Gillian Duffy: In transition

June 10, 2015 |

Gillian and her husband, Jason, have had a wide range of experiences since they first set off on a round-the-world trip in 2009. On their most recent adventure, their goal was to make enough money to continue to support their lifestyle, and after trying everything to make it work and not seeing the results they hoped for, they decided to head back to Canada, where Jason is looking for consulting positions. Gillian joined me to share the reality behind the lifestyle that not everybody is willing to talk about.

Note: Some of the language in this episode may not be suitable for work or children!

Most Memorable Location-Independent Experiences
This past year we cycled around Europe for three months. It is, by far, the best trip we have ever taken and is something we could not have done without the freedom of time and income we had created.

Biggest Surprise along the Way
I have, for years, said that it is not money that makes a person happy. That I have been poor and happy, and well-off and happy, and so I thought that living on less would be fine. What I now realize is that when I was poor and happy I always knew that it would get better, that I was on a path to making more. This time when we’ve been poor, it’s been impossible to see a way out of it and, although we’ve been getting by, I have not been as happy as I had expected. Ultimately, that’s why we’re going home: I just don’t see a way out of just scraping by and, for us, that isn’t working.

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In this episode

  • The ins and outs of her nomadic life since 2009
  • Leaving sooner than planned
  • Deciding to go home
  • Feeling like a failure (and getting over it)
  • Living a life of no regrets
  • Income streams that worked and didn’t
  • How it feels to go home
  • Why there’s no risk in taking the plunge
  • And so much more
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Resources we talked about

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On the show, I asked Gillian how much their three-month cycling trip in Europe cost, and she graciously shared the following information. Very helpful for those who are curious about doing something similar!

Total prep expenses prior to the trip, including buying all the gear we needed (bikes, clothing, panniers, tools, etc.): $2,678.26

Total expenses while cycling, from leaving London on April 22 to reaching Munich on July 7, were $16,028.00 CDN. This includes side trips, Italy, and a bike and cruise trip down the Danube from Passau, Germany, to Vienna, Austria (that trip was comped… except for booze).

Food/Drink: $7,450
Accommodations: $5,671
Transportation: $1,236
Entertainment: $948
Miscellaneous: $723

I love that Food/Drink was the most expensive category—it speaks to the fun we had. 🙂

Also… this could go a long way to explaining why we’re back home. We used some of our savings to pay for this. More than we expected, actually, and we thought we could make it up afterward but never really recovered. Do I regret it? Not for an instant!! It’s one of the best trips we have ever done!! 🙂

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