(Chrissy; you might want to snooze through this one; assuming you don’t do that through all of them. Oh, and we got the sesame oil. Thanks SO much (ppphhhhbbbtttt))
Someone asked me "why did you decide to go traveling? Do y’all have a goal in mind? Or are you traveling until you get where you’re going? Do you know that destination or will you know it once you get there? Are you doing odd jobs along the way or did you save for years?"
I wish I could answer, quite loftily, "oh yes! it has been a dream of ours for YEARS and we scrimped and saved and when we finally decided we’d saved enough and planned enough and knew exactly what we were doing, we left!". I’ve never been one to plan, however. We have four children and we planned one of them. Number three.
When Sissy (#3) was about a year old, I decided I didn’t want to go back to work at all. I’d worked (part time) through the boys childhoods and loathed leaving them at home (even though they were home with Dad or Grandma the days I worked). *I* wanted to be at home with them. After I’d had my first child (1994) I finally figured out what I wanted to be when I grew up; a mom. A single woman, I’d traveled extensively (Europe in the early 80’s, Alaska, BC and the Yukon twice, in the mid 80’s and early 90’s, and southern South America in the late 80’s) and had worked full time since 1979. I was ready to "retire" and be a mom. Finances, so we thought, didn’t allow, so I reluctantly returned to work, 6 months after both boys. After Sissy, our last (so we thought), we decided to move to Eugene, Oregon and live a simpler life where I could stay at home.
Ellen came along and it was an incredibly difficult pregnancy (though the easiest birth). We put our plans for Eugene on hold. The real estate market continued to boom and by 2004 our house had appreciated into twice the original value. We were concerned that it was going to bottom out and that the upcoming election might hasten that, so after consulting with our real estate agent and each other, we suddenly decided to sell. I believe that was mid-August. We painted, painted and painted, put a new roof on the garage, refinished the floors, re-carpeted; we spent each and every day in a flurry of activity. The children watched TV. Sometimes they "helped". They especially LOVED painting. After the house was put on the market, we decided what we wanted to do. Our first choice was to purchase a fixer-upper in Eugene, Oregon or Nelson BC (Canada) and spend a year fixing it up; using sweat equity and house profit.
Somehow, I managed to convince Jamie that we could also travel. We researched and decided on a travel trailer and van, purchased them and decided that we’d travel around looking for the "perfect" (ha!) place to live. Now that I have him in Mexico, I’m hoping he might decide that this might be perfection. :) Our original plan was to travel in Mexico for three months just as vacation. Right now, he’s agreed that we *need* to see the ruins in the Yucatan, and we’ll probably spend a couple weeks in Bahia de la Concepcion or Bahia de los Angeles, so I don’t see us leaving Mexico proper until May. We’re leaving San Felipe tomorrow (after three weeks) and heading up to San Diego to do errands, then down to the bottom of Baja; over to the mainland via ferry (where we’ll have to start all over again in frugality; the ferry will put us back a good $1000) and over to the Guatemala border area.
In our plans for travel I had budgeted $100/day, but traveling in the US put us WAY over that amount. I’m really happy traveling in Mexico, where we average $30/day.
I honestly don’t know how I converted him to living one day at a time and going where our desires lead us, but he is now loathe to return to the working world and we have a healthy bank account, and the living is incredibly easy down here, so who knows. The kids are thriving, we’re happy, secure and hopeful for the future. I don’t think I could have picked a better partner; he is so open to change and challenge. Aw, I’m getting mushy.
Pictures are from Jamie’s daily bike ride.