Mobilepreneur: What would happen if you quit your job and lived your dream to travel the world?
I quit my job after 12 years and flew to Romania to work in an orphanage. When I looked into the sea blue eyes of Michael, a toddler with a shock of platinum hair, and knew I would never go back. I would never go back to the life I’d had before, when I could live a life of purpose.
I returned to America, but not for long. The sound of the children’s voices remained with me, as I remembered them lined up, singing “take me with you back to America.”
I went to Romania again, determined to rescue one or more, and the country shut down their adoption program. But my heart has already been turned towards a life of service. A life of giving back and delivering love to others who need it. In the years since that initial trip I’ve traveled to Peru, climbed Macchu picchu, played with street kids, fed the homeless, traveled back to Romania many times to build swing sets in orphanages, and worked disaster relief.
I began writing books from planes, cars, jungles, hotels, trains, and sidewalk cafes in Argentina, London, Belize and beyond. I had my own kids and brought them to Costa Rica that first year, to work the tornado rescue in Joplin when they were six and eight.
We began to live the lifestyle of nomads, wandering the earth with intentionality, writing books and learning along the way. We ordered curriculum for history, reading, and math, learned algebra on Khan academy, and the kids watched TED talks every day. We adopted the education requirements of other countries, using what made sense. It worked so well year after year that we created an online school resource for kids and mobilepreneur parents, www.worldschool.com
It’s a work in progress but so are we. Our family has never once looked back. We made a very intentional decision to integrate work and family. When I go to a book meeting with an NBA player – I bring my kids. They play basketball in the driveway with him, listen to our interviews, learn life changing lessons about discipline and hard work.
When I travel for a speaking engagement they’re there too, my little photographer taking amazing abstract photos of mom on stage, filming my TEDx talk better than a professional. When he filmed it we felt the benefit of stacking – when one major task such as work, is combined with family, learning important life principles, and kids. My ten year old watched five amazing TEDx talks that day, not just mine.
Our lives are like a mix of the “old days” 2000 years ago before schools, when families spent every moment together – and the future, where learning occurs virtually, globally and in divergent ways. Sometimes there’s a tutor or a classroom with thirty other kids and sometimes the book report is written on the beach in Anguilla. Wherever we go, they go.
They’ve always had the choice to go to “Regular” school, and we often visit them when my son speaks to classrooms. He wrote a book when he was eight, he’s very charismatic, and he loves sharing his words. It’s not a life for everyone, but it’s for us.
The main goal is to spend all our time with family – because life is too short. It wasn’t easy to make the leap because my husband had to quit his high level corporate executive job too, but we both found new careers. We’re in our zone. Living our calling. Mornings are slow and structured and peaceful. We have eaten breakfast together with the kids everyday for thirteen plus years, and now the boys make it. We start by reading together, dad covers life lessons, character traits, values, family goals. The remainder of our day is like every other kids only they might be doing their geography workbook at their own desk, or on an airplane.
No matter what your life or family goals are – nothing is impossible. If you feel pressured, unhappy, stressed, limited by work hours, or feel as if you’re traveling too much on business and missing your kids – make that change.
Design your own life!
There’s a great life out there and it doesn’t have to look like everyone else’s.
CEO – OnFire Books