Time for a little exercise.
Close your eyes (now open them, read the next word).
TRAVEL (now close them again).
What is the picture that you see in your mind?
For me, that picture changes daily. There are about a thousand different scenarios I see. I’m going to give you my top five, for today. This list is in order from least ideal to most, with weekend and week-long trips not even included. Not that I don’t value these shorter trips but with the expectation that wherever we find ourselves, these will be the types of trips that we’ll find a way to continue as long as we live.
5. One Month-long
With Corporate America being what it is, this seems like the most achievable type of travel at this point. Nate’s job is currently such that we will be pushing it to be able to take a month at a time. With this month, we plan to find cheap airfare and cheap lodging to make it worth the shorter time period. Also, we plan on choosing places where we can quickly fit into the local lifestyle and have different day/weekend trips planned in the surrounding areas.
4. Summer/Three month-long
The idea of this trip is that we could work it around school for the kids and possibly Nate’s job. Long-term travel can really complicate things if we decide that we want to keep our kids going with traditional education. This trip would look very similar to the one month-long trip, just with a more extended time to feel immersion into the culture and more time for exploring around. One problem is, living in Idaho, we live for the summer! Each year we survive the cold winter to be able to enjoy our Idaho summers. It would be hard to miss our whole summer each year and come home just in time for the kids to go back to school. With Nate’s job as it is, this trip might only be possible if Nate flies with us but then heads back after a week or two. I would finish out the trip by myself with the three kids. It would be harder but worth it, to be able to give our kids the international experiences we want for them.
3. One year, round-the-world
This was the first idea. We quickly saw the flaws and yet, it still seems so appealing. The idea is that we would visit as many places as we could fit into the year. Traveling as inexpensively as we could, making it possible to live off of the money we would be making while traveling. That way, we wouldn’t have to drain our savings and come back with nothing left to live off of. The plan is to travel to different regions around the world, make a home base and explore the surrounding area, then move on to the next.
2. Transplant to a new country
Nate is constantly looking at and applying to jobs overseas. He works at making connections on-line with people and businesses that could lead to a job. Since we love the idea of immersing ourselves into new cultures, this would be a perfect way to work, live and play with the locals. The visa situation gets trickier when talking about living and working in one country long-term. Since we are summer people, Nate usually focuses on warmer places. The places we look into usually have weaker economies, with lower wages. That also means lower living expenses. We might be able to live just as well, if not better, but we also might not be putting away as much into savings and retirement.
This is the most exciting picture. We would be location independent. We would have figured out that whole pesky income thing and be making what we need to live off of and still have enough to put away for the future. We would have complete freedom to live where we want for as long as we want. Just because of who we are, we would live economically, utilizing a combination of renting, airbnb, housesitting, and workaway, with the occasional splurge on a low-cost hotel. We would give ourselves “homebases” in different parts of the world and explore the areas around for as long as we felt the desire (1 week-1 year). Then move on until we, either find the place that we fall in love with and can’t bring ourselves to leave or get tired of traveling (hahahaha, but maybe it could happen).
The specifics of these trips vary from day to day but the general idea remains the same. While we wait for the right time and the right opportunity to come along, I enjoy planning these trips. I love spending time doing the research. I research everything; apartments, transportation, things to do, visas, history of different countries/areas, and peoples’ experiences living in different countries. I am going to put together the research and post different planned trips in the hopes that someone might be able to use my research to facilitate their own trip or lifestyle.
In return, I have some homework for you. I want you to write out your own top five travel scenarios. Make them realistic and attainable but don’t be afraid to push your limits. Even if you’re already traveling, I think we all still have some things that we haven’t done yet, that we want to do. Write them down and share them, either in the comments below, with a friend or family member, even in a journal. Put it out there. The first step to making something happen is by formalizing the idea and making it known. Then you can know what it is that you’re working towards. Lastly, don’t be afraid to travel outside the box.