by Jessica Sueiro – When Will and I first met, he was an accountant and I was a graphic designer. We loved adventure and outdoor activities, but we were limited solely to weekends and two-week vacation adventures. At the time we lived in Los Angeles and our normal weekend outdoor activities consisted of hiking Runyan Canyon in LA with our dog. We had very few vacation weeks during the year, but we made the most of them with camping trips around the Southwest of the USA. However, the idea of an extended hiking trip and a different life, always stayed in the back of our minds.
Fast forward a handful of years: We were living the “dream” with successful jobs and two amazing kids in a suburb. But somewhere in this “success”, we realized that we were burned out. We hardly spent quality time with our kids, Avalon and Largo. We hardly spent quality time with each other. When we realized that our hope of a more purposeful life – not to mention the ability to take an extended hiking adventure – had shrunk to a small flame, we decided that we had to make a change. The dream to travel full time slowly took shape and grew into reality. Over the next few years, we lived in Costa Rica and France. We even took our first big hiking trip when we walked the Inca Trail as a family.
We are now a location independent entrepreneur family with a home base of an RV named “Lemonade”. We just finished 7 weeks motor-homing in Morocco with a focus on a rich cultural experience through local families and food.
As of this publication, we are hiking the Camino Frances for 500 miles in Spain. This trek has already transformed us as a family. Most mornings, Avalon and Largo lead us out the door onto the trail. When we meet others on the trail, they are the first to chat, the first to offer encouragement and the first to share a joke or story. Will and I have had the chance to discuss more fully where we are as a family and where we are as individuals. We have discovered the sweet simplicity of knowing exactly what we have to accomplish the next day. Of course, this trek has been challenging – the blisters, aching feet and desire for familiarly are constant hurdles to be overcome.
When looking at our journey as a whole, from that first spark of a dream until now, we have learned so many lessons. We’ve learned that family is always the answer. We’ve learned to give our kids the empowerment to make choices and have a say in what the family does. We have learned that creating memories over buying stuff is a win-win. And we have learned that people are good all around the world, but we cannot begin to see this unless we open our hearts and minds to them. We’ve learned that children are our future and if they are raised void of stereotypes and prejudices we are taking a step in the right direction.
If you would have asked us even 10 years ago if we’d want to hike for 50 days we likely would have laughed in your face. But here we are. Hiking, working, schooling on the road and connecting with people from all over the world. Being outdoors gives us the opportunity to dream. Life is filled with obstacles and obligations, but when we adventure outside our creative juices go into overdrive and we come back with a new sense of self, full of creativity and ready to take action.