Have you ever wanted to just change your life?
To do something big, bold, and maybe even a little bit scary?
That’s exactly what my guest, Nikki from Our Travel Anew, and her husband, Corey, did when they decided to make a huge move and live on a sailboat. They jumped in feet first – buying a sailboat, moving to Puerto Rico, and bringing along their two kids – a toddler and infant at the time.
Despite all their planning, saving, and preparations, some things were simply out of their control. Mother nature had other plans…
In this episode, we chat about:
- How Nikki and her husband decided to pursue a dream of living on a sailboat
- The ups and downs of adventure.
- What to do when things don’t turn out how you planned.
- How to turn your “Failure into Fuel.”
- The life-changing magic of having your kids carry their own
One thing I love from this episode is that Nikki doesn’t sugar coat the situation. They had a big dream to live on a sailboat and it fell apart. And, it sucked.
When your big, adventurous dreams (or even your small ones) die, it’s messy. It’s hard. It’s not fun for anyone.
She admits that it didn’t happen right away, but that she was able to make a mindset shift and turn her “failure into fuel.”
Listen in to hear the moment that started that shift for her.
Read the Transcript
Note: This transcript is auto-generated. Though transcripts are largely accurate, discrepancies and errors may occur.
Nikki Our Travel Anew
Welcome to the Stoke Fam , the podcast designed to help families adventure more and stress less on this show. We give you the confidence and inspiration. You need to find your stoke by sharing interviews from real families, doing amazing things. Conversations with brands who make adventures easier and all the things we wish we’d known.
[00:00:19] Come on. Let’s go. Welcome back Stoke Fam. Um, today I am chatting with Nikki from our travel anew, and I am so stoked about this conversation because Nikki is one of my favorite moms to follow on Instagram because her, she has this big goal to create meaningful family experiences and her family loves to adventure.
[00:00:41] And they’ve done some incredible things like setting out to sail full time, which we’ll get into in a bit. But what I love the most is that she is not afraid to be vulnerable, to talk about the ups and downs, the adventuring of a venturing and mom life. And she fully admits that everything’s not always perfect.
[00:00:58] No, it’s not. Um, not when you’re a mom, not with kids, like it’s not going to be perfect. And what I really, really love too is that she makes it her mission to help. Other families make traveling everyday venturing easier and more meaningful. And that’s so right up our alley. So I’m really excited to have you here today, Nikki.
[00:01:15] So thanks so much for coming in and talking with us.
[00:01:18] Thank you for having me. I’m really excited to be here. Yeah. So we’re going to dig in a little bit today of how to kind of deal with when disappointments inevitably happen, because like we said, they’re totally going to, um, and I just wanted to start out by hearing first, though, a little bit about your adventure story.
[00:01:36] So. When did you start adventuring? Is it something you’ve always done? Is it something you started doing as an adult and kind of just give us a little bit of your background? You know, I grew up in the Midwest, um, with a pretty regular childhood. Um, but I played a lot of sports and so I had an opportunity to travel.
[00:01:58] Playing those sports and it kind of opened my eyes to, wow. There’s a lot more out there besides Lincoln Nebraska. So, um, when I had some scholarship opportunities to play volleyball in college, uh, jumped and moved out of state and then continued to travel more with those volleyball opportunities. And I knew like I needed to somehow continue to travel beyond college.
[00:02:21] So my husband and I got married, we went on a honeymoon. And on that honeymoon, we met people from key west Florida and just fell in love with their stories of key west and finished that honeymoon went back to Nebraska, where we were living in a apartment in the middle of winter. And we were like, let’s get out of here.
[00:02:42] Let’s go to key west. That sound right. Amazing. So yeah, we packed a U hall and went to key west and. Found random jobs and started married life with, uh, with a big adventure in QS. Okay. So hold on. How quickly did you make this decision? Like you went, you said you went back to Nebraska and then you found jobs.
[00:03:01] And I know I’m really curious, like, was this a snap decision like that? So that’s kind of how we roll in general. We kind of make snap decisions. Um, I’m an influenced by my husband. That’s more his thing. And I have definitely learned to roll with that. I I’m more of like the researcher, but I can roll with it now and make snap decisions better.
[00:03:23] Um, But yeah, we, let me think. We got married in December. We went on a honeymoon in January and then we were living in key west by like March 1st. So, yeah, so you kind of did. Yeah. Yeah. It was pretty quick. Yeah. Yeah. I know. Sometimes when people make the big moves, they take this long time. So I was just curious.
[00:03:43] Um, cause we, we actually made a big move cross country and like two weeks, so kind of a semi discussion before, but then it was like, once that decision was made, it was like, all right, let’s do this. Um, and I’m kinda like you, I’m kinda in that boat of like, I like to have things planned, but sometimes when you have that gut feeling that this is the right move, it’s also like.
[00:04:03] Torture sometimes to wait when you’re, when you know it’s the right thing. Oh, 100%. Yes. Yeah. Okay. So back to, um, key west. So tell me kind of what. Tell me about key west and you guys obviously aren’t there anymore. So like what kind of changed after key west? Or where, how long were you there? Kind of, yeah, we joke now we joke now because we are such like beach people at heart.
[00:04:28] We joke that like, we really had it all figured out. Like 16 years ago when we were newlyweds, we should’ve just stayed there. Westlake with that could have been her forever. No, but, um, we ended up leaving key west because my husband actually played minor league baseball. Um, when we met that’s what he was doing.
[00:04:45] And then he ended up getting released, um, from, he actually was playing minor league ball with the Seattle Mariners and they got released and we kind of were like, okay, that phase of our life is over. And then when we were living in key west, he started volunteering with them. The key west high school baseball team, just to help out and it reignited his love and, um, dream.
[00:05:05] And so he decided to go for it again and give his dream a second chance. So we ended up leaving key west so that he could pursue baseball again. That is so cool. I did not know that about him. That’s really awesome. Yeah. He played for the Mariners. You said? Yeah. That’s who he started out with. Yep. And then when he released them, he ended up playing some independent ball, trying to get picked back up by a major league team.
[00:05:27] Um, and then ended up blowing out his shoulder a couple of times and in the dream, the dream finally died, but yeah, but that’s why we left he west and, and went on that, um, kind of chase that dream for awhile. Gotcha. That’s really cool though. So then you guys moved back to the Northwest and he kind of chased this new dream.
[00:05:48] And then when that didn’t quite pan out, what was, or when he, that, you know, that phase was over, not necessarily didn’t pan out, but when that phase was over, what was next? So we were, gosh. Okay. We have lived all over. Um, we moved back to actually Nebraska. Um, we’re both originally from Nebraska and the independent team he was playing for.
[00:06:08] Um, was in Nebraska and after that, didn’t pan out, where did we do? I mean, we’ve been all over. We’ve lived in Florida two different times. We’ve lived in Minnesota. We’ve lived in Nebraska. We’ve lived in California. Um, so we both ended up getting jobs. Um, we got like big boy and big girl jobs and, um, Then I ended up going back to school and once I finished my master’s program, we moved back to Florida for the second time and, uh, tried to live the beach life a second time.
[00:06:40] Um, but then, gosh, I haven’t thought about this roadmap of our lives in a while. We ended up moving from Florida to California for a job opportunity. And that’s when we got pregnant with Evelyn. And, um, it was high risk. And so we moved back to Nebraska to be close to family, um, because they really thought that we were going to have complications also posts, you know, when she was born post-pregnancy.
[00:07:06] Um, but when she was born completely healthy, we dug really deep and we were like, okay, like this. Desire to live life a different way to really take a big leap and to live some sort of alternative lifestyle. Um, we knew that like life was telling us, okay, your, your daughter is healthy. Like just go do it, pursue it.
[00:07:27] Jump in, had had first. So that’s a long roundabout way of, of telling you how we got to our next dream that we pursued. That’s okay. I think we all have those along roundabout stories, right? Like nothing is a straight line. And I think that’s a really good point to even bring out, right? Like, it’s not like even if you go to college and you’re like, I have this track of what I’m going to do, inevitably, there are detours that you’re going to take.
[00:07:51] And that doesn’t mean that they’re not all valuable to you learn something from every experience that brings you to that next step and where you want to be and what you need for you and your family. So I still love that. Um, So then that next baby step. Let’s talk about that. Tell me, tell me what that next thing.
[00:08:09] Yeah. So Evelyn was born and when I was pregnant with her, um, we were. A really concerned about her health, but be kind of like, okay, if she’s healthy, like we have this big dream that we want to pursue because a few years earlier we had been in Costa Rica and it was our anniversary. We went to dinner and it was this adorable.
[00:08:30] It still exists. It’s called El Refugio this tiny little Argentinian restaurant in the middle of the jungle. There’s like six tables. It’s the most magical place in the world. But we got to speaking with the owners and found out that they had a young daughter and they had just. Decided we want to quit the rat race and live life a different way.
[00:08:48] So they quit their jobs. And Argentina moved to Costa Rica opened up this tiny little restaurant and their goal was to spend more quality family time together. My husband and I were like, huh, like people really do this. Like, can you see these big audacious dreams? And like, Ditch their old life in the name of like what they value most.
[00:09:10] So that was like, like that was on our hearts. And we had been contemplating different things. We had even talked about moving to the Virgin islands. A couple of times we had looked into jobs. We always check it out because of, I mean, honestly, because of like societal expectations and just kind of, we do what.
[00:09:30] We see around us. And it’s hard to do things that we’ve never seen before. So when Evelyn was born though, and she was born 100% healthy, we were like, okay, the universe is telling us that we need to go. We need to chase this dream. We need to pursue what’s on our hearts. So it finally gave us, her health finally gave us like the courage to take the step forward.
[00:09:51] So we made a plan and we saved. Save to saved. That was like step number one, like scrimped and grounds for every penny we could. And then, um, gosh, we read everything we could. We connected with families on Instagram and read a million blogs. My husband went to Celine school and, um, part of our plan is also to have another baby.
[00:10:15] So Kai was born and then a few weeks later, my husband went to Puerto Rico and, um, bought a boat. And then that summer, when. Kai was six months old and Evelyn was two and a half. We sold everything. Literally had nine boxes, nine, you know, packed suitcases and bags that we were going to check on the plane and, um, start this new lifestyle of, of sailing in the Caribbean.
[00:10:44] Oh, that’s so exciting. And, um, so you said that this one, so you haven’t with a sailing school. So I imagine this one took you a little bit longer to, to. Come to fruition, then that initial, like, don’t get too west, right? Like that’s probably not like a one-week course then guessing. Yes. It’s funny that you say that though, because when Evelyn was born, we’re like, okay, we have a five-year plan.
[00:11:05] And then we were like, who are we kidding? Like, we take. One month to like launch into our next adventure. So, so we ended up knocking it down to two years. So we, we, we fast forwarded it as much as we possibly could. Um, yes, but it definitely was more intensive with planning and saving and gaining knowledge and really studying.
[00:11:27] And I mean, I can say this now. Um, we were, we were so under prepared. Well, so let me ask you, speaking of that, had either of you ever sailed or been on a boat much before this, or was this all brand new or was this like, we’ve been on a boat a couple of times and we loved it and we really want to do this or had you, did you have experienced sailing?
[00:11:52] Yeah. So when we lived in key west for two years, when we first got married, my husband, um, that was his first job. He worked on a catamaran boat. I mean, let’s be honest. He, he was not like a captain or like actually sailing the boat. He was, he was like that guy that when you go on a booze cruise on a beautiful sailboat on vacation, like he was the guy pouring you beer and making sure.
[00:12:16] When not everyone goes in for the snorkel, he’s making sure that everyone’s okay and no one’s drowning. So he, I mean, he’s learned job. That is a very important job. Um, but he did learn a lot about sailing through that job. I mean, he loved picking this captain’s brains and just kind of learning everything about the boat.
[00:12:31] So he had that experience, um, sailing in key west. But, um, beyond that we had taken like a 10 day sailing vacation. Pre-kids where we Trevor to boat and, you know, fell in love with that, but we had a captain and a chef. So again, I didn’t have to do a whole lot, um, no experience, so, okay. Yeah. Our plan was for Corey to do the class and for him to get certified.
[00:12:55] And then we knew we would, we would be living at the marina for the first handful of months, and that was going to be my learning curve. Okay. Yeah. So then walk me through, you have the sailboat Corey. So did Corey sail at himself from Puerto Rico back to the us? Or how did that all work out? No, so we, um, it was in a marina, um, in Puerto Rico.
[00:13:16] And so we decided we were thinking initially, oh, maybe we could get it. We could have someone, um, Like hire a crew to sail it to Florida and meet us there. And we just decided, Nope, we’re going for it. So we packed up all of our things, gone on a one way flight and flew to Puerto Rico and met our boat there.
[00:13:36] And that’s where we started, started the lifestyle. Yep. Just at the original marina where she was hanging out. Okay. So tell me about the beginning of that. Like, how exciting is that right. You show up in Puerto Rico and you’re getting ready to set up in this huge adventure. And you have two kids at the time, right?
[00:13:53] So you haven’t a newborn or an, not a newborn, but an infant, right? Oh yeah. He was six months old. Okay. And then how old was Evelyn at that point? I was two and a half. Okay. All on its own. Like, I mean, I thought my big cross-country move was intense when my kids were two and a half and 10 months old. But like this, that that’s bigger.
[00:14:13] Right. So that’s a huge deal. So how was that transition? Yeah, so, you know, we were so, so, so excited. That, that excitement probably overshadowed some of the reality of like, holy moly, this is, this is a lot, this is a big bite we just took. Um, so yeah, our days and our boat needed a bit of work. Um, so our days really consisted a lot of Corey working on the boat and me solo parenting during the day.
[00:14:49] And so. You know, Corey went from working, you know, a 40 hour work week and his previous life to now working more hours than that. And working really hard manual labor in this really hot Puerto Rican summer. Um, so really. We found out very quickly that this was the hardest we had ever worked in our lives.
[00:15:13] And we were willing to put in that hard work for, you know, this big dream of ours, but we definitely underestimated how much work it would take both for him on the boat. And for me, solo parenting, because living in Nebraska, my parents live there. Corey’s parents live there. So we had family help. Um, I had never been.
[00:15:32] A mom of two babies before and now I’m doing it solo in Puerto Rico. Well, Corey’s on the boat most of the day. So it was a huge, um, it was a huge wake-up call for really how hard pursuing your dreams is. But, you know, we were, we were willing to make that sacrifice for, for what we knew, lay ahead, right.
[00:15:53] For the, the light at the end of the tunnel or whatever, right? Like you, you can see the, the reward, right. And you know, that it’s coming. And so that front end work is. Worth it. I think that’s like so many adventures as a parent anyway. Right? Like loading up the car and packing all the snacks and getting everybody out with actual shoes on is sometimes a challenge.
[00:16:11] But then once you get there, it’s always worth it. Right? Like, but it also always takes some leader, no matter what adventure it isn’t anything worth doing is so 100%. And I feel like that is one of the biggest lessons that we’ve learned through this is that you have to embrace the journey. You have to embrace all the little milestones that get you to the destination.
[00:16:32] Otherwise it’s just not as fun and not as meaningful. Like there are so many meltdowns and there’s so many, you know, oh, I forgot this, or I forgot that. But yeah, that’s like one of the biggest lessons that we’ve learned through all of this is that you truly have to embrace the crazy. You have to embrace the journey, um, because it just makes the destination that much more meaningful when you fully embrace the good, bad and the ugly.
[00:16:57] Yes, totally. I agree. 100%. Okay. So now let, let’s talk about, you’ve put in all of this work, the boat is ready to go. And tell me about that first. Okay. So the boat is like this close to being ready. Um, and we’ve, you know, we’re living on the boat now. We’ve. My husband has. I mean, when you live on about, you have to get really creative, especially when there’s kids on the boat.
[00:17:25] So my husband has done all this handicraft work and, and we have, I’m still nursing my son in the middle of the night. And so he has created a bathroom and turned or created a baby nursery out of the bathroom. So literally he has taken.
[00:17:48] I can’t even believe I’m talking about this. He has taken the toilet and put like this. Plywood on the top of it. And then we created this netting. I mean, it was the most jackety little crib you’d ever seen, but that’s where Kai. I mean, God, he, he just thinks it’s hilarious. When he, when we tell him about now, that’s where he slept on the boat.
[00:18:10] Like in our bed, in our bedroom, we had a master bath in our bedroom and we. Made that bathroom into a little baby crib. So yeah, we are, yeah, you have to get creative. So we are living on the boat. Um, being on a toilet and we’re starting to kind of like, okay, picture what this is really gonna be like. Um, once we actually like push away from the marina from the dock and, and set sail, um, we’re like this close.
[00:18:40] We’re so close to that moment happening. And then hurricanes pop up on the radar and we decide, okay, we’re just going to hunker down in the marina. Corey goes and ties off the boat and secures it as best as possible in the mangroves. And we hunkered down in the marina hotel and just kind of wait and try to entertain her kids.
[00:19:08] Um, and then we find out. That the hurricane has passed and it hasn’t damaged Puerto Rico too, too much. Um, but St. Thomas and St. John, our next door, neighbors in the Caribbean have just been utterly destroyed. Um, and we start hearing news about some friends of ours that have friends there and family there.
[00:19:29] And just how it’s, there’s no food, there’s no water. It’s a complete dire situation. And Corey and I start to look at each other like, oh my God, like we. Are scared now because that easily could have been us. And perhaps we need to have a putter, a better plan B you know, we had we’ve lived in Florida twice, so we had experienced hurricanes before multiple times.
[00:19:55] So we knew. What we knew to respect hurricanes. We knew what, how to prepare. We knew the seriousness seriousness of them. So we did all those things, but that was when we lived in Florida and we could get in a car and drive to safety in, in the name of evacuation, but living on an island, living on a sailboat that brings a whole nother ball game to what hurricanes mean.
[00:20:20] Right. So, you know, real quickly we. We set aside like, oh, we’re so close to sailing away to, oh my God. Like, we need to have some serious plan BS in place in case another hurricane comes because we lucked out. So we make a plan about evacuating off island rather than just hunkering down in the marina hotel.
[00:20:41] Um, and sure enough, another hurricane pops up on the radar and not to mention the first, the first hurricane was a category five and that’s unheard of. Through this area. Um, it hadn’t happened in years and years. Category five had not come through this part of the Caribbean in years. So another hurricane pops up and sure enough, it’s also a category five.
[00:21:02] Um, and so we quickly, I mean, this is seriously within five or six days of the first one. So we quickly the kids and I evacuated. Um, but Corey stayed back and had to get our boat ready and tie her off and make sure she was as prepared as possible. And we couldn’t find a flight for Corey. So I’m, I’m in Nebraska.
[00:21:30] Um, actually at his parents’ house with the kids frantically trying to find a flight for him because we also had our yellow lab. Um, In Puerto Rico, she was on the boat with us too. And we could not find any flights. There were no cargo spaces left for dogs. Everyone was trying to get off island. This category five hurricane was just okay.
[00:22:18] I can imagine. I mean, like talk about trauma and like stress and like to the max, right to the max. So my only job right now, I mean, my, my mother-in-law Kathy, she was like full on 100% grandma duty taking care of the kids because my full-time job quickly became finding a flight out of Puerto Rico for Corey and for our dog.
[00:22:38] Um, I think it was United airlines who opened up a last minute flight that they hadn’t planned on. And I was able to get Corey a seat on that flight and our dog also. Um, so he made it out of Puerto Rico, I think two hours before they shut down the airport. Um, I think he was the second to last flight out.
[00:22:57] Literally they shut down the airport two hours later and hurricane hit the next day and the island was just utterly destroyed and it took a few days. Um, I mean, we just saw what was on the news chlorine and just utter destruction. Um, but we had no idea if our boat survived. Um, if our friends were okay, we, we couldn’t be in communication, all communication was down.
[00:23:21] Um, so it took a few days for us to finally hear from one of our friends that the friends that we could get in touch with were safe. Um, but almost 95% of the boats in our marina were destroyed. Somehow our boat made it, um, with minor, minor issues, but our boat was floating. Um, so we found kind of like this.
[00:23:46] Okay. Like, is this, is there hope? Can we, is there a second chance for our dreams? Um, so we hung onto that until Corey was able to go back down and assess, um, Our boats, health, and also the viability of our dream. Um, cause it took a while for Puerto Rico to open back up their airport. It was just so destroyed.
[00:24:10] Um, which year was this? Which hurricane? This was 2017. So it was hurricane Irma and then quickly followed by hurricane Maria. Yep. Yep. Okay. Um, so yeah, when they finally opened up the airports, Corey was able to get down and it became very clear, very quickly that. We are not going to be continuing our dream in Puerto Rico with our sailboat, even though she’s okay.
[00:24:35] The people of Puerto Rico are not okay right now, we’re dealing with people who don’t have clean water and don’t have enough food. And there’s, the hospitals are not functioning at 100%. So we knew that, um, moving back to Puerto Rico with two young children was not a prudent decision. Um, So real quickly, our dream died and that was devastating.
[00:24:58] And I cried a lot. Um, you know, there was some grieving and mourning that needed to be done. Um, but we were healthy and we were safe and we were out of harm’s way. So we, you know, had this like, God, we are so much better off than a lot of people in Puerto Rico right now. But our hearts are still broken because we had poured two and a half years of our lives into this dream.
[00:25:23] Um, so that quickly became like, okay, how do we move forward? Even though our hearts are broken and we have no plan B, cause we really didn’t. We didn’t have a plan B. Um, so yeah, we, we, we had to learn real quickly how to pivot and how to, um, you know, how to go on when things don’t go as planned. Yeah. And I feel like, um, I know that it was devastating.
[00:25:54] We actually have some friends who, her, my, one of my good friends, her mom lives in Puerto Rico, still she’s from Puerto Rico and her mom still lives there. And it was yeah. Days or even, yeah, maybe, gosh, maybe even a week before she could even get in contact. And now her mom and her son, the rest of her family that still lives there was okay.
[00:26:13] And there was like this time of. You know, feeling grateful that you’re okay, but then also feeling guilty that you’re not helping more, um, because you are so far, but then going and taking up resources, isn’t helpful either necessarily. And so there was this really big debate and battle in her, her mind too, as to like, what’s the best step for us to take and not only for, for us and or for me and what I need, but like for that, her and what she needs, like, how do I help without.
[00:26:44] Making things harder. Um, and so I’m, I’m sure you were going through some of those emotions too, of like, I want to help, but I don’t know, you know, and, and we have this, like, we have to do something too. We have two young kids. Like we can’t just up and rebuild everything right now. Cause I have an infant and uh, you know, we and a, and a young child and it’s not that simple and put everything else on hold for this.
[00:27:08] So then kind of. That had to be super, super emotional. I can imagine a lot of emotions mean swinging from being, like you said, being grateful that you know, we’re okay. Um, but that’s then feeling so sad and heartbroken for the people that aren’t okay right now and then feeling completely heartbroken for our dream being destroyed.
[00:27:32] Um, so yeah, it was, it was a lot of emotions and honestly, It, it was just so hard to be in the unknown. I get that I’m very much of a, I need to have a plan kind of person. And that’s really hard when you feel in limbo and it’s really, really hard. Yeah. So kind of walk me through like what your next step was because you’re sitting here in limbo, not really knowing what to do still wanting and having this shred of hope, right.
[00:28:05] That this dream is still going to become a reality. And also knowing what’s just happened. And so walk me through kind of what your next, what happened next. So we, um, You know, our boats still floating. So in the back of our minds, we’re kind of thinking like, okay, well, if we could hire a captain and get our boat out of Puerto Rico, maybe we could continue this sailing journey somewhere else.
[00:28:28] Um, so we played around with that idea. Um, but logistically, I mean, it was just a nightmare. And like you said, like taking up resources that are desperately needed by people in Puerto Rico. Like we didn’t want, we didn’t want to make like, oh, how do we get our boat out of here now, a priority win. That’s, that’s not the priority in Puerto Rico right now.
[00:28:51] Like getting people like food and water and help. Um, so that, um, Became clear that that also wasn’t very realistic. Um, and also it costs a lot of money to hire, hire, you know, a crew and a captain and, and our boats still, like I said earlier, our boats still needed a wee bit of work. And so before she was seaworthy worthy, that work needed to be done.
[00:29:14] So how do you hire someone to do that work and hire a crew and get it out of Puerto Rico when there’s more pressing matters in Puerto Rico? Um, so it became clear that that wasn’t going to be a plan. So, um, we said, okay, like we. We are going to reenter real life and put this alternative lifestyle dream on the back burner.
[00:29:35] Um, so we just started putting out feelers to get big boy and big girl jobs again. And, um, my husband through his old work, um, he, he ended up taking a job, doing the same thing. Um, but this time, um, Out in Pacific Northwest. So we actually, we moved to Seattle, um, you know, with very short notice, we kind of were like, okay, we, we took a visit out here.
[00:30:03] Um, It rained the entire time. And it was just like, you know, so dreary, which just felt, it felt right since we were just like emotional, just ball of raw nerves, you know? So it felt right that it was just rainy and jury and yucky. Um, but then on top of that, while we were in Seattle mice, I mean, this is not funny.
[00:30:26] I don’t know why I’m laughing. It just kind of seems like, of course, one thing after another, um, my daughter got really sick and we spent most of our time at children’s hospital. Oh my God. So, but we knew, you know, she ended up being fine. She, she actually had just terrible case of influenza a, um, but you know, she was two and tiny and we’re trying to juggle like what the hell is happening with our lives.
[00:30:49] And now, you know, she’s sick this, and so, um, we ended up saying like, okay, we need a job. We can’t just be jobless and kind of float around forever. Like. We need to move forward with life. We need to pick a plan B. So we picked Seattle and we moved out here and just decided that if we were going to live in Seattle, this.
[00:31:11] Core displaced once the sun started shining and we knew, oh, okay. It’s actually a really pretty area. Um, we knew that we had to change our mindset and embrace the mess of our journey that had been and change our mindsets to fully, fully embrace all of the adventure and travel opportunities here in the Pacific Northwest.
[00:31:32] Yeah, even though we were still heartbroken about our saline dream, we knew there was plenty of adventure and travel to be had right here in our new backyard. So adopting that new mindset, um, really set us up for falling in love with the Pacific Northwest and adventuring in ways that we had never done before.
[00:31:50] And. And yeah, we’ve been so happy here. So first I just have to say I can totally, and 100% relate because our first winter here, we moved in December. Probably not what I would recommend if you’re moving to the Northwest, not the best time of year to move. If you’re unsure about the weather, the summer is stunningly beautiful and the winter can really drag on.
[00:32:11] And this particular year was actually probably the worst winter we’ve had the entire time. And even the locals were like, Why is this still dragging on it? Literally, I don’t think I saw sun from the time we moved until like maybe a sneak in may. Like it was like a five to six month stretch where there was literally no sunshine.
[00:32:30] It rained every single day. I was in a teeny apartment with an. Within 10 month old and a two year old on the second floor, trying to keep everybody from, you know, running around and stomping underneath everybody else. Like while we were trying to figure out exactly where we were going to be, and I thought, what have I done?
[00:32:47] Right. What have we done then summer hit. And we moved out of the apartment into a house and it was so much better. And think like you said, like there’s so much to offer here, but yeah, that transition can be really tough, but. I wanted to go back to like, so you said you made this mindset shift. Was there anything?
[00:33:05] And I feel like there’s, I want to see if we can pull something out of that, because I know that there’s disappointments they’re going to are going to happen when anybody has a plan for an adventure or a dream. And. What was it just a mindset shift or did you, was there something specific that really helped you make that shift?
[00:33:20] Because some, sometimes, you know, it’s nice to say like, oh, I just decided to change, you know, change how I was thinking about things, but it’s not always that simple. Right? Like, so what helped you make that transition? Yeah. So in full transparency, I did not make the transition quickly. Um, it took me the whole first year of living here was really hard for me.
[00:33:39] Um, you know, we didn’t know anyone. I was still grieving the loss of our boat and our dream. And I was still really struggling with postpartum here and there. Um, so the whole first year was tough that beginning of the second year was the turning point. And I went to a personal development conference and that was where I really had like an aha moment of, I remember them saying life doesn’t happen to you, but for you.
[00:34:12] And I was kind of like, oh my God, like all of this has happened for us if we choose to grow from it. So really wrapping my head around Puerto Rico happened for us, seemed insane, but in order to move forward and. Live life fully. Despite having our hearts broken, I had to, I had to say it happened for us and that really allowed me to start growing personally.
[00:34:42] It allowed our marriage to, um, grow from that experience. It allowed our family to grow from it and really to just view. Life as an adventure, not just adventure being this one big grand thing that you’ve set out to do one week a year. Um, so that was really like the shift for me. I absolutely love that because I.
[00:35:08] Have all of these things, right. That are like the big dreams, right? Like the things that we’d love to do, we would love to have this schedule that allowed us to spend winters in one area in summers in another. And like, that’s like the ultimate dream, but the reality is like, it’s not an option at this point and time for multiple years, we don’t have time to get into today, but it’s option right now.
[00:35:30] But that does not mean that every day can not be an adventure and that we cannot find ways to. I’d venture where we are locally and then travel when we can and pull as much out of like that dream as we can for the here and now. And maybe someday that will become a reality. But at this particular point in our lives, it’s not going to at least not in the next year or two.
[00:35:54] And so I think that’s really, really important. To talk about, is that it doesn’t sometimes I think we hear adventure and we think it has to be this, like, I don’t know, like big, huge thing or death defying act of like, you know, sky diving or whatever, but it doesn’t have to be that big, that insane to still be adventurous and still be fueling that part of us that needs that.
[00:36:20] Right. And so I really, really love that you brought that up. Um, So now you’ve you made the transition and you kind of decided this mindset shift, you got real jobs, you know, I’m air quoting for those who can’t see for like real jobs. And, um, you’ve kind of settled into this new thing. And now you’ve decided to make the most of every, every day and to make memories where you can and adventure, where you can.
[00:36:47] How do you, does that still come up for you? Do you still find yourself like wishing that that was anywhere back on that sailboat? Or do you, do you feel like that that was something where you able to learn from that at something that brought you to a point now where you’re content, where you are? Or is that still like a dream of yours to go back to the sailboat someday?
[00:37:06] Yeah, that’s a good question. Um, you know, I think in my mind of like, Instagram pictures, the sale though. Journey sounds amazing. I’m still in my mind of like what it looks like and other people’s accounts, you know, when they share like their best moments of sailing life, I look at those and I’m like, oh my God.
[00:37:28] Yes, I could do that again. But knowing the reality of it now, Even though our kids are older than, you know, a few years ago it’s still would be a lot, a lot, a lot of work. And so I don’t think that’s right for our family right now. And nor do I have those, like, oh, I wish we were doing that. I don’t have those feelings anymore.
[00:37:50] Um, I still do. And my husband and I do together still have a burning desire to do life differently. Um, at some point in the future. And that is a goal that we are. Currently working on, um, and have a roadmap for, but it won’t be sailing that’s uh, that’s I think puts a bed. Maybe, maybe like when the kids are totally gone and we’re retired, maybe that’ll be a something down the road.
[00:38:14] But, um, I think our next adventure will definitely be something not salient. I can totally understand that. I have two things I want to pull out from that after you were talking. So first the Instagram thing, I just want to bring back for everyone who’s listening. Instagram is exactly what she said. It is a highlight of the best moments.
[00:38:34] So like when she was talking about people, sharing the highlights of their best sailing moments, that’s exactly what everybody shares. And I think like, I think that a lot of us to, um, try to share some of the realities and the captions are in the stories, but the reality is, especially if you’re doing it as part of a business, um, as we are, there is definitely.
[00:38:54] A tendency to put like the better stuff, right? Like you’re not gonna show like when your house is in complete array most of the time, although I will share it in my stories, but it’s this whole thing of like, and you do too, which I absolutely love like the reality of like, Hey, guess what? Or me totally bribing my child with.
[00:39:11] Skittles, like it’s going to happen sometimes. Yes. And we’re going to talk about those things and I think it’s important that we do, but a lot of the times you may even miss those times that we post that too. Right. And you may only see the good times because you just don’t always see everything and it’s.
[00:39:25] Instagram is not always don’t compare yourself to that because it’s not always that way. That is the highlight reel. It’s exactly what you said. Yes. And you know that, and that is why I do every Friday. I do my failure into fuel Friday series. And I love that because like, Oh, my gosh, we don’t talk about the failures or the hiccups or the mistakes that we make through these journeys of life.
[00:39:47] Whether it’s on an adventure, on a failure and mom who like we don’t talk about those enough. And then we feel isolated by them. So I feel like, and that’s how I felt on the boat. I felt totally isolated on the boat because what I saw of sailing was just this glorious, sunset, sail with dolphins right next to your boat.
[00:40:04] And that’s just not real life when you live on a sailboat, it’s part of life, but it’s not. Most of life. Right? And so I feel really passionate now about sharing just real life stuff, and that we all have these challenges and failures and we get to choose to grow from those. And that’s, that’s been a really fun part of my journey throughout this whole thing is being able to start sharing those things rather than feeling isolated by them.
[00:40:30] Yes. Yes. Um, I love that. And then the other thing that I wanted to ask is, I know you said that sailing is kind of, you’ve kind of put that to bed, but if you had it to do over again, would you make the same decision? Would you give it a try? I would, yes. 100%. I would try again. Um, one thing that I would probably do differently was.
[00:40:54] Not cut our plan in half by, you know, from five years to, to give ourselves truly a little bit more time to, um, get more prepared, um, and maybe ask harder questions. We asked a lot of like, superficial questions about like, what should we pass? And yeah, I would ask more in depth questions of the families we connected with to really get like the nitty gritty of what what’s.
[00:41:18] Uh, what’s it really like, not just like, okay, what, what kinds of. Things do I need to have, you know, from my house, what kinds of things do I need to pack? Um, so I would do that differently, but I would still do it because, um, our life now, as it is, is 100% richer and fuller for that experience. I love that.
[00:41:41] Um, so I guess kind of brings me into a couple of the rapid questions we like to ask. And you may have you kind of answered, I think part of this in the, in what you said just now, but one thing I like to ask is what’s something you wish you knew about, um, making sure that big change, you know, adventuring or sailing, it’s fine.
[00:42:00] But I think even more importantly, like making that big life shift to do something that’s maybe big and scary and what’s something that you wish you knew. Or someone had told you before you started all of this, and it may be that it’s just to ask the hard questions to dig deeper into like what it’s actually like the day-to-day life, the mindset.
[00:42:19] It may be that it may be more like, Hey, I really wish that somebody had told me that I’m going to really need to have this item that I’ve totally forgot to bring or whatever it may be any of those things. But is there something that stands out that you really wish. You had known ahead of time that you would suggest somebody who might be considering a big shift or transition or wanting to bring more excitement or adventure into their lives, um, should consider.
[00:42:44] So I would definitely say to ask the nitty-gritty questions, but my biggest thing would be to not forget about yourself. I forgot about myself and I didn’t. It was all about the family experience. It was all about the kids. I mean, we obviously, they were six months and two and a half, so they were very much needy of mom.
[00:43:04] Um, but we need time to recharge our batteries. Moms need time to ourselves so that we have something to pour into our kids and our family. And I think we. Need to do it, whether we’re at home, whether we’re camping for the weekend, whether we are on this big grand three week vacation, or whether we make a complete lifestyle change and we’re living in an RV or on a boat, um, I think it’s easy to forget about the care self care and the self-love that we need, um, because all of those situations bring on a new, different, new, different type of stress.
[00:43:42] Um, And we’re better prepared to deal with the stress of these new adventures or new changes. If we fill up ourselves first, um, I missed that boat completely and I’ve had to learn it the hard way. Um, but now I know. And so that’s another big thing that I love to talk about is self-care and self-love and making sure that we fill ourselves up first so that we can fill up our people.
[00:44:07] I. Absolutely love that you brought that up. It is something I am currently working on because I definitely do not give myself enough time. And so it’s an active part at what I’m doing right now. And I think that, I think that’s also something that’s the reality too, is it’s as a mom, it’s not always, or a parent in general for that matter.
[00:44:28] I mean, like it’s not always easy. To do that because there is always someone or something that home in the quote unquote rat race, right. That needs your attention. And so it’s really hard to intentionally block out that time to do something just for you, because you always feel like then you’re. Getting behind or, you know, um, it’s like, it’s still gonna be there when I come back.
[00:44:52] But if you, if, if you take in the time, it is much easier to then come back and deal with it than it is to just keep plodding through. And I think that’s a really, really good point to bring up. Um, and if it, if it’s not scheduled, if it’s not in your calendar, it’s not real. It doesn’t exist. I live by that and, oh my gosh.
[00:45:11] And also not only does it need to live in your calendar, but it needs to live in your husband’s calendar too. Like, you know, like it is, it’s a team effort here. I mean, anytime we travel or even just camp, it’s kind of our, it’s like our. What am I try, like our pact to each other that we alternate days and give each other an hour or sometimes two, if we’re lucky just to have some me-time and we get to choose, it’s like guilt free time.
[00:45:41] Like if we’re in Hawaii, like we know, okay. Monday is my day to go to lunch, to go to the pool, whatever walk cores with the kids for an hour or two. And that just, it fills us up to better show up for our family. So, yeah, I think that’s even more important. And I don’t like, I’m trying not to talk too much about like pandemic stuff on here, but I think it’s even more important right now because there are so many, many, uh, the normal escape that may not be as accessible anymore, or that lifestyles have shifted because of different school situations or whatever.
[00:46:15] And I think it’s really, really, you have to be much more intentional. I think even now than. A year and a half ago. Right? I think that it was definitely, I know for me, my kids used to go to outdoor school once a week and they went to co-op classes once a week. So even though we homeschooled, they had two full days where they were out of the house that ain’t happening anymore.
[00:46:35] And so it’s, I have to be much, much more intentional and I’m not the best at it. And so it’s a work in progress for me, where I had it built in before and now I have to actively pursue it. And it is very much has to be on the calendar. Very intentional and. Um, like tomorrow I have a massage and I cannot wait and it is on the calendar.
[00:46:54] It is scheduled. And like, that is such a treat because I have not done one in a long time. I used to get them regularly. And like, just shifting back into some of those regular patterns of self-care is so important. Um, absolutely. For all of us. Yep. So I absolutely love that. And then. This one may not totally apply to, well, I think it still can.
[00:47:16] So what is something like a piece of gear or something? It doesn’t have to be a piece of gear though. Something that you absolutely couldn’t do without in your adventure life. Something that when you got it or found it, you were like, this is the thing I should have had a million years ago. Why did no one tell me about this?
[00:47:35] Is there anything that stands out in. Your mind, it could be something related to hiking, camping. It could even be something related to just like getting out the door on a daily basis. Um, Ooh, that’s a good one. Hmm. I know for me, like it’s so silly and I’ve brought this up on a couple of their episodes.
[00:47:56] So if you’ve listened long, you’ll know what my favorites are, but it is a rumble. A romper blanket. That thing is for me, I take it everywhere. It’s on the couch with me in the evenings. It goes camping with us. It goes in the truck when we go snowboarding, because I’m always colder than everybody else. I’m the only girl in the house.
[00:48:13] Everybody else hot, it’s always hot and I’m freezing. So that rumble gets stuffed in it stuff stacking. It goes everywhere. And it’s such a simple thing cause it’s like, But a warm blanket for me is packable is life. Yeah. Oh, that’s so true. I’m always cold also. So I really should invest in one. Um, you know, this isn’t a specific product, um, but.
[00:48:40] I think, especially now that my kids are a little bit older, not having to be the mule that carries everything for every single person has been. Life-changing like I now, like I totally geek out over their backpacks and, and helping them. They used to try. And when I first let them start carrying backpacks, because it was actually like beneficial, not just like a cute accessory.
[00:49:03] They would try to put everything from their bedrooms in their backpack. I’m like, no, this is not a hoarding session. This needs to actually be a functional thing. So yeah, I, I’m kind of a geek now about their backpacks. I love packing their backpacks and putting in like one little novel thing to make it exciting for the road trip or the airplane.
[00:49:22] Um, yeah, so I, I love finding creative little things or making creative things to go in their backpack to make the journey. Fun, because, like I said earlier, that’s one of the lessons we’ve learned from all of this is really accepting that poop is going to hit the fan and you know, we’re going to have meltdowns, so really embracing that journey.
[00:49:45] So we embrace that journey by having fun backpacks. So that’s yeah. So that’s kinda my, my favorite thing about adventuring. My favorite item is having fun backpacks. I love that. And I can totally attest to that. My kids love and they’re getting better at it. Now. I still have to kind of hone things in, but I can generally say like, here’s what we’re going to put this what we’re doing, but we do the same thing.
[00:50:06] And like for hiking, they were working on building up. We’ve always carried there. Everybody’s tennis Central’s but we’re working on building it up. So they have their own set of things, but still trying to keep it really lightweight and simple for them. So we’re building that up and it’s exciting and fun.
[00:50:19] Like waterproof matches. Now I get to practice building a fire when it’s not fire season. Right. Like, and all these fun, fun things. And it, it makes it exciting and fun. And. When, when you’re not carrying it anymore, 100%, like we went from just them. Okay. They’re carrying like a couple of games or, you know, call me to now they’re coloring, or now they’re carrying like their own water bottles, their own snacks.
[00:50:42] Like I am off duty and it is like, it’s such a simple thing. But when it happens, when you can start that transition, it’s really fun. We started with just like, they only carried like their snack. Right. And then it was like a snack and a water bottle and a toy. And then it was like, Okay. And now we get to start adding in all these other things that take off of me for real.
[00:51:03] So that’s great. Yes. I agree. I love that. You love that. Um, well, Nikki, I just wanted to say thank you so much for joining us and sharing your experience. And because I think you have so much to share about change, you know, changing that mindset when tough stuff happens, because inevitably, like you said, poop’s gonna hit the fan.
[00:51:20] It’s gonna happen. Um, I think you’re so valuable for, for dealing with that and for our listeners. So would you please tell us where we can find you? Yes. So you can find me on Instagram at our travel and new, and the blog is also our travel and new and, um, yeah, I shared lots of. Tips and advice on, you know, it’s not so much travel destinations.
[00:51:44] It’s really more about embracing the journey and tips on how you can do that easier and have more fun and find more meaning in your travel. So I have some different, um, little freebies and resources that you can find there, but yeah, it’s mostly just a narrative about embracing the journey. Awesome. Yes.
[00:52:02] And I think that you had mentioned that you had a couple of things to offer to the audience, is that yeah. Yeah. So one of our favorite goodies, when we go on an adventure is making adventure bars. So I have an adventure bar recipe. Um, So they won’t be good for you guys cause they have peanut butter in them.
[00:52:20] Darn it. We can alternate, we use almond butter as a substitute or whatever. Okay, good. Yeah. So these are yummy little protein bars, so they’re great for hikes or we take them to the beach a lot too. So I have that recipe for the adventure bars. And then I also have a fun, little ice by twist type of principle that we love to do on road trips or even on a plane.
[00:52:43] So fun little staff to make the journey a little bit more fun. Awesome. And I will make sure that, um, links to those are in the show notes. So you guys can find them easily. And thanks again for joining us. Yeah. Thanks for having me. This was fun. Thanks again to Nikki for joining us today on the podcast, it was really nice to get to chat with you.
[00:53:01] Face-to-face via video chat, even though it wasn’t in person, hopefully that’ll be someday soon, but I really, really appreciated all of the things that you had to say, including that adventures are not always sunshine and rainbows. And if you set yourself up for. Everything to be perfect all the time.
[00:53:17] You’re going to feel like you fail. But even when you feel like you’re failing, remember that it’s actually an opportunity to grow and learn from your experience. And I really, really loved how Nikki shared the quote from one of the events that she was at, where they said life doesn’t happen to you, but for you.
[00:53:34] And if you can shift your focus, when things feel like they’re falling down around you. It can make a big difference. A couple other things that I really, really liked that she had to say was if you’re considering a major life change, like living on a sailboat, ask the hard questions, not just like, what do I need to pack?
[00:53:49] But like, how do you deal with the ups and the downs? Or what is it really like to get me time? Or can you, how do you do that? Ask the hard questions before you jump into it. So you’re really prepared for the whole scenario and not just. The fun parts. And this is probably my favorite one. As your kids are getting older, let them carry their own stuff.
[00:54:08] Start slow and start passing it off because as they get older, it just makes your life easier to be able to pass some of those things off. Thanks again, for joining us stoke fam, we are really, really grateful that. We’ve gotten such a great response already from the podcast. And we plan to continue to bring you some of our favorite guests and share practical tips to help you on your adventures.
[00:54:28] And if you’re enjoying the show, we would be so grateful. If you would take just a minute and give us a rating or review in iTunes or share it with a friend, it really helps us grow so we can reach more people and continue to bring more awesome guests to you. That is it for today at Mr. Morris dress less.
[00:54:42] We’ll see out there.
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