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.
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?
-Learning to move forward, despite fear
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.