Have you ever thought about overlanding in a truck camper as a digital nomad in another country? If the idea of combining your professional life with the adventure of overlanding has ever crossed your mind, then you’re in for a treat.
Martin and Amy have been overlanding in South America, while working remotely, in their trusty GMC based truck camper they call, El Truckito. And their mission is to visit every country in the Americas!
They began their journey in Boston and have been on the road for 14 months. They’ve already conquered the southernmost city in the world, and now, they’re weaving their way back to Boston, one slow and deliberate mile at a time.
In this episode, we dive into the evolution of their journey, from road-tripping in a Mazda 6 to upgrading to a truck camper, driven by a desire for a more cost-effective and flexible exploration of South and Central America.
We also discuss planning, logistics, border crossings, navigating the diverse cultures and terrains, their strategies for finding campsites and essential resources, and budgeting with the foreign tax exclusion.
And, of course, we dive into the day-to-day realities of remote work on the road. From securing reliable internet connections in diverse environments, to finding a balance between work and exploration, Martin and Amy share the highs and lows of maintaining a digital nomad lifestyle.
Overlanding As Digital Nomads In South America
With Martin & Amy of El Truckito
Your Host: Rose Willard
CONNECT WITH MARTIN AND AMY:
- Website: www.eltruckito.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/eltruckito/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eltruckito
Wild camping App: ioverlander.com
Sample of Amy’s best content work
Dangerous And Beautiful Roads All Over The Country
Mountain Biking Guide Company In Bolivia
Water Bandit (connects standard water hoses to previously unattachable water sources)
Listen to The RV Entrepreneur Episode #323
THE RV ENTREPRENEUR
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The RV Entrepreneur #323 Full Episode Transcript:
Overlanding As Digital Nomads In South America With Martin & Amy of El Truckito
MARTIN: There is this thing called foreign tax exclusion, right? Which basically says you don’t pay taxes on your income if you are out of the country for more than 12 months. So you know how much taxes is. So when you think about it, your cost of living is way lower and your income is higher. So the best thing you can do is do it the way we do work on the road, even though reduced hours. And you might end up in a situation where you actually save more in South America than it would could possibly save, let’s say, in Florida.
RV LIFE: Welcome to the RV Entrepreneur Podcast, the weekly show for nomads, work campers, RV ers and entrepreneurs looking to earn a living or build a business while enjoying the RV lifestyle. This week’s host is Rose Willard. Let’s settle in and enjoy the RV entrepreneur podcast brought to you by RV life.
ROSE: Welcome to the RV Entrepreneur podcast. I’m Rose Willard, your host this week. Have you ever thought about overlanding in a truck camper in another country while working remotely? If the idea of combining your professional life with the adventure of overlanding has ever crossed your mind, then you’re in for a treat. Today, we have the privilege of chatting with Martin and Amy, an overlanding digital duo who are turning this dream into a reality as they traverse South America in their trusty GMC based truck camper they call El Taquito, and their mission is to visit every country in the Americas. They began their journey in Boston and have been on the road for 14 months. They’ve already conquered the southernmost city in the world, and now they’re weaving their way back to Boston, one slow and deliberate mile at a time. In this episode, we’ll dive into the evolution of their journey from road tripping in a Mazda six to upgrading to a truck camper driven by a desire for a more cost effective and flexible exploration of South and Central America. We’ll also discuss planning, logistics, border crossings, navigating the diverse cultures and terrains, their strategies for finding campsites and essential resources, and budgeting with the foreign tax exclusion. And of course, we’ll dive into the day to day realities of remote work on the road. From securing reliable internet connections in diverse environments to finding a balance between work and exploration, Martin and Amy share the highs and lows of maintaining a digital nomad lifestyle.
ROSE: One thing that we did forget to mention in this episode is the definition of overlanding, and how it’s a little different from RV. It dawned on me after our conversation, and I really feel it’s necessary for our listeners who may not be familiar with the terms. So here’s the breakdown. While there is some overlap between the two as they both involve travel and life on the road, overlanding has a stronger emphasis on self-sufficiency. Like boondocking. When you’re camping on open land, no hookups, nada off road capabilities typically in a 4×4 type vehicle, and the primary focus is on the journey itself, often leading adventurers to more remote and challenging locations. On the flip side, our RVing leans a little more towards the comfort and convenience of a home on wheels, prioritizing well established roads, campgrounds, and amenities. So whether you’re an aspiring overlander, a remote worker yearning for adventure, or simply someone captivated by the idea of exploring the Americas in a truck camper, this episode is packed with insights, experiences, and the joy of living life on your terms. But before we hear from Martin and Amy, we’ll first take a short break to hear from the sponsors that make this show possible.
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ROSE: Martin and Amy, welcome to the podcast. Thanks for joining me today.
MARTIN: Thank you for having us.
AMY: Thank you.
ROSE: So I don’t know a whole lot about you guys, but I do know that you’ve been overlanding in South America while working remotely from your truck camper, and I’ve been following along on your Instagram, and it looks like you guys are really enjoying it all and having some amazing adventures. South America looks beautiful. I would love to travel there someday, but I’m really looking forward to learning more about the overlanding in another country. I’m very intrigued by that. And so why don’t we get into it? Tell us a little bit more about yourselves and what you’re doing right now.
MARTIN: So my name is Martin. I am originally from Slovakia.
AMY: I’m Amy, I’m born and raised in Connecticut.
MARTIN: But we kind of consider ourselves at home in Boston. Well, right now our home is a truck camper GMC combo that has the name El Taquito. And yeah, we’ve been on the road for 14 months and right now we are calling from Lima, Peru.
ROSE: That is awesome. So you guys started out in Boston and that’s like, how did you get into the RV life at first? What was your life before this?
AMY: Um, so we started road tripping together during the pandemic. So our first road trip together, we went from Boston to Montana in the back of a Mazda six. So we slept in the trunk. And yeah, after that trip, we decided maybe we could use something a little bigger. Something with like an actual bed.
MARTIN: The one thing I vividly remember from this trip was we had a 12 volt fridge and of course no secondary battery, so we didn’t have enough power to power a cell fridge. So we had like the most cheese and the weird bread. And it was, you know, a formative experience for sure.
AMY: Yes, having a functioning fridge is definitely a bonus of living in a proper RV.
ROSE: So what did you get into next?
AMY: So the next trip we decided because we were looking at bigger things that you could actually be in Long Terme. We rented a converted.
MARTIN: Uh, Ford Transit, a converted.
AMY: Ford Transit, and we went around Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas with that. And we decided there’s things we like about it, things we don’t like about it. You know, do we have the time to convert a van ourselves? And then Martin discovered the concept of truck campers.
ROSE: Yes. It seems awesome. Very intrigued. I was watching my husband and I was watching Expedition Overland. It’s on Amazon Prime. I don’t know if you guys have seen that yet. Not yet did. Oh it’s awesome. They did the South American series. They just finished up their Nordic series in the Nordic countries. Absolutely beautiful. Yeah. Check it out. So very intrigued. So you got into the truck camper okay. And and you were intrigued by overlanding. Tell us the inspiration behind El Taquito and like how you started to embark on this incredible journey.
MARTIN: So we knew we wanted to visit South and Central America for quite a bit of time. And logistically, it’s very hard to do in small trips. Right? So if you imagine you fly in and out, you know, for 2 or 3 weeks, maybe at a time, you spend a lot of money on flights, uh, lots of really interesting things that are out of reach by public transport, by buses. So you spend a lot of time on, you know, renting tour companies. So it gets very expensive very quickly. But it shouldn’t. Right. So we realized the easiest thing to do would be to have our own vehicle. And then we started looking into the logistics of what type of vehicle, how to get it to South America, which was a big challenge. And then it has been kind of growing. I think originally we said, ah, 12 months, we’ll make it from Argentina to Alaska, maybe 18. And now we are thinking what, like three years?
AMY: I think so, yeah. We haven’t gotten very far in our 14 months just because there’s so much to see and do.
ROSE: Yeah, I can imagine it would take a long time. Yeah, no need to rush that. I mean, if you have the time and and you’re working, you’re working remotely from that, what do you guys do? How do you guys support yourself on the road?
MARTIN: So I’m a software engineer. Amy is a freelance writer. And we work about. Yeah, it depends what we can. What is there to see between two days? Usually up to like those ridiculous weeks when you put in 200 hours so you can then have a two weeks break.
ROSE: Mhm. And okay so you work for someone else or is this something that you do. That’s your own.
MARTIN: So we have a LLC set up in Wyoming um called Nomadic Workplace and we work for ourselves for the company. But we onboard clients. Um, my big client right now is Mitt, so I work for the university and help them convert a research project into a real product that will make money in the real world.
ROSE: Okay. And, Amy, how about you as well?
AMY: I work with a lot of content creators. So I’ve written, um, a lot of material for YouTube videos, for example.
ROSE: Oh, that’s awesome if.
AMY: You’re at all interested in history, probably my best known work was writing scripts for a channel called The Armchair Historian.
ROSE: Oh, neat. I’ll have to check that one out. Put that in the show notes as well. That is awesome. So let’s get back to the logistics. So I can imagine overlanding through these different countries involves lots of planning. How did you prepare for this journey and especially in terms of like border crossings, paperwork, where did you start from and all that?
AMY: I guess basic internet research, like what do you need when you show up at a border, which is, you know, your passports and all the car papers, depending on what each individual border wants, generally they’re the same. So once you’ve done one, the others aren’t very different because they they really just want to see that you actually own your vehicle. Occasionally there’s a border where you have to present a certain kind of, uh. Insurance, but for the most part, it’s really just about proving that it’s your vehicle.
ROSE: Okay. And you just researched that online. Did you have any like, Facebook groups that you were a part of to get any more personal experiences?
AMY: There are a lot of Facebook groups for overlanders out there. They’re extremely helpful resources. There’s also a number of WhatsApp groups which are extremely helpful for when you’re on the road. But for the research phase, I recommend people go on to Facebook. There’s so many groups, they have thousands of members, and there’s people who are planning to do it, people who have just done it, people who are doing it right now. So a lot of resources out there.
ROSE: That’s awesome. And so you started out from Boston and then worked your way down.
MARTIN: So we drove from Boston to Houston, and then we put a taquito on a boat, shipped it to Peru.
AMY: No Chile.
MARTIN: Ah thank you. We shipped it to Chile. Ah.
MARTIN: And from Chile we drove all the way down and now we are driving all the way up.
ROSE: Okay I see yeah. You’re making your way back up to Boston. Yes. Correct. Or. Okay. But then we were talking before. You do have to fly out tomorrow. You’ve got some family stuff to attend to in Europe. So that leads me to that question. Where do you leave your truck camper when you do that?
MARTIN: Actually, legally speaking, it’s one of the most challenging things of this trip, I think. Yeah, because you are not importing the truck, right? You have it on a temporary import permit that is tied to your visa. So you can only the truck can only be in a country for 90 days with extension for 180. There is countries that allow you to bypass that process and allow you to leave without a truck. Luckily for us and you know, recommendations to all Americans who want to do this trip is if you have both people on the ownership document, then you can always choose who is on the import permit. So if you don’t both have to leave, then you can, you know, just switch around. That’s what we’ve been doing so far. Like if we knew only one of us had to leave, then we would put the truck in the other person’s import so that there were no problems. But this time we both have to leave, so it kind of changes things around. Only a few countries allow you to leave. I don’t think Peru is technically one of them.
AMY: Everybody does it when they have to. So it seems to me that the process at least works in the favor of the people who need to go and do something.
ROSE: And when you say leave it, do you like, is there a secure place that you leave it or you just leave it on the land somewhere. Okay. Yes.
AMY: There’s um throughout South America, there’s secure parking facilities of all shapes and sizes. Secure parking is a big deal. So. Wow, it’s that’s awesome. I’m not at all worried about leaving the truck.
MARTIN: Lots of people do seasonal travel, right? So they will come for the winter or something like that. Right? So they have a vehicle here and they drive it three months of the year, and then they put it back in storage.
ROSE: So this kind of leads me to my next question is do you guys feel safe traveling through South America?
AMY: Yes, definitely. I’ve never felt unsafe so far.
ROSE: So far. Yeah.
AMY: I mean, who knows. But no, in the 14 months we’ve been doing this, I have not felt unsafe at all.
ROSE: Right. And then as far as communicating with the locals and that kind of stuff, do you need to be able to speak their language or is there, I mean, do you speak another language and how does that all work?
AMY: So we’re pretty decent Spanish speakers. I would say some people manage to do it without I don’t know how they do it, but I think your experience definitely improves. The more Spanish you can learn, whether it’s making everyday things like, you know, buying your groceries easier, but it opens a lot of doors for socializing with people. It makes your life significantly easier if you have some sort of problem that you need to address, whether you know you have a mechanical issue or you need to see a doctor, I really think it’s an essential, although some people manage to go without it.
ROSE: Wow. Have you come across a lot of overlanders right now in South America?
MARTIN: Oh yeah. There’s tons.
ROSE: Tons, tons. So it’s more more prevalent than. So like in a truck camper versus like a van or travel trailer, that kind of thing.
MARTIN: Uh, I would.
MARTIN: Say trailers are the least common.
AMY: I think we’ve only seen 1 or 2 trailers. Truck campers. There’s a few vans are more popular. There’s all kinds of vehicles on the road, though.
MARTIN: Now it’s your typical Instagram Volkswagen T2 conversions.
AMY: There are quite a few of those and they’re very cute. Okay.
ROSE: And it’s just you two. Do you have any pets or, you know, have any other family members at the moment?
AMY: There’s no pets. We do talk about it once in a while.
ROSE: Yeah. So do you see other families traveling like this, or is it mostly couples or single people or. I’m just curious.
AMY: It’s overwhelmingly couples. There are a few families with children that do it. They tend to be younger children. Younger. Yeah, mainly because it skirts the schooling issue. Most people want to eventually have their kids in a normal school, and occasionally you meet people who are doing it solo, but by and large it is couples.
ROSE: Okay, so can you share some of the highlights from your journey so far? Like what are your favorite places or things that you’re just wowed about along the way?
AMY: I think both of us would probably pick Patagonia, both in Chile and Argentina, just because the nature there is so incredible and diverse, and the differences between the two countries are pretty, pretty shocking. Like, imagine being in this lush mountainous region with glaciers and fjords, and then you cross the mountain range and suddenly you’re in the desert.
ROSE: Wow. Amazing. Yeah.
MARTIN: If I have to pick one thing, even though Patagonia would be pick number one, if I had to pick number two, it’s definitely the salt flats. The most famous ones is Uyuni in Bolivia, but there is others in Argentina. There is some in Chile, like driving for an hour and a half on cruise control over a salt flat, which is also happens to be the best road in Bolivia.
ROSE: Really? Oh yeah. Yeah, I was going to ask how the roads are there. I remember my husband and I did a lot of boondocking. We’re off road a lot and had a lot of washboard, bumpy roads, but not like we didn’t do very long, bumpy roads. I. How are the road systems there?
AMY: That depends entirely on the country. Um, most countries so far have had excellent roads. Everything’s paved. And then there’s, you know, a few places like Bolivia where there’s only a few paved roads and they’re not especially well maintained. A lot of washboard, which makes your travel very slow, obviously. And then, uh, in general, in Peru, the roads have been very good, although they are a big fans of like, hairpins, a lot of hairpins. And we had an especially fun adventure a couple of weeks ago. Imagine driving for hours on like hairpin turns up and down mountains, but you only have one lane and occasionally you meet another vehicle. Uh oh. What did you.
ROSE: Have you run into that? Yeah. Did you do.
AMY: Uh, you you very carefully navigate past each other.
AMY: It’s stressful.
ROSE: That is very stressful. Yeah.
AMY: In such a big vehicle. And then we did once or twice meet a truck. Not like a semi, but like, you know, a truck that was our size. Maybe slightly bigger. Yeah. That was that was a unique experience that I won’t forget any time soon.
MARTIN: So there is this.
MARTIN: Website Dangerous Roads. Org I think um, and it talks about not only dangerous roads but like gorgeous roads, views, you know, deadly cliffs, whatever, whatever you want. And there is 1 or 2 here and there and then everything in Peru.
MARTIN: Like the.
MARTIN: Main road through Peru, uh, three years and three n is a death.
ROSE: Oh my gosh.
ROSE: Oh my gosh.
AMY: I will say the roads here are very beautiful though. They go through some incredible places.
ROSE: Oh I bet yeah. From what I’ve seen some things on your Instagram is just gorgeous. So it leads me to think that yes, the truck camper, the small agility ness of it would be an ideal vehicle for South America or those countries so that, you know, versus a travel trailer, what you guys talk about the roads and the bumpiness and all that stuff. How did you guys find out where to camp and like to park your vehicle and just camp? It’s like boondocking. You just go off or is there an app you use?
MARTIN: So obviously we use Ioverlander.
ROSE: Yes. I love that too. That’s our that’s the best.
MARTIN: You know.
ROSE: It is.
MARTIN: Yeah. Um, no questions asked. Um, you know, there is a three categories, right. Uh, established non informal.
MARTIN: Wild. Yeah. Wild wild.
MARTIN: Um depends on region. Not only country but region. Say in Patagonia you can just pull off somewhere into the Andes and you can wild camp and it’s great unless you’re dealing with Patagonian winds. We have hiked up.
MARTIN: And it’s like a sale. Oh yeah.
MARTIN: Right. So and the winds in Patagonia can be up to 100mph. So you really don’t want to have a sail up in those winds. Um, so sometimes it’s kind of weird and you have to find some, you know, broken down building and park behind it or something. The informal ones tend to be gas stations, which then be fine, like.
MARTIN: Some of them are.
AMY: Pretty fancy, actually.
MARTIN: Especially in.
MARTIN: Argentina, you know, good showers, lots of overlanders, hot water. So it’s because of. In Argentina, you can just go to a machine and get yourself hot water, and then you can make yourself a coffee or a tea or whatever you want.
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ROSE: How do you find like, places to dump and fill your tanks and all that that you know that is safe and good?
AMY: Um, so we don’t have a black water tank, so that’s not an issue for us. But yeah. Water question. We definitely rely on Ioverlander for finding places to fill up. Generally we’re able to do it at established campgrounds. We have filled in some very random places ranging from, you know, gas stations to like, oh, there happens to be this tap at this building that is at the beach. Oh very random.
MARTIN: So recommendation to listeners, um, there is this thing called, I think, a water bandit. It’s like a rubber piece that you put on your hose because obviously every country has a different sized spigots, whether it’s half an inch or a three quarter inch or completely something custom. So you would need like 15 hoses or adapters to connect to all the possible water connections. Wow. In the south south, the water is drinkable. You know you’ve treated, but Bolivia and north, there is no tap. There is no potable tap water anywhere.
MARTIN: So you go to established campgrounds. You can’t drink it. You go to cities, you can’t drink it.
MARTIN: So wow, what a filter. Yeah.
ROSE: Get the filter. And do you buy water too and like pour it in or do you just get the filter?
AMY: Generally we don’t buy water and pour it in. So we have um a filter attachment on our host that we’ll use to pump it into the tank. And then when we want to fill our water bottles, we have an additional UV pen that we’ll use to be extra safe. I do believe the filters are fine, but I like being extra safe.
ROSE: Yeah, no, it’s especially in another country. Yep. Yeah, yeah. So if something does happen, you break down or someone’s sick. Like what is your plan on the road for those kind of issues?
AMY: Oh boy, that varies widely. Thankfully we have not broken down yet. I think the closest we came was we got stuck in the sand in Chile trying to pull somebody else out, and we thankfully, we had enough cell signal to call the nearest town and have them send somebody out to pull us out.
ROSE: Do you have those max tracks or anything? We are too heavy put under the tarp.
AMY: Oh yeah, we tried that and then we broke them.
MARTIN: Oh well.
MARTIN: Yeah, we are £9,000, I think, um, nine and a half maybe. And we tried that and we just ripped through them, so we threw them away.
AMY: Yeah, yeah, that was the first time we used them and unfortunately the last.
MARTIN: Okay. Got it.
AMY: I mean, for getting sick. I mean, if, say you eat something funny, you just walk down to the pharmacy and you can buy antibiotics over the counter. Okay. For anything more serious, there are doctors and hospitals. And if it’s more serious, your embassy will have a list of places they recommend you go in whatever country you’re in.
MARTIN: And we know that because I broke my arm in Bolivia.
ROSE: Yes, yes, I saw that in Instagram. And how did you do that?
MARTIN: Um, speaking of death roads, there is the most famous death road in Bolivia, uh, which is called the death Road.
MARTIN: And you can ride it on a bike. You can still drive it with a car.
MARTIN: But I.
MARTIN: Didn’t want.
MARTIN: To know.
MARTIN: So it’s all downhill. It’s actually pretty gorgeous. Um, I don’t know the. I don’t know the feet, but you start at 4900m and you go down to, like, 1500. Wow. So what’s that.
MARTIN: Like in feet.
MARTIN: 15? 16,000? Where you.
MARTIN: Start? Yeah.
ROSE: Um hum.
MARTIN: And it’s all downhill. It’s like a 4 or 5 hour mountain bike ride. And roughly an hour before the end, I had this thought in my head being like, I’m pretty tired, I should go slower. And the next thing I know is I hit a rock and I go flying over the handlebars. So I broke my shoulder.
MARTIN: Ah. So I had.
MARTIN: This amazing experience of riding down the death road on a more mountain bike, and then riding up the death Road in, uh.
MARTIN: In an ambulance. In a.
MARTIN: Local ambulance.
ROSE: Oh my goodness. So you’ve navigated that situation. Okay, so now you’re working on the road and what is a typical workday look for you guys while traveling through these countries. How do you balance everything as well.
MARTIN: So back in the Mazda days right. So this is 2011.
AMY: No 2020.
MARTIN: Oh 2020.
MARTIN: Thank you.
AMY: We haven’t been doing it that long.
MARTIN: Um, we discovered that we don’t like full time seek, you know, do sightseeing every day, which is obvious, right? Yeah. Um, yeah. But to us it wasn’t obvious back in the day. Um, so we discovered we need to break time in, be on the internet, uh, talk to people, take a break, not pack up the camper every single day. So we started the routine of being in one place for 2 or 3 days and then seeing things for four. Yeah, and that’s how that’s how our work routine became a thing. So usually Sunday afternoon or so, uh, we find a spot, usually an established campground, if we can set up startling and then stay in the same spot for two days. And usually Wednesday morning, 6 a.m., we are all packed up and ready to see the next thing.
ROSE: That’s awesome. Yeah. So it’s going to ask you how you stay connected with your internet, your Wi-Fi situation, your setup. You said Starlink. Is there anything else? Any other backups or.
MARTIN: We were on Google Fi originally for our phone plan.
ROSE: How did you like that?
MARTIN: I love Google Fi. I’m a huge fan.
ROSE: Do you? Okay.
MARTIN: Uh, good to know.
MARTIN: But they used to shut off people randomly, and now they shut you off pretty much consistently. After three months outside of North America, or maybe outside of the US, even.
AMY: I got mine shut off after, like, what, five weeks? Six weeks?
ROSE: Oh, with any notice or just.
MARTIN: No, they turn off your.
AMY: Yeah. They turn off your data.
ROSE: That’s it. Yeah.
MARTIN: Okay. Tough luck. Yeah.
ROSE: Tough luck.
MARTIN: So in the beginning we had like a month of that while we were doing Santiago and Buenos Aires. So that was great.
MARTIN: Um, now.
MARTIN: We buy local SIM cards for every country. So when we arrive in a country, we go to a store, buy a local SIM card. Generally speaking, your phone will tell you it’s LTE and it’s not right.
MARTIN: It’s something um, occasionally emails go through, occasionally not. So in big towns. It’s fine. Like here in here in Lima, it’s perfect. Unless it’s not because they work on towers and it doesn’t work. I would not depend like my salary could not depend on the reliability of Claro, but just wouldn’t be possible if I have to be on a call, I have to be on a call and I can’t just randomly drop no. So I wouldn’t depend on them at all. Um, and then there is local wifi’s.
MARTIN: Um, they’re.
AMY: Hit or miss. They’re either amazing or they’re terrible.
ROSE: Okay. So that’s why you’ve got Starlink and that’s been your like perfect go to all the time. Correct.
MARTIN: I think we’ve reached the point when like for example, right now we are in Lima, which you would think I would have good internet. Well, our Starlink is on the roof of the building because because the Wi-Fi was working really fast, but it wasn’t working reliably and it was driving me nuts. So I installed the Starlink on the building.
ROSE: That’s great. Oh my goodness. So back to let’s see. Our listeners might be curious about more of the financial side of your journey, like how you really budget for a trip like this. I mean, I know you’re. Working on the road. But I mean, you’ve got to be aware of your finances and like, just how do you do it from month to month?
MARTIN: Uh, lots of people share their monthly finances and how much it costs to overland South America. To me, it’s a bit of a violation of privacy. So we don’t do that.
MARTIN: But yeah, people are interesting. There is like Lisbeth roaming about. There is other people who do this so their numbers can be $2,000 a month roughly for a couple. Okay.
MARTIN: Okay. Including gas. But yeah, as the listeners know, gas is there. You know, the most expensive aspect.
MARTIN: That’s the biggie.
ROSE: Is it more expensive there than in the US? Gas right now.
AMY: Depends on the country but generally no, no.
MARTIN: Got it.
MARTIN: I think Peruvian gas is the same as Texas. Uh, but when we left the US, gas was still like 550 in Boston.
AMY: So I would say gas in Chile is about the same as the US. But then you have gas in Argentina, which is very, very low price because it’s subsidized. Right?
ROSE: Okay. So back to that budgeting thing. How do you guys budget for this?
MARTIN: I my advice.
MARTIN: Would be a different one.
MARTIN: Okay okay.
MARTIN: So like budgeting budgeting people budget right right. But there is this thing called foreign tax exclusion. Right. Which basically says you don’t pay taxes on your income if you are out of the country for more than 12 months.
MARTIN: Right. So, yeah, you know how much taxes is. So when you think about it, um, your cost of living is way lower and your income is higher, right?
MARTIN: So the best thing you can do is do it the way we do work on the road, even though reduced hours. And you might end up in a situation where you actually save more in South America than you could possibly save, let’s say in Florida.
ROSE: Yeah. That’s smart, I love it. I really love it. So you travel slower now or do you like do you move fast? How do you savor your journey here?
AMY: I think we’ve changed pace a ton of times, but at the beginning we were going pretty fast. We had a bit of a lull in the middle. Um, when we ended up in Brazil, we slowed way down, started to speed up, but then we got back to Bolivia and somebody flew off of his bike. So then we had to sit for about a month. I think we moved pretty fast starting in Peru, but now we’ve, I think slowed to a good pace and now we’re being interrupted again.
ROSE: Yes. Right. You’ve got to fly out. Yeah, I believe that happens to a lot of people. They just happen to us too. You just move so quick. You want to see everything. And they’re like, wait a minute, I can really enjoy this. I can slow down and it’s better when you slow down. I agree, um.
MARTIN: While we were.
MARTIN: In Bolivia and this is a good story, um, we were stuck, and the campsite in La Paz was full of people who were stuck for different reasons, whether it’s, you know, broken vents or medical issues or parasites.
MARTIN: Or other reasons. So it was maybe 6 or 7 couples says the same couples for a month. And it was like a little family. So now we are all missing each other and syncing up, and we’ll probably meet in Ecuador and people want to meet up in Colombia. So like even though we got stuck for a month with a broken arm, I was so happy that we made like a little camp family.
AMY: Sometimes it pays to really slow down.
ROSE: Yeah, and it’s I it’s really important to have some kind of community on the road. I’m glad you guys have started to find that, because I can imagine it would be challenging and kind of lonely at times going through another country. So it sounds like you’ve you’ve really mastered this balance that works for yourselves about traveling and working. So I think that’s fabulous. What’s the best way to reach you guys and find you guys online?
MARTIN: So we our handle is L through Quito. We are pretty much everywhere. Altright.com Instagram, Facebook and Rose is definitely our biggest fan on Facebook. So thank you very much for that.
ROSE: You know what, I would like to know a little bit more about El Taquito. I mean, it’s a fabulous name. It works. And is that just something you randomly came up with? Was there more behind that?
AMY: That was definitely one of Martin’s better random ideas, because we were thinking like, oh, everybody else names their vehicle. We should come up with a name for ours. We couldn’t come up with anything. And he’s like, I have the stupidest idea ever. And it was the best.
ROSE: It is the best. I love.
MARTIN: It. Yeah.
MARTIN: We were brainstorming ideas like War Machine and War Bastard.
AMY: That’s my God. That’s what people like to call their trucks. Or, you know, something simple like Pedro.
MARTIN: Yeah. Pedro. Pedro. Um.
AMY: But we came up with El Chuchito.
ROSE: I love it. Now. Do you guys have, uh, plans I see on your website? It looks like you want to do other countries. Is that still up in the air or still on the plan?
MARTIN: So, yeah, the global master plan is to visit every single country. 196. Okay. We want to do everything right.
MARTIN: It will take a while. I assume. Maybe a month or two.
MARTIN: Yeah, right.
AMY: Um, only a month or two to do.
MARTIN: Only a month.
MARTIN: So we have it split into phases because you can’t really plan that far ahead. No. So phase one is the Americas. So it’s 22 countries I think.
AMY: Uh, not including the Caribbean islands.
MARTIN: Yeah. Right.
MARTIN: So that’s what we are doing right now. Right. So that means probably Venezuela and El Salvador. So they will have probably stories about how safe these countries are. And you know, how much of what you see in the media is the truth.
MARTIN: But once we are done with that, whenever that happens, I think we will then plan the next section and probably go to Europe probably.
MARTIN: That’s awesome.
ROSE: Probably. I hope you do. I hope you do. So before we kind of wrap up here, is there any advice that you would have for, uh, these aspiring RV entrepreneurs or digital nomads looking to do something similar that you guys are doing?
AMY: So practical advice learn to be flexible. You can make all the plans you want to make, but something is going to happen and it could be anything ranging from mechanical problems, political upheavals, terrible weather, a pandemic, anything can happen. So you have to learn how to be flexible. Check your refrigerator because you don’t want to replace that in another country.
MARTIN: Oh no. Yeah.
AMY: That’s a bit of a story. But yes, do check your refrigerator.
MARTIN: Other aspect of the flexibility is that you never know what you discover. I mean, it’s the same everywhere, right? So you might come to a location, you’ve seen the best awesomest pictures on Instagram. You get there and go, eh. Then you move on, right? And sometimes you get somewhere you didn’t expect anything, and you end up staying there for a long period of time because it’s absolutely awesome, right? So we always say, you know, plan. And then just for the practice.
AMY: Throw your plans away right?
ROSE: Right. That’s great. Great advice. Wise words. Thank you guys for sharing this incredible journey with us. Is there anything else you want to say or anything else we missed that you would like to add?
AMY: I don’t think so. I think if you would like to follow our adventures or connect with us on Instagram.
MARTIN: Yay, yay!
ROSE: That’s awesome guys, I wish you safe travels on the rest of your journey, and we will all be eagerly following along with El Taquitos adventures. So thank you, thank you. What an incredible overlanding journey we’ve just explored with Martin and Amy. Their travels through South America is a testament to the magic of slow travel, working remotely while exploring every nook and cranny of the Americas. They seem to really have mastered the art of balancing work and wanderlust. I think their budgeting strategy is brilliant, leveraging the foreign tax exclusion and working on the road. Not only does it help sustain their journey, but it also allows them to save more money than they could have imagined in the US with their travels. Flexibility is paramount, and being open to unexpected discoveries can turn this journey into an adventure of a lifetime. Martin and Amy’s insights emphasize the importance of meticulous planning, yet the beauty of throwing away plans and relishing the spontaneity of travel. That is just awesome. Their story reminds us that the journey is just as important as the destination, and sometimes the best office is the one with a panoramic view of a new landscape every day.
ROSE: I want to extend my gratitude to Martin and Amy for sharing their experiences, insights, and the challenges they’ve overcome on the road. It’s a testament to the possibilities that come with embracing the nomadic lifestyle and the spirit of exploration. So I encourage all of you to connect with El Taquito on Instagram for more glimpses into their ongoing adventures, as well as checking out their website. And I’ll include all these links in the show notes. And to our listeners, thank you again for joining us today. Stay tuned for more captivating stories of those who have chosen to redefine the traditional work life balance and embrace the open road. If you enjoyed today’s conversation or have more questions, please let us know in the RV Entrepreneur Facebook group. And if you’ve been following along, you may have heard that there will be an RV Entrepreneur Summit this year. We are so excited for that. So let us know if you are too and if you’d be interested in attending. We want to know. As always guys, safe travels. Keep exploring, keep dreaming, and keep the entrepreneurial spirit alive on the road. Have a great week!
The RV Entrepreneur is presented by RV Life – Tools that Make Camping Simple
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