I have a new obsession. I can not stop reading travel blogs. These are not blogs that give advice for the occasional traveler who takes a week’s vacation once or twice a year. These are the stories of individuals and families who are planning to or who are currently traveling full time as a lifestyle. I am finding their journeys fascinating. Almost a year ago I learned about the Zapp family from Argentina who set out to travel by car to Alaska. http://www.argentinaalaska.com/blog/We-are I was intrigued and began reading their book so I could learn about their experiences. I thought I had probably come across the only couple crazy enough to travel with kids full time. I was wrong. Earlier this year, I discovered a blog written by an Irish man traveling the world without flying. http://www.ndoherty.com/ Travel without flying works for me, since I am not much for airplanes and I relate to this guy’s perspective of the world. After reading his blog for a few months, I began searching for blogs of families who are traveling full time. I have been especially interested in the Mussler family at http://www.greatfamilyescape.com/ who are in the process of transitioning from a traditional family life style, complete with 9-5 jobs, daycare, mortgage, etc., to a full time travel lifestyle. I have come across many other eye opening blogs on this topic in the last few weeks and it has my wheels turning.
I love travel. Some of my happiest memories are of exploring new places and cultures. I love learning new things, experiencing different foods and music and focusing on the moment rather than the laundry. I have been trying to determine what it is about travel that makes me feel happier than I do in real life. I have found that most of these traveling individuals and families have gone through changes in thought and action before beginning their journeys. There is an effort to simplify by decreasing debt and possessions. There is a focus on doing rather than on collecting. This resonates with me. We have too many things. Too many toys. Too many clothes. Too much stuff. Most days I am spinning my wheels trying to maintain some sort of order. Most days I fail. Instead of playing with my children, I am picking up toys. Instead of taking a walk, I am folding mountains of laundry. Most of the people I have been reading about have learned to live with less. Fewer things means more time for experiences. I think this is one element of travel that really appeals to me.
I have long known that many of the things I have acquired over the years are useless. I want to retrain my brain to focus on what I truly need. Clothing is a great example of something that needs a shift in my mind. Clothing should simply be used to cover us or protect us from the elements. Clothing can easily become something that we use to define ourselves or to measure our worth. I know I could survive with a fraction of the clothing I now own. However, I am often governed by what modern society has been telling me for as long as I can remember. I have been trained to view clothing as a necessary means for success, when what I know to be true is that clothing does not matter at all. These are the things that are running through my mind as I read these travel blogs. I want to simplify.
I fantasize daily about following in the footsteps of these travelers. I want to see the world or at least more of my little part of it. I want to experience nature and people with my children. I want to stop screaming, “Get in the car!!!” every morning as I try (and fail) to adhere to the schedules dictated by school, work and other necessary activities of a location dependent life style. I want to say cheerfully, “Get in the car!” and have my children know that when they do, they are off to explore, to experience, to connect.
Traveling full time will remain a fantasy for now. While I move toward my fantasy life, I can bring about some changes to make the way I am living now look more like the life I am envisioning. I can consume less and experience more. I can dedicate time to things I am passionate about in the hopes it may lead to location independent income in the future. I can continue to have enriching experiences with my children close to home. I can learn from the people who are living the life I am dreaming about. I can make small changes every day. I can transform my thoughts and actions into ones that focus on living the life I choose instead of the life modern society dictates. I am so looking forward to reading more about the journeys of others as I continue on my own journey to learn and experience as much as I can of this amazing world..
- Crested Butte, Colorado in March 2012
- Embracing the rain