GringosAbroad Ecuador

4 Great Resources for Traveling & Living Abroad

Posted in: Language Learning, Product Reviews, Resources & Gear

resources-traveling-living-abroadThere is no shortage of books on travel, language and making money. The problem is that many of them are speculative. Have the authors actually done it themselves? Do their methods actually work?

The best way to learn is to learn from the people actually doing it. You’ll get practical advice that works in the real world.

One way that travel bloggers make money is by writing and selling e-books and courses. Here is a collection of some of our favorite courses and e-books written by some of our favorite travel bloggers.

In this post, I review four courses / eBooks in topics ranging from: improving your travel photography, making money with your travel blog, language hacking and building an online business.

Generating income, speaking the language and taking good photos are critical considerations for almost everyone planning on traveling and living abroad. Here are the resources we use:

1. Empire Building Kit / Chris Guillebeau

Learn how to build an online lifestyle business.

Empire Building Kit

  • Tagline: How to Build a Meaningful Lifestyle Business in One Year by Doing One Thing Every Day.
  • Have I taken the course? Yes
  • Who is it for: Someone ready to take action. Once subscribing you will get access to all of the videos, worksheets and transcripts. The emails will begin from day one. I guarantee that you will be frustrated if you aren’t ready to begin – because this course will get your ideas flowing. But remember – you only need a few minutes a day (every day) to turn this course into a location independent lifestyle. The emails are not only step-by-step but also very motivational to keep making progress.
  • Starting at $149 for a 365-day plan of attack.

First of all, Who is Chris Guillebeau? 

Chris is a true world traveler, having been to more than 175 countries and more on the list. He is the best selling author of The $100 StartupReinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future. His Twitter profile describes him best: Author of The $100 Startup. Visiting every country in the world. Self-employed for life.

What is The Empire Building Kit?

The Empire Building Kit (EBK) includes the business know-how, real-life case studies, and daily steps designed to help you build your own empire in one year or less. This kit / course includes an email-a-day for 365 days. The email format is six days of action and one day of review each week. Chris includes 15 case studies of other travelers and business people who have started their lifestyle business and he digs deep to understand just how they did it. There is a set of checklists to ensure that everything gets done (and in the right order).

Check out:  The Empire Building Kit

Other Products by Chris Guillebeau: Break out of 9-5, Publish Your Best Seller, Freelancers!, Frequent Flyer Master, Unconventional Guides

2. Speak From Day 1 / Benny the Irish Polyglot

Learn how to begin speaking a new language from day 1.


  • Tagline: The Secret to Learning Another Language: Speak from day 1
  • Have I taken the course? Partly. We have it and have begun taking it. We will be publishing a full review within the next four weeks.
  • Who is it for? If you want to learn the language to communicate, travel and make friends this is for you. If you love grammar and studying intricacies of language then you might not enjoy this program. It is a practical, jump-into-language course.
  •  Speak from Day 1 video course, plus all updates free of charge, as well as the full (multilingual) version of the Language Hacking Guide, for US$97 .
If nothing else, you have to watch this language video. It is amazing and incredibly motivating. Benny speaks at least 10 languages in the video. If he can speak that many, why can’t we speak just 2 or 3?

From Benny:

I’ve seen people put off learning a language their entire life. They say ‘Oh, I’ll get around to it sometime.’ But then they never do because life gets in the way.

A true language hacker doesn’t wait around for his or her life to start. Language hackers know they’re not getting any younger, which is why they’re learning a new language right now.

If you’re ready to draw a line in the sand, stop waiting around and master your next language. There’s no better time to do it than right now.

There are seven days in a week. “Someday” isn’t one of them.

Learning a new language is both a rite of passage and a critical step to being a successful traveler or expat. Here are some of the tools we used to learn Spanish after moving to Ecuador.

UPDATE (February 5, 2013): Dena published a full review of the Speak From Day 1 course. Learn how to learn a language here.

Check out: Speak From Day 1 Video Course

3. Make Money With Your Travel Blog / Nomadic Matt

Start making money with your travel/expat blog.


  • Tagline: Work Anywhere – Do Anything
  • Have I taken the course? Yes. (Read Make Money Travel Blog Review)
  • Who is it for? Obviously it is for long-term travelers. But it is also short term travelers and expats. The course can be applied to an expat blog just as easy as to a travel blog. A travel/expat blog has become a necessary travel / move abroad accessory. This book will help you run yours better, get more readers and make more money.

What stands out about this books is that Matt is making more than $8000 per month from his travel blog through Google Ads, books, direct ad sales, and affiliate purchases. If you going to travel or move abroad, then this book will get you started with a strong and profitable blog. The basic version is just $37 and the book with consulting package is $97. When you think about creating your ideal lifestyle, it sure doesn’t cost very much.

We started blogging without buying any tools or books. While we have made this blog and our others successful, it would have shortened the process if we had started with this book. And despite having been blogging for a number of years, when we finally did get this book we learnt a number of helpful things.

Check out: How to make money with your travel blog

Nomadic Matt has also written the following ebooks: Nomadic Matt’s World Travel TipsHow to Teach English OverseasHow to Travel the World for 50 USD and How to Monetize Your blog

4. Getting Out of Auto / Bethany Salvon

Immediately improve the quality of your travel photos.


  • Tagline: Learn the Ins and Outs of Taking Awesome Photographs With Your Everyday Camera
  • Have I taken the course? Yes. (Read Getting Out of Auto Book Review)
  • Who is it for? While advanced photographers will benefit, it was really written for the traveler looking to improve their photos with their current point-and-shoot camera.
  •  The book is priced at $9.99 – and will improve the quality and composition of all of your photos – with the camera you currently own. Improve your photography today with instant download.

I really like the simplicity of how she explains the aperture, shutter speed and ISO. I have other books which dedicate dozens of pages to explain what she does in just a few. And I understood it better from her book…

The diagrams and comparison photos reinforce the principles being taught and make it not only easy to understand but (just as important) easy to remember.

Check out: Getting Out of Auto

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Meet the Author

Bryan Haines is co-editor of GringosAbroad - Ecuador's largest blog for expats and travelers. He is a travel blogger and content marketer. He is also co-founder of ClickLikeThis (GoPro tutorial blog) and Storyteller Media (content marketing for travel brands). Work with GringosAbroad.

6 comments… add one
  • Eric McGuire Jan 3, 2015, 12:51 pm

    Im planning a trip to Ecuador in March. I was a Peace Corp volunter there from 1978 to 1980. Thanks Eric

  • Jonnyw Nov 5, 2012, 7:14 pm

    I love the Ecuadorian president, I think he is a very decent man and stands up for justice. Something sorely lacking in the world.

  • Tes Oct 24, 2012, 12:13 pm

    Hi all! This may be a weird situation, but hubby and I have been researching countries to immigrate to in two different ways: I’m looking for the cultural experience and cost of living; he’s looking for the POLITICAL situation and cost of living. One of the reasons he’s hesitant about Ecuador is because he’s not a fan of their president. What’s your take on judging a country’s political situation for expats? This is not usually covered in travel blogs. BTW – love your stuff!!And thanks to all who send in their own hints.

    • Bryan Haines Oct 24, 2012, 1:48 pm

      I don’t hear much commentary on the political situation here. While the president isn’t a fan of the US government he is loved here. He has one of the highest approval ratings in Latin America. I don’t know much about politics and policies but the economic situation here seems stable.

      • Stewart Oct 27, 2012, 8:23 am

        Hello Tes and Hubby,
        Presidential elections are coming up next February here in Ecuador. Although Many people are fans of Pres. Correa there’s a significant group that is not, but I think they’ll exercise their right to vote as opposed to anything else.
        I’ve been visiting Ecuador since childhood and there have been many improvements in all aspects. Politically I think it’s more stable now than ever before.

  • mcooks Oct 23, 2012, 2:20 pm

    I love Benny’s video! We are living in Ecuador and I can say that using Spanish every day is improving my language skills so much faster. I AM someone who loves to learn grammar rules, etc., but it’s true that it doesn’t matter if you say it correctly at first. The locals are usually more than willing to listen and even help. 🙂

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