When do Brandi and I work?
This seems to be one of the more popular questions we are asked so I decided to explain our lifestyle. To answer the question, we work every week like normal people. There are many things that we do every day that help facilitate being able to travel frequently.
First, Brandi works mainly contract labor jobs so that she can control her schedule completely. Dental hygiene is hard on a person’s body and we made a decision for her to slow down to three days a week over a year ago so that her body could heal. She still works four or five days here and there, but not as often. In doing this, she has gone from living in pain all of the time to being in control of her body again. Yoga, along with physical therapy, has made a huge difference.
The company I run has the best owners I could ask for. The best way I can put it is that the majority owner is only concerned with results and leaves it up to the office on how to run the office. This is huge for what we do. I spent over a year combing through procedures, automating them, teaching others how to do more within their current workflow, removing myself from any daily procedures that had deadlines, and in the end, created a much stronger team environment. This allows all of us to have more time off.
We also do not have kids, nor do we want them at the moment. We are 100% happy with the life we have and enjoy it to the most.
On top of everything above, we also build our lifestyle upon traveling. Daily choices are always weighed against whether or not it will prevent us from traveling. This is an important lesson for anyone wanting to accomplish something in life. You have to set up everything around you so that it flows with your end game. If you think things will “just happen” then you will be waiting for the rest of your life for it to happen. We give up normal luxuries in order to have the money we need to do what we want. We do not buy much stuff for the house, keep our clothing minimal, and do not go out a lot.
When we do travel we also camp the majority of the time. We drive everywhere we possibly can. Our longest trip to date was 6,047 miles in 12 days. A lot of people have a skewed idea of camping but do not realize how technology has helped improve the quality of camping. When buying camping gear it is important to research what you’re buying and do not cheap out. Pay for the more expensive gear the first time because you’re buying technology, which equates to a more comfortable experience. We have gear for a cool 45-degree night and we have a different setup that handled a freezing 15-degree night in Death Valley. It is funny watching the reactions when I mention sleeping in 15-degree weather but honestly, we slept like a baby. Anyways, camping allows us to save thousands of dollars a year when traveling.
The average daily rate of a hotel is $126 a night! Compare that to spending $15-$25 a night for a campsite. On top of that, a lot of these sites are within the parks so you will have amazing views. We also carry a cooler of food and snacks so that we do not spend a lot of money constantly buying food. We do try out local joints for breakfast because we are foodies. I have a Camry Hybrid that gets around 500 miles per tank of gas. It normally takes me about $30-$35 to fill up. Yellowstone National Park is about 1,500 miles from Little Rock. So for roughly $100, we can drive to Yellowstone NP. Spend a week there camping for another $175, add in another $100 to drive back and so far we’re only at about $375 spent. Whatever is spent after that is completely controllable based on your preferences. My point is giving up some modern conveniences can make amazing trips possible without breaking the bank.
For a trip like Yellowstone Brandi and I will drive overnight. Typically we leave Little Rock around 4:30-5 PM and arrive in Yellowstone by about the same time the next day. The only stops we make on the way are to get gas and usually in Ft. Collins for breakfast. Late at night, we rotate two to three-hour shifts for driving while the other person sleeps. By the time we arrive, both of us are typically pretty rested.
In the end, it comes down to what are you willing to sacrifice to make life-long memories? It’s no surprise to anyone that the world is changing and a lot of places we keep saying “I’ll go see one day” might not exist as is later. When Brandi and I went to Oregon/Washington in May of 2017 we had such an amazing experience seeing many waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge. A few months later a kid set off a smoke bomb in one of the canyons and started a huge wildfire that will transform that area forever. It is sad to know what we experienced is now gone. Most of the trails are still closed until the vegetation grows back to help prevent mudslides. Glacier National Park is one of our trips coming up this year and it experienced a destructive wildfire last year. So you just never know what will happen. If you the person who says “I’d love to see that one day” there is never a perfect time to make trips. You just have to go do it. If you really want to do anything in life, re-evaluate your current lifestyle to see what is working against you. Make the change(s) needed instead of excuses.