Karen Sargent and her partner, Paul Farrugia, earn six figures while travelling the world.
But only a few years ago, their lives were much more traditional. They lived in London, where Sargent was a business psychologist for a business-training company and Farrugia was working in retail — until they left it all behind to spend a year travelling from London through Asia by land.
“Six months into our trip,” Sargent told Business Insider, “we realised a year would not be enough.”
They ended up travelling for 18 months, and today, they have built a life that allows them the best of both worlds: half the year in a London flat and half of the year spent abroad, a lifestyle they chronicle on their website, Global Help Swap, and on their Instagram.
“In those 18 months, we just loved the sense of freedom,” says Sargent. “I always wanted to be self-employed, but I was afraid of not earning a lot of money.”
So after returning to London, she started looking for a more traditional job, which led to a pivotal moment in her career. “I saw this great job as a senior psychologist in Dubai that would be perfect for me — and my heart sank. I knew I had to try being self-employed.”
So she did.
Today, they earn money through their blog, as well as through remote gigs that they can work from their London flat or from the beach in Thailand: Sargent does leadership training and coaches private clients based on her expertise from her work as a business psychologist, and Farrugia takes on part-time social media management jobs.
“I remember saying ‘I’d rather be poor but free!’ when we got back to London four years ago,” Sargent wrote in an email to Business Insider. “The funny thing is that in these four years, we’ve earned far more money than we ever earned when we were in employment, and we’ve worked around half the hours.”