July 16, Sparkly clean laundromat, just off the Continental Divide Ride route. Lander, WY
An often-asked question we get is, “What about money? How can you not work and travel for so long?”
Several years ago Steph made a commitment to simplify her life after going down the path of an expensive house, cars, and stuff. The effort to care and pay for all this was just not worth it. She and her husband decided to sell their nice home, get rid of a lot of that stuff, travel with their daughters, and live life according to what felt right to them. When Steph became single, with a lot less income to draw from, she simplified even more as she began to realize how much happier she was living without major financial commitments and having to maintain stuff. No mortgage, no car payments, no lawn to mow, kids’ college paid for. She moved into a modest 700 sq. ft. city apartment – and loved it.
Shal has a similar, but different story. After a successful and grueling 16-year career at Costco she decided to reduce her stressors and increase her quality of life by downsizing her job and lifestyle. She moved to a part-time schedule and sold her big house to live more simply in a 5th wheel. She quickly realized how easy and happy life became without the big financial obligations. Her life-threatening motorcycling accident left her even more convinced that life is too short to not live the life on her own terms.
Traveling this past year has cost Steph and Shal nearly 1/3 of what it cost them to live in Seattle. Costly rent, utilities, dining out, city entertainment, and maintaining a car is expensive – at least to enjoy a certain standard of living, even a relatively simple one. There have been many days during the past year when we spend no money…camping in the wilderness for example. And there are days when we treat ourselves to a nice hotel, dinner, and pedicures. It all balances out to our collective moto-trip budget of $110 per day of which we draw from years of savings and investments. A person/couple could spend a lot less, or a lot more than we did. We enjoy what we enjoy.
As part of our year away we housesat in Maine for 3 ½ months. This experience allowed us to spend even less money. We paid a portion of utilities and ate a great majority of our meals at home. Our entertainment consisted of snowshoeing, $6 movie tickets, working out, and spending time with the wonderful dog we were caring for.
This lifestyle can be less costly than most people assume. It’s about the choices you make to live the life you want to live. What’s that saying? “It’s not about how much money you make, but how much you save.”
Speaking of money! If you’re feeling it, please help us reach our goal by donating to Our Cause of raising money for Women’s Funding Alliance by clicking the Crowdrise logo. Every dollar counts. Thank you!