Meet Brandon Quittem and Anne Rapp, a.k.a. The Yoga Nomads!
Now approaching their 2-year travel-versary, this pair of nomadic yogis pushed health and happiness to the forefront when they decided to call it quits on American norms two summers back and began booking flights for their first destination. Today, they’re still roaming about (exploring the Pacific Northwest when we caught up with them for this interview), with a boatload of awesome experiences and a blog full of yoga-licious travel posts. (Check out their photos below and you’ll see what I mean.)
Ready for an intro to this couple’s yoga-infused nomadic lifestyle? Let’s let them say hello!
We’re Anne and Brandon, an American couple from Minnesota who believe that travel is the best education in the world. We met in corporate America 5 years ago and our first conversation was about traveling. Our lives merged together and we decided it was time for a change. Both yogis who care about health and well-being, we created The Yoga Nomads, a website about lifestyle design, travel and yoga and hit the road in January of 2014. We haven’t looked back since.
We also love craft beer, live music, hiking/camping, fishing, cooking, surfing, biking, and foraging wild mushrooms! You can read the long version here.
The Travel Couple At a Glance
Names: Brandon Quittem & Anne Rapp
Blog: The Yoga Nomads
Quit Date: January 2014
Location Independent For: 20 months
Home Base: Minneapolis, MN
Posts They’re Most Proud Of — You’ll wanna read these!
Currently Exploring: The Pacific Northwest
Q & A with The Yoga Nomads
Q. When did you decide to quit your job to travel full time? How long after that did you actually quit?
We decided in the summer of 2013 and bought our 1-way ticket shortly after that. It was about 7 months after we officially decided to travel that we quit our jobs.
Q. What were the biggest influencers on your decision to quit to start traveling?
Yoga Teacher Training had a lot of influence over our ultimate decision. We both completed training within months of each other, and noticed drastic shifts in what we felt we wanted out of life. After 8 intensive weeks of diving deeper into the yoga philosophy and learning to teach a class, we also peeled back layers to reveal a deeper sense of self – which helped provide more direction in what we wanted to do next. Another catalyst of the trip was when Anne lost her job in the summer of 2013, just after teacher training ended. In this transition, she heavily weighed the options of going back to an unfulfilling career, or taking an entirely different path.
What were the two of you doing for work before you started traveling?
Both of us were working as sales reps at Oracle. Anne was also teaching yoga.
Q. What was/is your game plan for getting by? (Did you spend a lot of time planning? How closely have you stuck to your original plan? What (if anything) has changed your plans along the way?)
Funny enough, we originally planned on a 12 month tour of South America and then at the last minute we decided to buy a one-way ticket to India instead. We can blame thank Matt and Erica from LivingIF.com. We wanted to keep our itinerary somewhat open, knowing that we would get ideas from other travelers and locals along the way. One thing we’ve noticed that has changed, or we’ve simply become aware of, is that we know we enjoy staying in one place for at least a month. It’s the only way we really get a feel for a place.
As far as money goes, did you guys save up before you left? Have plans for a nomadic business?
We saved enough to cover a year of travel in Asia. Just as the money was starting to run out, we started making money through TheYogaNomads.com. Not a ton, but enough to comfortably extend our travels for another 3 months in Central America.
Since returning to our hometown of Minneapolis, MN in May 2015 – we’ve launched a few new projects some we can talk about and others are still too new 🙂 We’re getting very excited about ShiftSpaces.com which facilitates life changing experiences for remote workers. If you can work from anywhere, why are you still at your local Starbucks?
Does your blog cover your bills? (and if so, how?)
Currently, we cannot pay our bills from the blog alone while living in Minneapolis. However, this past spring we were living in Nicaragua and were breaking even from blog revenues. The majority of our revenues come from selling native advertising on TYN and a few other websites that we own/manage.
To be honest, making a full time income for 2 people from a yoga/travel blog would not be easy task. Does it open lots of doors and have potential in the future? Yes – absolutely, but in the short/mid term it’s time to launch a few more projects!
Q. What made/makes your situation unique? (Why do you think YOU do it, while many others never do?)
Everyone is capable of achieving their dreams. What perhaps distinguishes us from the rest is simply the fact that we made it happen. Sometimes making the change (in our case, buying the ticket) is the hardest part.
Q. What are your goals for your blog/business/traveling life?
To thrive financially while maintaining location independence. Ideally, we’ll be able to spend 70% of the year in one place, and 30% in another.
Q. At what point did you just know you could really do it? Or have you not yet reached that point?
The moment we bought the 1-way ticket to India really instilled in us the drive to continue to do things that were seemingly impossible. It’s like a domino effect, really. And on the road we’ve met so many people who have a similar story and life path, which keeps us inspired to keep going.
Q. What’s the biggest thing you’ve struggled with since you started your new exciting journey, and what have you been doing to overcome it?
Q. What’s the most awesome thing about the journey you’re on now?
Keeping up a healthy routine. Although in some respects we both agree that routine can be lethal, there is a certain aspect of it that isn’t so bad for you. Trying new foods is one of our favorite things to do, so it’s not always easy to stay on track health wise, even though health is at the forefront of our minds all the time. Once situated in a place for a while, we establish a few daily healthy habits that don’t change; i.e. warm lemon water in the morning, a light workout mid-day, ingesting probiotics through food and drink, and drinking more water than we think we need.
Freedom. Being able to do what we want, when we want to. In our lifestyles back home with the corporate jobs, we were always working around the 9-5. On the road, we choose what we want each day to be like.
Q. If you were single, would you have done it alone? Do you think it was easier to quit as a couple?
Both of us certainly possess that inner drive to do something of this magnitude individually. But doing it together definitely made it easier. You have someone who truly understands the wave of emotions that come over when you quit. We could be each other’s crutch, when one of us was wavering one way or another.
Q. What advice do you have for a couple (or individual) considering taking the leap themselves?
Whatever you think you can’t do – you can. Think less, feel more. Trust your gut, and ignore societal norms.
Q. Do you ever regret quitting or wish you had your old life back?
No regrets here! If we wanted that life again, we could have it. It’s all a choice.
Q. Where are you now, and where to next?
We are currently posted up in Vancouver, British Columbia. We’ll be driving through Canada back to Minneapolis for fall. We spent most of last winter in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua which was enjoyable. Not sure where we’ll be this coming winter. Somewhere warm!
Final Thoughts from Brandon & Anne
Getting out of our comfort zone this past year and a half has been a crucial aspect in the growth we’ve both experienced. Somewhere along the way, I think we’ve actually gotten comfortable with the uncomfortable. What a blessing it’s been. 🙂
Let’s Keep Chatting!
Have a question for Brandon and Anne about life, travel or yoga on the road?
About the Author
- In March 2014, Diana called it quits on her traditional American working life and set out to explore the world with her partner in crime (and love of her life) Ian Norman. They now live a sustainable life of full time travel, working for themselves and seeking adventure at the same time. Here on North to South, Diana documents their journey in achieving and maintaining this "road less traveled" way of life.