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Two blocking items
Old 11-15-2011, 12:58 PM   #1
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Two blocking items

Hi all,

I am pretty sure that I would like to do what Warren and Betsy are doing, at least the sell all my stuff, travel, and have a location independent consulting/writing income parts.

I kind of have two blocking items, and was wondering about suggestions / ideas that might work to address them:

1. Kids custody. Right now my kids are with me basically every other weekend for four days, and they're in a typical local public school system. I can't figure out how to mesh that with, for example, the 5 week Atlantic steamer cruise idea or living in Thailand for a few months idea. I've thought of asking for a different custody schedule, but I've also found out that my two younger ones don't really feel like they can go without seeing me for months at a time. And I can't in good conscience ignore my kids' needs on that point. One thing I am sort of doing with them is taking them traveling with me, but that gets expensive fast because we are doing the standard touristy kind of travel, not the perpetual traveler kind of travel.

2. Kids stuff. I'm a budding minimalist, and with the exception of about two or three very sentimental items, could pretty much sell everything I own and live out of a backpack. My kids, not so much. They've got clothes, toys, beds, homework, art, pictures, bicycles, etc. Currently all that stuff is in their bedrooms and my garage in my suburban house. I can't see a way for their stuff to mesh with me not owning a house.

Right now I'm sort of biding my time, saving my money, but the waiting feels like I'm not really living much. I do go on solo climbing trips periodically, which I really like, but those are only once or twice per year.

Currently I think I am moderately scared to be different and jump off that cliff, lacking in the creativity needed to figure out solutions to these things, and fundamentally stymied by my decision to consider my kids' needs as well as mine.

Advice or suggestions on how to do the Talbot thing without waiting another 9 years for my kids to grow up?

2Cor521
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Old 11-15-2011, 01:26 PM   #2
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Well SC521, your thread is bound to bring out the ususal suspects pleading their case that having kids has been a good thing or that not having kids has made their lives wonderful, etc.

You and ex-DW had kids, you have partial custody, you've commited to making your kids' needs an important consideration in your life........ you've gone and done it.

While I hope some others will suggest ways you can adopt the "Talbot lifestyle" while still being "dad" and meeting your commitments, I don't see it happening. There have been couples who have adopted a life of perpetual travel bringing the kids along, home schooling them, etc. I don't see that in the cards for you as a single.

I very much respect your decision to keep your commitments. We also are somewhat geographically bound by "little anchors" but have found there are pluses and minuses to any situation and are making ours work out just fine. You can too.
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Old 11-15-2011, 02:59 PM   #3
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I'm with Youbet on this. Your kid's needs take precedence. Do the best you can for yourself with that in mind. And remember, kids grow up fast. You can get back to yourself in no time.
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Old 11-15-2011, 03:10 PM   #4
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I agree with DonHeff and Youbet - - this is probably part of those "responsibilities of parenthood" that we all moan and groan about. As youbet implies, many life experiences including parenthood come with both plusses and minuses but at any rate this is the path you have taken in life.

You could probably DO it, but probably not without impacting your kids' lives more significantly than you would prefer.
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Old 11-15-2011, 03:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SecondCor521 View Post
Hi all,

One thing I am sort of doing with them is taking them traveling with me, but that gets expensive fast because we are doing the standard touristy kind of travel, not the perpetual traveler kind of travel.


2Cor521
Re think your traveling ! Maybe purchase a used camper and travel the back roads of America with the kids . It would probably be a great adventure . Adventures don't have to be exotic they just have to be fun ! The memories these trips would make would be priceless !
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Old 11-15-2011, 04:01 PM   #6
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Re think your traveling ! Maybe purchase a used camper and travel the back roads of America with the kids . It would probably be a great adventure . Adventures don't have to be exotic they just have to be fun ! The memories these trips would make would be priceless !
+1

My adult kids (now with kids of their own) tell me the camping vacations we took when they were young are some of their favorite memories of childhood. We had a pop-up camper towed behind the family station wagon and life was good...
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:43 PM   #7
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The thing I remember most about growing up was traveling with my parents. We would cross the country every other year to visit my grandparents for summer vacation. Most of the time we drove, sometimes we went by train.

If you live in Boise, you can see a lot of great stuff right in your back yard.

In the summer, try a "circle tour" of Vancouver Island on their ferry boats.

Go camping in the San Juans.

Go sailing in the San Juans.

Go hunting for Ogopogo.

Rent a houseboat on Lake Okanagan for a week.

Go dirt biking.

Hunt for gold.

Go fishing.

Visit all the city parks/state parks/national parks you can find. With bikes.

Go rock climbing. Take classes together.

Go kayaking/canoeing.

Visit all the museums you can find. Talk about what you see.

Visit all the dinosaur museums you can find. You are really close to two of the best: Dinosaur National Monument and the Royal Tyrrell Museum.

You might even enjoy it yourself.
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:58 PM   #8
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I was a single Mom and travelled with my kids on inexpensive vacations . I have no sense of direction so they would call their friends and talk on & on about how Mom got lost but we had a good time .Come to think about it they would also call their friends when I made mashed potatoes and rave on . I guess they were easy to please !
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Old 11-15-2011, 11:29 PM   #9
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I agree 100% with what was said above. You have kids, they rule, period. In my life that was a good thing. Nothing like kids to clarify issues for you!

Most people actually do better at living with some responsibility for other humans, and one's own kids are job#1 in that department.

Ha
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Old 11-16-2011, 12:04 AM   #10
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I asked a similar question about 5 years ago to the authors of INNER EXPLORATIONS


This is the reply they gave me:

We are glad you enjoyed the book. It is a long road to simple living which is not really about living out in some remote location as much as finding the time and energy in our busy lives to do the things we are really meant to do. This is another way of saying that there are many important interior transformations that we can work on, as well as practical outer things we can do. If this is true, then we can start the process where we are and work on what is feasible and see where that takes us. More concretely, if we can find a few minutes every day to do something we have always wanted to do, then we have begun this process of reorientation. Sincerely, Jim and Tyra
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Old 11-16-2011, 12:35 AM   #11
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I think you are already living your dream, which at one point was to have children and be a father. And you are probably good at it, and the Talbots are good at running a business from wherever they want to travel. You might not be good at what they do (it's not easy and takes a special kind of person), and they probably wouldn't be good at living your dream with your kids (also not easy, also takes a special kind of person).

As earlier posters suggest, take those kids and run them ragged on day trips and weekend jaunts. You'll all have wonderful memories from it. And don't forget how fast those kids will grow up--you'll miss these days.
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Old 11-16-2011, 02:28 AM   #12
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Don't you have these long summer vacations in school?
You could use one of these to explore with the kids how the perpetual traveller style would fit.
Why would it be necessary to travel the touristy style with kids? Because that is what they are used to? Challenge that perception!
Expose them to a different style, rent a small apartment somewhere (I also love the travel trailer idea) and explore to live like the locals do.
It could be the biggest adventure in their lifes.
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Old 11-16-2011, 03:00 AM   #13
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I second earlier posters who said you can still find a way to enjoy some short-range traveling in the next 9 years, which can also include your kids. As I can see from your posted photos, you are an outdoor type. And wonderful scenic places are not too far from Boise, where you live.

In the recent trip, we spent time in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area when traveling from Sun Valley to Stanley, then on to Boise. Beautiful country that people crossing Idaho on I-84 could never imagine! I would like to know if any RV'er has dared taking his class A or 5-th wheel on the twisty narrow Highway 21 between Lowman and Idaho City. He would wet his pants! It's all practically in your backyard for weekend getaways. You probably have seen much of it, but have your children?

I would get a pop-up travel trailer. Many open up to accomodate 6 easily. Or heck, get a used class C. My not-so-big 25' class C can sleep 6 a bit cozily, and if your children are still small, it would not be a problem at all. People spend more than that on fancy cars or SUVs, which I look at indifferently.

We did take our children on travel, but I still wish I spent less time at work when they were younger (they are 25 and 22 now), had my RV then, and spent time camping with them.
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Old 11-16-2011, 05:36 AM   #14
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I do not have children but I talk to many parents and future parents as part of my w*rk. I agree 100% with the words below.
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many life experiences including parenthood come with both plusses and minuses but at any rate this is the path you have taken in life. You could probably DO it, but probably not without impacting your kids' lives more significantly than you would prefer.
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Old 11-16-2011, 07:41 AM   #15
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2Cor, I agree that while the kids are small, you've got obligations that are complicated by the shared custody. If that weren't the case, I'd say take them on a PT type trip. But you've got holidays, summers, weekends, etc for now.

And one of my and Simple Girl's favorite posts from Married With Luggage is this one, which reminds me that living the good life has nothing to do with travel, it has to do with how you live your day-to-day life.

Learn the secrets to the good life

One of the couples they interviewed had this to say, which resonates very strongly with me:


Because life should be something you look forward to. Every day.

We asked them what they thought formed the basis of “the cool life” for them:
We often tell people that we quit subscribing to the universal dream or the “one size fits all” dream. Looking back, the smartest thing we ever did was to examine our values – those things that really matter to us. Once we did that, it became easy to say: “Why are we doing XXX… That’s not even tied to a core value of ours.” Sounds simple but knowing what you stand for (our definition of “values”) becomes a roadmap – a compass – guiding you to what is right for your life.
We also believe in the idea that once you identify your values, you begin to live from a place of commitment not comfort or fear.
So…we tell people to brainstorm what really matters to them (values). Taking notes on this allows you to then examine how much energy you put into those things (usually very little!) and how much is wasted (going to activities, etc., that hold no value). Next comes brainstorming/envisioning what a life that DOES honor those values looks like.
These guys are very cool because they live their message and values every single day. And you can do that without ever leaving home.
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Old 11-16-2011, 08:38 AM   #16
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Absolutely forget about travel with kids on a 2 weekend a month schedule. From the kids' point of view, they are looking for time with you and stability. They may be old enough to have events of their own, homework, friends, etc. but if not, they soon will be. If every time they see you, you immediately drag them off on some trip, you will disrupt their continuity and whatever plans they wanted to have. Forcing kids to drop everything every time they see you so you can play bohemian traveler may create lots of quirky memories, but it will certainly be disruptive to them and if your visitation schedule is at all contentious could lead to further restrictions on you.

If you have vacations, summer break, weeks off school, where you can have longer stretches and they can plan to be away with you, then by all means go for that. But a lifestyle where you have no home base and whenever kids see you, they join you as perpetual travelers is so impractical as to invite the court to intervene.
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:33 AM   #17
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Most people actually do better at living with some responsibility for other humans, and one's own kids are job#1 in that department.

Ha

Wise words I have learned this one in the last year or so.
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Old 11-28-2011, 11:48 PM   #18
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I'm catching up a bit late but love the dialog here. Plus, I am loving the phrase "Talbot Lifestyle". Now we need to get some people working on branding this for us.

Obviously, we cannot give advice on child custody agreements and the potential challenges. However, I do believe there are opportunities to incorporate your dream to travel & own less with the life you have now.

For travel, what are the possibilities of taking your kids with you somewhere each year for a month or 2? Whether it is over Summer break or not, there are a wide variety of options available and the education would be amazing. There are International schooling options as well as programs that let you follow lesson plans while traveling that can be worked out with the school (all info we know from others who travel with kids). If you choose a place like South East Asia your costs can be a fraction of what you spend in the US. Clearly this is a issue fraught with pitfalls, but I love that you are open to exploring and thinking about ways to make this happen.

Minimalism - would you be happy if you sold 80% of your stuff & your house and moved into a much smaller place which you rented? Would it give you more time/energy/money to spend with your kids? I would argue, that like us kids would rather have experiences with their parents. I have much more fond memories with my mom than of any childhood toys. Of course, no one asked me to give up my Big Wheel.

One idea would be to take all the kids' stuff and put it into a storage facility. Each time they "have" to have something you go over and pick it up for them. At the end of a period of time (1, 2, 6 months) you know that everything left in the storage facility can be gotten rid of and you have eliminated a huge set of stuff. At the same time you can start getting rid of your stuff and moving closer to a backpack. This is not an overnight process and took us over 2 years. You could start the plan now and within 2 years you could have the house sold, paired down your stuff, and gotten rid of so much that you could easily fit in a far smaller house/townhouse/apartment.

Nine (9) years is a long time to wait, but I believe there is a lot that is possible to start living your dream now. Plan holidays, whether in the US or beyond, with your kids. Start getting rid of stuff NOW. Identify what changes you want to implement today that will put you on the path to your dream.

While I agree you have some "blocking items" I do not believe they are blocking you from taking the first step.

If you ever want to chat more, please don't hesitate to reach out. We'd love to connect - wtalbot (at) marriedwithluggage (dot) com and answer any questions or just bounce ideas around.

I look forward to a follow up.
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Old 11-29-2011, 01:35 PM   #19
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IMO there are many material things that are an "enabler" to building relationships and memories that are valuable to us. For example, going fishing with your dad as a young boy requires a material item...the fishing rod. Throwing a baseball with dad requires a ball and glove. And how can mom ever develop the memory of teaching you to ride a bike without the bike!!!!

That said, you don't need the Gucci bike every time...and that's where I think we often fail.

In my case, I spend a lot of money on cars. I'm a high-performance car nut. I have met hundreds of wonderful, like-minded, like-valued people in this hobby...and as a result that spending has enriched my life. I find that most of the car people I hang with are hard-working, ethical, fun-loving people like myself.

Now for my Donald Rumsfeld imitation:
Do we buy a lot of stuff we don't need? Sure
Do we buy higher-end items than we need? Absolutely
Does that mean that material items are not important in having a rich life? No
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