I’m writing this from my parents’ kitchen table in Troy, Mich., a boring suburb 20 minutes north of Detroit.
There’s not much notable about Troy, except that K-Mart was once headquartered here, and the Tea Party-backed mayor was recalled last fall after making national news for posting homophobic comments to her Facebook account.
Also, there used to be a Hooters here.
It was on a road named Big Beaver Rd.
Just off exit 69.
Katie and I have lived here for nearly six months now, first in the tiny middle bedroom between my little brother’s and my parents’ rooms. Last month, after getting married, we finally upgraded to our new honeymoon suite: my little sister’s former corner bedroom, complete with bright orange walls and pink shag throw pillows (quite understated!).
What I’m trying to illustrate is the fact that this isn’t exactly the postcard life of your average travel bloggers, reporting to you from some remote beach town in Central America, living free and easy.
So what the hell?
Here’s the thing…
What all the other travel blogs and “lifestyle design” e-books out there don’t talk about is this.
This right here.
All the preparation, saving, building, and dreaming that sustained, long-term travel requires.
The moving-back-with-your-parents and paying-off-your-debt part part of the equation that, when done effectively, turns vagabond dreams into reality.
All the other blogs begin AFTER this part.
(Probably for a good reason.)
But that’s also what makes us different.
Still, we figured it might be a good idea to put it all out there, so you know what we’re up to and what to expect from us.
Throughout the rest of the month, we’ll be ramping up our content here. We finally got the layout of the blog where we want it, now it’s all about finding and keeping interested readers.
The only way to do that is to deliver content that you want to read.
(And by you — yes, you — sharing this blog with your friends, real or imagined.)
Next week, we’ll begin working on 24 Hours in Vilnius (Lithuania), Israel, and Detroit.
We’re also working on a step-by-step guide — as part of our “How To Be Awesome” series — which details How to Sell Your Stuff and Simplify Your Life. Another installation in the series, The Single Most Important Secret to Living the Life You Want, is also forthcoming.
We’ve also begun to open new credit cards with nice sign-up bonuses as part of our effort to accrue enough airfare miles to travel for next to nothing next year. We’ll give you our first impressions of the cards and share our long-term points strategy.
Things start to get interesting in April. I (Mark) turn 27, and we’re visiting the San Francisco Bay Area for the first time. I’ll be attending UC-Berkeley for graduate school in the fall, so we’re doing a whirlwind tour of the school, the city, and the East Bay.
If you have any tips for where we should go, please leave us a note in the comments (it could make it into our SF Bay destination guide).
FYI: We’ll be staying in a room booked through AirBnB in the Temescal neighborhood of north Oakland.
Here’s where things really start to get good. In May, we quit our jobs (if you work for Katie’s company, please don’t tell her boss!), pare down the rest of our belongings so they’ll fit into the back of our Honda Insight, and take off on a weeklong cross-country trip. The full itinerary will be posted as the date approaches, and we’ll be updating from the road, but here are the locales we plan on hitting:
1. New York City
2. The cabin/recording studio of one of our favorite bands, Bowerbirds, located in the middle of the North Carolina forest
5. Arches National Park
We are set to arrive at Katie’s parents’ house (see a pattern here?) in Mesquite, Nevada, the day before Memorial Day.
As you can imagine, we’ll continue to add to our series of Guides in Awesomeness, and give you the low-down on How to Pack Up Everything You Own and Move Across the Country.
We won’t be in Mesquite long before we take off for Oahu, Hawaii, where we’ll be WWOOFing on an organic farm for three weeks.
(Still working out all those details. So far, the only thing that’s certain is that we’re going!)
We plan to spend the Fourth of July in Las Vegas.
If we’re crazy enough, we might make a trip out to Phoenix, Arizona, to visit my cousin, but that might wait for a month when the temperature drops below the triple digits sometimes.
The rest of the month will be dedicated to finding a new home in the Bay Area.
I start school at the end of the month, so we’ll likely be exploring northern California by the end of summer.
At least that’s the hope…
It’s a lot to pack in, and it’s not going to be easy. We might look back at this in September and realize that experience looks much different in the rearview of the past. In fact, that’s inevitable.
I read a pretty good quote on Reddit today, not sure to whom it is attributed:
“Have enough doubt in yourself to know nothing will work out how you want it, but have enough faith in yourself to know everything will work out.”
Pretty sound advice, if you ask me.
In addition to the hours we’ll log on the road and in the air, we’re also working behind the scenes on some new entrepreneurial ventures.
All in the name of becoming location independent by 2015.
The hope is that you’ll be able to use this as a start-to-finish template to do the same.
See you along the way.
(P.S. You see that little “Follow” tab in the bottom right-hand corner of this screen? That’s where you can follow us via email. We promise not to spam you, and we never post more than once a day, though it’s usually no more than 4 times a week.)