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.

A Perfect Day

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 3

As I listened to Natalie describe today’s challenge, I felt a surge of excitement. I, too, have often spent time focusing on my perfect day. Even more exciting is the fact that, in large part, these last nine months have been pretty darn close to perfect!

It’s no new news to any of our consistent readers to hear my perfect day always begins by waking up seeing Jim’s smiling face, and Aspen’s even bigger smile, as she anticipates the day ahead. While my sweet husband is by no means a morning person, my enthusiastic labrador is, and I have often remarked that we should all face each day with her level of joy.

Next up, a long walk, coffee travelers in hand. My coffee has a touch of kahlua and cream or baileys. Jim sticks to mere sugar. Aspen, in no need of any stimulant, has had to do with mere kibble and rice or veggies for breakfast. This perfect morning walk is always near water. The beach is my number one spot, although a walk along a serene lake or pristine stream will do in a pinch.

We meander along, Aspen sniffing and marking, Jim and I discussing the day ahead, and simply enjoying the birds chirping as the day comes alive around us.

What else could be next but yoga? Although I have dabbled in the practice off and on for years, only in the last five months have I become a full-on convert. I am thrilled that Jim has joined me these last two months, gaining strength and flexibility. Regardless of the mood, a morning dose of yoga puts me in the right frame of mind to face any challenges the day may bring.

Breakfast. Essential for the day. My perfect breakfast is a fantasy, the dream that I could, every day, be transported to La Palapa restaurant on the beach in Puerto Vallarta. There I would indulge in their daily rotation of smoothies, their  freshly baked pastries, their stunning eggs benedict or jaw droppingly good chilaquiles verde. When not indulging in this fantasy land, breakfast is, in reality, most likely yogurt and fruit or an occasional bacon sandwich. My tastebuds are in overdrive, and my mouth is watering just typing out these delightful options.

Properly primed, it’s time for work. Three to four hours of good, concentrated work. This may entail a writing assignment, pitching new editors, or even documenting our days on our travel blog. Perhaps working with Jim on a new campaign for our Amazon products, or a new opt-in offer. The creative juices flow as we discuss our brand; what is going right, what can be improved upon, but all focused towards our business goals for a life nomadic.

By this time, Aspen is needing attention. A bit of fetch is HER perfect day, and then an alfresco lunch is enjoyed by all. Generally easy; a bit of leftovers or a simple sandwich, this break is a necessary spoke in the wheel, giving me the energy to face the afternoon with gusto.

After a nice long break, the afternoon can vary. Some days, more work is on the agenda. However, the afternoon might involve a long hike in the mountains, other days a foot massage on the beach while enjoying a bucket of beer. Maybe climbing some ancient ruins. These choices are, in itself, exactly the point. The entire freedom plan is about creating days that may be extremely diverse from the last, and yet all perfect in their own way.

Late afternoon reverts back to a norm. Another long walk with Aspen, a sundowner- these days most often a gin & tonic, and dinner discussion. Yes, it is widely apparent that food is a driving force in my perfect day!

Evenings are most often our time. I am not big on parties, late nights, or loud music. One perfect evening is cards by lamplight, while drinking rum. Or an evening spent cuddling on the camper sofa, Aspen snoring softly beside me, as we drink wine and watch a movie. Perhaps time spent simply sitting under the stars and standing in awe of mother nature and the night skies.

A bit of reading, a bit more rum. perhaps some chocolate thrown in. My perfect day is obvious. It involves my husband, my labrador, and time spent in the outdoors. It is about good food and good drink and good times with friends and family around a campfire.

Day 3 of this freedom plan challenge is about the ability to visualize the life you WANT. I sit here, feeling incredibly blessed, to be well on my way to having that visualization be the life I already LIVE.

The Why?

“This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 2]”

The Why? In the end, in the search for a better way, a better plan, a better LIFE. Isn’t the why a necessary question? It is simple to say I want more money, or I want more time, or I want more stuff. But until you determine why it is impossible to determine the best path to take to achieve those goals.

On this, day 2 of Natalie’s Freedom Plan Blog Challenge, she asks us to answer a question that should, ideally, elicit a quick response. After all, if striving for something in particular, it seems as though the answer to why you are seeking that path should come easily.

However, I suspect this is not the reality for many. I, personally, know a great many people  who are dissatisfied; with their jobs, their cars, their houses, their spouse. You name it, they are always wanting something else, something more, convinced the grass is always greener. And, in some of these cases, it may be.

But in a consumer based society, so many of these wants don’t bring happiness and inner peace. That bigger house just means you’ll become accustomed to the size and feel you need something even larger. That tv, that you loved so much last week, will be replaced by something better. Expecting to find happiness from always wanting more, without answering the why, is ever elusive.

My answer to Natalie’s question today is this; I want to live the freedom lifestyle for just that- the freedom. I am not looking to follow an endless summer, or become a beach bum. In fact, I have worked more real hours since we hit the road full-time (and by this I mean not the endless, dragging hours spent pretending to work in my cubicle while sneaking looks at facebook or emailing my friends) than I have in years.

Today is a Sunday. I wrote two articles this morning, did some social networking, edited some pictures, and am now writing this response to the Freedom Plan challenge. Next I will pitch still more work. I did more yesterday. My weeks no longer consist of particular days of the week (just ask my BFF Ron who regularly receives emails from me saying “happy XXXX” while stating the wrong day of the week!) I no longer “live for the weekend” because I have no weekend.

But this freedom also means that this morning I spent an hour wandering a country road with my husband, my dog, and a good traveler of coffee. It means that on Wednesday we will leave camp to go and tour the 2000 year old ruins at Monte Alban, and on Thursday we will join in a multi-hour preparation of Chiles en Nogades with friends in celebration of Mexico’s Grito, or Independence day.

Freedom is choosing to leave Friday for points south. Or not. THIS is my why, The freedom to choose to live my days on my terms.


The Freedom Plan

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