Put Up Or Shut Up

It’s time to stop wishing we were free, and finally make it happen.

Sailing Away

For over 10 years now our family has been dreaming of being location independent. Long before we even heard that term, being able to live where we want, move when we want and make a comfortable living while we travel has been at the core of our dreams.

Before I met my wife Kelly, I had done some traveling, of course, being in the Navy does tend to help with that. Even though I spent over 4 years in the Navy I spent exactly 7 days on a ship, and that was sailing around in circles off the California coast near San Diego. I did, however, get to spend some time in Antarctica which was the travel highlight of my service.

Growing up my dad liked to vacation in Hawaii and we would spend a week or two there each summer. That really founded my love for travel. As an adventure junkie, I have an innate desire to travel and to seek out new experiences.

Since Kelly has the same wanderlust that I do, we both really look forward to the time we can travel with our kids. We want to show them that there is so much more to the world than our little town or even the region we live in. There are beautiful people to meet and wonderous sights to see, not to mention all the great food we will get to sample as we move to each new location.

In the last 15 years we have tried a number of different means of earning an income that would support a life of travel.

I started out as a helicopter pilot and instructor when I got out of the Navy. While that sounds exciting and glamerous, it really turned out to be a risky job with a great view that doesn’t pay all that well.

We were introduced to the Multi Level Marketing world and dreamed of making it big so that we could afford to travel. Unfortunately, we followed bad financial advice and not only did we not make the money that we needed to travel, we ended up putting a bunch of expenses on credit cards. So what we had hoped to be a means to freedom only served to anchor us more tightly to the day job so we could service the debt we had built up.

I’ve had a number of hobbies that we considered turning into a side income. Things like bladesmithing custom made knives, making traditional archery equipment, and being a photographer. In fact, some pocket knives like this Mini Katana can come in handy when you’re out in the field capturing stunning photographs or practicing your archery skills. So, whether you’re crafting custom knives, perfecting your archery gear, or exploring your passion for photography, having versatile tools like the Mini Katana in your arsenal can elevate your hobby and potentially turn it into a rewarding side hustle. The only one of those that ever generated any significant income was the photography. Much like the flying, I found that I am much more creative and enjoy the activity when it isn’t on someone else’s schedule. When it was our plan of escape, the task quickly lost its appeal and became a “job”.

I tell you all of this to convey the idea that we have been actively searching for a means to travel for over a decade now and to this point have been unsuccessful.

That is no longer going to be the case. We have decided that it is time to stop playing around and get serious about finding our freedom. Our kids are getting older and we want to start travelling before they get to the point where they would rather just stay where we are and spend time with their friends instead of with their family.

In order to make all of this happen, we have a few big roadblocks that we have to find a way over, under, around or blast through.

The four big roadblocks are debt, mobile income, possessions and mindset.

By eliminating our consumer debt, we won’t have as large a demand on our income in order to make a comfortable living.

In order to travel for more than a few weeks or months at a time, we will have to come up with at least one way to make money that is not dependent on us being tied to a single location. We are planning on diversifying our income so that we can have some active and some passive income sources.

In order to be truly mobile, we cannot take a house full of stuff with us. We will be eliminating most of the stuff that won’t fit into our backpacks and suitcases. Since we plan on traveling for more than just a few months, it doesn’t make any sense to pay for storage for all of our furniture (which isn’t all that great) and other trinkets that just don’t have any real meaning for us. So by selling our big items and donating the rest, we can help fund our travel account and we can help some people that are having a hard time.

Finally, everything else will be a waste of time and energy if we cannot cultivate a positive, flexible, adaptable, travelers’ mindset. Without it, we would quickly become miserable, start missing our ‘old life’ and end up giving up on the travel idea prematurely.

We have plans on how to overcome each of these obstacles that we will be implementing and sharing with you. Because we want to be an example of what it takes to reclaim your freedom, we will be showing you what works for us, and just as important, what doesn’t work. We’ll share the good, the bad and even the ugly. We expect to have ups and downs. You’ll hear about our wins, and you may even see an occasional rant if things are particularly tough one week.

Most of all, we just want to be real. We’ve had enough of the Pollyanna crap that so many are selling these days. This is where reality smacks you straight in the face and tells you to get on with life even when things are not going your way.

We are calling this our Year To Freedom project. (While it may take us a little over a year to be at a place where we are ready to travel, Year To Freedom sounds a lot better than 17 Months Until We Are Ready To Travel, doesn’t it?)

If this sounds interesting to you, or even just entertaining, then be sure to join our email list as we’ll be sharing extra details in the weekly emails that announce each week’s new post.

If you want to join us in this project and start our own Year To Freedom be sure to let us know in the comments so we can cheer you on as you make your dreams come true.

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