Jason Skydiving - How to Live Your Dreams

This is me living my dreams. Skydiving in FL – Aug ’12 Notice the laws of physics causing my aerodynamically-challenged nose to pigify- in technical speak.

I’ve noticed something odd lately. Every time I meet an old friend who has learned about my upcoming life-transition they say the same thing, “wow it must be nice to be able to afford to take a year off work and travel.” I just stand of there in puzzlement, because apparently they just haven’t grasped the whole concept of what it is I’m doing.

I am not taking off work. I am not traveling for a year. I cannot afford to do that if I wanted to. I don’t come from money. I don’t get help from my parents. This isn’t a gap-year thing, and this isn’t a long vacation. I have every plan of working while I travel, therefore I can make travel a lifestyle that coincides with working.

Granted, I won’t be doing a 30-hour week in the same office, but I will be working. As long as I have periods of decent Wi-Fi, I can continue to maintain and build websites for clients. I can also teach English in exchange for housing at various times. I can build hostels websites in exchange for a room. I can tutor over skype. I can post ads on craigslist for computer repair, etc.

Maybe I just don’t see limitations like other people do, because the minute I start explaining this to them their eyes glaze over and they cut me off with, “whoa, that sounds awesome, but I don’t think I could ever do that.”

I don’t get it, why can’t they? This isn’t rocket science; it’s setting a goal and accomplishing it. My goal is to be on the road backpacking with no end in sight by next year. So now I have to break that goal into a timeline of sub-goals, and step by step accomplish my little sub-goals until one day I wake up six months from today with my bags packed ready to board my one-way flight to El Salvador- which I just purchased yesterday. I think the process of breaking a major goal into sub-goals with timelines is the key to actually achieving the original goal.

Here are some of my sub-goals that I am working on in order to get started with my new life:

  1. Buy a one-way plane ticket to my starting destination. This is an important task as it requires me to basically make a non-refundable deposit towards my ultimate goal. I’m a cheap dude, so committing a couple hundred dollars means I am in. I’ve never cancelled a non-refundable plane ticket, ever.
  2. Inform my current boss and clients of my intentions to move out of the country in six months’ time. Another form of commitment to the goal. I can’t just up and leave my current jobs with a couple weeks’ notice. It isn’t a nice thing to do, and it would leave my bosses in a horrible bind trying to find and train a replacement. I also have some local freelance clients that I will need to help find another tech guy.
  3. Let my parents, family, and friends know of my plans now. Giving them a few months is important so that we can say our proper goodbye’s and prevent emotional turmoil.
  4. Save $2,000 by X-mas. Save around $7,000-$10,000 in cash before I leave in April. This will include about $3-4k in equity that I can get out of my car when I sell it. My anticipated costs are $30-40 a day average, so between my savings and what I earn on the road, I should be set for a while
  5. Be prepared with material goods. I’d like to have all my gear purchased well before my trip so that I’m not spending a lot out of my savings at the beginning. I already have my backpack and duffle bag, waterproof/shockproof camera, and a small laptop for blogging. Now I am concentrating on getting appropriate shoes, small first aid kit, international cell phone, portable GPS, etc.
  6. Take a test run. In a few days I am going down to Costa Rica for two weeks with no itinerary. My goal is to see how well I can manage on my own, and more importantly to learn whatever it is I know I don’t know and I really should know. Ya know?

The point of this post is to say, you can do whatever it is you want to do. Don’t let the endpoint overwhelm you; just find a way to break it down into easily achievable tasks. Like I said, step-by-step and one day, sooner than you think, you will wake up exactly where you want to be. And this, my friends, is How to Live Your Dreams!

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