It’s been six months since we’ve done an update on life and work, and that’s simply because time has been flying by. They say time flies when you’re having fun (and getting older) so I guess both are true in our case!
It’s honestly hard to believe that we’ve been back in Grenada since February, and apart from a quick trip to Chicago and a month-long visit with friends and family in Canada, we’ve been here, on this Caribbean rock…and loving it.
This island is far from a digital nomad hot-spot. It doesn’t have any co-working spaces, any “real” cafes, and it’s not affordable like some islands in Indonesia and Thailand. But to us, it doesn’t matter – it has what we want and need right now.
We’ve now been in Grenada for eight months (with a month away), which is the longest we’ve stayed in one spot since our teaching jobs in China way back in 2012.
Over these past months we’ve had a lot of time to reflect and think about what we want from life, and from business. Staying still has allowed everything to sink in, and has given us a chance to process and plan.
☞ See Also:
- A Life Update: Reconnecting and Rejuvenating in Grenada
- Working and Living in Grenada: An Update From The Caribbean
Staying Put is Good For Business
This may seem obvious, but since we run an online business, it’s important that we stay put (or at least, travel slowly) in order to build our website and continue to grow.
This sounds easy enough, right?
Well, for people who get itchy feet like we do, it’s a bit difficult to stop travelling and put down some roots for a while. In 2017, we visited 13 countries and although we had such a great year of travel experiences, our website became very stagnant and we weren’t happy with how things were.
As we rang in 2018 and reflected on 2017, we both realized that we needed to seriously consider renting a place for a few months so that we could get our website to where it needed to be. It wasn’t that our website wasn’t profitable or paying for our life of travel, but it hadn’t grown in 12 months and it was the first time in a long time that it plateaued.
From January 1, 2018 until now (October, 2018) our monthly income has more than doubled, our website traffic has increased by 185%, and we have some new partners that we’re really pleased to be working with.
Not only have our numbers increased, but we’ve been able to focus on the quality of our content that we’re sharing and actually start some new ventures. Nick has created a VIP Facebook Group for his blogging course students and I’ve been working on growing our Lifestyle Facebook Group.
We’re both really enjoying connecting and engaging with our online communities.
All of this happened in just 8 months of living in the tropics, while living a relaxed lifestyle and working with views of palm trees and the ocean. We’re incredibly happy that our efforts have paid off significantly and feel confident that we will only be increasing in volume and income as the months pass.
While we are impressed by the growth in income, it’s the traffic growth that we’re especially proud of. This means that we’ve been able to reach more people and hopefully inspire them to turn travel into a lifestyle.
Wanting to Be a Part of a Community
As bloggers, we’ve always had an online community of influencers (and in fact, we connect with them daily). But we were ready to be a part of an actual real-life community of like-minded friends.
During our 10 years of nomadism, people have always commented that they can’t believe we don’t have a base or that we don’t return home in between trips.
“Don’t you get lonely?!” “Don’t you miss having friends?” “Aren’t you tired?!”
The answer was always “No”. We had each other and we loved exploring the world together! If we were tired, we’d stay put for a couple of months to chill out.
Last year, however, when we were living in Canggu Bali we got a taste of what it was like to have a group of like-minded friends around. We surrounded ourselves with digital nomads, travellers and remote workers and really loved all of the inspiration, information and laughs that we shared.
Since Bali, that feeling of community has been in the back of our minds, and it was something that we wanted to experience again.
One Monday after being in Grenada for 3 months I published a post on Facebook with me floating in the pool, it read:
“I can handle these kinda Monday “blues”! (and greens 😂) What’s your Monday looking like? Share a photo in the comments! 📸”
To which a new follower shared a photo of his coffee with a view – a view that looked oddly familiar.
After a few back and forth private messages I learned that not only does he and his wife live in our Parish, but they’re in our neighbourhood, and literally 4 houses up the road!
This was the start of our community of travel-loving friends who are all a similar age. A group which continued to grow.
If you’ve been following our journey since 2014, you’ll know that we used to have house sitting jobs here on the island. Our first pet sit, and my first doggie love, was Spare Dog. Well, since we’re currently renting as opposed to pet sitting here in Grenada, he now has new caretakers – whom I definitely approve of!
They’re our age, world travellers, remote workers and in fact, they even started their blog through us – make sure to check them out: The Dharma Trails. What a small world. Naturally, we’ve become close friends with them as well.
With this community of amazing people, we’ve hiked in the rainforest, had numerous pool parties, gone sailing aboard the stunning Savvy boat, enjoyed meals out, partied at local fetes, and have spent numerous chilled days together… with sunset and a glass of wine.
I strongly believe that when things are flowing smoothly and life seems to be aligning, it means we’re following our “Personal Legend” and are on the path to happiness. (if you haven’t yet, make sure to read The Alchemist).
Having a community is something we didn’t have for a long time, but are very grateful for now.
Needing To Find Hobbies
When we’re travelling, we’re doing just that – moving around and seeing new things each day. While on the road, there’s not really a need for ‘things to do’ as exploring is usually more than enough.
Days are spent meeting new people, learning about history, learning about new cultures, sauntering around, eating new foods or taking transportation in between destinations.
Now that we’re stationary for the time being, we need to find things to do to fill the gaps that would normally be spent wandering around a new city, hiking a new trail or going on a cool tour.
At the moment, we work on Goats On The Road about 3 – 4 hours a day. Since we get up around 8:00am and get on the computers (after a nice cup of coffee) at around 9:00am, we need something to do from 1:00pm until bed.
It’s been interesting to see how we’ve both reacted and responded by not having days filled with travel.
Life in the Caribbean is a relaxed pace, and even after all of these years, we still have a bit of the North American mentality of rushing and being in a hurry for everything. We’re trying to make a conscious effort to slow down and just enjoy the moment, and I think we’re doing a pretty good job of that.
Nick has started fly fishing again (something he used to do as a kid), and we bought a kayak for fishing a bit further out from our dock.
We’ve been attending more events – both local and foreign – and going on walks, both old and new paths. Some days Nick goes scuba diving while I chill out on the beach, other days are spent sailing or golfing.
Even though we had spent about a year here before, there are so many things to do in Grenada that we’re still finding new things that we enjoy doing.
But basically, our newest hobby is just living.
We’re enjoying basic, “normal” things like grocery shopping, tending our garden, picking fruit from our trees, going to appointments, meeting up with friends, walking dogs, watching sunset, having BBQ’s, eating dinners at home and reading books in the pool or at the beach.
It’s not so much about ‘doing’, it’s more about ‘being’, which is a new concept for us, and we’re loving every moment of it.
Returning ‘Home’ Was a Good Feeling
In August, we decided to visit Canada for a month to spend time with friends and family while exploring a bit of our home country.
As we were closing up our house here in Grenada and getting ready to head to the airport we both realized that this was going to be the first time in a long time that we’d gone on a trip and returned back home.
The first and only time we have experienced this feeling together was in 2007 (before we started travelling full-time) when we did a 1 week all-inclusive holiday to Mexico. We flew to Tulum, spent a week eating, drinking and sunbathing, and then returned to our home in Calgary, Canada.
Since then, we’ve been continuously moving from destination to destination.
And funny enough, during our trip to Canada, we were constantly in contact with friends back here in Grenada. As our flight landed on the tarmac and the humidity hit our faces, we were both thrilled to be back in our adopted home. We couldn’t wait to enjoy sunset that evening on our private jetty and fall asleep to the sound of tree frogs.
As I mentioned in our last update, even though we have offers for house sits and pet sits here, we’ve decided that we want to rent a house instead.
Why would we give up free accommodation?
Because we want the freedom to come and go as we please. We want to be available for work trips should they arise, or if we feel like a quick (or long) getaway, we can just close up the house and go.
Which is exactly what we did in July when the tourism board invited us on a press trip to promote the amazing things to do in Chicago. Thankfully we didn’t have any petsitting commitments and we were able to jump at the opportunity.
We enjoyed a city break – something completely different from what we experience daily here in the Caribbean. It was a bit of a culture shock and we embraced it to the fullest.
In the near future we’re going on a quick, relaxing holiday to Barbados. Workwise, we’ll be spending time at two properties in Grenada next month and reviewing our stays there. These trips – both work and pleasure – wouldn’t have been possible if we were house sitting, and we’re happy to be available.
As you can tell, we’ve definitely found ourselves gravitating towards a mix of travel and lifestyle, rather than just being nomads. After 10 years of moving, we’re enjoying the stability we’ve found in Grenada.
Travel is our passion and is something that will always be a part of us, we’re just finding more of a balance between exploration and introspection.
This February will mark a year of us arriving in Grenada, and for that anniversary we have made some travel plans which we’re really excited about!
We’re planning a three month backpacking trip filled with trekking, nature and history. Since we live in the Caribbean, we don’t need a beach holiday, so we’re doing the exact opposite with this one.
Stay tuned to find out where we’re headed in February (for 3 months!) 😀
On Goats On The Road, we are continuing to write articles and share our advice about living and working abroad. Our goal has always been to inspire people to travel more, find ways to get paid to travel and make money on the road so that your trip doesn’t have an end date.
The best way that we’ve personally been able to achieve this lifestyle is through blogging, which is why Nick has worked hard on creating his Beginner Blogging Course for those who are just starting out. He’s also in the middle of an SEO course for bloggers, which will be extremely useful and in-depth. Hopefully that will be ready in November!
If you haven’t already, make sure you subscribe to our newsletter so that you receive our latest posts, plus some bonus informational emails. Plus, we have a Facebook group with almost 1,000 people (Turn Travel Into a Lifestyle) and we’d love to have you join.
As always, feel free to email us about any questions you have about remote work, living as a digital nomad, blogging or just travel in general. Thank you for following and supporting our journey!
Bonus – Cost Of Living in Grenada:
Many of you ask us what it costs to live here each month, and to be honest, it isn’t a cheap place – it’s the Caribbean after all! Here are some of our costs in US Dollars (keeping in mind we got an excellent deal on our accommodation):
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