When asking how our lives might look different if we were to follow our hearts and dreams, so many of us point to travel. For most of us, travel represents freedom in one way or another – the ability to do whatever we want to, go wherever we want to, whenever we want to do it. But many of us never do it – or do it only in the limited, accepted, prescribed way – for a couple weeks of vacation a year, here or there. We feel confined to one place, limited by time, money, and location-dependent obligations. No so for Jason Moore. After college, Jason longed to travel – to take off in the spirit of adventure. Despite $20,000 in student loan debt, Jason took a leap of faith that he could support himself on the road, and took off. What he found on his way was that many of the mind stories that stop us from traveling are actually made up of myths. That is, it’s not actually impossible to make money while traveling – in fact, he was able to pay off his student loans while traveling and working on the road. Jason’s own experience learning how to travel and experience freedom and location independence soon became his passion to serve and help others. Along the way, he partnered up with fellow traveler and friend, Travis Sherry, and created an online community, “Location Indie”, for people living this so-called alternative lifestyle. Jason comes through in this interview as a down-to-earth, warm, and easy-going guy, and also a deeply knowledgeable and experienced expert in the art of travel and freedom. Enjoy!
What do you think of as “normal”? From an early age, Daniel Eisenman questioned what he was told is “normal” – the standard way that he and others were supposed to be. At first, he played around with “breaking normal” – like many teenagers do – by challenging the rules set around him, and acting a bit reckless. But for the most part he stayed on track. After high school, he went to college, and chose to study pre-med, like all the good kids did, and like his parents wanted. He graduated and took the MCATs. But as applications to med school approached he started to question this “normal” path more fundamentally. Something within him knew there was more to his life, and his role in the world, and he decided to take a year off. That year has since become ten (& counting). He hasn’t stopped or resumed his former course. Instead, what he found while taking time off from the prescribed path is that there are, actually, infinite ways to live your life. “Normal” is just a conditioned story – unique to each of us, and the story we specifically were told. At first, he sought how “to get paid to do the things he would pay to do”, leading to all sorts of adventures that defy our normal beliefs about what we must do to make money. Along the way of following his fun, he saw his idea of fun change. What became most fun, and most exciting, actually, was being true to himself, and serving others in a way that was aligned with his values and beliefs. Every day for Daniel now is adventure in following his own fun, excitement and alignment. He travels often, around the country and the world, lives in vibrant health, enjoys a passionate love relationship, and these days, is most awed by his 1-year-old daughter, Divina, who last year became a viral star with him online as he OM’d her to sleep. Daniel is a real, open-hearted, generous guy who lives a wildly epic life and wants you to know you can, too. Enjoy!
Kathleen Morton never understood why people seem to live by the same unwritten rules. As a child, she most enjoyed the sanctuary of her bedroom, where her natural creativity flourished. Like many of us, when she graduated high school and moved into the larger world, Kathleen believed, as her parents encouraged her to, that a traditional education and career path would bring her happiness, money and success in life. Returning home after college, one potential story of her life flashed before her eyes: hanging out with the same friends, doing the same things every day, in a mechanical urban environment and routine. Something inside her knew there was more to life, and called out for the vast, open expanses of nature, which spoke of unlimited possibility. She moved to Colorado, and soon, the city girl who didn’t know how to hike found herself more and more at home in the outdoors. As she spent more time in nature, she began to question the way she lived, and the footprint she was making on the Earth. To live closer to nature, she bought a pop-up camper with her then boyfriend for $1,800. Finding space with a local family, she and her boyfriend made home there anew. They felt the changes of seasons and morning dew directly through the permeable camper walls, and comingled with the local wildlife. Kathleen wondered – finding more financial and personal freedom – why more people didn’t live this way. What began as an experiment with tiny, off-grid living soon revealed itself as a calling, and a new story for Kathleen’s life: to live closely and in flow with nature, minimize her impact on the environment, and tell her story – and those of others making life this way – to show others that this is, in fact possible, and maybe inspire them to do the same. Today, Kathleen lives and wanders through nature in a 1987 Toyota van, together with her dog, Peaches. She has created a blog and podcast where she tells her story and the stories of other van dwellers, and she serves this community by creating monthly #vanlife gatherings around the country, where the growing community of mobile, alternative home explorers can gather on the frontier, support one another in the lifestyle and movement they are pioneering. She talks in this intimate interview about what it’s really like to live and work all over the country in a van, and why – despite the challenges – she feels endlessly fortunate that she is able to live in this way, enjoy the open freedom of her days, and create her own story of her life each day. Enjoy!
For a number of years, the freedom of living a simple and mobile lifestyle called to us. We’ve always loved to travel, and have felt the most free when traveling with very little – be it roadtripping across the States with little more than a few outfits and a cooler, or traveling through Asia for months with only 24L, school-size backpacks. All of these were very temporary living situations, though. When Stephen first approached me about living in an RV, then, I balked pretty hard. I didn’t like the look and feel of RVs, on the inside or outside, and I thought we would feel cramped. Customized tiny homes, on the other hand, felt very exciting, and I could imagine us building one that met all of our needs and joys in a home. Enter #vanlife. Learn all about our Sprinter van conversion build, and especially how we did it with our 1-year old daughter Sofia. Included here is our video tour of the converted van, plus many pics showing the various choices we made. Overall, we LOVE our van and highly recommend it as both an option for living and for long-term travel. If this interests you, and you have questions about the video or the post, please feel free to comment! We will write back and help you as much as we possibly can. Thanks!
For Natalie Sisson, doing anything which doesn’t feel good for too long sets off an internal alarm. So, some 10 years ago, after too many days of feeling “off” at a corporate job…she quit. What’s remarkable about her decision is that she didn’t have a solid plan for what to do afterwards, but took the leap anyway. What unfolded from there is truly epic: 70 countries in 7 years, multiple online programs helping other digital nomads, a very popular podcast, her own book and a vast array of experiences that many only dream about. And, as she describes in this week’s Ownstream Podcast, she mainly follows the simple breadcrumb trail of her excitement. She is comfortable not knowing what lays past the horizon. This outlook has given her the amazing ability to leap where others might balk. And, it has given her the conviction that others can do the same. She recently gave up the digital nomad lifestyle and now owns land in New Zealand and, with her partner, has a new vision of freedom and service. What’s wonderful about this conversation is that Natalie believes that anyone can do this. The path she has walked isn’t for the few. It’s for those who decide it’s for them. Consider yourself warned: this conversation might give you the clarity and motivation to decide to take the leap yourself. Enjoy!
When presented with the idea of “world schooling” as a replacement for formal, classroom education, most parents typically default into various forms of knee-jerk reactions: “What about having friends? How can you cultivate a social circle while on the move? What about college? Does this style of education prepare you for university? How will my son/daughter get a job if they aren’t formally educated?” These questions are certainly valid but usually point to one’s own programming and a lack of clarity on what world schooling truly means. Enter Hannah Miller, the self-described “Edventure Girl”. From the ages of 11-18 she, along with her three younger siblings, was officially “world schooled”. Along the way, Hannah encountered profound adventures and a deep appreciation for the world and it’s vast and vibrant cultural landscape. And, she has made many friends, is currently enrolled in one of Canada’s most prestigious universities (Queens University in Kingston, Ontario) and has a remarkably evolved outlook on the notion of career and work which she directly attributes to being educated outside of the box. We are honored to share our conversation with Hannah and her clear and shining example of what happens when learning, travel and excitement are given the room to mingle, connect and flourish. In other words, a wonderfully varied, curious and thoughtful person most ready for the world.
After building the complete picture of happiness sold to each of us by society, Didi Taihuttu was more stressed and worn-out than ever. Upon realizing this, he didn’t get angry. Quite simply, he sold it all back in an effort to reclaim his and his family’s freedom. Unlike many who spend their lives addicted to the accumulation of material goods, Didi was able to take a step back and see that – in fact – the “stuff” was taking away from his happiness, creating more stress, worry and anxiety. So, he sold everything and with his wife & 3 girls, traveled the world. But, the question remained – what to do with all the money made? In keeping with his unconventional pattern of defying the norm, Didi invested all of it – every last dime – in cryptocurrencies. And this has turned him into a fascinating story for the media and an inspiration for us. This episode of the Ownstream Podcast features Didi and his story, but also reveals – in laymen’s terms – what cryptocurrencies are (Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc), clarifies the brilliance of the blockchain and, most importantly, reveals what drives him and his family more than anything else (and how their motivation has nothing to do with making money). Enjoy!
When Sara Warden’s husband landed a great job in Morocco, they jumped at the opportunity. They were done with New York City, and felt the call to take their two kids to another country enabling them to directly learn about another culture and way of life. Thus begins Sara and her family’s amazing journey with world schooling and living life outside of the box. They have since traveled to many countries, learning and experiencing great art, culture, language and more. This radically different approach to education has also caused Sara to question many other “normal” aspects of western life too: social media, mobile devices, food…you name it. Like many other parents, Sara has found the traditional way of educating her kids to be lacking and that the world schooling approach has awakened a natural, organic love of learning in her kids. In this episode of the Ownstream Podcast, we discuss her experiences with traveling with her kids, how world schooling works for them and how it has opened up an entirely new way of life for her and her family. Namely, a life more fully aligned with their values and excitement, and the wish to inspire others to do to the same. Enjoy!
What happens when you decide to change EVERYTHING about your life? What fears and other challenges arise, and how do you deal with them? This forms the bulk of this podcast episode, where we as co-hosts (Theresa & Stephen) delve into the inner reality of making massive changes in life and how we are successfully managing these challenges and maintaining peace, joy & love through the process. Also, we discuss our general route through the western US from late July ’17 thru Oct ’17 (& beyond) and how you can connect with us in person along the way! This episode was a bit scary for us, as we delve into the intimacies of our inner (and outer) journey. We hope you will listen with an open mind, and see a bit of yourself in our challenges and triumphs. Enjoy!
For years, modern day digital nomad Jodi Ettenberg had dreamed of….Siberia? After enough time spent in her corporate legal career, she took a 1-year sabbatical to make the journey across Russia’s eastern taiga to satisfy an urge which began while watching an early documentary on the region when she was a child. 9 years later, her trip continues as she is still on the road (Oaxaca, Mexico at the time of this interview), exploring the world and it’s many cultures and flavors. In this interview, learn how she went to law school “on a bet”, has thrived as a celiac on the road, has built a thriving, and unconventional business – “Legal Nomads” – all from her laptop and has become one of the world’s most sought after speakers on all things travel, entrepreneurship and, of course, food. Enjoy!