Wednesday, December 21, 2016

How To Earn Money On The Road: Vol One

I intend to address how to earn money while traveling full time in a series of articles and videos. Initially I want to discuss how my husband Steve and I earn money while traveling.

Steve and I own two companies that publish online, sell advertising, coach business owners on marketing and/or market for them. Our entire enterprise is designed be accomplished wherever we have WiFi and phone reception.

Steve has been interested in computers since he was a teenager in the 1980's. When the internet became a buzzword he began online publishing as a hobby. He was interested in genealogy and built a cemetery records directory in 1997. In 1999 he began selling advertising on that genealogy site and by 2003 he was making a six-figure income and left his day job. In 2004 he came across a magazine Revenue for online affiliate marketers featuring wealthy publishers who traveled full time. It became his goal to do just that.

As for me, in 2005 I left a full-time job and took a 70% pay cut to work part-time as a publisher's assistant. I have always wanted to be a writer and publisher. My family and I tightened our belts dramatically so I could learn all there was to know about print publishing. By 2008 I was making a fair living writing, selling advertising and learning every aspect of print publishing. That same year I noticed many of my advertisers going to online advertising. Since I saw this was a growing industry, I contacted a local online news publisher to write for him and learn about blogging.

In 2010 when the magazine I'd been working for had been sold I was looking for a job selling advertising. I met that online publisher in person for the first time to ask him for a job. It was Steve. Thus our business relationship began based on our mutual career goals. Steve had recently returned from his first long, motorcycle trip; a 30-day ride from Menifee, CA to Fairbanks, AK. He was working toward living that life on the road.

In 2011 Steve and I began our romantic relationship, married in 2012 and in March 2013 left for our 2 1/2 year life as working vagabonds.

It didn't happen overnight. We spent hundreds of hours creating careers out of our passions and hobbies that would lead us to a mobile lifestyle. It took long work hours, pay cuts, sacrifices and an inordinate amount of time of planning. But it has been well worth it!

What works for us certainly won't work for everyone! But we are not the only people who vagabond.

Your first step to create a career that affords full time travel is to evaluate your skill sets, both in your career and hobbies. If you (and your spouse) are the adventurous types, willing to make sacrifices, willing to open your minds to a new way of life, you too can live and work on the road.

You have to want the road so bad you can taste it, you dream about it, or perhaps are obsessed with it. We were deeply determined to make it happen and motivated one another throughout the process. It's not a life for everyone. If you're interested in one-on-one coaching, we can help.

In future articles and videos I'll be discussing specific careers of vagabonds to give you ideas in insight for yourselves. I'll be interviewing these travelers who earn money as they live on the road to teach you how you can do it for yourself!

Help me put a little fuel in my gas tank. My ebook, "Rude Biker Chick: Lessons From My Daddy" is available for purchase here. Buy your copy now or if not for you, buy a copy for a friend! The woman in your life will love you for it.


No comments | Post a Comment

Monday, December 19, 2016

Living on the Road Saves Money

Living on the road isn't quite as impossible as it may seem. You just have to be willing to give up some things you own and ideas you hold on to if you want to make it happen.

I've written a few times about the logistics of life on the road and how to make that happen.

I won't lie to you. It's a challenging experience that will push you beyond what you thought you could do. It's daunting to let go and be free. The responsibility of providing for yourself each day with little support is arduous.

But the payoff far outweighs the efforts.

The most important item to address is finances. In a future post I will address how to earn money on the road, but first, let's look at how much money you actually need. Based on some research I found the median rent/mortgage payment to be $1,100 per month, so we'll start there.


Current living Space:
  • Mortgage             $          1,100
  • Property Tax                       189
  • Utilities                               247
  • Internet                                 75
  • Miscellaneous costs            350
  • Average bonus savings       (150)
Total per month            $       2,111

Current Living Space @ $2,111 per month for 12 months = 25,332

(According to research by the U.S. Dept. of Housing, the average person spends $2,736 per month to live in a one bedroom space, totalling $32,832 per year.)

When you join a hotel loyalty rewards program and stay in only those chains, you'll earn a ridiculous amount of reward points. In fact, if you stay with one chain for 10 months in one year, you'll earn between 6 - 8 weeks of free stays, if you work the system right. This stretches your "rent" dollar much further.

Hotel Living Space @ $2,300 per month for 10 months (2 months free!) = $23,000

That's a savings of $2,332 per year.
I'm not talking about a theory. I know because I've done it.

Miscellaneous costs (as noted above) can apply to a number of things: home repairs, landscaper, parking, new furniture, etc. When living on the road, we buy fewer items than when we live in a house or apartment. Curtains, pillows, rugs, clothing, knick knacks, dishes, cookware, etc. You just don't buy it when you're on the road. You learn to live with so much less. This is your average bonus savings.

Yes, on the road you may eat in restaurants more. Currently the average American spends $232 per month eating meals prepared outside the home. This adds up to $2,784 per year. But long stay hotels not only provide a breakfast included, but other meals and a kitchen. You should spend no more or less on groceries since you'll have a kitchen.

Once you are free of the costs above, you can apply that to your "rent" along the road if you choose to stay in long stay hotels. Keep in mind all of the benefits of staying in a hotel. You not only get a room, you get utilities, internet, gym, maid service, pool, office space/service, full breakfast and more. We focused on the Marriott chain and stayed in Residence Inns and Townplace Suites. These rooms also have a kitchen with all the dishes you need to cook for yourself. Residence Inn also serves dinner 2 -3 nights per week, beer and wine included.

Additional Meal Savings per Year:
  • Breakfast @ $3 per day x 365 days  = $  1,095 per person
  • Dinner @ $7 per day x 104 days      = $    728 per person
Total savings for prepared meals = $1,823

You will probably continue to spend around $250 per month eating out. But with the meals served at the hotel, you'll be buying far less groceries, thus having a savings on food each month of nearly $150 per month. 

Total savings of hotel living ($2,332) and food ($1,800) per year is $4,132. 

If you take a long, hard look at your current finances, chances are you can afford to live on the road, perhaps even for less than you're spending now. Two adults can live a great life living and working on the road, staying in nice hotels and seeing the country.

I'm not talking about a theory. I know because I've done it.

My ebook, "Rude Biker Chick: Lessons From My Daddy" is available for purchase here. Buy your copy now or if not for you, buy a copy for a friend for the holidays! The woman in your life will love you for it.


7 comments | Post a Comment

Monday, December 12, 2016

Travel Plans

I am dying to get on the road again.

Steve and I are just not happy in one place.

We came back to San Diego to due to my health issues. Now that they've been resolved as much as they can be, we want to head back out on the road.

We've decided we need to travel. But we have a problem.

Now we have Mia. This means motorcycle vagabonding is out.

But we are working on a plan! We have some ideas we are vetting out. I'll keep you posted.

Don't let obstacles stop you from what you really want to do.

My ebook, "Rude Biker Chick: Lessons From My Daddy" is available for purchase here. Buy your copy now or if not for you, buy a copy for a friend for the holidays! The woman in your life will love you for it.


7 comments | Post a Comment

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Product Review - Viking Cycle Cruise Motorcycle Jacket

After three of my friends got the Viking Cycle Cruise Motorcycle Jacket for women I couldn't resist getting one of my own. My friends all looked so attractive in this jacket even though they all had very different body shapes.

Not only did the classic shape of a women's jacket appeal to me, but the vintage style did too. Once my friend Leslie, owner of Wind Therapy Conditioners, had hers I ordered one.

Once I received the jacket I was pleasantly gratified. The heavy leather and strong construction impressed me immediately. The soft, quilted liner has two inner pockets perfect for a phone or wallet. I slipped it over my shoulders and tugged at the waist.

"It doesn't fit!" I whined to my husband.

"Yes it does. Remember, it stretches in the back. Pull tighter so you can zip it."

Sure enough, he was right. It zipped right up once I gave it a tug.

"Remember, riding jackets should be snug so they don't pull up when you slide. And it will stretch a little, I'm sure. Give it a few hundred miles."

Once again, he was right. After 5,000 miles this jacket fits like it was made for me.

This jacket keeps my temperature perfect in various weather conditions. I've worn this in high winds, rain and temperatures ranging from 60 - 100 degrees. It adjusts with the weather.
(Photo taken by Brittany Morrow in Joshua Tree, CA during Babes Ride Out 4.)

The solid front zipper can be unzipped to create a vent in hot weather. The open collars snap down to keep from flapping.

Easy-to-access side pockets zip close. Inside are two large, open pockets. 

When the temperatures drop, the collar can come up.

The collar can be pulled up snug for a little extra warmth. I recommend you zip it up all the way for high winds too.

The collar comes up even higher. . . 

And can be tied close with a scarf for even greater warmth and protection. 

The heavy weight leather and solid zipper add to the durable construction of this protective jacket.
(Bottlecap pins are from Ride Like A Girl Designs.) 

Seriously, I'm killin' it in this jacket!
(Photo taken by Brittany Morrow in Bagdad, CA.)

Product Overview:
Made of soft yet durable Premium Top Quality Cowhide Leather.
Durable Zippers. Braided Design On Front Seams.
Highest Quality at Lowest Price.
Classic Design Womens Biker Jacket.

(Note: This jacket does not have a zip-out liner, armor or any waterproofing.)

Motorcycle House offers this women's motorcycle jacket that is both strong and gorgeous. With the fast shipping and low price, this is certainly a jacket to add to your closet. I find this jacket to not only be amazing for riding, but very stylish too!

My ebook, "Rude Biker Chick: Lessons From My Daddy" is available for purchase here. Buy your copy now or if not for you, buy a copy for a friend for the holidays! The woman in your life will love you for it.


No comments | Post a Comment

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Dying To Ride Again

I'm dying to get our on the road again. I'm crawling out of my skin. I long for the vagabonding days of motorcycling on the open road with my husband Steve.

Today on the one year anniversary of moving into our San Diego apartment. I feel more stalled than ever. We have 8 more months on our lease, so we're not going anywhere until July 2017 at the earliest. But we have another obstacle holding us back.

Our beagle Mia.

Mia has been Steve's dog for 12 years. When he went through his divorce, Mia stayed with Steve's ex-wife. He wanted to take her and asked for her repeatedly, but to no avail. But last Christmas Mia ran away from home and ended up in the local shelter. Steve's ex was out of state so we drove to pick Mia up.

The moment we saw her we knew she was very ill. We decided on the spot to keep her with us and nurse her back to health. She recovered after a few months, but at the age of 14, we see her struggle. I've fallen as deeply in love with her as Steve is. We feel our little family is more complete since she's come to be ours. We are a pack now.

In light of this new development, we've committed to care for her until her time comes. She's too old and frail to ride on a motorcycle with us so we will stay in San Diego.

Turnagain Pass on the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska
I tried doing some traveling on my own over the summer. I went to Alaska for a couple weeks, stopped in Seattle, visited with my Aunt and Uncle in Texas and then went to Babes Ride Out in Joshua Tree, CA last weekend. Even though I love traveling, I would have rather ridden my motorcycle with Steve all of that time.

With my 14-year-old nephew Zachary in Seattle

With my Aunt Charlotte, Uncle Reggie and my cousin Reagan at Charlotte's home in Bridge City, Texas

Getting silly at the photo booth with fellow riders Brittany and Ariana at Babes Ride Out 4

Monica, Ariana and I rode from San Diego together to BRO4 and really enjoyed our time together
I'm exhausted. I developed a bacterial infection from some Reindeer Stew at the Alaska State Fair and ended up in the emergency room in Beaumont, Texas. My gut has suffered some damage as a result, so now I'm struggling with my health again.

But while I was away I missed Steve so much. It was good for us to have time apart to grow as individuals, but these months have been too much. I'm so very glad to be home.

Yet, I am already dying to leave again.

There's such a difference between motorcycling with your partner and any other type of travel. Every mile on the bike strengthens the body while tearing it down. The different cities stimulate me and the landscapes awaken me. It nourishes every corner of my soul. We spend the days in our own helmets and come together at our hotel at night. We can experience it side by side and process it alone.

That's the perfect formula except for the loneliness. Even though we are together, there's an isolation from society.

I don't belong in one place. The road is my destination and Steve is my home. Wherever our road leads, as long as he's with me, I'm always home.

Until the day we can remount our motorcycles and ride away, I'll be try and be patient.

You can help by referring small business owners to our company Too Much Tina for websites, marketing and social media support. Think of your barber, dentist, car and motorcycle mechanics, restaurant owners, photographers, estheticians, and other businesses you patronize. It doesn't matter where they are located because I can help them from anywhere with my cell phone and laptop. I'm not looking for handouts but a way to earn my money to travel. Thank you!

1 comment | Post a Comment

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Ode To Socks

My Carolina Boots on the left, Steve's Wolverines on the right. I'm on my second pair of Carolinas and Steve still has his original Wolverines. His boots have taken him over 111,000 miles thus far and are going strong. 

I bought the $14 pair of socks at the boot store when I bought my first pair of motorcycle boots.

"$14! They had better be worth it," I snapped at the young clerk.

"I can assure you they are! They wick the sweat away, are padded in the soles and are odor resistant. They'll take you a very long way."

I wondered if I was a sucker but decided it was a small price to pay if they were really as good as he claimed.

It was February 2013 and the scent of leather was thick in the boot store as I had just committed to purchasing a pair of Carolina Waterproof Work Boots. Since I was finally riding my own bike Steve had gone with me to help me select the perfect boots for our upcoming Road Pickle Motorcycle Bohemia. We were moving out of our apartment and setting off on an epic ride across the U.S. for six months.

That six months turned into two and one half years of being homeless motorcycle vagabonds. We stayed in hotels and vacation rentals in 35 states and rode 50,000+ miles.

So I bought the boots and socks in preparation for an amazing adventure.

These socks were everything they were cracked up to be and quickly became my favorites. I wore them for almost every ride over those years. (On very cold days I wore the wool socks I picked up in a bargain bin at a market in Nebraska.) It seems silly, somehow, to be so attached to a pair of socks, but they were part of my "uniform" to me.

If you're anything like me, you become sentimental about particular pieces of motorcycle gear. Once while doing laundry in Tucson I went into a panic because I had lost one of the socks. I was embarrassed by the amount of relief I felt having found it an hour later. When the road became my only destination and I carried with me everything was all I had, each piece mattered greatly. But the sock thing was a little over the top.

Over the many miles we've lost other important pieces as well; Steve's favorite gloves he wore on his ride from So. Cal. to Alaska that wore out, a $5 watch I strapped to my handlebars for 6 months that stopped, a laptop that wouldn't boot up any longer, 4 cameras and 3 mp3 players I dropped, and my ATM card that blew out of my pocket in South Dakota.

Loss is part of riding. You can't become too attached to anything; material items, places, people. . .

"'To love is to feel pain' there ain't no way around it
The very nature of love is to grieve when it's over
The secret to a happy ending is knowing when to roll the credits
Better roll 'em now before something else goes wrong."

~ Drive By Truckers

Today I'll have to say "Farewell" to my threadbare socks. Their story is over. They did their job.

Goodbye Old Friends. I appreciate you so.

But the socks are more than a clothing. They represent a time of my life that matters to me a great deal. My most adventurous time to date.

There will be other socks, other roads, other adventures, other favorites, other loves.

2 comments | Post a Comment

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Pick Your Sisters Carefully

What the Hell does this word "Sisterhood" mean? What makes YOU my "Sister"?

In the women's motorcycling community I hear these words slung around like poo in the monkey cage.

Just because you are a woman and ride a motorcycle, that doesn't make us "Sisters". It makes us two women who ride.

Don't get me wrong. I am very close with many women riders and I have many who are my friends. I've learned the incredible value of the relationships with my female friends over the years and I couldn't live without it.

But to be expected to instantly trust ANYONE goes against everything I've ever learned in life.

And let me tell you why.

I was abused as a little girl and the abuse came at the hands of my mother and the men she brought into my life. At the age of 6-years-old my first abuser, my step-father Bill, devastated my life. But he wasn't alone in his misdoings. This excerpt, taken from my book, Rude Biker Chick, Lessons From My Daddy, gives a prime example.

"One evening my sister, two brothers and I were gathered in our bedroom, having a conference about our latest “trouble.” Someone had eaten Bill’s chocolate cake without permission and someone was going to get a spanking. The older kids convinced me to take the punishment this one time, even though the culprit hadn’t been me. In a selfless act of loyalty, I walked into the living room and confessed.

Bill grabbed me by my arm, yanking me off my feet, and drug me to the room he shared with my mother. He beat me on the behind with a breadboard, giving me 10 swats. This grown man hit me so hard with each blow, I couldn’t cry because I couldn’t catch my breath. This was no spanking. It was an outright beating. Each blow, worse than the last, threw me forward off my feet and across the bed. Bill would grab my arm and yank me back into the “bent over” position to deliver the next swat.

I was then forced to go to the dinner table. I could not sit or bring myself to eat, the pain was so great. My brothers happily stole the hot dogs and tater tots from my plate and ate them. They showed no care nor mercy, nor did my sister.

“Whether you did it or not, it was your turn. We’ve all been beaten,” my sister said."

My sister was the oldest and had always been my protector, especially since my parents divorce when I was 5-years-old. But this time I was forsaken. Once a small child is betrayed by the women she looks up to and takes a beating like this, all trust is broken.

It wasn't JUST about the violation of the man who beat me, but my sister who threw me to him and my mother who stood by and let it happen.

Now in my world, all trust is earned. And over the years there have been a few women who have indeed stepped up and earned that trust. Their kindness and compassion have overwhelmed me and surprised me.

On my recent ride along the California coast to the Redwoods with 3 friends, Carolyn, Leslie and Sheilah, I reached new depths of vulnerability. Something magic happened in my heart; something I've never allowed to happen before now.

I learned to trust, in spite of my best efforts to push these women away and prove to them that I wasn't willing to love and trust them. And yet, over the 9 days of the ride, the 8 nights of sharing beds and stories, laughs and tears, miles and miles and miles, I let go and learned that some women are good and worthy of my trust and love. It was one of the best experiences I have ever had in my life.

In my opinion, this is real "Sisterhood".

I'm now more willing than ever to give friends a trial period, give a little bit of myself, and hope they do the same with me. I'm willing to open myself up, a little at a time. But just because someone has a vagina and a motorcycle, I am not obligated nor inclined to call them my "Sister". I have many friends, but very few "Sisters".

How about you? What does it take for you to call someone "Sister?"

6 comments | Post a Comment

Friday, September 2, 2016

Motorcycling Wild Kenai Alaska

Overlooking the ocean at the end of the spit, at the edge of Homer.
Many riders I've met dream of riding to Alaska, just as my husband Steve did in 2010. Steve rode from Menifee, CA to Fairbanks, AK and back in 30 days, covering thousands of miles. We met for the first time shortly after this excursion. He was aflame with stories of his travels, completely wide eyed and awestruck by everything he saw.

From the moment I rode my own I dreamed of taking the trip to Alaska with him.

To make it up and back during the ride season I would be required to ride gravel roads, sometimes for days in a row, under the wettest conditions imaginable. Also, there would be cold 500 mile days, many of them back to back. I can't even do that under the best of circumstances. Lastly, my challenge of finding a bike short enough for me to ride that would carry all of the equipment I would need seems impossible.

As my time in the saddle increased, I realized the Alaska ride was out of reach for me.

Amazingly, Alaska found me. Last year a rider in Sterling, AK came across Steve's blog Motorcycle Philosophy. He most likely was searching for content about riding in Alaska. After reading for awhile he came across information about our marketing company Too Much Tina Marketing. We connected and shortly thereafter I began marketing Ed's dental practice in Sterling, Moose River Dental.

Ed closing up his dental office at the end of the day. 

I've enjoyed working with Ed and his staff and helping him build his practice. But as time has gone by I've felt a disconnect with his patients and his community.

"Steve, I think I should go to Alaska."

"Go ahead. Who's stopping you?" Steve replied.

"Really? I'm going to look at flights right now!"

Within hours I had round trip tickets from San Diego to Anchorage. I discussed my plans with Ed and he invited me to stay with his wife Heather and him while I was there. He even offered up Heather's Sportster for me to ride! It couldn't get any better.

Riding home with Heather and Ed from the Alaska State Fair in Palmer. 
Two months later I was trembling as I boarded the plane. Steve did all he could to comfort me but I was simply terrified. Alaska seemed a very long distance from home. I was actually surprised by my fear. I had embraced so many challenges and adventures over the last 3 years, yet this had me in a near panic.

When I stepped off the plane and saw Ed waiting for me in the airport my fear washed away. For the next 9 days Ed and I spent almost all of our time together. We worked on his business marketing and traveled "The Kenai" (the name the locals have for the Kenai Peninsula) by truck and motorcycles. Ed was the perfect tour guide, always filled with information about the area.

When you ride a Harley, you must visit your local Harley dealership. As for us, we were meeting up with the local HOG chapter for a ride. 

We rode down to Homer and crashed a biker wedding. The bride and groom were complete strangers to us, but it didn't matter. All local HOG members were welcome. 

I think Ed was tired of selfies but Santa the Bartender at the Salty Dawg Saloon photo bombed us!
Alaska is a wild, beautiful and untamed as you can imagine. "The Last Frontier", as it is known, is just that: Frontier.


Large and dangerous wild animals live among the residents. Black bears, brown bear (also known as Grizzly or Kodiak), moose, caribou and others, each dangerous in their own ways and all deadly. Just so far this year (Aug 2016) on the Sterling Highway over 230 moose were struck by cars and killed. Many of those collisions killed those drivers and passengers of vehicles and I guarantee all of them caused serious vehicle damage.

It's hard to see but there is a caribou roadside. We had to ride slowly just in case there were others around. 
The weather is completely unpredictable, even though locals will tell you the weather forecast is usually right. A mix of sunshine and rain, clouds and blue skies filled my time. I was fortunate to visit during such a warm time with temperatures from 35 - 80 degrees.

Along Turnagain Arm

Overlooking the little town of Homer.
Even more unpredictable are the roads. Riders must stay ever vigilant for not only a moose or caribou running out from the brush, but road construction. In the areas the roads are being repaved riders may encounter deeply grooved road or asphalt completely missing with only gravel roads for long stretches.

You had better be ready to bump and grind in the potholes. You'll find them in every parking lot in the state. These are much deeper than they look, filled with loose gravel and recent rain. 
The glaciers are stunning. I had to stop and just admire their longstanding majesty. I saw quite a few around Turnagain Arm near Anchorage that just took my breath away.

Glaciers can be seen from Turnagain Pass. So gorgeous! Photos don't do them justice.

The clouds hugging Turnagain Pass. 

Everyone is armed. Something about all of the wildness appeals to my adventurous side, drawing me in. I realize I'm not as rugged as the residents but I'm attracted to their willingness to meet nature head on.

Bullet holes in the metal restroom sign at one of the trial heads. 

Most residents fish and hunt for the meat they eat year round. I enjoyed fresh wild salmon, reindeer stew and venison jerky. The folks of Alaska are definitely carnivores!

Flatbread and Reindeer Stew for lunch at the Fair. I love the stew, but I love flatbread so much more. 

When I arrived at the airport I started feeling very sad about leaving. The stuffed polar bear cheered me up a bit, but I knew already that Alaska had stolen a piece of my heart. I've already made plans to return next summer and stay for awhile longer.

This polar bear is in the Kenai Airport. Stuffed and mounted for travelers like me to gawk at. He's so huge that the thought of running into him in the wild is utterly terrifying. 
My ebook, "Rude Biker Chick: Lessons From My Daddy" is available for purchase here. Buy your copy now or if not for you, buy a copy for a friend. The woman in your life will love you for it. Thanks!


3 comments | Post a Comment

About Sash

People call me "Sash" because I'm a former beauty queen in my old home town. My father used to ride in an MC which got me interested in the culture. After my last divorce I said "goodbye" to Susie Homemaker and became the rude biker chick I always felt inside. (Read more...)