‘We travel the world for less than $100 per DAY’: Meet the jet-setting couple who set off on an ‘adult gap year’ that saw them sell everything and leave their lives behind – for good
- Glenn and Jacqueline Lamb, 52, took a year off work in 2015 to travel the world
- They said it was life-changing and was far cheaper than they had imagined
- They returned to Australia, sold everything and decided to travel full time
- The pair have been travelling the world since the 9th of April, 2017
- They cut costs by housesitting and travel for an average of $100 per day
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A middle-aged couple from Melbourne have revealed how a ‘life-changing adult gap year’ inspired them to pack up their lives, ditch their jobs and travel the world full time – all for less than $100 per day on average.
Glenn, 58, and Jacqueline Lamb, 52, took a year off from ‘normal life’ in 2015 and while travelling realised that they could afford to travel the world for less than they thought – simply by adopting simple budgeting practices and housesitting.
Mr Lamb, who was working in a plant nursery, and Mrs Lamb, a dental nurse, returned to Australia for six months, then sold almost everything that they owned, rented the house out and left for full-time travel on the 9th of April 2017.
‘We’d enjoyed overseas holidays to Europe and Asia over the years but longed for more freedom than a four-week annual break allowed, Mr Lamb told International Living Australia.
A middle-aged couple from Melbourne have revealed how a ‘life-changing adult gap year’ inspired them to pack up their lives, ditch their jobs and travel the world full time – all for less than $100 per day on average
Glenn, 58, and Jacqueline Lamb, 52, took a year off from ‘normal life’ in 2015 and while travelling suddenly realised that they could afford to travel the world for less than they thought (Mrs Lamb pictured in Dubai at the end of 2018)
‘On holiday we had seen tourist buses with ‘older’ retirees and discussed many times that we didn’t want to wait until the official retirement age to experience more of the world. We wanted to explore this wonderful world while we were still fit and able.’
The couple then set a budget, started saving for their ‘gap year’ and set off in October 2015.
They lived in Chiang Mai, Thailand for five months, spent a week in Hong Kong and then crisscrossed their way through Europe during the Northern Hemisphere’s spring and summer for six months.
They then returned to Chiang Mai for one final month on their way back to Australia and their ‘normal’ life.
‘Our full year’s travel expenses were around $32,000,’ Mr Lamb said. ‘We had spent about one-third less than our total living costs back home in Melbourne’ (Pictured at a cafe during their time in Kyrenia, Cyprus)
How do Glenn and Jacqueline Lamb cut costs?
We stumbled across housesitting. In a nutshell, you take on the task of looking after someone’s home, pets, plants… and in return you have free accommodation.
In some cases you’ll get the use of a vehicle. It’s not a free holiday, there are many responsibilities but they pale into insignificance against the cost savings and local experiences.
Their yearly living costs in Melbourne were around $47,300 (without a mortgage).
They set a budget for the gap year at $4,000 per month however they only ended up spending an average of $2,660 per month (a total of about $32,000).
They suggest making a great profile on housesitting websites and applying immediately when you see a great opportunity to succeed.
‘Our full year’s travel expenses were around $32,000,’ Mr Lamb said. ‘We had spent about one-third less than our total living costs back home in Melbourne. Reducing our annual living costs and travelling the world full-time would actually benefit our long-term retirement plans.’
Six months after returning home the couple were on a flight to Malaysia with all of their possessions – one suitcase and a carry-on bag each.
The pair sold almost everything they owned except their home which they rent out to provide some income for their travels.
‘So, what does a roving retirement look like? It can be whatever you want it to be,’ Mr Lamb said.
The pair sold almost everything they owned except their home which they rent out to provide some income for their travels
‘A two-day river cruise down the mighty Mekong River from Northern Thailand to laidback Luang Prabang in Laos started our year last year. Awaking in the morning to the sight of local elephants bathing in the river on the opposite bank to our overnight riverside stay was a real highlight.
‘The historical Portuguese city of Melacca in Malaysia made for an interesting few days before our four-hour bus ride to its nearby neighbour – Singapore.
‘This shiny, modern metropolis has just been an airport stopover for us due to its expensive hotel prices. However, five fun days in a high-rise condo in the suburbs, courtesy of a housesitting gig, meant we had zero accommodation costs.’
In 2018 alone the couple spent time in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Germany, Spain, France, England, Scotland, Cyprus and Dubai. Right now, the couple are in Mexico.
In 2018 alone the couple spent time in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Germany, Spain, France, England, Scotland, Cyprus and Dubai (Pictured is a photo from their trip to Le Playa de Mismaloya, Mexico)
Mr Lamb said housesitting has been the key to their affordable ‘roving’ lifestyle (Left at Wat Prathat Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai, Thailand)
Mr Lamb said housesitting has been the key to their affordable ‘roving’ lifestyle.
‘We came across this by accident just prior to our gap year and it transformed how and where we travel. We get free accommodation in exchange for caring for people’s homes and pets when they’re on holiday,’ he said.
‘As a result, we travel the world for less than $100 per day.’
Mr Lamb said his favourite housesitting gig was in Valencia, Spain.
‘After housesitting there we spent a few weeks slowly working our way up the Catalan coast to Barcelona and Girona. The Languedoc- Roussillon region in Southern France was our next destination – another of our favourite places,’ he said.
(Pictured during their time at Platja Sa Conca, Castell-Platja d’Aro, Spain)
(Mr Lamb is pictured at Carcassonne, France)
‘There are so many other things we’ve done this past year – a cycling and river cruise along the Rhine River, enjoying the excellent and buzzing Edinburgh Fringe Festival, walking across the ‘green line’ that separates the Turkish North and Cypriot South in Nicosia, Cyprus.
‘Celebrating my birthday with a 4WD desert safari in Dubai was yet another highlight as was marvelling at the amazing Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.
‘Who knows what new destinations and experiences await us in the future. That’s just one more reason we enjoy our roving retirement.’
A breakdown of the Lamb couple’s full budget can be found here.
They share their adventures on their blog, The Aussie Lambs.