This interview is part of our Love Mondays series, bringing you stories of digital nomad couples from around the world who love their Mondays! You can read more about the series here.
Craig and Linda are the pair behind Indie Travel Podcast. Craig has been a digital nomad for about six years and Linda has been an on-and-off digital nomad for about the same amount of time.
I spoke to Linda about how they’ve managed to make money from their passion and their thoughts on digital nomadism.
How did you life of digital nomadism begin?
When we started travelling, we worked as English teachers to support ourselves, but within a year we started Indie Travel Podcast. It was a hobby with a business plan — we hoped to make money but weren’t quite sure how to achieve it.
As time went on, ITP started to make money and Craig worked on that and various other projects full-time while I continued doing short-term English teaching jobs as well as a lot of the writing and editing of blog posts, podcast shownotes, and ebooks.
About two years ago I decided to do a master’s degree, which would mean being in one place for a year. It’s difficult to run a travel blog if you aren’t travelling, so we put that on hold and Craig started Performance Foundry, a website hosting and development company, using the skills he’d taught himself from working on Indie Travel Podcast. It’s doing really well for an almost brand-new company!
I’ve finished my degree now and plan to work full-time on Indie Travel Podcast.
So these projects bring in your income?
Performance Foundry brings in the bulk of our income but we also make money off travel podcast sponsorships, advertising and affiliate sales on ITP. If we stop for a while and the visas aren’t too challenging, I also find work as an English teacher.
What do you think are particular traits that digital nomads have?
Digital nomads seem to love to be rootless, to be able to pick up everything and move on as the whim takes them. I think most people who are successful with this style of living are diligent but flexible, because work has to be done but the traditional 9-5 work schedule isn’t there unless you want it to be.
What do you think is the most satisfying thing about being able to travel full-time?
For me, full-time travel is the best thing in the world. I love the flexibility of it — both being able to be flexible and having to be!
I also love trying new food, and that’s pretty easy to do when you’re always moving around. Craig is addicted to ‘the new’ and travelling full-time satisfies that itch. He enjoys the sights, sounds, and tastes of new places and is always excited about the next destination, while still enjoying the present one.
Indie Travel Podcast has won awards from the likes of Lonely Planet. Podcasting takes a huge amount of effort. How do you get into a routine to ensure you publish the podcast regularly?
We’ve tried a variety of techniques over the years, and we haven’t always managed to publish regularly.
We’ve recently decided to publish fortnightly rather than weekly, which has eased the pressure a lot, and we schedule a time to do the recording which works for both of us. After that, it’s my responsibility to get it up on time.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve found with podcasting?
One of the biggest challenges is finding a quiet place to record – it can be very difficult! We’ve recorded in parks, in hostel laundries, and in bathrooms all over the place.
Technically, uploading the podcast can be a challenge if the Internet isn’t any good; and it’s always frustrating if a the sound of a recording isn’t of good enough quality and we have to trash it. It takes eight or more hours to put together a 20-30 minute show.
What advantages do you think podcasting has over other means of publishing such as blogging and vlogging?
Podcasting is a lot more intimate than blogging or even vlogging: people can hear your voice and often think of you as a friend even if you’ve never met. Plus, people interact with podcasts in a different way: they can listen to them while exercising or travelling to work, or even while falling asleep.
Also, you don’t have to look at a screen to listen to a podcast. So many of us spend our days looking at screens for work and pleasure, and it’s good to get away from them!
You both work together on the podcast. How do you work together as a team?
Things are changing at the moment! The podcast was always mostly Craig’s responsibility but I’m taking over a lot of the tasks that he used to do, which is a learning experience for me.
We discuss topics and record the show together, then I edit it, upload it, and prepare the shownotes. We both record live sounds while we are out and about and Craig tends to conduct any interviews.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start a podcast?
Making a podcast is really rewarding, but it’s a lot more work than writing a blog. Make sure you know what you want to say before you start and then keep it up!
You can listen to Craig and Linda’s Indie Travel Podcast here.