An Interview With The Tiki Touring Kiwi!

An Interview With The Tiki Touring Kiwi!

Jub is The Tiki Touring Kiwi, a vagabond New Zealander with a passion for sports who just can’t stop travelling the world. In the latest of our Nomad Stories, Travel Continuously caught up with Jub to find out why he ditched the 9-5 for an unstable, freelancing and blogging career, and why, whatever might happen, he’s never going back to his old life.

The Tiki Touring Kiwi

“Shit happens”, says Jub, when we ask him for advice to on being a Digital Nomad. “If I was to go back into the corporate world now, I’d be a little bit behind my peers after ‘missing out’ on five years of work experience, but it’s really no major. If you take your ego out of decisions, you’ll get a lot more clarity. Nothing is permanent in life so you may as well go and do the things you really want to before they disappear”. 

That’s Jub’s motto, live the life you want, while you still can, and despite life’s ups and downs, it’s a motto that’s been working well for this New Zealander. But why did Jub seek out the life of Digital Nomad?

“I grew up in a town called Waikanae 45 minutes north of Wellington, New Zealand. Waikanae is a great place to grow up with a relaxed community, lots of greenery and the beach is never far away, but now as an adult, I find the lack of activities make the life there a bit too slow.

“Travel never crossed my mind though, even when I left the country for the first time at 18 to visit my brother in Australia. It never occurred to me that people would do this sort of long-term travel thing voluntarily. After University I moved to Australia myself, but it wasn’t for another two years when faced with the prospect of marriage and kids that I chose the travel life”.

Five Years Later, and I Still Seem to be Travelling

Even with the revelation that he didn’t want the standard life of marriage and kids, Jub didn’t realise that he was going to spend the next few years on the road.

I figured one year in Canada would satisfy me and I’d inevitably return to a normal life”, Jub explains. “Though I remember not making any fixed decisions. It was a one-way ticket. Over five years later, and I still seem to be travelling. Funny how that happens”.

Before his life as The Tiki Touring Kiwi began, Jub was an administrator at the National Australia Bank in Melbourne.

“I didn’t hate the job”, Jub muses. “The team of 15 or so were awesome and it was a pretty sweet gig straight out of University, earning around 55,000 Australian Dollars a year. What I didn’t like was the red tape. Granted, they didn’t ask me to shave or tuck my shirt in (with one exception) but anytime there was a suggestion from myself to the management I knew there was no chance that changes would be made anytime soon.

“That one exception, there was one time I was told to tuck my shirt. It was a week or so after our new team leader had begun. When she asked for me to tuck my shirt in I said ‘no thanks, I’d rather not, Mum’”.

Despite his absolute hatred of tucking in shirts, there was still little sign that Jub would quit his comfortable job for a life on the road. Until that is, he had a conversation about marriage and babies. For Jub, that was it. He was quickly on a flight to Canada.

A One Way Ticket to Vancouver

But his new life as a nomad didn’t exactly start gloriously when he arrived in Canada, Jub tells us.

“I initially went to Vancouver with some money saved up from Australia but I got a job working at FedEx there. I was applying the taxes onto incoming packages. Worst job ever. I didn’t have great hours either, and my weekly expenses were greater than my income”.

Jub was still looking his for real purpose, and he hadn’t found it in Vancouver. In 2013 though, a series of meetings led him to register his website domain. This was the first step towards becoming The Tiki Touring Kiwi.

“In 2013, on the way to Vancouver, Canada I went to Chiang Mai, Thailand to wait for my working holiday visa to come through”, Jub tells Travel Continuously. “That’s where I came across travel bloggers for the first time. Ryan from PauseTheMoment and Matt from Expert Vagabond were the first two bloggers I ever met.

“Ryan encouraged me to start a website which I did but never took it seriously, posting once every few months on Tiki Touring Kiwi. Eventually, I gravitated towards blogging at the end of 2015 when I met some more travel bloggers in Chiang Mai once again. Being around the community had me hooked, and I’ve been blogging somewhat consistently ever since”.

Finding a Niche in the Blogging World

Jub has never really had any sort of solid plan though and at first, he didn’t even enjoy writing all that much either. That is until he found the right niche for his passions and now he has some pretty wild, mini golf inspired plans for the future.

“When I say consistently, it doesn’t mean I had a plan though. I was writing silly articles unrelated to each other for a long time. One day it was about the parks in Warsaw, the next a vegan burger in Vilnius. The following week? About entering the Schengen zone even though I’d used up my 90-day quota.

“I’m a numbers man rather than a wordsmith and the effort in these articles was weak. It was like the effort, you put into that 2000 word essay that’s worth 5% of your overall mark at University.

“BUT NOW. Now I actually enjoy writing, perhaps because I’m writing about sports which I’m passionate about. Basically, I’ll be writing about any and everything sports as I keep adventuring around the world. There are so many crazy ideas in my mind like setting up a mini putt course on the beach. It’s going to be awesome.

“There are future plans to get sports photography and sports autobiographies to be a part of the blog, but one step at a time, and I’m not going to lie, there still may be an occasional boring 10 things to do in ZYX article written, but you need that for the SEO!”

From Hating Writing to Freelance Writer

As Jub learned to love writing and became more involved in the Digital Nomad scene, he began earning money not just from his blog, but mainly as a freelance writer, all the while constantly trying out new ideas, even if they fail.

“The blog earns a few hundred dollars each month, but I’ve been primarily existing off freelance writing for the last few years”, Jub explains to us. “I do the bare minimum to survive and like to try out other ideas in my spare time, none of which have led to an injection of substantial cash into my bank account at all, unfortunately. I tend to give up on ideas before they are completed! I’ve built apps, made websites, created summit pages, and had a bunch of random jobs. I also did a couple months of farm work in Aussie and NZ in 2016”.

Even a few years into his nomad lifestyle, Jub admits it’s always hard work and always a challenge, but he still wouldn’t go back to his old life now that he’s had a taste of nomad freedom.

“It’s a massive challenge for myself”, Jub exclaims. “I spend way to much time on the computer for how much work I get done. But then also find myself wandering the streets aimlessly so I can avoid work.

“There’s no such thing as a perfect balance though, it’s always a fluid situation. If you need to earn cash ASAP, work a tonne. If you’re burnt out relax and do nothing. Just never complain, because as a digital nomad the whole idea is to be free and to work and travel as you like”.

Although Jub never knew he was going to be travelling for the next five years when he boarded his one-way flight to Vancouver, now it’s the life he loves the most, and for very good reasons.

“I guess what makes me travel is the unpredictable nature. No two days are the same and although I am shocking at making decisions. I think part of it is I like making lots of the small insignificant decisions each day. Where to eat today? What will I do today? When should I wake up? Am I feeling social?”.

Ultimately, it’s the love of freedom that turned Jub into The Tiki Touring Kiwi.

Thanks to Jub, The Tiki Touring Kiwi for his story!

Interview And Article By Richard Collett

Travel Continuously is a community-based platform, and we want you to get involved. 

Do you travel continuously? Are you a full-time traveller, digital nomad or expat? 

We would love to hear from you! Get in contact to share your story with us, to be featured on Travel Continuously, to let us know what we’ve missed, what you want to hear and even what we’re doing wrong! Together we can help inspire others to follow their dreams and travel the world!

Our Top 3 Suggestions For You

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *