9 Months of Travel While Working: an Introduction

How did this all begin? So many of you have asked, so that is exactly what our first post is dedicated to — the idea of extended travel and making it happen.

About a year ago (Feb 2017) Adam and I started throwing around ‘crazy’ ideas of long-term travel or potentially moving somewhere new. It’s not that we were unhappy with our life, in fact, we were super happy newlyweds just settling in our first home with our dog and new chickens. However, after our incredible honeymoon in small-town Italy as well as our individual travel abroad trips, we both knew international travel was something we wanted more of before we started a family.

The view from our balcony in Positano, Italy – cue wanderlust
Taking the advice of a local, we ended up spending one night in breath-taking Matera, Italy

After about two weeks of Adam constantly inundating me about the idea of long-term travel, we decided to do a “mind map” to see if it was something we could actually pull off as it would require some major strategizing. Mind Mapping is an exercise we learned from our Passion Planners. It is basically a method of thinking and planning goals on paper. You start with a big idea, then break it down into smaller goals and break those down into smaller goals to make it happen. I wish I had taken a picture of the huge Mind Map on our kitchen table because it was a beautiful mess of word vomit. We had scribbled out so many outlandish ideas but it was all kind of thrilling to see them actually written on paper as if they were a possibility (which little did we know, they were!).

Ultimately, our mapping exercise helped us further define what we wanted to do with our wanderlust: extended abroad travel while working remotely for about 10 months, until the new year of 2019. That’s it. The goal was set and written on paper, so then all we had to figure out how the hell we made it a reality and what things needed to happen to make it possible to leave within a year. Easy right?

We started by mapping a route, but that wasn’t smart, just fun and exciting. We created a google doc and typed out every country we had interest in visiting. After that hit of dopamine, we back-tracked and started thinking like logical people and more about HOW this trip could be possible both financially and physically. We knew Adam needed to build his Real Estate team so he could remain productive and relevant in the Cincinnati market along with asking my company if they would consider me working remotely as a graphic design consultant (which they amazingly were supportive of). We also made a few good moves in the Real Estate market including selling our house and moving into a fixer-upper across the street (another post for another blog). With those things secured, we not only knew this trip was possible but was definitely happening. And with that, we set a departure date and went back to the fun part (temporarily) of researching countries and creating a dream travel schedule. More dopamine :).

2nd house closing
The closing on our new fixer-upper home! Bentley is thrilled

I don’t mean to make it sound so easy as there was a lot more that went into the planning and prepping for this big adventure. Research, countless google docs, life’s complications, countless budget meetings, IT logistics, flight cancellations, health insurance, leveraging our flight and hotel points, and timing with our professional work among many other factors. But at the end of the day, we made a ‘crazy’ goal, devised a plan, stuck to it, pivoted when we had to, and now we’re here in South Africa amazed we actually did it.ย  There will no doubt be twists and turns along the way, but for right now, things seem pretty good.

Thanks for reading, hugs to you back home!

Chels and Adam

Published by


We're semi-newlyweds living in the great city of Cincinnati, except for this year as different parts of the world will be our home. Although different in our own ways, we both share common loves of cooking, the outdoors, volleyball, skiing, delicious food scenes, travel (obviously) and our awesome dog Bentley. Adam works as a Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams focusing on and passionate about investment properties. When he's not making calls, renovating homes around the city or building his local Key Property Partners team, you can find him on one of Cincinnati's many sand volleyball courts, year-round. In fact, he tried to bring THREE volleyballs on this 10-month trip (luggage limitations got him down to 2... I'll keep you posted on how he survives). Adam is also a foodie and loves ordering the strangest thing on every menu. If I had to sum him up in 4 words it would be: determined, practical, thoughtful and curious. I, the likely frequent author of this blog, am an environmental graphic designer for m+a architects. What that mostly means if you aren't familiar, is that I design environments that communicate information, a brand or a feeling. Installations, signage, wall graphics, custom art, and so on and so forth. It's pretty awesome work. When I'm not working, I'm usually putting my creative juices to good use and DIY'ing something around our newly renovated home or sending Adam pictures of adoptable dogs. I love otters, wine tastings, a good charcuterie board and keeping an active lifestyle. Adam's summary of me in four words is: enthusiastic, determined, adventurous, and athletic (finally, he admitted it!)

6 thoughts on “9 Months of Travel While Working: an Introduction”

  1. I love the first blog! If anyone was going to make a trip like this possible it had to be you two! So happy to see you both making a dream a reality. I can not wait to hear and see about all your adventures along the way. Please be safe and be careful take it easy on the exotic cuisine. Love you both and keep blogging. PS keep curry away from the typing.

  2. Hi Chelsea and Adam. As crazy as your path sounds, I love the big idea concept, then funnel into a real adventure. This is your time to do these things!

  3. I wondered how this happened! It seemed to happen by magic. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing your method. Love youโ€™s!

Leave a Reply