People told us that Mexico is no place for brand new RVers, and they were right! But we have saltwater running through our veins, and all those amazing experiences south of the border drew us down anyway.
Since this is Episode One, you need a little backstory. Why are we going to Mexico, and don’t we have 9-5 jobs to get back to? That’s a pretty fancy lookin’ RV, are we rich or something? I like to think we’re rich, but not in the ways that most people would expect. Here’s how we got here…
We Wanted More
Disenchanted with the Florida school system, Jenny was one of many unhappy teachers. As a powerplant operator working for Orlando Utilities Commission, I (Jesse) wanted more than just a paycheck. We sought adventure, excitement, and a missing sense of fulfillment. We didn’t feel like we were living life to the fullest, so in 2013 we attempted to escape our mundane lives and moved to the Pacific Northwest.
We wanted adventure and we found it! National forests, snowcapped mountains, and post-card perfect beach towns dotting the rocky Oregon coast. Outdoor opportunities surrounded our home in Stevenson, Washington. We loved our new home but still found ourselves with limits. Limits on how far we could travel, and for how long.
We met outdoor enthusiasts from all walks of life, and all levels of financial status. What we didn’t expect was how many people found ways to achieve a level of freedom we still had yet to reach. Even those making much less money.
It wasn’t money allowing our new friends to travel the world freely. It was their choices.
“The ship is safest when it is at port, but that is not what ships were built for.” – Paolo Coelho
In 2015 we reflected on our decision to move across the continent, to see if we were heading a direction that would make us happy. The short answer, no.
With deep introspection, we discovered that adventure and excitement are shallow pursuits without freedom of time and location. Our growing bank account made us blind to the fact we were time-poor.
Tomorrow is never promised, and our world is full of surprises. Covid 19 was certainly a surprise, but what about Social Security in 2050, and how about our health in 2040? We felt the answer was simply, “Do the most we can right now”.
Steps to Liberation
We attended Financial Peace University with some guy named Dave Ramsey, and I read everything I could get my hands on about location independence and financial freedom. We became debt free and bought the ugliest house in the neighborhood, seriously.
The day after closing we stood on our front steps, looking at the disaster of a home and thinking “what did we just do!” The prior owner and her friends spent a couple extra days packing up and moving her rocks from the yard (yes that’s for real) and we went to work doing an entire renovation.
During remodeling projects, we’d dream how we’d buy a sailboat and sail from one warm beach to the next, catching surf and sunburns along the way. Two years later our house felt like a home, and we were proud to invite people over. We scoured Boat Trader, looking for the perfect blue-water cruiser, but we got pregnant, and a baby onboard didn’t fit that dream very well.
With a booming market in 2017, we sold our house, and set aside $25K to travel for a year. We traded life on the ocean for life on the road in a 40’ 2002 American Eagle motorhome.
First we spent the holidays with family and then prepared for the biggest adventure to date. An RV trip down through Baja Mexico, with a baby, and a dog, and unknowingly a hunting rifle misplaced deep down in our RV’s closet.
What Matters Most
It turns out, time is one of the most valuable things we didn’t appreciate. Time to sleep in, time to explore, or time to stop everything we’re doing to enjoy a moment as a family. It’s easily overlooked, and heavily undervalued.
That $25K I mentioned? Turns out it can go a lot further than you’d expect. Now three years later we look back at this crazy decision as one of our best choices. Although buying a crappy house comes in a close second.
Next time I’ll share about how we made that money stretch more than three years of full time travel. But for now, I hope you enjoy our first episode of the Baja RV Adventure!
Outside Is Calling. Be Brave. Take Risks.
Jesse, Jenny, & Tucker Ingram