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!!!


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:


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:


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:


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

On Fears

One of the things that comes up for me as I weigh and measure our options is fear.  My own fear of everything that makes me anxious.

I tend to be a pretty positive person, so its hard for me to admit and put out there all of the niggling negative talk in my brain.  It’s hard for me to reveal my fears for everyone to look at.  To open up and let everyone stare inside.  But these are real.  They are on my mind.  And they are all the things I’m facing as we make our preparations. Continue reading

Obtaining Passports: 3rd time’s a charm

FINALLY!  We accomplished the passport task.  It feels incredibly good to strike that off the list.Passport

We decided to venture to the passport office on a Friday morning when Romeo’s boss was out of the office.  He has a job where he can come and go as he needs, but a certain someone gives him the stink eye if the mood strikes.  So, Friday, we decided it was a good day.  Romeo went to work before the rest of the family was out of bed and we had a plan to pick him up at his office at 8am.

The kids made me 5 minutes late.  Then a detour to the restroom on the way to the car added another 5 minutes but by 8:10 Romeo was in the car and we were heading to the passport office so we could be there when they opened at 8:30 am.   Continue reading

Where Should We Go? Part 6

Here’s a thought…

What if we don’t choose ONE place?berlin

The more we discuss possible options of where to go, the more we want to go everywhere.  So it occurs to us: what if we don’t choose a single location and take more of a nomadic approach?

We definitely want to travel around.  We had considered choosing a base-location that would allow some budget-friendly travel to see the rest.  We could also also forget the base location and just move.  Fast travel has the advantage of seeing more places.  Slow travel would allow for more time in each location. But either option has a nomadic approach instead of a settle-in-a-new-place approach.    Continue reading

What? Why are you moving your family? The Big Question

3D Character and Thinking , He is standing with question mark

I thought it would be worth it to get a little bit of a peek into what I want, my motivations and a little more about me personally.

So you may be wondering, why in the world would this otherwise normal man choose to uproot his family and move halfway around the world? There are multiple reasons.

“It’s a dangerous business going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”- J.R.R. Tolkien

The obvious one, is that traveling is inherently more exciting and adventurous than yet another night thumbing through Netflix to find something interesting to watch. Continue reading