10 People to Blame for Our Crazy Lifestyle

“I can’t believe this is actually happening.”

This thought runs through my mind at some point daily since we’ve set off as a family to travel. It’s almost surreal. A little over a year ago, we put out the intention that we wanted to travel for a year. Now we’re almost three months into our journey and it’s sometimes hard to believe we’ve actually done it.

I suppose the purpose of a travel blog is to chronicle our journey and share stories and inspiration with you as we live and learn as a traveling family. But over the last year, it’s taken inspiration from others to make our dream a reality. We’ve discovered inspiration in books and blogs, through people and places.

And as we move into a new year, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking back on 2012 and have reflected on some of those people who inspired us to make last year the starting point for something great for us.

Today, in appreciation of what we’ve received in the form of courage and inspiration, and to pass on to you some of the resources that helped move us toward the realization of this “dream” we’re living, I want to list 10 people who (whether they know it or not) have pushed us on our way to this crazy lifestyle.

Tim Ferriss

Tim FerrissI know. Tim is probably at the top of the list for many “digital nomads” around the globe. The 4 Hour Work Week became a best seller and I often wonder how many of the millions of people who read the book put the lessons into motion. Even if it’s a small fraction of those who made it to the last page, it’s safe to say that Tim has literally changed lives. Most of the successful digital entrepreneurs I follow or work with were deeply affected in some way by a part of the book.

I read the book twice and listened to the audiobook once before using some of the steps he outlines in the book to develop a business made up of virtual income streams that fund our current travels. While it’s not for everyone, it will at least get you thinking and beginning to break down some of the beliefs you hold about how you live in various areas of your life.

Thank you, Tim.

Chris Guillebeau

Chris GuillebeauChris holds a close second place to Tim. I’ve never met him, but have traded a couple of emails and Tweets with Chris and feel a strong connection with his life views. His first best seller, The Art of Non-Conformity, also helped me begin to question why we do things a certain way, always following the herd. The title of the book itself was enough to draw me in, but hearing first hand from someone who has found a way to live the life of their dreams helped to solidify the belief that we could do it, too.

Chris is one plane ride away from visiting every country in the world, a goal he set for himself a few years ago. He continually challenges and inspires others to create lives that they enjoy living through his AONC blog and World Domination Summit.

Thank you, Chris.

Pat Flynn

Pat FlynnI’ve had the honor of working with Pat personally and I can tell you that there is not a kinder, more positive, or generous person teaching the art of passive income. I’ve always believed success is earned through the sum of your actions and beliefs, but if it could be said that anyone “deserves” to be successful, Pat does.

His success came quickly with the Smart Passive Income blog, but it came through giving, giving, and more giving without asking for anything in return. Pat creates heaps of useful and inspiring content and then gives it away for free. In turn, people purchase products and services he recommends on his blog through his affiliate links as a way to say “thank you”.

I had the opportunity to join him in a private coaching program a couple of years ago and he was able to make me feel as though helping me was the only thing on his radar, although he’s usually incredibly busy with many different projects at once.

Thank you, Pat.

Rolf Potts

Rolf PottsRolf has also inspired many people to get up and get out through his blog and his book, Vagabonding. His pursuit of travel has become his life’s purpose and he’s chosen to dedicate himself to helping others realize the same dream. When we were preparing for our trip, I sent him a couple of emails with questions about travel logistics, fully expecting them to disappear into a sea of subject lines in his inbox or to be answered by an offshore VA. Within a couple of hours I had personal responses from Rolf on both. Again, he’s a shining example of someone who gives first and asks later.

Thank you, Rolf.

Nancy Sathre-Vogel

Nancy Sathre-VogelWhen we first began toying with the idea of traveling the world as a family, I dove deep into discovering what experiences others were sharing online. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am fanatical when it comes to researching and analyzing ideas and I quickly discovered one of the most inspirational family travel stories in Nancy’s.

In June of 2008, Nancy and her husband, John, set off with their two sons for a 17,300 mile bike trip from Alaska to Argentina. Yes, you read that correctly…17,300 miles! The journey would last over 1,000 days and teach them daily lessons in persistence, perseverance, and survival. This wasn’t a new lifestyle for them. Prior to their trip through the Americas, John and Nancy had spent a great deal of their time together cycling through various parts of the world. As a cyclist myself, I was immediately hooked on their blog.

Whenever we faced a challenge in preparing for our time abroad, whether it was giving up our home, saying goodbye to friends, or spending late nights working out how to make it all happen, I thought about their family pedaling on for nearly three years to achieve their dream.

(Nancy is also just about to publish a book which chronicles their trip. We’ve been honored to have received an advance copy and will be posting a review very soon.)

Thank you, Nancy.

Talon Windwalker

Talon WindwalkerOne of the most important lessons I’ve learned about myself leading up to and during our travels so far has come from Talon. As a former hospice chaplain, Talon knows very well how people spend their last days on earth. He’s held hands, dried tears, and listened to countless stories as people face death and reflect on their lives.

He’s also faced his own mortality by fighting cancer, and winning. After his cancer was gone, Talon made a purposeful decision; he chose to stop living life the way others expected him to. He adopted a son and set off for a life as a nomadic single father.

What have I learned from Talon? Through his writing, he challenged me to accept that I do not want to arrive at the end of my life with regret. The moment we have right now is the most precious ever and it’s always right before us. I keep this in the back of my mind daily now as I watch my children grow up in front of my eyes. We can never get “now” back, so make the most of it.

Thank you, Talon.

Our Parents

Our ParentsOk, this is actually a four-in-one and no, it wasn’t just a cheap attempt to inflate the post title. We wouldn’t be living the life of our dreams right now without the support, inspiration, and motivation we’ve received from my parents and Lindsay’s. After all, when you tell your children’s grandparents that you’re going to pack up the kids and drag them around the world for a year and that they’re only going to see them on Skype for a while, it can cause quite a stir.

However, after making time to sit down and talk with each of our families and explain to them what we planned to do, we received nothing but encouragement and support. Lindsay and I have been very fortunate to have parents who raised us challenging conventional wisdom and without that, we’d not have arrived where we are right now.

Thank you Nina and Poppa, Mimi and Poppi.

There are hundreds of others who have inspired us and to all of you, we say thank you. Without you, we wouldn’t have the joy of living this crazy lifestyle.

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12 Responses to “10 People to Blame for Our Crazy Lifestyle”

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  1. Talon says:

    Wow! I feel incredibly honored to not only be included among some of these huge names but to have made such an impact! Thank you so much for this post and for including me in it. I'm really quite humbled by it.

  2. Jessica says:

    That's a great list of inspire-ers right there! Some of them are inspirational to us as a traveling family, as well. I love your tribute to your parents. Good job moms and dads!

  3. Tiffany Fite says:

    Great list! I too, have been inspired by many of the folks on your list through personal connections and/or reading their material or having fun on Facebook! I am also fanatical about research and analysis of all options and information and these have been great resources. I also love Chris Guillebeau's second book – "The $100 Startup."

    I am enjoying following your travels and look forward to more!

    • Nate Johnson says:

      Thanks, Tiffany! I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who needs to seek out so much information before making a decision to commit to something. :-)

      Yes, "The $100 Startup" is a great read. I'd recommend that anyone who is considering launching a product or service put some of Chris's lessons into practice.

      Happy New Year to you guys!

  4. Thank you, thank you, thank you! So honored to be included in a list of such greats!

  5. Jen says:

    Yes this is a great list and a few I have not heard of.

  6. vanessa says:

    My husband enjoys a lot of these too, I'll have to ask them if there were any he had not heard of. Maybe he will find a new blog to read!

    • Nate Johnson says:

      Thanks, Vanessa. This is by no means everyone who we've drawn inspiration from, but it's a good list to get started for anyone who wants to fund long term travel through a location independent business.

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