The switch: from full time traveler to full time entrepreneur again!

Instagram @myprettylittlevan

The switch between full time entrepreneur and full time traveler was weird enough, so how does it work the other way around?

From wild life to city life —

Trading a van life for a city life has needed a lot of adaptation so far. Settling down somewhere, especially a city like Adelaide, when you have been used to live anywhere, mainly outside of cities, in a complete independence is quite challenging.

First comes the question of accommodation, which means paying a weekly rent. Van life has allowed us to live anywhere for free (a huge saving in Australia), and even though it is still possible and what we mainly do, there are lots of challenges living in a van in a city. For me, the main one is 1. showers and 2. own space but there is also another that i couldn’t predict 3. winter (Yes, winter is coming in Adelaide, not only in GoT haha). As entrepreneurs, it’s always super challenging to prioritize, especially on money. However we have an advantage owning a “home on wheels”, which helps us save on accommodation. We also found a good alternative when it gets difficult with the van and that solves most of the initial problems: house-sitting. Basically staying at places for free, against feeding animals or watering plants. Doesn’t require much work and allowing us to “feel at home, work from home” kind of experience. So far, it’s been a good experience, we mostly had dogs to watch, 1 lizard, fishes, and 1 water turtle!

Saying that, my favorite stays the fact that we can just drive away, discover beautiful places around the cities, and work remotely from the van or cafés, but indeed this is not the most suitable solution at the moment as we are just starting, even though this would be the ideal long term goal.

Instagram @frenchydiary

Another transition that requires attention is insurance when transitioning from being a “traveler” to an “entrepreneur”, and this one hasn’t been easy so far. As foreigners, we all need an international insurance in case something happens, we get sick or have an accident (and to get the visa — see more info on our SISA New Entrepreneur visa here). There are always plenty of options when you are a traveler, a student of an expat, however what about when you want to build a business (and therefore have no employer or company you work for)? It has been a challenging one, and so far I haven’t seen anything made for entrepreneurs, people who take risks to build something new, and who are on a budget, even internationally, as we don’t match anymore with the working holiday makers’ rights and we are not under the same visa.

We used to have a very independent life as van lifers, coming to a city has changed our lifestyle too. Food is another good example. When you travel form places to places, for many reasons but mostly budget-wise, you cook most of the time. However, in a city, cooking becomes very challenging, it’s not something you can do while parked on the side of the road. It’s also not pleasant at all. So what are your options? Eating out? Take aways? The house-sitting option has actually helped us a lot there, as we can still cook everyday, but if we didn’t have this, that would be a big spending, and moreover not the healthiest option…

Instagram @vanlifefood

From being a Working Holiday backpacker to a New Entrepreneur professional —

I would say our biggest spendings right now is coffee! Spending our time meeting new people and working in libraries and coffee places have got a lot to do with this. I mean, our goal, being new in the city and to the local startup scene, is to network but also meet and connect with other people in the ecosystem.

Also, we have definitely seen the change since we got this new visa! Everyone we meet seems really interested in the new program, maybe because only a few people got it so far, but also because it’s happening and more people can access the startup world in Australia. Opportunities are here since we moved to Adelaide, and we are very motivated by all the useful meetings and interesting people we meet everyday (that coffee budget is well worth it!).

We also have the right to work 20 hours a week with the program, which is a great opportunity we also need to focus on. Building a business is strongly addictive, but being able to make some money on the side to support ourself while the business is not making revenue yet is essential too. The beauty industry and everything digital being one of my expertise, I am looking for opportunities that way first.

Instagram @frenchydiary

From driving every day to a different paradise location to establishing a business routine —

This might be the hardest part so far, not moving anymore. However I have been looking forward to be back in the business kind of thing.

We have been used to “everyday is a different day” routine, but also “everyday is a holiday” as we were traveling. Building a business is the exact opposite. Setting up a routine is important but so is having a place to work and focus. Coffee meetings are nice, but focusing on developing your idea is also very important. And so far it’s been challenging to manage both. There are a few reasons to this: first we don’t have an office, a stable place to go everyday and be able to focus, we have found some nice cafes and libraries, but you always have to adapt to the opening hours, noise, people around, etc. Second, we need to network. Coming to a new city and building a business in a new Country, it’s vital to get to know the ecosystem, the people and communities that are contributing to it. I also enjoy helping and making connections to entrepreneur-related communities, as per my background in communication but also in digital.

A new routine that has also been challenging is business talks. There are a few things that I could talk about here but introducing myself after being out of the business life for a year has been a big one. It’s like struggling to explain what i do or what i did with my previous business in Vietnam. A very weird feeling after being on stage pitching to investors, being on local TV or talking about being a female founders in front of other people or to the media. Definitely something I am looking forward to go back to though, public speaking being something i really want to improve, and being up-to-date and able to discuss about new technologies being super important in my area of expertise.

instagram @frenchydiary

A big switch as the title says, but lots of exciting new challenges and lots of new topics that came to my mind for upcoming articles! Stay tuned and follow our daily startup life on instagram @ frenchydiary




Ex- Ma Belle Box (VN)/Co-founder (AU) — Environmental Entrepreneur introducing home compostable solutions for responsible business owners.

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Ex- Ma Belle Box (VN)/Co-founder (AU) — Environmental Entrepreneur introducing home compostable solutions for responsible business owners.

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