Another Adventure Across The Country

I have a question for you.

If life handed you an opportunity to travel endlessly, but give up everything you’ve already created, would you do it?

OK so maybe we’re not giving up everything, and we will be back one day, but…

Anytime life shows me an opportunity like this, it will always be a HELL YES.

The seed was planted years ago and in hindsight I should’ve known. But it is only now that I see it’s starting to bloom. In less than eight weeks a new journey begins.

After spending seven marvelous years in Central Florida, my husband and I and our Pup Leo too, will be hitting the road on an endless cross country camping adventure/road trip!

Yes you read that right, we don’t have a final end date in sight.

We have sold our beautiful home, are packing our valuables in storage, and have a plan to minimize our lives to fit inside a pop-up truck camper. This is not new for me. I’ve lived in small spaces before. I know what it’s like to travel endlessly living out of a backpack. But this is by far the most unique adventure either of us has ever planned before.

Some would say we’re crazy. But Jim and I have thought long and hard about this. We are choosing to leave a home that we physically designed and built together…

The home where we fell in love and literally got married in the backyard…

The home where we started creating our lives together, all in the city that I never planned to be in in the first place.

After that travel stint living out of a backpack, I found myself living week to week here in Orlando in late 2015. I told myself for over a year that I had no idea what I was doing here.

I was searching, wanting to find purpose, but nothing seemed to grab my attention and tie me down to the city. At first I didn’t find anything beautiful about Orlando either. Ironically, that’s Orlando’s nickname,”The City Beautiful”.

Now I can’t help but see that beauty everywhere I go. Whether I’m on the layers of highway that skirt around the city skyline or I’m sitting in my backyard garden enjoying the whimsical 200-year-old oak trees overhead, this city is a magical place.

By the way, that magic has absolutely nothing to do with Disney. Though I know many would like to think so.

It has to do with the small town feel but with big city vibes… friendly neighbors, creative communities, and small businesses… the live music, incredible food, hidden bars, and fun that never stops.

So why are we choosing to leave? Because we found and fulfilled our purpose here (for now). It was to find each other. And this sappy love story ain’t over yet.

Recently in the midst of sharing our plans with everyone, a friend said, “Wow. But why such a drastic life change again? You’ve created such a great life here.”

It’s all relative, right?

What you may call a drastic life change, I call a desire to live a dream. There are so many keenly coincidental moments that connect us to this moment in time, to this choice of change. Now it’s so obvious but for many, it can seem so unusual, and unnecessary.

It’s completely necessary.

Looking back, so many moments have opened our eyes to this opportunity. The most important are the ones where we reflect on our past, our present, and what we truly want for our future.

For Jim and I, our reflections weren’t just similar, they were almost exactly the same…

Over a year before we would meet, we both found ourselves on the other side of the world in Bali, Indonesia. On the exact same day.

We have proof. Our passports are stamped, the same airport, less than 24 hours apart.

We didn’t even realize this fact until our third date (late 2016), and even then we weren’t sure if it was true. We couldn’t get our dates straight in our heads. We didn’t care, we were just so happy to share our experiences of traveling around the world with another soul who felt the same way about adventure.

We got connected the minute we could share our adventurous lives with someone who understood what it was like to be a minority in another country and enjoy it.

Now here we are only six years later, completing this first major chapter of our lives ready for our next big adventure – together.

I remember just before our wedding in December of 2020, I wrote in my journal that I wanted us to do a cross-country camping trip at some point in the next five years. I wanted it to become a catalyst for our future of sustainable living. I thought it would take five years to figure out how to make it work.

Here we are less than 18 months later and it’s not only a possibility, it’s in full momentum moving forward into action every single day.

We declared it. Then simply begin taking baby steps to make it happen. Timing is everything, but that doesn’t mean we have control over it. So as the months went on and we kept dreaming and planning, things just seemingly started to fall into place as we continued to take baby steps, all the while not really knowing when we would be able to begin this journey.

Quicker than we anticipated, so many things in life started to fall into place without our control.

Jim’s work project would be coming to an end. I was finishing up the production of our online photography course. The housing market slowly started to show us a promise. All of this made us reevaluate our living space, our expenses, and the lifestyle we’ve been building here in The City Beautiful.

Almost every single day, we discussed what was and wasn’t working. What we wished for and why.
All of it was amazing and scary at the same time, showing us an opportunity we thought it would take years to show up.

The scary part is just taking the first steps. But the really freaking scary part is realizing that as soon as you begin to take action, your vision becomes clearer, and momentum picks up. It pulls you faster and further all at once.

So what does this next chapter look like exactly?

It looks like a pop-up truck camper on the back of our four-wheel-drive Chevy Silverado. We’re not attaching a trailer, and we’re not pitching a tent. It’s somewhere in between. I wouldn’t call it glamping by any means! But don’t worry, I’ll be searching for the coolest eco-friendly Airbnbs along the way.

We’ve also joined the Harvest Host Community and can’t wait to experience all it has to offer.

We’ll get the camper put on the truck in August before we leave. We even have to take a day of training to learn how to use it.

This house goes in the bed of the truck. We’ll live in it while we roll around the country for 3+ months. That of course depends on weather, photo-ops and other possible unplanned plans. Like I said, the best part is we don’t really have an end date. What we do have is a flexible route and a few goals in mind. I’ll get to that in a minute.

Remember when I told you we had our passport stamps only a day apart on the other side of the world a year and a half before we met? Well, we weren’t exactly on simultaneous vacations. We were both living overseas, but for very, very different reasons.

Jim was working as a heavy civil engineer, and construction manager, building high rises and highways all over Asia and the middle east. I had bought a magic glitch ticket and was just a traveling digital nomad with a camera. So there’s a reason why we didn’t meet and actually connect in that chapter of our lives.

I knew I would never have been ready for him and he wouldn’t have been ready for me either. We’ve talked about this a lot. Actually, the beauty of it now is seeing the magic and the hindsight. Life is a catch-22, right?

When we finally came home, it was because we felt we had a new purpose that we wanted to bring to whatever new space, whatever new community we wanted to create. But for whatever reason, it was that stamp on that passport on that day, a year and a half before we met, that we now both knew our lives changed. We were heading home.

He to see family and say goodbye to a dying father; me to start again as a new confident version of me. It would take another 16 months after those planes touched down, before we’d meet. Now fast forward seven years, a marriage, and already multiple plane rides and road trips together.

Here we are deciding that this could not be a more perfectly imperfect moment to let go of our beautiful home, incredible businesses and life that we have created in downtown Orlando.

Drastic, maybe.

Scary? Damn right.

Definitely doable? You bet.

Letting go leads to allowing more to show up and create something even bigger and better. This opportunity to travel around the country reminded Jim of a quote from his favorite author and adventurer, Mark Twain.

Before we can create something bigger and better, we know we must give ourselves this chance to experience something we’d only regret not doing.

That reminds me of another quote I recently heard.

“The meaning of life is to enjoy the passage of time.”

That means feeling connected to the natural world around us, each other and ourselves.
This means creating space and silence, a timeless gap of the present moment. Only here can we begin to quiet our minds long enough to remove the noise and hear our truth.

What better way to immerse ourselves than in doing what humans have always done best. Explore. Push boundaries. Leave comfort zones to find new levels of strength.

That includes finding the good in the bad. The lesson in the mistake. I started this mantra to live in wonder always for a reason. I wanted to hold myself accountable to this idea that no matter how big a challenge life throws at me, I am meant to overcome it. I am meant to learn by going through it. By facing it. We all are.

That’s why I believe so much in this mini adventurous chapter of life, even if I don’t have full clarity of what it looks like yet, I am confident in this decision that some may see as a detour.

Jim and I are ready for this. We’re ready for the challenge to live with less, share more, and let go of what we think this trip is supposed to look like. More stories coming soon!

To kick off this trip, and give you the inspiration to live life on your terms, here’s a summer sale:

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I only have room for 20 people to learn with me before we leave. If you’re interested, click here to learn more and enroll now.

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