Alan Toscano, Founder of Dream Big Live Tiny
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, and what you do with Dream Big, Live Tiny?
My name is Alan Toscano and I’m the founder of Dream Big Live Tiny Co., a media company that strives to inspire our community to dream big, live tiny, and travel more! We write and create visual content about living tiny materially, financially, and physically, in order to have more time and money to do the things we love—for us that’s traveling!
About a year and a half ago, I came to the sudden realization that I was really unhappy and unfulfilled in my consulting job. Living well below my means gave me the opportunity to quit my job and launch Dream Big Live Tiny Co. But I didn’t just want to change my work place environment, I wanted to change my lifestyle. So, I sold almost everything I owned and only kept a backpack, a carry-on with my camera gear, clothes, SUAVS shoes, and my computer. Then, I set out on an adventure around Asia to make this work.
What’s something that you like to make time for outside of your work?
In the last couple of years, one thing I have prioritized and made time for is exercising. I workout 6 days a week for about an hour each day (except for my rest day!) no matter how busy work or my personal life is. This is something that I have carved into my schedule and the reasoning is two-fold—One, I want to live a long and healthy life and enjoy an active life with kids, grandkids, etc., and two, it’s one of the best stress-relieving activities that I practice.
I usually try to break up my work day by working out around 2-3pm, which serves as a nice break to clear my mind and readjust focus for the rest of my work day. Another thing that I have prioritized outside of work is travel! During our time abroad, this was of course quite easy as we were able to explore outside of work hours every day! Now that we are back in Austin, it’s a bit more difficult to get some time to travel internationally with most of our projects being based in the US. However, when the opportunity presents itself, hopefully we’ll be able to get out and explore on another trip across borders soon!
Any tips you have for traveling?
Yes, tons of tips! But I wouldn’t advise everyone to try them as it really depends on the style of travel that you prefer. Personally, I like to travel long, far, and on a budget! So here are a few of my best tips for this:
- Pack light—I mean, very light. Make a list of what you think you need, cut it in half. Then take your list of what you need, and take a few more items out. Just focus on the bare minimum that you need to get by—yes, they sell deodorant, tooth paste, and pretty much anything you would find here (in their brand and language) over there! Plus, the best reason for packing light is saving tons of money on baggage fees. Carry-ons are a game changer.
- Less hotels, more Airbnb’s and hostels - When I travel for leisure, I never stay in hotels unless there is literally no other accommodation available. Hostels have been around forever, and are a great way to save money and meet other travelers from around the world. Some of my very best friends I happened to meet in hostels around the world. Also, Airbnb has changed the game when it comes to accommodation in the recent years, and you can find some incredible bargains (and even more amazing rooms/houses) to stay in!
- If time permits, travel overland - This tip is hard to apply if you are limited in time such as a 2-week vacation overseas—Just take the flight so that you have more time to explore. But if you do have time, traveling overland (buses, trains, cars, bikes) is one of my absolute favorite ways to get around as you see more of the real life of the country’s citizens. Plus, overland travel is an experience in and of itself, where as plane travel is (in most countries) a very similar experience as what you would expect back home.
There are many more tips to share, so if you have any specific questions, feel free to reach out to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’d be happy to help.
How do you wear/style your SUAVS?
My favorite thing about SUAVS shoes are how versatile they are—I’ve worn them on so many different occasions and they just work! I wear them to work out almost every day, I wear them to go out as you can easily style them up with some nice pants, and they will always have a spot in my bags when I travel. I only brought 2 pairs of shoes on our 7-month trip around Asia, and I wore my SUAVS shoes about 85% of the time. Unless I plan on going on a 4-hour hike up a mountain, I’m probably slipping my SUAVS on because they’re quick to put on, light, and most importantly, comfortable! Pick yourself up a pair or two for your next trip—You won’t be disappointed.
You can follow Alan's work with Dream Big Live Tiny here.