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About Amber

(And The Husband)

After 10 years as an attorney, I left my job at the largest law firm in the world and decided to start living my life. I am now a recovering tax lawyer, perpetual nomad, intrepid foodie, and yoga teacher, traveling the world With Husband In Tow.  I plan, Eric follows, and after 65 countries and 12 years of marriage, I want to share our travel and expat tales with you. Follow me @husbandintow

Currently: Stalled in Ubud, Bali!

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Traveling, With Husband in Tow

Tuesday
Aug122014

The Business of Blogging - BlogHouse Chicago

Digital Nomad GuidePart II of the Digital Nomad Series -

How to Make Money on the Road

I can see it now, young, adventurous traveler thinks “Hey, I am going to become a famous travel blogger, travel the world for free, and everyone will read my blog just simply because it is out there for the world to see.  I will work a few hours a week, and get paid lots of money because I am a genius writer, and for sure this world needs more travel bloggers.”

Yeah, it doesn’t quite work like that.  

I have been blogging for two years, and have yet to turn a profit, or even come close.  Yeah, we have received some cool stuff, including a press trip to Dubai, a luxury stay at the Viceroy in Bali, and a food tour in Malaysia, but so far this whole blogging thing has not paid off.

I am in a cross roads in my digital nomad career, and I have been left wondering whether I can hack it as a blogger, should I just focus on teaching yoga, or whether I can do both.  Or, can I just put my feet up and wait for Eric to make a ton of money with Mandala, The Yoga Massage Ball

As much as I would prefer to choose the latter option, I am left wondering whether I should just give it all up.  What better time than now to travel to the other side of the world to attend Navigate Media Group’s BlogHouse Chicago.  That seems like the surest way to make this whole blogging thing work, right?

BlogHouse Chicago

business of bloggingI heard rave reviews about BlogHouse, a weekend where a group of up and coming bloggers hunker down in a large house with some top notch, world famous bloggers, learning tips and tricks on how to monetize a successful blog.  Let me tell you, if this year’s BlogHouse were in Nashville, or Cincinnati, there is no way I would have made the 6,000 mile journey, earning me the title of “farthest traveled” to attend a blogger bootcamp.

Lucky for me, though, Lisa Lubin, one of the blogger pros, calls Chicago home, and worked with FlipKey to host the event just a mile south of where I used to live in Chicago.  On a lovely Saturday, this hungover blogger, walked across Lakeview and into Lincoln Park, ready to meet a bunch of blogger strangers, for a weekend at Villa d’Citta, a Tuscan style mansion and B&B set in the heart of Lincoln Park. 

Blogging as a Business

business of bloggingThe first thing I learned is that in order for you to make a business out of your blog, you need to treat it as a business, something I really had not been doing.  Then, I spent the next four days scribbling notes (okay, typing into my MacBook) on effectively using Facebook and Twitter, how to take better photos, how to create top notch videos, how to monetize a blog, how to optimize a WordPress site (I am not even on WordPress), how to create a media kit, and how to make an effective pitch for work.  

What did I learn?  I have a “business plan” the length of a spoiled child’s Christmas list of things I need to do in order to give this Digital Nomad thing a real go.  So much to do that it makes my head spin.

The result? It is too early to say.  There are a lot of changes coming to With Husband In Tow, and I hope you stick around to see them through.  There might even be a week or two with no new content while I migrate to the new site!    

This is a great time for me to check in with you too.  Let me know what you like, and what you don’t like.  But, most important, know that I appreciate your support!  I would like to figure out how make this Digital Nomad thing truly work, and without all of you that’s impossible.

What would you like to see more of on With Husband In Tow?

Sunday
Aug102014

Amazon Hustling - Mandala, The Yoga Massage Ball

Digital Nomad GuidePart I of the Digital Nomad Series -
How to Make Money on the Road

 

I often receive questions about how we make money on the road.  Thus far,  I have been fairly elusive, in part because we have been figuring things out ourselves.  

When we arrived again in Bali at the end of last year, Eric was struggling to find his place in our new life.  I was blogging, and was trying to teach yoga.  Eric had been trying to sell advertising, but it was not really working out for him.  He needed something to occupy his time, and if he could find a way to make some money from it, so much the better.

Selling on Amazon

The timing could not have been more perfect when a guy we knew in Ubud, Jeremie, offered us the chance to participate in his Amazon Hustling course.  Eric was hesitant, so I had to talk him into it.  I thought it could finally be a way for Eric to learn a new skill, to break away from advertising, and to earn some money.  

Jeremie has had huge success selling products through Amazon.  He is currently the number one seller of Nut Milk Bags  (if you have to ask what those are, you obviously don’t live in Ubud), and also does well with his Shandali Travel Towels  and Hot Yoga Towels .  He spent a lot of time working with friends of his to fine tune the best way to select a product, have it manufactured, import it to the US, sell it on Amazon, and then market the hell out of it.

Mandala, The Yoga Massage Ball

As a result, over the last several months, Eric has been an Amazon Hustling protege under Jeremie’s tutelage.  And, a few months ago, Eric launched his first product - Mandala, The Yoga Massage Ball.   

The Yoga Massage Balls are dense rubber balls used in myofascial release, a way to reduce pain and discomfort through self massage.  The balls can be used at home, in yoga classes, at cross fit boxes, and in prenatal massage.  They are a one size fits all remedy for pain and injury.

Myofascial ReleaseSo far, things are going pretty well.  He appointed me CYO, or the Chief Yoga Officer, and I have been working myofascial release with the yoga massage balls into my yoga teaching career.  I even taught a Roll & Release workshop while in the US, of course using the Mandala The Yoga Massage Ball .

It has been a steep learning curve for us, as Eric continues to work on how to market the balls not just on Amazon, but around the world.  They are currently selling at the retail space at the Yoga Barn in Ubud, and we have just started working with a distributor in the Philippines.  We are searching for a reliable distributor in Australia too.

The goal of this project is to ultimately set ourselves up for some more passive forms of income, a la Timothy Ferriss's The 4-Hour Workweek , but in the mean time, Eric is thrilled to be the boss of his own company, even with all of the stress that comes along with it.  

If anyone is interested in trying out Mandala, The Yoga Massage Ball, please send me an email for a discount code to purchase the balls on Amazon (in exchange for a fab review, of course).  Or, if you are just interested in learning more about myofascial release to relieve pain, I am enjoying my job as CYO, and am happy to spread the word!

Thursday
Aug072014

Hong Kong Eats - How Much Can 2 People Eat in 2 Hours in Hong Kong? 

I was nervous when we landed in Hong Kong, particularly because I felt pretty bad for a good chunk of our Cathay Pacific Business Class flight from Chicago.  But, we quickly made our way to the city via the 24 minute train, and a quick shuttle bus to the Holiday Inn on Nathan Road, in the heart of Kowloon. 

Our initial goal was to eat and drink all night in Hong Kong, and to skip getting a hotel room.  As our time in the US came to a close, though, cooler heads prevailed, and we realized this would have been a really bad idea.  So, we booked a room just up the road from the Sheraton, where we have stayed during past trips.  That way, we were in a neighborhood we knew, and we could find good eats shortly after arriving.

A nice hot shower made up for the ill feeling from the flight and we were out on Nathan Road in no time, heading over to one of our favorite places, Rice Noodle House in the hear of Tim Sha Tsui.  Rice Noodle House has some of the spiciest noodle soups we have ever eaten, I mean the stuff of legend.  I had been looking forward to it for weeks.  Eric wasn’t sure his belly could handle spicy hell-fire noodles, and I knew after how I felt the last 15 hours, we was probably right.  So, we passed on the noodle house.

Instead, we went to a casual spot known for its Macau specialities, where we ate our first 3 pork dishes of the night:

A Macau style pork sandwich 

Hong Kong EatsDouble fried pork with dry chillies

Hong Kong EatsString beans with chili and pork

Hong Kong EatsYep, even our vegetable dish had pork in it.  All three dishes were fabulous and just what the doctor ordered.  Problem was:  I was stuffed already, and I had so much more I wanted to eat.

After dinner number one, we walked for about 20 minutes, you know, to walk off the meal, and quickly ended up at a barbecue place just down the road, where we had our next 3 pork dishes of the night:

Crispy pork

Hong Kong EatsBBQ pork

Hong Kong EatsPork wonton noodle soup

Hong Kong EatsWe only waited a few minutes for our dishes.  But, that was enough time to engage in some talk of eating more after.  As soon as I took my first bite of our fourth dish, I knew I was toast.  In the end, we ate 6 dishes in a little more than an hour.  I was stuffed, and was happy to make it to bed, with a belly full of pork. There is nothing like a little gluttony in Hong Kong.  It is the way the city should be experienced. 

How do you make the most of a layover?