Interview with Eben & Melanie Digital Nomads

1: Please introduce yourselves and your family and where you are from?

We are Eben, Melanie, Kayla (8) and Megan (6) Olivier from Centurion, Pretoria.

2: What made you take the leap into leaving your home country and when?

It has always been Eben’s dream to just pack up and travel the world, but I have always wanted to pursue the dream of growing my business and being a successful business women.

This rat race to success eventually blinded me from reality.

I was so occupied trying to make a success. My daughters went to pre-school since they were 4 months old, from 7 am to 5:30 pm.

Then it was routine, routine, routine. Dinner, bath, story time, bed time. Repeat. We were stuck in this rat race.

Eben decided on a date – I had 6 months to do whatever I had to do then we were leaving on a plane to Thailand….our first destination.

I was so upset, I told him that he was making a mistake and putting our children’s future at risk…wow, how big was I mistaken….In May 2017 we left South Africa to travel Thailand.

3: Are you digital nomads, worldschoolers or have you settled in a new country ?

We are a combination of digital nomads and worldschoolers. We have not settled in any country but have traveled Thailand (3 months), Vietnam (3 months), Malaysia (4 months) and Bali (8 months). We have traveled all these countries from North to South, West to East.

After all the fast traveling we took a well deserved break in Bali for 8 months (after extensively exploring the island and its neighboring islands).

We are following an online homeschooling course (Cambridge curriculum). We are trying our best to make it fun and we follow this course at our own pace and at any place. My laptop is always with me.

The girls will sometimes come and ask me if we can learn about something. They learn so much by following their own pace and not being forced.

We also learn so much together as a family through our travels, we do a lot of research as we travel.

4: The big question, how do you sustain yourselves financially?
We generate income from rental properties in South Africa.

I am now an online English teacher for Chinese children, such a rewarding job! We also get a minimal income from Youtube and affiliate accommodation links.

5: Looking back, what are the best tips you can give other families wanting to do the same?

  1. Don’t be scared, be prepared it is going to be different than what you are used to, but it is not as scary as you think.
  2. Kids adapt much easier and quicker than we do, they are going to be just fine.
  3. Have some money saved up to carry you for at least 6 months.
  4. Just take the necessities, leave the hairdryers at home and carry light 🙂
  5. If you are on a budget, Malaysia is the cheapest country to start off with.

6: How different is your life now and what are the most positive results you can share with us?

We are definitely a much closer and happier family. We get to spend time with each other and our daughters every day. We get to see them grow and we have the opportunity to teach them about life, about love and respect.

We have the opportunity to explore the beautiful world and nature together. Life is so short and you only have this precious time to make the best out of it.

Why wait until you are retired and your kids are all grown up? We are much healthier, more positive about life, our girls are very social and have self confidence to speak to anyone.

They have gained so much general knowledge through our travels which makes them so inquisitive. My eldest loves reading and the little one has just started reading (all by themselves because they want to learn more…)

7: Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers to inspire them to take the leap?

  1. Don’t wait until you have enough money, you won’t ever have enough money.
  2. Don’t wait until your kids are ready, they are always the right age (they are SO adaptable!)
  3. Calculate a monthly budget and stick to it.

Family and friends are going to frown upon your decision and think you are crazy, be prepared!
The people out there are friendly and welcoming.

Once you’ve taken the leap, you will never turn back…

Safe travels!!

8: Do you have any blogs, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest or other social media we can follow you on?

You can follow us :
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