I gave up.

Or better stated I quit.

And this isn’t my first time quitting!

On one hand we are told never to give up, that persistence pays off. Shoot, Angry Birds was Rovio’s 52nd attempt at making a game.

Yet on the other hand we’re told to say no to things that distract from the priority, from the goal.

The really insidious things are those goals/priorities that we don’t know we’re signed up for.

I quit those things. Er, I quit two of those things.

  • Keeping up with the Jones’ and
  • The American Dream

Background

We have 4 kids, and we homeschool them. This effectively makes our family a location independent family.

I run a digital marketing strategy agency. I’ve been running that agency for 4 years since I quit the best job I ever had working with the great people at ddm. But the whole time I was building that agency I was working from my basement in Newaygo county. Quite literally from the woods of Michigan.

I was struggling with some of the decisions we had made, and frankly as an entrepreneur who loves to start things I was unable to keep up with some of the commitments we were making. For example, we committed to being a one car family and with 4 kids we drove a minivan.

Driving a minivan as a parent is no big deal. But using the minivan to meet with clients? I mean we were running a quarter million in annual revenue for four years why was I driving around in a minivan?

But I struggled with that, why do I need to keep up with the Jones’? Why do I need to feel bad when others show up to meetings in BMWs?

The dream for me is not to own a certain car. These things perish. And I know that if I work harder while my kids are young I could afford that BMW… but what am I sacrificing?

And then there was the farm, the weeds, the fencing needed to get a couple horses, the hay, the cows, the fruit trees we planted that didn’t get enough attention. We had a sweet little hobby farm but as a starter and not a finisher I was unable to keep up with it all.

And it was sucking the lifeblood out of me.

And doing damage to our family.

Selling it all

So we did what anyone with 4 kids would do.

We sold our house and 90% of our belongings.

We become homeless.

Yeah okay maybe not anyone with 4 kids.

But seriously, I espoused that stuff is not important, yet somehow I was stuck in the middle ground of having stuff and needing to maintain the stuff we had while not wanting more and better things.

If you say your stuff doesn’t own you… I challenge you to sell it all. Could you part with 90% of your stuff and life continue on as normal? The obvious answer is yes, but yet we don’t do it.

Why?

Because stuff brings us some strange level of comfort.

We left: Begin the Digital Nomad, Travel as a Lifestyle

After selling everything we had (and before some of it sold!) we left. We started out vagabonding in the Philippines and various other Southeast Asian countries.

For now we’re committed to 9 months of travel as a lifestyle. Of being homeless by choice.

From the woods in Michigan to the Beach in Bali.

We’re 1/3 of the way through our initial commitment. having visited and lived in 8 cities in 4 countries we’ve been on quite the journey so far.

and now I’m inviting you to join us.

Digital Nomad Famil: Kortmans at Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur

Kortmans at Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur

Join Us!

Here’s the simple ways to join us. Feel free to pick one or all of them :)

 

 

http://paulkortman.com