By Christmas I will have said goodbye to my employer of 8 years, and hello to a new life of full-time travel! Why am I willing to trade in comfort for adventure? What could possibly make me, a single mother, do something so crazy? Here are ten reasons why I’m taking the leap:
1. Traveling is the dream
I’ve always lived for the next trip, and then I realized that there were people and families out there living the travel life full time. That became my dream! It’s often felt like an impossible goal, but I’m finally figuring out a way to make it work.
2. More money, hunny
Travel nursing will allow me to make more money. Not a ton more money (unless I work overtime), but a bit more. If I stayed here, I would be stuck in an endless cycle of childcare costs, mortgage, debt, and working for a car that could get me to work and child care that would allow me to work. I’ve begun to feel like Sisyphus pushing the rock. Even with cutting way way back on expenses, staying would mean living paycheck to paycheck and never getting out of debt. I’m not necessarily going to be living the high life on the road… but we’ll be living with less and experiencing more. We’ll need less “stuff”, and we’ll be less bored and therefore less likely to spend money on junk.
3. Escaping the Jones family
Living in suburbia but being broke means I constantly suffer from deflated ego due to the “keeping up with the Jones’s” mentality that comes along with having kids. I can’t afford to buy new clothes or shoes for my daughter, let alone throw fancy birthday parties or have expensive photo shoots. And yet, I’ve done these things because I thought that was what I was supposed to do. If we didn’t drastically change our environment, it would only be a matter of time before my daughter starts demanding everything that comes with a “middle class” status.
4. A “world-schooling” education
I’ve spent a year reading, researching, and delving into the theories of unschooling and world schooling, and I know that if I could choose any educational path for my daughter, it would be those. She may someday want to go to a school, but I want it to feel like an option, not a necessity. We all want to give our children the best education the world has to offer, whatever that may look like to us personally. By living a nomadic life we can actually achieve that goal.
5. Finding my people
I’m not sure where my people are, to be honest. But by moving around the country and the world we will have the opportunity to meet families and people we never would have encountered otherwise. Who knows, we may find like-minded families who become friends for life! We may find our tribe! Or we may just make meaningful but temporary connections along the way… Either way, it will be much less lonely than staying in a place where I am almost always the odd one out.
6. A change of scenery
My beloved grandparents both passed away this year. They were the reason I lived in this rural area. Now that I am not looking after them, I am ready to go out and see more of the world. Seeing their empty house every day is painful, and watching it sell will be even moreso. I’ll happily take the distraction of travel over the awful feeling of watching their lives disappear from the world.
7. More exercise and more nature
It is so easy to just come home day after day and zone out to TV or the internet with a glass of wine on the couch. While there’s nothing wrong with that from time to time, it’s often hard at the moment to want to do much else. Being in a new place brings out the explorer in me, and I often hike or walk or swim or bike for hours at a time, something I’m much less likely to be doing at home. It also gets me out into nature… camping, climbing, trekking, and wading. It’s better for my body and my mind, and it also helps me to eat healthier as after exercising I’m not as inclined to eat junk.
8. Finding inspiration
I’m eager to see what we’ll find in new places. We may discover passions we never had, people we want to travel with, or places we want to stay longer. When you’re traveling, you never know what one thing will lead to. The next unknown adventure is always right around the corner! Living this way keeps you young and energetic and curious, directly in opposition to the way life feels now: stale, boring, and uninspiring.
9. Time together
I really, really don’t want to send my daughter off to school and see her only on evenings and some weekends. I don’t want our lives to drift in separate directions until we are practically acquaintances living under one roof. When we’re traveling, I feel free and happy. My daughter picks up on that feeling and together we enjoy whatever is around us. We even enjoy coming back to a hotel room or bed in a friend’s house and just snuggling with the iPad. Everything becomes an experience that, even if unpleasant or challenging at the time, binds us closer together in the end.
10. Appreciating home
There’s no place like home, right? In my case, I own property that has been in my family for 8 generations now (including my kiddo), and it contains wonderful memories of parents and grandparents. It’s in a beautiful rural area, on a pristine lake. It’s awful that because I’m stressed out about the rat race and frustrated by wanderlust that I do not get to fully appreciate what “home” truly means. When I’m traveling full time, coming home in the summers will be an actual treat. We will be able to truly revel in it again.
I’m sure there are many more reasons to leave the status quo behind and jump into the world of full-time travel, but these are my top ten!
Also, I couldn’t do this without my mother. She is coming along and watching my kid while I work in various hospitals as a travel nurse. It’s almost impossible to find reliable child care on a nurse’s hours and schedule, so my mom is my lucky charm and the reason I was finally able to set a date and get serious!