Are you CRAZY, it’s far too dangerous to travel through <insert country>!!!
Whether or not we’re crazy remains to be seen. However, in 30 years of travel, we have experienced firsthand that the situation flashed across headlines is rarely what we find on the ground. Another sad year of ever-increasing mass shootings in the United States has continued to prove that “staying home” is not going to keep us any safer than travel.
We’re well-traveled, street smart and travel savvy. We’ll pay attention to news on the ground around us, and watch our backs. And then, we’ll let the universe guide us with the understanding that the odds are in our favor and most people are basically good.
Why is this so important? Why can’t you just be happy leading a “normal” life?
Well, we ARE happy with our normal life. We were extremely fortunate to lead a comfortable life with friends, family, jobs and our health. However, that is just not enough. We have, so far, traveled to over 40 countries on five continents but, other than our RTW trip it had always been typical American 1-2 week vacations. Sure, we saw the destinations and got a feel for them but never really “knew” them. On our RTW we discovered our dream life. We don’t want to work 9-5, 40hours a week and spend 2/3rds of our life in a cubicle. We don’t want to work hard and long so that “someday” we can retire and start doing what we really want. We, quite simply, don’t aspire to the American Dream as many see it. We all only have our one precious life so we plan on living it like we mean it!
How can you afford this? Did you win the lottery? Get a trust fund?
Don’t we wish, it would certainly make things easier! However, neither of the above apply. On our 2007-2008 RTW we sold our house in an up-market and traveled the world for 13months on the money. For our Next Big Adventure, we once again sold our house, but this time along with everything in it. No storage unit to weigh us down. Our few remaining possessions of travel mementos and family photos are with friends. With everything we own fitting inside our 20′ Lance trailer, we are true minimalists, spending our time and energy on memories and not possessions.
With the discovery of the workamper life we have found the right balance. By living rent-free while doing work we enjoy we can live on very little all while being fortunate to spend our days together in fantastic locations.
Where are you now?
After nearly two years in Mexico and Guatemala, and two years sharing time between Idaho and Mexico, we are currently living a semi-nomadic life with our time spent partly in Oregon and partly exploring the world. While full-time travel is still in our future, these days our priority revolves around spending time with aging parents and hanging a bit closer to home. Lucky for us, the PNW is an adventure lovers’ playground and our life as workampers is filled with visitors from near and far. Our commute is a 2-minute walk to work and while the sand beach isn’t tropical, any day that begins and ends with a walk on the beach is a good day.
Will you work or volunteer en-route?
Absolutely! I continue to work as a freelance travel writer and after volunteering in Mexico and Guatemala we plan on continuing the trend closer to home. Not only do we love to spend our time helping those less fortunate but also to become true global citizens.
How is Aspen living this semi-nomadic life?
Aspen is a dream traveler. When we first headed out with TWO big dogs in a truck camper life was a bit more complicated. When we lost our sweet Porter in Baja we all experienced the expected mourning period but quickly discovered one pup is easier than two for sure! We’re a pack and we’re never happier than when we’re all together. These days our adventure dog has slowed down with age but remains happy with daily beach walks and plenty of quality time sniffing out new discoveries.
How do you live in so little space?
You own very little! We’re actually thrilled with how much space we have this time around. After living out of a backpack for nearly two years, then camper & truck for two years, having a 20′ Lance trailer feels like we’re living the penthouse life. Having said that, there are still rules.. when a new item comes in, something else must go and while no one will ever identify us as fashionistas that’s okay!
Are you afraid?
Nope. We’ve been around enough to know how things work and the rest we’ll figure out along the way. There are so many others like us who are out in the world living life at a different level that our life choice is, while certainly not the norm, not unique to us. We have no doubts whatsoever about the lifestyle we’ve chosen, however, if we did, we only need to remember the father’s question to his son in the book “One Red Paperclip” when he asked him “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”. The answer applies to most questions in life.
Why live in a camper?
When Jim was 7 years old he created a piece of art for school and wrote: “I want to live in a camper”. If following your authentic 7-year old dream isn’t enough, living in a camper suits us perfectly and having the freedom of our own timeline and transportation is ideal. The camper provides a comfortable home base, wherever home is that day. The ease of having everything with we own with us at any moment offers the ultimate convenience.
Don’t you go crazy spending 24/7 together?
We are one of those lucky couples who love being together. Back in our 9-5 world we commuted together and were rarely apart in our free time. We had no issues on our RTW and our work/life partnership has only brought us closer together. Our nomadic ways has brought an endless supply of our traveling tribe into our world so we always have plenty of friends to hang out with as well.