Turning our DREAMS into reality
From time to time, I like to take the opportunity to reflect on our lives, revisit what got us to this point and how we’ve been blessed with the ability to make it work. But getting there is half of the battle and more time than not, the emails we receive from you, our readers, often include questions like “how did you make the decide on a travel lifestyle?” I attempt to answer that question in this post and share with you some insight into our personal journey.
Being involved with the like-minded family travel community online has helped me create a an authentic connected sense of community offline. Together, we’ve decided to share the means and ways we’ve made our travel dreams come true, from our own words so that the readers across all of our blogs would benefit from our own experiences. At the end of this article, you will find those links and I urge you visit their blogs. Some stories focus on lining up work while traveling. Other articles talk about saving and budgeting. And even other stories focus on the planing and preparation aspects surrounding stuff. All of the personal stories are insightful and hopefully if you are planning your travel adventure, you will find the perfect words to resonate with you.
For us, it’s about inspiration. I talk about inspiration a lot because it’s the single most important aspect to our decision making process. I have learned to trust our inspiration and am guided by it daily.
Living from Inspiration
Inspiration is something we talk about a lot. We have also become more comfortable living from inspiration which translates for us, living in the moment, being present with whatever life offers us and moving through the world with great ease. We hope to inspire you to trust your inspiration and even take your own leap of faith.
How did it all start?
In the case you are new to our blog, I wanted to share with you a little about my background.
As you may or may not know, we began our 8 year adventure in 2009, starting in Central & South America. We gave away all of our possessions and hit the road for a permanent adventure and are slowly traveling around the globe allowing inspiration to be our compass. We have become most interested in exploring cultures, contributing by serving & connecting with humanity as ‘global citizens’. To date, over 2 years into our trip, we have been traveling throughout Central America and currently find ourselves in South America with no stop in sight.
I’ve often been asked, how did a 44 year old single mother, ex- business owner, artist, designer, writer, creative thinker, activist, liberal and dog lover begin exploring the world on an open-ended-around-the-world tour with her now, 12 year old son?
Hmm… I suppose it was the set of life circumstances that got us first listening to our inspiration. In the beginning, the voice was faint, but as the life situations progressed, that voice became louder.
From a professional perspective, I spent roughly the last 20 years working in a creative capacity of some sort. The first half of my career, I worked for a variety of ‘dotcom’, design and ad agencies focusing on consumer brands. During the “dot com” hay-days I worked in as a creative executive in an era of six-figure salaries, enormous expense accounts and no less than fifteen hour work days.
And the dotcom bubble began to burst…
In late 2001 I made a gutsy move: I started my own agency.
I was well liked in the industry and my design work was well respected. The years of client services came with many contacts, all of whom preferred to work with the smaller shops during the market crash. It was a time that relied on relationships and a time of growth. I started a small design agency and specializing on branding for green, eco companies, non-profits and arts organizations. jungle  became one of the first specialty firms known for ‘green’ branding and communications. Building a business from the ground up did come at a cost, however. The cost was the available time I had for my son, still the single most important aspect of my life.
Running a business took a toll on me. Instead of the freedom I sought, I found myself working those 15 hour work days that reflected the craziness of the dot com days past. Now, Miro had grown up with the agency around him and was there in the office with me most of the time, so when I worked I reasoned we were spending time together. But I knew that just wasn’t true.
Always the vocal child, Miro said to me more times than I like to admit, “Mom, you never spend anytime with me. You are always working.” Between his voice and this truth, my heart broke into a million tiny pieces every time I heard these words.
Blessings in Disguise
In 2008, again, the California economy took a turn.
One evening in September of 2008, Miro and I were sitting in the office after everyone had gone. I let out a sigh and looked at him and through my voice of inspiration, I said “I don’t want to do this anymore…” AND I DIDN’T.
My proposition: Get rid of everything, live a simpler life, climb a volcano, plant a garden, live in the jungle, experience new cultures, have an adventure, get the F**K away from this consumerist lifestyle that was draining our lives and get back to what really matters: ENJOYING OUR LIVES!”
Miro looked and me and smiled and said “I’m in!’
..and that was all it took.
And that’s what got the ball rolling. Together we set our commitments, and Miro trusted me, which was necessary to make it happen. Once we made our decision, everything else fell into place.
And it was simple.
The simplicity of letting go guided our process. Simplicity of making up our minds and setting our intentions. There was no resistance, therefore the process, once it started was simple. We continued to be inspired and excited.
The Nuts & Bolts
We stopped what we were doing, committed to it, then went through the process of selling or giving away all of our belongings. Perpetual motion just took over. Really. In other words, everything starts to fall into place once our intention was set. My advice? Trust the process. Trust the flow. Listen to your inspiration. It’s simple when the inspiration comes from inside of you and shared among your family. Trust. Trust that it will work out and guaranteed, it will.
Actually shedding our belongings and material assets was the most liberating aspect to the whole preparation experience. Letting go in the beginning was a slightly difficult, slightly identified with the the fear of the unknown. But soon after we began the process we realized how easy it was to give away or sell our “things” and just how good it felt to go through that process. It was as if shedding each layer released a tiny weight, preventing me from flying somehow, allowing us to take one step closer to towards our journey, and this, we were excited about.
Interestingly enough, just after we had committed to our trip, I would have nightly dreams about getting rid of our things, like a butterfly breaking through it’s cocoon. The feeling of liberation was something I desired deeply and the anticipation of that feeling made the letting go process very natural to us. To witness Miro giving away his toys to his friends and other children, was so heart warming as well, and I felt honored I was able to facilitate his experience of giving and letting go.
I can’t express properly with words how amazing the feeling actually is, there are a dozen analogies I could us, one more visually or emotionally titillating than another, but until you go through the experience of getting rid of it all, it is meaningless. Do it and you’ll feel the exhilaration.
“You can have anything you want, if you want it badly enough. You can be anything you want to be, do anything you set out to accomplish if you hold to that desire with singleness of purpose.”
~ Abraham Lincoln
Again, it’s Inspiration
Inspiration is inside of you. We all have it. Inspiration NEVER lies. Inspiration will never send you a dangerous direction. Inspiration is the only truth you can rely on. The only tip I have for a family of any size or shape who is considering a similar lifestyle, is to learn to listen to your inspiration. Once you’ve come to trust your inspiration, it will be your travel guide. Inspiration will help you experience the world around you and provide a way of sharing the incredible moments together.
Others Turning Travel Dreams into Travel Realities
If you are planning your own adventure with your child(ren), it’s great to read other’s thoughts, backstories and personal experiences to help guide your preparations. And now, read how these other traveling families have realized their dreams:
Livin on the Road – Livin On The Road
Family on Bikes – How we afford long term family travel
Around The World in Easy Ways– Turning Our Travel Dream Into a Reality
The Dropout Diaries – Funding A Dropout
Break out of Bushwick – Prioritizing, taking life by the balls and making my travel dreams come true
World School Adventures – Decide. Commit
And don’t forget to listen to our podcast called A Walk of Inspiration Across 11 Countries- A Pilgrim’s Walk from LA to Brazil. We talk to a man who was inspired to follow a vision, walk from Los Angeles to Brazil, meditating on people’s prayers. This episode is unique because we also talk about inspiration and what it feels like to live an inspired life. I hope you find your inspiration in all of these resources. Love & light to you, our wonderful readers.
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Thanks for sharing
Now THIS is inspiring. I was in tears reading- my daughter has said to me a million times, “Mom, you never spend any time with me; you’re always working.” I wrote about it a bit in my post, too. Heartbreaking, absolutely. I love, love LOVE that you and Miro have felt inspired to change your circumstances. Gives me a lot of hope that I can make it work for my little family, too.u00a0
Lainie this is beautiful.u00a0 Sometimes it is so hard to trust the dream.u00a0 For me I have spent so much energy wishing our house to sell that I was feeling drained.u00a0 I have just in the last few weeks come to peace with whatever comes and it has been like a huge weight lifting off my shoulders.u00a0 When things are out of your hands why waste your energy worrying about them?u00a0 Trusting that everything is as it should be and the universe will provide at the right time is freeing.u00a0 And it frees my mind to live more in the moment.
Inspiration is HUGE! You are so right that it’s what drives us all. So glad you managed to find the inspiration you needed to make the dream happen!
Lanie, as always, you are an inspirations.u00a0 I just love the photo: Give all your shit away and start living!u00a0 Hugs to you and Miro.
Happy to hear that you’ve not only found inspiration, but that you’ve had the courage to follow it. Cheers!
Hey Lainie, your story is amazing, as always. Finding the balance between carefree and responsible is not always easy. Downright scary when you’re a new parent, if you ask me!