How we ended up in China and our strategy to see the entire world

How we ended up in China and our strategy to see the entire world

About a dozen years ago my wife and I were driving home to Santa Barbara from San Francisco and passed the time by planning a trip to Paris. We put it on the calendar for the following spring and we were so excited. All these years later, I’ve still never been to Paris. I’ve been to a lot of other places, but there are no stamps from France in my passport.

When my wife and I hit bottom financially and moved in her parent’s garage I had a poster board printed up with photos from Lake Tahoe, Hawaii, and Paris. These were three places I wanted to go and I wanted us to be visually reminded of this while we were living in the garage. We ended up moving to Lake Tahoe, but five years after moving out of the garage, we had not been to Paris or back to Hawaii. I was going through some old stuff before Christmas and found that old poster board. We were already planning a trip back to Hawaii with Monica’s family and I thought it was high time to go to Paris.

I looked at flights and found tickets on Turkish Airlines for about $600. On the way back, we would even get a night in Istanbul. Talked with our friend who was living with us at the time about my wife and I being gone and her watching the kids. Then, for Christmas I announced the plan to my wife. We were very excited indeed. We were finally going to get our Paris trip.

A few months later when I was ready to book the tickets the flights were $1200. Ouch. What happened to $600? I messed around with dates and different airlines and $1200 was about as cheap as I could find them.

I thought our total cost for two tickets would be $1200, but now I was looking at $2400. Still, I was ready to do it. The tickets were in the cart. It was a lot of money, but gosh darn it, I wanted to go. And we already had arrangements for the kids to be taken care of so the wife and me could get away. That’s more than half the battle right there!

Then I had this thought. I want to travel the entire world. I want to go everywhere eventually and Paris isn’t the only place I have left. So we did a Google Flights search for a one week period during the month of April. Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, Shanghai, and Beijing all came up for about $550.

I read online that getting Brazilian visas can be a slow and sloppy process (I’ve since learned that’s not the case). We figured China would be cheaper than Japan and Beijing seemed more enticing than Shanghai. So that’s how we ended up in China and round-trip airfare for two came in at a total of about $1100.

And that’s our strategy to see the entire world. When the urge to travel hits us, we’ll search Google Flights and go where it’s cheap. Eventually, we’ll see the entire world.

By the way, we’re not going to make it back to Hawaii this year either. Flights were too expensive and my wife convinced her family that we should check out Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

How do I afford to ski all winter in Lake Tahoe and pop off to the other side of the world now and then? That’s a secret you can find out in my book. 😉 Learn more at or pick up your copy on Kindle or in paperback at Amazon.

Sign up for updates on unWorking

  • Exit the rat race
  • Live like a millionaire
  • Be happy....NOW.

Don't worry...we don't send that many!