When we quit society, turning our backs on expectations and being authentic to ourselves, our family and our faith it was truly one of the bravest, and most exhilarating experiences of our life! It was not easy, taking a road way less traveled. It was hard and scary taking our kids down a path that did not have a proven track record.
But, we were products of the oft traveled road and we didn’t want our kids to have to fight so hard to vanquish the baggage, the societal ills to fulfill their deepest and most sought after dreams. You know, the ones that reside deep in the recesses of your heart.
The dreams that have nothing to do with money or possessions or job title … those are the dreams we wanted our kids to see on the surface. And I can tell you, we are living proof, that veering off the path was the best move we could have done for our family.
So many people we know are unhappy and their kids are unhappy and they can’t figure it out. They are doing what they are supposed to do and it’s just not working for them. We were called to be so much more than bill payers, purveyors of the status quo. Being comfortable is a smoke screen. We are truly happy, traveling the continent in our RV. We want to share with you the reasons why happiness is found outside the Western idea of normalcy.
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We do not have to adhere to a school schedule or a work schedule or to our brainwashed psyche of a sports schedule. We are free to do whatever we want and to go wherever we want. That is a tremendous gift to ourselves and our kids. Freedom. Freedom to think outside the box, to focus on God’s creation in our life, to be real life activists. To create businesses, to spend time with the people who matter most to us, to raise our children in accordance with our faith, no distractions, no fears, no worries.
You don’t need to ask permission to take your child out of school for a family vacation. You don’t need to ask for permission for time off work. There are no meetings to attend to discuss your next project or give a status update as to your progress. It’s just you, making all the decisions for your life. You are the captain of your ship, you are the boss of your own life, you make all the decisions and you reap all the benefits. When we first started this journey, we had no idea where it would take us. Now we are running a successful adventure travel blog, we are constantly adding spice to our lives and we literally can’t wait to wake up in the morning … never in one million years would our lives be this exciting, invigorating and faith filled had we followed society’s script for our lives.
Less Money = More
Sounds crazy, right? How can less of anything equate to more of anything? Well, I’ll tell you.
With less money you become more appreciative of what you do have. Our RV is our vessel to our freedom. It’s not luxurious, but it’s ours and we appreciate it more than you could ever imagine. We don’t have an endless supply of running water, so we are very careful to not waste it and appreciate when the tank is full … this has made us extremely conscientious environmentalists. When we weren’t living intentionally minimalist lives, our focus was on cars and home renovations and clothes … now our focus is on trips to the beach, a great family hike, making new friends, snowboarding and kayaking … most of these things you need very little money for and are so much more fun for your family than an extravagant resort vacation!
With less money you become more creative! Our kids, make the things they want. Instead of hitting us up for $100 here and $50 there, they refurbish things like old skate decks and turn them into tramp boards to practice boarding tricks. They make bows out of flexible PVC pipe and arrows out of sticks they whittle down. They can use a drill, a soldering iron, a table saw … like, I’m telling you now, if we had the money, we’d be buying them all this stuff and they would not be as creative or innovative or resourceful!
Our lifestyle allows us to work in the mornings, in the afternoon or in the middle of the night. We can work in the necessary parts of our day around our fun, adventurous lifestyle. We can work weekends so we can surf the good surf on Monday when no-one else is around. We never have a case of the “Mondays” and will never ever utter the words, “TGIF”. Mondays are as awesome as Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays … every day has the potential to be extraordinary and we strive to live up to this bar that we’ve set for our lives.
We don’t live by alarm clocks and rarely have anything in our Google Calendar short of an orthodontist appt or the like. No-one tells us when to work, do school, read, play, relax, or any of the hundreds of other things we have at our disposal. We make it all fit in how and when we want and we are much more productive this way. Flexibility, adaptability is one of the greatest indicators for success … given our lifestyle, I’m pretty confident that our children will be successful in every avenue of life! 🙂
Our children’s education has been so dramatically transformed, that I don’t think they could ever return to a static classroom with standardized testing and droll lectures. What our children have learned cannot be determined by a test and cannot be contained in a report. They have seen the battle grounds where the civil war was fought, they have walked the halls of Congress where legislation is introduced and passed, they have surpassed any social studies lesson by meeting and befriending so many people of varying backgrounds. They have broadened their horizons by traveling to countries where the primary language is not English, they have invented and created, and have understood pain and destitution. Their young hearts have grown to sizable proportions as they give to those in need until they can give no more. Their faith has been strengthened as they travel this beautiful continent of North America and spread joy the way only children can.
We are all learning so much about ourselves and each other and the world around us. Our perspectives on life have drastically changed, we’ve discovered our passions, found our future and recaptured the past. Life is an education that cannot be duplicated anywhere but outside, in the flesh, living, breathing, aching, rejoicing … authentic living is education in it’s more organic and natural form.
One of the reasons I was passionate about being a stay-at-home mom was so that I could be present in my children’s lives. I wanted to be the one who kissed the boo boo’s and who read them stories and took them to the pool. I wanted to be an integral part of their childhood. But as they started growing up and having outside interests, our quality time was being gifted to teachers and coaches, peers and extra-curricular activities. I was becoming harried as I watched my kids becoming less and less fulfilled while simultaneously being more and more busy.
Traveling is not only fulfilling in every sense of the word, but also a gift to your heart and your soul in it’s lesson to live in the moment. To sit and truly enjoy a beautiful sunset without a flurry of interrupting thoughts flooding your mind is deeply moving…like to your core. Have you, since you were a child, had any amount of time where you just were? Traveling slows time down because you are granted complete control over the minutes of your life. You can smell the salty air, really feel the cool breeze, see the rain, allow your children’s laughter and baby’s smell to truly touch your soul. It is only when you close your mind and permit your senses to take over that you leave all the worldly things behind and transcend into your true life. It is here that you are vulnerable, emotionally, physically and spiritually because this is truth. In this truth you realize that you are part of something so much bigger and you feel rather than think. Intentional living is agape!