The ride just keeps on going

The ride just keeps on going

On February 5, 2009 I found a little space in the back of our car to stuff a final few items we were taking with us on a six month road trip across the United States. It had been a year since I quit my job and not much had gone as planned but it had still been an amazing year. I didn’t know how much longer my experiment in living differently could last. Maybe this trip would be it. Maybe when we returned home it would be time to buckle down and go back to the grind. If that was the case, at least we’d have gone on this road tip. A little more than six years later I’m looking out over Hayden Valley in Yellowstone National Park. My kids and I are looking over the river at a black bear. A few moments earlier we saw a Grizzly Bear walking across the prairie. Before that there were bison, moose, and elk. We saw Old Faithful, though there was no sign of Yogi. In the meantime, there’s been three trips to Central America and travels in Ireland, Thailand, and Malaysia. We’d moved from Santa Barbara to Lake Tahoe, where I ski about 60 days each winter. We still get back to Santa Barbara for a few months each year. We’ve taken ski trips to Colorado and Utah. I ran for Congress. Wrote a book. Been able to be present and intertwined in the lives of my three kids. Now here we are on our second cross country road trip. Driving home to the campsite after an amazing day...
Could you travel for 10 years straight?

Could you travel for 10 years straight?

Clark and I were talking about traveling for an extended period of time.  It’s something we do everyday.  We talk about it at breakfast.  At lunch.  At dinner.  And when we’ve put the kids to bed for the night.  We talk about travel, and extended family travel, INCESSANTLY. If you have been following this blog very long you know that we are making the transition to a family travel lifestyle. We are trying to create passive income or at least income that isn’t location contingent so that we can travel. We aren’t taking the “saving then travel” route but instead trying to actually  work while traveling. So in a few years we could be on a perpetual travel plan if we want. We have been talking about a routine in our life where we travel for a year or so then are home for a few years. By home I mean having a house and taking trips from that base instead of being gypsies traveling the world. I am very comfortable with this scenario. In fact I love it. Our kids are still young and we plan on homeschooling so for the next 10 years or so we could have a lot of travel and adventure in our lives. As we were talking the thought occurred to me, a question really…how long could I go for? I know there are families out there who have been traveling for years (Insert them here), but could I really do that? What about my extended family? What about my friendships? What about my community? I know that through the internet we have...
I travel to remind myself that I am rich

I travel to remind myself that I am rich

I have a magnet on my refrigerator from a trip to London in 2003.  It’s from the British Museum and features a quote from Casanova.  It reads, “In London, everything is easy to him who has money and is not afraid of spending it.” Traveling to and around London can make you feel poor.  It’s an expensive place. There are places that make me feel poor.  I’ve spent the past 10 years in Santa Barbara, one of the most affluent cities in America.  Studies of median home values consistently place Santa Barbara at or near the top of the list as the most expensive places in the United States to live.  Today that number sits at about $700,000.  I’m friends with people who own homes worth far, far above that number.  And when I’m in Santa Barbara I can feel poor. Yet I am incredibly rich. Traveling helps keep me out of the rat race. When I’m traveling in less affluent places around the world I see people who live much more simply.  They have fewer material possessions.  But I suspect their blood pressure is lower too.  They have time margin in their lives.  I’m not romanticizing the life that they live.  But I do see less of a chase to keep up with the Jones’.  I see less debt.  Less living beyond ones’ means.  Less stress. And when I see their happiness, I come home more happy myself.  More content with what I have.  More aware that I am rich, even if I’m poor by by neighbor’s...

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