The Conversation

I’ve got a question but I’m going to lead into it.  Scott and I have been encouraged, supported and high-five’d every step of the build up to this sabbatical.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “That’s awesome.  You’re living my dream.  I wish I could do what you guys are doing.”  I love that – it feels empowering.  Thank you.  We’re doing something right.  To put it exactly like I have it in my head – we’ve got big enough balls to try something new and novel (for us).  Which is not to say that I think we’re really really out there.  We’re not moving to Borneo to live with wild monkeys or anything… there are plenty of families full-time’ing in an RV (I’m looking at you guys in Fulltime Families on Facebook).  But it’s still a significant leap of faith to walk away from a great job for a year with no pay and try to accomplish something interesting and rewarding with our time.

Scott and I have been very deliberate in planning for this year.  We started out thinking we were going to sail.  We spent our time in Turkey taking sailing lessons, going to boat shows around the world and generally trying to get out on any body of water we could find.  When Jack joined the team in Colombia it became obvious that trying to learn how to sail (for real… not lessons… but actually living on the water) would be challenging with 2 toddlers.  So we modified our plan to a more attainable dream – the RV.  We both know how to drive, so it became realistic again.  We started going to RV shows instead of boat shows.  We started thinking about exploring the U.S. instead of the Caribbean.  I got lessons on how to look after a generator.

Financially, we looked at what might be our worst case scenario.  Based on reading other blogs, it seems that we can expect to spend about $4000/month as a family of four.  Of course we could spend more, but if we do groceries and don’t eat out too much, stay at reasonable camp grounds (not resorts)/boondock as much as possible/occasionally find a Walmart parking lot and we focus less on a driving long distance and more on finding interesting stops within 2-3 hours of wherever we spend the night we should be able to hit that $4k number or less each month.  If that’s accurate, we’re talking about full-time living for roughly $48,000 for 12 months.  If we had to, we’ve got that squirreled away in investments.  That’s our worst case (anything worse than that and we’d just have to do a shorter year and I’d head back to work early).  On top of that, Scott’s company is making money now and expect to be able to live at least partially off of his income.  So much the better if we can actually live fully off of his income, but that’s TBD and I don’t want to count on it yet.

My point is that we’re practical and it’s not as unachievable as it may seem.  I was inspired by Tim Ferriss’ Four Hour Work Week.  I read that on a transPacific flight and by the end of it I was ready to chuck everything an make a run for the full hippy life (pre-Evie and Jack).  

I’d like to know what gets your creative juices going.  I don’t think we have that conversation enough.  What’s the dream, man?!  Where are you taking yourself, how are you going to get there and how can we contribute to the process?  You’re participating in mine by reading the blog (which still shocks me that anyone beyond my mom and brother read it – and for the record, neither of them ‘know how to get to it’).  I’d like to reciprocate because the dream conversation is one of my absolute favorites to have with people.  It’s fascinating to hear where passion lies.