Introducing Beyond Vacation
Lately Andy and I have been hinting around about upcoming travel plans, and I’m finally ready to share some of the details. But it’s more than just our next fun trip. For months we have been working towards a new non-traditional lifestyle. It wasn’t an easy process, and there were times we thought it might fall apart, but now we’re almost there.
It started last summer. We spent four days in Barcelona experiencing a little taste of the local instead of the touristy side of the city. Sure, we checked out la Sagrada Familia cathedral and Guell Park. But most of our time was spent eating lunch from a local market, having a few drinks after dinner at a local cafe, and escaping the high heat of the day by writing and talking to each other in our apartment. Then a month later we had one amazing night in Lisbon where we talked about our future and really made a decision to change things up.
Andy found this great post from Married With Luggage about naming your dream and making a dream board. We’ve also been following No Vacation Required for quite some time now, and between the inspiration we got from two sites, we eventually decided on the name Beyond Vacation. Naming the dream and having something physical like the dream board really helped us focus on our goals and made it feel more realistic.
Beyond Vacation comes from the idea that we want more travel in our lives. We don’t want to just escape on a vacation a couple times a year with barely any time to explore the cultures we’re visiting. We want our lives to include work we enjoy along with the flexibility to travel and be in another place for longer periods of time.
What does this mean?
After lots of paperwork and several bumps in the road, Andy finally secured his upgraded visa granting him permanent residency in Germany. His new visa also allows him to work on a contract or freelance basis. He turned in his notice at work (read here about how different this is in Germany) and his last day is April 19. Now he has more flexibility to take short or medium length contracts with companies right here in Freiburg, other parts of Germany or even other parts of the world. It also means he can find contracts to work remotely.
We will still have our home base in Freiburg. We like having a home, and since Freiburg is a university town, there are always good opportunities to rent out our apartment to students or visiting professors. This means we can travel in between Andy’s contracts or when he has a contract he can do remotely. We’d love to really settle into a place for a few months. My biggest desire right now is to escape at least a few months of the cold German winter and go somewhere warm.
Slow travel: I want to enjoy the culture and explore destinations in more depth. This could mean spending a week in one city or temporarily living there for a few months. We’re also going to limit air travel. Not only does Andy hate to fly, but traveling by train is a great way to enjoy the journey and slow down.
Experiences over stuff: The memory of a experience is so much more valuable than a souvenir. While we do enjoy having a home and the comforts that come with that, we have no desire to continually buy lots of stuff to take up space in our apartment.
Work life: Andy and I have both had jobs that consumed us. The stress makes it hard to enjoy time off, and that’s not how we want to live our lives anymore. We’re both striving to do work we enjoy that hopefully helps people in some way, while still allowing for plenty of time to enjoy our lives and see the world. Life should not be all about work.
Balance: Andy and I both like a certain amount of routine, but we also need variety and a change of scenery. We need travel to gain confidence and to continue challenging ourselves. So we’ll be fine-tuning this lifestyle over time to strike a balance between home and travel, routine and variety.
The big kick off trip
Instead of jumping right into a contract, we’ve decided to start off our new lifestyle with a bang. In early May, we will travel to Luxembourg, Netherlands and Belgium. During that time we will also be attending a travel blogging conference in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Then we will be in Italy for the month of June, including a week at Blogville in Bologna. I’ll give you more details about our trip as we continue planning.
We’ll be back in Freiburg in July. Andy plans on getting a contract for the summer and fall, and then if everything works out the way we want it to, hopefully we can find somewhere warm for a few months in the winter. I will also be working on my blogs to see what I can turn them into.
Keeping in touch
As always I will be writing about our experiences here on Ali’s Adventures. Not only do I enjoy sharing my travels with you, but I hope to encourage you to travel as well and show you how you can visit some of the places we visit.
Andy and I will be writing about these experiences from different perspectives across our sites, and we’d love to have you join us on the Facebook pages for more photos and lots of travel goodness: Ali’s Adventures and Grounded Traveler.
We’re really looking forward to this next stage of our lives and having you along for the journey!
You might also enjoy:
- How Much Money I Make Online: Blogging Income Reports
- 5 Reasons I Love Making Money From Affiliate Marketing (and 2 Reasons I Don’t)
- On Living a Non-Traditional Life
- How I Make Money Online and Travel Up to 4 Months a Year
April 4, 2013 @ 12:06 PM
YAY!!! Great news indeed! And I love the hint about your new project…looking forward to hearing more!! Congratulations you guys…this is a great change!
April 4, 2013 @ 5:39 PM
Thanks Gillian! It might be a little while before I’m ready to announce anything about my project, but hopefully it will pan out. As for the rest of our changes, yeah I’m sooo excited! I think it’ll be just the balance of routine and variety that we need.
April 4, 2013 @ 2:28 PM
Jeeeeej, this is so cool!
I’m actually a bit jealous. My boyfriend and I, well, we differ a bit in the way we want to handle things work/life balance wise and it’s not always easy to find a middle road. So I think it’s so cool that you guys have decided on this adventure together and that the beginning of it is so near.
Can’t wait to see what comes of it!
Oh and when in Belgium, you can always holla at me:p
April 4, 2013 @ 5:41 PM
Thanks Sofie! It’s a little tough if you two have different views, but hopefully you can figure out a way to work it out. Everyone is different. And yes, you’re on my list for Belgium! We will most likely be in Brussels for about a week, but I’ll let you know when we have more firm plans. Would be great to meet up for a drink or dinner or something.
April 4, 2013 @ 4:11 PM
This is soooo exciting! I wish you both the most amazing adventures!!!!
April 4, 2013 @ 5:41 PM
Thank you so much Andi!
April 4, 2013 @ 9:18 PM
Ali, love the name of your dream and your Dream Porn. You all are set up for making the life you crave come true and Betsy and I could not be happier.
I’m looking forward to seeing Beyond Vacation morph into reality as you all take all the steps to make it happen. I can’t wait to see where you will take this over the next 3, 6, 12 months.
Good luck and thank you for the shout out.
April 4, 2013 @ 10:29 PM
Thanks Warren! We’re really excited about this new direction. I’m sure it will be a constant work in progress, and we plan on updating our readers through our sites and joint newsletter. Thanks for being part of our inspiration!
April 4, 2013 @ 9:32 PM
April 4, 2013 @ 10:29 PM
Thanks Gigi! Hope to run into you on the road again one of these days!
April 4, 2013 @ 9:33 PM
Congrats on embarking on a new lifestyle that makes you happy! Your adventures in Europe sound really fun!
April 4, 2013 @ 10:30 PM
Thanks Christy! We’re really looking forward to it!
April 4, 2013 @ 10:05 PM
Sounds a lot like what Julia and I are working hard towards as well! Good luck and have fun!
April 4, 2013 @ 10:30 PM
Thanks Scott! I was just poking around your site today and it looks like you guys are in or about to be in Mexico, sounds great!
April 5, 2013 @ 2:23 AM
Exciting news! Will you be coming to Venice when you’re in Italy?
April 5, 2013 @ 3:30 PM
Thanks Jennifer! Unfortunately we won’t make it up to Venice. The closest we’ll be is Bologna for Blogville.
April 5, 2013 @ 6:27 AM
EEEEEEEEeeeeeeee I LOVE THAT IT ALL WORKED OUT!!!
I’m so happy for the both of you!!! Hope you are feeling better. 😉
April 5, 2013 @ 3:32 PM
Thanks Jaime! Yep, I’m starting to feel better. Still need a few weeks to fully recover, but I’m getting there.
April 5, 2013 @ 6:44 AM
Congrats!!! So exciting that the big plan has now become reality. So pumped for you guys and know that we’ll run into you on the road somewhere.
April 5, 2013 @ 3:33 PM
Thanks Kim! Hopefully we will run into each other again at some point!
April 5, 2013 @ 12:24 PM
CONGRATULATIONS you two! So happy for you, this is a big, bold change and I am sure you are going to love this new lifestyle!
April 5, 2013 @ 3:51 PM
Thanks Dalene! We’re really excited, should be a good change for us!
April 5, 2013 @ 7:25 PM
Never been to Luxembourg but Netherlands and Belgium are awesome. Congrats on the visa and your new lifestyle – awesome!! =)
April 5, 2013 @ 9:35 PM
Thanks Andrea! We’re really excited about all of this, and so happy Andy was able to get his upgraded visa. I will admit that we’re going to Luxembourg simply so I can cross it off. I don’t think I’ll ever get rid of my list-ticking tendencies despite our love of slow travel.
April 6, 2013 @ 1:58 PM
Congrats! Very exciting! Let me know if you guys come to Munich (although it still feels very much like winter here as well).
April 7, 2013 @ 11:55 AM
Thanks Laurel! I haven’t been to Munich since I was 16 so I want to get there eventually, and we’ll definitely let you know when!