A Look Back at 2015 and our Plans for the Year Ahead

With many of our blogger friends doing review posts for the year just gone by, we didn’t want to be left out! After all, it is the start of a brand new year and if there was ever a time for reflection, optimism, planning and goal-setting for the future, there is no better time than today!

We’ve been home for just over 2 months now and it’s been amazing to catch up with family and friends. As much as I love being away, there’s a lot to be said for unpacking the bags and spending quality time with family and friends at Christmas.

a look back

A look back at 2015

2015 had many highs and many lows for us, but in true New Years optimism, let’s start with the highs!

Travel wise, we got to visit and explore one new country – India – and live in one of our favourites – Thailand. This might sound like a pathetic number of new countries (and I kind of agree), but this year was all about slowing things down a little for us.

We spent almost 3 months exploring India – a country that Carlo had always wanted to visit. I won’t lie and say that being in India was (very) difficult at times, but looking back I can honestly say that it was an adventure of a lifetime and one that I’m super glad we stuck out until the end.

Seeing the Taj Mahal was my personal high of that trip and exploring the northern region of Rajasthan with his camera in tow was Carlos.

taj mahal india

2014 was spent country hopping in South America for the most part, and we just felt that we needed to unpack those backpacks, get into a routine and have a place where we can call ‘home’ for a while.

We spent the first part of 2015 in Chiang Mai. What’s still one of our favourite cities in the world, spending those few months in Chiang Mai was a game changer for us.

Just like we had intended, we unpacked the bags and settled in Chiang Mai where we knuckled down and got major focused work-wise.

working online in cafes

The majority of our days were spent in one of our favourite cafes trying to get new clients on board for our freelance writing business. We managed to do that and as a result, we took on a lot more writers to cater for the excess work that we’d secured.

This brings me to our next big high. Let’s talk business.

If you’re signed up to our monthly income report, you’ll already know that the latter half of 2015 has been exceptionally great for us.

We started off the year by making a revenue of €5,300 in January, €3,000 in February and finished the year by pulling in a revenue of €15,560 in November and approximately €25,000 in December.

We’ve also hit 2 huge financial milestones this year. In August of this year, we had our first five-figure month and in early November, our total revenue for the year surpassed our expectations as we cruised passed the €100,000 mark for this year. I won’t lie and tell you that we didn’t do a celebratory dance on both occasions!

Our goal for the year was to make 5 figures in one month so to say we’re ecstatic that we’ve managed to do that and more is an understatement.

Make it happen

To know that we can travel to, and live, wherever we’d like to (within reason of course) is something that we’re not taking for granted. There is no secret recipe to how we managed to scale things so quickly and drastically, but we do plan on blogging a lot more in 2016 about our business and how we maintain it.

If you’re not signed up to our monthly income report and would like to do so, click right here.

Thankfully, I can say that the lows of 2015 were few and far between.

Apart from the familiar feelings of missing family and the other obvious downsides to travelling long-term and being self-employed, our only big low came in the form of a few working relationships that we should have never entered into.

Basically, one graphic designer promised us a new customised website but gave us a copy of someone else’s. The second designer we hired screwed us over big time and made a big BIG mess of everything.

Their messes have been more or less cleaned up now and even though we went through months of anguish with endless emails, lost money and unfulfilled contracts, things are more or less sorted now.

We’ve learned a lot about hiring freelancers online in the process and will share some of that with you next year.

What else is in store for 2016?

While the majority of our friends are married and talking babies and mortgages, we’ve still not got the urge to settle down to that extent just yet.

2016 is shaping up to be an exciting year of lots of new countries, brand new experiences, visits from family and friends, new business ventures, lots of blogging and maybe even a little investment in business and/or property (all going well!).

goals for the new year

We leave home in just a couple of weeks and our plan is to go where we’ve never been before – in Europe that is! Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Albania, Croatia and Greece are first on the list. There are so many beautiful counties in Europe and we’re excited at the prospect of getting to tick some of them off the list.

After the initial stint of travel, we’re expecting to feel a little burned out after that and will settle for a few months in Budapest to get that little bit of routine in life and business that we always come to long for.

After that, it really is a case of next stop – who knows?!

A word of THANKS!

We want to say a quick word of thanks to all of you who follow our adventures on Next Stop. We appreciate every single like, comment and share on our blog and social media channels and we’re super grateful to have you guys along for the ride with us. Knowing that we’ve got company and support while on the road makes all this blogging rigmarole worthwhile!

Word of thanks

2015 has been pretty slack blog wise (apologies!). We haven’t managed to post as often as we would have liked but business and travel were our primary focuses and we DO promise a lot more posts this year so stay tuned.

Happy New Year to each of you and bring on 2016!