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 lost 60 pounds. You don’t accomplish something like this casually. It’s taken a lot of thought and dedication and in this 6,000 word long post I go into detail on how I did it.read more
Nothing I’ve listened to in a long time has hit me quite as hard as this sermon series on the Wisdom of the Proverbs by Pastor Steve DeNeff.read more
They’re delicious and alcohol. What could go wrong? Our annual Christmas Party when delicious Peppermint Martinis took us out.read more
I’m happiest in life when I have three things going on simaltanteously. Call it Clark’s Rule of 1/3rds.read more
I feel like what I’ve done these past eight years is put my career on hold to raise my kids, something a lot of women but not a lot of men do. As my kids get a little older, I am feeling an urge to re-engage with my career.read more
It’s hard to hear a whisper in a world that only shouts. I needed to take a break from Facebook to decrease the amount of noise in my life. Maybe then I’ll be able to hear the whisper.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