While traveling around the world, we often got asked the same question:
Do you have any plan to stop?
And we always answered no. See, for most people, traveling is just a break from daily life, an escape from the routine. It’s a way to recharge the batteries to be ready to get back to the same life, with a few more memories.
For us, it wasn’t just a break. For us, it was a lifestyle.
The deal was rather simple. We would earn that much money per day while working online, and this amount would determine how much we spent per day. On top of that, we still had a financial safety net in case things turned out bad. It wasn’t perfect, but things always seemed to work out pretty well for us.
Nobody ever told us how short-term our perspective was, but I didn’t need to hear it to know it. Anytime I would point out how allergic to commitments I am, someone would remind me that I am now the father of two, which in their eyes feel like the biggest commitment you could do in life.
However I didn’t choose to become a father, I just tried to make the best out of this unexpected situation. Renting an apartment, getting a permanent contract, contracting a mortgage, and all these things that are tying you up to a location and locking you into a life you may not be happy with, are all things I can choose.
So, instead of pursuing a life I abhor, I decided that having a kid wouldn’t stop me from pursuing my dreams. And this is why Darian has visited almost 40 countries at just 4 years of age.
Like so many of us these days, I often wonder what’s my mission here on Earth. To give myself a purpose and a direction, I decided to visit every country on this planet as soon as I realized that traveling was filling me with happiness. Therefore this is my selfish mission. Every time I would doubt and ask myself what should I do? I would just think about my mission, and every decision would become just so much easier.
Nothing ever stopped us, every problem we had a solution for it, until March 2020 and the start of the pandemic. We welcomed our second child just a few weeks after, and with two young children, it became increasingly complicated to suddenly switch to a sedentary life. We weren’t in a situation we chose, and this is exactly why we decided to stop our nomadic life.
Since the sanitary situation isn’t getting any better, and we are clearly not optimistic about the possibility of traveling in 2021, we just took the decision of putting our traveling life on hold. Yes, we finally rented an apartment.
I take it as a blessing, as I will finally be able to pursue different things and explore other interests rather than being always on the road. Finally, I’ll be able to start projects and develop new habits without having to stop a few weeks later. Hopefully soon, we will be able to pay it forward and host fellow travelers, a moral necessity for us after having spent hundreds of nights in other people’s homes.
The wisest decision was to stay in France, my home country, and after scanning the whole country for the best destination to live in, we picked a UNESCO World Heritage Site doubled with a ski resort, Briançon. This small city (~15.000 inhabitants) is also known as the highest city (<2.000 people) in Europe at almost 1.400m. For outdoor lovers, there are just so many things to do in the area, even though the ski lifts will probably stay closed this year.
And this, my friends, is the first commitment I consider to have done in my life. I’ll use this year to prepare for our future travels by developing new ways to make money online and passive income while getting fitter than ever running around these gorgeous mountains and do my best to spend quality time with my family.
HiuYing and I have clear objectives this year, we are both quite motivated and we are all looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish with a calm setting that we chose.
Damn, the change is not easy and it will take time to adapt and accept this life, but it feels good to have a “home”!
Of course, as soon as the sanitary situation really improves be sure that we might jump back to our lives and conclude our world trip with an overland journey in Africa. Probably. Or will we finally come to terms with our sedentary life?
Our feelings will dictate the answer.
Here are some pictures of Briançon. We spent a week here the past summer doing some volunteering on Helpx, a great website to find a volunteering position, and many photos are taken from that period!