Our Favorite Traveling Couple Has Now Mastered Living Abroad Rent Free, Here’s How
By DeAnna Taylor
When we last spoke with Tenaj and Faustino aka Tino, they shared how they paid off all of their debt, packed up their family, and moved abroad to ditch the “American Dream.”
The couple, along with their 14-year old son, have now ventured from Southeast Asia and are living life in beautiful Acapulco, Mexico. What makes this move even better, they are doing it totally rent free.
We spoke with them to learn about life in Mexico and how they are living without having to pay for their accommodations.
Travel Noire: How did you all decide that Mexico was the best place to locate to next?
Tenaj and Tino: Actually, the move to Mexico was a pretty easy decision. While living in Asia we signed up for a housesitting job which required us to take care of 6 kittens in Bangkok rent-free for a month. Shortly after we completed that assignment, we were chosen to pet sit in Australia for 3 months but before we could make a decision on Australia we were chosen to house sit in Mexico for 6 months. We’ve vacationed in Mexico before and we loved it so when the opportunity presented itself we jumped at the offer.
TN: How did you learn about pet sitting gigs?
Tenaj and Tino: Well, we are avid animal lovers and have owned pets our entire lives. Unfortunately, our pets went with family members once we decided to move abroad. While visiting Thailand, we were introduced to the idea of pet sitting by another Youtube Couple. We were a bit skeptical at first, but after we landed our first “gig” in Bangkok we were all in. Our first assignment was in a gorgeous penthouse located in the most popular part of the city. When we weren’t playing with their adorable kittens we were out exploring Bangkok. We found pet sitting to be a wonderful way of offsetting the cost of accommodations while traveling.
TN: Tell us about the experience.
Tenaj and Tino: We started house sitting with zero experience and though we are fairly new to house sitting, we know plenty of people who swear by it. Although house sitting is not just for long term travelers, we’ve seen house sitting assignments in Paris for two weeks and Germany for a weekend. Our shortest assignment was 3 weeks on a farm in Texas.
We are always getting asked “is it worth it” and the short answer is YES!!!!!!!. We get to travel the world and stay in exotic places without the worry of paying for anything but our food. We signed up for the program on December 5 while in Chiang Mai. Although most companies charge a yearly fee, it’s pennies compared to the money saved on accommodations. The fee pays for a 1 yr subscription and it was only $80 with a referral code. As for duties, our only responsibilities are feeding the owners pets.
TN: What are some other options for those who may not want to watch other people’s pets?
Tenaj and Tino: House Sitting is not only for pets, but some people also need their plants watered or someone to keep their home tidy while it’s on the market to sell. House swapping is also available. Sofa surfing is also another way to save on accommodations while traveling, although we haven’t tried it
we’ve met many travelers who find it to be a great way to save money while traveling.
TN: Tell us what an average day looks like for you all now.
Tenaj and Tino: We have both began teaching English online so, no two days are ever the same. Some Days we start at 6 am, other days at 10 am. We usually teach about five 25-minute classes each per day. After about two and a half hours of teaching online, it’s time to start homeschooling with our son Daniel. By 2 o’clock we are usually out of the house exploring or editing our youtube videos from the balcony while enjoying the views of the Bay.
TN: Can you offer any tips for parents wanting to move abroad with kids?
Tenaj and Tino: Our tips for those moving abroad with kids would be research, communicate, and include. Research the list of places you would like to move. Does it have a school within walking distance if you don’t have a car? What type of curriculum do they offer? If you’re not interested in traditional schools, research homeschooling programs and what best suits your family needs. Communicate with your kids regarding your expectations and things they should expect in a new country. Finally, allow your kids to participate in the choice of where you’re interested in moving. The move will be a big change not only for you but also for them and its important that everyone is comfortable.
TN: Where can we find you guys online:
DeAnna Taylor is a criminal defense Attorney turned travel blogger, author, and writer. While Charlotte, NC (her hometown) is her base, she's always somewhere on a plane. Catch her on IG: @brokeandabroadlife.