I really value freedom! It is always at the core of my heart’s desires. I never valued money or success or fame, but freedom – that was everything.
That is why I started my own business decades ago and why I could never be employed by someone else. I am unemployable. It is why I have been the black sheep in my family and why I have always decided to leave circumstances that kept me bound.
My husband and I had a dream. We wanted to be free. He had been deep in the corporate world most of his life. He had had good jobs, CFO-type roles, but he was tired of them. I had my business, but also young kids. I took off time with my youngest when I had her at 40 and very slowly came back to work.
In other words, my husband was still the biggest breadwinner in our family. I, like many women, still carried the most responsibility for child-rearing and domestic labor. And my littlest one was not a good sleeper – it was a solid 5 years with her before I got a full night’s sleep.
In late 2017, my husband and I got serious about our dream. I told him that if we were going to retire him from corporate and live off of my business, we would need to change the way we operated.
Our little one turned three and we enrolled her in a beautiful school that she loved, but I was still shouldering a good portion of the overnight care and domestic duties. I told him we had to go all-in and split childcare and domestic duties 50/50 so I would have the space and time to grow my business.
I started putting more energy and effort into being the breadwinner while doing what I loved. We kept our sights on our goal and in mid-2018 my husband’s job was being made redundant. We decided that this was it: we were going to officially retire him from corporate and go all-in on the life we wanted.
Of course, this was scary, and there were a lot of unknowns, but we were wholly committed.
One of my lifelong dreams was to travel around the world with my family, and as we became untethered to my husband’s job (mine was already remote) we realized we had a rare opportunity to live that lifestyle.
We decided that we would become nomadic. We wanted slow travel that allowed us to soak up the experience of roaming freely around the world together. So we started to sell everything we had in Melbourne, Australia and made a plan to travel as long as we wanted to. We had a tiny storage unit in Melbourne with a few special boxes but packed the rest of our lives into four suitcases and said goodbye to Australia in late 2018.
Everything I had learned in my life, all of my skills and experiences, prepared me for this adventure – but no preparation could be enough for the ups and downs of nomadic living.
The best part: we were free! We could go anywhere. Do anything. Be together and live a life that many people dream of and very few people experience.
We traveled for a year but what we found most challenging was meeting the needs of four very different people. I had a very introverted teenager, a very young extraverted child, a husband who was in a whole new world of not working when he had been in corporate for nearly three decades, and myself, longing for space and still running a full-time business to support us all.
It was an adventure and a challenge, and I can now say that I have achieved another dream.
In late 2019, we decided to settle back down in Austin, Texas. In some ways, I had come full circle and in others, I had deeply evolved. Thankfully, we had decided to start over right before COVID-19 hit. We had a place of our own to shelter us from the crazy year that 2020 has become.
We are finding ourselves again as a family, and I am so thankful for everything we have been through and all that we have become.
I am sure we will have many more adventures in the future and I look forward to sharing them with you.