The Decision is made ….. finally!

Sorry we haven’t posted in a while. There has been a TON going on. So here’s the big one, a decision has been made, and tickets have been bought. Woot!!!

chichen-itza

Anyone know where that is? It’s one of the most popular ruins. It’s Chichen Itza. Not that we’re moving into an ancient Mayan Ruin. But we are moving to the Yucatan Peninsula.

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Finding Beauty in Your Own Backyard

We had a house showing in the morning on Sunday.  The showing came after what seems like the longest day of the IMG_6336year in our house – dance recital day.  3 dancing girls + a really enthusiastic dance studio owner = 7 different dance numbers and 11 costumes (and luckily only 8 hair changes).  Dance recital day starts at 7 in the morning with a protein-packed breakfast and the unnatural act of putting makeup on children.  After that it’s down to the performing arts center for a dress rehearsal that lasts from 8:30am – until you finish all your dances.  For us, that meant 2pm.  Then it’s back home to “rest” until we have to re-do all the hair and make-up and be back downtown for the performance at 6:30.  The curtain goes up at 7 and at 10pm we are still taking photos and packing the rolling wardrobes up.  Longest.Day.of.the.Year.  But the kids love it, so we do it.

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How to Create a Capsule Wardrobe for Travel

Traveling necessitates a minimalist approach to packing.  The unfortunate IMG_5930truth is that we are all going to have to carry whatever we plan to bring.  The more we pack, the more we have to personally haul around.  The idea of minimalist packing brought me to discover the capsule wardrobe.

I have been attempting to embrace a minimalist lifestyle at home with the KonMari method of decluttering.  I have tried to lessen the amount of kidstuff at home by emphasizing experiences > stuff for them.  And I have come across articles like this, shared by other minimalist moms.

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Why Wait? Moving to Central America on a shoestring

lightbulb-momentSo on Thursday morning I woke up suddenly at 5:30 in the morning with the thought that what if we didn’t have to wait to move? Waiting on starting my business is becoming a detriment to the business at this point. We have clients ready to pay us money that need to see progress. The thought has always been, prep house, sell house, move cheaper, start biz. What if we turned that all around? Move cheaper, start biz, sell house?

So if we could afford to move somewhere cheaper for a while, then should we do it? What are our options?

Ok for those of you that don’t know how this works, I’m kind of in love with this tool. You can use Skyscanner to search for flights and it will find anything at all for you. It will tell you what it costs to go anywhere in a certain month, week, day or whenever. Lovin it!!!

Sky1

When you leave the To field blank, it fills it in with everywhere. So I searched for flights in July, and this is the top of my search:

sky2

And then you find all kinds of treasures. Have you ever heard of Toluca Mexico? It’s the cheapest place to fly to in the entire world from Miami in July. sky3

Apparently Toluca is about an hour outside of Mexico City in the mountains, and has great weather and super cheap living(3BR’s rent for $200-500/mo). And check out the differences in the weather:


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Anyway, that’s just an example of a gem I found. A place I had never even heard of before that I might want to go to someday. So back to the main story, I think we found a different solution.

As you know if you’ve been following our blog, we’ve been trying to sell our house unsuccessfully for the last 33 days. It’s getting shown quite often on average 3-4 times per week(pain in the rump), but no one is making us any offers yet. We need to step up our game on the startup I’m working on. So, we came up with a better plan.

Part of the process of our moving will be selling a bunch of our belongings, we have two older but functional cars that we can sell off, plus outdated furniture, electronics and other things. This was stuff we planned on doing after the house sells, but why wait? We calculate that we can sell off our goodies, plus savings and embark with enough to stay around 7-12 months in Central America(as long as we stay on budget). If we stay in this hemisphere, we can spend a lot less on airfare, especially as I’ll have to come back to close on the house. So we start looking things up.

Skyscanner gives me tons of options for July. Here are some of the prices:
Toluca, Mexico $68
Cancun Mexico $116 (then take the bus to Merida/Progreso)
Panama City $95
San Jose, Costa Rica $111
Medellin, Columbia $181
Cali, Columbia $233
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic $136

Now understand, that I speak spanish fluently already. That makes a huge difference in our comfort level. Goose has been studying Spanish for two years and could use some practice. And the wife would love for all of the kids to learn to speak Spanish as well. I think the girls should learn to surf, and there really isn’t a better spot than Nicaragua or Costa Rica(in spots) for waves or the cost right now. So we can go really rustic, and learn to surf in a spot like this:

cabin

Cost only $250 a month, utilities included. Nicer than where I spent time as a kid in the Dominican Republic, but I don’t think the wife would move there. Within walking distance of four surf breaks from the beginner waves to the more advanced. Ahhh to be young again.

oceanfrontI found a place in Puerto Viejo de Talemanca, Costa Rica right on the beach that will rent to us for $750/mo. This includes 2 Bedrooms, beds for five and free breakfast on Saturday and Sundays, all utilities including wi-fi, plus cleaning service. To put it into perspective most ocean front places you can rent in our hometown run $150-500 a night. That means all in for our family of five we’d be well under $2,000 a month in living expenses. Stay in the time zone, and be a short flight away from coming home.

It makes Mamasita happy because she already knows people who live there who have been talking it up. So we could probably manage to live the entire six months of my project right here pretty comfortably, and not touch a penny of the money we make from the sale of the house. So the big question is do we stick out the sale of the house, where we get a big chunk of change? Or do we get a little more risky, and make the move happen now?

Isn’t it already a risk, uprooting your family and moving away? So, why wait if you can make it happen today rather than waiting for tomorrow?

Traveling the World- Planning vs Seat of the Pants

Homer_Looking_at_Map_(Artwork)So at this point, we’ve been talking about leaving the country and traveling the world for over six months. But what happens when you don’t exactly see eye to eye? What if you travel very differently. How do you make it all work?

When we were first married we traveled VERY differently. My idea of traveling is relaxation. It includes a beer, and good book and not moving very much at all. I remember quite clearly the first time we took a cruise and my wife wanted to do EVERYTHING. And I mean everything, she wanted to plan every moment of the cruise. She literally couldn’t sit on deck and read a book for 30 minutes without getting antsy and knowing “the plan”. I was thinking when are we going to start vacationing? Continue reading

Preparing to Worldschool

I attended the FPEA (Florida Parent Educators Association) Homeschool conference

Scrunch Map!  It's water-resistant, tear-resistant and it crumbles into a ball.
Scrunch Map! It’s water-resistant, tear-resistant and it crumbles into a ball.

over Memorial Day weekend. It was great to be around other homeschooling families and hear some sessions on hot homeschool topics.  But the most important part of the conference is the exhibitor’s hall.  That’s the place where I get to touch all the manipulatives, flip through all the workbooks and get my hands on the materials.  The interesting things about this

year are:   Continue reading