourself), for sure. :)

  11. Okay…I am not sure if there is a one question rule or not…but I am going to break it if there is.
    2. How do you keep your electronic gadgets compact & in one piece while traveling? We have 2 laptops, camera, flip video, point & shoot camera, and a few other little gadgets and they are very hard to pack and we always worry about them while traveling. We actually had one of our laptops stolen from Chicago to Hong Kong. Never to be seen again. I love my lowepro pack for my camera and it doubles as a great bag for all of the stuff our kids need, and purse. But with the other gadgets do you have a special bag or way of packing?
    3. Do you have a kindle? How do you read your books? I have been thinking of getting a kindle but love writing and underlining in the books that I read and I am on the fence. I am not a huge fan of the ipad mainly because of the cost I don’t think I could use it much for writing as I don’t like the keyboard that much…but maybe I am wrong. You tell me? Please
    4. Is there a city that you have been to that you felt like you met more like minded people? When we think about possibly ever settling down in an area for a while the idea of being surrounded by public transportation and like minded folk has gone up on our list a bit since living in China.
    Okay obviously I really broke the one question rule…if there was one. :) Sorry!

    Love this idea!
    Besos from China!

    • Paz, these are great questions! I’m sorry to hear about your laptop getting stolen. We have been pretty lucky in this regard, and I think you’ll like the tips we have for keeping gadgets safe. And I won’t spill the beans here, but you do know the Kindle has an underline feature, right? :) Excellent questions, and we will cover all of them. Thank you.

      • rob philip says:

        I love my iPad. I used it exclusively as my travel computer for 5 weeks in NZ. As well as my music source and my books. It would probably be hard to do extensive writing on it, but you get used to the virtual keyboard very fast.

      • The iPad is great, but not great for me in writing. I have a bluetooth keyboard to use, and for straight writing it is okay. But when you combine that with website writing or any kind of design/revision work it is really hard to do moving between screens and such. I love the iPad for surfing/reading, but not for working. It would be a great tool for vacations and shorter-term trips – where hopefully you wouldn’t be working anyway! :)

  12. GREAT video guys! (and what a lovely patio you are on…) ;) I get asked the ‘what do you miss’ question all the time too and my answer is the same as yours: those little moments with friends and family. Being located primarily in Brussels my other big miss is the ocean. Andrew and I bother grew up on the Atlantic and that is the thing I love about being back ‘home’ to visit – walking on near deserted beaches and listening to the surf. Even though we’ve amassed a pile of stuff again in 6 years of being in Belgium, I know I wouldn’t have any problem, the next time around, ditching it all to move and/or travel. Stuff isn’t important at all compared to the experiences and connections you make on the road :)

    • Alison, you are the perfect person to speak to this having lived overseas for 6 years. You gave it all up, have accumulated a bit of new stuff since, and yet you are still willing to give it all up again for new experiences. I love that. It is no wonder we hit it off so well.

  13. Very nice vlog! Look forward to more and more …I’m
    hooked! I guess I see you two as kind of “missionaries ”
    So to speak….. missionaries of … being proactive
    Discovering your dream and practically and actually making
    it happen! Good vibes and messages you’re putting out

  14. Can I ask what you do about your mail? I looked into mailboxes and post office boxes but it seems they want you to physically empty them regularly. Also I have found that most banks dont accept PO boxes as an address, so what do you do for a postal address in this situation?


    • Great question, Rob. You’d be surprised at how hard it is to live without a phone or permanent address because banks, credit cards, etc., require them. We do have an answer for you, though! Stay tuned.

  15. Ya, this is very interesting to spent most of time out of home or we can see to see all beautiful place of world I am also want to see all beautiful places. As such I din’t visit most of place till now because due to some busy life but of course I will be do. This is very obvious question what happen what happen when people travel around the world. Thank you for sharing this answer through video series it will be solve most of quarries.


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