Hi! Welcome To Freedomflux!
My name is Sven. I’m a thirtysomething traveler, meditator and outdoor sports enthusiast. I quit my job at the end of 2013 and have been on the road ever since. My adventures have taken me from the sweaty jungles of South America to the freezing peaks of the Himalayas.
And I’m Marie, I’m a writer and a photographer. Since I graduated from university, I have been building a lifestyle of my own that allows me to be creative every day and to combine my passion for humanity with a voracious obsession for rock climbing.
This page is about our own financial journey, approach to travel and location independence. To learn more about the website itself, click here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Where are you from?
Marie: I grew up and studied in Quebec City (Qc, Canada). Nurturing strong ties to my family, friends and collaborators in Canada is important to me, and I enjoy going back when a project comes up.
Sven: Long story short, I grew up in Montreal, Canada. When I was 21 I moved to the UK for my postgraduate studies. I lived there for 3 and a half years. After, I worked for 7 years in Switzerland. First as a postdoc, and then as a research scientist. But eventually I got itchy feet.
Q: Did you two meet in Quebec (Canada)?
Marie & Sven: Not even! We first met in Lebanon in 2017 through a friend’s NGO, then met again by chance in Jordan two years later for trad climbing. We’ve been travelling together full-time ever since!
Q: Why did you start traveling full-time?
Marie: I was drawn to travel and outdoor adventures early on in life. By the age of three or four, I had decided that I would speak six languages and explore the world with my all girls rock band. Spoiler alert: I never became a rock star. But I have been traveling the world since I was 17 and I studied multiple languages. I went full-time after a climbing trip to Europe following my graduation. I had planned to come back after two months and enroll for a master’s degree, but instead I moved to Lebanon to learn colloquial Arabic.
Sven: When I was a teenager I got into hiking and rock climbing. What started as a hobby gradually became a passion. While based in Europe I was using every weekend and holiday to explore the nearby mountains and countries. After quitting my job I went on a climbing and traveling binge around the world. Turns out this lifestyle is addictive! It wasn’t the initial plan, I just never stopped.
Q: What do these outdoor activities bring you?
Sven: They have always helped me to focus on the simple, important things in life. Food, shelter. But also being with friends, sharing a moment. And particularly with climbing I am part of a like-minded, truly global community. I don’t do it for the adrenaline. I see these sports more like a meditation, a form of mindfulness. When I am in the mountains and experience the flow, I feel truly alive.
Marie: What could I possibly add to that?! Perhaps a few words about mental health. Towards the end of my degree in International Studies, I was not doing well. After studying abroad in Turkey, I had a very hard time to adapt back to my life in Quebec. I had lost interest for my studies, and I felt depressed. My daily life was hindered by chronic abdominal pain, migraines and regular panic attacks. I pocketed my diploma and left for Europe with nothing but a climbing bag and a clear intention: I would regain my mental and physical health.
Keeping an active lifestyle helps me cope with stress and stay in touch with myself. It is at the center of a larger strategy to stay fit, but it’s not a magical cure. It’s important to know that it’s ok to seek professional help when things become too much. More than ok. Being kind and humble starts with yourself.
Q: How do you pay your bills?
Sven: I like having as few as possible! I didn’t win the lottery. Nor do I have a trust fund. I don’t make a living from blogging. I mostly live off my savings and investments from when I was still a respectable person. That only works because I have a very simple lifestyle. Many people find my frugality extreme, and I definitely have overdone it at times. But I find that living humbly, developing your skills and being happy are goals that naturally align themselves.
Marie: I work! I started with boring, badly paid travel writing gigs, then developed a more diversified clientele. I have tried a few different things, from translation to linguistic revision. Now I work predominantly as a writer with non-profit organisations. Remotely for the most part, but I love field work!
Q: Do you have any other sources of income?
Marie: I have some money invested. Photography occasionally brings me paid opportunities and that’s a field of work I am hoping to grow. Before I could make a living off my writing, I worked as a climbing coach. I also served my share of tables! I sometimes volunteer to save on accommodation and food expenses.
Sven: I have done quite a few random small side gigs over the years. Sponsored paragliding pilot in Pakistan, matched betting while bumming around India, climbing guide in China, Santa Claus in Vietnam to name a few. None of these ever fully supported me, but I like having options if needed. Diverse skills are what I consider true resilience.
Q: Why did you start the freedomflux project?
Sven: I hear often people say: “It’s great what you are doing, but it’s not for me. It’s too hard.” And I agree, I went down a path that is not for everyone. But over the years I have met so many creative and inspiring people who came up with their own solutions to reclaim their lives. I wish I had access to better alternative resources while I was still behind a desk. One that combines advice on physical, financial and mental freedom. It’s in the spirit of sharing that knowledge that I started working on this website.
Marie: I saw this as a great learning opportunity for me. I truly believe in peer learning and I am honored to give back some of the knowledge that helped me build this life I love.