Redefining an American Dream

Today, I woke up and realized I re-defined my American Dream.

No longer are we ‘stereotypical’ Americans working to pay off our debt, to fund a bigger house and nicer car.  In fact, we have left it all behind.  One and a half years ago, we sold most of our possessions, stored the rest and headed off to the unknown abyss of creating and living our version of this dream.

The stereotypical American dream has become owning a lot of stuff.  Consumerism is the economic basis of the US and we decided to opt-out of the never ending cycle.  We sold most of our ‘stuff’ and traded it for experience and adventure.  We packed the remaining things we had in suitcases, headed to the airport and hoped that everything worked out in our favor.

2nd Generation Dreamer

That is what immigrants coming to the US hope and feel as well.  I know.   My family is an example of this.  My parents moved our family to the US from Poland over 30 years ago in search of opportunity.  They left an extended family and support system in Poland for the possibility to better their lives economically.  They didn’t know the language. They had no guarantee.  There was doubt, but there was a very strong will to make it work.  That was their dream.

Did they achieve their American Dream?

Yes…and I’m proof of it.  By taking the chance of moving their family to a foreign country, my father and mother have given their children enormous amounts of opportunity to become and do whatever we wish.  All four of their children went to college and are successful by their own definitions.

Same Dream – Different Approach

And I am doing the same, but differently.  My American Dream extends beyond America.  The world has changed into a rich, global, multifaceted and easily accessible place.  My Dream is to give ourselves and our children the opportunity to be globally educated, thus giving all of us a rich experience and more global opportunity.  We want to travel and immerse ourselves in culture, language and food.  We want our children to know something other than consumerism.  The diversity we are experiencing on a day to day level cannot be taught in traditional schools.  These experiences are going to shape and mold us into amazing global citizens.

King American Dream

Our Global Home

There are ideals that we are not willing to sacrifice to achieve these.  My parents sacrificed a lot of time to make money.  We have leveraged our time to make money.  They sacrificed new experiences because of fear, whereas we calculate our risks and jump right in.  So we’ve come up with a few priorities that we use as guidelines on our adventure.

The King American Dream Priorities

  • Time over money
  • Children over Business
  • Adventure over Fear-based Stagnation
  • Experiences over Excuses
  • People over Stereotypes

We aren’t perfect in achieving these all the time.  We give it our best effort, just like my parents gave it their best effort.  I thank my immigrant parents for bringing me to the US, where I was able to grow up and think independently.  I am grateful for my US Passport.  Right now, it is the key to my American Dream.

Read:
Livin’ the Not-So-American Dream

Stick with us as we explore this great globe of ours.  You can follow us on Facebook.

Curious how traveling families view the American Dream? Be sure to check out these other great bloggers and families who have written about the same topic recently:

Curious how traveling families view the American Dream? Be sure to check out these other great bloggers and families who have written about the same topic recently:

Brandon Pearce from Fullness of Life – The Global American Dream

Nancy from Family on Bikes – What is the American Dream?

Lisa from Around the World in Easy Ways - An American Dream Fairy Tale

Talon from 1 Dad, 1 Kid, 1 Crazy Adventure – The American Dream

Lisa Wood from New Life on the Road – Living the Australian Dream

Lainie from Raising Miro – Erosion of the American Dream

Bohemian Mom- The Illusion of the American Dream

Family Travel Bucket List – Bye Bye Miss American Dream

The Great Family Escape -The Real American Dream

Melissa from Break Out of Bushwick – Good Morning, America, Let’s Occupy Wall Street!

Amy Page – To dream a little dream of … travel

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31 Responses to “Redefining an American Dream”

  1. gail September 28, 2011 at 8:27 am #

    LOVE YOUR BLOG!!! Definitely worth waiting for. So glad our paths crossed if only for a short time. Your story is an inspiration, and one I am trying to emulate! Once we can get enough cash flow to survive on and emergency travel, I think we are going to give it another shot.
    We are trying so hard to keep to the simple life, but the constant bombardment of advertising and peer pressure is making it difficult to stay the course. I know we have made progress – as I look around our shabby rental with cast off furniture (most of it came from the side of the road) I am still appalled at how much we managed to accumulate in such a short time. I am thinking I should chronicle the excesses of our society just based on trash – you can furnish a house with it!

    • S King September 28, 2011 at 8:38 am #

      Thanks Gail!
      I know the pressures…it IS much easier living here, just because there are not as many options, which is frustrating at times, but in the long run…good.
      We rent fully furnished homes just so we aren’t anchored down by all the things that it takes to make a home comfortable. We also chose to live in a small little town without fast-food or chains. A short drive down the highway and we can get our sampling of America in Escazu, Costa Rica. But we prefer to live simple in Atenas.

  2. lisa September 28, 2011 at 11:10 am #

    Yes, consumerism is the American Way and we too have “bought out” of that one. My only question is, “If we all buy out of consumerism, what will prop up America?”

  3. Brandon Pearce September 28, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    I love your American Dream Priorities! Especially #3, “Adventure over fear-based stagnation” — so cool! I think I’m going to adopt some of these myself. :) Great post.

  4. Susan September 28, 2011 at 4:18 pm #

    LOVE your priorities…and agree with every one. May have to borrow them! :o) Great post!

  5. Justin@GreatFamilyEscape September 28, 2011 at 8:17 pm #

    Great! Same Dream – Different Approach. I agree. The dream is evolving. And we can chose how it goes.

    Love to see you guys living out the dream.

  6. Lisa Wood September 28, 2011 at 9:21 pm #

    Amazing how you have decided to live the american dream and redefining to what is best for your family.
    Wonder if travelling is going to become the new American Dream?

    Cheers
    Lisa

  7. Living Outside of the Box September 28, 2011 at 9:32 pm #

    I love how you shared so much without insulting your childhood roots. The American Dream HAS changed over time…once it was about starting over/fresh, and building something from nothing. Now it simply seems to be defined as BUY, BUY, BUY, GET, GET, GET. I loved your expression: “Experiences over Excuses”. It is a lesson all of us need to learn in life. And some of us have to be reminded of it often!

  8. Nancy from Family on Bikes September 28, 2011 at 10:02 pm #

    Aye, aye, aye – don’t even get me started on consumerism! After spending the bulk of my adult life in other countries, the materialism in the USA boggles my mind. Your kids will thank you immensely at some point!

  9. Allison September 29, 2011 at 2:35 am #

    Great post – love the priorities. I feel so grateful to have been able to meet you and spend some time in your home in Costa Rica. Thanks for welcoming me to the birthday party :)

  10. Lainie Liberti September 30, 2011 at 4:03 pm #

    Amazing post! Looking forward to running into you sometime here, in our Global Village.

  11. Erin June 30, 2012 at 6:46 am #

    “And I am doing the same, but differently. My American Dream extends beyond America. The world has changed into a rich, global, multifaceted and easily accessible place. My Dream is to give ourselves and our children the opportunity to be globally educated, thus giving all of us a rich experience and more global opportunity. We want to travel and immerse ourselves in culture, language and food. We want our children to know something other than consumerism. The diversity we are experiencing on a day to day level cannot be taught in traditional schools. These experiences are going to shape and mold us into amazing global citizens.”

    You wrote about me, but insert Australia instead of America :) Can I borrow this, you will still have full credit!

  12. Ellen May 17, 2014 at 10:30 am #

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience and thoughts. It is so nice to see others challenging the status quo and redefining life as it should be lived, rather than ‘following the system’ that conditions many to follow instead of question.
    Your beautiful family are an absolute inspiration in your approach to philosophy, personal development, outsourcing, health awareness and in leading by example.
    My partner and I are also working towards living a life by design and are preparing for our first ‘extended’ adventure abroad, starting with 6 months from June. Really enjoying the reads, keep up the great work!

  13. Ellen May 17, 2014 at 10:31 am #

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience and thoughts. It is so nice to see others challenging the status quo and redefining life as it should be lived, rather than ‘following the system’ that conditions many to follow instead of question.
    Your beautiful family are an absolute inspiration in your approach to philosophy, personal development, outsourcing, health awareness and in leading by example.
    My partner and I are also working towards living a life by design and are preparing for our first ‘extended’ adventure abroad, starting with 6 months from June. Really enjoying the read, keep up the great work!

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