JS 77: Real Estate Investing Overseas with Mark & Camille Villaflor of 365 Travel Dates

September 16th, 2014 by Jason | Comments Off on JS 77: Real Estate Investing Overseas with Mark & Camille Villaflor of 365 Travel Dates

When talking about defining your own travel lifestyle, Mark and Camille Villaflor of 365 Travel Dates make the perfect guests for Jason Hartman’s Jet Setter Show. They’ll discuss the importance of finding real-estate investments, as well as the reality of spending most of your life abroad and how to do it without laying out thousands of dollars on flights. If you haven’t already got the travel bug, these two could well change your life.

Key Takeaways

04.35 – Even listeners with a real scientific or analytical background who question miracles and prayer can appreciate the advancements we’ve had in the last 30 years, and can only imagine where we’ll be and what we’ll know 30 years from now.

05.10 – Putting yourself in a new situation through travel can give you a new sense of cultural perspective.

06.25 – Regardless of your own beliefs, Mark and Camille of 365 Travel Dates believe that if you can be loved, you will spread the love even further yourself.

07.30 – Be flexible with yourself, but try living overseas. If you don’t like one place, move on.

08.45 – Working with real-estate investment – wherever you are in the world – gives you a level of control that you can’t get from the stock-market.

10.00 – By carefully planning your trips and your income, you can make a huge saving on your living expenses.

10.20 – When you’re travelling and you’re short of money, you tend to hit a survivalist mentality where you find a way to fix your situation.

10.58 – If your travels become known through blogs or other platforms, there are ways to get hotels and even flights for free.

12.00 – One of the best travel hacking tips is having a minimum spend deal with a credit card company, and getting travel included in the package.

13.40 – Sometimes we have to go against psychological impulses and decide whether hacking or getting a quick deal gives the greatest overall return.

14.50 – Travelling and following your passion gives you the opportunity to create your own job.

15.30 – 365 Travel Dates is great for pointing you in the right direction to make the most of every aspect of your travel plans.

16.10 – You can upgrade the travel plan to a business level so you can pay around $10,000 in exchange for 100,000 miles.

17.00 – On a level aside from bank assistance, asking for sponsorship or raising money by crowd-funding are both popular and successful options.

19.55 – You can follow Mark and Camille’s travel adventures on @365traveldates on Twitter and Instagram, www.facebook.com/365traveldates and www.365traveldates.com

20.00 – As tips for travellers, there’s always a way to achieve what you’re searching for.

Transcript

Introduction:
Welcome to the Jet Setter Show, where we explore lifestyle-friendly destinations world-wide. Enjoy and learn from a variety of experts on topics ranging from up-scale travel and wholesale prices to retiring overseas, to global real-estate and business opportunities to tax havens and expatriate opportunities. You’ll get great ideas on unique cultures, causes and cruise vacations. Whether you’re wealthy or just want to live a wealthy lifestyle, the Jet Setter Show is for you. Here’s your host, Jason Hartman.

Jason:
It’s my pleasure to welcome a couple of clients and friends, and that is Mark and Camille Villaflor – they want to talk to you about travelling, investing for travel and having that great freedom. They’ve got an amazing story and a really cool blog-oriented website and Facebook group called ‘365 Travel Dates’. Mark and Camille, welcome, how are you?

Camille:
We’re good!

Mark:
Yeah, we’re really excited.

Camille: 
We’re happy to be here.

Jason:
Well, it’s great to have you both. You’re coming to us from beautiful San Diego, is that correct?

Camille:
Yes.

Jason:
Fantastic. You guys have spent a lot of time travelling, and a lot of time on the road – though I don’t really want to even call it travelling, I think, because it’s really living abroad, right?

Camille:
Yeah, it is a lifestyle now; that’s how we want to call it.

Jason:
Good stuff. Well, tell us your story. How long have you been living in different places and just experiencing the world?

Mark:
I’m 29, Camille’s 26, and I think I’ve done about 30 countries. I’ve lived in Korea, Saudi Arabia for three months, I was in the Philippines for about 3 years, I lived in Argentina for a year, and then we lived in China, which is the last place that we were living in before we came home. We were there for four years. I was teaching and Camille was an interior designer.

Jason:
Good stuff. So, Saudi Arabia, that’s an odd pick. Why would anybody choose to live in Saudi Arabia? Forgive me if I’m being insulting about Saudi Arabia, but it just doesn’t seem like a place people would normally choose.

Mark:
No, don’t worry. I think that was some of the appeal, that I could go and live somewhere where people wouldn’t go. It was a time when me and Camille had just met (that August), and then September-December 2010.. We met at an organic church. There’s this missionary, Josh, who planted a church, and his emphasis was on healing. We were literally seeing miracles every day. The first person I laid hands on and prayed for was in a wheelchair and he got up. We were experiencing that, and then we fell in love, seeing miracles –

Camille:
And being in that group…

Mark:
And we saw them in Texas, in the Philippines, and in California just recently. We came from the guy who had put the church down just yesterday, and we stayed there for a week and just caught up.

Jason:
Tell us about miracles.

Camille:
[Laughs]

Mark:
Oh man.. I don’t know.

Camille: 
That’s a really long story, but yeah, it started in the Philippines through that church. It’s a different story when you hear people talk about miracles and all this healing stuff, and all the wonderful things in the Christian world, but to actually see it and –

Mark:
And do it…

Camille:
And do it, and pray for someone and they suddenly get their scoliosis healed, you know, things like that –

Mark:
Or cancer.

Camille:
It just pumps up your faith, and it’s an incredible feeling.

Jason:
Whether one listening is religious or not, or spiritual or new-age or not, there’s a lot more going on out there than we understand, folks. I think we need to all realize that if someone listening is really scientific and analytical, as I consider myself to be, by the way, stuff that we have nowadays, science would have considered magic 30 years ago. Even just within our lifetime – 20 or 30 years ago. Who would have considered some of the things we have at our fingertips nowadays and use everyday? That would have been like mysticism not long ago, right?

Camille:
That’s true.

Jason:
So similarly, the things that happen that we have 20, 30, 40 years from now –

Mark:
Oh yeah.

Jason:
We’re going to look back and think, ‘Oh, of course we know this’, but we didn’t know it now. We didn’t know it then. There’s just a lot more going on than any of us can really understand.

Mark:
And that’s why we travel. I want to de-construct what was wrong, what I learned that was incorrect about truth. When I went to Saudi, I was really pumped up as a Christian. I loved women and I liked drinking beer. They didn’t have any of that there, and I had a cultural perspective.

Jason:
[Laughs]. Well, they do have women there, but I don’t think you could recognize them! And I guess they don’t have any beer though, right?

Camille:
No.

Mark:
It’s compound living, so you’re in an expat community, you’re in a compound. When you go home, you go through a sort of gate to get into your compound. There’s barbed wire and trenches, and then there are Saudi men with Israeli guns.

Jason:
Wow.

Mark:
And that was home. Then I would listen and hear the call to prayer five times a day. If I was in the supermarket and it happened, it’s the perfect time if you’re not a Muslim to be grocery shopping, because they just shut you in there and for 10 or 15 minutes (I can’t recall how long the prayer is), you’re just doing your shopping. You’re finished and they all come back from their prayer and it’s business as usual. But they do shut the entire place down.

Jason:
Wow.

Mark:
Saudi’s the custodian to the two Holy Mosques, so it was quite interesting and opening, I guess. We love people. We love you if you’re new-age or Christian or atheist. Our approach and our world-view is be loved, and as a result, you’re going to love.

Camille:
You’re just going to spread it out. It’ll just burst from you.

Mark:
So even now, we’re trying to figure out 365 Travel Dates, and it’s like: What do we want to do with this? We’re trying to figure out what we love and what we’re passionate about so that it can really radiate and inspire people.

Jason:
Absolutely. Okay, so you’ve had these travel adventures, and you’ve combined a little bit of real-estate investing with it. Tell us about that.

Mark:
We grab real-estate because I like the idea of just an investment philosophy; I don’t get stocks, I don’t like volatility. With real-estate, we were able to leverage. We were living in Shanghai and we didn’t have to pay for housing. This is why we tell people to just live overseas, just for a couple of years, just try it. If you don’t like this place, try another place. You’ll find somewhere. America’s hard right now. We’re finding that people are complaining, they’re paying a lot of taxes – everybody in California that we’ve talked to is not happy with the cost of living situation here.

Camille:
The people are still in debt.

Jason:
And rightfully so. I’d say one of the best things I ever did was leave the Socialist Republic of California! It was one of my better life decisions, but I must say, I love San Diego. It’s a beautiful place and if I ever moved back, that’s probably where I’d live.

Mark: 
I can’t believe the weather here! I was talking to my friend, and he was saying ‘Oh, January, it might get to like 60 degrees’. I thought ‘Are you kidding me?’ At night, 60s? I asked if they ever hit 50s and he said ‘Nah, man’. The friend we’re staying with here, he’s from where we grew up in Washington State on one of the islands up north.

Jason:
Yeah, that’s beautiful up there too.

Mark:
It’s just rainy all the time, and sometimes cold.

Jason:
But when it’s not raining, it’s gorgeous.

Mark:
Well, it’s Camille’s first time in America, and she hit Seattle in the summer, so she didn’t see all the rain.

Jason:
Right.

Camille:
It’s perfect; I don’t like rain.

Jason:
Camille, how do you think it got that green, right?

Camille:
Yeah, that’s true.

Jason:
Absolutely. Okay, so the real-estate investing now, I want to just finish on that topic. You like the philosophy because you like to have control, you don’t like the stock-market. I love to call the stock-market the modern version of organized crime. You know, there’s a lot of volatility. How do you support yourself when you’re travelling? It can’t just be from your real-estate, I’m sure.

Mark:
No, no, so the other thing about Shanghai… We got married – a year and a half ago we did our wedding ceremony, and a year and a half before that we did a civil ceremony. We saved enough money for our wedding in the Philippines, and then the last year and a half, we were able to save a big chunk of money – around $30-40,000, and that was in a year and a half. Camille was part-time interior designing, I was just a teacher.

Camille:
In an international school.

Mark:
I couldn’t do that in America. We couldn’t do that in America, there’s just no way. Plus, if housing is going to be 30-40% of your salary or your household income, we weren’t paying that, so we could literally just save 30-40% of our income, and we did that for 18 months, or however long it was. We had already talked about travelling, so we planned it out. We weren’t like, let’s just do it. I think other people can do it that way, if they just decide to pick up and fire their bosses today, I think they would be okay, because you hit survivalist mentality.

Jason:
When you say you hit survivalist mentality, what do you mean by that?

Mark:
If I’m on the road and I don’t have a dime in my pocket, I’m going to sit there and contemplate ways to put a dime in my pocket so I can eat, or so I can move, or so I can have shelter.

Camille:
Apart from the things we saved, it’s crazy, because we’ve been meeting a lot of people who have been doing this (travelling for over a year, 3 years etc), and you just hear them talk about how they earn money through their blogs, and how they get free hotels, free flights, just because of travelling and doing all these things.

Jason:
Tell us about the free hotels and free flights – I think people will want to know about that.

Mark:
So the travel hacking?

Jason:
Sure.

Mark:
Have you heard of travel hacking?

Jason:
Yeah, I’m definitely into it.

Mark:
It’s crazy that people have these dreams and they’re not able to fulfill them because they don’t know shortcuts to getting free stuff. Travel hacking, we’ve found, was very effective for us. We got a bunch of credit cards – we don’t have any debt – and we just pay them off. The scheme was you have three months to spend between $1,000 and £3,000, so if I got the South West credit card, I would get like 50,000 miles. I think at that time, it was about 70,000, and we had to spend about $2,000 or less in 3 months. If you live in California, that’s just going to be gas for the week, so that was pretty easy. That was a no-brainer for us. We picked up the cards, we spent the minimum spending. We started last October – Camille went from Shanghai to –

Camille:
Seattle.

Mark:
To Seattle, for free, or pretty much for free. We used the American Express bonus sign-up and those points. My school paid for my travelling to come back, that was just a part of their contract. We went Seattle to Atlanta, and each one-way segment was $5 for us.

Camille:
That’s from using all those miles.

Mark:
And then we’re going to fly, I think, to Guatemala from Seattle in December, and I think it cost us $30 for my ticket, and then we ended up buying some points for her to cover whatever we needed, so it was about $200.

Jason:
Right. I definitely agree there are some cool things you can do as far as travel hacking. The only thing, when it comes to hacking anything, is you’ve just got to weigh the amount of time and mental energy it takes to figure all of these things out.

Mark:
Oh!

Jason:
Life can be hacked. There’s no question about it – there are hacks and there are shortcuts and great little bonuses. It’s funny how we are as humans; I’ll at least speak for myself, and I’m this way. I don’t know why this is part of our psychology, but sometimes I would rather get a deal on something and save $100 than go and make $20,000 doing something else, which probably would have taken me the same amount of time. I’ve got a guard against that in myself, because, I don’t know, it’s like you get a psychological lift or something out of beating the system, or hacking something, or finding a deal. Sometimes it’s better to just not worry about that and just do what has the greatest return.

Mark:
I get that. Here’s the thing now. We love social media, I love the micro-blogging platforms because you can get in a niche and just learn it, and then somebody can save you your $100. Like, I imagine you have really good credit. I always tell people ‘We can get you to Central America for free, and probably get you about 5 nights for free, just pay me a couple of beers when you get there’. That offer is for your audience right now. It’s funny because I changed my LinkedIn yesterday, because I thought ‘How can I hire myself?’ I just put ‘Travel Consultant at 365 Travel Dates’.

Jason:
Yeah, that’s great.

Mark:
And I created my own job. We fired our bosses. Camille loves interior design, and she’s passionate about that. She’s figured that out. I’m going to move away from education, and I don’t know what I’m going to do, but I want it to match my passion and personality.

Jason:
Well, as a travel consultant, you’re an educator. So when you say you can get someone to Central America or South America for free, how do you do that? By signing up for certain credit cards?

Mark:
We’ll just tell you which ones to sign up for. It’s a credit card, you can’t just get it and not pay it off. We pay our bills.

Jason:
Right, of course.

Mark:
And that’s why we’re able to do it, so we would just point you in the right direction. You personally, Jason, where’s a place you want to go to?

Jason:
Oh gosh, well I’m going to Peru in a couple of weeks, and I’ve been to 71 countries so far, so I want to get to Dubai – that’s one I haven’t been to. I haven’t been to Brazil. There are a couple of big holes in my travel, not a lot, but there are a few more I want to get down. I want to go to Antarctica, believe it or not.

Mark:
I don’t know about Antarctica. Some of those are tough, but there was a sign-up bonus for 100,000 miles if you spend $10,000, and you can get a business credit card. You just spend $10,000 in that 3-4 months, and then you get 100,000 miles on one of the big airlines. That would get you to any of those places, though I don’t know about Antarctica. Peru would be easy, Dubai would. We’re going to Dubai next month. Our parents actually gave us tickets. They were supposed to be for the Philippines, as a wedding gift, and I said ‘Can we just use it to go to Africa?’ and they said yes. I don’t know, if people volunteer, if you’re passionate about teaching or health education, you can go overseas and just ask people to sponsor you. I can’t say yes to everybody, but if you’re a friend and you’re wanting to go overseas, I’ll throw $10 or $20 at you to cover your program fee or your housing for a bit.

Jason:
Especially with the web, through a crowd-funding website. I’ve done that. People will do that, it’s just kind of a funny thing. People are happy to throw some money at people, and just be part of their adventure – it’s a really nice thing, and the technology enables us to do that pretty seamlessly and without a lot of friction nowadays. Tell us about some of your favourite places that you’ve visited. You said 30 countries for you. Camille, how many for you?

Camille:
How many countries have I been to? Not a lot..

Mark:
She’s done a bit. I mean, you’ve got to understand, she came from the Philippines. People don’t have disposable income there. It’s opening up now, where the middle class is growing and there are a lot of budget airlines. She’s counting right now on her fingers.

Camille:
Probably 6, so not a lot. It’s enough.

Jason:
So not a lot for you yet, and 30 for you. Mark, what countries have you been to that you really liked? Pick a few favourites.

Mark: 
I want to fall in love in Argentina with Camille, because I lived there for a year. Just a tango dance over steak dinner and wine for around half what you’d pay for in America, but for good beef and a great show.

Jason:
Yeah, Argentina’s famous for that, I’ve been there.

Mark:
Even the wines are really good. And then from there, the outdoor stuff, like Patagonia. There’s so many, Jason.

Jason:
I know, it’s like asking a Mom to pick her favourite kid. What people always ask me is ‘What’s your favourite country out of the 71 that you’ve visited?’ and you really just can’t answer that question, it’s not possible to answer it.

Mark:
What’s yours, baby?

Camille:
I think, for the most part, when we went to Greece, it was really nice. The beaches were gorgeous and the people were nice. We were talking to a lot of people, and they’re like ‘Oh, you should have come..-

Mark:
Pre-financial crisis.

Camille:
Yeah, like three years ago, before the crisis went on, because people were so much nicer. And we were like ‘You guys smile all the time; you talk to us!’ Everyone was so nice, even when the crisis, if there was still a crisis there, they were still nice.

Mark:
They were more down, but just to see people so hospitable and friendly. It’s like when they say that, you’re meaning to tell me you’re a lot more amazing than you are now? We see people that are so beautiful when we travel – I love it.

Jason:
Good stuff. Any tips that you want to share with people on travel adventure, just to wrap it up? And give out your website, if you would again.

Mark:
We’re pretty much @365traveldates on Twitter, on Instagram, www.Facebook.com/365traveldates, and then www.365traveldates.com, which is under construction. We’re really just branding it. I guess our last words are whatever you want to do, go do it. There’s a way to do it.

Camille:
Take that step, because it’s hard. People always have excuses when they travel or when they want to build stuff – they always have all these excuses, but if you set those aside and just make that first step or first decision of ‘I’m going to do it’, then you’ll be able to. You’ll find ways, because there are a lot of ways, you just have to figure it out.

Jason:
There are a lot of ways; there’s always a way. Fantastic. Very good advice. Well, Mark and Camille, thank you so much for joining us today, and happy adventures. When’s your next trip?

Mark:
There is no next trip!

Camille:
No, there is. So we’ll be in Afrida, in Dubai as a stop-over to Africa for the next 2.5 months.

Mark:
Yeah, it’ll be Kenya, Tanzania, we’ll come back in December, we’ll go to Guatemala, and then just back-pack our way through Central and South America, and then with whatever time and money we have, we’ll try to go to Mediterranean Europe.

Jason:
Right, good stuff. Well happy adventures, and thanks for joining us.

Camille: 
Thanks for having us, thank you.

Outro:
This show is produced by the Hartman Media Company, all rights reserved. For distribution or publication rights and media interviews, please visit www.hartmanmedia.com, or email [email protected]
Nothing on this show should be considered specific personal or professional advice. Please consult an appropriate tax, legal, real estate or business professional for individualized advice. Opinions of guests are their own, and the host is acting on behalf of Platinum Properties Investor Network Inc. exclusively.

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