We love to travel, and we’ve been very lucky to have many opportunities to travel internationally, through our own efforts (including a 30-day grand tour of Europe in 2008) and with The Pruitt-Igoe Myth (which gave us trips to Norway, Brazil and Bahrain). But while we occasionally dreamed in very vague terms of perhaps spending a year in another country at some point far in the future, we never considered full-time travel as an option for us.
About two years ago, I took a job that thrust me into the world of entrepreneurship. As I learned the business principles that go into starting and running a successful business, I also learned about the freedom that certain types of businesses can give you. The more entrepreneurs I worked with, the more I wanted to be one myself. And the more I learned about the concept of location independence, the more it seemed feasible.
As I was learning about entrepreneurs who travel the world, Chad and I happened to take a vacation to Mexico, where we saw firsthand how inexpensive it is to be in another country compared to the United States. It was a great vacation, and a few weeks after we got back, I broached the idea of full-time travel with Chad. We were both struggling with burnout in our respective careers (though the vacation had helped) and so the idea of a dramatic change didn’t seem too off-the-wall.
It didn’t take long for Chad to be fully on board. At first he was skeptical we could make it work, but with our recent experience in Mexico fresh in mind, it was soon apparent that traveling in this way would have the added benefit of requiring less money to live on than living in Columbia, Missouri. Once it was clear it is possible, it became crystal that this is exactly what we need to do.
We have three guiding principles in designing this experimental year of location independence: 1) less stress; 2) more time together; 3) see more of the world. Whatever else happens, if we achieve those three things in this year, I will consider it an absolute success.