It was late December 2015, Saturday to be exact. We were enjoying the beautiful morning sunshine, taking our normal walk at the beach. Christmas and New Year’s was right around the corner, and we were reflecting on the past year and preparing for 2016. Rick just took on a new job, Mila was born in October and overall, life was great. But we wanted more. We always shared a passion for seeking new adventure, looking for new opportunities and seeking out new challenges. We made sure our routine was never stale. I left Poland 14 years ago and moved to the USA to play basketball, Rick sought out work opportunities at his job and moved us to Florida 8 years ago, and our travel adventures always took us off the beaten path.
At one point during our conversation we both looked at each other and said:
"Oh, how awesome would it be to just go on a travel journey around the world"? After a few seconds of silence, we both said: LET'S DO IT!
To be honest with you, I have always dreamed of taking a year or more off and going around the globe. Rick and I love to explore the world and we’ve shared a yearning to see new places, eat new foods, and admire different cultures. So during that normal Saturday morning walk, we both had a desire to challenge the status quo and make this dream a reality. While we loved our routine, we knew this could be the opportunity of a lifetime to share with our kids. After all, we are here for something more than just working and paying the bills. We have always had the mentality that we work to live. The majority of 2016 was spent planning the trip. First, we drafted a budget of how much money we would need to save to make it possible. Then, we created a timeline and list of countries that we would want to visit (and changed it 7 times). After that, we started to work on a business plan, website, packing list, and many more things that would make our dream of traveling the world possible.
2016 was not an easy year. We had to make many compromises and sacrifices. Rick had a new job that was very demanding and our children needed constant attention. We drove 1 car, coordinating Rick’s work and travel schedule, Leo’s preschool, doctor’s visits, and kid’s activities. We eliminated Starbucks, rarely ate out (1* month), never upgraded our phones (rick still has the original iphone) and coordinated weekly meal plans based on grocery deals. Rick said no to lunches and happy hours. The reality is we were enjoying this challenge of saving as much money as possible. It was our OWN Amazing Race. We focused on things that were
free. Things like taking our kids to the local playgrounds and West Palm Beach Library versus amusement parks. We enjoyed Florida’s pristine beaches every weekend. We took long walks enjoying each other’s company. We exercised religiously. We made a more conscious decision to be healthy. Rick would work out at 5:30am, me either during the day or evening. I became a cooking fanatic, doing tons of online research on healthy eating options.
We sold everything. I mean EVERYTHING. Our truck, our furniture, our kid’s toys, our kid’s bedroom sets, bikes, TVs, and kitchen items. We donated books to the Library, donated clothes to Salvation Army. We said our goodbyes to our friends, Rick parted ways with a 14 year career with his employer, and we decided to leave our life in West Palm Beach, and start a new journey throughout this beautiful world.
So come along for the ride! We’ve created Traveler State of Mind for YOU! We hope our story will inspire YOU that achieving your DREAM is possible. That travelling with kids CAN BE done and be a TON OF FUN! That YOU CAN see the World on a BUDGET. We’ll be posting every couple of days to share our journey with YOU. Join us on Facebook, Twitter (#travelerstateofmind), Instagram, and Youtube. Share your comments with us on our blog. Share with your Family and Friends. Spread the good word that anything is possible.
You Only Live Once