On the road again…lately there have been many travel days, and I’m realizing I need to share a bit more about what we are doing, what we’ve been learning, and the “why” behind it all. I’ve talked about not waiting for “one day” to travel, and have found some wonderful quotes and insights to support what we’re doing.
We travel full-time. My days now consist of setting up “home” across the States, staying maybe a day or a week. I love the adventure of exploring new areas and having a different viewpoint from our house on a regular basis. But it’s not just about doing exactly what we’re doing; it’s about creating that life you don’t want to escape from.
What Did We Want To Escape?
We had it pretty sweet in Nashville, TN. Lots of friends, both sets of grandparents, aunt, uncles and cousins all close by, and the best neighbors we could ask for. Nashville is a hot place and we have a perfect location between Nashville and Franklin. We’ve both grown up in Nashville, and Nathan had that advantage as a realtor, knowing the area from his childhood to now. He was making excellent money, we were surrounded by family and friends…so why in the world did we choose to leave?
I dreamed of travel, vacation, and getting away. I wanted to escape, not because it was so miserable, but because there were some critical components we wanted in our lives that we weren’t getting.
Quite honestly, we didn’t have much to escape from. Our life was pretty June Cleaver-esque, except for the fact that I also worked from home. We had a good life there. But…there was more we wanted to do.
I was tired of:
- Over-scheduling and feeling like there are a zillion obligations we had to cover
- Navigating babysitters and crossing fingers they showed up on time (or at all)
- Coordinating five schedules oftentimes going in different directions
- House repairs and lawn maintenance always looming over us
- Nathan’s unpredictable schedule and juggling his work, my work, and household responsibilities on top of raising three high-energy children
We were ready for a shift. Our love for travel was realized to the extreme when we spent a month in Costa Rica. We learned how to travel on a budget, and saw that the time together was magical. In fact, it was so healthy for us as a family to connect that we chose to look at a lifestyle that would provide more of that.
Do you feel the need to escape? What is bogging you down that prevents you from enjoying your life as it is?
We Needed A Plan
The quote on the right was basically our justification. There was no point in simply planning for “one day” and having that be this ambiguous date down the road. We quantified it. “One Day” became October 10th, 2016, and we started putting our dreams down on paper.
Funny enough, our plan is simply this: travel the States with our girls full-time. That’s it. We didn’t plot out every single point, and as I am writing this, we have until next week plotted out and that’s it, other than a few landmark goals we are securing.
But instead of saying “I wish we could see the Grand Canyon,” we will plot our our course and hop on it.
Think about what you wish for. Is it more downtime, or to travel? Can you quantify this wish into a realistic plan to add to your life?
We’re Not Millionaires
Let me go ahead and clarify. We aren’t millionaires, and you don’t have to be one to do our lifestyle, or to simply pursue the life you love. We make money right now through a few ventures:
- My coaching, personality profiles and my eBook, the Parent DISCovery Playbook: The Ultimate How-To Guide for Understanding Your Little Humans
- My work in my father’s company www.48Days.com
- Renting out our house as an AirBnB destination
More than the income coming in now, we have been very intentional with our money. We knew we wanted to do this, and we knew it made sense to have Nathan work for a while in real estate, which was very good to him. First was our plan to stick with working hard for a year to provide us a nest egg while on the road. We didn’t stop all income, but knew we were choosing to drop the most significant income we had coming in.
Do you have any creative ways you are making money beyond a traditional job? Do a clear assessment of where all your money is coming in, and see if you have the entrepreneurial bug for any other ventures. Think about your children as well!
Live For Today, Plan For Tomorrow
We also looked at the future, and have invested in two rental homes through our IRA – this means that as long as we are renting out these homes, money is going in every month to our retirement. With our out-of-the-box lifestyle and career choices, we won’t be retiring from 50 years at the same company – but in our golden years, it will be super nice to have that extra money socked away to ensure our children don’t have the pressure of providing for us as well as their own families.
Think about your future and how you can feasibly set money aside now for later on in your life. Look at Roth IRAs, investment properties, or do something as simple as opening a savings account and sticking x amount of money aside every month for later on down the road. There is no excuse for you not thinking forward, and I have seen the damaging effects and stress of trying to figure out how to pay for elderly care when there is no money there.
Get smart with your money. Be a good steward of it and really think twice before buying something. Is it really necessary? Do you have the extra money to spend it if it’s not? Do you have a history of “little” purchases that add up so much you don’t realize how much you’re actually spending?
We are a minimalist family. Hands down we will seek out an experience or homemade gift over buying something from the store any day. We are minimalist not only on the things we choose to bring into our home, but also with what costs money. If we choose a day of adventure, most of the time it will include free hikes and packing a lunch/snacks. When we go out to eat, we eat family-style (1 entree feeds 2-3 kids vs. 3 over-priced kids meals). Simply eliminating drinks from our restaurant excursions saves at least $10/meal. We learned how to travel on a budget, especially when it came to eating out.
If you don’t have a plan for your future yet, get serious – set a deadline and make this happen. Don’t just hope you’ll have it all together “one day.”
There Are Many Possibilities. Pick One And Start Living!
For now, we’ve chosen the open road. We have picked the lifestyle we thrive in, and for this season, it is perfect for us. Today, we crossed into Texas – our twelfth state! We’ve visited one of the 4 breweries open during Prohibition in KY (and discovered the incredible Bourbon Creme). West Virginia and Virginia gave us a run for our money with the mountains and definitely threw us in headfirst with navigation! We banded saw-whet owls and learned all about their migration from an awesome ornithologist (who happens to be my distant double cousin). We’ve ridden ferries to little islands and seen the devastation of hurricanes from the Eastern to the Southern coast.
There have been sightings of so many animals I can’t list them all, and we’ve made new friends along the way who have shown us the little-known haunts and enlightened us with stories of their own adventures and lifestyle choices. We’ve been to Disney and on a cruise, and also spent weeks in the middle of nowhere with nothing but beans and rice. We’ve balanced the big with the little to carve out this happy little groove that fits us well. It’s not for everyone, but it’s right for us.
What do you dream of doing? What are you curious about that we have done? Share with me your thoughts, your plans, and your questions below!