Saying Goodbye.

When we left our subdivision we waved goodbye to our neighbors into a world of  the unknown and it felt sad. I even shedded a few tears not because I was sad, but because I knew I was leaving memories behind and that life wouldn’t be the same going forward. We built relationships with our surrounding neighbors and it was a bit hard to say goodbye. I also realized  that I wouldn’t be able to see my family that lived locally when I wanted to. In my heart I justified my reasons for leaving with the fact that I needed to do this. My soul is leading me to a life of wander and adventure and I wouldn’t be happy if I didn’t take a leap and see what was next. It is very scary to do something you’re not familiar with, but it is also scary to do the same thing over and over without any change. I want to be somewhere in the middle in the sweet spot of adventure and balance.

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After we left our home we traveled to visit my husband’s parents in Florida. I was a little nervous because that is the longest we’ve stayed with anyone as a family and I didn’t want to be a mooch on anyone. I made the effort to make sure we cleaned and cooked to pay our share of staying in their home. While we were there we explored the local libraries, parks, beaches, etc. We soaked up the local area with curiosity and passion. We genuinely had the best time being in Florida. It was the best time we’ve ever had while staying with my husband’s parents. We didn’t have to worry about going to work the next Monday or stressing about anything. We were free to wander around and take our time which we never get to do. At the end of the visit I got choked up because I knew I would miss my mother-in-law badly. She is naturally a nurturing and caring person and being around that for sometime can become addicting. They welcomed us with open arms and we didn’t in any way feel like a bother to them.

We changed the way we live to live the way we want.

I would’ve never in a million years stay with anyone that long, but I realized while living this lifestyle sometimes you have to lean on others and that is ok. You’re not a lazy person or a mooch if you ask to stay or borrow something from someone. It is good to need other people from time to time. It actually is healthy in my opinion. In this society we no longer borrow things from one another, but we go out and buy it as a since of pride or independence. We are afraid to ask others for help because of our pride, but until we learn that serving others is our mission we will never be successful.

When we arrived back in Atlanta to wrap up a few things we needed a place to stay overnight. I asked my dad if we could stay with him and he welcomed us with open arms. Again, I needed to lean on someone close and things worked out. I haven’t stayed the night at my fathers house in over seven years. It was refreshing to see what his house looked like and what he used in his home. We had to say goodbye again to my dad too and it wasn’t as hurtful. I knew I would be back and I have the love and support of my friends and family. I know they will be here when I get back and that is a great feeling.

A lesson in team work.

Canoeing, a family that rows together stays together.

Canoeing allows you to get out in the sun on water and see nature all around you. If you’re canoeing in a river you get to ride up on a sandbank and rest while listening to some jams with your family. The interesting fact you may not consider canoeing is that it requires a great deal of teamwork and patience. You also have the possibility of tumbling over unexpectedly, and your pretty view is now wet and upside down.

Canoeing requires for two people to work together to create a rhythm that is effective in keeping the canoe moving forward through shallow or deep water, dodging logs or trees, rocky water, etc. If both partners aren’t working together it can create friction leaving your family upside down, in the river and watching all of your belongings float down stream. I will admit my husband and I aren’t the best communicators sometimes and this experience tested our communication skills a great deal.

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My family was getting down the river perfectly after my husband’s and I communication hiccup.  We couldn’t seem to agree which part of the boat him or I would paddle on. As soon as we somewhat found our rhythm in still shallow water unexpectedly we started to tilt to the left. We tilt again to the left this time with a little more force shifting the canoe over completely on it’s side in the river. Over we went along with our belongings and paddles. My husband pulled up the children from the water as they were underneath the boat fully submerged in the water. He tossed them to me while he went to chase our belongings along with the canoe. My children strapped on to me frantically while crying and screaming. While dragging them to the nearest sandbank to catch our breath I ensured them everything would be just fine. My husband slowly treaded through the water down stream to fetch our belongings.

The lesson in our experience was that sometimes it won’t be perfect, but you keep going and don’t let a overturn stop you.

I explained this to my children after we got back in the canoe and things calmed down a bit. Sometimes it won’t be pretty, you may get dirty, and lose some things, but it doesn’t mean you stop moving forward. It is challenges like these that we can learn from and use as an opportunity to grow rather that one to quit. Once we got back in the canoe and settled back in my husband and I worked perfect together to the finish line.

Don’t mistake your growing pains as a reason to give up.

I have watched several Youtube channels where the hosts experienced  mini break downs from leaving their lives behind for a life of travel.

I would think how silly that was and if I had the opportunity to travel the world there is no way I would be upset over leaving my things, my job, my family, etc. I now know what those folks were experiencing through the process of saying goodbye and entering the unknown for a life of travel. I refer to this process now as ‘travel growing pains’. I want to travel and I’m extremely excited about the lifestyle, but it hurts a bit that I’m leaving the life I’m comfortable with to live another that I’m not as familiar with. It’s a bizarre experience to be happy and sad at the same time.

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I believe it is completely normal to experience growing pains and feel excited about a new life.

It would almost be unnatural to not have a bit of fear and pity for yourself that you are going to a unfamiliar place. Although the other side of your decision is unknown, there is an excitement that is generated from taking a leap of faith. Whether the decision is worth it or not will be up to how the experience is perceived after a person has made the decision to change their life. However, any decision to have a fuller life is worth it in my opinion – it is worth the fear, the growing pains, the excitement, etc.

Don’t mistake your growing pains as a reason to not go through with the discomfort of taking the next step. You really can’t have one without the other. You must endure the mental battle of wanting to be comfortable and move up a level in your journey. If you want results – you need to take risks. Of course, assess your risks and have alternative courses of action in place, but don’t look for a reason to quit.  I’ve had many reasons throughout my experience, but I will keep moving towards the life I want which is a life of travel with my family where I can learn and work on the road.

The need for change.

“The need for change bulldozed a road down the center of my mind.” – Maya Angelou

Have you ever felt so disturbed and uncomfortable from the need to change that you felt like you would do anything to change your scenery? Even if it was such a bizarre and unusual idea to most people? The big question is do you follow that disturbance with the action to change your life or do you continue to do the same thing over and over hoping for different results? Most people don’t change because it is too risky or they don’t want to stand out amongst their peers as “odd” or “crazy”. People generally choose the road with the least amount of resistance. We get so involved with the stories we tell ourselves we actually believe them – we don’t think to question or re-evaluate our lives for change. Most of us move around unconsciously making choices for ourselves that impact our lives tremendously.

Travel for me is a way out of the day to day grind into a different journey.

Each day I will have to consciously decide what I will get out of life each day. The questions I will ask myself is what do I want to go learn today, how can I improve my life for the benefit of my family, how can I help someone else, etc. The best recipe for a great life is to live in the present moment because that is truly all we have. It isn’t our material possessions or the labels we have acquired. It is who we are in the present moment that will make an impact on the next thing. So I ask – what is your next thing? It doesn’t have to be my story in traveling. It can be taking a photography class to further your skills, saying goodbye to that dead relationship that has been hanging over your head for years, spending more time in nature to enjoy the sun, etc.

Time is really the only luxury we have in this world. We need to live every moment intentionally. You are the writer of your own story. What will your story be? Don’t waste anymore time doing something that makes you unhappy. Do what you enjoy even if that means a change needs to happen.

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Ready, set, go! How we began a life of travel.

It’s the end of the world as we know it, we feel fine! -REM

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The discovery.

Last year, I would’ve never guessed that we would be leaving a static, 9 to 5 corporate job making good money to explore, learn, and travel the world. I had plans to move up in the corporate world, at least it seemed like a good idea, but it later blew up in my face for unknown reasons.  I also thought my son starting Kindergarten was  going to be an exciting new adventure, which it is and was, but I’m learning he needs more of a one on one learning style. Somehow our family is being led to a life of learning what else is out there. We thought we arrived by getting that big house, driving the fancy cars and making a combined income making over six figures, but as humans we evolve over time and I’m learning that’s ok.

A sign.

Our first sign of a travel life was seeing a family on Youtube of eleven travel the world. We thought how in the world are they doing that? We took a trip to North Carolina before we were inspired by the Youtube family and we were so in bliss from the trip on the way home we started brain storming on ways to work on the road so we can have more time with our family and see the world. When we got home, I started to randomly read a book called the Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey which soon there after led to paying off debt. Once the debt started to dissipate we learned that we were spending a lot of money to live in the suburbs just to work and maintain our possessions. We wanted out, we were merely existing and not living.

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Whats Next?

It’s funny how life works, when you put your mind to something and the universe or God literally starts sending it your way. You just have to be open, aware, and see it as opportunities when they start to show up. I have no idea why I decided to read Total Money Makeover that day or why shortly after that my husband discovered a Youtube channel of a traveling family. They could in fact be all coincidences we just put together to make work, whatever it is, I’m happy with what it turned out to be, considering the fact I wasn’t really happy with the life I was living. I really haven’t been this excited about anything in a very long time.

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