We are Simon Fairbairn and Erin McNeaney, a digital nomad couple who sold everything we owned and left the UK in 2010 to travel the world indefinitely.
We write in-depth travel guides to help you plan your perfect trip to both popular and off-the-beaten-track destinations. We share tips on packing light, the best vegetarian food we find along the way, and the ups and downs of nomadic life.
On our Start Here page you can find our recommended posts to get you started.
How We Became Digital Nomads
In 2008 we spent a year travelling around India, South East Asia, Australia, the South Pacific and the US and we experienced more in that year than we had in the previous ten. We met some wonderful people, saw some amazing places and did some incredible things. It was awe-inspiring and beautiful and frustrating and scary and exciting – it was everything but dull.
On our return to the UK, we found it very difficult to get back into the routine that we’d left. The mortgage, the bills, the car, our accumulated junk, the tedious repetitiveness of the nine to five – having experienced the vastness of the world and all of the opportunity out there, we struggled to fit back into business as usual.
So we decided to head off again, but this time we left for good. We sold everything we owned, quit our jobs, rented out our house and headed out to play dice with destiny.
Our Journey So Far
We left the UK on 1st March 2010 with a one-way ticket to Rio de Janeiro. We spent the first year in South America and since then have visited Asia, Europe, Africa, Central and North America, the Middle East, and Oceania.
We’ve had countless incredible experiences over the years. Highlights include getting up close to lions and leopards on safari in South Africa, climbing huge sand dunes and kayaking with baby seals in Namibia, learning to sail a yacht in Malaysia, riding a hot air balloon ride over otherworldly Cappadocia in Turkey, falling in love with Japan, eating our way around Italy and working it off with a hike up an active volcano, snorkelling with turtles in Mexico (and releasing baby turtles into the sea), staying in an overwater bungalow in the Maldives, visiting most of the Disney parks in the world, running a half-marathon in California wine country, and so much more!
We love good food, responsible wildlife encounters, snorkelling, train journeys, road trips, riding motorbikes and horses, not-too-long hikes, and special places to stay. Our favourite way to explore a city (or best of all, an Italian hilltown) is by aimless wandering with frequent breaks for eating.
You can see where we’ve been and read about our experiences on our Destinations page.
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How We Fund Our Travels
We are digital nomads, so where there’s internet (and sometimes even where there isn’t), we work.
Simon started out doing web design and development and after a few years launched Voyage Travel Apps, creating iPhone apps that make your travels easier. Our main app Trail Wallet is an easy travel expense tracker. Designed to be fast, it takes the headache out of expense tracking so you can focus on the fun.
Most of our income comes from affiliate sales and advertising on this site. In 2016, Erin wrote her first book, The Carry-On Traveller: The Ultimate Guide to Packing Light, which shares our packing tips based on over six years of travelling without checking luggage.
We’ve written a detailed post about how we fund our travels.
Simon studied music, went on to practice law, then started a web design business and is now developing iOS apps, working on his illustration, and planning to make an adventure game. The apps will one day have music in them, and on that day he will have come full circle.
Simon can mostly be found at his laptop pushing himself towards a nervous breakdown at which point Erin has to step in to remind him to take a breath and absorb some of the glorious world around him. Then he’ll sigh, relax for a few hours and admit that, well, it is pretty glorious.
Simon has been trying to find his place in the world for years. He’s pretty sure it’s out there somewhere.
Erin has had wanderlust from a young age and always dreamed of travelling the world. After she finished her English degree at Liverpool University, she spent a month in Florence studying Italian, then volunteered as an English teacher and worked at an elephant orphanage in Sri Lanka. In 2008 she dragged Simon out of his tiny comfort zone convinced Simon to follow her around the world.
Clearly, a year wasn’t enough.
When she wasn’t travelling, she worked as a refugee arts coordinator in Manchester which included organising the annual Exodus Festival, a huge day-long festival of music, dance and food that celebrated the diverse cultures within refugee communities and attracted crowds of over 10,000 people.
Erin can speak Spanish and Italian, and she loves running, yoga, reading, and cooking. She does all of our travel planning and the bulk of the writing and photography for the blog.
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