I love these two gorgeous ladies, they really are Living The Dream. We first met in Ireland and have met several times since. They have a bubble inside them that is infectious and will help you step out of your self-imposed boundaries and live your dream.
Lisa and Cheryl
What was the first country you visited? Who with and why did you choose it?
For Cheryl: My first travel outside the US was probably one of the Caribbean Islands just a short trip from my home in Florida. With the shorter vacation times typically taken by Americans, it was really the easiest place to escape from work and connectivity. Of course now when I travel I purposely LOOK for connectivity. Go figure!
For Lisa: For me, it was trip to Paris with my mother. She’s a travel agent, so I’d always been around the magical travel posters and wanted to see what it was really like. That trip was amazing and I have to say I fell in love with Paris (and traveling) very hard after that trip. I’m happy to say that hasn’t changed, except for the fact that I’ve fallen in love with so many places since then.
When did you start a travel lifestyle? What inspired that change?
In 2007 we were at a crossroads in life where we really needed to decide if we wanted our jobs to consume our lives or if we wanted to try something more fulfilling. The stress of everyday work life was also starting to affect our health. It really did not take long to determine it was time for a change!
We left our executive careers, sold our home, cars, jet skis, and even motorcycles and set off on what was suppose to be a 6 month trip resetting our priorities. Trading in all that “stuff” for 2 RTW tickets and backpacks was the catalyst for our current nomadic lifestyle. That 6-month trip turned into 2 years on the road before we stepped back on American soil. Now we cannot imagine another way of living and can’t fathom why it took so long to recognize that life is short and you need to live it to the fullest.
Do you have a base you travel from? Or is it continuous travel? And why do you choose that style?
We actually do a little of both. We now have a home base back in Florida where we can get back to visit family and friends occasionally as well as take a break from travel. Most of our friends don’t understand the need to take a break from travel, but long-term travel can get exhausting, especially when you are working on the road.
I think we also feel a little more comfortable in the fact there is a home to get back to. When we first traveled we would do 2 years on the road then head back home for about 3 months or so and stay with friends. While it is great to have such wonderful friends to accept you into their homes, long-term house guests can get uncomfortable for everyone. We decided to get a smaller home back in Florida so we always have a place to return.
How do you fund your travel lifestyle? Is it something you do when travelling or are you a saver?
It is a combination of the two actually. Fortunately we are both able to work full time jobs when we are back in the States. Lisa is a Pharmacist and Cheryl is a Client Implementation Specialist. Even if it is just 3 or 4 months at a time, it allows us to save for most of our travel. Because we prefer slow travel we try to find long-term accommodations, which saves us money. And for the last few years, we’ve been house sitting which has been an extreme money saver for us (and lots of fun, too!)
We also make a little money while traveling, which always helps out. Between having contract jobs and freelance work it is easy to supplement those additional activities you don’t want to miss because you are on such a strict travel budget!
Funding long-term travel has become an art for most everyone giving it a go. We looked at the biggest costs - accommodation and transportation - and just identified the best ways to offset those costs. Between house sitting and credit card reward programs, we have very little expense associated with both of those typically high cost categories.
If you could tell yourself one tip before you started your travel lifestyle, what would it be?
Start sooner! We did not start really traveling until our 40’s. While I really wish we had started earlier, it also never too late to start! I guess for us it worked out nicely though as we were able to get established in careers in such a way that allows us to have flexibility with jobs and the ability to jump back into them upon our periodic return.
Another tip would be not to worry so much about “things” that can happen when you are traveling. It is amazing the amount of sensationalism that goes into most media reports about travel dangers in certain areas, safety concerns, or the level of crime in a particular place. Let common sense (and your own research!) be your guide. We have visited areas of the world that had friends and family concerned, and thankfully for no reason. Now we just don’t announce when we are visiting a “dangerous” place until we are out of the area!
What does "Living The Dream" mean to you?
Our motto from the start of our travels has been “What Boundaries? Live Your Dream!”. It all started with recognizing many of us have boundaries, most self-imposed, that stop you from living a dream. To pursue living the dream, find your dream and break down those boundaries!
To us “Living the Dream” means taking a chance and stepping away from what most people call the norm and pursue your passion.