Quit His Job to Travel Full-Time / Tips on Downsizing & Saving

Quit His Job to Travel Full-Time / Tips on Downsizing & Saving


In today’s video, I have a special treat for
you. I’m interviewing Kevin Martin from the YouTube
channel 30 and a Wake Up. If you want to learn how to be a digital nomad,
stick around. He’s got some great tips and tricks for how
to get started. I’m meeting Kevin Martin of 30 and a Wake
Up. He flew out from New York City to start his
adventure of being a digital nomad, traveling to one country every 30 days. There he is, the man of the hour. Oh my god, Amber from Story Chasing. It’s like I’m meeting a celebrity. It’s so good to finally meet you. I’m going to give you a hug. Nice to meet you. Good to meet you. All right, let’s go do this. First order of business, coffee. I’m going to get a grande flat white with
soy. A venti white chocolate mocha. Okay, you want whipped cream? Yeah, please. This is Kevin’s first shoot as a full time
travel blogger. Just quit my job, about two days ago. So how does it feel to be unemployed? Feels fabulous, actually. Little bit scary. But, in a good way, like the good kind of
fear that, you know, that you’re taking a chance to live your best life. We’re over here at the Xeriscape Gardens in
Scottsdale, Arizona. I’m with Kevin. He’s about to set out on his one year travel
with Remote Year, and we’re gonna find out a little bit more about him. Why don’t you talk to us about 30 And A Wake
Up, why that name? Yeah, so I was in the military for 20 years. I did six deployments. And when a military person is on deployment,
they have kind of like a countdown they do for when they return home. So if they have 100 days ’til they return
home, they’ll say, “99 and a wake up.” I wanted to travel slowly and spend more time
in each country, so my channel’s called 30 And A Wake Up because I’m gonna spend 30 days
in a country, and the next day I’m gonna wake up in another country. So Kevin, you just quit your job. Was it like, two days ago? Yeah, two days ago I quit my job as a corporate
lawyer to become a travel vlogger, you know, like, what could go wrong? Nothing, that’s actually a pretty great adventure. So you’re traveling around the world. Why don’t you talk to us about where you’re
going and I think I saw a video of you doing remote year? Yeah, so I’m actually doing a program called
Remote Year, and what Remote Year is is basically a travel company that takes a bunch of professionals
and handles all the logistics of traveling for them. So what’s the premise around moving every
30 days? What are you actually gonna do for 30 days
in each country? I like to travel a little bit different than
most people. I like to go beyond the touristy things. So I plan on just absorbing as much of the
culture in each of the places that I go as I possibly can. Why would you decide to do something like
Remote Year versus just booking all the travel yourself and figuring out what countries you
want to go to? So like I said, I quit my job as a corporate
lawyer to become a travel vlogger. And what I really liked about Remote Year
was they handle all the logistic side of traveling, and I can just focus 100% on travel vlogging
and experiencing the different cultures and everything without having to worry about logistical
side of traveling. Basically what remote year does for you is
they book all the flights, they book all the lodging, you get a pass to a coworking space,
they handle anything that comes up while you’re traveling. All I have to do is focus on being a travel
vlogger. And that’s kind of what I wanted to do for
my first year. So after Remote Year I plan on continuing
to travel and doing all that stuff myself but while I’m building this channel in the
very beginning I like the idea of having someone handle all the logistics for me. So what’s your first country you’re going
to? So the first place we’re starting off at is
Lima, Peru. And then we’re gonna head over to Santiago,
Chile. And then we’re heading to Medellín, Columbia. And then to Mexico City, Mexico, and then
we’re gonna shoot over to Southeast Asia. We’re gonna go to Hanoi, Vietnam, Kyoto, Japan,
Chiang Mai, Thailand, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. And then we’re gonna shoot over to Europe
to Split, Croatia, Valencia, Spain, Lisbon, Portugal, and then we’ll head down to South
Africa, Cape Town. Basically four continents over a 12 month
period and 12 different cities and different countries. Dude, that sounds pretty cool. Are you excited? I know, it’s … super excited. I didn’t mention this before but another reason
I chose Remote Year was because it’s going to go to cities that I might not have went
to on my own. So it kinda gets me out of my comfort zone
a little bit and I’m excited about that. And also, I’m a little bit of an introvert. I know you probably can’t tell, but I am. And basically you travel and work with a group
of people, so I’ll meet people that are into a similar lifestyle more easily than I would
if I just would have started traveling on my own. So, in Remote Year, do they actually have
a space for you to work in the apartment that you’ll be in, or how does that work? Every apartment that they book will definitely
have internet speed where you can work in the apartment. But unlike me, most people that travel with
Remote Year have jobs, they’ve just talked their employer into allowing them to do it
remotely, so they need to have a space they can work. So in each city, Remote Year has coworking
spaces, and those coworking spaces have high speed internet, they have conference rooms,
so professionals can continue their career, they’re just doing it remotely. What kind of camera is that? This is the Sony A6500 and I have the Sony
Zeiss 16-70mm lens on it right now. Why did you opt to go with that particular
camera? I wanted the best camera I could get that
was small and compact and the A6500 just seemed to fit that bill. Most travel vloggers have the Joby Gorillapod,
but I have a gimbal that I like to travel with, and so having another big thing to lug
around didn’t seem very feasible for me. So I went with this Bendy tripod ’cause I
can just fold it up into a really small size. Oh, that’s pretty sweet. Yeah. It acts very similar to a Joby Gorillapod,
you know, you can do the hole Casey Neistat thing with it, still. I’m like amazed by these cactuses. I thought this was, like, only something that
was in Bugs Bunny cartoons. So Kevin, you said you were in the military
for 20 years? Yeah. And you were also an attorney. Kind of a weird transition. I spent 20 years in the military, mostly in
human resources. I’m a retired Navy command master chief, an
E9. After I retired, I kind of wanted to reinvent
myself and do something different so I decided to go to law school. I joined the military straight out of high
school and it was always kind of some unfinished business for me. I got my undergraduate a piece at a time going
to mostly online universities, and I always wanted to have a real university experience,
and so when I retired from the military in 2015 I decided to go to law school. I was fortunate enough to get into a pretty
good law school, Georgetown. And then I went to a big law firm as a corporate
lawyer. And where was that law firm at? That law firm was in New York City. That’s like, a pretty amazing place to live. How did you like it there? Yeah, I loved New York City, it was great. That was one of the catalysts that lead me
to quitting my job as a corporate lawyer and becoming a travel vlogger. Is when you’re a corporate lawyer, even though
I was at a great firm, with great people, you work long, long hours. And one day someone asked me, “How do you
like New York?” And I said, “I don’t know. I just see it from my window at my office.” And so that was kind of the catalyst to me
deciding that I wanted to do something different. I also had a little bit of a health scare,
found out I had a little bit of skin cancer. Luckily it was curable really easy, that’s
how I got this little scar right here. They went in and chopped out some basal cell
skin cancer. It was nothing serious, but it kind of made
me realize that you only live once, life is short, and go out and do what makes you happy. And traveling makes me happy. I was trying to figure out what job I could
do traveling, and I’m like, well, I watch all these travel vloggers like Story Chasing
and Beer for Breakfast and Remote Darren, and a bazillion others. And so I figured, I can do that. And so here I am. What’s great about this Hero7 is it has the
stabilization, so you don’t really have to do a whole lot. The Sonoran Desert Preserve is so beautiful
out here. It’s one of the things that I love about being
able to travel around North America is to see all of the different topography. So there’s just different kinds of cactuses
everywhere. Got your jumping cactus, your saguaro cactus,
your regular cactus, I don’t know what that is, all kind of cactuses. But it is beautiful. And in the very beginning, I really did not
appreciate the desert very much. But now I’ve come to really love it and enjoy
what it has to offer. And the sunsets in Arizona, they’re pretty
amazing. Kevin, what do you think about the desert? I’m actually amazed, it’s like beautiful. I’m very surprised, I didn’t realize Arizona
would be this beautiful. We just saw some road runners, and obviously
we got these cartoon-sized cactuses. So I kind of feel like I’m like, a Looney
Tunes cartoon. Kinda feels that way. In a way. Like a real life one. It’s pretty cool. And this is definitely a place I’m adding
to my list. Does this kind of get you pumped for your
travel now? Yeah, it does. If this is any indication of what’s to come
I’m exactly where I want to be. Hey, so Kevin, on my channel I have a lot
of people who are still in the research phase of traveling full time. Do you have any advice or tips that you want
to give them to newbie travelers? Yeah. I mean, I’m new, so I’m kind of the perfect
person to ask. I have a couple tips. My first one is, find a travel point system
that works for you and start building up travel points with your regular spend. I’m a very anti-debt person so at first I
was a little apprehensive about getting a credit card. But then I realized you could get so many
travel perks by getting one of the travel system credit cards. And so my recommendation to people would be
to find a travel point system that works for you, and start building points with the normal
amount of money that you spend. Obviously I’m not advocating debt at all. Every time I charge something on my credit
card, I pay it off that night. I never carry any kind of balance. I’ve been amazed with how many credit card
points I’ve been able to build up just with my normal spend, when I buy food, or when
I go to a restaurant. Every time I spend money doing those things
I would normally do, I’m building up points. In this last year I’ve been able to travel
completely for free, like, my first spot for Remote Year is Lima, Peru, and you have to
pay for your ticket to the first spot. Well, mine was free, it was just credit card
points. That’s amazing that you can do that ’cause
you really don’t have to change your spending habits. No. You just put it on the credit card, it gives
you the reward points, so you’re not going out and spending a bunch of money just to
get reward points. So Kevin, I know one of the things about traveling
full time is starting to downsize. Can you give my viewers some tips on how they
can actually start downsizing and minimalize their life? Whether they’re going to RV or travel the
world by air. Yeah. So like, minimalism is a big part of my life
right now, and it’s one of the reasons that I’m able to travel full time. My advice would be to start living like you
would if you were traveling full time. In order to do that you just need to scale
down the stuff you have. I just started getting rid of stuff. And it was hard at first, ’cause I had a lot
of sentimental attachments to things, but the pictures you have, scan them, and have
them digitally. Maybe some of the keepsakes that you have
that have been in a closet for five years and you’re like, “At some point I’m gonna
put this on my wall,” but you never do, take a picture of that. You can always go back and look at the picture. I got rid of pretty much everything so I could
live like I would when I would be traveling full time. And this does two things. Number one, it prepares you for full time
travel. But another thing it does is it helps you
save money because you quit buying stuff. Once you stop buying stuff, you’ll be shocked
by how much money you can save. I was spending so much money on silly stuff
on Amazon and all kinds of other places, just to spend money. I don’t even know why. And I was accumulating stuff, my drawers were
filling up, and once I adopted minimalism I realized that I only wear a few shirts. I only wear a few pair of my favorite jeans. And I just scaled down to that stuff. And it actually made me a lot happier ’cause
now I can wear this shirt I really like, you know, multiple times a week and not feel silly
about it. Right. And you’re not spending so much money. That’s one of the things, is saving your money,
getting out of debt. So starting to minimalize your life and being
able to save that money that you’re always spending on Amazon or decorating your house. That will go a long ways to helping you save
money for full time travel. Plus, again like I said, you have to minimalize
your life if you want to travel full time. I’m talking about full time travel, I’m not
talking about a vacation. I’m talking about living out of a backpack
for, you know, for me hopefully the rest of my life. Right. I would love to travel full time forever. I’ve seen your video on how you’re packing
your bags to go on full time travel. I am actually in awe and totally inspired
by you and what you’re doing. He’s bringing, what, one suitcase? It’s a backpack, right? Yeah, I’m bringing one backpack. I have a 30 liter Osprey backpack and an over
the shoulder satchel. That’s amazing. So you’re carrying one backpack with your
equipment, basically, and another pack, right? Yeah, all my vlogging equipment. Okay. Which takes up a majority of the backpack. So I had to be really strategic about the
clothes that I selected. If you watch my channel, you’ll know that
I’m a huge advocate of merino wool. Definitely go subscribe. He’s got merino wool reviews. I was, another shocking video for me was to
see what great benefits come from wearing merino wool and how you really don’t have
to pack many clothes if you have merino wool clothes. Yeah, I mean, the great thing about merino
wool, I don’t want to bore your audience too much, but it, you don’t have to wash it as
often because it’s antimicrobial. You can wear it for an extended period of
time. The founder of one of the companies, Unbound
Merino, he wore his shirt for like 30 straight days and like, had a smell test where his
girlfriend smelled it at the end. You can wear it more times than you would
a cotton shirt, and it won’t smell or anything like that. So when you’ve worn yours for like 30 days,
are you gonna have someone do the smell test? If I can find somebody, like, willing to do
that. I’m sure you could. Maybe I will. Maybe I’ll do that. If you want me to do a video where I wear
all my merino stuff, and that includes underwear, I have merino wool underwear as well. If you want a video of me wearing it for an
extended period of time and then trying to figure out someone that’ll do a smell test,
just comment below in Amber’s video that that’s what you want to see. Yeah, but if you actually get some merino
wool, they’re a little bit more expensive but they last longer. You’ll be able to pack less. I actually like that for people who are traveling
in RVs too, especially us van lifers because there’s not a lot of space in the vans to
keep your clothes. Yeah. And I end up having to roll mine up and put
them in the cabinets and although I could probably downsize my wardrobe, it’s really
nice to be able to have something like that where you don’t have to wash it as much, takes
up less space because you don’t have to have as many clothes. Yeah, I mean, space is a commodity. Yeah. When you’re traveling full time. Whether it’s in a van, or like me where you
have a 30 liter Osprey bag. What kind of coffee are you drinking there,
Kevin? This is kind of embarrassing because I was
a command master chief in the US Navy. We’re kind of famous for drinking black nasty
thick coffee. I like froufrou coffee and I’m not ashamed
to admit it. So this is a white chocolate mocha. What are you gonna do when you’re in Thailand
trying to drink froufrou coffee? Do they have froufrou coffee there? They absolutely do. Especially in Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai has like … Chiang Mai’s coffee
culture actually rivals Seattle’s coffee culture. Oh, wow. It has an amazing coffee culture. And Thai coffee is actually a really cool
thing to drink, too. In my time with getting to know Kevin, not
only did I find out that he loves his froufrou coffee drinks, but he also loves Mexican food. We literally went to three different Mexican
food restaurants in 24 hours. He’s a big huge chips and salsa fan, just
like me. I genuinely love Mexican food, but let me
tell you, Kevin gave me a run for my money with the amount of times that we ate Mexican
food. He was in heaven because he didn’t have it
that much in New York City, and Arizona, as you know, has amazing Mexican food. Hello. How’s it going? Did you film me filming myself? I did. Think I’m gonna take this van with me. If they’ll let me bring it on the flight. All the way to Lima, Peru? This would be great to ride up to Machu Picchu. Oh, good. Maybe I’ll meet you down there. Yeah. So thanks for having me, Amber, and showing
me around Scottsdale, Arizona, and doing an interview with me. Hopefully some of your subscribers will come
over to my channel and follow my adventure, 30 and A Wake Up. Absolutely. Everybody subscribe. Subscribe below. Like this video if you enjoyed me, and even
if you didn’t enjoy me, if you enjoyed Amber you can also like video. For sure. You have safe travels! I will! I’m so excited to hear more from you. I’m sure you guys loved this video. Make sure you go over to Kevin’s channel at
30 and A Wake Up. I’ll put his channel name in the description
box and in the pinned comment so you can go sub to his channel. Have fun. Bye! Get out of here.

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