People are always asking Ironman and I how we travel so often.  I know from the outside looking in, it seems like we are doing something special and it makes others feel like they could never do the same.  However, it's not true!  There's no magic.  It all comes down to constantly dreaming up new ideas, always making major sacrifices and consistently working hard.  Do you want to take your first trip?  Or begin to travel more often?  Here is exactly how we do it:

1.  DREAM.  First things first, you gotta learn how to dream if you don't already know how to do it.  Spend time browsing Pinterest, travel blogs, Instagram's digital nomads and even travel magazines at your local bookstore.  Take note of what interests you most.  Do you want to road trip the USA?  Backpack Europe?  Camp the Appalachian Trail?  Cruise the Caribbean?  Get a piece of paper (or type it up in your cell phone notes, if you like to go paperless) and start writing down your very own Bucket List.  This is your new hobby.  You wouldn't believe how much Ironman and I do this together.  There's no telling how many hours we have spent looking at maps and photos and articles, etc.  Do your research, save good ideas you come across and talk to other people about it.  This part can often be just as much fun as the actual adventure!

2.  SACRIFICE.  Look for ways to cut expenses.  Cancel all your subscriptions that cost money, like magazines, Netflix, cable, etc.  If you have a car payment, sell that car and buy a car you can afford to pay in cash right then.  Or maybe your family can get away with one car!  Look for ways to cut down on utilities like turning off lights, unplugging items and using less water.  Make your own toiletries, cleaning supplies and more with essential oils.  Stop going out to eat, but buy groceries to prepare and eat all your meals at home.  Find free local entertainment, instead of paying for movies.  Quit buying things unless you really truly need that item (not want, but need).  Set a budget for yourself and don't go over.  Each month, Ironman budgets our mortgage, utilities, insurance, gym membership, cell phone, gas and food and then he gives me $100 to spend how I want.  This means that once we hit the top of one of the budgets, then we have to say "no" until next month.  This helps us be much more careful about spending!  If you want to do something drastic, consider a total lifestyle change by downsizing your home, belongings and spending!  And if you haven't taken it yet, I recommend the Dave Ramsey course...we did it as newlyweds and I know it set us up for success.

Us in Ireland

3.  SELL.  Live a more minimalist lifestyle by selling things that you don't use or need.  Go through every room in your entire home and if you haven't used an item in one year, it's time to get rid of it.  Even furniture that has no purpose but to collect piles of stuff should go.  You can live with much less than you think.  Only keep items that you truly use and are helpful to you.  Sell anything else.  Put that extra cash from selling those items in savings for your upcoming adventure.  Still want to downsize, but don't have things in good enough condition to sell?  Donate them to local charities who could use them!  Want to travel for longer periods of time?  Maybe indefinitely?  Consider selling your house or simply renting it out while you are gone!

4.  WORK.  Living simply has truly helped us to travel more than most people, but once we opened our own small business, things really took off in the adventure department.  We travel much more often now because we have the freedom to be flexible.  The great thing about working online is that we can literally work from anywhere in the world, as long as you can find wifi.  We have traveled and worked while visiting friends in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Denmark, Bolivia and all over the USA.  Even this Friday, we are headed out for a two week east coast road trip!  This is one huge reason why I love our business.  I also love helping others learn to live with the same freedom as us.  If this sounds like something you'd be interested in, I'd be more than happy to share how we've done it!  Just shoot me an email!  However, if you don't want to work while you travel, the other option is to save money ahead of time so that you can take that time off or quit your job!

So, you see?  There's no magic, no secrets.  Just a lot of planning and working!  But you decide.  Would you rather a bigger house, huge TV, new car and a closet full of clothes?  Or to live with less, but travel more?  We all choose how we will spend our time and money.  How do you want to spend yours?

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