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About Us

What is Our Big Escape

This blog is about our move from being two really overweight couch junkies who made the “Big Escape” and transitioned to our life as world nomads. It is how we made a change in our life at the age when most people are looking back at what they have done with their lives. We did not want to be those people and instead made a move to leave home and see as much of the world as we could cram into the rest of our time here.

Start here and read some of our blog posts but more importantly view our photographs. A photograph can inspire you more than ten thousand words.

Remember: You can only grow old when your mind loses interest in life.

Our names are John and Laurel and we are nearer to 70 years old than we want to think about. We have been homeless (without a static home base) since 2014. Sounds crazy for two people our age but this is the life that keeps us young.

We considered going the standard route that many travelers take and become teachers in S.E Asia but, for some reason that just did not seem like the path we wanted to follow. Instead, we knew that photographs and videos were in high demand by magazines and writers and it was our way to travel and get paid.

We had no training or knowledge of how to use a DSLR but where there's a will (and the internet) there's a way. We earn our entire living and have done so for many years now with only a camera, a video recorder and a computer for blogging.

Most of the time life is great. But to be honest, some of the time it is very tiring. Logistics can be overwhelming. There can be long hours of riding in buses or on trains, flying in planes,  and even worse the long layovers in airports. However, all this is part of our lifestyle now.

The question we are asked almost daily is “How can you guys really afford this?” The answer is hard work, many hours editing, and writing. That plus accepting the challenges we face living out of two suitcases.

We have no expenses other than what we pay for rent, food, and travel. No insurance, mortgage, car payments or utilities. We normally stay in Airbnb apartments and everything is covered as their rent. The price for an Airbnb is usually half of the cost of just an apartment at home in the U.S.

Ways We Earn Money for Travel

Here is a list of other ways that we earn money in addition to selling our high-end videos and photographs.

  1. Pinterest Management
  2. Freelance Writing
  3. Social Media Influencers
  4. Hired for Social Media Marketing Campaigns
  5. Sell some advertising on our 4 websites

And because we are considered travel influencers, about 50% of our travel is sponsored/comped (you'll see disclosures at the bottom of articles here on OBE if something was comped).

We are invited many places in exchange for work, or if there is a place we want to go, we often barter our time and effort for it. We do whatever we can to get by and make things happen.

It's not rocket science, we do not have a magic bullet. We just put in a lot of hard work and effort. The reason is we love doing this and are willing to put in that work to continue with our travel lifestyle.

Consider contacting us if you need help with Social Media or want to learn more about how you can develop an independent lifestyle. Even if you do not want to get on a plane every week or every month you can still use our information to develop a photography, videography or writing career and avoid the 9 to 5 work plan most people follow.