Waking up on Monday mornings isn't something that Jacques and Dahcia Bastien dread, nor are they counting down the hours until their weekend escape. For these two entrepreneurs, everyday feels like a vacation, complete with lunch breaks at local restaurants in Bangkok, and weekend jaunts to Khai Nai Island in Phuket.
"The world is too big to stay in one place," reads the caption on their Instagram page, One Way For Two.
The couple took up residence in Jakarta, Indonesia when they made the decision to ditch their former way of living just days shy of their four-year anniversary. They sold all of their material things before leaving the U.S. to travel around the world, meanwhile continuing to run their portfolio of digital marketing companies and building remote teams worldwide.
The self-identified "entrepreneurs in love" are no strangers to making the most out out of life. In March 2014, their wedding proposal video went viral, which led to their special day being sponsored by Fox News NY, Galia Lahav, and more. Two months later, they were gifted with the wedding of their dreams and said "I do" at the Central Park Boathouse. The couple's $25,000 wedding gown, wedding bands, and a multitude of other decorative arrangements were all free.
"But our wedding day was also a humbling one," the couple writes on their blog.
Their wedding day bliss was cut short following the departure of their guests. Soon after the ceremony, they headed back to their hotel to do what they knew how to do best: work.
At the time, despite running their own marketing company that they started together in college, they were barely able to afford a cab ride. A honeymoon was definitely out of the question. That night, they promised one another that within 365 days, when they were in a better financial position, they would incorporate monthly honeymoons into their marriage.
The following year, they took their first weeklong trip to South Florida. It was just the experience that they needed to prove that they could marry their love for one another and travel, with their love for building brands.
Honeymooning as a lifestyle didn't come easy.
Like many entrepreneurs, it was difficult to step away for hours without having to put out fires upon return. Determined to make their new lifestyle work, they adapted their schedules. Their mornings were dedicated to growing and maintaining their businesses, and in the evening and on weekends, they would hit Venice Beach in Los Angeles, walk the strip in Las Vegas, or dig their toes into the warm Florida sands. Soon their trips carried them internationally as well to places like Canada, Costa Rica, and Indonesia, and for the next two years, they traveled the globe—finding places they'd never been before as they worked through the day and relaxed once the sun set.
In April 2017, their endless honeymoon came to a halt.
While on a two-week trip with family across the globe, the couple found themselves entrenched in the heavy demands of running a business. Their time was spent working, as opposed to enjoying the temples, forests, and waterfalls that the country had to offer.
Up until then, most of their travels kept them in a similar timezone, making it easier to coordinate schedules with their growing team. But this time, a 12-hour time difference meant that instead of seeing the beautiful country that they had traveled nearly 30 hours to see, the couple would spend the majority of the trip in meetings, or dealing with time-sensitive business demands.
"The trip showed us a lot of weaknesses in our companies and in our lives. For starters, all of our companies depended entirely too much on us. It was difficult for us to be off the grid for more than 10 hours without something going wrong. It also showed us that although the monthly-retainer business where clients pay us one monthly price to manage their marketing initiatives was a great way to know exactly how much money you're going to make each month, it also meant that we worked 24/7 for our clients and had to be available to react when anything went wrong (no matter the time of day... or night)."
The final wakeup call was realizing that they had spent a lot of money for a trip that they didn't even get to enjoy. Similar to their wedding night, they promised each that by the following year, they would change their circumstances, which would require a complete overhaul of their businesses.
But first, they had to answer one question: Was their team more productive at home or in the office? Afterall, their companies would only remain as strong as their teams were effective, and they couldn't just assume that the remote lifestyle was a good fit for the many personalities that they managed on a daily basis.
Shifting to a 100% remote workplace experiment proved to be a success, and after only six weeks, they closed their three offices and allowed employees to work completely from home. Their full-service marketing agency turned into a firm that focused on short-term consulting and team training projects, and they launched a photo booth company that would serve as to be a low maintenance and high-profit business. These changes allowed their core team to focus more of their time on growing their influencer talent management agency.
Since then, they've snagged work with companies such as McDonald's, Marriott, Square Inc., and CVS Pharmacy, and launched Nappy and CreatorBio.co— all while working in our pajamas from their living room. Today, they have team members working around the world, from New York to the Philippines.
"2017 was a transformative year for us that led to a lot of changes, both personally and professionally. It wasn't an easy year, but it was one where we learned from our past mistakes and started planting new seeds. By the end of the year, we had a lot more 'free' time to live our lives and do the things that we've always wanted to do...best of all, we could do all of these from practically anywhere in the world."
Today, the couple has turned their love for traveling as entrepreneurs into a permanent lifestyle. For two weeks to three months at a time, they travel the world, all while working on growing their businesses. Without hesitation, they broke their lease, sold their car and furniture, and donated 85% of their clothes to charity, fitting their entire lives into two suitcases and two carry-ons.
"We both love learning about different cultures, but after spending one month in a place so different than the places you're used to, it really makes reorganize your priorities, consider your privileges, and how minuscule our 'problems' really are in the grand scheme of things."
This past April, the couple caught a one-way flight to Jakarta, Indonesia to kick off their world tour and redo the 2017 trip. The couple spent the last three months traveling to Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand (Phuket, Bangkok, and Chiang Mai). They also have plans to travel to Haiti and other destinations abroad throughout the next couple of years, only returning to the States for work, speaking engagements, and to spend time with family.
"We both feel very privileged and fortunate to have been able to experience the world together. One of the most important things we've taken away from this first leg of our world tour is that we are each other's center, no matter where we are, the feeling of being 'home' is the feeling we get whenever we're together."
Their story is proof that we are the masters of our own lives.
Though it was undoubtedly challenging to transition multiple companies with full-time employees to a 100% brick and mortar-free lifestyle, it was more than worth it. Everyday, they're waking up and exploring new parts of the city together and doing what brings them joy. That alone is priceless.