What was the first country you visited? Who with and why did you choose it?
The first country I ever visited was Mexico. My aunt and I went to visit missionary friends who ran a home for boys. Looking back my aunt still shakes her head that she brought her 16-year-old niece to a ranch filled with boys, including some very cute 16- year-old boys, but the trip changed my life. It showed me a different way of living in a different part of the world. It made me want more.
When did you start a travel lifestyle? What inspired that change?
I guess you could say that my travel lifestyle has slowly evolved over the years. One trip would lead to another and it would never be enough. That trip to Mexico when I was 16 really set things in motion. Before that I had mainly traveled the east coast of the United States. My family didn't have much money, but my parents always got us outside exploring, climbing mountains and seeing things around our city. As opportunities arose I would jump at the chance to travel abroad. At 17 I went on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic, and then at 18 I went to Moldova with a government-sponsored exchange program. College slowed my travels down a bit, but I was able to go to France and Italy to study art for a few weeks. Once I got married we didn't travel too much because of financial reasons, and my husband and I were both building our careers. Once my job started sending me to Asia I caught the bug again and we have been traveling ever since, even after our boys were born. Actually we travel even more since our kids were born.
Do you have a base you travel from? Or is it continuous travel? And why do you choose that style?
We have a permanent base in Seattle. My husband loves his job, but we also love to travel. I wander off a lot with our two little boys when my husband's projects keep him very busy and in the office for long hours. He has a healthy amount of vacation time, so he is able to join us a few times a year on our adventures. We have the agreement that a few places are off limits when I travel solo with my kids though. For instance Japan is a big no because my husband loves it so much. I'm happy to wait for him. He speaks a lot more Japanese than I do!
How do you fund your travel lifestyle? Is it something you do when travelling or are you a saver?
I am a big time saver. I am also a freelance writer and my husband has a full time job. These three things allow me to book trips that we would like to do, but we have had to pass on a few trips that have come up. The biggest thing I have to remember is that the world isn't going anywhere in the next few years. There will be time to explore at our own pace.
If you could tell yourself one tip before you started your travel lifestyle, what would it be?
Home isn't so bad. There are a lot of things to explore locally when you can't travel internationally. Also, no two travelers are the same. I find myself longing after other travel lifestyles, which in reality aren't what I want or what would work for our family right now. I need to be content and remember I am blessed to do the travels that we do, even when I can't see it all right now.
What does “Living The Dream” mean to you?
Living the Dream means so many things to me. Honestly, being able to be home with my kids when they are young, build the career I always wanted but never knew I could have, and having the flexibility to travel when I want is my dream. I have always been a workaholic, but I started "living the dream" when I put my family first and figured out how to do what I love and be a great mom at the same time.