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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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.

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.

 

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.

 

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