When we got married in 2006, we faced a number of challenges: blending a family, financial and real estate downturn-related issues, and the realization that Pete’s career had plateaued. In a brutally honest assessment, we acknowledged that we both needed to continue working until the day we died. We felt trapped!
This makes us no different than many people nowadays. Except for one thing. We decided to treat our circumstances as opportunities.
We knew we’d better figure out something we liked and could do together, and perhaps it wouldn’t seem “so much like work.” Could we get to the point where location independence meant we could move forward in our life together, instead of being stuck?
We decided we needed to create our own multi-faceted business with
- income diversity: direct, residual (recurring), and passive
- freedom from having to “go to” work
- no need to pursue balance
- the ability to share, inspire and be inspired by others who had similar dreams
With these priorities in mind, we tried and settled on a combination of online business activities and lifestyle changes.
Each thing we decided to do had potential, true, but that wasn’t sufficient. We needed commitment and discipline. Modern day society supports conventional work and lifestyles. When you buck the system, you’re going to get pushback.
Many of our friends and relatives didn’t understand what we were doing and some still can’t. Through their lens, location independence really meant early retirement. It was hard to comprehend that we were giving up the conventional lifestyle we’d had for so long in favor of one we really wanted. Left unsaid was their obvious belief that we would fail. We know several placed informal bets as to how long it would take before we had to go back to “real jobs.”
Nonetheless, we began to implement our plans. Our timeline to freedom didn’t happen overnight. But, we’ve hit a comfortable stride.
Betsy sold her previous business within a few months, and devoted herself exclusively to our business ventures. We downsized out of a house that consumed time, money and energy. After almost four years of moonlighting at our business activities, Pete took the plunge and quit his job. Now we had flexibility! We could literally lock the door and go, any time we wanted!
All the way since, we’ve managed a variety of business activities so that we can
- work from anywhere there’s a phone and Internet connection
- travel any time we want and
- stay wherever we are for as long as we wish.
This is what TRUE FREEDOM means!
In the first few years since we achieved location independence, we traveled about 70% of the time. We worked on our goal to get to all 50 states together. In Canada, we traveled over 1000 miles through Manitoba, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Western British Columbia. We’ve been to Graceland, Beale Street and Branson (where Betsy danced on stage with Chubby Checker!) on a rock’n’roll and blues music pilgrimage. We’ve done the Lake Superior Circle Tour and visited our beloved Minnesota North Shore several times. We spent months at a time at our cabin away from it all in Northern Minnesota – fishing, eating, happy hour-ing, the whole nine yards. And all the time, having the freedom to work just a few easy hours per day.
Strategizing our goal of visiting all 7 continents led us to a semi-permanent relocation from Minnesota to the Garden Island of Kauai in Hawaii. As lifelong Midwesterners, we were pretty darn excited to wake up in Paradise every day!
Now, following an epic trip to Europe and Russia for the Winter Olympics in early 2014, we decided to travel the world for two years (and maybe more)!
We’re thrilled that you’re here, and we hope you’ll consider coming along!
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