Win the lottery. Retire. Save.
Those would be the three traditional ways to fund travel.
But since travel is more of a lifestyle for us we do things a bit differently. Travel for us does not equal a vacation and so we must plan and budget differently than we would for a week or two vacation.
Travel is budgeted into our everyday spending. A typical American vacation on a cruise or to Disney for a week funds us for months. Besides extra gas or plane tickets we usually maintain the same budget on the road that we would at home.
Example: If we had stayed home this winter we would have invested around $2200 in season passes to Telluride. Another $500 or more in winter gear and $500 on gas driving to and from. In between we would have driven to Moab or Fruita on the weekends when we could bike there. Instead that money was used for gas to get to California. Once in November and again in February. While in California we surf and bike for free. Our lodging is usually 100% covered by a combination of renting our home out and/or camping where it’s free. Obviously that is not an option in California but it’s what we do in Fruita, Moab, Sedona, Crested Butte, Sun Valley and other places with Forest Service or BLM land.
In addition, we do without:
-A second vehicle
-Cable. We do have Hulu Plus for $7.99 a month
-A home phone line. We do have 2 cell phones with data plans
-A large mortgage. Our mortgage, insurance, taxes and all utilities currently runs under $1000 a month
-Stuff. We are to the point where we have very little extra belongings we don’t use on a daily or weekly basis. One thing I love about renting our home out is that every time we leave it’s an opportunity to donate, sell, or throw away more things we don’t need including gear for sports we don’t absolutely love
Up until last year I have always had a corporate job. You can read more about that here. 2014 is new territory for us and we don’t have all the answers yet. I guess you can say we are in a bit of financial limbo. My plan was to start looking for another job in January or focus on freelance in my field but since finding out I was pregnant that is slightly on hold. I have been picking up some freelance work and as I get my name out there I seem to be getting more and more calls from interested clients. In addition, I am still getting calls and doing a few interviews for corporate jobs. If one seems like a great fit and is remote I am not opposed to going back to corporate work (at least for a bit).
My dream of course is to also get paid to write or possibly coach and devote energy to growing the Axel Project. I’m slowly figuring this out. I’ve also realized I’m not cut out to hunt down freelance magazine writing unless I am writing about something close to my heart. It makes more sense for me to do freelance work in my field and get paid more in less time. And to use my free time to write here and work on ideas for a book and other programs that help tell my story and inspire others.
Randy is focused on homeschool and other ‘stay-at-home’ Dad duties with Kalden and running the Axel Project (which is turning into full time work with the book, events and our ride).
I try to remind myself daily that we both have very marketable skills and experience. If money gets too tight we can always move back to a major city and find work.
In the meantime we fund our lifestyle by:
-Freelance work: Referrals, eLance, LinkedIn
-Home rental: In the past we have rented it out long term. We are currently doing short term rentals. So far this is working well and covers our mortgage most months
-Blog income: I don’t make much off the blog but have gotten a few opportunities to help other bike focused businesses and get paid based on my contacts from Velo Mom. This is a work in progress trying to find the most authentic way to make money without compromising my writing or platform
Honestly, I am open to many different income opportunities as long as they align with our lifestyle, values, and goals. It may end up that we need to focus on a number of areas to make it all work.