As soon as I can, I’ll update you on my one year trip. I’ve decided to leave everything behind and spend real time with the people that matter the most in my life: my wife and three children. This is my story, I hope it will inspire you to create yours.
You can read my previous “on the road” articles:
On the road #1
On the road #2
On the road #3
On the road #4
On the road #5
On the road #6
On the road #7
On the road #8
On the road #9
On the road #10
On the road #11
On the road #12
On the road #13
On the road #14
On the road #15
On the road #16
Date: from December 2nd to January 2nd
Countries/States/Province traveled through: Costa Rica
I’m writing this on the road exactly one month after we arrived to Costa Rica. This post is about the life in Costa Rica and also the lessons I’ve learned so far during this trip. I knew this was going to be a life changing experience, but I didn’t expect the outcome of it.
Life in Costa Rica
To give you an idea, this is my view from my bedroom:
Each morning, I wake up watching toucans, coatis (I named one “Patati” as we feed them a lot!) and this incredible landscape. Each neighbor is about 200 meters of our place and we don’t even see them as the nature is omnipresent here. We live in Baru, a small village nearby Domincal, another small village of surfer:
I love the feel of this village as it has only 3 roads and life is quite simple; enjoy the beach, relax and meet cool people. We rented a car for the next three month as we wanted to explore every bit of this beautiful country.
We created a small life here. William is playing soccer with kids every week, we explore a different famers’ market and we spend time between playas and waterfalls.
**William, Amy and myself jumped over the highest point (on the left) of this waterfall**
So how’s life in paradise?
Surprisingly, we hit a huge down when we arrived
I never thought this would be possible, but it happened. For the first 3 weeks, we felt almost depressive. It’s like if we lost our drive, our adrenaline and our bodies let us know that we went too far. No kidding, I was in bed before 9pm for 3 weeks in a row!
Living in a house was “complicated” for us… many things to manage! We weren’t used to stay at the same place for more than a few days in a row. The sedentarily stay hurt us like a disease. We felt like we were going back to the people we were before the trip and we didn’t want that. Memories of our old home started to strike back and we started missing our home, family and friends. Did we made all this to come back empty handed? This is what went through our mind for a while.
Now that this phase is over, I can tell you it was all related to the “end” of the first part of our trip. We worked so hard and went through so many highs and lows that reaching our destination created emptiness in our heart. But we needed this emptiness to clear our thoughts and find what we want to do once we return. We are taking the time here to define the new life we want to experiment.
Then, my mother arrived, we celebrated Christmas together and I’m currently having my sister-in-law with her family for 2 weeks (on top of receiving the visit of my best friend next week!!!). Life is getting back on track and I’m now able to synthesize what I’ve learned so far.
I told you in my latest on the road that I’ve become invincible. It’s not that I’m fearless, I still have several fears. The difference is that now I know that I can achieve anything in life and that no fears are bigger than my will to achieve my goals. Funny enough, we are all invincible, it’s just that we don’t know it yet. This trip confirmed what I read in many books over the past decade: we can do anything in life and we will succeed.
My thirst for doing more projects is growing fast these days. I can see all the possibilities in front of me. All I have to do is to pick what I want to do and make it happen! It’s like the world became my playground, I feel like a kid in a Toys ‘R us!
I love the connection with Mother Nature
We spent lots of time hiking during this trip. I’ve explored:
The mountains of the Canadian Rockies, Mount Rushmore, Yosemite, Gran Tetons and Zion;
The different beaches of Vancouver Island, Oregon, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Mexico and Costa Rica;
The nature miracles of Yellow Stone, Death Valley, Antelope;
The power of volcanoes Pacaya, Massaya & Cerro Negro;
Driving routes with incredible landscapes across Canada, the U.S. and Central America.
I noticed all this time spent admiring what the world has best to offer made me very close to our planet. I don’t see consumption the same way as I do. I have plans to compost, double the size of my garden and even have hens! I will search for more eco-friendly ways to manage my house and we will buy less clothes and other stuff! I’ve been living with about 10 days of clothes for 6 months and I don’t miss my wardrobe yet!
Money isn’t that bad
Oh yeah… money! You are going to tell me it’s fun to live your dreams, but you still need money to finance them, right? To be honest, we always find a way to make it happen anyhow. As of January 3rd, I’ve spent a total of $31,171.97 plus $8,000 for the villa (I live there until Feb 27th). If all goes well, I can expect to spend about $70,000 in total for the entire year. This is obviously without counting what we invested in the RV and other purchases before our trip. Still, this amazing adventure will cost me less than $90,000. What is $90,000 in a life span? Not much. In fact, I spend about the same amount of money when I live at home and I don’t have this much fun! Hahaha!
The idea is having the capacity of generating money along the way. I was working nights on my websites before I left and continued working during my trip. Now that we are based in a house, I have 2 days of full work per week. So far, I didn’t have to touch my investment to finance my trip. A combination of my online income, renting my house and about $400 per month in Government allocation (children allocation) make it possible. I will not come back home with much in my bank account, but my heart and soul will be filled with happiness, the most important currency of all.
My family is closer than ever
Being 24/7 all together is not always easy. The lack of space combined with the warm weather obviously lead to a few brother-sister fights you can imagine! But something grew up between us. A bond that is so solid, so magic, it will last forever.
I can see how my kids are playing together, how they enjoy spending time with us and the discussions we have with them. During our trip, we discussed the U.S. election, topics like homeless people, school in other countries, the difference between North America and a third world country, etc. Both older kids grew up interest in cooking, traveling and art (William now builds shell sculptures!).
My wife and I became the best team ever. We are here to support each other and we had some much laugher in the past 6 months, it was rediscovering my wife a second time. As we evolve, we discuss about our future, about how we see life and the persons we want to become.
If there is only one thing that comes out of this trip, it will be that we have spent the most amazing year of our life all together. I wrote it before; you can always make money, but you can buy the time back. It would be impossible for us to live this kind of experience once I’ll retire at the age of 55 or 60.
If there is one thing I can wish you for 2017 is to stop thinking you can achieve your dream once you retire and start living them now. Get out of your comfort zone, challenge your life and people around you, make things happen, you will only get happier!