Customer Showcase: Eternal nomads Minimalist Journeys teach their customers how to live with intention and travel lightly.
Image supplied by Paul Ryken: Wrapped up observing the Gannet Colony at Cape Kidnappers.
Paul and Sandra Ryken fell in love with life on the road. Then, they found out how to give back to the people and places they moved through.
Long-term Wireless Nation customers Paul and Sandra’s first big trip together was three months spent dancing their way around Latin America in 2012. Tango in Argentina, Salsa in Cuba, Bachata in the Dominican Republic, and Zouk in Brazil. Unsurprisingly, they didn’t want it to end.
When they got back to their comfortable corporate Sydney lives, they decided they wanted to shake up the way they lived. Over the next four years, they researched, saved, and designed the life they wanted for their future.
“We had this huge four bedroom house, but we were never in it, because we were always working. We decided to sell it, and from there we just asked ourselves what was important to us, and it was actually not having too much stuff – living out of a backpack. Like twenty year olds going on an OE, but with values. And travel for us creates empathy, cultural awareness, enlightenment – it’s all those nice buzzwords,” says Paul.
With that in mind, they hit the road.
Aligning travel with values.
Image supplied by Paul Ryken: Do you have a bucket list? Paul and Sandra fulfilled one of their bucket list items – exploring Iceland’s 1200km ring road and taking in the Northern Lights.
Soon, their priorities and the way they travelled began to shift.
“When we started out, our values were very different. These days, things like sustainability and supporting local communities have become really important. In the Galapagos Islands, for example, most people visit by cruise ship. We did some research and found that 93% of the money paid to these cruise ships goes out of Ecuador to US or UK companies.”
For Paul and Sandra, this was senseless. One of the biggest factors for them is where their money goes when they spend it.
“Who actually gets the benefits? So we decided to stay on the islands themselves.”
According to Paul, this is just one small example of how you can change the way you travel. As their mindsets evolved, so did their behaviour, and they started to ask themselves what the alternatives were and they could get there.
“We used to take a lot of flights, but now we spend at least one year on a continent and use mostly public transport. The UN has 21 Sustainable Development Goals, so we look at those. Number one is no poverty. How do we reduce poverty in the places we go to? We stay in locally-owned Air Bnbs, we shop at the markets, we talk to the locals and find out where they eat. It’s an immersive experience compared with going to some resort town and sitting on the beach.”
Now, they use their website to share their knowledge and experience with others.
Image supplied by Paul Ryken: Housesitting around New Zealand provides Paul and Sandra the opportunity to attend different community events such as the Big Buzz Festival in Matakana.
Minimalist Journeys aims to teach people how to travel more sustainably and ethically, encouraging them to enrich (rather than taking from) the communities and landscapes they visit. They do this mostly by writing about what they’ve done on their blogs, which earn them some affiliate income from sustainable tourism companies.
However, Paul says that a lot of what they do these days is altruistic, and they give all of their information away for free.
“We do a lot of research into what kind of businesses we are supporting before we spend money on them. We can afford to do this research because we’ve got the time to, so we’re doing it for people who can’t.”
Minimalist Journeys goes beyond mindful travel, and to the values underlying it.
Paul and Sandra soon realised that what they had to offer went further than travel. They wanted to help people to find out what their values were, and live from that place. They wanted to teach people how to minimise their lives, whether they planned to travel the world or stay right where they were.
“We don’t spend a lot of money so we don’t have to earn a lot of money. If you earn lots you spend lots. So with our courses, we teach people about intentionality in life in general – how do you spend your time and resources to get the best for you? We find out what peoples’ problems are and how we can solve them by removing the clutter.”
They now have two parts to what they offer their community: their blogs, as well as coaching and courses to help people to connect with their values.
“It starts with working out your why – what you do has got to be important to you. We get a lot of value and satisfaction out of what we do.”
Staying connected is essential for both arms of the Minimalist Journeys business.
For Paul and Sandra, everything is remote – keeping their blog up to date, running online courses, and keeping connected with their community. So their internet connection is a crucial element.
When they’re on home soil, Wireless Nation keeps them connected on the road.
Image supplied by Paul Ryken: In 2018, #Vanlife allowed Paul and Sandra to spend 12-months on the road (with internet usage from Wireless Nation) – all in the South Island. The remote Catlins area was definitely off the beaten track but well worth the visit.
Minimalist Journeys got together with Wireless Nation in 2018, when they came back to New Zealand and bought a campervan for a year of van life. They spent the whole year tripping around the South Island, using Wireless Nation’s Portable WiFi plan, which they still use when they’re in the country.
“We researched and found that Wireless Nation were Kiwi owned, and they were just different from the other companies. Using them is the bees knees – they’re a solid company, and the convenience is amazing, it’s life changing. The fact that they have no long term contracts is great and the benefits are huge for us. It keeps us connected to our community, and it means we can run our business from anywhere.”
In fact, they often choose to use their Wireless Nation modem when they house-sit (which they do often in New Zealand to save costs) because it often offers a better connection than those of the houses they’re staying at!
Portable WiFi offers the freedom of a life on the road.
Paul and Sandra join a whole lot of other Kiwis in making the most of Wireless Nation’s Portable WiFi plan. It gives them the freedom to take the internet with them wherever they go.
It can be put on hold for the months they don’t need it, and the portable router can be plugged into an outlet wherever they are to provide a stronger signal than a mobile device, and allow multiple devices to connect at once.
Our Wireless Nation wireless modems use 12V-2A; 24 Whr maximum power and 12V-0.5A; 6Whr nominal power, making them a hit with off-gridders like Paul and Sandra.
As far as the signal goes, there are 1,650+ cell towers across the country. If you’re hitting the road, check our coverage map here to see if you’re covered.
With a little help from Wireless Nation, Minimalist Journeys have found their way of living a more intentional life, with less.
Would your ideal life take you on the road? We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with Wireless Nation to discuss the best plan for your needs.