Those Crazy Nelsons

When you live everyday by default, hating the grind and waiting for retirement, you're wasting your precious life.


 

We sold our house in 2014 and traveled full-time for almost a year. With two small kids in tow, we traveled internationally and around the continental US. We flew, we drove, we stayed in Airbnbs. But every 30 days, we moved. 

We didn't have an RV. We didn't have a huge savings account.

We had a couple of suitcases and each other. 

In 2015, we hung up our travel gear and bought a home in Nashville. 

Now, we're taking all the lessons we learned from the road and putting them to use in suburbia. 

People ask us how we ever got the courage to travel for a year.

The back story is below. 


Her version:

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Samantha was on a career track in higher education. Destined to progress through the levels of administration, she was working 10+ hours a day. Which is fine, if that's where her passions were. 

But it wasn't.

She wanted to be home with the kids. It was something that developed over time, but once the desire was alive in her, she couldn't shake it. 

It would be 4 years before her dream to stay home became a reality, and she could leave her job. 

Those 4 years were the hardest in her life. She cried almost everyday going to work and at night in bed, knowing she'd have to get up all over again and do the same thing.

She could feel herself changing, full of bitterness and cynicism, she hated life. And she was sick, too. Physically, she developed ulcers and head aches, all related to stress.

It was during this time when she discovered this truth: life is too short; if you hate what you're doing, you have the power to change it.

Three things she says helped her make this change?

-Faith

-Family

-Learning to move forward, despite fear

His version:

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Angus was a writer, speaker, and director of a non-profit organization, when The Middle child was born, and the plan was to have Sam stay home.

But then the economy tanked, and the non-profit closed, forcing Angus into the "stay at home dad" role, and Sam back into the workforce.

He spent the next 4 years taking care of the kids while working during naps, in the evenings, and on weekends on his writing and speaking gigs. 

He literally could see his wife withering away in the pain of working outside the home full-time and the feeling of missing important moments with the kids. 

He searched and searched for a job for those 4 years, and nothing ever seemed to work out. 

To say it was gloomy would be an understatement. It was a time when lessons of fatherhood, manhood, and what it meant to be a husband were seared on his heart. 

He developed health related issues due to the stress, like unknown skin rashes, stomach problems, and weight loss. 

It was during this time that he discovered this truth: his identity wasn't based on his position or income, and the thing he most valued in life was his family.

Three things that he says helped helped him make a life change?

- Relinquishing his commitment to how he "thought" things were supposed to look.

- Leaning in to the process and not the progress.

- Being present in every moment, great and gut wrenching.

 

Sick of Living for Fridays?

We knew the feeling.

The Friday night highs followed by the Sunday night lows and all the drudgery in between was killing us. And not just creatively and emotionally, but physically, too.

So we traded in the ulcers, and decided to try life outside the (suburbia) box. We've opted out of our white picket fence, soccer practices, and 2 car garage and opted in for living serendipitously, traveling and making memories.

We had very little planned, except this: we were going to wring every last drop of fun out of this life.

 

Why Do People Call Us Crazy?

Maybe it's because Sam quit her salaried, tenured, retirement tracked, state position to stay home with the kids.

Maybe it's because when Sam quit, the family had one month's salary in savings and Angus still didn't have a job.

Maybe it's because we sold our house and stored all our belongings, and still didn't really have a plan.

Maybe it's because we traveled around like nomads, living out of suitcases, and homeschooling (or road schooling) the little ones for almost a year.

There are lots of reasons to think we're a little off our rockers, and we're kind of okay with that.

How Did we make it work?

Our 'Year of Travel' Blog

Where did we stay? What did we do? How did we feel during that year? What were some of our pertinent experiences? It's all here--an online scrapbook of our full-time travels. This is the year we went crazy...and finally started living. 

A sample of our blog is below. Read the entire year's worth of adventures here.

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Details: How We Make This Travel Life Work?

Let's just say it didn't start with a huge savings and a well thought out plan, hence the moniker. Our journey...

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Our Nightmare in Aruba

My husband and I are like contestants on The Amazing Race. We have no idea where we're going and our children are now suddenly... 

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A Sneak Peek Into Our Panama City Beach Pad

We were fortunate enough to stay for the month of January and were overwhelmed by the views and the location...