Hi guys, I figured it was time for me to write a post about the realities that are involved with living our lifestyle. When we talk to friends and family we get 1 of 2 responses. Either “I’m so Jealous!” or “I could never do that!” Here’s the real scoop.
The Not So Good Stuff:
We Work – a Lot!
If you’ve been self-employed then you know the drill. Working for yourself is a lot of work! There’s no time to chat at the water cooler (and no water cooler for that matter), and no-one to delegate to – unless you’re willing to pay for that delegation out of your own pocket. As such, we work a lot!
Now it’s not all bad. I think working for yourself is very rewarding, and I like getting paid in direct proportion to the amount of work I put in.
We Aren’t on Vacation
As much as I wish that we were in a position to sit on the beach and drink margaritas all day, that’s far from our reality. Now we do have the opportunity to live in places most people visit on vacation. In fact, I’m writing this from Cancun, only a mile or so from the beautiful beaches of the Caribbean – but I only go to the beach a couple times a week.
It’s tough to imagine working a ‘real’ job in a place most people vacation, but that’s essentially what we do some of the time.
I can’t ‘stress’ this enough. Self-employment has it’s ups and downs. Some months we do much better than other months. Also while we have lots of control over our location, we don’t have a lot of control over our surroundings. In other words, sometimes we have access to a stove and a fridge, and sometimes we don’t! We do our best to get all the comforts of home, but that’s not always possible.
Also, there’s a lot to be said for sleeping in your own bed. We’ve created a good travel bed (I’ll cover this in another post), but can’t bring it with us currently when out of the country. Which brings us to:
It’s Tough Without Your Stuff
I love good kitchen knives (like my Wusthof knives), but it’s tough to bring such things with you on the road. The same goes for nice pans, utensils, potholders, dish rags, and so on. You use what you can get, but there’s no substitute for the good stuff!
Other things that would be nice to have – My Bed! pillow, work chair, desk, dedicated internet connection! Hmmm. I guess I don’t miss that much stuff, but better work environment would be helpful at times. Our studio in Cancun is actually really good, but a lot of the places we’ve been were only ok.
The Good Stuff
The truth is, we’re doing this for a reason. We love to travel, and I don’t want to put all the traveling off to the end part of my life. Not only that, but by actually living in different places for a month or so at a time, I think you get a more genuine experience of what a place is like – vs. just passing through.
I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with going on vacation somewhere, and I plan to do a lot more of that too, but I like staying somewhere long enough that I’ve figured it out a bit – know what I mean?
Oh, and depending how you do it, it makes good financial sense too. Our home in California was great, but our rent was more than 3 times what we pay to live in Cancun! When you’re not eating out all the time food is a lot cheaper here too. One of the reasons we decided to travel is because pretty much EVERYWHERE is less expensive than California – even when you factor in the cost of travel.
We’re planning to add a bit more of this kind of perspective to this site going forward. As we spend a fair amount of time in each place we visit it’s tough to always write about places we’ve seen or things we’ve done, and I hope that these perspective pieces are interesting to you.
In closing – to those of you who think “I’m so jealous!” – I hear you, but note that our life is less glamorous than you’re probably thinking. To those that say “I could never do that!” – I hear you guys too. This is definitely not for everyone! Don’t get me wrong – we’ve been having a lot of fun, and there’s a lot more novelty in our life these days – but that doesn’t mean it’s any better than what anyone else has chosen to do with their life – it’s simply different.
Until next time, happy travels!