I know I complained just a few days ago that time seems to be dragging on but I can’t believe it is already time to write another end-of-the-month report. It really does seem like just yesterday that I was writing January’s recap.
Sometimes I imagine myself twenty years from now telling the story of this time. If things work out as I hope, I imagine I’ll say something like “… and one day I finally decided to follow my dreams so I quit my job and took off to travel the world.” As if it is that easy!!!! Isn’t it funny how most of the stories of our past don’t include all of the hard work it took to get to the place where the story begins?
Here is a recap of all of the hard work Brian and I put in during the month of February.
The bad stuff
We have to be landlords
We met with two Realtors that both pretty much said, in their realtor-speak, that if we put our house on the market we will have to list it for less than we paid for it. Nevermind that we have put a lot of work (and money) into fixing it up. We knew this was coming. But to actually have the bad news confirmed, well, let me tell you it sucks.
And because of that…
We might have to push back our departure date
We’ve been aiming for a January 2012 departure date and are right on track to have the funds to do it, but now that we know we won’t be selling the house, I fear we might have to push our leave date back a few months. There are a few reasons for this. First, we will have to cover some of the mortgage even after we rent out our house, so we’ll need to save more money. Second, we’ll need a bigger cushion in the bank in case our renters bail, the water heater breaks, or the roof starts leaking.
The idea of pushing our start date back crushes me, but I know that in the long run putting off our trip for a few months so that we can travel without worrying about money will be worth it. I would be devastated if we had to cut our trip short because we didn’t have the money to cover the cost of unexpected house issues. So, we will have to push our start date back unless we can figure out a way to…
Save an additional $1,000 a month
I am honestly attacking this from all angles, but I still can’t figure out a way to pull it off. We are currently saving an average of about $2, 300 per month. I really don’t think we can squeeze any more savings from our current income, we’re already on a budget so tight that it makes us grumpy and rather boring. I could stop contributing to my retirement account at work, but that feels irresponsible. I could get a second job or play the lottery. I could work really hard and hope that my writing starts bringing in real money (I’m actually already doing the work-really-hard part it’s just that bringing-in-real-money part that still eludes me).
Okay, now that I’ve depressed myself and probably you with all of that not-so-good news, here’s the good stuff!!!
The good stuff
Our saving continues to grow
We’re still saving like maniacs and have now reached 64.32% of our savings goal (well, you know, the old goal). Our car is still running, our dogs are still healthy and no unexpected expenses have popped up to derail our savings. Yay!
So Many Places Travel Blog is getting around
I’ve now got over 1,000 followers on Twitter! Yay again! Twitter is a crazy, A.D.D. inducing world of its own but I have found it to be a very powerful tool. You can find me there at @rtwsomanyplaces. And, by the way, if you are interested in learning more about Twitter Gillian at One Giant Step has written a great series of blog posts on the subject.
Since my first post on December 5, 2010, thousands of people from 70 countries around the world have stopped by to visit. It is thrilling to think that something that I write here on my couch in Portland, Oregon can reach someone else sitting on their own couch on the other side of the world. Communicating through my blog has made me feel more connected to the world, and that’s a very good thing.
People are saying good things about us
Ending the Grind mentioned my blog as one of 8 inspirational blogs that can ignite your passion. Fellow travel bloggers From the 901 to the 912, Take Your Big Trip and A Dangerous Business all mentioned my blog in their weekly roundups. A post I wrote last week called Dreams Are Free received a lot of comments and has been retweeted over twenty times. For big travel bloggers, that’s nothing, but for me it was a true thrill to watch something that I wrote move others enough to share it.
Finally, and perhaps the biggest deal of all, is that the popular, internationally read Grist Magazine linked to us in a recent story on Portland! Grist reaches 800,000 people per month so to see my very own name appear in an article was freaking awesome!
I cannot thank each and every one of you enough for your kindness and support. Every single comment, kind word, retweet and email that I receive lifts my spirit. To know that what I write, dream about, and pour myself in to matters to someone else makes all of the time and energy I put into this blog completely worth it. Thanks to every single one of you that have cheered me on and supported me thus far. Starting this blog was one of the best things I have ever done. It has connected me to brave, amazing people all over the world and in turn has enabled me to see a little bravery and amazingness in myself.