I’ve always longed to see the world. By my late teens, with a handful of countries under my belt, I knew I wanted more. I never quite had a clear plan of how this would happen, but I was 20ish and considering drifting over to SE Asia to see what happens, when I met this guy and things changed forever. Next thing we knew, it was all house shopping and baby raising and career building. Throughout those years we still managed to see a bit of the world, but we had to sacrifice quite a lot, because every dollar counted.
A bit of a fixer upper…
When we were shopping for our first house, it was tempting to buy a cute little starter home in the city and then save money for our dream home as our incomes progressed. But with travel in mind, we opted for something in the middle: a good house in a good neighbourhood, big enough for a growing family, but, shall we say…in need of some updating.
We had to make some tough choices and have some honest conversations to arrive at the decision to make travel a priority in our lives. We decided to buy one house and stay there forever, we drove cars until they died (and then resurrected them and drove them some more), and I became an expert at thrifty shopping. To this day, my motto is “Save money, go on trips!“
I’m so inspired by other peoples’ travel accomplishments and would love to do the same incredible things they’re doing, but there’s a catch. So many of them seem to travel full-time or have seemingly endless resources. For us, quitting our jobs was never an option. “World schooling“ the children isn’t for us, and we sure weren’t independently wealthy. So, we chose the safe path of stable jobs, planned vacation time, and public school. And sweet, soul-nourishing travel.
The ice cream theory
The reasoning follows Rasho’s ice cream theory: by eating ice cream as part of a healthy, balanced diet – and not as a main food source – you will actually eat MORE ice cream throughout the course of your life, because you’ll live longer (one of us is mad about ice cream, and it’s not him!). Travelling is kind of the same thing. By conservatively seeing the world year by year, little by little, you can build up the rest of your life at the same time, and then, when the time is right, cash it all in and spend your retirement years wherever you like! We certainly can’t see into the future, but if it all goes bust, at least we got the best of both worlds along the way!