Erin and Erin Zipperle’s entrepreneurial escape from the 9 to 5 landed them in Salzburg, Austria where they founded Surviving Europe. You may have actually seen them on House Hunter’s International. Erin’s (husband) family is from Salzburg. He used to visit there growing up and had a dream of one day returning. Erin (wife) had studied abroad many times and also had a dream of living in another country. “After we got married, we decided it was time to take a risk and move abroad. We wanted to get out there and see the world, live in another country NOW instead of waiting for retirement. We were wishing our weeks away, waiting for the weekend or our vacation days, instead of cherishing every moment. When you’re comfortable, it’s not necessarily a good thing. Taking risks allows you to grow. So we decided to take the biggest risk of all”.
Erin and Erin prepared for 2 years by saving money, re-prioritizing, ensuring their work relationships were strong and preparing mentally. Then they both reached the point in their careers where they could turn their office jobs into consulting jobs. And that’s exactly what they did. “We also decided to start a website – Surviving Europe – to motivate and inspire people to do the same”. Now they live in Austria, consult in their industries, develop content on their website and travel throughout Europe. As long as they have internet, Erin and Erin can work anywhere!
Like many escapees they enjoy having the ability to do what they want to do when they want to do it. They can travel to a new destination and stay a while if they don’t want to leave. “There has been many times where we’ve changed the itinerary of our trips in the moment, just because we wanted to. That freedom allows us to follow our hearts at all times. And that is something we will never take for granted. When your heart is leading the way, it can never be the wrong decision. I think you forget that when you don’t have the freedom to follow it”.
The preparation they went through before they began their entrepreneurial journey has helped them be more organized and focused. This in turn has lead to more freedom. “We are no longer wasting time on Facebook or with office distractions. We are more impactful and can take breaks as needed. We produce higher quality work because of the freedom we have”.
The Erins spend a lot of time scheduling, brainstorming and mapping things out on the white boards that they have all over their apartment. “we even have ‘Lazy Sunday’ or ‘Travel Day’ schedules. Every type of day, we have a plan for, so we don’t get lost in our work and forget what we set out to accomplish. Sometimes we don’t follow it, because you always have to be willing to adapt, but those schedules have saved us when we’re caught up in the whirlwind”. Scheduling has not only helped them focus on work tasks it helps them make sure they make time for other important things. “We also try to take at least an hour a day to get out in the fresh air for a reminder of where we live! Even when you live in Austria, you can forget how incredible it is and how lucky you are. Especially when you’re staring at a computer all day”.
After two years on their European travel adventure, Erin and Erin are planning for what’s next. They are looking at ways to grow their business and grow their family at the same time. “I think it’s important to always be in touch with what you want at every point in your life. When we wanted to move to Austria, we did and now we want to start a family and take on that next stage, we will”.
Follow their continuing adventure at http://survivingeurope.com/
“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one” – Elbert Hubbard