Do you ever wish you could abandon your life and run away in search of exciting and magical adventures like Amelia Earhart or Mark Twain? Well, you’re certainly not alone! With more than 75 percent of Americans reported by Gallop as being dissatisfied with life, hating their job and bored in general, I’d say you’re in good company.
The difference between the 25 percent of happy and content people and the 75 percent who are discontent and unhappy is intentionally choosing their own unique path and taking ACTION!
If you dream of spending three months overlooking sunlit wild flower fields from an Italian villa; back-packing through Europe with your family; or setting sail along the North American coastline for a year, then this post is for you!
What if dashing off for 3, 6 or even 12 months wasn’t as difficult as you thought?
I too dreamt this dream many years ago and am beyond thankful that I had the courage to dream and to take the plunge. Initially, I traveled from one side of the US to the other, as well as internationally with my sweet little doggy! And now I live, work, adventure and play while traveling with my dazzling hubby and two pups- he too dared to dream! And while your vision of increased travel and freedom might not consist of full-timing in an Airstream like we do… whatever your dream is, it’s completely worth creating and living! You only live once, right? Why save travel for the retirement years? By then you may not have the health to do it!
There are dozens of ways to create increased mobility, travel and freedom for yourself or you and your family. And surprisingly, it’s just not that difficult, nor as expensive as you might think. Especially if you’re truly motivated and willing to live your best life! Life by intentional design is fabulous beyond explanation!
“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity!”
The first and seemingly most difficult step is to believe anything is possible. I can assure you the steps that follow aren’t nearly as difficult as daring to dream! Let’s look at 4 key steps to adding more travel to your life.
1) GET A DREAM
This step is the amazingly fun part! You (and your family and friends if you wish) can brain-storm, research, buy travel books, and discover far away places you didn’t even know existed! There’s unimaginable beauty on this planet, and you’ll relish every moment of experiencing it (as will your spouse / children).
“If you can dream it, you can do it!”
Note: Don’t let being single, or single with children stop you! I know plenty of traveling, single men and women and single moms who have found great adventure (and courage they didn’t know they had) … and even love out on the road!
2) PLAN YOUR ESCAPE
Once you’ve dared to dream, it's merely a matter of logistics. This is where the rubber meets the road and decisions need to be made. Here are the most common questions I receive:
* How long to travel during your first adventure?
* When to leave?
* Where to go?
* How to get there?
* To work or not to work?
* Take a sabbatical or temporary leave of absence?
* Sell the home?
* Sell the cars?
* Take pets or share them with family while you travel!
* Sell the contents of the home or pay for storage?
* Home school or travel only during summer months?
* School children in Spain or other desired travel destination?
* Start a remote business?
* Become a remote employee?
* If you have a specialized career niche, you can get work status in other countries.
“It doesn’t matter how slowly you go, as long as you don’t stop.”
The number one obstacle dream travelers struggle with is “work”. But usually, the real questions is, “How will we pay for life while traveling?” It's a valid question. Here's a sample of ideas that clients, friends and I have come up with (there are dozens more to be found).
Start a travel fund: Cut your living expenses by 50-75 percent and save that 50-75 percent for 1 year (or less), then take off for a year for travel. This is more than possible.
Sell some stuff! You can always sell what isn't necessary, save the rest, and then be on your way!
Begin working remotely (begin with 1 day per week and build to full time). With todays’ technology, it’s simple to work virtually anywhere in the world and remain connected! (I have a solid plan for this avenue. Even if travel isn’t your thing, but staying home and having more freedom is! Feel free to hit me up!)
There are myriad US and international websites dedicated to volunteer / trade travel. You could volunteer on a gorgeous French Vineyard, while living for free and experiencing France (or where ever)!
If you’re already a business owner, there are many methods of creating freedom by delegating, eliminating and systematizing. Chances are, you work too much anyway!
These are framework concepts, so feel free to email or call if you’d like more information about any of these options.
My best encouragement if you’re serious about adding freedom and travel to your life is to SELECT a DATE and a LOCATION and work backward from there. If you choose a date more than 18-24 months away, you probably won’t do it! So be brave and get the ball rolling~ This will make the entire process faster and easier.
3) REMOVE OBSTACLES
“You can do anything you decide to do.”
The truth is, if you don’t believe in your dream, you will find hundreds of reasons / excuses to remain in your current life; which is perfectly fine if you’re living your most amazing expression of life! But if you’re not, then take up the courage to build it!
Once you’ve devised your ideal method of travel you’ll be able to refine it year after year and at the end of each travel stint, you can always get a new job, buy more cars, homes… etc. The point is if freedom and experiencing the world is truly important to you, “things” will become far less important.
A note about traveling with children: I am asked regularly, how children’s education is handled when adding travel. Those answers are for another blog, but suffice to say, solutions abound and that too is merely a question of finding what's best for your family.
4) SET SAIL
Once you have created your dream in vivid techno color, planned your escape, removed the obstacles, talked your wife (or in my case, the hubby) into your crazy dream, now it's time to set sail!
“The secret of getting ahead, is getting started!”
First, you’ll want to create checklists for your travel. Here are a few examples:
“An important document” list: photo copies of credit cards (with customer service tele), DL, passport, birth certificate, etc. It’s rare, but if you lose your wallet or purse in another state or country, you’ll want it to be easy to make the appropriate calls.
“Timeframe" lists: tasks that are grouped as 4 months before you leave, then 3 months before you leave, then … 3 weeks, 2 week and so on. Theses lists will include items like, making needed changes to insurance, cell phones, cutting cable if you’re keeping your home, etc. There are plenty of online travel sites where you can find pre-made check lists, so no need to re-invent the wheel.
Once you batch your tasks into months, they will seem quite simple. Don’t allow yourself to become overwhelmed. The process really is easier than you think. And if you’d like help, I’d be happy to coach you through it. I am very grateful for the assistance I had as I prepared for long-term travel.
Here’s a testimonial from a fellow traveler and friend:
“I could have never imagined how many experiences would open up for us living and working full-time in our RV, how many amazing people we would meet, and how liberated and fulfilled this way of life would make us feel. It is a very deliberate lifestyle and it is not always easy, but the rewards completely out weigh the struggles. For us there’s just simply no looking back!”
Whatever freedom, travel and adventure you decide to add to your life, have a great time!
P.S. If you’d like help reorienting your life so you can embrace more freedom and travel, don’t hesitate to reach out!
A FREE 30 Minute Q&A is available if you have questions about how to implement the ideas in this blog post.
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Cheers to Liberate Living! Shawn