I Chose To Be Homeless For A Year!

I chose to be homeless for a year, minimalism, freedom, financial, travel, less, stuff, more, life http://jessicacoaches.com/2017/04/i-chose-to-be-homeless-for-a-year/

I often see these memes about adulting: the burden, the monotony, the reluctance.  When did we decide it was normal to hate what we do day in and day out.  Did we make a conscious choice to spend most of our time doing something we hate to get money?  Or did it just happen?  Why do people accept that the route to success is plodding away at a job for the majority of our lives, and the whole of our most productive ones at that?

 

 

So what happens when you say, F*** it! I don’t want to be a part of this system anymore!  Well, that is what I did, I quit my job, put in my 30-day notice on my apartment, and sold all my stuff. Everything that I owned could fit within the confines of one backpack.

 

 

I had no home.

 

I had no fixed expenses.

 

What I owned:
A Backpack.
Five shirts.
Five lightweight pants.
Five pairs of underwear.
Five lightweight Camis.
One pair of sandals. (Which at one point were stolen and replaced with 2 dollar thongs)
A jacket.
Airplane sized toiletries.
A brush.
A super pack of hair ties.
A Headlamp.
A small laptop.
My camera.
A water camelback.

 

THAT. IS. IT.
In the whole world!

 

I got a one-way ticket to Europe on the proceeds of my stuff and embarked on some of the best times of my life.  I did work trades for room and board,  which usually required around 25-30 hours a week of work to take care of all my needs.

I worked on a peace farm, the vineyard of a pair of circus performers, I lived with a British couple renovating an old castle into a B&B… which was complete with a haunting story and a dungeon.  I met interesting people, a villain from the old Bond movies who made a kick ass shepherds pie and referred to the local villagers as his “minions”. An old man who had traveled around the world by sailboat and had met Salvador Dali.  Peace activists who protested on the corner every week, I joined in! A man who got called away to advise huge companies during the 2008 financial collapse.  And I mentioned the circus performers, right? They juggled chainsaws! 

 

 

I found other kindred souls, and we would travel together for a month or two. People from all over the world who would give me a glimpse into life in their home country.

 

I learned about life in other cultures and saw things I will never forget.
I hitchhiked. I showered at many public facilities.  I got acquainted with everything free, libraries, festivals, public pools, and most importantly nature. I ate weird local delicacies and pub hopped with a few of my hosts.

 

 

 

My biggest takeaways:
Life is about experiences, not accumulation.
Love people, not things.
Material things only hold you down from true freedom.

 

You might be asking, well why are you not still doing this if it was so awesome!  My now husband and I ended up getting pregnant and could not live by the seat of our pants anymore.  The desire is still there, and now our family is close to going back out on the road again.  This time with a different kind of freedom.

 

 

At the heart of this is breaking out of the norm.  To create your system.  Which is what I’m trying to do now.  Or, you live outside of it, which is what I did when I chose to be homeless.  You can live a life where you choose how to spend your time.  You can do this the easy way by living outside and eschewing everything and live in the flow of the world.  Or you can put in some serious work and break the system!

 

 

CLICK TO ENLARGE

 

I would also like to give a shout out to the homeless who did not get there by choice.  And while I would like to tell those who are capable, that there are options.  Some just are not and in my opinion are a symptom of a sick society. Homeless and Housing Charities.

 

9 Tricks to Make Travel Cheap!

9 Tricks to make Travel Cheap, traveler, world, abroad, free, shoestring, budget, frugal, freedom, minimalism, passive, income, passport, visa, advice, world, vacation http://jessicacoaches.com/2017/04/9-tricks-to-make-travel-cheap

I have made a lot of money mistakes when I went traveling.  I do not want to date myself but travel blogs were not as popular, and for the most part, was flying blind other than a Lonely Planet Travel Guide.  I lost thousands that could have been avoided.  So I compiled a list of my hard-earned tips and tricks, so you, would not make the same ones!

1. Go where your money goes farther!
Choose destinations where the cost of living is low. Beer in Western Europe could cost you five times a beer in Eastern Europe. Check out https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/rankings.jsp to get an idea of how much it costs to just be in a country.

2. Travel slowly!
The longer you travel for, the cheaper it is. You get reduced rates staying places for a month or longer. The less jumping around you are doing, the less you are paying to get from one place to another. As you are there for longer, so you can take advantage of free days at museums and free festivals. Go to local parties.

 

3. Travel like you live there.
Don’t go out to eat constantly, pick up food at grocery stores and markets instead. Don’t make every day an action packed day, learn to relax. Take local public transportation instead of the tourist option.

4. Work!
Many places or business will give you room and board for work. It is easy to do, and you can even plan ahead with sites like HelpX.net, WWOOF.net, and WorkAway.info. Do not limit yourself; you can contact organizations or businesses you would like to work at and ask them directly too!

5. Cut down on fees.
Get a checking account or credit card that does not charge you extra for out or country transactions and ATM withdrawals. Or even better, find a bank which refunds any fees you may incur at a bank that is not your own. I use a Charles Schwab Investor Checking account. They have been amazing while stationary and abroad.

6. Play the dangerous game of credit card rewards.
I’m not a huge fan of these, as I always seem to end up giving them the cost of whatever they give me right back in interest. But they can be a powerful tool if you are disciplined. My husband and I took a trip to Nicaragua on points and only incurred a few airport fees.

7. Don’t have expenses at home!
Want to travel for a long time? Drop that lease, rent or sell your home, and sell off all your stuff including your car. Travel while you have no at home expenses weighing you down. You may be homeless, but let me tell you it is freeing!

8. Pay attention to Visas!
Know the status of the country you are entering and if you have to prearrange a visa, pay for a visa upon arrival, or can enter for free. I did not anticipate needing a visa, and it ended up costing me a lot of money in changing flights around as I could not afford expedition, and it would have taken a long time regardless as I was not in my home country. For United States citizens: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country.html

9. Don’t be afraid of people!
Hitchhike, find a travel buddy to split costs with, stay at someone’s house for free or through CouchSurfing.com. Try to network through social media to find friends and family in the area or their friends and family. Ask people who know more about the area than you to show you around. Not only does it help with costs, but it enriches the experience. Make sure to be kind and pass it on!

Ready to be Inspired?  Check Out:  My Top 5 Favorite Travel Videos!

Know someone else who might want to know how to save money traveling? Make sure to share!

My Top 5 Favorite Travel Videos!

Top 5 travel videos, inspiration, journey, gopro hero5, time to go, film, the longest way, where the hell is matt, we call this home, dax shepard, http://jessicacoaches.com/2017/03/my-top-5-favorite-travel-videos/

Do you long to be out exploring the world? Or are you already out there making memories? Maybe you just like enjoying from afar within the comfort of your home. Our family has been on an extended stay in America while we build up the infrastructure to travel full-time with a family. As a person with the travel bug, who has not been able to travel for a long time, I find myself living vicariously through others quite frequently. So here it is, my top five travel videos that evoke some emotion or excitement out of me. I will not lie, I have shed a tear to a few of them.

Related:  Our Story: The Road to Being a Worldschooling Family of Five!


I also have to give a nod to Where the Hell is Matt? 2005.  Which while outdated with today’s standards of videos, was simply amazing and groundbreaking when it debuted.  However, Where the Hell is Matt ? 2012 has better overall quality and message.



Stunning footage viscerally reminds me of what it is like to travel more than any other video I have seen.



A pioneer in the time-lapse film on Youtube, he uniquely captures what he went through in this video.



Silly personalities, breathtaking sites, and an amazing song make for an easy home run.



A relatively unknown video but it stands with the rest. Beautiful. Diverse. Shows how everything is different but the same at the same time.


Ready to make your video? Quality counts.  GoPro HERO5 Black is one of the most popular choices for vloggers. It is durable, waterproof, auto-stabilizing, and comes with auto uploading easy video editing software.

Did I miss your favorite travel video? Drop a link down below!

Our Story: The Road to Being a Worldschooling Family of Five!

ADVENTURE, BIG, EARLY, EDVENTURE, FAMILY, INCOME, PASSIVE, RENTALS, RETIRED, RETIREMENT, ROAD, SCHOOL, SCHOOLING, TRAVEL, TRAVELING, WORLD, WORLDSCHOOLING http://jessicacoaches.com/2017/03/our-story-the-road-to-being-a-worldschooling-family-of-five

My husband and I have traveled extensively, both independently before we met, and then together. Our first Christmas together was in Paris, our first valentines day we had dinner on a beach in Cambodia with children running by with sparklers. We have the travel bug. If you know what this bug feels like, you will understand that staying in one place for a long time can be painful. You can feel like you have to ignore a part of yourself, because no one else tends to understand it. It feels like being a bird in a cage. Luckily, I have been a lovebird with my perfect match with me, but it has been stifling for both of us.

The History:

When we got pregnant with our first child, we did not have location independent jobs, and we had been working our way around the world using HelpX and WWOOF. We decided we didn’t want to live by the seat of our pants with children; we needed to know everyone would be clothed and fed. So, we headed back to the United States and began settling down into a more ‘normal’ life. We both had given up our higher paying jobs when we left to go travel, and when we came back it was 2009, no one was hiring, it felt like we were starting all over again.

The plan begins. We stumbled upon Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Our vision: We would get enough rentals to give us location independent income wherever in the world we were at, we would be set for retirement, and not have to worry about not contributing to our IRA, 401Ks, and mutual funds, unless we wanted to.

See:  How I never have to pay another penny for my retirement at age 34 on a 30,000 per year salary!

We have now been back in the United States for close to nine years now. We have three beautiful boys now. We are so close to our goal we can taste it! What does that goal look like? $2500 of passive or location independent income per month. Enough to ensure we do not go without food or housing for our whole family in most developed places and live very nicely in places with lower cost of living. But, have you ever been so close to your goal but not been able to realize it? It is excruciating! It makes you want to rush, maybe skimp just a little. So we have set a date to leave, my husbands 40th birthday, which gives us a clear defined date to focus on to get us where we need to be.

See:  Pathway to Financial Freedom Report!!! -Q2 2017

 

What our future looks like:

We plan to slow travel; we will move to a place and live there for a few months if we like the area, trying to use the full length of our tourist visas. We like the beach, so we will try to stay near it most of the time. Since we are so close to the border of Mexico in Tucson, AZ. We plan on just taking our van and heading south and stopping for a few months when we see a place we like. Slow travel and using vehicle will help to keep costs down. Have you ever bought airline tickets for five???

worldschooling

Worldschooling:

As for our children, we plan to worldschool. What is that you say? It is like homeschooling but using where you are to be the catalyst for what topics to be teaching. My husband was homeschooled, and I once upon a time was a scientist, so I feel we will be able to be competent worldschoolers. We, however, will adjust our plans if needed, nothing is more important to us then our children’s wellbeing. But, for now, I will just dream of my little polygots, talking to other children about world history, economics, and current events.

Here is our planned route, this will take several years:

34 Breathtaking Images from Madagascar!

34 breathtaking images from madagascar travel fun and adventure

Once upon a time in Mexico, I walked along ancient ruins, and I met an older man from England. He told me he had visited almost every country in the world. I asked him, as so many people ask me now, what was the favorite country that he had visited?! He did not hesitate.  No, “Oh I love them all for so many different reasons.” He told me simply, “Madagascar. It is so different, and it is so wonderful.” So when I saw a flyer on a bulletin board in my Biology building a few years later for an intern program in Madagascar, I jumped.  I spent three months in the bush of Madagascar, working for an NGO named SEED Madagascar in the Pioneer Program. The experience was overwhelmingly positive and transformative,  I would suggest it to anyone. The kindness shown to me by the people of this wonderful country was unmatched in all my travels. The diversity of nature astounding.  I owe that man I met in Mexico, long ago, a great debt.
Fort Dauphin, Madagascar travel adventure

Fort Dauphin, Madagascar travel adventure
Fort Dauphin, Madagascar travel adventure

Fort Dauphin, Madagascar travel adventure

Fort Dauphin, Madagascar travel adventure

Fort Dauphin, Madagascar travel adventure  Fort Dauphin, Madagascar travel adventure

Fort Dauphin, Madagascar travel adventure

Fort Dauphin, Madagascar travel adventure

Fort Dauphin, Madagascar travel adventure

Fort Dauphin, Madagascar travel adventure

Fort Dauphin, Madagascar travel adventure

Fort Dauphin, Madagascar travel adventure

Fort Dauphin, Madagascar travel adventure

Fort Dauphin, Madagascar travel adventure

Fort Dauphin, Madagascar travel adventure

Fort Dauphin, Madagascar travel adventure

Fort Dauphin, Madagascar travel adventure

Fort Dauphin, Madagascar travel adventure

Fort Dauphin, Madagascar travel adventure

Fort Dauphin, Madagascar travel adventure

Fort Dauphin, Madagascar travel adventure

Fort Dauphin, Madagascar travel adventure

Fort Dauphin, Madagascar travel adventure

Fort Dauphin, Madagascar travel adventure

Fort Dauphin, Madagascar travel adventure

Fort Dauphin, Madagascar travel adventure

Fort Dauphin, Madagascar travel adventure

Fort Dauphin, Madagascar travel adventure

Fort Dauphin, Madagascar travel adventure

How I got my Italian Dual Citizenship and Why!

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Whenever I end up in a conversation about citizenship and the fact that I have Dual citizenship in the USA and Italy I generally get two responses.  One group of people give me that wrinkly brow skeptical look and ask why?  The other group look excited and ask how?  Here is the answer to both those questions.

WHY???
  • Why not? I live my life wanting as many options as I can have.  There are no negatives to having a dual citizenship, except for maybe high-level security clearances in the government.  And in worst case scenarios of draft or political turmoil, I can always renounce that citizenship.
  • You know those worst case scenarios I just spoke of?  I could drop my original home country too.  I will always have another home country that will take me in.  Clearly, the US is not Syria, but I like the idea of always having that escape plan.
  • I love to travel and really experience new cultures.  It allows me to live, work, or go to school in Europe for as long as I want with all the benefits and rules of a national.
  • Having a second passport adds to the list of countries I can enter without a visa.
  • It was a labor of love.  It makes me feel more connected to my familial roots and undertaking this task has brought me closer to my heritage.
HOW???
Now, this is more complicated! The way I got my dual citizenship was through jure sanguinis, citizenship by descent.  This means I had to have an unbroken chain of citizenship all the way to Italy. 
 
There are a few hitches to this:
  • Your Italian relative had to have been in Italy or been born in Italy post-March 17, 1861, which was when Italy became a united nation.
  • If your lineage depends on a female link, you could have a problem, women could not pass on their citizenship unless the child was born after January 1st, 1948.
  • If your ancestors naturalized and renounced their citizenship before your link to them was born the chain is broken.
 
Then comes all the research, paperwork, and waiting.  Each embassy is a little different but you have to provide a full history with birth, death, and marriage certificates.  Which all have to be authenticated and translated into Italian. You have to show proof that no one renounced their citizenship, and if they did proof your ancestor was born before they did.
 
My great grandfathers Italian birth certificate
It was a lot of work! I know there are some companies out there which will do some of the work for you, but I did everything myself, and I’m glad I did it was very rewarding.  It also took a lot of time, Italians do not feel the hustle, it took me over a year to get my great grandparents birth and marriage certificate from Italy, and once I had submitted my paperwork to the embassy it took them a year and a half to declare me an Italian Citizen.  Now while my children were automatically made citizens with me my husband now has to apply through marriage.  Which is a different thing entirely, I’ll let you go know how that goes when it is done!