This morning feels both exciting and terrifying: in exactly 5 months, I will take a sabbatical leave in order to travel with my family in an RV trip around North & Central America. During this trip, I seriously intend to retire not temporarily but permanently from the “ordinary life” we all live.
From an Ordinary Life to an Extraordinary life
I am not different than most folks; at the beginning of each year, I set my goals for the year ahead. But the exercise is a bit different this time around. Instead of setting goals, I’m taking action. I do not intend to change things, I am changing them. This year, I’m leaving my ordinary life to embark upon an extraordinary life.
Over the past 13 years, I’ve been working very hard at my day job. I’ve stockpiled much overtime as I accumulated promotions and bonuses. I started working at the age of 23 with a $37,000 salary and made 6 figures for the first time at the age of 28. I love my job and I’m motivated to keep going. However, there is something that has always bugged me: what I am living today is exactly what I’ve lived over the past 5 years and this is also exactly what I will live during the next 30 years. Every work day will look the same, I’ll arrive home at the end of each day to see my children growing and by the time I realize it completely, they will be gone to live a life of their own, I will be old and there won’t be much extraordinary in my life to tell about. Just a comfortable retirement with a fully funded pension plan and a beautiful wife. In fact, I know I’m in an enviable situation; my financial security is not at stake and everything is predictable. Some people like routine as it comforts them, they are be happy to know what is coming for the next 30 years.This acknowledgment gave me chills.
I believe there is much more to life than working week in and out just to have a pension plan. Life shouldn’t be about saving money for later; it should be about living extraordinary experiences. This is why I’m quitting the ordinary to make the jump towards the extraordinary.
The Fear Grows Stronger… So Does the Excitement!
Putting everything aside, telling people that the life they live and the life I live is ordinary is going against the masses. All this is very frightening. It’s not like you find many people that agree, saying: Yeah! Go for it! They all enquire about their own fears:
How will you do schooling in the RV?
How can you afford this?
Will you be able to keep your job?
Aren’t you afraid of traveling alone with a young family?
Be very careful in Mexico, this isn’t North America you know!
Did you know that the country with most homicides per capita is Honduras? Are you going there? (the answer is yes… and yes)
Ugh…. there will be bugs, biting spiders and ants and probably venomous snakes!
What will you do to protect yourself against rabies, malaria, yellow fever, etc?
So these are the fears that sometimes grow… sometimes shrink. I realized that when I’m around people worrying for me, the fear grows stronger. However, when I research, discuss my project with people who have done it, the fear goes away and the excitement grows even stronger than my fear!
In 4 months, I’m quitting my job for a 12 month sabbatical. I will start by taking my four weeks of vacation from May to June and then the “real” sabbatical starts. During this month, I’ll be at home to work on the latest details such as getting the RV ready (buying a second spare tire, learn how to change it, oil and brake maintenance, etc), arranging my home (I put it up for rent over the weekend… we’ll see how it goes) and working on my websites. One of the reasons we can embark on this trip so soon is the fact that my sites are going very well right now. It enables me to generate enough semi-passive income to fund my expenses. Therefore, I am making sure to work very hard to keep it going!
In 5 months, this will be the big departure. On June 11th, we will say goodbye to our families and friends and leave our home. We will be driving over to Ottawa for our first step. This will be a great adventure where we will visit 8 countries: Canada, the USA, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Belize. We will spend most of our trip in Mexico (about 4 months), Canada/USA (roughly 3 months) and Costa Rica (we have rented a villa for 3 months there).
Five months; it’s a long way away and a very short one at the same time. There are still lots of things to prepare, but I feel it’s like having a baby; you are only ready when the baby comes, never before.
A Few Things I’m Looking Forward During my Trip
I’ve discussed my itinerary a while ago. Things have changed a little (we are now going through Chicago instead of crossing the Canadian prairies), but most of it remains the same. I’ll discuss more about my itinerary in another post so I will not play the tour guide here. The most important things to live during this trip are not necessarily all the marvels we will discover along the way, but the marvels we will discover inside of ourselves throughout our journey.
I’m looking forward to creating enduring bonds with my three children.
I can’t wait to see them opening up to the World.
I hope to break all my mental barriers and open myself to the World as well.
I want to feel that everything is possible, and then make it happen.
I’m looking to put the final measures in place for my website venture to finally build a solid source of income.
I’m expecting to reach financial freedom during this trip.
Above all, I’m looking to enjoy nearly 400 days with the four people I love most on this Earth. To truly cherish these special moments of life.
I hope this experience will be the beginning of a whole new life. A life where I am free to do whatever I want most of the time and concentrate on what really matters during our short timeon this Earth; spending time with the ones you love and live extraordinary experiences as a family.
What about you? What do you expect to happen this year? What is your wildest dream? Don’t you think it would be time to start working on it!