Lured by the warm weather and beautiful beaches, every year thousands of people from around the world travel to Costa Rico and Mexico for a vacation.
Many of those same people dream about what it would be like to trade in their lives for a new life in Mexico.
Very few actually take action because of all those pesky hurdles you have to jump over to make it happen. Things like how would you support yourself? How would you keep up with the kids education? Where would you live? Not to mention the fact that you would have to learn a whole new language (Spanish).m
I found a couple who jumped over all the hurdles and through a few hoops. And they did it with 5 kids between the ages of 3 and 14. They aren’t rich. They didn’t sell off a bunch of Google stocks to make it happen and they didn’t plan the move over several years either. They hustled and were persistent.
The WhiteHeads of www.familytravelbucketlist.com
- Number Of Kids: 5 kids (14, 11, 9, 6, 3)
- Educating Kids: Homeschool and Spanish language tutor
- Type Of Travel: Long Term, Slow Travel, International
- Length Of Travel: Since 2011, 1 Year +
- Where Travelled: Costa Rica, Mexico:—> Atenas, San Jose, Chapala, Mexico.
- Challenges: Initially adjusting to a new location and learning to cook without all the convenience foods found in the US
- Finances: internet marketing clients, sale of previous business, digital products, kindle books, new travel magazine, teaching English online.
- Where To Find Them Online: Facebook: www.facebook.com/familytravelbucketlist, Online Travel Mag: www.realfamilytravel.com
Since 2011, Susan and Michael Whitehead and their 5 kids have been slow travelling in and around Mexico and Central America. So far they have lived in Costa Rica, Atenas, San Jose and now Chapala, Mexico.
Their goal is to travel indefinitely and knock as many things off of their family bucket list as possible before the kids leave to conquer the world on their own.
Living in 4 places might seem like a lot in such a short amount of time, ~12 Month Period. But thanks to the U.S. military, the WhiteHeads are no strangers to moving around. This adventurous family of 7 has had the pleasure of living all over the U.S. starting in Wichita Kansas, then to Milton Florida, Arkansas, Texas, Georgia and then back to Texas again.
A Chance To Settle Down
It wasn’t until they broke ties with the military that they decided to plant some roots in one place.
That place was Eastern North Carolina. There they set up their version of “THE DREAM LIFE” which included a 9.56 acre rural farm, chicken coops, plenty of land for the kids to play on, fresh blueberries, apples, pears and more. You get the picture right? Susan and Michael also home-schooled their kids. Life was pretty good.
You would think that they would welcome the routine and comfort of one permanent place after bouncing around to so many different locations. So what happened? How did they end up living in Mexico?
The Travel Bug
It’s true, once the infectious travel bug bites, the uncontrollable urge to see and explore more of the world takes over. No matter how much you try to fight it, no matter how much you try to push it aside, it is always there. If you deny this urge, horrible things can happen like regret and wondering “what if… ”
At least that has been my experience and that is apparently how the Whiteheads feel too because after 3 years of living their idea rural life, they felt that inevitable pull of their wanderlust spirit too. They longed for somewhere new to explore AGAIN!
Time To Make A Dream Come True
At the time, the economy and the country seemed to be taking a turn and they no longer viewed the U.S. as the BEST place to raise their children. That is when they started to take action on a new dream which was actually an old dream that they had put off for a long time. Susan and Michael always dreamed of travelling and showing their children the world.
So Susan and Michael began to actively take steps to reduce their possessions and the anchoring effect of having a lot of stuff has on a family.
They also started to grow their online businesses that they hoped would eventually help support their lifestyle and life of travel.
Lightening Their Load
They sold most of their things, gave away the rest and stored some of their keepsake items like photos at Susan’s parents home.
They now own 99% less than what they used to own which makes it easier to travel the world as a family unhindered by “THINGS”. They each have 1 backpack plus they carry an additional 3 suitcases for other miscellaneous items totaling a whopping 10 bags for 7 people. That’s pretty lean.
What About The Kids?
Money Money Money
The biggest surprise Susan revealed to me is that when they embarked on their travels, they didn’t have a ton of savings and have had to really hustle to finance their lives.
Now they have more income streams than ever and plan to add more and more as time goes on which include internet marketing clients, sale of a previous business, digital products, kindle books, Travel Magazine and teaching English online.
The cost of living in Mexico is a lot less then the U.S. and they are able to live quite well for under $2,000 per month. That’s for everything; food, rent, medical, clothes, tutors, sight seeing… EVERYTHING.
Not too bad if you ask me.
Want To Live In Mexico Too?
I asked Susan to give me her top tips to families out there who wanted to travel like they are and here is what she said.
- Find some way of making money remotely before you go.
- sell your stuff and take a leap without letting dream stealers convince you that it can’t be done
So what do you think about the Whiteheads? Do you think you could do what they are doing with 7 kids in tow to live in Mexico? Leave your comments below. Ask Susan and Michael questions by leaving comments below as well.
The Whiteheads are one of many families featured on this site. See also other amazing Families & Couples Who Are Making Their Dream of Long Term Travel A Reality.
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