Meet the Van Treks
Meet Clark and Monica and their kids Jackson, Emery, and Abby. We’re a family who loves to travel, but travel is but a rudimentary form of adventure. Our goal is to live life deliberately. On this blog we share our family’s travels, write about hack-schooling our kids, and also wrestle with life calling and the balance between work and leisure.
Wake up. The world has changed. Are you living in the
emerging already here world, or are you still living in the old one? The old world was about paying your dues and biding your time on the basis of promised golden years. It doesn’t work that way anymore. Don’t complain; just adapt. The old world wasn’t that good anyway. Who wants to give the best years of their life to a job and then wake up at 65 and wonder where all the time went? In the new world you can write your own ticket, be your own boss, and live on a grand scale, now.
Spend a little time with Clark or Monica and you’ll quickly realize they are big advocates of this idea of patchwork income? What is it? Rather than depending on one source of income, Clark and Monica have several “patches.” Patchwork income provides greater personal freedom because you’re not beholden to one job and greater financial freedom because you’re not dependent on one source of income.
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Most Recent From the Blog:
I’ve been going through binders and binders of stuff I’ve written over the years. Here’s a poem I wrote to my friend Sally the summer after I graduated from high school.read more
10 tips for flying with kids from guest blogger Jessica Kelly.read more
I’m finding all kinds of margin in my life now that we have a home. Here’s one more way I’m spending it.read more
One of the reasons we wanted to buy a home was to create more margin in our life. We wanted to eliminate some options to channel our life energy.read more
I sort though the meandering path that led us to buying a home in Lake Tahoe.read more
On the last night of our honeymoon in Costa Rica, the band at our resort gave us a wedding present we’ll cherish forever.read more
Get to know us.
Lifestyle Design is a about living deliberately. Most people simply respond to stimuli. They get a job and buy a car and buy a house and go through the motions of life without ever thinking about what they really want. Instead, we should figure out what it is that we really value in life — what we really want — and then design our life around those things.
Most people think that getting a job is the safe and secure choice while freelancing, piecing together work, or starting businesses is risky. But where’s the security in depending on one source of income from a job that could be taken away from you tomorrow? Patchwork Income is our financial strategy for patching together our income, which gives us financial security and allows us to live life on our terms.
Travel is our form of continuing education. Mark Twain said that travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness. Nothing has broadened our perspectives quite life travel or made us more flexible.
Check out some of the places around the world that we’ve visited. Over the years we’ve gone on multiple road-trips across the United States, backpacked and hostel hopped Central America with our kids, and spent three months in Thailand with our kids. We’re now based in California and exploring every nook and cranny of the Golden State while taking a few short trips every year to international destinations.
Reviews & Tips
We review some of the products we use while traveling and living our own lifestyle design. We also occasionally share some of our life-hacks and tough lessons learned in our travels.
We don’t like the term homeschooling because it implies we “do school” at home, which we don’t. We’re also heavily influenced by the “unschooling” movement, but there’s a lot that we do that ardent unschoolers wouldn’t do. So we like to call our approach to education “Hack-Schooling” as we hack together school for our kids.
Family Trek Philosophies