Dan and Di’s Fall Wedding in Dayton, Ohio

So, the title is pretty self explanatory here, our wedding is one of my favorite memories of all time. There’s pretty much only one time in your life that everyone you know and love is in the same place. Combine that with craft beer, amazing food, and the perfect sunny day with fall leaves, and you’ve got a recipe for the best barn party on this side of the Mississippi.

Of course the actual ceremony was amazing (I cried) and I got to marry my best friend! What more could I ask for in a day?

Getting married young just means you get to do everything you originally planned, but with someone you love by your side, and I’m so happy I found my perfect partner. Check out some of my favorite pictures from my favorite day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PS If you want to see more, check out our Abu Dhabi engagement photos, read our story, and of course stick around to explore our latest travels on the site!

All my love,
Di

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Our Abu Dhabi Engagement Photos in the UAE Desert

I’m seriously still so in love with our Abu Dhabi engagement photos. Our friend Ille offered to take them for a crazy good deal, because one night at the infamous UAE brunches we got to talking about how I had a dream of Abu Dhabi engagement photos, and she was dying to try out a desert shoot… it was fate.

The result was these absolutely stunning photos taken during sunset in the vast “empty quarter” of the UAE, the largest desert in the world. The sunset, the camels, and the romantic atmosphere are pretty much guaranteed to get you day dreaming about planning your own Middle Eastern adventure!

By the way, if you’re looking for Abu Dhabi engagement photos, don’t hesitate to get in contact with Ille for a shoot. Even years later I still regularly get compliments about how beautiful and unique these are, all because of the magic she worked effortlessly behind the camera.

Honestly, these photos really just never fail to make me smile, so I just hope you enjoy them as much as Daniel and I do!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t you wish that everyday life could be this magical and romantic all the time? That’s part of why I love travel photography so much, because when it’s done so well like these are, it captures the daydream, the adventure, the feeling of anticipation that is so unique to exploring somewhere new… even just writing this is making me want to take a trip back there soon!

All my love,
Di

PS If you want to know more about me and Daniel, you can read our story here, or check out our Dayton wedding album!

 

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Who Are Dan and Di? Get to Know the Couple Behind Slight North

Hey guys! Di here. I’ve been running Slight North for a year now, and have been feeling for awhile that the website is just a little… impersonal.

I try to keep my articles helpful, relevant, and to-the-point, but sometimes that means a little personality gets lost in the shuffle. So, I decided to write this as a perfect in-between. Anyone who just wants to get the info and get out can have what they want in my no-frills write-ups, BUT if you want to learn a little more about me and Dan and how we do what we do, you’ve come to the right place!

 

So, who are Dan and Di?

 

Meet Di… the writer, trip planner, and social media presence behind Slight North

 

For me, life is just what happens between giant bowls of popcorn. I’m an avid reader, and by reading I mean the subtitles on every obscure Netflix show that I binge watched in Latin America last year.

I’m a travel enthusiast, recently converted hiker, and major beer lover. Craft beers, national beers, ciders, stouts, porters, IPAs… I wanna try it all. My favorite Sunday pasttime is deciphering the drunken notes I took on my iPhone to write my next brewery blog post.

To be honest, my dream is to be a fashionable travel blogger with flowing dresses and stylish hats in every photo, but I’m way too lazy… Slight North is the Walmart version of that with my half-assed attempt to make it happen. Enjoy!

 

Meet Dan, the web designer and finance mastermind behind Slight North.

Daniel Constable co-founder of Slight North  

 

Hey, y’all. My name is Daniel, but most people prefer to call me Dan. I self-identify as an average bald man.

I’m currently working with Lurn, Inc. as the Associate Content Manager, which is just a way of saying that I do a little bit of everything related to the entrepreneurial content that we create.

I enjoy long walks through crowded city streets, and I think I might die a few years early from breathing in smog. My writing is exclusive, so you won’t find it on major publications or anywhere else online.

Follow me on Instagram!

 

Our Story

Daniel and I met at a college party late in 2010, and have pretty much been together ever since. We suffered through three hard years of long distance while he went to Miami University in Ohio, and I went to Boston College.

In 2014, we both graduated (me with a USELESS political science degree, and Dan with one in English Education) and were ready to finally start our life together. So, we did what any normal couple does, and moved around the world to teach in Abu Dhabi

 

 

The experience was crazy, fun, stressful, exciting, and everything in between. We were able to pay off our collective $58k of student loans, and even save some on the side. We also got to visit nine new countries together, and knew from then on that teaching is hell but traveling is dope, and the less work we could do to make that happen, the better.

We got engaged in August 2015 at the beautiful Devou Park in Kentucky overlooking the Cincinnati skyline, and then we got married! November 5, 2016, was seriously such a magical, romantic, fun, absolutely perfect day! Throwing a badass party for everyone you know and love while also spending thousands of dollars just to look hot is straight amazing, and I recommend it to everyone. It really was the best day ever.

 

 

After our wedding in Ohio, we stayed at home to hang out with our families for Thanksgiving and Christmas as well. This gave us an awesome risk-free window to venture into freelancing. Dan started as a writer, and I began with social media management. Our income fluctuated a LOT, and so we set off for greener (aka cheaper) pastures in Colombia.

We stayed in Medellin for six months, then spent four more traveling through Peru before returning home for the holidays in 2017. We both stuck with our original jobs for most of the first year, until I couldn’t bear the marketing anymore and switched to writing in July 2017. Dan landed a full-time remote work job as a content manager for Lurn in December 2017.

 

What’s Next for Slight North?

In 2017, Dan and I traveled slowly in Colombia and Peru, but 2018 won’t be the same. We started with two months in Mexico, and in April we’re setting off on an Eastern European trip. You can find us this year in Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro, and Croatia before we return to the states for a wedding in November!

 

 

Bonus: Dogs We Love & You Should Too

If you kinda like us, you’ll definitely love Chester and Birdie, aka the cutest dogs EVER. They are both 13 (can you believe it?) but still the perfect, best pals. Whenever we travel we always begin to miss them first, and slowly 10% then 20% then 100% of our convos start to be about how much we want to see them, and that’s when we know it’s time to book a flight home!

 

 

Wait, Don’t Go!

If you wanna see more of our beautiful faces (who wouldn’t) just click below to explore the photo diaries from our engagement shoot in the Abu Dhabi desert by the super talented Ille Erasmus, and the album from our sunny fall wedding in Dayton, Ohio.

Abu Dhabi Desert Engagement Shoot   ||   Dan and Di’s Dayton Wedding

I hope you guys stick around, read some of our stuff, and of course comment below or shoot us an email to connect. I’d love to chat, swap travel tips, or even meet up sometime if our paths cross!

All my love,
Di

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Have you heard of Grabr? This App Will Pay You to Travel!

Ok, I’m super excited to share this app that I somehow just learned about, despite it being around for years!

One of my readers, Scott, emailed me about it in response to my latest newsletter: “6 Ways to Make Money While Traveling.” He mentioned that I should try the Grabr app, and told me he was about to get paid $450 to go to Lima! What?! I did some investigating, and I am now here to tell you all about it!

 

 

What is Grabr?

Ok, so basically Grabr is an international person-to-person delivery system. People who want products that aren’t available in their own country can “order” them in the app or online. Then, you buy them in your home country and deliver them when you travel.

Each delivery has a “Traveler Fee” which is what you make money off of. This fee is totally negotiable and, just like a tip, it’s based on the total order amount. Higher priced items mean a higher traveler fee. I’ve seen delivery fees up to $80 and even higher just from scrolling through the requests today!

 

Why Use the Grabr App?

Grabr does a few things that I think make it worth using.

First of all, it connects you to all of the people who want goods from your home country.

Second, it forces the buyer to secure their money in the app before you pay for the product, so it gives peace of mind knowing a third party is mediating the transaction. There’s no sketchy situations here, and no way for the people to back out of payment once you deliver the item.

And third, as of today, if you deliver 10 orders, you’ll get a $100 bonus from the website! Nice!

I mean, if you’re going to the country anyway, you might as well throw a few extra things in your bag and make some money, right?

 

The Downsides

Ok, there are two small downfalls to this app that I noticed when I was reading about it.

The first problem is that it definitely requires some upfront investment. You have to buy the product yourself in your own country, then you don’t get reimbursed by Grabr or receive the extra fee until you complete the delivery. So, that’s a bit of a risk, and also not always possible for travelers on a super tight budget.

The other issue I see with it is that you have to waste valuable vacation time meeting up with people to deliver the goods. Also, what if they murder me?

Scott told me that because the people prepay for the goods, they have more incentive to meet up and not be flaky, and that he hasn’t had issues with this part of the Grabr delivery during his experiences. You can help mitigate this by only taking a few orders with high delivery fees (instead of a bunch of small orders to a bunch of people) and by always meeting in public spaces. No matter what, though, it sounds a bit inconvenient, and meeting strangers is not always the best way to start a vacation.

 

 

Would You Try the Grabr App to Make Extra Travel Money?

I feel the need to say that I am not affiliated with this company in any way, and I have actually never even tried it! I just learned about it last week and thought some of you guys may be interested in testing it out.

It’s really popular in South America, but also growing in other cities around the world. Unfortunately, I just checked and there is only one order for our upcoming trip to Sibiu, Romania. Too bad I didn’t know about this on my earlier travels, because I would 100% try it! Also,  I know I would have loved to get some stuff delivered from the United States during our two years teaching in the UAE.

If you do decide to try the Grabr app, please comment below or shoot me a message because I definitely want hear about your experience with international delivery!

All my love,
Di

PS Check out my Working Abroad series for more ways to make money while you travel, or click here to find out where I love to find the cheapest flights and the best vacation deals!

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What’s it like to work as an Au Pair? One Insider Shares His Experience!

Have you ever considering work as an au pair? An Au Pair is a nanny for international families. The job can include child care, tutoring, driving, and more for the family that you get placed with, and work can be found around the world.

I interviewed Josh, a 22-year old Australian working as an au pair in Germany. He shared some serious insight, so if you want to work as an au pair and get paid to travel, keep reading to find out everything you need to know to land the job!

 

The Stats

When you work as an au pair, all of these numbers can vary by location and family so you need to be sure to get everything in writing in your contract before you start. These numbers reflect Josh’s experience with a family in Germany in 2018.

Average Income: 250 euros a month + 60 euros per month toward a language course

Free Housing/Utilities: Yes

Tax Free: Yes

Free Healthcare: Yes

Vacation Days: 2 days of paid vacation per month

Certifications Needed: No college degree is necessary, but offering a police clearance can help as you’re working with children. Any other work experience with kids or training can be helpful as well.

Contract Length: 6 months

Where to Get a Job: Josh recommends Au Pair World, and it’s the only site he used to land his position. You can also look around on Great Au Pair, New Au Pair, or AuPair.com among many other options.

 

 

Finances

Finances can vary drastically, but just know that the numbers are never going to be too high. One of the main draws of work as an au pair is integrating into the local lifestyle. That means more often that not you’ll live in the families house, share your meals with them, and even use their car. All of those benefits are free of charge, which makes your actual salary go down to accommodate them.

Each country has a different pay rate, but in Germany Josh is making 250 euros per month. He also gets free housing, utilities, and his own car to use in his free time.

Taxes can be really tricky when working abroad, so you’ll have to look into that in your home country. Right now, Josh isn’t making enough money to break the tax threshold in Australia so his income is tax free. His host family also provides insurance through “Au Pair Dr. Walter,” which covers most healthcare options. Again, this is very country specific, and you’ll have to look into each separate situation that you consider.

 

 

Getting the Job

Josh recommends using Au Pair World to find a job for two reasons: it’s easy to navigate, and even better, it’s completely free.  From there, you can start the application process.

It begins with either you or the family sending a message stating that you’re interested and think you may be a good fit. After that, you can move on to Skype meetings. If you’re applying from within the country you want to work in like Josh was, it can even be possible to schedule in-person meetings before you commit to a family.

I asked Josh for tips on becoming a desirable candidate, and he says “you really must be yourself, relax and don’t stress about anything. Ask questions and be interested.” If you have experience or qualifications for working with kids, also make sure you mention them as well.

And the hardest part of getting the job? Accepting the offer. This is where you need to take the most care to ensure the family is a good fit, and more importantly, that your contract is fair and includes everything you’ve agreed upon. Some ways to do this are visiting your family before you sign a contract, or contacting previous employees and asking for an honest review of their experience. Once Josh heard their positive recommendations, it made it easy to choose the right family for him.

“The contract is also the most important part of your employment, so you need to be incredibly careful with your negotiations. Read it, highlight the potential things you have questions about before signing to clarify it, negotiate if needed and of course mention/include anything that you would like e.g. paid phone bill each month, personal use of car etc. Some families draft up their own contract, some go with the contracts offered on the website. See that the daily tasks are roughly outlined with the working hours stated and don’t get stung!”

Josh shared on example of a friend that’s an au pair and didn’t ask about the pets. Now they’re stuck watching it every time the family goes out because it was outlined in their contract but they didn’t double to check to make sure they understood before they signed it. Be careful to go over each and every task that’s expected and make sure you agree before you sign anything!

 

 

Finances

Josh works less than 20 hours a week for 310 euros per month, plus free food, housing, utilities, and use of a car. He was already in Germany when he accepted the job, but it’s also common to negotiate with your family to get part or even all of your flights out to their home city covered.

Other benefits of being an au pair are having plenty of free time if your family goes on vacation, or even the opportunities to travel for free along with them. If you’re uneasy about living in your family’s home, it’s also possible to work with one that provides an off-site apartment for private living space.

The salary is pretty low, so it’s hard to save money with the job. Instead, most au pairs use it as a way to see the world for cheap, and travel longer than they otherwise would be able too.

 

 

Lifestyle

So, what does the day to day life of an au pair look like? Josh broke down his schedule for me, and it looks like this:

“Every morning I wake up at around 6:45 to be in the kitchen at 7:00 helping the mother prepare the boys lunches.

 

I make the kids beds, then we all have breakfast together and I ride a bike with the youngest one to school at around 8:00.

 

After that I go to my language school, then visit the gym usually for an hour and finally return home for some lunch with the family.

 

When the youngest is finished at around 3:00 I go with my bike to pick him up. This is where my work usually starts every day.

 

From about 3:00– 6:00 I help the parents drive the boys to and from sports. They are a very active family and the main requirement for the au pair job was to be a driver. I also mind the kids on a couple weeknights and usually one weekend night.”

So, the work load doesn’t look too bad. But wha if you want to travel? I asked Josh how easy it is to take vacation, and he shared that it’s not usually a problem as long as he schedules it with the family a month in advance. You can also get approval for special holidays, events, or trips you may already have planned for the future when applying with your family and ironing out the contract. He’s already explored some of the major nearby cities and has visits to Berlin, the Netherlands, and France marked on the calendar.

Josh was given his own bedroom in the house with an ensuite bathroom, and feels very safe in the neighborhood. Of course, one of the best things about traveling is the food, and working abroad as an au pair is no different. His meals usually consist of breads, meats, and chases for breakfast, and hot meal at lunch, and more charcuterie or cooked dishes at dinner. Yum!

At the beginning of a contract, living with a family can take a little getting used to, but Josh quickly found a work/life balance.  He has no problem recharging in his room, hanging out with the boys to play games outside of work, or making plans with other au pairs in the area based on the local tips and suggestions of his family!

 

 

Work as an Au Pair: Josh’s Experience

Many people choose to become an au pair to extend their travels and supplement their language learning. Josh agress that work as an au pair is “the best way to explore a culture and to see other countries in Europe without breaking too much of the bank.”

After working as an au pair for two months, he recommends it for those who are looking for the same lifestyle. You won’t be able to earn and save a lot of money, but you will definitely become immersed in the culture, kickstart your language learning, and get some great experience working with children. Josh says another bonus he didn’t expect is that “I have made some amazing friends from community pages setup on Facebook. It’s a great way to meet people from all around the world.”

Surprisingly for him, one of the biggest downfalls is how close he has come to his family, and how difficult it will be to say goodbye when his contract ends. “It’s going to be sad to have to leave one day… but life goes on and the boys become older.”

Work as an au pair isn’t a permanent position for most people, but a way to extend travels and stay abroad longer. Josh plans to use his savings to continue backpacking through Europe for 3 or 6 months after his first contract ends, then sign up for one more sitnt in Germany to complete his language courses before he heads home.

 

Work as an Au Pair for Language and Cultural Immersion

Out of all of the jobs in my working abroad series, working as an au pair pays the least. However, it also is the best ways to learn a language, get involved with a local culture, and make friends and connections that last a lifetime.

It’s all about what you are looking for in both your travels and career at the moment. If you’re not ready to jump into a full-time position or just want a way extend your backpacking trip without taking on too much responsibility, working as an au pair could be a perfect role for you.

All my love,
Di

PS Not sure if an au pair position fits your needs? Don’t forget to check out more guides to making money while you travel, like teaching online ESL classes, starting a digital marketing business, getting a job as a flight attendant or even working on a yacht!

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