October 26, 2022
Welcome to the very first episode of the Profitable Nomad Couple podcast! To kick things off, let’s get to know each other.
In this inaugural episode, we share details about who we are, how we met, how we developed a love of travel, what made us decide to start an online business, and so much more. You’ll also hear about our plans for this podcast and what topics you can expect to see featured in future episodes.
In celebration of the launch of this podcast, we’re doing a giveaway! You could win a box of goodies, which includes a reusable water bottle, a travel notebook, stickers and more. Simply follow us on Instagram at @austinandmonica, like our giveaway post, and tag a friend in the comments (bonus entries for sharing it to your stories and tagging us!). Giveaway ends on Wednesday, October 12th.
While you’re on Instagram, we invite you to also send us a DM introducing yourself. We’d love to get to know you and what you’re most looking forward to hearing about on the podcast.
Topics covered in this episode:
Resources mentioned in the episode:
FYI – this is AI generated, so it’s going to have mistakes! But, it’s great for remembering what was said and pulling out pieces.
Monica: [00:00:00] Hey, what’s up everybody.
Austin: Hey guys, how’s it going?
Monica: We are so excited to be here for episode. One of our podcast. This podcast has literally been in the works for over a year, so it just feels so surreal to finally be launching and we are super excited
Austin: and we’re really honored that you are here listening to our episode.
Austin: We know that there are a lot of podcast out there that you could be listening to, but you chose to be here and listen to us instead. So thank. Yeah,
Monica: this episode, we’re gonna be talking a little bit more about who we are, what our digital nomad journey has been, as well as our business journey. And then we’ll be talking a little bit more about what you can expect to hear from us on this
Austin: So for Monica and I. A large part of our desire to travel has stemmed from our missionary service for our church, graduating high school, we both served a mission. I served in Paraguay and Monica served in Peru and it was very. [00:01:00] Instrumental to who we both are today. It had a very big impact for the two of us.
Austin: We met people who are not like the people we know growing up. They spoke a different language. It’s the most obvious difference, but also they had different values, different histories, different perspectives on life individually and culturally. So. That experience for each one of us really shaped who we are today and our desire to continue learning about people outside of our country and to explore the worlds cuz every everyone’s different and everyone has a different.
Austin: Perspective on life. And so we really caught a glimpse of that on our mission. And that’s kind of the journey we’ve been on since then is to see more of that in the world. Yeah,
Monica: I definitely agree. I think the biggest impact the mission had on both of us was to pop our bubble that we had been growing in and to realize that the world is.
Monica: So big and there’s so [00:02:00] many cool people to learn from and experiences that they have to share. And for me personally, that actually shaped what I decided to study in college as well. So when I got home from my mission, I went to school, um, and I got a bachelor’s degree in international relation. Relations.
Monica: And that’s actually where Austin
Austin: and I met. Yeah. My mission did not influence my field of study. I studied exercise physiology, uh, which I loved, but has nothing to do with what we’ve done since then, which we’re gonna touch on a little bit later, but Monica and I are our dorms shared a parking lot. And so we saw each other a lot.
Austin: We were in the same church group and we ended up meeting, hanging out. We ended up liking each other mm-hmm and, uh, eventually ended up loving each other. And then we got married in 2018.
Monica: So by the time this podcast airs, we will have been married for four years already. And in those four years, we’ve traveled a lot.
Monica: We’ve learned a lot. We’ve been [00:03:00] through a lot. We’ve been through some really hard times. We’ve been through some really good times. And so throughout this podcast, we’re excited to be sharing with you. Some of our journey that we’ve been through together.
Austin: So I’m sure a lot of you guys who are listening can relate to anyone who is in or even has been in a committed relationship.
Austin: You know, it takes continual effort, but you also know that the times that bring you closer together are often. Thoroughly challenging times. And that’s definitely been the case for Monica and I, since we’ve been married, we have traveled to let’s see, we lived in Guatemala. We went to Puerto Rico and Canada and Mexico.
Austin: And most of our nomadic journeying has been in the Western United States. We’ve traveled all around Washington and California and Idaho and Utah and Oregon, and just constant moving around the, the west coast.
Monica: Yeah. Actually, we sat down and did the math one day and we realized that since graduating high school, neither one of us have lived in one [00:04:00] place longer than nine months at a time.
Monica: And that was during the quarantine lockdown that we were stuck in California for nine months. So I don’t know if it hadn’t been for that, if we would have, uh, chosen to stay there that long. Um,
Austin: yeah, that was an interesting realization to come to because on our missions after graduating. Um, if anyone knows what a mission for the LDS church is like you are serve in different areas.
Austin: And so we serve in one area for a couple months, and then we transition to a different area. So although we’re in the same country, we’re constantly moving on different towns. And so we went from that to college and then back home and then back to college. And then when we were married, we moved around between being river guides and being students.
Austin: And, uh, we’ve just it’s, it was weird to recognize that. For eight years, we haven’t lived in one place longer than nine.
Monica: Yeah, it’s been a really good time though. We really like exploring the world around us. And I think sometimes when we stay in one [00:05:00] place for too long, we kind of forget that there are things to be explored and discovered in that place.
Monica: Cuz you kind of fall into your routine. So for us, we’ve always loved. Going to a new place to experience a new culture. Even if it’s within our own backyard, there are tons of, of new things and new people to discover everywhere we go. So that’s been a really integral part of our relationship and actually we’ve made it a big goal to leave the United States at least once a year.
Monica: And although the pandemic made it a little bit tricky, we’ve actually managed to do that for the past five years
Austin: because we had both traveled on our own and lived abroad before we worked together. We made that a foundational part of our relationship. And when we were in college, we wanted to find some opportunity post-college that would let us live abroad and work.
Austin: And so we started looking into this opportunity to teach English in China. And we found an organization that would do that and that pay us for it. That plan [00:06:00] fell through unfortunately, but we got another opportunity to teach English in Thailand. That plan also fell through we’re condensing this story for you guys, because there’s a lot of.
Austin: A lot of stuff going on, but we landed on serving for two years in the peace Corps. And we had our assignment, we were assigned to Mozambique Africa, and we were gonna work in HIV and malaria awareness. And we were assigned to head out in April of 2020.
Monica: Yeah, that was a crazy time in our life. I remember just about every other week our friends would be like, so what are your plans now?
Monica: Cuz they just expected them to be changing because there was so many different factors coming into play. And so many things outside of our control that just, I mean. It was just one thing after another. So the peace Corps finally felt safe. It felt like home. We were excited for our plans and in preparation for the peace Corps, we had sold our housing contract.
Monica: We had sold most of our stuff. We had someone lined up to buy our car. [00:07:00] We had everything in suitcases. So everyone felt like this was finally the plan for Austin and Monica. This is what they were gonna be doing. Us included. We were so excited to finally have. A direction in life
Austin: after it was a big relief for us to have a plan.
Monica: definitely. Um, and then I’m sure as, as you guys are very keenly aware, of course, April 20, 20 rolled around and everything came to a screeching halt. And so we quite literally had nowhere to go and no plans. And so after sort of graduating college during the virtual ceremony or whatever they ended up
Austin: doing, I don’t even think we got a virtual ceremony.
Austin: I think. Sent us a diploma in the mail. Yeah. I think that’s all we got. Yeah. And
Monica: mine had my name misspelled, so it was even worse.
Austin: yeah. So did you even graduate then?
Monica: I don’t know. Some other girl did um, so we, we ended up moving in with Austin’s parents. They were so gracious to take us in for what ended up being a really long [00:08:00] time.
Austin: Yeah, and it really threw us off. Um, me, especially, I ended up falling into a bit of a depression. I was grieving the loss of these plans and this opportunity that I was really looking forward to, I’d actually done a whole big piece of my senior project for one of my classes revolved around our job in the peace Corps.
Austin: And so we were anticipating it for a long time. It was a big bummer to lose it. And we. Struggled. And we got jobs in senior care, which if anyone here listening is working in senior care, thank
Monica: you. Or as a caretaker in
Austin: any role. Yeah. It’s a tough job and our heart goes
Monica: out to you guys.
Austin: It really does. We, we only did it for a few months and that’s about all we could handle.
Austin: We recognize the need for it. So we thank you for doing it, but it. It just kept beating us down. Um, the hardest part, probably being that we had opposite schedules, I would work early mornings and I would come home in the afternoon. And Monica would maybe if we were [00:09:00] lucky cross paths with me for maybe 10, 20 minutes, we’d say, hi, grab a snack together.
Austin: And then she’d head out to her shift where she worked late. She’d come home and I’d be in bed already. So we hardly ever saw each other for this period of time. And so it was a strain on our mental health because we were still grieving. It was a strain on our relationship and we were just in a dark place for a.
Monica: Yeah. And I’m sure as most of you listening to this podcast can relate to being such nomadic souls. It was so disheartening to be so stuck in one place. And so during that time, I started researching just different ways to get out of the situation we were in, how we could take control of our life. Again, I was really tired of sitting and just waiting for something to happen for our life to start up again.
Monica: And so I, I decided that we needed to take back that control. It was a little bit tricky for me because I really wanted to be respectful of Austin’s grieving process. I know he was still really [00:10:00] holding onto the idea of the peace Corps and kind of, we had a more traditional life plan set out after that, including master’s degrees and things like that.
Monica: So I actually, during some of my shift, Created a secret Pinterest board and started pinning all these beautiful life plans of traveling and working online and working as a virtual assistant. And I was watching YouTube videos and webinars, and I was doing all this in secret to try to educate myself as much as possible.
Monica: So then I could present, uh, a case to Austin to try to convince him from altering our life plans. .
Austin: Yeah. I still remember the day where we laid down in bed and she showed me this video that she had found about how to become a virtual assistant. And she convinced me to give it a try. So we signed up for a course.
Austin: We actually. We jumped all in you guys. We don’t necessarily recommend this for everybody, but we went cold Turkey. We quit our jobs and we just went all into starting a VA business because [00:11:00] we, we needed something to change. And we knew that if we, you know, kept hanging around the jobs that we were working in, we weren’t gonna have the motivation to make a big enough change.
Austin: So. To give ourselves that push, we quit our jobs and took this online course. Again,
Monica: it’s not the recommended course of action, but for us, we were in such, well,
Austin: not for everybody. It could be. Yeah. You know, it depends on your situation and, and the needs that you have.
Monica: Right for us, for example, it was really beneficial because we were in such a state of crisis that we needed a drastic change and we needed it now.
Monica: And we were very fortunate. We actually got, um, our first virtual assistant client within two months of starting the class and quitting our jobs. And that was so exciting for us. Our virtual assistant class we took was phenomenal. We’ll actually leave a link in the description for you. So great in teaching us all the fundamentals of running a business, because we were working in other people’s business.
Monica: We learned about social media marketing. We learned about email marketing. We learned about blogging. We learned graphic design. [00:12:00] Yeah. Everything, everything we needed to know started business was in that class. So that was by far such a phenomenal foot in the door, um, to starting
Austin: a business. Yeah. And like Monica said, we were really, really fortunate because we got our first client in a couple months and then the clients kind of kept rolling in.
Austin: I know it, that’s not the path that everyone’s business journey takes. Sometimes it takes a long time before you get a client, but we were very fortunate to get several right off the bat. And so we worked in virtual assisting for about a year and we realized we enjoyed running a business. We enjoyed the location freedom and gave us.
Austin: But not all of the tasks we enjoyed doing. So we narrowed it down a little bit. We both decided that we really enjoyed doing graphic design work. And so we looked into launching a what design business, which we did about a year after we started our VA business. Yeah,
Monica: from there, we also took more web design courses, which were phenomenal to learn more of the strategy of laying out a website.
Monica: And we’ve been building [00:13:00] our web design business ever since. And it’s been, it’s been phenomenal. It’s been a journey. There are, I mean, running a business is hard. It’s really hard, but it’s so fun to learn and to grow every
Austin: day. Yeah, and there’s, it’s fun to take on this challenge and to have an idea and then nurture that idea and turn it into something bigger and greater.
Austin: And then that idea gives life to new ideas, which then you can take and run with. And really it, the possibilities are endless when you start a business and you realize that you can do whatever you want with it, and you are in charge and you are the one running the show. It’s incredible. I couldn’t imagine doing anything other.
Austin: Yeah, it’s
Monica: really funny to hear Austin say that because when we started a business, he had zero desire to be a business owner. It was something that I had always kind of wanted to do because I had, I had held a job since the time I was 14 and I kind of hated working under someone else. And so I was super excited [00:14:00] to be my own boss someday.
Monica: And that was something that Austin had never even really thought.
Austin: Yeah, honest to you guys. It never crossed my mind. It, it never entered my mind in high school, in college, on my mission coming back to college, it was just not in the cards for me, at least I thought, and I always kind of put these entrepreneurs, like people that I heard of as entrepreneurs in this category of people that are so different and from me.
Austin: And so, um, Not necessarily aspirational, although I think they are, but at the time I didn’t think of them that way. I just thought of them as a totally different person from who I was. And I’ve come total 180 from there.
Monica: Yeah, that was actually a really big motivator for why we decided to start this podcast.
Monica: We wanted to show you that you can also start a business. There is nothing special about Austin and I to make us successful business owners.
Austin: Let me just clear the air here though. I do think Monica is special. oh,
Monica: think Dave
Austin: but I mean, what she said is [00:15:00] totally true. If we can do it, honestly, anybody can do it.
Austin: You guys, um, so those are some things that we want to address in future episodes. We want to tackle. How you can start an online business, even if it’s something you’ve just very vaguely thought of this faint idea you had in your mind once of maybe one day, I want to be business owner. Maybe I could turn this idea into something we’re here to tell you, you can.
Austin: And we are here to show you how you can do that. We’re gonna be talking about how to market those ideas, how to be productive. And how to optimize your website, to get that idea out into the world, how to interact with clients, how to balance working with traveling and with other aspects of your life, like your relationship and how to fit two people into that.
Austin: If you wanna do this with your partner.
Monica: Yeah, another topic we love talking about that we’ll be sharing with you more on the podcast is traveling. We wanna talk about how to find locations to go to how to be safe, how to overcome fears, how to address social [00:16:00] pressures and loneliness while traveling as well as how to travel with your significant other.
Austin: And that’s the last topic that we want to cover is growing your relationship with one another. We want to share how you can grow closer together. And use business and travel to do that. How to overcome obstacles in your relationship, because let’s be honest, every relationship has obstacles. We want to share how you can strengthen your emotional intimacy with one another.
Austin: Monica and I have been married for four years and we know, but by no means makes us experts in marriage, but we. We will say that people have recognized that there’s something different about our relationship. We have heard that from a couple friends and, and family members before, and it’s because we put a lot of work into it.
Austin: So we wanna share some of the things that we’ve done with you guys.
Monica: So that’s it. That’s all we had planned for you for this episode. We are so thankful for you for being here for listening to this and joining us on our journey. We are excited to learn and grow with you. We hope that you were able to find [00:17:00] some encouragement from this episode to realize that no business journey is linear and everyone’s on their own journey and on your own path.
Monica: And you are in the right place. You are exactly where you need to be.