We’re actually doing this. After years of dreaming, months of planning, and days of packing, we’re somehow less than two weeks away from departure. Holy shit.
I’m writing this on day three of funemployment. Last Friday, I walked out of a full-time job that I’ve held since March 2013. Full disclosure, they’ve hired me as a part-time contractor, so leaving the office wasn’t the unbelievable feeling of freedom you’re probably imagining. Still, the abrupt end of a steady income and routine left me feeling like the people from those Prudential commercials on their first day of retirement. Except I’m only 28 years-old and don’t have a soothing voice-over guiding my life through the next uncertain steps. Luckily, Derrick was born with the ability to go with the flow, so I’ve become somewhat of a flow-er myself. I first typed that out as “flower” and then had to add the hyphen because I haven’t become somewhat of a flower.
Anyways, when we first made the decision to travel, I mentally inserted Derrick and I into the romanticized Instagram pictures that inspired our initial wanderlust. Of course, we knew this was not reality, but they helped keep us motivated when we ran into the actual realities of planning for full-time travel. Overall, the planning stages have been fun and exciting. However, completely changing your lifestyle comes with plenty of obstacles, road blocks, and almost complete derailments. These stressful realities have led to a lot of revisions in our (not so) grand plans.
Of course, it’s these loose plans that everyone seems to be most curious about. So, without further ado, here is our (not so) grand three-month plan for traveling full-time.
How We’re Going to Afford This
We’re getting rid of as many monthly expenses as possible. This includes rent, utilities, car payments, gym memberships, you name it. We’ve sold most of our belongings, put what’s left in storage, and are taking whatever fits in our backpacks with us. Of course, we can’t trim all the fat (shout out to my student loans), so this is where working from the road comes in. Derrick and I have both been lucky enough to secure contracting roles with our respective companies. We didn’t build lucrative side hustles, and neither one of us is particularly entrepreneurial (although I’ve been told that’s just a mindset). These money-making limitations led to us pitching our companies on the possibility of remote work, and luckily it panned out. I’ll write another blog on that later.
This doesn’t mean we won’t try other ways to bring in income, and we’ll share our successes and failures with these as well. But it does give us the peace of mind that comes with even a small amount of income and will be the fuel that gets us started on this adventure. Of course, we also saved for over a year before we hit the road. We could've made saving even more of a priority, but we do have a cushion on which to fall back (if needed). If you’re planning to set out for full-time travel, SAVE AS MUCH AS YOU CAN. We'll share some tips for this in later posts.
When it comes to traveling cheap, we’ve found a variety of options for this too. We were lucky enough to find TrustedHousesitters.com early on in our research. This online community pairs house sitters with homeowners who need people to care for their pets and their homes while they are away. The house-sitting opportunities are worldwide and once you create an account, you can apply for any available. It’s a real-life choose your own adventure. The sign-up fee is $119 annually and they cover background checks and other verifications needed to prove you aren’t a sketchy character. If you click the link above you'll get 20% off sign-up, and we’ll get free months for the referral (and be forever grateful for you, our kind reader).
When we’re not house-sitting, we’ll be camping in the Jeep, finding cheap AirBnB’s and hostels, and working from coffee shops, libraries etc. Let's all just take a minute to pray this works out for us.
Where We’re Going
Let me first mention that an end date is something we’ve yet to plan. This adventure could last three months, or three years, depending on how well we can make it work. With that in mind, we felt confident enough to plan for at least three months of travel. We have an idea of where we’d like to go after that, but planning too far in advance feels like a set-up for disappointment if we don't make this work long-term.
Our departure date is Sunday, June 25th, and we’ll be heading west to the San Francisco Bay Area for our first house sit. While there, we’ll be parents to three cats and caretakers of a ranch-style home in Concord, CA. Ironically, the homeowners are taking an Alaskan cruise for 10 days; the same trip we took for our honeymoon. From there, we’re driving Eddy (our Jeep) into the Great White North. Our first Canadian house sit is in Victoria, BC where we’ll be parents to a large cat and tiny dog. We made a 4-hour stop in Victoria on our honeymoon last summer and fell in love with the city in less time. It was our biggest motivation for the Canadian road trip and we can’t wait to visit again.
We’ll have two weeks between the Victoria house sit and our next one in Vernon, BC. During this time, we’ve decided to take advantage of Canada’s free entry to their national parks in honor of their centennial anniversary this year. Banff and Jasper are definitely on the list. Our plans for where we’re staying and working are TBD. After that, we’ll head back to Vernon for a 5-day house sit where we’ll be parents to a husky and a pit bull mix. Our last Canadian house-sit will be for the same family in Victoria, BC and will bring us through mid-September. Luckily, we have a bit of time between Vernon and Victoria, so we’ll be exploring Derrick’s dream location of Squamish, BC and staying in their Adventure Hostel for a few nights. I’m worried he may not leave.
To end the road trip, we’ll be heading down Highway 1 and exploring the Washington, Oregon, and California coasts. Again, TBD on accommodation and plans for working. The trip will end in Los Angeles where we’ll spend a few days with Derrick’s sister and his parents before heading back to Denver and figuring out where we go from there. If we’re not broke by then, we hope to have plans for travel abroad this fall.
Now that you know the plan, we’d love for you to follow along as we blog our adventures and misadventures from the road. We’ll also share more of our experiences and advice on traveling cheap, making and saving money, and the realities of full-time travel.
Leave your comments and questions below!