Stefan Klumpp: Why Focusing on Happiness Makes this Company more Money

Property of Stefan Klumpp

From high school dropout in Germany, to a self-driving car engineer in Silicon Valley, Stefan’s journey to co-founder of Mobile Jazz is anything but expected.

I heard about Stefan’s innovative ‘happiness first’ business model from Johannes Voelkner of the Nomad Cruise, and knew I had to get Stefan on the show.

In this interview Stefan shares his philosophy on prioritizing happiness over a paycheck, his love for travel, living in a Fiat camper van and spending his days kiteboarding.

“Even today when I talk to people, I sometimes say, ‘If all my businesses went bankrupt, my bank account was set to zero, I wouldn’t be worried because I could leverage my network, leverage my skills and just start up again.'” – Stefan Klumpp

Travel Topics:

  • How a high school dropout can become a successful entrepreneur [2:08]
  • Moving to Silicon Valley to race self-driving cars through the desert [6:29]
  • Getting hooked on kiteboarding [8:30]
  • Yes…. Island fever is real! [10:10]
  • What to do when you go broke in Spain [13:06]
  • How to become a self-taught mobile app developer [13:20]
  • Ha! Turns out, mobile was not just a fad! [13:49]
  • The simple principles of entrepreneurship [17:57]
  • How to create a unique office environment and pay model for your startup [21:52]
  • Organizational advice: First up – Start spreadsheets! [27:52]
  • Why Stefan took a personal financial hit to grow the business [29:00]
  • Low overhead = Personal freedom [29:46]
  • The simplicity of camper van life [31:11]
  • Security issues inherent with traveling in a camper van [34:32]
  • How Stefan measures happiness [38:06]
  • The nomad working on the beach myth dispelled! [40:13]
  • Clickbait vs Quality content [43:46]

Stefan Klumpp’s Talking Points:

Email | Facebook Website | Vantrepreneur FB Group

  • Connect with Optimizing for Happiness:

Website |  Twitter  | Facebook | Instagram

  • Connect with Mobile Jazz:

Website | Twitter | Facebook

Music Credit:

Take Action:

Money can’t buy you happiness, right? So what makes you happier than money and what are you willing to do for it?

Doug Barber: The Minaal Story

Compliments of

Need to fit your entire life (including computer) into a carry-on, use the same bag to summit a mountain, and then show up to a meeting looking the part? Well look no further, the Minaal backpack is here.

Doug Barber, Co-founder of Minaal, shares how he and his friend Jimmy Hayes came to develop their successful product, and went on to raise $350,000 on their first ever Kickstarter campaign.

From their 18,000 mile road trip around North America in a Plymouth Grand Voyager van, to Doug’s experience as a corporate lawyer in New Zealand, this entrepreneur’s path is anything but ordinary.

“It’s a mixture of travel for fun and seeing what’s along the way. If we know there’s a particular industry in a certain area, we will go check it out… because you can search things out on the Internet, but there’s a lot that you’re not going to find out until you actually go to the place and start talking to people.” – Doug Barber

Travel Topics:

  • Presenting as a guest speaker on the Nomad Cruise [0:55]
  • The history of Minaal [1:25]
  • From road trip to corporate law [3:12]
  • How to plan the best study abroad year ever [6:00]
  • Traditional job by day, business dreams by night [9:52]
  • How to position yourself to run an international company [10:35]
  • Living ‘cozy’ and eating ‘the meal of champions’ [12:05]
  • The importance of developing quality fabrics for travelers [15:27]
  • What you can learn from tailors in central Vietnam [16:58]
  • How to develop a startup…. Hint: Teamwork makes the Dreamwork [20:00]
  • Producing a prototype that speaks for itself [21:31]
  • Benefits of getting honest feedback from your community [23:02]
  • Pros and cons when creating a Kickstarter campaign [25:40]
  • What it takes to build a brand and product [31:24]
  • Finding inexpensive, high quality manufacturers and warehouses in Vietnam… Get prepared to get sweaty [33:07]
  • How to choose the right factory to manufacture your product [36:35]
Minaal’s first Kickstarter video

Doug Barber’s Talking Points:

  • Explore the world with Digital Nomads on the Nomad Cruise
  • Connect with Doug:

Message | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Youtube

Music Credit:

Take Action:

Doug was willing to take an 18-hour bus ride through rural Vietnam to research the highest quality manufacturers. What project or passion would drive you do to the same?

Alex Jimenez: How one Girl Learned to Travel without Tours

Compliments of

Recession blues got you down? Feel like the corporate ladder could be kicked out from under you at any moment? 

Why not take the fear of being disposed and transform it to a life of travel!

Alex Jimenez, founder of Travel Fashion Girl, did exactly that. After leaving the corporate world of fashion and taking time to travel, she found a genius way to combine her previous professional experience with her passions to pursue a life of long-term travel.

Finding the perfect travel blog niche is key in penetrating the market. Alex’s business savvy and life long hustlin’ skills has made her excel at the art of travel blogging. Listen in to learn about Alex’s insight into creating a blog niche that you love!

“The best way to find something to do is try to combine your passion with what your previous professional experience was.” – Alex Jimenez

Travel Topics:

  • Perks of living in Playa Del Carmen [2:05]
  • Utilizing the Nest CoWorking space [4:57]
  • How to live the corporate life in your early twenties [6:52]
  • How to become an entrepreneur [8:46]
  • Everyday she’s hustlin’ [10:32]
  • How to leave corporate L.A. Hint: It’s not that hard! [11:30]
  • Changing careers during a recession [13:57]
  • Falling in love with travel [15:12]
  • Where should I travel to first? [15:57]
  • Benefits of meeting other long term travelers [20:16]
  • Alex’s first trip which turned into a crazy long-term adventure [22:03]
  • The financial aspects of tours vs solo traveling [27:03]
  • How to travel solo [28:48]
  • Do I write instead of work? [31:41]
  • Seasonal touring jobs… So much fun! So much work! [34:24]
  • How to become a travel blogger [36:00]
  • How to combine your professional work experience with your passions to sustain long term travel [37:14]
  • Finding motivation from Nora and The Professional Hobo [38:17]
  • The inspiration behind Travel Fashion Girl [38:56]
  • What is work exchange? [41:42]
  • The growth of Travel Fashion Girl [42:33]
  • Alex’s advice on starting a blog [45:15]
  • Why not write an eBook first? [46:37]
  • How to use Amazon Affiliates [48:19]
  • It’s not chasing after biggest keywords, just chasing after a keyword [50:17]
  • What’s next for Alex [50:59]

“I think a lot of people realized at that point that we were all disposable.” – Alex Jimenez

Alex Jimenez Talking Points:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Email

“Doing this and meeting these people, it’s so inspirational. People always think, ‘I can’t do that, how can you do that?’ It is possible as long as you shift your priority and your focus.” – Alex Jimenez

Music Credit:

Dusty Chillin’ Beat by franSWAH

Take Action:

Do you have previous professional experience and a passion you can utilize to excel at travel blogging?

Sila Nur Isik: Remote Work and Around the World Office

Thanks to Sila for the Photo

Ever wanted to live and work remotely as a Digital Nomad?

Sila Nur Isik is an entrepreneur from Istanbul, Turkey currently living in London, England. She has a masters degree in Graphic Design, runs an advertising agency called Mind The Ad and was one of the first 75 people to attend Remote Year.

In this episode of Love Affair Travel I talk to Sila about her year with Remote Year, all of the joys of living and working abroad, as well as how she uses her ability and love for travel to help start ups across the globe.

“I was really fascinated by how passionate everyone is, how enthusiastic they are about their projects.” – Sila Nur Isik

Travel Topics:

  • Sila’s beginnings [2:01]
  • Starting her own agency Mind the Ad [2:47]
  • Pitching the Start up Project at Web Summit [5:28]
  • The Difference between Agency world and Web Summit world [6:55]
  • Connecting old businesses with new technology [9:39]
  • What is Remote Year? [10:42]
  • How to find accommodation for 75 people… Hint: It’s not easy! [12:39]
  • Becoming a “Tour Guide” in your home country [14:53]
  • How to live and work in a different country every month [16:11]
  • What do you do when a volcano erupts in SE Asia? [17:13]
  • The work Sila did during Remote Year [18:42]
  • What is Startup Weekend? [20:39]
  • What is Startup Malaysia? [21:09]
  • What is an Agency? [21:57]
  • Selling books online in Argentina [26:50]
  • The Carnival in Rio de Janeiro [31:18]
  • The emotional experience of completing the Remote Year journey [33:12]
  • Sila’s overall impression of Remote Year [35:02]
  • Personal development [36:25]
  • Having the courage to travel [38:36]
  • The Nomad Cruise experience [39:59]
  • What is next up for Sila? [44:24]

Sila Nur Isik Talking Points:

  • Startup Malaysia is a not-for-profit organization that aims to help increase the number of fundable startups through its various programs.
  • Startup Weekend will set up the ideal environment for you to be successful and learn as much as possible in just 54 hours.
  • Wallpaper magazine has been covering everything from architecture to motoring, fashion to travel, interiors to jewelry sonce 1996.
  • Web Summit has been called “the best technology conference on the planet”. Attendees, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to the world’s most exciting startups.
  • Interested in living and working abroad? Check out Remote Year!
  • Sila’s Blog at Medium and Remote Year
  • Connect with Sila:

Mind The Ad | Instagram | Facebook

“In our country [Argentina], no one has ever bought a book online.” – Sila Nur Isik on the challenges of helping start-ups in South America

Music Credit:

Birgit Pestalozzi: From Corporate to Conscientious

Property of SwissInitiative

Have you recognized that your life is too comfortable? Are you looking for a challenge that will sustain you and shape you?

After a life-threatening accident, Birgit Pestalozzi finally decided to listen to her gut. She left the corporate world one year ago, and hasn’t looked back since. In that time, she has been instrumental in reviving Sudan’s film industry and starting her own practice as The Happy Heart Coach, consulting on love and relationships.

In this episode we talk about departing from corporate life, finding happiness, non-profit partners, funding and much more!

“Sometimes I think people in corporate are afraid of people who start living their dreams.” – Birgit Pestalozzi

Travel Topics:

  • The pitfalls of a safe corporate life [3:35]
  • Birgit’s breaking point [8:33]
  • Surviving a near death-defying horse accident [11:10]
  • Lessons learnt from her stint in the corporate world [15:30]
  • SwissInititive, the non-profit which has revived the movie industry in Sudan [18:10]
  • Say What? Smuggling at the Sudanese Film Fest in Switzerland?! [23:10]
  • Art as ‘soft’ social change from a grassroots level [24:35]
  • How Birgit is learning to fund a non-profit [27:30]
  • The future of Sudanese films in film festivals around the world [30:24]
  • Logistics of getting film equipment to Sudan [33:11]
  • How to manage three meaningful jobs [38:21]
  • Maneuvering runway savings in a job transition [39:40]
  • The sport of budgeting [41:35]
  • What inspiration comes from cross-cultural connections? [45:15]
  • The geography and politics of Egypt and Sudan [46:13]
  • Visa struggles to enter Sudan [49:00]
  • The imperfection of all 2-D map projections [50:57]

Birgit Pestalozzi Talking Points:

  • Connect with Swiss Initiative:

Website | Facebook | InstagramTwitter

  • Connect with Birgit:

TheHappyHeartCoach | Facebook  | Instagram

“If you take away art like movie-making…then you take away a huge channel of expressing cultural heritage.” – Birgit Pestalozzi

Music Credit:

Take Action:

Birgit said don’t wait for a near-death experience to take steps toward the life you truly want. What steps will you take today?

Theresa Lachner: Sex Blogs are Better than Travel Blogs

Property of

Why be a travel blogger when you can be a sex blogger?

“It’s just easier you know? Also, people appreciate you more!”

Anyone can talk about travel, but it takes a more daring and carefree individual to have the courage to speak their mind on sex without reservation.

Theresa Lachner is the Founder of the largest sex blog in Germany Lvstprinzip. Talking sex pays her way while she enjoys the perks of being a digital nomad, traveling the world and practicing random bouts of meditation.

Finding the motivation to write and write well is never easy. In this episode Theresa fills us in on how she got started in the sex blogging industry, tips on writing well, and appreciating the world around you even when traveling is taking its toll.

Let’s go!

“In a way, I always feel like a naked person in a room full of dressed people.” – Theresa Lachner

Travel Topics:

  • How did Theresa get into the sex blogging industry? [2:54]
  • The birth of Lvstprinzip, the biggest sex blog in Germany [3:35]
  • Pros of being a sex blogger vs a travel blogger [7:55]
  • How to Get Rich from Masturbation [8:13]
  • Daring enough to use her real identity, being the only sex blogger in Germany [9:33]
  • The secret to sex blogging and other daring ventures [10:31]
  • The craft of writing a sex blog [13:16]
  • The art of writing… Yes, it’s all about practise [16:35]
  • Theresa’s meditation practices [18:40]
  • Diary tips [19:58]
  • Finding the motivation to write [22:03]
  • Novice writer vs professional writer [26:07]
  • How to travel the world while working [26:58]
  • Living and working in Saigon [30:35]
  • Unexpected perks and inspirations of traveling and writing [32:52]
  • What are the benefits of writing? [35:43]
  • Differences in writing styles [36:17]
  • Writing in German vs English [37:26]
  • Theresa’s Ah-ha moment in India… and how to appreciate traveling even when it gets rough [38:14]
  • BEWARE of publishing raunchy sexy Facebook posts… You will be blocked! [49:38]

Theresa Lachner Talking Points:

Lvstprinzip | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

“Sex you know is like food, it’s something that everybody does but nobody really dares to write about. It’s a bit weird.” – Theresa Lachner

Music Credit:

Take Action:

How can you utilize your untapped skills? Have you ever thought of taking your work online to pursue your dream of long term travel?

Miles Beckler: The Intersection of Meditation, Freedom and… Angel Encounters?

Property of Miles Beckler

Want to start an online business?

After meeting Miles and Melanie earlier this month on the Nomad Cruise, I caught up with Miles while he was in Sintra, Portugal.

Miles Beckler and his wife Melanie provide online information products, meditations and spiritual development courses. Miles is a wealth of knowledge and Melanie is also an incredibly driven entrepreneur. Together they own Ask Angels and The Angel Solution as well as traveling long term since 2013.

We’ll be talking about traveling full time, the Dark Night of the Soul, meditation, social media growth, funnel marketing and the emotional element of entrepreneurship.

“Trial and error has been my greatest teacher.” – Miles Beckler

Travel Topics:

  • Sea legs [02:13]
  • What is it like to travel full-time? [04:49]
  • Slow internet and running an online business [07:30]
  • How Ask Angels began [09:36]
  • What is the Dark Night of the Soul? [12:33]
  • Social media growth [20:10]
  • Engineering a funnel marketing campaign [26:15]
  • The emotional elements of entrepreneurship [34:44]
  • The importance of raising your prices [35:50]
  • Awe moments from Miles’s world travels [43:31]
The 4 Page Website/Simple Funnel

Miles Beckler Talking Points:

Website | Twitter | Facebook

“We value ourselves a lot less than what others value us.” – Miles Beckler


We went hiking

Music Credit:

Take Action:

Have you ever wanted to sell everything and start traveling? What is stopping you?

Jonathan Yaffe: From Vagabond to AnyRoad Entrepreneur

Courtesy of Any Road

What if you wanted to start a school?

Not just any school, you wanted to teach the California school curriculum while teaching students about organic farming, yoga, robotics and more?

Would you do it if you lived in Japan? Would you do it if you didn’t have any money? Would you do it if you didn’t even speak Japanese?

Jonathan Yaffe started there. The success of the school was one of many enterprising stories he shares today on the podcast.

Along with founding schools, art galleries and co-working spaces, he’s now working on another fascinating project. As co-founder of AnyRoad, their goal is to empower tour guides around the world to come online and connect with adventurers.

In this podcast, Jonathan describes his origin story. He tells some wild stories that inspired his love of learning, ethical travel and his favorite addiction, sushi.

“He said, ‘You’re 23. You’re broke. You’ve never been a teacher before. You don’t speak Japanese. How are you going to do this?’… And I somehow got him to fund the school.” – Jonathan Yaffe on finding investors for the KAI School of Tokyo

Travel Topics:

  • Jonathan’s first big adventure to Manaus, Brazil [2:57]
  • On the mindset shift of traveling with a one-way ticket [6:20]
  • Tales from the gateway of the Amazon: Manaus, Brazil [7:40]
  • The Radiohead experiment along a jungle river gone wrong [9:47]
  • How to sneak out of Brazil when your visa expires [12:20]
  • How after 2 years of no work he finally ran out of money [15:55]
  • On being stranded in Japan with one pay check [17:50]
  • A dream school in Tokyo [19:53]
  • Finding a passion worth committing to for 2 years [23:30]
  • How to do what the California public school system does and more – Robotics, Organic Farming and Yoga [26:25]
  • His mission – To build a school where you know everyone [29:25]
  • What’s next? A Tokyo Gallery! [31:01]
  • How Tokyo’s trash turned out to be an amazing opportunity [32:38]
  • The secret to scaling your business…. is implicit trust [35:55]
  • The Kilimanjaro trek that changed everything [38:10]
  • Researching with guides from all around the world [41:20]
  • What happened when bringing 95% of local tour guides online [44:19]
  • How to see a hidden part of The Great Wall of China [46:40]

Jonathan Yaffe’s Talking Points:

      • AnyRoad – Jonathan’s most recent pursuit, is bringing tour guides all around the world online for better wages, better services, and a better price for adventurers. 
      • Jonathan found himself in Japan when he decided to teach abroad with the Japanese Exchange and Teaching program
      • At 23, Jonathan recognized a hole in the Tokyo private school market and started Kai School that is still growing to this day.
      • After becoming immersed in the Tokyo arts community, he opened galleries and work spaces throughout the city.  
      • Connect with Jonathan:

 Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

Music Credit:

Take Action:

Jonathan was a fearless traveler from a young age and continues to jump at the chance to travel more and start great companies. What can you create without fear?

Dani Heinrich of Globetrotter Girls: Joys, Pains and Tips for the Aspiring House-sit Connoisseur

Compliments of

Imagine moving to a new city and living rent-free for months… or visiting a dream destination and staying in a luxurious home with an equipped kitchen and furry pets to keep you company. Today more and more people are traveling as house sitters.

House-sitting has changed the way I travel and live my life.

Blogger and author of Break Free: The Ultimate Guide to House-Sitting, Dani Heinrich has been taking care of homes and pets for years. I had her back on the podcast to lay down detailed tips on how to land the best housesitting gigs.

Listen to this one if you have a location-independent business and want to authentically experience a destination and save money at the same time.

“This is how I established my love for New York City… Before when I was staying in hotels there, I didn’t connect with the city as I did when I house sat and I got to know the neighborhoods.” – Dani Heinrich

Travel Topics:

  • How Dani’s last visit on the show introduced V and I to the wonders of house-sitting [01:13]
  • An Overview of “Break Free: The Ultimate Guide to Housesitting”, a book written by Dani and her co-author Jessica Ainlay aka The Globetrotter Girls [01:52]
  • The secret to great house sitting is…. being personable [04:50]
  • How to find secret neighborhoods, truly local food and cafes of New York City through housesitting [07:00]
  • Two greatest advantages in landing a housesitting gig are great references and an ability to meet with the homeowners in person [09:52]
  • Important Note: Not everyone is trusting of house sitters right off the bat [10:31]
  • Why house sitting is an amazing way to move to a new city without paying rent for the first few months [13:45]
  • Tips for first-time house sitters [14:20]
    1. Show your trustworthiness, personality and transparentness
    2. Bonus: Be an animal-lover!
    3. Be honest with yourself about what you’re comfortable with
    4. Include references from other experiences like Airbnb and house sitting for friends
    5. Horse lovers, you are wanted! [16:35]
    6. The most important strategy is to apply right away. Do so, by setting up daily alerts [20:30]
  • How to write the ideal application letter [21:29]
  • What to do when house sitting experiences go wrong [24:14]
  • Tips for getting great house sitting reviews: [30:20]
    1. Clean before the owners return
    2. Cook or bake something and leave it in the fridge for the owners return
    3. Send plenty of pictures, texts and email updates to the host—Ask first!
    5. Make friends with the neighbors…. it will get you more jobs!
  • You don’t have to be the perfect gypsy housewife to be a great house-sitter. Just be yourself! [34:11]

Dani Heinrich’s Talking Points:

Website  | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

Music Credit:

Take Action:

Dani tells us housesitting can open your eyes to hidden worlds wherever you may travel. By taking the trail less worn, what will you see?

Michael Carbone: Unleash Yourself and Sign Up for the Race

Welcome back to the show!

Here we go – Another adventure, another traveler, another helluva inspiring story. You ready?

We’re still in Chiang Mai, staying in a beautiful apartment, and talking to entrepreneur, ironman, and founder of the Unleash Yourself Podcast, Michael Carbone (Check out his Instagram).

So listen in as we chill next to this glorious pool, surrounded by singing birds and greenery, and talk tales of making money, playing poker, and competing in one of the world’s most grueling physical competitions.

Enjoy the show!

“Ironman changed my life completely.” – Michael Carbone

Travel Topics:

  • Born and raised in Montreal [02:20]
  • Escaping the burning season in Chiang Mai [03:00]
  • When the Songkran starts [03:30]
  • Fire dancing! [03:50]
  • Wait … who hasn’t seen Harry Potter? [04:30]
  • Coaching poker and the implosion of Michael’s first business [06:15]
  • Playing it safe on the internet [08:00]
  • The life of a baseball agent [11:30]
  • How Michael negotiated an extra $15k from his bedroom [13:50]
  • Getting a dream job at Niké … or not? [19:15]
  • Discovering Ironman [14:40]
  • If you can learn to swim, what else can you do?[26:45]
  • Taking the guesswork out of training [32:30]
  • Resurrecting the poker business [35:30]
  • Launching a mastermind group [39:50]
  • Quitting the poker game [43:50]
  • The Lewis Howes Effect [51:15]
  • Just sign up for the race! [55:30]

Michael Carbone Talking Points:

Music Credit:

Take Action:

Sign up for the race. Whatever that race is for you. Booking a ticket. Signing up for a course. Quitting a job. Maybe the Ironman competition. Whatever it is. Just sign up.