Overcoming Financial Restraints To Travel Full Time

As a single mother who travels full time, the most common question I get is “how do you afford it?” While I’m happy to share my own story, I think the answer everyone is looking for is how can THEY do it. While I love making videos (if you don’t know what I’m referring to check out my TikTok!), this topic is nearly impossible to cover in three minutes and I would love to help as many people as I can to achieve their dreams of traveling full time. I always say anyone can do it, but people assume that means I’m saying it’s easy, but that’s not what I’m saying: it is challenging, it takes commitment, it takes open mindedness, it takes willingness to change, but if you can navigate the challenges, you can travel full time!

All of our stories will be different because we are all starting our story with different resources and levels of support. Some people have people that can build out a custom van with them, some people have a family member who let them use their RV, some people have jobs that will allow them to work remotely, and some people will embark on this journey with very little resources. If you are one of those with little resources, don’t fret, you can travel full time, however you may need to be more flexible and patient than someone who had resources available to them.

I am going to start this out by saying I am NOT a financial advisor. There are thousands of resources dedicated to making money, budgeting, and becoming financially independent. My blog is not one of them. However, I do want to share the resources I found help and suggest some possible paths that could work for others.

My Favorite Resources

Take my course on making an income from home!
What the course covers!

You Are a Badass at Making Money Book

(If you’re serious about this lifestyle and financial independence seriously just read the book).

Digital Nomad Wannabe

The Budget Minded Traveler

Normal To Nomad Podcast

FNA Van Life Podcast

My Story

Before I knew or had decided I wanted to travel full time, I knew I wanted to be financially independent and be able to stay home with my children. When I became pregnant with my first daughter, I was working 60+ hours a week as a teacher in a toddler classroom at the University of California Santa Cruz. We lived in a bedroom of the house my father-in-law rented out so we could save money for a down payment on a home. By the time I was 7 months pregnant, we were buying our home! We had timed everything to a tee so that I could go on maternity leave as we moved into the house (although life had other plans and I slipped two discs in my back and had to go on disability before going on maternity leave). The house we chose was with the intention of making a profit – the basement had been turned into a separate living quarters with its own entrance so we could rent or Airbnb the space for extra income (which we did for years). We also made sure to buy in an area where housing prices were on the rise. When my baby was born, I was just finishing my masters degree. In fact, I took my finals online while she laid in my lap two days after giving birth. I knew I wanted to stay in the field of child development and motherhood, but I was set on staying home with my baby. I started by being a nanny and watched other littles while I was at home with mine. After finding that challenging with low pay, I decided to start a parenting coaching business. I created a website, coached some local classes, and worked with some parents, but my passion was with creating content and resources for others so I focused on that which eventually became profitable!

I am not fully financially independent with a multitude of income streams from Pinterest, a self published book, affiliates, and more. [learn how here].

My story on building my finances to travel full time starts years ago by living in a way that saved money and prevented debt and slowly built independent income streams, but each one of us will have our own story of how we made this lifestyle work! It doesn’t mean you have to invest years into your transition into a lifestyle of travel!

Income Options

Your work history and resources are the first things to consider for your income options. For example, do you have a skill that can be transferred to an online job? If you were in the education field you could teach English online, tutor online, or create educational resources to sell online. If you were a fitness coach could you transition this to online? There are so many pre-existing skills that can be used to fund your nomadic life!

For myself, I turned my parent coaching and years in the child development field into creating online support, a blog, and providing online content. (You can find my first blog here).

The quickest and easiest travel jobs I suggest are doordash and instacart! You can make plenty of money in nearly any city without prior experience!

What about start up costs?

My suggestion is to live below your means. For example, when we bought our home, we rented it out and lived in a cheaper area as well as lived in a camper trailer. At one point we lived in the studio basement of the house with two kids while renting out the house to save money. Whatever this may mean for you, living below your means can help you set some money aside for your vehicle or travels. Van Life can be very cheap but I always suggest having a savings or an emergency credit card on had because issues, such as a transmission going out, can arise.

I personally recommend buying a cheap, older van cash, but financing a van is also a good option. After all, it’s still cheaper to pay a monthly payment on the vehicle than to pay rent!

If you have a house full of things, time for a sale! Selling lots of your things can also help you set aside money for your travels!

Everyone’s story will be different. Find what path makes the most sense for you and start taking little steps to make it a reality.

You may also like What is Unschooling? or Easy & Healthy Ways To Start Living More Sustainable.

What Is Unschooling?

“All I am saying can be summed up in two words: Trust Children. Nothing could be more simple, or more difficult. Difficult because to trust children we must first learn to trust ourselves, and most of us were taught as children that we could not be trusted.”

John Holt

Unschooling is a method of homeschooling that is child-led and interest based. It does not follow a set learning schedule, it does not have a set curriculum, and it doesn’t have learning goals the children are supposed to reach. Unschooling is allowing a child to take charge of their education through the pursuit of their own interests and curiosities. Unschooling is the lighting of a fire rather than the filling of a pail – it is creating intrinsically motivated learners who know their own passions. Unschooling is play. It allows children to dive deep into subjects, work on long term projects, and learn the interconnectedness of the different topics they pursue.

How to unschool Wild school homeschool

This idea that children won’t learn without outside rewards and penalties, or in the debased jargon of the behaviorists, “positive and negative reinforcements,” usually becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we treat children long enough as if that were true, they will come to believe it is true. So many people have said to me, “If we didn’t make children do things, they wouldn’t do anything.” Even worse, they say, “If I weren’t made to do things, I wouldn’t do anything.”

John Holt, How Children Fail

We all know the importance of free play (or is that just my child development degree speaking?)- it supports emotional, cognitive, and social development. A child can not develop to their full potential without unstructured play. But at what age did we decide this is no longer valuable? As children age, we step away from seeing curiosity and play as a necessity. But the truth is, even as adults, play is healthy. The New York Times even wrote an article on adults needing to play, stating play has immense benefits, “including improved stress management and an improvement in our overall well-being” (NYT). Depression and anxiety are at an all time high in adolescents, yet research has found that number is lower in homeschooled kids. We have to take the pressure off children and adolescents and allow learning to unfold.

“Our rapidly moving, information-based society badly needs people who know how to find facts rather than memorize them, and who know how to cope with change in creative ways. You don’t learn those things in school.”

Wendy Priesnitz

Unschooling focuses on allowing the child to develop their critical thinking, research skills, and their role within the world. Unschoolers learn real world, life skills daily, rather than memorizing or regurgitating old information from a worksheet or text book. Learning is hands on and builds on past knowledge rather than following a set curriculum. This allows children to engage deeper and create useful life skills.

It is important to note unschooling IS NOT leaving your child alone. It is not isolating a child. It is not ignoring their needs. Unschooling can only be effective when a child is well cared for and has support in their learning process. The unschooling adult should be available regularly to answer questions, provide resources, or to scaffold learning.

Ready to Unschool but don’t know where to start? Check out my resources!

Unschooling Course: Raised To Thrive
Unschooling Handouts: What You Need To Know & Getting Started
Unschooling Podcast
Creating An Unschooling Environment
Shop Organic Kid’s Clothes

20 Quotes For World Schooling

Quotes are a wonderful and quick way to express a larger idea and get to the center of a thought. As a more natural minded mama, I use quotes all the time to express the importance of child lead learning and natural exploration as well as to motivate me to stick to getting out and letting my little one learn her own way. I’ve collected some of my favorite quotes for world schooling and child lead learning to share with those looking to share these wonderful core ideas and get inspired or inspire others!

As an affiliate, I may receive a small stipend for any purchases made on links with no additional cost to you. I only recommend items I love and use. Thanks for supporting a work at home mom!

Quotes For Child Lead Natural Learning

“The ultimate gift we can give the world is to grow our tiny humans into adult humans who are independent thinkers, compassionate doers, conscious questioners, radical innovators, and passionate peacemakers. Our world doesn’t need more adults who blindly serve the powerful because they’ve been trained to obey authority without question. Our world needs more adults who question and challenge and hold the powerful accountable.”

~ L.R. Knost

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“By the time your school understands the importance of green time, your kids may have children of their own.  So, today let the homework lay untouched, in favour of outdoor play and real-world learning.”

~Penny Whitehouse

“Our rapidly moving, information-based society badly needs people who know how to find facts rather than memorize them, and who know how to cope with change in creative ways. You don’t learn those things in school.”

~Wendy Priesnitz

“Without continuous hands-on experience, it is impossible for children to acquire a deep intuitive understanding of the natural world that is the foundation of sustainable development. ….A critical aspect of the present-day crisis in education is that children are becoming separated from daily experience of the natural world, especially in larger cities.”

~Robin C. Moore and Herb H. Wong

“Let Nature be your teacher.”

~William Wordsworth

(check out our favorite nature books)

“They’re not just playing in nature, they are: Learning, creating, sensing, believing, relaxing, exploring, observing, wondering, connecting, discovering, appreciating, understanding, experimenting…”

~Penny Whitehouse

“To develop a complete mind: study the science of art; study the art of science. Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.”

~Leonardo da Vinci

“Teaching children about the natural world should be treated as one of the most important events in their lives.”

~Thomas Berry

“Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught. “

~Oscar Wilde

“Better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times”

~Asian Proverb

“Don’t just tell your children about the world, show them.”

~Penny Whitehouse

“The best education does not happen at a desk, but rather engaged in everyday living – hands on, exploring, in active relationship with life.”

~Vince Gowman

“An environmental-based education movement—at all levels of education—will help students realize that school isn’t supposed to be a polite form of incarceration but a portal to the wider world.”

~Richard Louv

“Teaching is not about answering questions but about raising questions – opening doors for them in places they could not imagine.”

~Yawar Baig

“Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.”

~John Lubbock

“As children observe, reflect, record, and share nature’s patterns and rhythms, they are participating in a process that promotes scientific and ecological awareness, problem solving, and creativity.”

~Deb Matthews Hensley

“If we want our children to move mountains, we first have to let them get out of their chairs.”

~Nicolette Sowder

“Close observation of children at play suggests that they find out about the world in the same way as scientists find out about new phenonoma and test new ideas…during this exploration, all the senses are used to observe and draw conclusions about objects and events through simple, scientific investigations.”

~Judith Rodin

“Children have a natural affinity towards nature. Dirt, water, plants, and small animals attract and hold children’s attention for hours, days, even a lifetime.”

~Robin C. Moore and Herb H Wong

“Children are born naturalists. They explore the world with all of their senses, experiment in the environment, and communicate their discoveries to those around them.”

~The Audubon Nature Preschool

Any quotes you would add?

You may also like: What You Need To Read Before Homeschooling Your Child and 15 Nature Themed Baby Names

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