Kashlee Kucheran quit her job, sold her belongings, and paid off all her debt to start a life of travel.
Kashlee Kucheran is one half of the wife & husband travel blogging duo Travel Off Path. In March 2017, they sold their house and 95% of their belongings to leave it all behind to travel the world. She recently launched her book The High Maintenance Minimalist, which tells their tale of getting debt free and designing a life of freedom and travel. We sat down with her to discuss her life changing journey, her inspirations as a female entrepreneur, and what she has coming up in this new year.
Hi Kashlee, can we start off with you telling a little bit about how this all started? Was it a sudden realization that you guys wanted to pack up and travel the world, or was it more planned out?
Kashlee Kucheran, author of
The High Maintenance Minimalist
I have always had this weird obsession with making travel a bigger part of my life. As far back as I can remember I would find myself (usually at work!) daydreaming about being on some beach or in some exotic country instead. After I met Trevor, my wanderlust starting rubbing off on him and we started traveling together every chance we got. I guess you could say the occasional week vacation was our gateway drug into full time travel.
This year, while in Puerto Vallarta, we had a life changing discussion beside the pool. It started with me saying my typical line: “WHY do we have to go home!? Can’t we just stay here forever?”, in which my husband answered: “Well, if we got rid of our mortgage, I guess we wouldn't have to go home”. We sold our place the next week.
For us, traveling is more of a priority than the ‘security’ of a house, and the debt a mortgage comes with was just holding us back.
Since January, we have sold almost all of our belongings and have committed to traveling the world for the next 10 years.
Why do you say 10 years? What happens after that?
Stop travelling forever. NO! I’m just kidding! At the end of 10 years, we will take a look at our life and go from there. Have we experienced and sampled enough different ways of life across the globe? Or do we still feel a calling to keep the adventure going?
10 years gives us a wonderful opportunity to take our time traveling and discovering more about where we might want to ‘settle down’ later on in life.
It also gives us an opportunity to work on our businesses and save up for our retirement WITHOUT using the traditional ‘get a mortgage for retirement’ route.
So it's a way to keep you guys traveling over a long period of time as opposed to a whirlwind trip around the world.
Can you talk about both of your businesses? Did you guys have experience starting your own businesses prior to the decision to travel full time?
Yes, I think you experience things differently when it’s a ‘slower’ type of travel. We do the touristy things, but we also take time to live like a local. That means we might be in a nice 5 star hotel for a few nights, and then living in an apartment on a residential street for a few weeks. It’s great to be able to see both sides of a country.
We are both serial entrepreneurs, and are always developing and strategizing new businesses.
My husband Trevor works in online marketing, as well as hosting virtual bootcamps that use streaming workout videos for people to follow along.
I am a travel blogger, writer, and soon to be podcast host! My podcast will revolve around the same topics in my book; how to do more with less, and creating freedom to travel more.
Since our businesses are online, we were even more motivated to travel full time! Why not right? If all we need is wifi and our laptops, why stay in one place?
Thats awesome! When you're working in a new place, do you find it difficult to stay in and work? How do you balance time for exploring and time to grow your businesses? What's a typical day for you guys, or is there less routine?
Finding that ‘work life’ balance on the road is the biggest challenge I have ever been faced with! Who wants to be stuck inside a hotel room when the ocean is right outside your door?? (The girl who wants to be able to eat next week, that’s who! Lol!)
But really, it’s a constant lesson in discipline!
When we get to a new location we try and prioritize the week. What TOP three things do we each need to get done this week, no matter what? After those are completed, we create some flex time for the rest of the week and relax a little more. However, there are times (especially in third world countries) when all of the above advice gets tossed out the window. We have been places where the internet or power goes down for 3 days, so we have no choice but to push work aside. This can be a blessing and a curse at the same time! If we are working with important deadlines, there is nothing more frustrating, but if we needed the time away from the computer, it’s perfect timing.
A typical day would be waking up around 7am, checking emails and planning out the day (I know… I am supposed to NOT check my phone the second I wake up, but I DO!), eating the frog and trying to get the most important task done in the AM, sneak in a 30 minute workout, lunch, and then in the afternoon it’s a mix of putting in a good 5 hour work session - OR - taking time to explore if we were super productive in the morning. Trevor might call our ‘exploring’ time work, because he is usually filling the ‘Instagram Husband’ role and snapping endless pictures of me. Poor guy!
As of starting this whole journey, how many places have you two traveled to? Do you have a favorite spot?
Since starting the journey at the beginning of this year, we have been to:
- An 8,000 mile road trip over 40 days to 18 states
- The UK (including Scotland)
- and now Bali
We already have Doha Qatar and NYC set up for just after the new year!
A favorite spot? That question is always so hard to answer!
I feel like I need to see more places to claim a fav, but for some reason Mexico always draws me back. I find it hard to actually NOT go to Mexico. There is just something about the language, the music, the culture… it just captivates me and makes me feel at home.
As a female entrepreneur, what advice would you give to like-minded women?
There has never been more of an opportunity for women to create their own business and future than right NOW! The resources, support, community and tools are all out there and readily available, so take your idea and LEAP!
What has surprised you the most as an entrepreneur?
What's surprised me the most about being an entrepreneur is how my business isn’t about ME at all, it’s all about other people.
I think we all come into this space thinking about ‘me me me’, my logo, my brand, my book… when the success of the business is all about the audience.
Once I figured out it was way less about me, and much more about how I could serve and help others, that is when it all came together!
Who is your greatest female inspiration?
Ever since her first book The Every Girl’s Guide To Live came out a few years ago, I was hooked! Here was a celeb in LA talking all about how to save money, be humble, make a budget, not own too much stuff, live within your means, etc.
She has managed to stay super real despite being in the middle of Hollywood and I admire her for that.
She also is a total boss and tackles multiple projects without hesitation or procrastination and I try and put that attitude into what I do.
You post a lot of great tips and lessons you've learned on your Instagram and Facebook page. What compels you to share such messages? What have you learned in this journey that has surprised you?
As an introvert, I never expected to share as much as I do online, but it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Once I got past the fear of sharing my genuine journey, I realized how much it was helping other people and it motivated me to keep sharing! There are so many people out there looking for real world advice and find a hard time finding any in the filtered world of social media. I want to be a voice for real positive change in this world, even if it means being vulnerable at times.
You have a great book out. Tell us about it, and what is next for the new year?
I am SO excited my book is finally published! I wrote it because I was getting hundreds of emails asking me questions like “How can you afford to travel full time?” And “How were you able to get out of debt just by selling your used stuff?”. I took all those questions plus a few stories from my own personal journey and answered them all in my book, which also comes with printable/editable workbooks to help people take action in their own lives!
I called it The High Maintenance Minimalist because I wanted to show others than minimalism doesn’t have to mean ‘plain’, ‘boring’, or ‘lack’. It can work with a super modern lifestyle and actually give you much more abundance than you ever thought possible!
This year I am launching a podcast to go along with the book, so I can always be interacting with my audience, giving them weekly value, and even learning from other experts along the way!
Check out Kashlee's book The High Maintenance Minimalist: A modern guide to downsizing, decluttering and creating the freedom to travel more on Amazon.
Karin is the co-founder of Arden Cove and co-creator of the Anti-Theft Waterproof Crossbodies - bags created for women who want all the practicality and safety features without compromising in style. Shop ArdenCove.com.