Because most of us have a mortgage/rent, a job, obligations, debt to pay, lessons to attend, kids in school, retirement to save for, (grand)parents we don’t want to leave. Myriads of real & perceived reasons.
Let’s be honest….. most of us aren’t content with our lives, continually running on a treadmill we wish we could get off of. We didn’t expect that this (the house, the bills, the job we don’t enjoy) was what life was all about. We didn’t sign up for this.
We, too, had the house full of stuff, the kids in lessons, running a business, etc. But we had read about families who had given it all up for a dream. A dream they made come true. Then we began to question…..
Why not us?
Could we make it happen for us, the Johnsons…..the ones with all those kids. We were inspired by long term travellers like The Vagabond Family, The Vogels Family on Bikes, or Gabi and her Nomadic Family. But we had only read about a few large families who traveled long term, like the Dennings, & so there wasn’t much for personal inspiration by example. And we were still bigger than those families. Was it not realistic? Too costly? Difficult dynamics? But that didn’t mean we couldn’t do it. At least give it a try.
We had already experienced giving up a house and its contents several times which had shown us that we could do without all our stuff (and its more-than-easy to collect stuff again even when you’re not trying to). Although difficult for some of the kids, they were willing to give up their precious lessons for an adventure for our large family to travel. Everette found a part-time employee to carry on his business, and when we drastically cut our expenses we found we didn’t need the business to earn as much as it had when it employed only Everette.
Honestly, living in Canada was becoming too expensive for us to provide for our large family. Like you, we have found food prices continually rising over the past few years and with our large family grocery bills were our biggest monthly expense. Fuel prices are rising, and Everette’s business didn’t allow for us to be without our one vehicle. We did very little outside of the home that incurred expenses (that school didn’t pay for i.e. lessons, museum passes, etc) and we didn’t know how to cut our living expenses further while still providing acceptable living conditions for our family. We lived modestly in a 3 bedroom house about 2400 sq ft for 11 of us and started growing our own garden. Traveling was always a dream, exploring the world particularly where the sun shone in an exposed blue sky. To discover that it could actually be cheaper than living back home with a job to go to seemed unbelievable. But that’s what people kept writing/saying.
But was it true?
Then my sister and her hubby moved to Ecuador, and she lived it…..the cheaper life but with a higher standard of living than she had in Canada. She told me the specifics of fees for public transit, a typical restaurant meal, home delivered lunches, groceries, rent of furnished condos or houses on acreage, internet and cell phones.
It was true.
It was cheaper…..w-a-y cheaper. And at the same time it was an adventure, an education about the rest of the world (or at least for them a new spot on the globe i.e. Ecuador). What my sister had to say supported what strangers had written on the web. Maybe they were telling the truth.
With some trepidation but mostly excitement we decided to give it a try ourselves. Take a Leap! And we are SOOO glad we did. That’s 9 months ago (at time of posting) and we have no plans to quit. We enjoy the adventure, the education, the expansion in our world view. We enjoy the simplicity, the time together, and our personal development. We have some things to work on in the financial arena, some way of developing various streams of income. At present we pay our way from our business in Canada, and our businesses, A Crazy Wrap and NomadicCards. The kids earn some spending money by providing pet care services here and there or selling their art. The various ways we earn will increase as our experience grows and we see more opportunity with our eyes open.