Our Path to Becoming Lucky Enough to Travel

As Oprah once said, “There is no such thing as luck.  Luck happens when preparation meets opportunity.” And we truly believe this statement. We make luck happen. We also believe that things happen for a reason, even though we may not know what that reason is right away.

We get lots of comments from people when they ask us where we live. I respond “currently, we live here, but I’m not sure where we’ll be in a few months, maybe Guatemala, maybe Asia. It just depends.”

“But, when are you going back home?”, they ask.

I say, “This is home.”

“So, you have no permanent address”

“Nope, it really cuts down on junk mail”, I joke, but they don’t get it.

And why should they. This isn’t the ‘norm’ lifestyle. “Normal” is settling down, having a home base, going to work five days a week, driving to do grocery shopping, going to the mall, or working in the yard on the weekends and then doing it all over again in the same town.  That is totally fine and in some respects we miss it.

Most can’t believe we are doing this as a family but think that it’s the best opportunity for our children to experience the world and get a first class education by experience.  After all, we’ve made our home in some really beautiful spots that most people are only able to experience on a week vacation.

And then the conversation nearly always comes to the phrase: “Wow, you are so lucky.”

We are lucky. We feel lucky, but we know that we have a part in creating this luck. So, in traditional terms, is it really luck? Is it attitude? Is it the great forces of life? Or is it the whole package.

We are lucky. Extremely lucky to be able to have this world be our playground. But I want to tell you about some of the circumstances that provided us with such luck.

First off, besides immigrating to Chicago from Poland, I didn’t travel much when I was young. Family vacations were going blueberry picking in Indiana for the day and then spending a few hours at the Indiana dunes. Mr. King’s childhood vacations were to visit family in southern Illinois.

Lucky to be Stubborn

I was exposed to the outside world in college, when I went on a South American foreign study. My family couldn’t really afford the extra $2,500 for the semester, but I was determined to go. I spent 4 months traveling with 39 other students and 5 professors from Augustana College. We visited Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Peru, Argentina and Chile. Dr. Brown, our history professor and the organizer of the trip, said

This experience will change your life in subtle and obvious ways. Often you won’t know when it has.
Dr. Brown, Augustana College

And he was right. Little did I know then, how it would change my life.

I was lucky to have such stubbornness and determination to go on this trip and I was lucky to have wonderful caring professors that watched 40 students blossom into travailers, not travelers, of this world. Wow…we had such a good time.

Lucky to Quit

Two years after meeting each other, both Mr. King and I quit our cushy, high paying corporate jobs for the roller coaster of entrepreneurship. What were we thinking? We didn’t know we would work harder than ever before, think about work day and night, and dream about what to do next. It was hard work, but it was liberating! We learned more in 2 years than 16 years of schooling.

We had several businesses, all with successful and failed parts to them. Our water feature business was incredibly successful with profits and income, but our everyday life was stressful (a fail). At the height of the business, with record profits, we disassembled the business and started something else.

We were starting to define what we wanted success to look like for us. Was it money and the things it could buy? Was it lifestyle? Was it time? Was it experiences?

Without taking the risks of leaving a secure job, we would never have started our own businesses, learned a lot about money, customer service, marketing, and where work fits into our life.

Lucky to Lose Everything

We were lucky to have lost our entire savings, investments and real estate in 2008. It was a hard year. We know better than to have all of our eggs in one basket, so we didn’t. We had 12 baskets and all 12 of them dropped around the same time. We were broke, exhausted, and in shock. We could have sulked. And we did for a little bit.

We wondered “how in the world did this happen to us? We’re smart, resourceful, and kind.” And then we bucked up and started doing something…anything.

Losing everything was our lucky break that lead to the foundation of a full mind paradigm shift.

Lucky to Rebuild

”Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start
from now and make a brand new ending.”
Carl Bard

What was a devastating year turned out to be the key to our current freedom. It opened our eyes to many things, and losing it all allowed us to re-build from nothing. It cemented the humbled, strong foundation of thought and priorities that carries us today. And it re-defined our American dream.

We thought we had stepped out of the hamster wheel rat race when we quit our jobs, but we were still chasing the wrong things. We chased money. Why? Not for things…we had plenty of those and were already on the path of simplifying. We wanted money so we could lead a relaxed lifestyle and travel.

We had read somewhere to design your lifestyle first then design an income that fits that lifestyle.  We were trying to do that but the lifestyle we were designing had all the wrong priorities and the income streams we created were becoming our lifestyle. Then, it finally all came together.

I spent a few intense months learning internet marketing and search engine optimization and we had a product to sell that could change lives. We started a website, worked hard at it, and it slowly grew. The growth helped us realize the lifestyle we wanted was within reach and it gave us the freedom to explore this beautiful world. And ironically, we didn’t need that much money to do so.

Nothing to do with luck.

I believe that life is a journey, often difficult and sometimes incredibly cruel, but we are well equipped for it if only we tap into our talents and gifts and allow them to blossom.
Les Brown

Actually, luck is not part of the equation. Our attitude and our ability to cherish a situation, rebound from the negative and emerge with a new orientation and perspective is what makes us fortunate.

I believe we all have everything we need inside of us to accomplish what we want.

So, do you feel lucky? Maybe you need to make some luck happen.

Seeds of Change

Seeds of Change

 

Whether you tend a garden or not, you are the gardener of your own being, the seed of your destiny.
–  The Findhorn Community 

 

Other “Lucky” Family Travelers

Only the Very Special, Lucky, Rich, and Perfect (Like Me) Can Travel

 Anyone can travel by Mary at Bohemian Travelers

Diet shouldn’t stop you from travelling by Amy at livin’ on the road

If Anyone Can Travel Why Don’t You? – Keryn at Walkingon Travels

Not Everyone Can Travel – by Living Outside of the Box

You Have to Be Special Like Us if You Want an Awesome Life – Discover Share Inspire

True Story: Single mother from Bushwick, Brooklyn, funds long-term trip without having to sell a kidney – Melissa at Break Out of Bushwick

Anyone Can Travel, Just Let Go by Diya at a minor diversion

Don’t Be Jealous of Our Travels! Be Happy for Us and Know That You Can Make it Happen Too ! – Susan V. and family

Anyone Can Travel…Just Find Your Way by Kate at Experiential Family

Pity, Envy, and why anyone can travel — Clark Vandeventer of FamilyTrek.org @FamTrek

Travel – Possible?

Even Solo Mamas on Government Handouts Can Travel by Jody

A Family Travel Lifestyle….. Loreena at Little Aussie Travellers

Anyone can travel, can’t they? New Life on the Road

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18 Responses to “Our Path to Becoming Lucky Enough to Travel”

  1. Mary Castillo March 28, 2012 at 8:15 am #

    I read your family blog for inspiration… for simply joy….for a smile… and I swear you deliver everytime…Thank you for doing what it is you do! Teaching me and others how to let go of the silly things and focus on the most import things, Living, Loving and Laughing…

    • S King March 28, 2012 at 8:37 am #

      Mary, your comment melts my heart! Thank you. You encourage me to continue writing and making our lives more ‘public’ than my nature intends it to be.

  2. Susan March 28, 2012 at 6:31 pm #

    Loved learning more about your path to being “lucky” and traveling. But I saw one flaw in the article…you didn’t mention coming to Mexico as your next destination! :o) Hope we can meet up with you guys again soon!

    • S King March 28, 2012 at 6:59 pm #

      Hi Susan…we’ll be in Mexico soon…we’re so close to it already! The Super G’s will be one again!

  3. Clark Vandeventer March 28, 2012 at 9:27 pm #

    I love it! Maybe you’ve shared this part of your story before and I’d missed it — but I happy to know that we have the shared experience of losing everything! Totally frees you up, doesn’t it? What a great opportunity to re-invent life.

    I feel lucky!

  4. Mary March 29, 2012 at 12:41 am #

    I love this!! It really is true that often times the things that seem so hard at the moment are really those lucky breaks that make our life exactly what we want it to be. Great honest and open post!

  5. Brandon Pearce March 29, 2012 at 5:16 am #

    ”Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” — Carl Bard. LOVE that quote! And I love your story. You guys have worked very hard to be where you’re at and have the lifestyle that you do. So glad you can enjoy it now.

  6. Rachel Denning March 30, 2012 at 6:03 pm #

    This is awesome! I loved reading more about your life. And the principles you’re sharing are so critical!

  7. Living Outside of the Box March 31, 2012 at 1:19 am #

    Fun to know more of the history behind you guys…the rise, the fall, the rise again 🙂 Life is awesome, and I agree that putting in hard years with a business educates you unlike any school experience can! Only 4 days until we get to finally meet you in person!! YIPPEEEEEEE!!!

    • S King March 31, 2012 at 9:33 am #

      We are so looking forward to sharing a villa with you guys in Guatemala!

      Life is the education! School is for theory, life is for experience (which sticks with you a lot longer than theory).

      See you in Antigua!

  8. Lisa Wood March 31, 2012 at 5:34 am #

    That is such a great story – I too believe luck has nothing to do with our lifestyle choices…its all about making a choice to live differently and chase the dream.
    I liked hearing about your personal story about having it all and then having the luck not to have it all.
    Then finding a product that sells, with studying SEO and once again living your life the way you wanted.

  9. Jennifer Pearce March 31, 2012 at 9:45 am #

    Thank you for sharing that Carl Bard quote, I really love it! It was my first time hearing it. I love when we can make good come out of the “seemingly” bad things that happen in our lives. It’s our mindful choices, especially coming out of difficult situations, that seem to have the most power to transform our lives for the better.

  10. Linn April 1, 2012 at 3:13 pm #

    Happy to found you guys! Or that you found us, so we could find you! Now I’m reading all your old post.

  11. Rebecca April 8, 2012 at 9:23 am #

    It’s not luck. You are very right. Great post.

  12. Carroll June 24, 2012 at 8:47 am #

    Wow. I was researching material for a class I am teaching this summer on “the American Dream” and stumbled across your site.

    I am a part time business lawyer/ part time writing teacher in my late 50’s with two teenage girls. I love my house and work and my wife and my life, but this really hit me between the eyes.

    After college in the 70’s, I went on the road with a small theater group. We did Berlin, London, Zurich and a host of other small European cities. It was paradise on wheels. Years later, married and in law school, I was visiting St. John and met a tour boat captain who (I later heard) was invited onto the Oprah Show to debate his lifestyle with a New York stock broker – I didn’t see the show but I liked the idea.

    I think after I get daughter #2 off to college, maybe the two of us can “take a long jump off a short pier” in a good way. Be, do, have. What I do can be done over the web. That appears to be a key element in the design of this lifestyle.

    And I love yoga and smoothies.

    So inspirational to meet you.

    • S King June 26, 2012 at 1:18 am #

      Thanks Carroll…I’m glad you stumbled upon us. The internet has made it incredibly easy to work virtually anywhere and to keep in contact with loved ones at home as well. The freedom and education of travel is absolutely priceless. But, even more so, is the feeling of being totally alive everyday! I wish you luck on your journey.

      Enjoy a smoothie for me.

  13. Heidi January 18, 2013 at 9:59 am #

    Hi, I am trying to get through all of your adventures little by little. I really liked this post as we feel the same way about “luck”. That said, we are just newbies at trying to figure out how to do a business on line now. We came to Spain on a limited budget and the plan was to return once that was gone (another 9-12 months). Now we want to keep it going and step outside and move around more in a year or so. This is a great inspiration, we just have to figure it out! 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

  14. Emily February 3, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

    Wow, interesting, our little family of 4 is doing the same thing. We started our “vagabond” life just a month ago, beginning in Atenas, Costa Rica. I found your blog by searching “Pizza Delivery Atenas, CR…” funnily enough, because the SuperBowl is on tonight, and I’m craving an American-style evening. Will definitely keep track of your traveling adventures, and maybe hit a few of the same places along the way.
    All the best & enjoy!

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