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The Journey to Full Time Travel

By June 23, 2018 No Comments
Written by: Grace

Written by: Grace

@darelist.family

Grace, Eric + Leo have been travelling since March 2017

Meet Grace, Eric and their adorable toddler Leo (who often get’s thrown up into the air by his dad for #leoflyinghigh series. Well a little while back I was reading up on their incredible journey to full time travel on Instagram and asked if I could share it here. This story shows amazing strength and determination to follow a dream of full time travel as a family and no matter was obsticles (some really good as you will read) the sensation to throw caution to the wind and jump widely into a new phase of life is awe inspiring.

I hope you all find this story as inspiring as I did.


A Journey to Full-Time Travel

In January 2016, while camping on holidays with our family, we had (what we now realise was) a significant landmark discussion about our goals for the year ahead. We had a serious case of wanderlust and hadn’t been on an international flight since we got married back in December 2011, and suddenly, with university, graduate jobs, career changes, buying a house and having a baby (yeah, we can cram a lot in when we put our minds to it!), almost five years had lapsed.
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We were happy-ish, but we were tired. ​We were tired of short holidays, taken in desperation… One week at an Airbnb two hours north of our home… Five days house-sitting in a friend’s Sydney apartment. Taken out of desperation because we needed something – anything – to act as a brief wedge between the work-and-general-life-busyness that was quickly enclosing on us.
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We felt geographically, emotionally and spiritually stuck, and so made the New Year’s Resolution to figure out a way to travel the world, work online and get a new global perspective. We wanted to leave by July 2016 (just after our son’s first birthday).
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But when we got home from holidays, the worst thing happened – the very enemy of our plans to start our own businesses and go out on our own as digital-nomads.
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Eric got a promotion.
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Not the typical ‘bad news’ you were expecting, I bet.

Eric got a promotion. It seemed great at first, a significant pay rise, an impressive job title, more responsibility. A huge compliment.
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But more responsibility and a bigger take-home paycheck meant longer work hours and more sucking up to the boss.  After years and years loyally spent doing menial, pen-pushing, mind-numbing work, Eric was well and truly on the corporate ladder now.
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He was ‘crafting a real career for himself’ (or so his boss told him). But the joy was short lived.
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Work had us exhausted. Both working for others (Eric was a digital marketing strategist at a leading Australian food manufacturing company, and I was freelance writing as a journalist) and growing our own start-up businesses from the ground-up (@mulberryjournal and Eric’s freelance digital marketing & web design business).
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Our son, Leo, was 6 months old, and even though parenthood was pretty epic, we had that permanent hangover that comes from sleep-deprivation as a parent, made worse by the countless 1am finishes we spent building our businesses and playing customer support.
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We felt torn… We wanted to build our businesses, but our decision to buy a house seemed like the ‘right path’, the logical next step in our middle-class “Hills Hoist in the back yard” version of the American Dream. Frankly speaking, were eight short months into the 30-year mortgage repayments of our first-home, paying more interest than we could believe. We hadn’t even paid off the front door handle yet. It felt like a trap.
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We knew in our gut we had to get out but we were scared. We spent ten long months of 2016 talking. Discussing. Pontificating. Epiphanating (yes I just made that up, but we were ‘epiphany-addicted’. )
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But unfortunately it was still all talk, little action. I guess we just believed that somehow, if we tried hard enough, flogged ourselves until 1am enough nights, and had enough ‘serious talks’ about it, we would eventually get there. And then in October 2016 we took a deep breath and made a phone call that changed our life..

After going through a rhythm of having lots of intense, late-night discussions about our future in a row, and then a natural decline and complete ‘radio silence’ when life ‘got busy’, something changed.
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In October 2016, ten long months after our first proper discussion about travel, we found we were in an intense period of discussion, but this time something felt different.
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We were desperate BECAUSE nothing had changed.
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The stakes were higher than ever before. Eric was time poor and exhausted from the constant battle with powerlessness, caught between wanting to provide for his family and wanting to take the entrepreneurial risk that so many of his biggest influencers advocated for.
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And so, having no idea what we were doing, we JUMPED…
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One Saturday morning, we were having yet another conversation about our desire to pull up stumps and travel, to live a completely different type of life.
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And then, after months of coming to the same point in the conversation and getting busy and distracting ourselves, SOMETHING DIFFERENT HAPPENED.
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We looked at each other and one of us said to the other “why don’t we just call the real estate agent”?
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And that was it. The smallest, simplest ACTION.
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We picked up the phone and dialled the agent who’d sold us our house 18 months before, and as he answered the phone and we said it out loud, I knew we could never go back. It was like time was running in slow motion. After we hung up, we hugged each other. “I can’t believe we did it!” I said, with wide, scared sh*tless eyes 👉🏼👀
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From there, the ball started rolling down the hill at lightning speed. Within 4 weeks Eric had quit his job (that itself deserves a clap) we had moved in with our parents, found tenants, held a garage sale (+ a bonus freebie day where about 80 strangers lined up on our driveway and swooped like magpies on our old sh*t as soon as we opened our garage door. 😂😂)
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We booked tickets to Bali, and started working on our businesses in the 5 month lead up to our departure.

In March 2017 we set off on our big adventure with Leo 👶🏼… and hey, we’re still going!


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