What was the first country you visited? Who with and why did you choose it?
I hate to admit this, but I've only been to two countries. The USA and Canada. Canada was easy because it was a 6 hour drive from where I lived and at the time you didn't need a passport to go over the boarder. The conversation rate was really awesome then, so I took my daughter up there for a week's vacation to Victoria, BC. This was many years before Drew and I met or else he would have gone with us.
When did you start a travel lifestyle? What inspired that change?
In a way, I was born into a travel lifestyle. My mom was a hippy and my dad was a biker/hippy. My dad gutted an old school bus he put a bedroom and kitchen into. We traveled around the US in that bus going to different hippy festivals, like the Rainbow Family Gathering.
When my mom left my dad, we moved to Hawaii. We spent a year in the Hawaiian Islands traveling through Maui, Kauai, and Oahu. Sometimes we lived in a house and other times we camped.
Back in Northern California, we lived all over Sonoma County in the small towns of Monte Rio, Jenner, Bodega Bay, and Forestville. I lived in more than a dozen different places in California before I graduated high school. Then I lived in half a dozen more before I moved to Oregon.
Because we moved around so much, I always thought I just wanted to settle down and stay in one place. We bought a house a little over 3 years ago and I realized it wasn't what I wanted at all. My desire to keep moving didn't go away. Instead, it kept getting stronger until I couldn't stand it anymore. I guess once travel is in your blood it never leaves you.
I approached Drew at the end of last year about wanting to sell everything and leave to travel the world. Luckily, he quickly got on board with me. Now we spend all of our time working towards being able to travel continuously.
Do you have a base you travel from? Or is it continuous travel? And why do you choose that style?
For now, we have a home base in Portland, OR. We are in the process of paying off our debt, selling all of our possessions, including our house, and saving to travel the world. Once, we do that we will travel continuously around the world.
How do you fund your travel lifestyle? Is it something you do when travelling or are you a saver?
A little of both. For now, Drew and I both work full time. He also picks up as much side work as possible and I write freelance articles on the side for extra income. We save money towards our travels, but we also work with travel businesses while we travel. Once we are traveling full time, it will be a combination of our savings, freelance, and continuing to work with travel businesses.
Another way we fund our travels is through airline miles. We put every bill and purchase through our airline cards to earn more miles. Every dollar is worth 1-50 miles depending on what the purchase is. We've already earned 5 round trip tickets doing this and are almost halfway towards our 6th trip. It saves us a lot of money being able to use miles to get our airline tickets.
If you could tell yourself one tip before you started your travel lifestyle, what would it be?
Just say yes. You'll figure out the rest later.
And don't go into debt. We'd already be traveling full time is we hadn't gone into debt.
What does 'Living The Dream' mean to you?
To me, 'Living The Dream' is about living my dream; not the dream of someone else. In the US, we are taught from a very young age that we must grow up to achieve the American Dream of going to college, getting a job, taking two weeks of vacation per year, getting married, buying a house, and having children. I did everything a bit off being a teenage mother, but I still put myself through college, got the job, went on those two vacations, and bought a house.
When Drew and I got married, I should have been 'Living The Dream', but I wasn't. I realized I was living someone else's dream. It didn't make me happy and all I had to show for it was a big mountain of debt. What I really wanted was to walk away from everything I'd worked towards to go travel the world. I wanted to learn about new cultures and experience new ways of life. Once we quit out 9-5 jobs, sell our house, and leave to travel the world, then I will be 'Living The Dream'. My dream.