4 things I hated about Key West, FL.

Traveling to Key West was quite the adventure. It was a two way highway after passing through Key Largo and several bridges. The view of the water was beautiful and exciting to see as we got closer to Key West. As a newbie who’s never been and lived there for three months – I want to share my first hand point of view on my stay and the four reasons I didn’t like it.

Too Expensive.

We stayed at Sisgbee Campground in our RV, which is a Navy Base right inside of Key West. It was a very safe Campground with a Commissary and Navy Exchange store. The prices at the stores were reasonable, but the quality just wasn’t there. When shopping off base at a Publix or another grocery store the prices were expensive. I honestly don’t know how people are able to afford living in Key West. A vacation is nice, but to live there, you would almost go broke, unless you’re rich.

Limited Resources.

Key West doesn’t have a Target, Walmart, or any other familiar store you’re used to. To go to a decent store you would need to travel to Miami which is two and a half to three hours away. It felt like we were in a foreign country inside of the United States. The most decent store in our reach was Kmart. The quality was very low and the store was a mess. Your best bet is the Navy base if you have access or ordering from Amazon. Again, this is only for folks who are interested in living there.

Hot as Hell.

It was extremely hot in the summer months. If you don’t like the heat, I would recommend coming in the winter and traveling some where else during the summer months more north. It was fun to go to the beach and swim in the ocean, but without the shade it was a bit miserable.

Prejudice/ Discrimination

Snooty people  gave us the stank eye and crooked smirk. It depended on the type of person we encountered, but there is definitely sprinkles of racism here especially on the Navy base.  I would say folks felt entitled or that they were better than others because of their status. There were customers who I served at the Navy exchange who complained about feeling like they were turned down for a hotel room or looked over simply for the color of their skin. Although, this is a common complaint all over the world, it was annoying and frustrating, so keep that in mind when visiting.

For more information on our experiences traveling watch our Youtube channel. We have a ton of resources available for traveling families.

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Don’t let a language barrier set you back.

Traveling the world is an adventure within itself. Not only are you exposed to a variety of people and culture, but also language. We forget that outside of the U.S there are countries that primarily speak other languages outside of English. That in itself can be a major culture shock. Not being able to communicate can you leave you frustrated and ready to throw in the towel. Don’t do so just yet. Continue reading for how to triumphantly conquer a language barrier and explore a country while living your best life.

There are many resources available to get you by until you are able to practice the language more. Depending on how long of a stay you have in a country, it may not be worth it to invest financially in language classes. There are free resources available on the Internet that are easily accessible and at your fingertips. The first application to download is Duolingo. Keep in mind, this blog isn’t sponsored, this is just my honest advice as I’m speaking from experience. You can find it on Google Play or the iPhone app store for free. Familiarize yourself with how to speak basic words and greetings, such as hello, goodbye, may I, etc.

The next application to download is Google Translate. Google Translate can dig you out of a bind quickly if you get stuck and can’t communicate. However, be mindful of the inaccuracies of translation from the foreign language to English. It doesn’t take into account slang or improper words when translating so you will need to do your best at piecing together what is being conveyed. Another source is to find a translator, of course, this is more of a costly choice and requires you to communicate to find one.

For more information on how to navigate through language barriers with a limited amount of knowledge, watch our Youtube channel. We have a ton of resources available for traveling families.

Once you learn a few words, practice them with people you may come across while you’re touring the area. The best place to practice is in a taxi or at a restaurant because you usually have the other person’s undividend attention and they may be willing to help you. Please understand you will feel uncomfortable and at times embarrassed. It is just the nature of the game. Hopefully the reason you are traveling is to get out of your comfort zone and immerse as much as you can without overwhelming yourself.

4 reasons why we chose to move to Medellin

If you follow us on Youtube, you know by now we are in Columbia and have been here since the beginning of the year to start a new adventure. Initially, we were very nervous and didn’t know what to expect. We’ve heard great things about the country, but we didn’t know anyone personally that made the jump to live here. We took our entire family over and we want to share our experience with you so far. Read on for four reasons why we chose Medellin, Colombia.

To learn Spanish.

Our family goal is to learn Spanish and be fluent enough to order from a menu, catch a cab, ask what time it is, etc. We will most likely learn at different times while we are over here because we all have different learning styles and schedules. Not only will my husband and I learn Spanish, but our two kids as well.

Our goal is to enroll our children in a Spanish speaking school to pick up the language faster. We will continue to provide a US curriculum at home. We will share more details about the schools in a later blog for those interested. They are much younger and have a better chance of picking up the language faster. Spanish tutors are also very affordable and it is easier to learn a language by completely emerging yourself in the culture.

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It is more affordable.

After doing a massive amount of research, we’ve learned our dollar stretches much further in South American than it does in the states. We have a few income streams with side businesses and gigs via the Internet. We would like to pursue more of our personal interest while having a good time and not worrying about paying bills. Some of those interest include learning Salsa, scuba diving, meeting new people and or families, and taking up martial arts.

The climate.

Did you know that Medellin is known as the city of Internal Spring? It’s not too hot and not too cold, just right to positively affect our moods. At night you may need a light jacket, but it is very comfortable to the say the least. Right now, in Atlanta where our home is, it is most likely 50 degrees and people are tucked away in their homes until it gets warmer outside.

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Photo by EA on Pexels.com

The people.

The people here are very friendly and helpful. Are you surprised? Even with the language barrier, I’ve noticed people are still willing to help you. It can be a little intimidating not being fully fluent in Spanish and trying to get somewhere or carry on with life, but it challenges you to get out your comfort zone and accept the help.

Hopefully, this helps as to why we made the decision to move here. We don’t know how long we plan to stay, but we are taking our time and enjoying the city. We also plan to travel within the country, so stay connected and follow along on Youtube or on our website for travel updates. Maybe you can learn what to do or not to do before taking your big step in traveling.

3 major tips to help transition living in Colombia after a week’s stay

If you follow us you know by now we are living in Colombia. We arrived on January 1st, 2019 at 1:13 am with four bags of luggage and two little kiddos. We left the airport in a tiny yellow cab with our luggage squished in the trunk and front seat curving around mountains as if we were in a driving video game. Although it was scary transitioning here we’ve been here a week and already belong to a small embracing community helping us transition into the Colombian life. Read on for three tips  I’ve learned so far.

Join Social Media Groups 

The first benefit is to find Facebook groups to follow. Chat in those Facebook groups for answers to many of your questions you might have when transitioning to a new country. This is how I was able to find so many contacts within one week of my stay here. Meet up with the people you find in the Facebook groups. Usually, they offer meetups or functions for networking. It is very important to meet people face to face to build a connection and exchange information. You may also learn how those people are connected and how you fit in for a long term relationship.

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Use the Internet as your Research

Secondly, do as much research as you can about the area you’re traveling to. There are so many resources available to research an area. Youtube helped us out tremendously, Google Maps, where you can get a wide view on the area, or search Airbnb for not only places to stay, but things to do while you’re there.

Talk to the Locals

This tip may be limiting as there may be a language barrier. If you know the local language then you will have no issue. If you want to talk to the locals you can find a translator, usually, they’re inexpensive and ask questions about the area on how you should conduct yourself. The option of finding someone who speaks English and the native language may be available as well.

For more tips, you can follow us and learn about how to transition in a different country. It is very possible and is not as hard as you think. You can follow us on Youtube or our social media platforms for additional content of our travels.

How long should you travel as a family?

I find this topic an interesting one for several reasons. I’m not here to dictate the amount of traveling a family should do. I’m no where near an expert at traveling, but I think this is a good question to debate. How long is too long on the road?

I think in order to answer that you must first know what you want to accomplish during your travel.

Does your family want to travel domestically only or a combination of domestic and international travel? You also may want to ask yourselves as a family how important is it to see museums, beaches, mountains, historical landscapes, etc. This all plays a major factor if in and when you will see the places you want to see and how long you will spend time in each place.

Do you still own your home?

Next, in order to determine the appropriate amount of time to be on the road it would heavily depend on if your family sold your home or if it is being rented out. If you are completely home free, then you would be free to roam and wander for as long as you need without having to get back to your home. If your family went the route of renting your home like us, it would depend on how long the lease is of course. Choosing the right lease agreement can be very tricky. Renters usually stay anywhere from 1-2 years. We rented our home to another family for 12 months and as of now we aren’t interested in going any longer than that, but things can change.

Do you want to travel for more than a year?

We plan to travel for as long as possible. We love seeing new places, learning new cultures, and meeting new people. Even after we return to our home we still will find a way to travel the world. Traveling is our passion and it gives us time to connect as a family and make everlasting memories. Can you see yourself living in a tiny space with your partner and children if you have any? It can be challenging and get rough at times. Ask your self if it is something you just want to do on the weekends rather than going through the process of selling your house and personal possessions. Traveling long term may not work for every family.

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.

 

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