“How did my life get to where it is? It’s occurred to me that I haven’t really discussed what led me to getting on a one way flight, Mexico bound, with my then 10 year old son. It also occurred to me that people want to know! How about that?
It’s hard to say where the story starts.
It could have been the day I turned down the highest paying, most executive job offer I’ve received in December 2016.
Possibly, it was when I sold my house or the day I pulled my son out of the school system and officially registered him as a homeschooler.
The thing is, life started it way before all of that.
I recall snippets of past conversations I’ve had with people, which were actually breadcrumbs on the journey to getting to where we are today. In one conversation I shared with my uncle that my secret dream was to “get my son and I location independent so we can travel the world”. Another was the day I asked my friend, “why am I sitting in Atlanta, GA working when I work remotely? I should be in Hawaii or Dubai or anywhere else.” These and more thread together to bring us to our present in a way that is so glorious. You may not believe it but until the 3 months prior to leaving, I wasn’t consciously moving down this path of traveling abroad.
Let me back up…for me, this desire was like a underlying current in a pond. It was always there and moving but moving so slowly and unobtrusively that I didn’t pay it much attention. What was screaming in my conscious was my unhappiness with work, my son’s schooling and the lifestyle we were living. I know, I know, happiness is an inside job. Yes, that is true and I was working that inside job to the fullest but…but…but, but… You know how you’re somewhere and you just don’t fit? You feel out of place no matter what? Sometimes working on all the happiness in the world doesn’t make things fit together. That was me.
My life wasn’t my own.
Corporate America thought they owned me and I adamantly refused to let them. My son’s school said they were helping him in so many ways but I don’t believe they were based on several things. In addition, I was spending so much time at the school just to get the simplest things for my son. I had the dog, the house and no picket fence. Taking care of a home, like repairs, yard work and yearly maintenance, wasn’t my thing. The fact that we lived in the suburbs haunted me. I remember driving home and, several times, asking myself silently, “How did this become my life? When did I become the suburban mom?” I knew, then, that things had to change.
On top of that, things were happening in our country that I just wasn’t all right with. Things that truly scared me. The conversations I was having with my 7, 8, 9, 10 year old boy were just not ok. All in the name of “saving his future life”. (You can find more details on this here.) The political climate was, and still is, scary at best, but the thing that hurts me to my heart the most is the loss of care about humanity. The way greed has taken over our country and the politicians don’t stand up for things that may “cost them”. The way industries dominate over human health and rights. Like, really USA…why?
There was nothing holding us back.
With all of this building on me and life slowly saying “leave” on several levels, I took a hint. Tired of the corporate job? Bye bye job. Sick of caring for this house? Perfect time to sell is now (and sell I did…in one whole day!) Want your son’s schooling to be location independent? None of these schools are working out and he’s losing his happy spirit. Homeschool it is! It was time to go.
I began to research like crazy (but I’m a research junkie anyway) and I learned about worldschooling and the cost of living in other places. Then researching visa types, requirements and term lengths became an obsession. The plan began to formulate and I started working my plan.
It was not without it’s hiccups. At one point I was paralyzed with fear and couldn’t purchase our plane tickets. I brought in extra help because I’m determined not to let fear drive my decisions in life. With that help, I moved forward and we were on our way.
But on our way to what?
We didn’t have a clue. We had no idea what was to come or how we would feel about it. It’s quite a place to be. I can say, now, that putting one foot in front of the other has led us to the most glorious experience in our lives and I’m so glad I kept saying yes.
Have you been handed lemons in life that you turned into the most amazing lemonade ever? I’d love to hear about it!