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What I Learned from Our Trip to Canada

Posted by on 6 September 2010

You may wonder what it's been like packing up the van and taking our six-year old to Canada and back. There were those of you who were worried about how Fiona would handle it. Would she have friends to play with? Would she have a bed to sleep in? How would she continue doing her school work?

Then there were the questions of how we would continue to work while traveling. Would we have internet access when we needed it? Would clients want to work with us knowing we were out of the country?

And then the questions of how much would this cost? Wouldn't this be expensive?

Let me start by saying we've decided the experiment was a success. We learned some things and know they are some adjustments we need to make so that in the long run this works most effectively. There were some challenges - all of which we were able to deal with successfully. So much so that we've decided to do this as our way of life for a while. We're leaving California again at the end of September to travel cross country and up into Montreal to stay with friends for a while.

Fiona had a great time! She made new friends that we will stay in touch with. She got to play with new friends at the park. Everywhere we went she had a bed to sleep in. Actually the last night she slept on a friend's couch - and thought that was a blast! We started doing school work and it worked just like it always did.

We continued working with all our usual clients and started working with new clients. That's the beauty of our virtual work - it doesn't matter where we live. We always had internet access either where we were staying or at a nearby coffee house. One new client did ask where we were located and then was very impressed that we could get the work done so quickly - all without being anywhere near him physically.

This was not expensive! We never ate out and enjoyed home cooked meals the entire time. Lodging cost zero. So there were no extra costs except for gas for the van, which had already been covered by funds we received from our yard sale and donated to us.

So I learned:

  • Being together as a family is most important
  • Possessions are not important
  • Our work is not dependent on our location
  • Fiona is a very happy traveler
  • Joel and I love traveling
  • It will actually cost less to live as nomads than to continue renting and paying utilities
  • Our family must live a nomadic life (at least for a while) so we can meet new friends and enjoy our life!

So here we go! We're in the process of selling off a lot, storing the few things we always think we'll want, and packing up the rest to go on the road. Fiona has helped decide which books and videos to take, store or sell, and will help decide which toys to take, store or sell. We have wonderful friends here who are willing to store what we're leaving behind. Other friends who are graciously opening their homes to us along the way. And clients who know their business will continue to be taken care of as we travel.

Stay tuned for what happens next!

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