1 Month Vacation in Belize
Our conversion to a remote lifestyle started in June 2013 when we decided to go to Belize. It was our first international trip as a couple, and we were in college at the time. Putting ourselves on a strict savings budget we built up the funds and went. It was an absolute blast and opened our eyes to the fact that we didn’t have to wait until we were old and retired to travel, we could do it now.
International Study Abroad in France
In 2015, Maddie found an international business study abroad program in France she was interested in. Thinking we wouldn’t be able to take any work on the trip with us, we worked hard and saved our money. Between our savings, scholarships and government pell grants, we were able to live in France for 5 months. The experience was incredible! Not only did we experience France, but we traveled to 6 other countries between classes as well. We learned some important lessons while abroad, one of them being how difficult and stressful it can be to spend money when we know there’s a set amount of it in the bank account that isn’t growing. We knew after this that we wanted to find a way to add to the pile while we were there and that is when we began looking into how to accomplish that.
After our study abroad in France, we returned to the United States to finish our degrees. Maddie graduated in 2016 with her Marketing degree and quickly found a full-time position as a Marketing Manager. This was the dream! It was exactly what she had been hoping for and our life was exactly where we wanted it to be.
While we settled into our new life, we never forgot about our time in Belize and France. The memories we had were a constant reminder that we weren’t done traveling and would eventually need to find a way to pursue it further.
3 Months Living in Mexico and Costa Rica
In July 2017 we decided it was time for a trial run of the remote lifestyle we had done so much research into. So with this as our goal, why not put it to the test by getting remote work and traveling to Central America for three months?
At the time, Maddie was working an office job. Her intention was to quit the job and pursue a remote position elsewhere. Instead of letting her go, the company she was working with at the time asked her to stay on part-time in a remote capacity while we traveled. We could not have imagined it better at the time! As for Ben, he did quit his local job and about 2 weeks into our first month in Mexico, he found his first remote writing postition! Our 3 months in Mexico and Costa Rica created an amazing experience where we worked part-time and then lived like we were on vacation. We went to the beach, shopped, ate out, and did all the things we thought we’d have to wait until retirement for. It was this trip that really solidified our desire to continue the remote lifestyle.
“Normal” Life After Remote Work
When we went back home, Maddie went back to her previous 8-5 office job and Ben went back to a local position. We slipped back into the “normal” lifestyle and lost our remote capabilities. Losing that freedom to go wherever, whenever we wanted was horrible. We hated having to ask for time off from work, we hated being limited to weekends to do fun things, and we loathed relying upon another person to tell us when we could go and do things.
Welcome to the Remote Lifestyle
Finally, in November 2018 we had had enough of the “normal” life. We quit our jobs, found remote work again and have been living the remote lifestyle ever since. We’ve made a cross country road trip while working out of hotels, we spent a month at an Airbnb on the east coast, we’ve visited family in various parts of the country, and at any moment we have the ability to pack up everything and go wherever we want. As long as our work gets done by the deadlines our bosses are happy and we aren’t tied down anywhere. For us, the remote lifestyle wasn’t all about the ability to travel. While that is certainly a major perk, but the most important element was the ability to chose our own day-to-day life and that is the exact life we have created for ourselves.
This Is Us
The remote lifestyle has been incredibly freeing and allowed us to do amazing things we wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise. Instead of waiting until we’re in our sixties to go do fun things we’re doing it now while we’re young and we’re not limited to two weeks of PTO.
It has been a long time coming and taken a lot of stressful nights and hard work to get where we are now. We feel so blessed to have this lifestyle and we can’t wait to share all the experiences it brings.