Six steps on how to recover from being homesick when traveling full time.

Traveling isn’t always glamorous and can get a little redundant just like normal life in a house.

Traveling isn’t also a quick fix to the issues you experience internally (for ex. anxiety or depression). There is an adjustment period when traveling that most people don’t discuss, but sometimes the feeling of being homesick creeps in and you want to go back to a familiar place. 

Beginning stage: Prepare for your journey by researching the culture.

Ensure you are ready for your journey and new environment because it will take some getting used to. You can never fully be ready for the unknown but leave some room mentally that things may not look or feel the way you imagined it in your head.

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Initial happiness: In the beginning, you will feel pure bliss from traveling and seeing new places.

Just know the blissful feeling will wear off. Once it wears off you need to remind yourself why you are living the lifestyle and try to do some new things to mix it up. You may even need to touch ground in your home base to reconnect with some family and friends and that is ok. (using Skype or a digital means to talk to a familiar face is also a useful tool)

Frustration: If and when the blissful feeling wears off you will get annoyed by your new living arrangement.

Everything is different and unfamiliar, so you will need to check in with yourself or a close friend to stay connected to the reason you are traveling. There may be some stores that aren’t easily available such as Walmart or Chipotle. You may not be able to run to the store to get a hair product like you would at home and feel that you just want to be done with the new place you are visiting. These feelings are completely normal and please hang in there it will get better.

Adjustment: You get used to the new customs and culture of your new home.

You find it less of a challenge to adjust to the new environment around you and start to settle in. At this point, you may want to find a part time job or a community event to meet the locals. Find a comfortable routine that works with your schedule. After some time you should begin to feel like you are adjusting well with the new culture.

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Adaptation: Troubles don’t last always.

Once you begin feeling comfortable with the culture, you will start to feel a sense of biculturalism, where you identify and even like the new culture you are experiencing. Everything that was once foreign and odd to you now feels comfortable and normal. You may even meet a few friends to include in your site seeing. A suggestion would be  to learn the native language or try some different foods in your area.

Re-entry: Going home.

When you leave this foreign culture to return home, you may find that you go through these stages all over again. It is no place like home. Having a homestead or home base is a essential part of traveling and takes the ease off of feeling homesick. It also gives the opportunity to reconnect with family and friends. This is normal and healthy way to enjoy life on the road.

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Leaving one life to live another.

Managing a life on the road can be tricky especially if you’re a newbie. It’s leaving one life to live another if you travel full time. There is an adjustment period that happens that most people don’t talk about. It’s the fight or struggle of trying to do things the way you did in a stick and brick house versus in an RV or movable home. Everything changes really fast and if you aren’t careful you won’t realize that you’re in tug of war with yourself to do things the old way because that is the space that is most comfortable. This lifestyle requires a ton of self management and flexibility. Plans don’t always work out which means you have to be willing to go with the flow.

I set my own schedule each day and that took some time getting used to. I’ve learned that I’m a person that craves structure. It minimizes my anxiety and keeps me focused when I set out a plan for the day.  It was always my dream to set my own schedule and travel the world. Schedules are opt to change and that is where flexibility comes in to the picture. Keeping an open mind when things don’t go right is a skill and unfortunately I’m still learning to master it.

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What you can do to maintain a life of full time travel? You can first explore how you can pay down your debt. You don’t want to get on the road with a lot of expenses. Next, you can find a remote job or see how you can make money online. There is also free lance work available for those who are experts in a specific skill. There are also many teaching English jobs online that make decent money. That is how I started out when I first got on the road. Create an expense sheet and see what’s the smallest debt you can payoff first to keep the momentum going. Then slowly work your way up to the highest debt.

It took us a year and a half to prepare before we officially took the jump and we still have a lot of work to do. Although, it still wasn’t perfect when we took the leap we learned that there will always be adjustments to make. You never reach a final point of completion or perfection, it’s more like a steady climb. The best part is that it is the best decision I’ve made in my life besides get married and starting a family. What I know for sure now being on this journey is that my soul is happy. The dollar amount that I make isn’t as nearly as important as it was because I don’t have as many things to maintain.There are still hard times and hurdles to overcome, but I’m choosing this life which makes it all worth it. This is something I really wanted to do, I pursued it, and it is working, I call that pretty freaking successful.  Cheers!

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What is your purpose?

Do you feel like you have a purpose?

Do you feel connected to an idea or desire that serves others as well as yourself? Finding yourself can be hard in this world. The distractions we have are infinite and always leading us to drift off lost on why we are here. We look at other people’s success and try to mimic how they did it, but we all have our own journey that leads to our own purpose.

For the longest time I always felt lost or my passion for dong things was low. I was so focused on my family that I didn’t know what I wanted or really who I was anymore. I witnessed several people in my close circle making decisions because they were sure of their lives and I envied there certainty. How do you get to a space where you are happy and certain that the path you’re on is leading to your purpose?

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What do you know for sure?

What I know for sure now is that I’m a traveling mompreneuer. I’m a blogger and a day trader. I homeschool my children and love being close to nature. I write about my experiences and life lessons to share and inspire others hence the word ‘blogger’. I’m also still learning and like being open to new things. I never want to stop learning and what I’ve learned so far is that I don’t know anything at all. I have so much more to learn and do, being at one job for thirty years just isn’t my style or what makes me happy. If it works for your that is great and it means you’ve found your space.

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How to connect with your inner You.

The best way to connect is to turn everything off. Turn off your social media, gossip sites, your television, etc.. Feed your mind with positivity, such as books in the subject you’re most interested in, a motivating podcast, etc. Stay active by exercising, walking, riding a bike, etc.; whatever that looks like for you. Get connected with nature by spending time outside. Going to a local park and reading a book or taking a snack and have lunch/dinner outside. In other words, get out of your comfort zone or box. Do things completely out of the norm to get connected with your true purpose. It doesn’t mean you have to leave everything and travel. Whatever you’ve envisioned for yourself and for your family can happen.

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Plans changed: In Key West until September/October

Our original plan was to stay in Key West, Florida for only one month. Y’all that was the plan, but plans don’t always work out do they? My husband has always wanted to be a diver. Diving in Key West is a divers dream because it’s so beautiful underneath the ocean. With that being said he wants to pursue it while we are here. So we decided to stay in Key West until his school is over in October.

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What does that mean for our family?

We will continue to explore Key West and surrounding cities until we leave.

We will continue to live in our RV as this is our home for now until or if even when we decide to stop living this lifestyle of travel.

The children will continue to get homeschooled as they were before, but mom has decided to enroll them in a summer camp until August to keep their social skills in tact.

I make my money by day trading so that won’t change because I can do it anywhere as long as I have the Internet. I’m noodling around the idea of working part time at a grocery store to get to know locals and make some extra cash. What do you guys think I should do?

A cool fact is we aren’t in a hurry. If we want to live anywhere for an extended amount of time we have the option to do so. That is the amazing benefit to this lifestyle. We can live life the way we want to. Isn’t that what life really should be about, rather than stuck somewhere because you have so many financial obligations and while you’re stuck there you are also miserable. Nah, I did that already and that isn’t for me anymore. These plans may also change, but for now we will enjoy our time here.

 

How we maintain a life of travel

So do you wonder what do they do all day? Would you get tired of seeing the sunset, visiting beaches, or museums every day? Well folks we do a lot more than just act like tourist. We actually get settled in and try to adapt or emerge into the culture of wherever we are. Everyone travels differently and there is a such thing as a “travel style”. Although so far we’ve only been through parts of Georgia and Florida the traveling style we’ve adopted for our family is a slow one. Would you like to know how and what our plans are for maintaining this type of lifestyle for years to come? I thought you would never ask I’ll share a bit of our journey thus far.

When we started of course we had savings. We were strategic in figuring out how much money we needed to survive. We even sought out a financial advisor for assistance. However the timing of when we should make a major jump was the hurdle. I’m not going to lie we debated over this for a while. To be honest if I wasn’t the first to quit my job we would probably still be working living in our house trying to save up because it would’ve never been enough to go on the road. I went purely off faith and my gut to take the leap and I knew deep inside we would be ok. I don’t recommend this for everyone, but what I do suggest is if you’re unhappy look in to why and how you can make small or big adjustments to change your life.

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

So was I right? How are we doing now since we’ve been on the road for three months? Well drum roll ladies and gentlemen, are you ready for the drama? The news is we are doing just fine and there is no drama. I don’t know what the future holds, but we are making it. Of course there are things we need to consider that keeps us a float for example, we grocery shop and cook 80% of the time at home. Food is the highest expense for a family of four on the road. We also partake in free activities as well as paid activities. Free activities may be a bike ride, but the back drop is worth a million dollars can’t beat that or swimming at the community pool or signing up the children for a free nearby summer camp.

So now I know you’re wondering when I’m going to talk about the money. How can we afford this lifestyle at such at young age. Well I refuse for this blog entry to be extremely long so you will have to follow us to get the tea. What I will share is we  used our house as a source of income rather than selling it to generate money every month. We also have other skills and hobbies that gives us a title I guess of a “digital nomad”, I don’t like using this title so much because it is trendy and we aren’t trendy folks. We are however smart and learned that spending ten hours working for a company when we can make close to the same money doing what we want and adding travel gives us freedom. It is possible to work online and travel. Stay tuned folks I have more to share on how you too if interested can live a life of freedom exploring new places and generating income at the same time.

4 Tips for Smooth Travel Days

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust

Ok so by now if you’ve been following us you know that we are traveling the US in a RV and we love it! So far, we’ve traveled to Cartersville, GA, Macon, GA, Savannah, GA, Hilton Head, SC, Jacksonville, FL, Cocoa Beach, FL, Flagler Beach, FL and Hollywood, FL. Our next destination is Key West, FL to stay for a month.  We tend to stay in spots from seven to ten days. When we arrive in a new city/campground we settle in and set up. Next, we  go out to explore the local area usually the same day we arrive. We typically visit museums, parks, new restaurants, and etc. Although this is so much fun and I wouldn’t trade this lifestyle the traveling days can be a little bumpy and draining. I would like to believe after traveling for two months I’ve built a list to share with others of a few suggestions or recommendations to help on your traveling days.

  • EAT A GOOD BREAKFAST/PACK A LUNCH

Typically we get up around 7:30 am – 8:00 am on a traveling day. What I mean by “traveling day” is moving to the next campground, city, and/or area. We typically travel 160 – 200 miles in between sites to avoid an extensive amount of travel. That equals to about two and a half to three hours worth of driving. It is working  for us really well. To save money we pack our lunch and snacks to avoid spending while traveling on the road. We also make sure we eat a good breakfast before heading out. Eating a good breakfast and a good amount of rest is essential before and after traveling to a new area.

  • EVERY PARK IS DIFFERENT, KEEP AN OPEN MIND

What you can expect when traveling is to expect nothing. You don’t know what you’re going to get when you arrive so keep an open mind. Unless you’ve been to the site before you don’t know what the area will look like or who your neighbors will be. I recommend getting to the park relatively early so if you change your mind about it you still have time to find something else. Each park is different and has their own amenities and rules and none of them are the same. There may be a laundry facility at one site, but not one at another. You also may think you have everything you need then arrive at the site and learn you need a longer water hose, because some genius thought it was cool to have the water and sewer hookups extremely far away from the rig and have to hunt down a RV supply store.

  • GET A GOOD NIGHT’S REST

Sometimes there is also the heavy cloud of fatigue hanging over you as you travel. You aren’t quite awake and tend to be in a fog which can leave an open door for mistakes. I definitely recommend getting a good night’s sleep before a day of travel. I also would suggest packing a lunch the night before if you plan to do so. Anything that can be done the night before without much interruption to your morning routine may be good as well. For example, packing up the lawn chairs outside, taking down anything off the wall, cleaning the dishes and putting them away, etc.

  • KEEP YOUR LITTLE PASSENGERS ENTERTAINED

If you have children it is also good to make sure they have something available in the vehicle to keep them entertained until you arrive to the next destination. I like to download videos from Netflix on their iPads the night before so they have something to watch on the road. The Internet isn’t required to watch downloaded videos on Netflix and this has helped out tremendously. I also make sure they go to the potty right before heading off to avoid an immediate potty break. My suggestion would be to keep the children outside until everything is set up inside. We had an accident recently with my daughter entering the trailer to come find me and a cup fell out of the cupboard onto her face leaving her eye pretty swollen. This was shortly after we arrived to the site which didn’t set us up for a great mood afterwards.

We are definitely not experts and will more than likely build on this list as we continue to travel. The most important fact is that you always learn something new. You never reach the end of learning how to improve to keep the trips fun for everyone. There will be good and bad times, but focusing on the bigger picture which is to spend time with family makes it all worth it.

 

Black history in the city of Savannah

I don’t pretend to be an expert on Savannah’s culture or history in the least amount. I do want to share my experience on this trip as it brought a new perspective that I didn’t quite get before in my past experience traveling here. Immediately you’re swept up in the wonderful choices of food, the accessibility to openly carrying alcohol on the street, the huge ferries, but most of all the black history here is phenomenal. If you want to dive into black history and learn more about the culture while you’re in Savannah it is quite easy and possible.

RAILROAD MUSEUM

We visited the Railroad Museum for the first time and there was an exponential amount of information on black history. Blacks helped build the railroads and lived near where they worked which back then would be considered a plantation. After the Civil War, the Jim Crow laws were in effect so they had their own separate showers and bathrooms, and made a significant amount less than their white peers. Their labor was enforced by the government which means they couldn’t leave and if they tried there would be people looking for them.

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MARITIME SHIPS MUSEUM

West Broad Street School piece of history was inside the Maritime Ships Museum. This school was a very important part of education in black history. During the 1860’s laws were implemented to lower the funding of black education. West Broad Street school accepted black girls and boys during 1873-1962. They were instructed to build ships as apart of their education. There was one teacher for each of the eight grades which by the 20th century included a school average of 600-800 children. The black children with less resources and access to teachers excelled and were more advanced than their white counterparts; this prompted whites to cut funding for the school to lower the quality of the black students it was producing.

RIVERWALK

If you ever get around to visiting the river walk you will notice a monument in the Square of a black family with chains around their feet representing emancipation. It was the first monument in Savannah to represent contributions made by African Americans.  There is a quote by  Maya Angelou that reads. “We were stolen, sold and bought together from the African continent. We got on the slave ships together. We lay back to belly in the holds of the slave ships in each others excrement and urine together, sometimes died together, and our lifeless bodies thrown overboard together. Today, we are standing up together, with faith and even some joy.” What I understood her quote to mean is that through the suffering, slavery, and persecution, African American still found a way to stand.

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The history I mentioned is not even close to all the information available in this city. It is definitely a learning opportunity for children as well as adults to expand knowledge on black history. The reason for traveling is not only to eat, go to the beach, and sleep in, but to dive into culture, experience, and live. Learning the history of the cities we are visiting not only expands our knowledge, but gives us a sense of appreciation for the people before us.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

 

Living for the weekend.

Many folks think it is impossible to retire and travel the world with children on a fixed income.

I also thought so too. When we decided to retire and travel we happily delivered the news to several of our friends, family, and co-workers. Some not all responded with what are we going to do? The answer to that was to slow down and live rather than exist. I’m sure some found it hard to believe and responded that we would be back due to boredom or cut traveling short due to wanting stability.  Society has us brainwashed to think that there is really only one way to live as a family and that the only way to live appropriately to gain societal acceptance as a family is in a big house, working nine to five, and inserting their children in daycare or school to be raised as good normal working people of society. These are all legitimate ways to live, but have you ever taken the time to stop and think if living the nine to five life, working until your sixty seven, living in the same house, and deciding to retire and travel at nearly seventy once the kids are all grown up is the life you want or the life you think everyone wants for you?

I can only speak from my experience when I say we never really fit in the societal acceptance standard of living. I found it to be quite boring, monotonous, unsatisfactory, and non-adventourus.  We worked really hard in the corporate world. We went to work everyday after dropping our children off at daycare or school and convinced ourselves one day we would be rich from working for someone else. My husband was a network engineer and I a project manager.  We lived on and for the weekends and holiday’s to take short trips as a family to experience life and take time off from our busy lives, but it never felt like enough time off before we were tossed back in to the work grind. We would pray that neither child got sick because one of us would have to take off work and that was usually an issue, because we had to work from home while keeping the sick child quiet and providing care to get them back to health so we can presume with taking them to daycare; respecting the 24 hour grace period. Our mornings started off at 5 am and ended at 6 pm.

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This is what we believed success looked like, so we didn’t complain but worked harder.

As time went on I became less and less happy with our lifestyle. I felt like I wasn’t able to spend as much time with the children as I wanted to and felt a bit lost. All the things and money just wasn’t adding up to the experience of our day to day and right before I decided to jump off the corporate ladder and suburb train I was miserable. On the outside you look great on paper to other folks, but deep inside I knew I desperately needed to make a positive change to impact my life in a way that I was happy, having organic experiences, making an income, and enjoying my family simultaneously. That works for me it doesn’t work for everyone, but to keep my sanity I needed to do it. Living small has been the most rewarding and freeing feeling for us. We spend more time outdoors and less time inside watching our gigantic seventy two inch television. My anxiety has lessen and I feel more relaxed.

We are a month into traveling and I’m convinced I don’t want to go back to the life I just described. Maybe I’ll change my mind, but one thing I didn’t realize is how unhappy I was living the monotonous routine of going to work and coming home. I believe if you are unhappy with your life you have the right to make a change. You don’t have to put on the face for the outsiders, but stick to what makes you and your family happy. Traveling full time isn’t for everyone, but find something that you can do that will allow you to live more versus existing in the day to day whirlwind of work and living for the weekends.

 

Corporate America made me Travel.

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to win and lose at the same time?

I previoulsy worked for a company that is a major defense contractor for the government. It is a white male dominating bureaucratic and political aeronautics industry. I never thought in a million years I would get the opportunity to work for a company with such a rich and prestige history, but there I was excelling and performing like I belonged. The truth of the matter is I didn’t really belong and it would take me a while to learn that before choosing to leave.

When I was originally hired I was responsible for two major areas. One regarding food and the other fitness. There wasn’t any structure that existed prior to me starting so I built my own structure to manage my daily functions and responsibilities. In the beginning it was slow, but it allowed me the opportunity to learn the ropes and build relationships. As time went on I began to prove myself, and more responsibilities fell in my lap. I was ok with this because I saw it as growing opportunities, and I was looking for more of a leadership role within the organization. I slowly began to learn that there were some minor roadblocks simply because I was a black female in this industry.

One when I sat in meetings I was the only brown face in the meeting majority of the time.

I was used to that sort of thing working in Corporate America, but what I wasn’t used to is not being acknowledged or not getting a handshake from white men in the room. Secondly I learned that black or brown people were mainly in janitorial or in the food services area of the organization. There were very few brown people in leadership and if they were in leadership they weren’t women. Third, I would slowly realize that the culture of the organization had existing issues with discrimination and it was a common fact amongst the brown and black people working for the company –there was nothing anyone can do about it, basically get your money, go home, and be black.

I assisted a white male who at the time was my manager. Before him it was a white woman who managed me, but soon retired. She trained him to run the department before she left and he took over. I fell into the picture because I assisted him in running a fraction of the department. For some reason he saw me as competition and limited my knowledge on many things pertaining to the department. He was very unhappy with his job and soon looked for another leaving me in the dark about his intentions. He announced to the department that he was leaving after a year and a half in the position and provided me a week crash course on how to run the department until a replacement manager was selected.

With limited knowledge on how to manage I ran the department successfully for three months independently.

I applied for the position as well while I was managing the department thinking it would be a perfect fit. After three months, I learned that I didn’t get the position. When I asked why I was told that I wasn’t assertive enough or outgoing. I wasn’t the loudest person in the room and they were looking for someone that had the personality traits of the last manager. I was stunned and confused by this feedback because it was based on personality and not skill. The job was ninety percent skill and skill wasn’t even considered. I was told that my expectation was to train the new manager and bring him up to speed. I came to the conclusion that the reason they could afford to hire someone based on personality because I provided the skill. How was this fair? The candidate that was selected was described as such, he was a represented employee, Associate degree, and a electrician. I looked him up and turns out he was a white male. I had a Bachelor’s degree, was a salary employee, and had more experience.

So again I ask did you ever have the feeling of winning and losing at the same time? How is it that I exceeded all my expectations on my annual review and not deserve a promotion? How can I lead a department independently and still not measure up to a worthy candidate? Many would accept this and think they had a chance, but I knew I wouldn’t simply because there was no evidence of a black woman leading in this organization successfully. I’m not a person that will just accept anything because I should be happy that I’m in the door. I will create my own door and win not based on the color of my skin but the depth of my character. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

 

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