August 27, 2008

After 10 years in the Internet industry, veteran web designer Kelly Hale and developer Mike Schimanowsky (Shim) have sold their worldly belongings, bid farewell to friends and family, packed a laptop and traded in the daily 9-5 for a life of nomadic freelancing and travel.

Our first stop? It was the Philippines, where began our search for the idyllic stretch of sandy beach… complete with WiFi connection.

Since then, we’ve been through Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Hong Kong. After a year abroad in Southeast Asia, we returned home to Canada for a brief visit with family and friends. Then continuing the journey, we moved on to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Belize, and Mexico. After nearly two and a half years abroad, we’ve crossed the big pond and are now currently exploring Europe and the UK.

Here we hope to relate our travels and post pictures for friends and family, and to provide some insight into the challenges and rewards of our journey.

Mike and Kelly

Posted by: Shim

23 Comments so far

  1. Catherine September 9, 2008 6:57 pm

    This is dangerous reading… I’m starting to look at exotic places, fantasizing about leaving my job, telling my boss I’m outta here (oops, I am the boss), and generally getting lost somewhere there isn’t a real estate developer in sight. (Is that even possible???) Anyway, love your photos and musings. Vicarious living seems to be my lot right now. But one can dream …

  2. Daniela October 9, 2008 12:43 pm

    WOW! I’ve been reading some of your blog and it’s really cool and interesting. This is an excellent way for me to kill time when I am supposed to be doing work. Keep it up! :)

  3. Anne February 12, 2009 2:42 pm

    wow kelly it’s great to be working with you again ~so envious! (asia rain still seems better than yvr rain for some reason)

  4. philip March 19, 2009 4:54 am

    So that means, i got another year in this dreaded business before i can move and live somewhere exotic. haha. great blog

  5. xan March 20, 2009 7:14 am

    wow… nice that the first stop was in the Philippines! hope you really had fun and hope you will be back! you should go to bantayan island in northern part of Cebu..

  6. adrien September 28, 2009 12:26 pm

    my fiance and myself our planning a similar paradigm shift.we live in victoria bc yet constantly crave foreign culture, challenge and excitement which we have found comes with travel. we have a home in Bali which we use as a base to explore south east asia. my fiance being a teacher we hope to in the near future have her work only one semester and travel the remaining six months throughout Asia.

  7. Shim September 28, 2009 2:01 pm

    Sounds like a great plan Adrien. Good luck in your travels! Roaming southeast Asia was an unforgettable experience. Bali was really great too! We were in the Seminyak and Sanur area for a month. Really nice people.

  8. ShoreDiveLife November 17, 2009 12:12 pm

    Hi Mike and Kelly – I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of months and then last night, lying in bed, I thought: I should thank them! So, thanks!

    I’m blogging about gearing up for a traveling life – including all the tiresome detail about selling a house, fretting over how to pay the bar bill on the road, and doubting whether it will all, ever, come together (www.ShoreDiveLife.com), and your blog has GREAT details on costs, keeping in shape (or not so much), and everything else I’m pondering. Hey, maybe you should trademark “You know you’re fucking jealous!” parties – we’re already planning ours!

  9. Shim November 17, 2009 1:17 pm

    Haha. That’s great Nancy! Thanks for the thanks. I’m glad to hear there’s something of value here for others.

    Best of luck with your travel preparations. It’s sometimes more challenging than the traveling itself, but everything comes together eventually… It’s an inevitability when it won’t all fit in your suitcase. ;) What’s your next destination?

  10. ShoreDiveLife November 17, 2009 1:48 pm

    Western Carribean cruise for Thanksgiving, and then Curacao and Bonaire (my favorite!) for some shore diving! Hope something of note happens soon in Tamarindo so we can hear all about it…

  11. Patrick Racine December 30, 2009 1:01 pm

    Salut, i just stumbled on your blog. Inspiring. I’m in the process of reorienting my life, leaving my sedentary life for a nomadic one. I’m also a graphic designer, mostly in print but morphing to web slowly. I’m giving myself a couple of years to settle everything i can: sell my house, get a couple of client and learning more about the web, setting up website and learning a couple of new trade to diversify my income. You can now count me as an avid reader. :)


  12. Shim December 30, 2009 1:18 pm

    Hi Pat, welcome to the site. Thanks for letting us know you’re out there. Congrats on choosing to pursue a nomadic lifestyle and best of luck in making the transition. We’re certainly glad we did.

  13. Patrick December 30, 2009 3:29 pm

    how was the transition process for you? Maybe a blog about how you did it. I’m very interested in knowing how you made it and i’m sure alot of people would also. Maybe you already did, if it’s the case let me know…:)

  14. Shim December 30, 2009 7:13 pm

    Hey Pat,
    We’ve done a couple posts in that vein in the planning category of the blog. Have a look here and bounce back to the beginning. Or this one in particular. Cheers!

  15. Patrick December 31, 2009 10:22 am

    Thanks for the post and have a great year to come. Cheers.

  16. christine talianis February 14, 2010 11:09 pm

    hi guys, love your website…..glad i stumbled on it…..we are on our 6th month of travels….currently in S.E. Asia…..too bad we won’t be running into you–you seem very nice…..well, at any rate, we will be sure to follow you on your travels…..be safe, christine and paul

  17. Shim February 14, 2010 11:35 pm

    Hi Christine. Thanks for the compliments. I see from your travel blog that you’re in Kuala Lumpur at the moment. If you get a chance, check out the Old China Cafe in chinatown. Great food! Yeah, it doesn’t look like our paths are going to cross any time soon, but best of luck to you guys on your journey and maybe we’ll have a chance to meet up when we head over to Europe. Thanks for stopping by. Hope to hear from you again.

  18. Nomadic Matt March 18, 2010 2:02 am

    Kelly and Mike,

    How are you? I hope this email finds you well. I stumbled across your website and am impressed with all your travels. One of the joys of running a blog is meeting all the other people who run a blog and I enjoy hearing from my readers as I am sure you do too. So hello! Any good travels coming up?


  19. Shim March 18, 2010 12:00 pm

    Hi Matt,
    Thanks for dropping us a line. We’re doing excellent. We just moved to Roatan, Honduras where we’ll be hanging our hats for the next couple months and doing a ton of scuba diving. Then we’re likely going to Belize for a bit before heading to Mexico for a friend’s wedding. Good times! You still roaming in Australia?


  20. Daniela Hassman October 21, 2010 5:16 pm

    I was just showing your blog to someone and not only is it inspirational ~ we love it!!!
    Thank you for the great posts.

  21. May November 29, 2010 12:20 am

    Great site guys! I found you guys through Mike Schwarz. I’m about test out my first living abroad experience in Grand Cayman for about 3 months, it’ll be more expensive than Yaletown but I’m hoping to score the ‘locals’ dive rate which is about %50 less than the tourist rate… I love the budget comparisons. Please keep them coming! You have no idea how invaluable these experiences are to others thinking of doing the same =)

  22. Shim November 29, 2010 2:54 pm

    Thanks May! Best of luck with your migration abroad. We’re glad to hear our recaps helped you out. Bon voyage!

  23. Michael January 8, 2011 1:36 am

    Hi Mike,
    I am a friend of Cathy and Ron W. in Vancouver. I knew Cathy first and a couple of years later Ron came to work for the company I work for and that was over 30 years ago now. Ron just gave me your website today and said to send you a line.

    My wife is from Roatan. We met 16 years ago and go back usually every year. We have a place on West Bay Beach. We have a 9 year old, he had his fifth birthday on the Island and started snorkeling then and we would spend a couple hours at a time out on the reef. Next summer he turns 10 so he’ll take the course and start diving. I know many couples with young children that have chosen Roatan to live. I think we’ll go back to live full time in about 3 years. I know all about the Roatan Vortex. Travelled and have different family members throughout Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Belize, Guate., and Roatan is still my choice. Ron said so far Roatan is looking good as a spot for you as well.

    As far as other Caribbean Islands Roatan combines features from many of the other Islands and has a little Spanish thrown in to top it off. And it has Copan and my favorite town Santa Rosa de Copan on the mainland, so there is always lots to do.

    Sorry to be so lengthy, perhaps we’ll meet on the Roatan one day (or maybe Whistler).
    Best regards,
    Mike T.


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