Business

Location Independent Professionals

We are not professional bloggers- as I am sure you’ve guessed. We have day jobs and a family and sometimes those other commitments interfere with our travel blogging.  Honestly though, we could not be where we are in the world without the types of jobs we have created for ourselves.  We are actually working on two new business ventures that will allow us to escape the work day and make a more independent income.  More to come on that.

The group that we most associate ourselves with is the growing number of LIP's across the world (Location Independent Professionals / Location Independent Parents).  Although we love Uruguay, who knows if we'll stay here. Our jobs can allow us to go wherever our hearts desire.

While we realize this is a little late in coming for our travel blog, here is a little more about us:

Brad’s love is travel, and after 14 years in the industry, he launched Pangaea Travel. Pangaea specializes in planning complex itineraries and round the world trips, as well as student, teacher and group programs (and it turns out there is a great market for booking fellow expats, their friends and family!) Brad is also known as the "Airfare Guru" on Brilliant Trips - which is a very prestigious association with a well known travel site. As you might have known with all of our previous posts on Technology, Brad is a tech geek and he works via high speed internet, VoIP phone and a love for the latest tech solutions.

Brad’s newest addition to the Pangaea family is Pangaea Insure: an online travel insurance comparison site where you can search the major travel insurance providers and come up with the best quote for you- all in seconds.

I am an Interior Designer who has focused my work on kitchen and bath design. I've been working independently for the past 6 years. Moving abroad has provided some fun long distance projects that prove nothing is impossible with the right technology!

My love of kitchen and bath design is brought to life in my newest project, laNeva Artisan Tile. After focusing for years on interesting tile designs and having installers tell me 'You can’t do that!’, I created a tile line the way it should be offered: Accessible to both designers and the public, made to order, handmade, lead-free, custom design/layout assistance, tons of combinations and our signature Rift Series blends of two colors on one tile.

Our service jobs: Pangaea Travel and Lisa La Nasa Design are technology based and time based. While we can do them from anywhere, and already are considered LIP's (Location Independent Professionals/Parents) we have to put in the hours to make an income.  Pangaea Insure and laNeva Tile will allow us to be more independent, spend more time with our family and travel this beautiful world as we can maintain incomes with a little less time at our 9-5 day jobs.  We are so excited for the future!  Bring it on, 2010!

Miami-Box for Shipments from the USA

I needed to view and approve samples for work, but they were 6000 miles away in Minnesota.  I weighed my options: FedEx and UPS were quoting in the $160-200 USD range to get a 2 kilo box to uruguay.  I thought that was insane and was determined to find a better way. Mail would be cheap, but there is a hell of an ordeal to claim your package at the Correo Central and pay aduana (taxes) if necessary- plus stories of packages never arriving and I couldn't take that chance.  I decided on Miami-Box. Miami-Box is a parcel forwarding service between Miami, FL and Uruguay.  Set up a free account on their website and you get a unique address to send packages to in Miami.  This is a great solution for items purchased online or gifts from family and friends. Once a package arrives for you in Miami, you are notified via email and you have a few options depending on the purchase price of the package: if under $100 USD, you can opt to pick up your package at the airport and handle the aduana (taxes) yourself (with Miami-Box supplying the paperwork for you), or you can opt for full service delivery, with your credit card on file being billed for the aduana and delivery fees.  I decided on the latter and it was so convenient.  Not necessarily inexpensive, but convenient.

My little 2 kilo package cost me $99.60 on a $30 retail value.  A little painful, but still cheap in comparison to what UPS or FedEx were quoting.  The fees were broken down as follows (all in USD):

Airline freight from Miami (based on weight) $27.00

Aduana Taxes (based on retail value of $30 + freight of $27.00)  $36.00

Delivery (optional) $15.00

Handling  $15.00

Administrative fees  $6.60

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Grand total of $99.60 USD

The package arrived within 5 days, in one piece and hand delivered to my door.  I will try priority mail next time for comparisons sake.  The correspondence with Miami-Box throughout the process, as well as the delivery were all extremely professional.  I would certainly recommend their service.

*As noted on the Miami-Box site, books and magazines are not taxed to bring into Uruguay.  I will definitely use Miami-Box in the future for that purpose. They are also offering 60 magazines without the normal subscription cost for a limited time.  Please see their site for details.

Expat Travel Technology: How do I get my mail?

As we know there are many challenges to moving abroad. One of those is what to do with your postal mail. Should you have it forwarded to your new home in your far flung land? Maybe your 90-year-old mother will take care of it for you. Maybe that shifty-eyed cousin? For the most part, thanks to technology, you can eliminate most of your postal mail