Hey there, if you’re new I am going to be publishing a monthly series where I document our journey to this years One Goal. The goal: to take a Mini Retirement where we take 4 months off of work to travel internationally and permanently move to a new state. The launch date of this adventure is October 1, 2017. This is our first time going through the process of planning a mini retirement. By the end of this series I hope to have a tried and true checklist to go by for all our future mini retirements. Wish us luck and follow along on the journey.
This year all I really need to focus on is getting from here to that mini retirement. A major component of the mini retirement is going to be travel. I want to take an international trip for 2 months. Visiting Ecuador and El Salvador. Before that we are going to take a 3 week road trip across the U.S starting in California. At the end, we are planning to take a month to settle in to our new home state of Michigan. All in all, I need to prepare our family for 4 months of unusual living.
Of course to get this one goal accomplished there are a lot of other tasks I need to tick off. But, that is my focus. The question this year is: Is this helping me plan my trip? (Is this getting us ready for our Mini retirement?)
Time is ticking fast and some of you may have noticed the count down clock I added.
Yearly goals are a thing for me. They have been since I got pregnant with my son in college. I really do attribute my success in finishing school, after having a kid, to the focus that goal setting gives me.
Back then I used to do it every semester, but now I set yearly goals. I have a tendency to over do it, but this year I am not. This year I have ONE goal.
Usually I separate goals into categories: family, money, work, travel. Then I choose 3 or 4 or more for each category. ( If you don’t believe me, check out my goals for 2015) This year just ONE.
This past year I decided to try something new. I had read that I could be more focused if I just chose one goal and really bore down on it for a whole month. It sounded interesting and logical. It sounded like I would get more, deeper work done.
I’ve wanted to travel the world for a long time. Now, I am finally taking steps to make that a reality. I am very excited about next year’s 3 month adventure. But I remember when I was in high school and learned about this wonderful thing.
A speaker came to my high school, and informed me that I could go to school, work on my degree. Then a year or two later, take time to go to a different country and visit, all while continuing to work on my degree. Say what? That is amazing! I was sold! And I have to admit that it was one of the main reasons why I wanted to go to university.
But life happened, and I never got the chance to live out that dream. So I never research how to even fund it.
Still, travel and the lure of exploring other cultures never left me. Now I’m here with 2 kids and a husband planning an international trip.
Still I know there are lots of people out there who still have a chance to study abroad. So today we have a guest post from Andrew of ScholarshipFly.com. Andrew’s site is a great resource for anyone wanting or needing scholarship information. Study abroad or just normal school funding.
Mr. Roamer made a beautiful desktop background of our recent California road trip. I look at it and remember.
Oh yeah, I still haven’t told you how it went.
So today lets talk travel & family.
If you haven’t heard. We are moving to Michigan in about 1 year. This caused us to rethink our yearly vacations. We decided to cancel our Michigan trip, in favor of checking out California. It’s funny how that works. We’ve lived here for over 5 years and have only seen a few places. Opting instead to fly out of the state during our time off.
Not jump on a plane, gone for a week living in a hotel travel. I want sell-all-your-stuff don’t know when I’ll be back, kind of travel. Reading about nomadic families seeing the world makes my heart burst. Mouth water, tingly all over.
But lets face it. Or I guess I should say not “lets” but “I”. I need to face it… Mr. and I just have different temperaments. Along with different upbringings. Non-stop travel is a super hard sell. For more reasons then you can even imagine.
As a young adult in college hearing about a family’s need to take yearly vacations was odd. Hearing about yearly cruises or trips to Disney world didn’t make me think of the middle class. The people who spoke this way were surely raised in an upper class life style.
Growing up our family took some vacations but they were not a yearly occurrence and we weren’t jetting off to far off places. Actually they were few and far between and mostly involved camping.
We like to go on vacation. In that sense we are just like the average american. But googling “average american vacation budget” tells me that the average american spends way more then we do on vacation. What’s up with that?
This post is part of my 30 day writing challenge. Each week I will be focusing on one topic. This week I have chosen to focus on travel. If travel is your thing don’t forget to come back everyday until Monday when I choose my new topic for the week.
There are lots of costs associated with travel the plane tickets, food, knickknacks, activities. Oh yeah and accommodations.
Becoming a new parent is filled with changes in how you live your life. There are things that will become more challenging, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do them anymore.
Traveling is one of those things. You’ll hear or see a lot of advice that recommends you get your traveling desires out before having kids. After you have kids you can kiss it all good bye. It will be just too inconvenient.
Some of us didn’t get the memo early enough to do that. While others of us actually want our kids to experience travel.
So much good this week, but don’t worry I still have a pain to complain about.
Minnie Roamer is not resting during her standard nap time. She does once in a while but is now predominantly taking her siesta during our drive to work and to see papa Roamer. So instead of resting at 1 pm at home. She is resting at 3 in the car. This is a real pain because that time was usually used to spend 1 on 1 time with Jr. Roamer while he’s in summer vacation. But during his school time. I could use the time to rest, work on ZTL hw., a blog post, and even read. But that only works if I’m not behind the wheel of a car. She is only 2 and too young to be abstaining from siestas. But driving siestas don’t give me any time to unwind or dedicate time to Jr. My drive in to work is just not ideal timing. 🙁 so much more potential at 1 pm. We are still trying to get her down by 1 but I guess we’ll see how it goes.
Any parent out there I’m sure can give me a darn right! when I say children siestas are a calming oasis of time in a parent’s hectic daily schedule.
So I am crossing my fingers to still have their rejuvenating presence during an opportune time in my day.
Lots of Gains this week I’m just going to list them out in no particular order and then go into more detail about some.
Some of the fun this week included:
Mr. And I attended a wedding and it was great fun. Can you say Dancing!
Got my hand on a sowing machine.
Items in balcony cleaned out.
Mr Roamer and I had a heart to heart. Which is such a valuable experiences.
Found 1 roommate for FinCon but we are still looking to split more ways.
Went on a beach adventure. For mostly free 🙂
So I know I complain about my job, alot. To be fair its not just my companies fault really its just not a good fit for me.
So even though I am counting the days until I cut that cord(noose) I do have to acknowledge the good too. Like the fact that over my time there I have been able to build some relationships that have allowed me to do some stuff. Stuff like flex time. I am 2nd shift but I have on multiple occasions been able to simply bring up the need for a different set of hrs and I am told to proceed. No red tape, no hoops. It does provide some slight semblance to freedom. This freedom is what made it possible to attend the wedding mentioned earlier. Because it was schedule during the weekdays. No need to take vacation just shift schedule hrs and bam!
I’m really glad too about being able to go. Weddings are a very special occasion for the couple but I also find its a great time to hold hands with Mr.Roamer and for us to renew our vows. Simply by looking each other in the eyes and nodding along with recognition at the word of love being shared.
I think that experience help set a tempo to have our heart to heart over the weekend and even though that’s personal so I won’t go into too much detail. What I can say is that it’s moments like that, that show me how we are still building our relationship to each other. That is a great thing! I hope that you also are placing high value in building better, stronger and more fruitful relationships.
Finally to wrap the week up we made sure to have an adventure with some free train passes that were about to expire. This is a personal finance blog so I will tell you the adventure wasn’t totally free. You see we had 2 free passes but we are after all a family of 4 so we did have to pay for 1 more pass (Minnie was still free thankfully).
Then we also paid for some ice cream. We arrived early to Oceanside and headed to the beach from the station. We spent the majority of the day at the beach and dutifully packed snacks and lunch to have at the beach. But we decided that we would pack up early in search of a treat and so we did. We were so caught up in the present that I completely forgot to take pictures on the beach. But let’s be honest that’s actually a good thing.
Though it wasn’t free entertainment I’m still very pleased. Had we not gotten those free train passes I don’t think we would have taken this adventure. I hope the novelty of it is something the kids will remember. 🙂 money well spent in my mind.
Honestly I don’t know how much we spent for the entire day trip but I can tell you the 1 pass was $10. And the train was over an hour and a half long. It was a full day. Total for the day we spent on the 1 pass, 3 ice cream cones and dinner. I’d guess about $40 for the whole day. For all you financial types.
So I have more pictures this week because I went out more during the week so I couldn’t just stay in my lounge ware until work.
Also you can see what I wore to the wedding! It turn out to be a blazing hot day and so I didn’t get to complete my outfit until late, late in the evening. It’s a purple sweater even though it looks blue here.
So like I think I said last week I’m looking forward to hitting the end of the month and changing my rotation along with getting rid of a few more items. I want to reduce my over 200 clothing items by half and then see if I can take it down even more.
Why? Well I want to travel. The more I think the more I keep coming back to that. And I mean like 1 year non stop. For that I am going to have to learn to function on much less clothing. Just enough to fit in a backpack. So that is my goal with this experiment. To have fun, explore my creativity through my style, and challenge myself to cut, cut and cut out the excess. On my way to that I enjoy reading about people who are on the completely other side of the spectrum. They serve as inspiration and a reality check. I mean if this guy or this girl can live on just 1 outfit for a whole year I can surely cut down to less. Check out one such article here.