Living & working abroad house-blog

Published on November 4th, 2010 | by Paz


Why we decided to move and how did we come to this decision. Part 1

I feel that I can only answer this by calling it our enlightenment period. Not because we are moving but because we have completely changed course. Let me digress a bit to explain. You have to understand where we were to understand how we got here. Check out Part 2 here

Two years ago 2008- Struggling and lost

  • We thought we had finally made it. We had our house (which means mortgage). We had finished fixing it up (we had bought a foreclosure, good thing too). Our daughter was about 1.5 yrs old and I had just landed a *great* job. We were both working 40+ hours a week and on our way to making millions. (we laugh now) We were making good money for a 27 yr old couple. We had Cable, DVR, 2 cars, Credit Cards, and we were so consumed by improving our Credit Score….get that baby up. We need it to go up…Why? So we could get more shit! We can’t get the best rates for our Shit unless we get that baby up.
  • We were running around and never together. The caveat was that we were NOT happy. I was working crazy and so was Zeek. We were never home, eating out and fighting.  All those millions of dollars we were trying to make…where was it going? McDonalds! Yes, it was going to any and every restaurant possible. Why…because we were both running around so much that we never were at home long enough to make food and eat it together. If we wanted entertainment we had to pay for it. We didn’t know how to just be together. I bet on average we spent $600.00 a month on going out to eat. YA! Crazy!!! But we were blinded by the idea of MORE.

May 2009- What changed.  Letting Go of Needing More

  • After a week of fighting and complaining Zeek said to me, this needs to stop. We need to reprioritize. We are running in place, never working on our dreams, just working on surviving. That is not the life we are meant to live. So I decided to quit my job. I took a job making $20,000 a year less to actually spend time with the people I love.  Not just drive around in a car with them. Every year we sit down and go through our next 5 years. What do we want to focus on and do. So it had changed. Time to sit down again.
  • Then we saw a presentation by David Ramsey at Connection Point Church and felt like we had seen the light. We felt like prisoners to our possessions.  If you haven’t seen him…you have to. It is great.  If we had cash…to buy our stuff we didn’t need a credit score. Ahhhhh! Can you hear the light bulb go off. Now trust me I understand the importance of having a good credit score, but should it be a goal, or a priority. No. Paying for things in cash that you need should be a priority. Many people don’t have 150K in the bank to buy a house, I understand that, or buy a car. But just watch him…you will get what I am saying.


 June 2009- Taking the Plunge

  • We told our finance guy what we were doing and he thought we were crazy and weren’t going to be able to make it. All he kept saying is that you are taking a big risk and might not be able to pay your bills. BECAREFUL!
  • We took almost a $1000.00 a month hit in income. Guess what…it was hard the first few months, but we still were able to put away the same amount in savings. Why? How? Huh?  I took a job were I work 32 hours a week and my schedule is very flexible. This was a blessing and we were very appreciative for it.  We stopped fighting, I was more relaxed, our house was a happy place. We started spending time together, we started working on our dreams and goals. I was able to cook more and focus on the money we were making.

October 2009 – Finally Able to Breathe

  • We started working on paying off all of our Credit Card debt. We no longer cared about what our credit score was. We were not going to play that game. Our new game was to pay off everything we owed and if we wanted anything new….it must come by means of CASH. I was 5 months pregnant by this time and we were excited about the arrival of our son. We felt like we had made some smart decisions. Our marriage was better, and we were not consumed by consuming. We had changed our focus to being consumed about our dreams and each other. Ohhh lalala!  We did choose to get married and have kids and we felt like we were finally able to be present and enjoy it.
  • In September of 2009 Nona Penny (aka my mom) took us on an amazing trip to Italy. What a different way of life.  A more relaxed, more wholesome view at the world and at living.  People still take a two hour lunch.  Kids that play in the town square and people seem to breathe easier. Dinners are long, and naps are longer….where have you been all my life.  So much about our life at home still seemed so wrong.
  • We did realize that we wanted more out of life. There are many things that I love about the “American” way, but there are things that we realized we had gotten caught up in as well.  We canceled our TV we get NO TV channels. It has been over a year and we don’t miss it one bit.  We decided to sell our car. We played outside more. We started eating a lot healthier and eating different foods. Taking advantage of the free things that are in our city. You just have to look to find them.  We also wanted more diversity, more public transportation, and more exotic food. Yes, please!

 April 2010- Enlightenment begins

  • Our son was 2 months old, our daughter would soon be 3. We felt like our little family was complete and filled with so much love…now what?
  • We wanted to go on an adventure. We were able to make due on less, we had changed our focus to spending time with each other. We can do that anywhere as long as we are all together. That is our focus. Being together, taking adventures, living life!  We like Milwaukee, but Zeek can find website work almost anywhere and I don’t love what I do. (Remember I do it for the flexibility) So why not take our caravan on the road.  Did I mention that it snows in Milwaukee and is extremely cold. YUCK!
  • We thought about moving South near my mom. I looked at jobs that would feed our need for  travel and diversity. We love living in the city and would love to move to Chicago…but it is too cold. Boo cold. We made a list of what we needed in a city. We finished completing the exercises in  the What Color is Your Parachute book and our list of requirements of what we needed was very interesting to say the least. We are NOT suburbia people and don’t want to be.  I like things being different and please no cookie cutter for me.  There were a couple of cities in the South that interested us: Washington D.C., Atlanta, Charleston. All great but our favorite Washington D.C. was soooo expensive. We would have to work crazy again to be able to afford it. That was NOT our plan.  Who said we had to live, work a certain way. Why was 40 hrs a week what we should be working? Who made that crazy rule…BTW we need to talk. I strongly disagree.
  • We wanted adventure, diversity, time, a different way of living life.


Check out tomorrow’s post to see how we decided on Moving to China in February 2011

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About the Author

Paz is an avid adventurer in life and food. Traveling across the globe with her family they enjoy cultural immersion and checking out the local eateries.

7 Responses to Why we decided to move and how did we come to this decision. Part 1

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