Last night, I flew out to Scottsdale a few days early for Beachbody’s annual Success Club Leadership Retreat at the Fairmont Princess and by the time I return home to Miami on September 29th, I will have spent 5 weeks away from home:
7 nights in Bend, OR
5 nights in Portland, OR
4 nights in Tacoma, WA
4 nights in Seattle, WA
7 nights in Scottsdale, AZ
7 nights in Rochester, NY
This is by far the longest I’ve ever been away from home. Before I became a coach in 2010, the only cities outside of Florida I’d ever visited were Atlanta, NYC and Washington, DC. Traveling like this was not possible for me at that time, I simply didn’t have the financial freedom to do so.
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The trip started in Bend, Oregon on August 26th. I came in a day early and met up with my teammate, friend and business partner, Amy Silverman to prepare for our 4-Day Diamond Retreat we had planned for the Diamond and Star Diamond Leaders on our team.
When I realized that there were only 2 weeks between our Diamond Retreat in Bend and Beachbody’s Leadership Retreat in Scottsdale, I decided to just stay in the Pacific Northwest instead of flying back home and then all the way out west again. I really wanted to spend some time up there anyway, exploring Portland and Seattle and spending some time in Tacoma with my friends and teammates who are now like family to me: Tamera, Jared Chapman, and their son Brylan.
At first it seemed like a long time, but after experiencing it I realize that 4-5 days in each city is not enough time to see everything I wanted to see. Plus, I’ve been moving kind of slowly and continuing to work on my business and live life as normally as possible while out here (cooking some of my own meals, working out, and putting in a few hours a day of coaching). So not every day has been packed with sightseeing and exploring the cities.
My 3-week stay in the Pacific Northwest with the addition of the Leadership Retreat in AZ, brought me to 4 weeks of travel. Then I saw there’s this conference that I really wanted to attend in Rochester, NY, the very next weekend after Leadership. I wasn’t sure if I should go, it being so close to the Leadership Retreat. But I prayed about it, and decided to just extend the trip another week, flying straight to Rochester after the Leadership Retreat and exploring the city for a few days before the conference.
So here I was preparing to go on this 5-week trip. It was kind of daunting. I was excited but also unsure of what to expect as far as challenges I’d face and how I’d feel. Come to find out, I’ve actually been loving every minute of it! Although I do wish my dog was with me this time!
Ironically, just 2 weeks before I was scheduled to fly out of Miami, I found out that the duplex I’ve been renting was going to be put on the market for sale immediately and that my lease would not be renewed. My lease ended last month so now I’m there on a month-to-month basis until the place sells. At first, I was upset because I had planned on being there for at least another year. I have only been there for one year and feel like I haven’t even completely moved in yet and made the place my own! I hated the idea of having to pack up all my stuff and look for a new place to move to again, when I just did that a year ago.
I thought about buying the place myself, and also started looking at other places to buy or rent in the area. But I don’t feel that this is the right time to make such a huge investment. Even though I can afford to put a down payment on a mortgage, it’s a huge commitment when I’m unsure if I’m really going to stay there long-term. Looking at my options for renting, I was NOT excited about any of my options either. I got super blessed with the place I’m renting now. To this day, I still feel that way because I cannot find anything nearly as nice with as much space in the same price range.
I’m going to try and explain as best I can what happened next…
At the same time I started looking around and trying to figure out what my next move should be, I started feeling the need to let go of a lot of my belongings. All the STUFF I’ve accumulated over the years. Stuff I don’t really need.
I started thinking about traveling around for a bit, especially with this 5 week trip coming up, and my friend brought up a book she’d heard about that tells you how to travel for free. This reminded me of a program I’d heard about years ago called WWOOF. It stands for Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms. When I first heard of it, it sounded like something I’d love to do. Basically, you can travel anywhere in the world and stay on a farm. You get free accommodations and food in exchange for typically 25-30 hrs a week of work on the farm.
I love this idea and way of travel because I LOVE seeing and exploring new places but I also love the idea of going there to work, serve others, and serve a purpose or mission other than just going to sight-see and stay in a hotel or vacation rental. Ever since I was in college, I’ve had thoughts and dreams of joining the peace corps or the navy so I could see the world while working & serving. I obviously never followed through with either of these ideas, or WOOFing. I also much prefer to stay in a house/home setting and feel like part of a family or community. I would get that with the farm-stay for sure.
The more I researched about WWOOFing, the more I decided that this is something I actually want to do. A huge plus is that many of the farms accept pets as well, so I’ll be able to bring my dog with me!
I also have an opportunity to live rent-free and store all my things at a property in the Redlands, a rural area just outside of Miami, only 30 minutes from the Grove, where my home church is, and where I like to hang out in Miami. This is perfect, because I can store my things and have a temporary home-base while I travel the country going farm to farm, every few weeks or months. I found that I often feel guilty about traveling and being away so much when I’m paying $2,200 every month in rent. Like this month, I am not home at all for the whole month of September, yet I just paid $2,200 for not even sleeping there 1 night! Plus the cost of all the vacation rentals I’m staying at and flights and transportation, and meals… It all adds up. It’s not that I can’t afford it… I get paid very well as a full-time coach, but I’m the type of person who doesn’t like to spend extra money if it’s not necessary and it just seems wasteful to me.
While reasoning with myself about letting go of most of my belongings and letting go of the need to have a nice place of my own, I realized something very important: I realized that on some level, I believed that having a nice place with plenty of space and nice furniture and nice things would somehow make me feel more happy, fulfilled, or complete. And I realized that it hasn’t made me any of those things. I mean, I love my home and can appreciate what I have been blessed with, but it doesn’t fill the void that I subconsciously thought it would. It was kind of crazy to realize this because I had never thought of it before I started thinking about the need to let it all go.
As I was looking at places to buy or rent and nothing was feeling right, I felt God telling me that He wants be to be flexible at this time and not be tied down to a mortgage or rent payment. By being flexible in this way, I’m open to more possibilities and open to going wherever He wants me to go, whenever He wants me to go.
One of the other reasons I’m excited about WOOFing is because I have this dream to own land and grow my own food. I want to be a producer more than a consumer, and I want to use my resources to serve and create community. I have a few ideas of what that could look like. And working and serving on other people’s farms will be a tremendous opportunity for me to learn and get hands-on experience in farming, permaculture, homesteading and sustainable living. Also, I can only imagine the kinds of interesting people I’ll meet along the way, and not to mention all the organic, farm-fresh foods I can eat straight off the farm!
I’ve also always had a dream of traveling around the US on an extended roadtrip. There’s so much of the states I haven’t seen. And I feel that God is telling me that now is finally my time to live that dream.
So now, instead of feeling upset about having to move, I’m seeing it as an opportunity for something new.
It’s funny that just a couple weeks before this epic 5 week trip, I found out about my lease not being renewed, and made the decision not to jump into renting or buying anything right away and instead storing my things and living out of a suitcase for several months. I feel like it came at the perfect time and this right now is a trial and small sample of what I can expect in the future: making myself at home wherever I go, with minimal belongings.
I left my place in showing condition (tucked away a lot of my personal belongings into drawers and closets) and while I’ve been gone, my landlord had all the walls inside painted white so it will photograph and show better. It’s currently being shown to prospective buyers and they’re hoping to have it under contract by the time I return home, so I could very well be starting to move out as soon as I get back in a couple weeks. I know one thing for sure I’m going to do when I get home is start purging and getting rid of clothes and things I don’t need.
It’s crazy how things can change so quickly. I think it’s important to be flexible in how you respond to change and open to hearing what God wants for you, because His plans are always greater than the greatest plans we can dream of for ourselves.
I’m incredibly grateful that I’m in a position where I can do these things. At this point in my life as a single independent woman, I have no one else to be take care of besides myself, my four-legged fur child, and my business. And because of the nature of what I do as an Independent Team Beachbody Coach, I can work from wherever I am, as long as I have internet access.
I do feel that this is a life of limitless possibilities. I had a dream when I started my business to become financially independent, debt-free, and able to travel wherever and whenever I want. And now that I’ve achieved that, I feel like I have some more searching to do to figure out what else I want for my life, how I want to contribute and give back, the type of lifestyle I want for myself and my future family, and most importantly what God wants for me. I think I need to pursue my interests and dreams to discover those things. I’m just as grateful to be here and excited for the journey!
If these are things that interest you: creating the life of your dreams and design, owning your life, your time, and your own business/income, living your truth, living life on your own terms, and living differently than 98% of the population: feel free to reach out to me or the coach who shared this post with you. You don’t have to be stuck where you are, wherever that is, whether it’s your job, finances, lifestyle, relationships, or anything. You have the power to create the life of your choosing. Beachbody coaching has been such a blessing in my life as the vehicle to make all of these things happen. And I know anyone can do this, as I’ve seen others do even greater things than I have, in less time. If any of this resonates with you, don’t hesitate to reach out!
Thanks for reading, and have a blessed day.
To Light, Love, Freedom, Flexibility, and Endless Possibilities,