The Story of Expat Yogi

Expat Yogi

In less than one year from now, we will sell everything that we own, and move to Southeast Asia to live as expats. This is the story of the beginning of Expat Yogi.

Expat Yogi

The Planning

I know this all sounds crazy. I mean, who just sells all of their possessions and thinks that they can make enough money online to live a kind of permanent vacation? Well, I have a history of following through on my plans. Plan… That’s the key word here. What I’m about to do is not a spur-of-the-moment action. I have carefully considered much of what I need to do to make this happen. A carefully constructed plan, is your road map to success!

Five years ago, I got serious about making some major changes to my life. I was getting by pretty well as an Insurance Examiner in Portland, Oregon, but I really didn’t feel any passion or excitement around how I spent my days. I had a feeling that the kind of changes that I wanted in my life wouldn’t happen overnight, so I decided to play the long game. I made a 5 Year Plan to change everything.

At the time I made the 5 Year Plan, I thought that I was setting the bar too high, and I didn’t actually suspect that I would be able to accomplish what I set out to. I figured that if I could complete half of it, it would be worth while.

To make a long story short, I completed almost everything in my plan 2 years early. Read the post I linked to above for all of the details. I left my corporate insurance job, I became a yoga teacher, personal trainer, and opened my own training studio. Creating that plan allowed me to accomplish things that I didn’t really think I could do.

Now, I’m back at it again. I’ve made a 2 Year Plan that will once again completely change my life. In 2 year’s time, I intend to make the majority of my income online, be location independent, and practice yoga at the best locations throughout Southeast Asia. This blog, Expat Yogi, is going to chronicle all of this.

Johnny and Ali Dream Big


After closing my fitness studio in November, I started to really give some thought to what my next steps would be. I was quickly able to pick up some yoga classes around town to pay enough bills to keep a roof over my head, but I’m nearing 40, and just keeping a roof over my head isn’t exactly ideal. However, closing the studio did free up the time that I needed in order to launch the membership site, JohnnyFit Online, and begin to grow it.

After years of blogging, growing an audience, and thinking about ways to make money from it all, I finally had a good solid product to sell.

There was still one problem though… time! While more and more people join my site, it’s going to take a while to get the kind of numbers that can sustain a lifestyle in Portland. My girlfriend and I live in a fantastic neighborhood close to downtown. We are centrally located, and can be nearly anywhere in Portland within 15 minutes.

We could always save money by moving further outside of the city center, but then when you think about extra commuting time and a neighborhood we don’t enjoy as much, it doesn’t really seem worth it. Is saving a few hundred dollars on rent worth it if you have to drive 5 to 10 extra hours per week? I don’t think so.

Additionally, Portland is literally blowing up! People are moving here from everywhere, and rental prices have easily jumped about $500 per unit within the past 5 years.

Being convinced that I can make enough money online to live off of, just not in the US, I started floating the idea to Ali of moving overseas. From following other bloggers who are living this way, I know it can be done.

Ali was reluctant for a long time because she recently started working a new job that she enjoys, and hasn’t lived in Portland as long as I have. Little by little, all of the YouTube videos that I watch of expats in Thailand began to convince her that we can make this work.

When things shifted for her, and she came on board fully, this blog was conceived. Our niche of expats and yoga seems like a perfect fit that the stars couldn’t align any better!

I know that some people might think that I’m crazy for wanting to live like this. Others just won’t understand, but that’s OK.

To me, crazy has a different definition. Crazy would be to work in a career that I can barely stand so that I can afford a house in a neighborhood that I don’t really want to live in. On top of that, I could spend 10 hours a week driving to that job that I can barely stand so that I can fill up my house in the only neighborhood that I can afford with stuff that I don’t really need. You get the idea. That just sounds crazy to me.

The internet is allowing us break through what used to be called the American Dream. We can live without borders. We don’t have to be tied to any location  longer than we feel like, when all we need to make money is a device that can connect to the internet.

Digital Nomad


For as long as I’ve been blogging, I’ve been dreaming about making enough money online in order to make it a full time gig. I believe that I’m nearing the point where I can get that final push to make it a reality. The 2 Year Plan details it in full. With my growing membership site, and planned eBooks about living as an expat yogi, I think it’s coming together.

The key to having a successful blog is being able to provide something that people want. You have to put forth information that is helpful to people. With JohnnyFit Online I provide great affordable workouts and yoga classes. With Expat Yogi I can show people where to seek out the best yoga vacations in the world.

Yoga is a booming market that is growing every year. Yoga allows people to feel connected to their lives. They can step away from ultra busy lifestyles, and take a deep breath. There are people in the US who feel lucky to get 2 weeks of vacation. Yoga vacations are the perfect combination for people to be somewhere beautiful and get rid of stress!

Additionally, while I’m out getting the details on the best places for your next yoga retreat, I will be filming new classes for my membership site set to tropical backgrounds. What I’m already doing will be enhanced by Expat Yogi, and my current interests in both travel and yoga can be furthered. This is going to work!

True Partners

Johnny and Ali

The best thing about Ali being on board with this idea is that I’m no longer doing all of the blogging work. She’s actively engaged in creating new content and adding value to this endeavor. Life is better with a partner that’s interested in actively pursuing the same interests!

There are other blogging couples who are really making a go of it together like the couple of 8 Miles From Home. Paying attention to their journey leaves me no doubt that I can make this work too!

We have about 10 months from the writing of this post until we head out. That’s 10 months that we’ll continue to grow our current income streams. With what we save between now and then, plus the cash we get from selling all of our stuff, we should have nearly 2 years from this writing to make this work financially. With the speed in which I accomplished my previous plan, I know that we can do this, especially together!

It’s going to be an exciting journey. Please follow us if you’re interested in what we’re doing, have your own desire to travel indefinitely, or just love yoga! Begin a conversation below, and who knows, maybe our paths will cross in person some day!

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