As we have been promising for a while, we are bringing you the first in our ongoing series of interviews with people who are using their skills, experiences, and passions to make money while living their own dream of travel and adventure.
Today we are bringing you an awesome interview with Kristin Hanes, freelance writer, voiceover talent and blogger extraordinaire! Kristin operates “The Wayward Home” site, which not only chronicles her adventures with boyfriend Tom but also delves into all kinds of subjects regarding alternative living. Her blog receives tens of thousands of visitors every month who are educated and inspired through the tales of Kirstin and the other people whose stories she shares.
Kristin has had some exciting adventures since sort of backing her way into this lifestyle in 2015 when she chose to go live with Tom in his car in order to cut costs and eliminate some debt. From that beginning, the couple has fallen in love with the freedom of the travel lifestyle and now live aboard their sailboat cruising the seven seas in search of adventure. We really enjoyed putting this interview together and hope that you find inspiration in her journey.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came to live the amazing life that you lead?
I’m a freelance writer and journalist in the San Francisco Bay area and I came upon this lifestyle more as a consequence than a choice. I was laid off from my full-time job as a radio news reporter at KGO – a dream job – and knew I didn’t want to go into debt. Plus, Tom and I had lived in a Toyota Prius the year before to pay off debt and save money, so I was really motivated not to go into debt again. I put in notice at my awesome floating home in Sausalito and moved onto Tom’s sailboat, which at first, had zero amenities. No toilet, no stove, no heating. But there was something magical about it – how I felt so close to nature and started loving being in a small space with Tom. I loved cooking on our backpacking stove while he was just a few feet away, feeling fresh air stream into the boat from the companionway. It also had its struggles. We weren’t allowed to live on the boat so had to sometimes sneak aboard, and sometimes go sleep in the Toyota Prius. We’d also try to go camping or travel to get away from the marina.
When and how did you decide that you wanted to become a full-time traveler?
Once I’d been living on the sailboat for a while, I couldn’t imagine going back to a full-time job and an apartment. Plus, Tom bought the sailboat with the motivation that we’d go sail the world someday, so I’d been thinking about it for a couple years. We aren’t sailing the world yet, but I still travel frequently. I love going to my home state of Oregon and also exploring California. I just bought a Chevy Astro van so am planning on taking many more camping trips and “land yacht” explorations while the sailboat is undergoing restoration for world travel.
What do you love the most about this lifestyle?
I love the freedom and adventure! Every month is different. For example, in June I spent time in L.A. visiting my Grandma, Portland visiting my family, Minnesota visiting Tom’s family, then road-tripping to Banff National Park and Hood River, Oregon. I love being out in nature and away from the constant stresses of traffic and humanity.
What profession did you have before you started traveling?
I’d been a news reporter for 14 years in Portland, Seattle, Sacramento and San Francisco.
Explain what you do for work now?
My work is now cobbled together. I do freelance writing, monetize my blog, and sometimes do voiceover work for a company in the Silicon Valley. I also pet sit as a way to make a little extra money and have a real “house” to live in for a while. I sometimes pet sit in 3 million-dollar mansions which I find hilarious.
What does a typical day look like for you?
When I’m housesitting, I make coffee and start working right away! I love working on my blog and my freelance writing projects. If I’m staying on the boat, we usually wake up and head to our gym, where we drink coffee. The gym has a nice cafe and working area so I stay there until about 3 pm, then head back to the sailboat while Tom works on boat projects. When I’m traveling, I try to squeeze in work here and there whenever I can!
What is the biggest challenge you face on the road/sea?
Working enough! When I travel, all I want to do is see nature and hang out with people, so getting motivated to get work done can be tricky.
How do you stay connected on the road? (wifi)
Right now I have a Verizon hotspot which works really well. I don’t know yet what I’ll do about the internet when cruising on the sailboat. I’ll probably have a simple way to check email using a satellite system, then rely on local WiFi to plug in and really get stuff done when we’re in a town.
Do you ever think you will go back to being stationary living in a house?
Right now I can’t really imagine it. I love living all over the place. I can imagine having a tiny house or cabin somewhere I go live a few months out of the year. Ideally, I’d like one in Minnesota and one in Oregon, haha. Then the sailboat for the water and the van for land. Then I think I’ll be covered 🙂
Grainne Foley grew up in Ireland and spent summers caravanning around Europe with her family. Now, as a wife and mother of 2, she spent 5 years traveling the USA as a full time RVing family. She is passionate about travel, and helping others who are considering the RV lifestyle. She has created dozens of helpful RVing checklists which are available throughout the website, and has curated hundreds of simple, flavorful meals for families on the go.