Finding My Tribe

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 6

My Tribe. Day 6 of Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan challenge is about something I consider essential. Not just to life on the freedom plan, but to life in general. Just consider the Zig Ziglar quote that  “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”. Now imagine how incredibly important those five people are!

I must admit, the past year was extremely challenging for me when it came to my tribe. While many of our friends rallied around us, perhaps considering us a bit off our rockers, but nonetheless thrilled we were chasing our dreams. Sadly, a good number of others, including family members, remained unsupportive, making the challenges of selling it all and leaving behind what we loved that much more difficult.

Luckily, we got through that first bleak page, and are forging ahead, finding a new tribe. Oh, I am still loving my old tribe and email daily with many of them. Although I can no longer pop in for dinner, I feel as close as ever. They are true friends for life.

But recently, our greatest inspiration is coming from our new tribe; those other hearty souls out on the road, living a life less ordinary. In the end, it is always the people that are what is important; those we leave behind, and those we meet along the way. Connecting with new friends in person makes it all the sweeter.

In the next two weeks we will be reconnecting with several of our tribe that we last saw in Baja, SIX months ago already, and greeting some new faces. However, in order to truly embrace Natalie’s challenge for today, I need to look look outside my overlander community to think about who I truly consider mentors.

Those people who have been out there doing it, living the life nomadic, making a location independent lifestyle work. For one of my fondest dreams is to meet them somewhere along the road, and thank them for being such incredible inspirations to me.

First up, I would need to mention Simon & Erin from Never Ending Voyage. I have been following their blog for years, loving their style of blogging and the fact that they had been on the road for years, living all over the globe. They fund their travels in several ways, but most recently with their amazing Trail Wallet app that we have used for nine months. We love it for keeping us on track and budget, even when it yells at us for overspending!

Secondly, Amy & Andrew from Our Big Fat Travel Adventure. They, too, started out on an extended journey, and are now hell bent on making road life work longterm by using a variety of income streams. Although I believe they are a bit ahead of us in the game, they are probably the online friends closest to us in terms of where they are in making it work.

Third, Tony & Steph of 20YearsHence. We have also been in contact with them for years. After their round the world journey, they came back for their pups and hit the road to Mexico. Now living in Playa del Carmen, they have been endless sources of information and inspiration, and we can not wait to meet them when we are in Playa the end of the year!

When I finally meet these three, inspiring, couples, I will first simply thank them for having the courage to leave their tribe at home, to find a new tribe out in the world. Then, if I had but one question to ask them, I would ask something I believe I already know the answer to; Do you think it was worth it? If they had to do it all over again, would they toss societies constraints aside and create a life less ordinary? Well, that is two questions, isn’t it?

Having been in contact with all of them over the last few years. I am sure they would proclaim loudly that YES, it is all worth it. Worth the stress, the challenges, the loss of an original tribe. All in pursuit of a life lived on their terms.

The Productivity Plan

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 5

Today our blogging challenge is to simply list how our day would look if we are in our most productive state.

The main point I really want to embrace, is an idea Natalie talks about in her video, the art of Pomodoro productivity.

In the next few days we will finally be leaving Oaxaca, Mexico to follow the road south, into Guatemala, as it were. We are renting two different cottages on Lake Attilan and spending a good couple of months embracing the climate, and focusing a lot of work to some pretty major changes we will be making on our business.

We had planned to go in, much as we did in Puerto Vallarta, with a relatively set schedule~ really following my perfect day description from day 3 of the challenge.

What I learned about from Natalie today sounds fantastically more productive, and not nearly so intimidating!

The art of Pomodoro involves making a list of your top 2-3 things you need to work on that day. You set your timer for 25 minutes, and focus solely on the first goal for 25 minutes. At the end of that time, you get up, stretch, and pet the dog, anything else for a couple of minutes. Then you set your timer for 25 minutes again, and off you go. This continues for either your set amount of work day or, of course, until you accomplish the work for the day.

I am excited and inspired. I can’t wait to get started. I am so incredibly focused on our plan for this next couple of months, all while looking forward to admiring the astonishing vistas of the area, I simply can’t sleep through the night anymore. This is what my focus day looks like…

  • Waken with our natural internal clock and head out for a good walk with Aspen, coffee traveler in hand.
  • Yoga… an essential to stretch out AND to get that Zen in place.
  • Breakfast admiring the views from our lakefront patio.
  • Rather than block out the 9am-1pm timeframe, we are absolutely going to put the principles of Pomodoro in place.
  • Lunch break. Play with Aspen. Enjoy lunch with a view.
  • I suspect most days, work will, once again, take over our afternoons. Generally 4pm is our quitting hour and productivity fades. I’m excited to see how the new way of working increases the time spent at the laptop.
  • Walk into town to enjoy happy hour, pick up something for dinner at the market, and get Aspen some more sniff time.
  • Dinner and a typical evening. Cards, movies, reading. We are SUPER excited that several overlander friends will be in the village at the same time as we are so our social life is about ready to jump into top gear!

I believe ALL of the principles already discussed in this 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge come into play. Without the plan and the why worked out, how can anyone expect to be willing to put in the work required? A productivity work plan seems like just the thing

My Superpowers

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 4

Doesn’t everyone wish they had a superpower? I know, I do. Today, my fondest desire would have been the ability to make the internet magically work during the 4-5 hours it was down!

Alas, it doesn’t work quite like that.

Today, Natalie challenged us to think about our superpowers. Not in the manner of comic book superheroes, but in our real world. Those things that not only are we good at, perhaps even that come naturally, but those which we also enjoy. As she pointed out, there are plenty of rich people out there doing jobs they don’t enjoy, but that bring them a lot of money. That is NOT what the Freedom Plan is all about. True freedom requires you also enjoy the work that brings you the reward.

She suggested we not only consider what we consider our superpowers, but to ask those closest to us what they think. Her thoughts being that we may be obtuse to our best powers. Alas, due to the extended internet break ;( and the late hour of the day… I only asked myself and Jim.

Not surprisingly… we came up with a nearly identical list!

My, really our, goals moving forward to a location independent life, were put into stark relief recently when we had an inspiring, and eye-opening hour-long skype call with Alp Turan. He was a master at asking where we wanted to get and what was important to us, and then clarifying for us what our future looked like. Although we both indicated the same end game, because we expressed them differently we didn’t even realize how meshed our ideals had become.

Without further ado….

Superpower # 1: Travel Knowledge. I worked in the travel industry for over 25 years. I have worked for travel agencies, tour operators, and wholesale tour companies, spanning the globe. I have traveled extensively; at last count 43 countries on five continents. I have overlanded the United State, New Zealand, Australia, and East-South Africa. While I won’t claim to know everything… I know quite a bit. In addition, travel is my life. This current, epic, road trip down the PanAmerican highway is currently in it’s ninth month and we’ve only made it as far as Oaxaca, Mexico. I am relishing slow travel, and truly getting to know the places I am spending my time.

Superpower # 2: Food. It’s pretty obvious if you follow us, that I am a total foodie. At breakfast, I am already considering dinner. By lunch, thinking of the next day. I thrive on huge variety (easier to come by in Oregon than here in Mexico) and at any given time will throw International Week into the mix and make daily menus from countries as diverse as Lebanese to South African to Thai. I love to cook. Love to Eat. And love to share food with those around me. If you happen to be in the area let me know and I’ll cook you up a mean Dutch-oven dinner!

Superpower # 3: Inspiring others to Travel Often~ Eat Well, the byline of our blog. The downside of a nomadic life is those you leave behind. Our readers have become a big part of our lives, our tribe. I thrive on getting a random email from a new reader, saying that my description of a town or even has inspired them to visit for themselves. I eagerly search our social media for the comments regarding a particular food picture or destination I’ve pictured, and wanting more information. I believe any time you feel passionate about a subject, and are willing to wholeheartedly share that passion, amazing connections happen.

And with that, it’s time to whip up some dinner (Mexican Spaghetti!) and cuddle in with my family for movie night. Eager to head off to tour the ruins of Monte Alban tomorrow morning to feed this passion I feel to the very depths of my soul.

The Freedom Plan

“This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 1 http://suitcaseentrepreneur.com/10DBC-Day-1

Freedom. A loaded word to be sure. While it is probably not new news to any of our readers that we are working towards creating enough income on the road to become location independent, what may be news to some is just how damn hard it is.

I decided to sign up for Natalie’s 10 day blog challenge as a way to help clarify my thoughts, to focus on not just what needs to be done, but to what needs to be done first. Grow our brand, re-design this website, pitch even more articles out to the universe? The choices are many and varied, and all time consuming. Finding the focus to prioritize some of the choices is first up on my list.

With constant inspiration swirling around us, it’s easy to get swept up into the enthusiasm of building an extraordinary life, less easy to determine the steps in a somewhat practical order.

I am confident this next 10 days will put a few of those swirling thoughts, the ones that wake me at 4am with a new idea, into perspective.

The next couple of months are going to be a challenging, and rewarding time, as we switch up countries, and settle in for some intense work~ both on our business, and further improving a healthy lifestyle. Hope you follow along to see where this path to the ultimate freedom brings us!

The Ties that Bind

We miss our people, our tribe. Especially now, during in what is low season in central Mexico (although why that is I am baffled), among empty campgrounds, we are missing those we love. With no new overlanders to connect with, our thoughts turn, even more, to friends back home.

DSC00779_edited-1

Continue reading

Whats Next?

Our time in Puerto Vallarta is quickly coming to an end. As ever, I am a bit in awe of just how quickly time can pass us by. Three months. It sounds like such a long time to spend in a city that we have only granted one week stays in the past. Time flys by in a heartbeat. The big question now is … Whats Next?

DSC00531_edited-1-1

Continue reading

What I’ve Learned in 120 Days on the Road

Time, that most fairydust of qualities, tends to fly or drag; all dependent, upon your inner happiness. I remember with startling vividness the endless, mind-numbing hours spent watching the clock from the inside of my cubicle. Willing those last hours and minutes to go faster. Just as I have tried to slow down time throughout my life; on vacations, amazing nights out, those great moments in time you never wanted to end. What I’ve learned in 120+ days on the road is that time, once the enemy, now a friend, still can fly by in an instant.

DSC00512_4361

Continue reading

Coming Home

We are, of course, always “home”. When you live in a tiny house on wheels, home is, literally, wherever you park it. However, among all of the amazing places we have visited around the world, Puerto Vallarta is our most often visited, and one place we really feel like we are coming home to.

Well, I’m going home, back to the place where I belong
And where your love has always been enough for me
I’m not running from, no, I think you got me all wrong
I don’t regret this life I chose for me
But these places and these faces are getting old
So I’m going home, well I’m going home

Chris Daughtry – Home

DSC00479_4329

 

Continue reading

The Reality

Yesterday someone commented on a blog post I did, telling me, in effect, that I was a whiner. I spammed his comment, not even bothering to engage in any sort of dialogue with such nonsense,  but it was actually a perfect setup for this post, which I’ve had in mind for sometime. The fact of the matter is, life on the road is just that. LIFE. There are good days and bad days and cranky days and ecstatic days. As we have gone along we have shared so many stories of wonderful times and pictures of magical beaches and exciting adventures. While all we’ve shared is absolutely accurate, there is another side to overlanding…. the other reality.

DSC00433_4184

Continue reading