Stealing a moment for a “staycation.”

About 8 or 9 years ago, our family began a financial journey that would end all FUN, but began our path to financial freedom (I say this jokingly, but we did have to learn ways of having fun WITHOUT the use of credit cards)! From that point on, vacations consisted of hammocking in the backyard, or tent camping nearby! We cut up all credit cards, stopped spending money we didn’t have, and therefore, stopped traveling! What a sad, but glorious day in the history of our family!!! Yes, we did the dreaded Financial Peace University, by Dave Ramsey…in case you’re wondering! (If you’re curious about becoming financially free, click the picture…I’m sure I’ll post about it sooner or later!

What does that have to do with a blog about travel, you might ask? It has EVERYTHING to do with MY travel blog, because ultimately, this is how I came to be bitten by the travel bug! We paid off our debt in the summer of 2013 and I went to real estate school with the extra money. Since we had mostly quit traveling as a means to pay off debt, we were able to start saving some of that money to begin taking small, local trips. It wasn’t much in the beginning, but it was enough to satiate the urge to travel that we had long since set aside.

Our friends’ wedding
Beach Cruise
Our walk along the beach at Grand Cayman

One of my best friends met a handsome beau and they offered to take us on a cruise to be their best man and maid of honor. Who am I to pass up a deal like that? Both my husband and I REALLY loved the cruise, and all at once, we were bitten! We were still in the midst of paying off debt at that point (which is why they offered to take us!), so we had never even CONSIDERED doing something that “extravagant!” One cruise became two, and then we began a tradition of going to Gulf Shores, AL to finish up Christmas shopping every November, then we began looking for cheap weekend getaways…you get the point. This whole thing of paying off our debt caused a freedom we had never known previously. It opened our minds to cheaper means of travel and helped us be realistic about what we could and could not do.

Our own private beach in Puerto Rico!
Puerto Rico, Sept. 2016

As my income with real estate grew, we were able to fund better trips for longer periods of time. For our 25th wedding anniversary, we were able to spend 10 days in Puerto Rico…and that was the second trip there in a year! Now that we have a camper, we’re solely focused on taking an EPIC road trip at some point, but we will have to save for a while for that one. We’ve also got a trip to Italy in our crosshairs as we have dear, sweet friends who have become missionaries there. Follow our adventures and see what we learn along the way!

I can’t wait to tell you our stories, and to hear some of yours!