If you had more money, would YOU travel with YOUR family?
That’s an obvious ‘yes’, isn’t it?
And that’s what most people truly believe — that they have to have more money — lots of it — to travel, especially with their family (though it’s a HUGE misconception, as I’ll share later).
People tell us all the time:
“I’d love to travel with my four kids, if only we had more money.”
“We’d love to travel more with the kids, but Hubby’s job makes it hard.“
“We don’t make enough money to travel abroad.”
“I used to backpack a lot when I was young… I traveled a bit with my first kid, once my second kid was out, we stopped. Can’t afford it. But would like to find a way to travel again in the future.”
“I want to travel. But I am a single, stay at home mother with a 18 month old. I haven’t the finances to do it presently.“
“Haven’t sorted out how to finance it but working on it becoming a reality. I love reading about families doing it – trying to get ideas…”
“We would like to roam around with our kiddos, but don’t know how to go about financing such an adventure.”
“Love to travel for education but money is a problem. We save and every 2 years can afford a 10 day holiday.“
Maybe you can relate?
We used to think like this too (that you needed to have lots of money to travel).
But 2014 marked seven years since we embarked on our nomadic living/long-term travel lifestyle.
We celebrated in Costa Rica with the birth of our sixth child.
You can’t tell us that it’s too hard or expensive to travel with kids… we didn’t start traveling until we had four of them (all under the age of four — those were crazy days!)
And no, we’re not loaded, we didn’t win the lottery or anything like that.
In fact, we probably earn less (and spend less) than most people.
If we were in the United States, we’d fit into the ‘poverty’ income bracket.
And yet we’re living a ridiculously awesome life (hence the title of our book).
What’s that ridiculously awesome life look like?
Just one quick glimpse…
When our sixth baby was just three months old, we spent six weeks on the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica.
We swam every day…
Took surfing lessons…
Swam in tropical pools fed by exotic waterfalls…
Sunbathed on sandy beaches…
You get the idea.
The entire experience cost less than we used to spend on our mortgage (just the mortgage!) back in the States.
That’s because we’ve discovered the secret to traveling with a family (that I’ll be sharing with you in just a bit).
You see, the reality is, living abroad and traveling with a family actually costs a lot less than most people think it does.
In fact, many families who set out soon discover that it costs less than life back home!
(That’s what Lynn and Cameo Johnson said in the interview we did with them — they were able to travel with their four children — around Canada, the U.S., Mexico and Central America — and spend about 1/3 what they were spending at home, living the ‘status quo’ lifestyle.)
“What? Traveling to exotic places? White sandy beaches? Life-changing experiences? Unforgettable memories?
For less than what I spend now?
How can that be?”
Greg (my husband) and I have a saying we always use, which pretty much sums up this situation (it also applies to doing humanitarian work in developing countries, but that’s another story!)
People don’t lack money, resources or hard work… what they lack is IDEAS!
When it comes to traveling, whether single or married, with or without kids, it’s not money you lack.
It’s awareness of what’s possible.
It’s interaction with people who are actually living a ‘non-traditional’ lifestyle.
Having more money will not make travel possible for you.
We’ve had families from all income brackets (those earning anywhere from $1,000 to $20,000 a month) asking us the same question — how can we afford to travel?
The reason this happens is because of something called Parkinson’s Law.
When applied to finances, Parkinson’s Law explains that expenses will always rise to meet income.
So what happens when people start earning more money?
Do they now have tons extra to spend on incredible things like travel?
The more they earn, the more they spend, and so they’re stuck on the same treadmill, stuck in the same place, doing the same things (even at a higher earning level) — they still lack the freedom to travel.
Bills, mortgage, insurance, spending — all reliant on a paycheck, keeping them forever strapped to their job.
They can’t escape. Can’t get away.
Chances are, it would happen to you.
If you started earning more money, you’d start spending more, and you still wouldn’t have freedom — the freedom you need to explore.
So what you need isn’t more money, it’s more ideas – creative ideas for creating a lifestyle that provides more freedom — freedom income, freedom to travel, freedom to live life on your terms.
Most people do it all backwards.
They go after the job, they follow the career path, and then a few years down the road they realize that they’re trapped in the rat race.
And they hate it.
They want to escape.
They want to travel. They want adventure.
They want to spend more time with the people that matter.
They want to feel like there’s more to life.
They’re miserable… or at the very least, they’re living in ‘quiet desperation’ (as Thoreau called it).
So they daydream, and wonder if they could ever do something different.
They daydream about taking a trip abroad with their family (or maybe they get real crazy and imagine moving abroad with their family).
They daydream about living a life that is about more than just making it through each day, falling into bed exhausted at the end of it.
It’s all backwards.
You have to learn to live forward — putting first things first, doing what brings joy, happiness and fulfillment, instead of waiting — delaying living — just so you can pay the bills.
Of course the bills need to be paid.
But you can still live the life you dream about while doing it!
You need to learn how to design your income earning around your lifestyle, not the other way around (the ‘backwards’ although traditional/normal way I mentioned before).
Decide first what you want your life to look like, feel like… THEN choose a career that will fit that life.
Not the other way around (choosing a career, and then trying to make room for the big dream. It won’t fit!)
It’s like buying a house in the city, and then trying to live a country lifestyle.
It just won’t work.
There’s no space to plant your garden.
No room for chickens and goats.
If you want the country lifestyle, then you have to buy the country house.
If you want a freedom lifestyle (with travel, and all that fun stuff), then you have to build a freedom income.
So how do you do it?
How do you create a career — a freedom income — that provides financially for the lifestyle you want to live?
You don’t necessarily have to earn more than you do now, but how do you earn differently so that you have the freedom to roam, to explore — to become location independent — to be free!?
While I don’t have space here to go into minute detail (like I do in our How to Fund Travel email series, and cover in even more depth in our book), it starts with three simple things:
It ultimately comes down to a lack of ideas.
A lack of knowledge of what’s possible.
That’s why ‘mindset’ is so important. Some people use the words ‘paradigm’ or ‘worldview’.
Whatever you call it, this refers to the way you look at the world, and what you believe is possible for you and your family.
“All men (and women) dream; but not equally. Those who dream by night [or daydream] in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men (and women), for they act upon their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.”
Lawrence of Arabia
If you say to yourself, “There’s no way that could every happen to us. You have to be rich/lucky/smart — everything I’m/we’re not” — well, then of course, you’re right. It will never happen for you.
Instead, believe that it can happen for you.
Believe that if others have done it, you can too.
Believe that it’s never before in the history of the world been easier to make it happen.
Your first step is to believe.
Just like when you believed that you could go to college and get that first job, that raise, the new car or house — you can make this happen too.
It’s no different. It just takes believing.
It’s hard for some of us to believe, because we’re used to only believing in things that are ‘normal’, ‘traditional’ or status quo.
Of course we can get a job, because that’s what people do. Of course we can get a house, because that’s what people do.
We don’t know people who travel and explore (partly because they’re out traveling!)
But if we did get to know them, then we would start to see how easy it is to live a lifestyle that currently seems so mystifying to us.
It only seems mystifying because we don’t know anyone doing it. Those who are living it don’t move in the same circles. (You can change that by finding groups on Facebook like How to Fund Travel).
We would be exposed to new ideas, thought patterns and worldviews — resulting in a new mindset.
And it would change our world.
Did you go to college?
Have you ever got a job?
What did that process look like?
Did you simply wake up one morning and say, “I’m going to college today!”
Which college? Where? How will you get in? How will you pay for it? What will you study?
Seems kind of ludicrous, doesn’t it, to just say, “I’m going to college.”
It takes more thought, more planning, more preparation and commitment.
You need to figure out what, where, how. You have to have the vision of what you’re specifically trying to accomplish.
And when you go through that process, overcoming any obstacles that you face (which you will), solving challenges, and moving forward with confidence — well guess what? You’ll end up going to college.
Maybe not the exact college you wanted, or studying the exact subject you’d originally planned. But you will go.
But when people think about traveling, they usually think about it in that vague sort of way.
They say, “I want to travel.”
Oh really? Where? How? When? How much?
They never figure out the logistics, and as a result, it never happens.
So don’t do that.
Get a vision.
Where do you want to travel? For how long? How will you get there? How much will it cost?
Great. Now you have a vision. Now you know what you’re up against.
Now you have a problem to solve, instead of some vague, mystifying, gobbledygook daydream — a ‘wouldn’t that be nice’ pie-in-the-sky.
Now you have something you can actually work toward.
When we were starting out, I had a burning desire to figure out this ‘funding’ thing.
The problem was, I didn’t know if it was even possible.
I didn’t know anything else besides job=income.
I didn’t know anyone who was doing anything like I was imagining in my head.
But it didn’t stop us.
We went for it anyway.
It was really tough. We failed, faltered, fell.
(We called it failing forward).
Eventually we discovered answers.
Eventually figured out how to do it.
Eventually we found a community — others who were living the travel lifestyle.
(And we started interviewing them and asking questions about how they did it.)
Why is the idea of community so important?
As Jim Rohn says:
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
Why do you think you have a regular job, and live a ‘regular’ life?
Because that’s what you know.
That’s who you know.
People who are all living a life very similar to yours.
So that’s what you get. The average.
If you want to change it, then you have to learn how to connect with people who are doing what you dream of doing.
Easier said than done, especially if they’re out traveling the world while you’re at home (thank goodness for the internet now days!)
They’re out there — online.
Start looking for them. Then start connecting.
And asking questions.
They’ll be happy to answer.
Well, there’s obviously a lot more I could tell you about this subject.
There’s a lot I can still expound on about how we’ve personally gone from corporate career to freedom lifestyle…
But there’s just not enough space here.
If I was in your hometown, you and I could go out to lunch (my treat), and I’d be happy to share with you what I’ve learned since 2007 about living deliberately.
You could pick my brain, and go home with a renewed feeling of hope and belief in the reality of living with more freedom.
And if I could, I’d bring all of my travel friends and their families, and you could pick their brains too.
We’d have a great time, an ‘Unconventional Family Convention‘ where we could discuss great ideas and revel in non-conformity.
Unfortunately, we can’t.
However, if you’re reading this, and it resonates with you and you really want to learn more, then there is further action you can take to do that…
Our book, Living Deliberately: Your Guide to a Ridiculously Awesome Life shares not only our story about creating freedom, but the step-by-step process we followed to get there.
It provides you with the further information that I just didn’t have room to include here.
Our interview series, How to Fund Travel, provides a place for you to ‘pick the brain’ of 35 other travelers — singles, couples and families — all with unique perspectives and approaches for funding travel.
(For less than the price of taking each one out to lunch — less than $4 each!)
It also includes a three part video series by my husband that walks you step-by-step through the process of creating a freedom income.
Those who found this information beneficial and are really serious about creating a lifestyle like this will love what they find in Living Deliberately and How to Fund Travel.
And now I’m giving you a special price, so that you can use them to create your ridiculously awesome life.