Three years ago I bought a large van, built in a bed and “kitchen” area, and took off for Florida. I was basically broke the entire time I was in Florida, but it didn’t matter much. I had no bills besides the car insurance and little to buy just food and gas. And there was little to do: just go to the beach and the libraries, and take some sanding with me to work on the sand.
I’d never want to try to survive on that little funds again, and I’m not anxious to live in a tiny rolling home again, but I loved the lazy days on the beach and at the parks. I just loved being outside all the time. And Warm.
Don’t get me wrong, I love snow. I can even enjoy a chilly day. It’s just the steady march of cold and being cooped up for so long that gets me down.
My main goal since I have been a mother was to get an inexpensive house for us to live in, preferably with some land. We don’t have much land, but I did get my house. Once I got my house, my goal was to get it paid for. Now that it’s just about paid off, my goal is to spend 2 months or so in a warm location during the winter. Preferably, a spanish speaking country so that Caleb will learn Spanish.
One of the reasons I am determined to keep working for myself and live a very frugal lifestyle, is that I want the time to travel. Traveling is supposedly the exclusive property of the rich or perhaps the single male vagabond type. But really travel-particularly extended travel is mostly dependent on the time you have available.
I know plenty of people (most everyone I know) that have way more money than I do, but are saddled with jobs, their children with schools, and their houses with mortgages, so the wonders of extended travel are not open to them. I have sacrificed the nice house, the child-free time (if Caleb went to school), and the security of a steady paycheck, and I plan on making all those sacrifices worth while.
My love affair with the ocean began on the Jersey Shore before I can even remember. Now that I’m a parent I appreciate the beach even more, because it can provide hours of screen-free entertainment for my son, not to mention playmates.
My plan is to spend January working on Christmas-level overtime, to make enough toys to cover the months of February and March. I’ll then hire someone to handle the packing and shipping, while I spend my days sanding keys and little toy animals on the beach. Maybe I’ll even take up carving.
If I go to Costa Rica or some place like that, I’d need enough money to cover air fare plus money for rent/food/etc. But the beauty of having a house that is paid for, is that I can shut the place down, and it won’t be costing me hardly anything while I’m gone. I’ll still be earning just about the same amount of money, since I’ll still be selling toys.
Even though, I am a fairly independent person– I went off to Florida on my own; I bought a house 7 hours from any friends or family–I think it would be much more fun, not to mention cheaper, if I had someone else to travel with. Perhaps another single mother who works from home or who can take off two months of work each year. Perhaps a family who wants another adult around to babysit occasionally. Perhaps a single mother who lives in a warm place that wouldn’t mind renting out a room for a couple of months a year for some extra cash. Who knows?
One thing with goals is that you tend to talk about them for a while before the dream is realized. Before I bought a house in WV, I talked about moving for years. Probably most people thought I’d never actually do it, but when the time came, when the opportunity arose, I was ready (thanks to the help I had along the way).
Now I’m talking about flying south for the winter. Maybe the dream will be realized this coming winter (2014), maybe not until the next (2015), maybe not even until my son is 9 (2016), but we will do it. Would you like to join us?