A travel blogging couple is moving to Africa to cut their cost of living

Sossusvlei Namibia 4Courtesy The Passport PairLeeann and Max Sadler.

There are tons of stories out there about couples who quit their jobs to travel the world, but Leeann and Max Sadler’s story, as detailed on their blog The Passport Pair, is a little bit different.

“We kind of envy those people that quit everything to travel, and we don’t exactly know how they do it,” Max told INSIDER. “So I think we’re taking a more realistic approach, trying to balance having student loans and working real jobs while also having the desire to travel.”

So instead of quitting their jobs to travel, the Sadlers are moving from Grand Rapids, Michigan, to Cape Town, South Africa, to work remotely and save money while they’re at it.

South Africa holds a special place in their hearts.

While the couple met in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Max was living in Cape Town, South Africa, at the time, going to school. Leeann
had never been abroad.

'We met and had a 13-hour first date and were like, 'OK, let's do this,' and so then we committed to doing long distance,' Leeann said.

Max went back to school in Cape Town, and after six months of a long distance relationship, Leeann flew across the world to visit him.

'It was kind of out of character for me because I'm a very big planner,' Leeann said.

Together, they took a road trip across South Africa, Namibia, the Caprivi Strip, and Botswana.

'I think road tripping is really the only way to see Africa, because you get to see the way that people really live, and the way that all the countries really are,' said Max.

They went about it the old-fashioned way, foregoing GPS and relying on road maps for navigation.

That road trip sealed the deal.

Leeann loved it so much, she even returned to Cape Town on her own in 2014 to complete an independent study for her master's in Social Work.

They married on October 3, 2015, and have been filling their passports with exotic stamps together ever since.

'Not only do we romanticize South Africa, we romanticize that road trip because that's where we really solidified our relationship,' said Leeann.

'I remember sitting out on a deck overlooking a river in Shamvura, looking out to Angola and drinking coffee in the morning, and we're like, 'This could be our retirement.''

But instead of waiting until then, the Sadlers decided to move to South Africa now. For them, the move is practical as well as sentimental, as the cost of living there is around half of that in the United States.

'The standard of living in the US is expensive and only going up, so if we have the opportunity to both live abroad in a beautiful city and save some money while we're doing it, then it makes perfect sense,' said Max. 'Cape Town is significantly cheaper to live in than Grand Rapids, or really any other city in the US, so we decided to just go for it.'

'It's also going to make great blog material and Instagram material,' said Max.

The two launched The Passport Pair in 2015, and have covered everything from exploring caves in Gibraltar to hiking Peru's Inca Trail.

Now, they're shifting the focus of the blog to their big move.

Max will work remotely for a tech company he's already working for now, and Leeann plans to go back to school to study conservation biology.

'So yes, we're moving to Cape Town to live this beautiful life,' said Leeann, 'but Max will be working remotely and I'm planning on going back to school, so it's a realistic approach.'

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