A vacation is an escape. An escape from work, responsibilities, reality. It’s something most people only get to do a few weeks per year. But that’s now how I want to live my life.
I want to set up my life in a way that doesn’t require big escapes from the grind. I want a life that involves more travel, more variety, more flexibility.
Beyond Vacation is the name we’ve given to a lifestyle that allows us to travel more, see the world, experience other cultures and really sink into a place. We will still have our home base in Freiburg, Germany, but we plan on spending more time traveling and temporarily living in other parts of the world.
This means renting our apartment while we spend a couple months traveling through Europe or settling in an apartment in Thailand for a few months to escape the cold German winters. The possibilities are endless.
How are we going to make this work?
Andy recently had his visa upgraded to permanent resident status. This means he is eligible to work on a contract or freelance basis, so the plan is for him to find contracts to do while we’re home. Then we can take a few months off to travel in between contracts. Or if he gets a contract he can do remotely, he can work from the road.
As for me, now that I’ve completed my German integration course, I’m working on my writing. I’m slowly getting into freelance writing, and I’m even more slowly working on writing fiction.
I want to travel slowly so I can experience more of the culture, taste more of the food, and meet more of the people. I like being a regular at a cafe, even if it’s just for a week. This also means minimizing air travel. Andy doesn’t like to fly, which makes it a stressful thing for both of us, so whenever reasonable, we will take trains or other forms of transportation to minimize that stress.
I want a life that involves more experiences and less stuff. I don’t need souvenirs. The memory of a hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia, an overnight cruise on Milford Sound, or watching the sunset in Santorini holds so much more meaning than a trinket purchased from a touristy shop.
I don’t want work to become my life. I want to enjoy what I do, earn some money along the way to help pay the bills, and experience the world around me. As much as I like having a home, I don’t want a job that ties me down to one place.
I want more balance. Andy and I have had a long stretch without any travel, and it was painful. We love having a home, but we will strive towards finding the balance between being at home and being on the road. A balance between routine and variety.
How does this relate to you?
I blog because it’s another outlet for my travel passion. It’s a way for me to share my experiences, encourage others to travel, and give some advice along the way.
Some of you might be looking for a different way of living your life, and I want to show you it’s possible. I’ll give you updates along the way to let you know how we’re making this new lifestyle work and what kind of problems we hit as we figure it all out.
For those of you who aren’t looking for this kind of life change, I’ll still be writing plenty of posts about travel and the destinations we visit. My number one goal in sharing my travel experiences on my blog is to encourage others to travel. By sharing with you photos, budgets, things to do and other information about our trip, I hope to inspire you to plan a vacation and see the world one week at a time.
As part of running this blog, I occasionally receive sponsorships. If I write about an item I received for free or a trip or activity that was sponsored, I can assure you I agreed to it because it fit with my values and the travel philosophy detailed above. I will only accept sponsorships involving an experience I think my readers would be interested in. And if the experience turned out badly I will also be up front about it.
Keep in Touch
Andy will also be writing about our experiences from his perspective on Grounded Traveler, and I will still be running Travel Made Simple, which explains more of the practicalities of travel.
We’d love to have you join us on our Facebook pages:
Since we understand that you might not want to subscribe to both of our sites, we’ve started a Beyond Vacation newsletter. This newsletter will tie together the experiences, advice and goals of Ali’s Adventures and Grounded Traveler. (Travel Made Simple has its own newsletter and will remain a little more separate.) This newsletter will come to you about once a month, summarizing what we’ve been up to and showing you more about our Beyond Vacation lifestyle.