Nothing eats away at you like giving up on your dreams — that continuous nagging feeling that you are selling yourself short and the little voice that just won’t go away.
A year ago I had a dream about what my family’s life could be. I registered this domain with the idea of my wife and I quitting our jobs, selling everything we owned, buying an Airstream, and hitting the road in search of adventure, new friends and a simpler lifestyle.
But the doubts quickly arose. Above all: How would we support ourselves?
I had my own freelance business for the first 3 years of our marriage, and for the last two years I’ve worked as a full-time employee. I knew I could transition myself back to freelance.
But as much as I talked about this dream, I couldn’t really get JorDanée onboard with believing that we could make it happen. JorDanée had worked hard to pursue a Masters Degree and put that education to work as a Defense contractor. At the time, she didn’t see a way to use her degree and knowledge while working remotely. Pretty much everything in her career required being chained to a desk in a secure facility for 8 hours a day. While she shared my passion for travel and my vision for our family, the idea just didn’t seem realistic to her.
Even though we continued to follow other families on Instagram doing the very thing we wanted to do, we had excuses and reasons why we couldn’t make it work. Yet always we thought to ourselves “Wouldn’t that be nice?”.
Eventually that dream just began to fade into the background. We got distracted by life and other temporary forms of gratification. We spent money on our current Adventure Mobile and took a few smaller road trips.
It would be another year before we caught a burning desire to accomplish our dreams.
It started with the birth of our daughter. . .
In December 2013, we added another member to our family. Her arrival ignited a burning desire to live a more fulfilled life, to reexamine ourselves, our behaviors and our habits. To look closer at our dreams and our goals and the places we’d just given up.
JorDanée had three months of maternity leave and during this time, we realized we did not want to send Alexandra to some daycare. The thought of trusting complete strangers to care for and raise Alexandra 9 hours a day was tearing my wife apart. We needed to be around our daughter to guide her, love her, and watch her grow.
We also realized that even though by the American standard we were quite successful, we were very unhappy. We did not enjoy “living for the weekend”, and we didn’t want to raise our daughter like that.
At first we considered having JorDanée stay home. We could easy live on my income alone at a minimal reduction in our lifestyle. But it also meant a decrease in our savings. Plus we’d be tied to Florida because of my job. Our ability to “jump ship” would be hindered.
One day in Feburary while browsing weworkremotely.com, I saw a job posting for a 100% remote job for Basecamp. I sent the job posting to my wife and suggested that this could be the perfect gig to allow her to stay home with Alex and still earn a living. She went after it with zeal and quickly got the job just as maternity leave was ending.
A trip to Oregon . . .
As part of JorDanée’s new job we flew out to Portland, OR for job training for two weeks. This gave me an opportunity to prove to my boss that I could remotely for two weeks, and it gave us both a needed mini-vacation.
The whole experience made me realize what a blessing it was going to be that JorDanée could be home with Alexandra. Just watching my daughter during the day and seeing the changes in her personality were amazing. I knew then that JorDanée and I had made the right decision to have mom and daughter together full-time. JorDanée wouldn’t miss a moment of our daughter’s development.
During the weekend breaks from her training, we took the opportunity to explore Oregon. We drove to the coast and visited Ecola State Park and Astoria. We drove east towards Idaho and visited Smith Rock State Park and ended up hiking for 6 miles while Alex slept in the Baby Bjorn. We conquered mountains, were thwarted by snow covered roads, and survived mudslides.
Overall, we had a amazing trip. The trip rekindled something in us: our love for the open road and a sense of being at home on the road. It also proved something to JorDanée that I knew all along — that she was more than capable of taking care of Alex while handling the logistics of being on the road.
When we returned to Florida with our rekindled passion for travel, we started to think about our past dreams and the fact that not more than a year ago we talked of buying an Airstream and traveling. Sure, at the time it just didn’t seem realistic, but now with JorDanée’s new job being 100% remote, our paradigm begin to shift.
We both realized we shouldn’t have sold our dream short. We shouldn’t have given up so easily, but we are now confident we should pursue our dreams.
We’ve got a plan and a course of action now.
Now our journey begins….