Updated: Jan 18
Life Before Homeschool and Full-Time Travel
"I went from serving cocktails in a casino to being served in cockpits."
How it Started
Prior to living in California where we launched our full-time travel lifestyle almost 5 years ago, I was a cocktail waitress, and I put myself through college while raising my son in St, Louis Missouri. It was hard, but it stretched me in a way that made me get used to operating through stressful situations and doing things alone. Eventually, I dropped out of college and ventured into entrepreneurship. In 2015, I moved to California to pursue a corporate job that allow me the flexibility to pick up my son from school every day, and I felt like I made it big! I went from working as a cocktail waitress at a casino to landing a job title such as an Account Executive. I had a car allowance, laptop, cell phone and I was able to work from home making appointments with small and big businesses to sell them media services.
The Adjustment Period
It took a while to get used to the high cost of living in California. The first couple of months, I lived with a roommate in California while my son stayed behind in our hometown (St. Louis) in the care of family. That was HARD for various reasons! I had never been so far from my child and I would take trips I couldn't afford to visit him, but I eventually brought him home two days before NYE that same year and it felt like another huge accomplishment. The transition was a dream come true for both of us, but adjusting came with a set of challenges.
While I away working in California, my son Carter, fell behind in St, Louis due to our family lacking basic resources and not being able to agree on whose turn it was to do X, Y, Z involving Carter. Therefore when my son was still in a brick-and-mortar school and was on the verge of failing the second grade in Missouri and California, I knew it wasn’t because his teachers weren't doing their job, because my son was not smart or because we didn't have enough support. Although it’s easy to pass the blame on teachers, institutions, lack of resources, or on kids with behavioral concerns, I could tell my son needed individual support based on my efforts and experience in his classroom.
Things got to the point where I took time off work to become more involved in my son’s education. I volunteered at his school during the day to help out in the classroom because I couldn't get my head wrapped around why he was having a hard time. He would excel when I was around and he was a very social kid that always looked forward to recess, after-school activities, and field trips. Occasionally he experienced bullying, but for the most part, kids loved him for being a nice socialite! He was the kid that everyone liked because he’d break up fights or defend other kids that were bullied. While trying to figure out why he wasn’t succeeding with reading, during this discovery period, I was feeling defeated and like my back was against the wall for other reasons.
An Emotional Suicide
"I wanted a break to mentally and financially be able to breathe!"
The cycle of waking up stressed and sleep-deprived was never-ending and it sucked to forcefully wake up with an alarm clock. I was tired of the same fire drill type of routine every day. I woke up tired, grumpy, and in a hurry to get my son and myself ready for the day. We’d rush out the door for me to take him to school and then I’d sit in rush hour traffic.
"All that rushing in the morning to sit in traffic!?"
I had a lifestyle that often left me drinking numerous Monster and Redbull Energy drinks daily. I was an Account Executive working in a career that I grew out of quickly and I was tired of telling friends and my son that I didn’t have enough time to do leisure activities. I was frustrated that I couldn't afford to volunteer more or travel to visit family across the country because I couldn’t get enough days off in a row.
My passion and gift with public speaking are what led me to build a speaking and life coaching business in California and it was something that kept my sanity even though I wasn’t making a lot of money yet.
When my passion started profiting, things got a little more tricky because I needed more helping hands. My family was distant whether they were 2 or 2,000 miles away so I had no help with child support, transportation for my son from after-school activities, or help with my son while I did coaching calls or went to speaking gigs. The result was that my son came with me to all my gigs and he had to sit beside