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Winning The Lifestyle Lottery

TIME : 2016/2/23 16:47:04

Family Travel, Changing Lives, Finding Freedom.

Many people talk of travel “When I win the lottery.”. That would be what it would take to really start living, start travelling and have more free time.

It’s not true you know. You don’t have to win the lottery to make big changes to the way you live.

I commented on our Facebook page that I felt like we’d won the lifestyle lottery, after two years of family travel we now have a place to call our own in a beautiful, remote village. Life is pretty fine. We don’t have a massive TV, cable channels and a house full of expensive toys, we don’t even have carpets or central heating, but we have everything we need and we have the freedom to do all the things we want to do and that is what most people want, I think, to be able to live their way.

Many of us dream of travel, of seeing far off lands. Travel has always been an important part of my life and will continue to be a huge part of my family’s life. Do you think that the freedom to wander the world is as much a part of the travel appeal as seeing, touching, tasting and experiencing everything the world can offer?

I do, it’s becoming more obvious to me every day. I’ve been to India, touched Ankor Wat, crossed the Atlantic by ship and eaten Thai food ’till it came out of my ears, it was all wonderful and we’ll do it all over again, but what’s at the root of it all, is freedom.

We’ve just taken what may seem a backward step to those of you longing to be free of mortgage, bills and unrelenting work to start on a travel adventure such as ours. We’ve bought a house.

This post isn’t about justifying our decision, we don’t need to justify it, it’s more about inspiring YOU to start your own adventure and taste the same freedom we’ve found. Life is amazing and full of possibilities, just grab it with both hands.

Buying a House, This Time, Means Buying Freedom

Why would a family that wanted to travel and see the world do such a crazy thing? Well, we’ve just bought ourselves more freedom, we hope.

We’ve bought freedom to travel light, our big backpacks stuffed with Lego, all-weather gear, electronics and school books won’t always have to travel with us any more. ( Read about why we don’t travel light here, we carry so much stuff!)

We’ve bought our own space, that gives us the freedom to stay as long as we want, whenever we want, with no pressure to organise the next flight or bus ride before the visa runs out.

We’ve got financial freedom. I don’t think any sort of travel could be as cheap as living here. Our Asia budget of $50 per day seems like a fortune and this is certainly the cheapest accommodation we’ve ever used. Our lowest prices were in Laos and Thailand, where we paid just $12 per night. Here we are paying around $8. Admittedly we need to pay for wifi and electricity too, but I still think it’s cheaper. ( Find out what we spent in our first year of non-stop travel here.)

We’ve bought into an unrestricted lifestyle. There are few rules and many freedoms here. The kids can build a bonfire in the garden and toast marshmallows, we can keep chickens, we can get the kitten Boo wants and we already have a new bunny hopping about. We could do none of those things in our home in Australia, isn’t that strange? No chickens, no bunnies, no cats outside, small restrictions maybe, but being free of them is great.

We’ve bought freedom from keeping up appearances. If we want a piece of furniture, somebody will make it, no more agonising over which not-quite perfect chest of drawers will look just so. It’s about function, not looks, here. Our neighbours built us two beds yesterday using wood from the barn, a chainsaw and an axe. They’re the most solid beds I’ve ever slept on and smell of fresh pine resin.

The kids are free of the restrictions of city life, traffic and stranger danger, they roam where they please and I don’t have to worry about them. They have a degree of independence that’s making a huge difference to their happiness. I’ve actually never seen them this happy or so disinterested in electronic stimuli.

We’ve got freedom from worrying about damaging things, there is little here to break, no carpets to stain, no ornaments to smash, two of the reasons I struggle with house sitting. The kids can cook, paint, create, muck about, get dirty and generally just enjoy being kids without me stressing.


 freedom travel


This Isn’t Travel

I freely admit that, we’re not travelling right now, we’re sitting still and just living our lives. We’re still learning about a country and its people, a lifestyle and a language, so our world knowledge is ever-expanding, but travelling, we are not.

We have enough to keep us busy here for now and the ski season is coming, the ski slopes are just up the road. When we set off on this adventure, teaching the kids to ski was very high on our list of wants. We thought it would happen in Japan, but our wanderings have led us back to Europe and I’m pretty sure we can get a lot more skiing per dollar here than in the Far East.

 Why after 2.5 years of travel, we feel like we've won the lifestyle lottery. Life is good, we have freedom to explore the world and a place to call home that doesn't make us slaves to mortgage and bills.

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We’d Never Have Discoverred This Freedom Without the Travel

Travel had to be the first step. We had to break free of the grind of working just to pay bills. Once we’d started and tasted freedom, going back to the conventional way seemed inconceivable. We don’t want to live that way again.

Gaining freedom from school was the point at which our outlook changed and many things started to look possible. ( Read about how we educate and with what resources, here) Freedom from working to pay a mortgage came later and we hope that even more financial freedom will come through the blogs. We don’t live on fresh air, we need cash, but there are better, smarter, ways of making it than being tied to a full-time job. ( If you want to read more on how to rethink your life, finance it differently and travel more, we’d recommend this book and this one.)

I’m still beavering away on the internet, but I hope to be offline far more here. We’ve had no WiFi for the last few days and I have to say, it was good.  I think that the next time we travel it will be a short trip, maybe 2-3 weeks, we will travel unplugged.

We want you to live your dreams and taste this freedom we’ve found. It’s possible,no lottery win required.

If there is any way we can help you win your own lifestyle lottery, let us know in the comments.

Now I’m going to round-up the kids from the stream and we’ll cook some lunch. Have a great day!

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