As this decade comes to an end, I think it’s the perfect time to reflect on what we’ve accomplished in 2019 (and what we didn’t). Overall, the year was incredibly rewarding in more ways than one and I can’t wait to share with you some of what we’ve accomplished, didn’t accomplish, and hope to accomplish during 2020!
The Highs of 2019
You guessed it, our biggest high this year was finishing our 10-month school bus conversion and finally getting the opportunity to travel North America! The build took a toll on us both mentally and physically, but we toughed it out for most of the year! It’s truly amazing that we have been on the road for over 3 months in a project that we can say we saw 100% of the way to completion.
That brings us to our next high: Being at a point in our lives where we can travel full-time around the country without necessarily depleting ALL of our money. We have gotten to see so many beautiful and interesting places in 2019, including a road trip through Ontario, Thunder Bay, Great Sand Dunes National Park, and Badlands National Park. With those amazing places have come even more amazing people! We are counting our blessings for the awesome hospitality we’ve experienced from folks from all around North America, including close family, distant family, and new friends.
And, how could we forget…we adopted our wonderful, crazy dog (Django) in September from a rescue! For those that don’t know, Django is just a little over a year old and has been on the road with us since day 1. I feel so privileged to give a shelter dog a second chance at a life where he gets to experience new people, places, and animals on a daily basis!
Some other smaller (but none the less significant) include my trip to Breckenridge, Colorado to snowboard in January, our trip to Florida in February for my birthday (where I got to feed a walrus), and a mini-vacation in Naples, Florida with family. David also finally got to leave his job in May! While I know he’s missing many of his amazing co-workers, leaving allowed him to refocus his attention on his own goals. We were also able to find parking for the bus in December and come home for the holidays. David and I have both lived home for most of our lives and it’s always challenging to leave family. It was the perfect timing for us to come home, get to relax away from each other, and spend time with friends and family.
And, finally, did I mention I bought my first car this December?! It was a huge accomplishment and I’m proud of myself for going through with it. If you’re following us, you’ll know that we had an emergency with our trailer towards the beginning of our trip. We then made a quick decision into purchasing a 1984 Volkswagon Rabbit. Long story short, the car isn’t meeting our needs. So, welcome our new Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk to the family!
The Lows of 2019
Where there were plenty of highs, there were also TONS of lows and challenges that we had to tackle head-on throughout the year.
Of course, our biggest challenge had to be actually finishing our bus conversion without giving up. It was a tedious process that took more money and time than we’d been prepared for. On top of that, the bus still isn’t 100% completed (despite ourselves telling each other it is…). Unfortunately, things break and it’s been difficult for David to keep up with all of the repairs.
Traveling full-time also takes its toll on both of us, especially when we’re around each other 24/7. Even though it’s only been 3 months, we burn out and get exhausted. We still have to worry about financial obligations while also balancing our own health and relationship. Naturally, we’re also missing out on holidays and other events with friends and family which is difficult.
And, yeah…the time is coming where I’m going to have to start looking for health insurance since I work remote. I have a few doctor’s appointments lined up in the next year, which is challenging when you’re only home a few times a year. Let’s be real here, being an adult can suck sometimes but we’d rather be completely transparent with you guys! Just because social media and our website portray us out to be happy 24/7, it’s not always the case.
Lessons Learned in 2019
With the highs and lows came plenty of lessons that have allowed us to grow personally and professionally. Here is just a few lessons we’ve learned:
Take Time for Yourselves: There’s always time to make money. However, if you don’t have that work-life balance you start missing out on the opportunities and privileges that are right in front of your face. Our financial obligations definitely made both of us stressed this year, and there were times I forgot to be thankful for the journey that we get to be on together.
You Need to Invest Into Your Business if You Want It to Succeed: This doesn’t just mean you have to financially invest in your business, although that’s not a bad idea either. David and I have learned that investing time into it helps just as much. That means we had to specifically prioritize our day to make time for it. David’s been struggling with getting his business (Big Chimp Creative) off the ground and running. I, too, have struggled with balancing my own job and managing the operations for Aimless Travels that are instrumental for its growth. For the new year, we plan to invest more time into both of our businesses by better prioritizing our daily activities.
Be Grateful for What You Do Have & Forget Those That Don’t Support You: Unfortunately, we really found out who our biggest supporters were and who weren’t. We are much more humble because of our travels on the bus, which in turn has taught us how to be more grateful for everything we’re given. Not everyone has supported us through this crazy bus thing and we’ve concluded that that’s okay. We need to focus on the people that do support and love us, and just forget about the ones that don’t. We’re leaving that kind of negativity back in 2019 and moving on to bigger and better things in 2020!
2020 Goals & Intensions
Is it really the New Year if you’re not setting yourself up for success? Below is a list of some of those goals that we’re hoping to strive for during 2020.
1. Keep working towards building Aimless Travels.
I want to be more active on all of our accounts related to the brand. Last year, we got too caught up in the bus project and forgot to keep up on our businesses. Our goal is to create more content that’s focused on the bus build and full-time living tips.
2. Get our T-Shirt Brand Launched.
For the past year, we’ve been talking about getting T-shirts out there but just haven’t 100% committed to it. We’ve been finalizing our first graphic design and are really pushing to get the T-shirts out by March of 2020!
3. Start Taking Time for Ourselves.
We want to schedule at least one date per month. It’ll allow ourselves to focus on each other rather than work on our business ventures.
4. Read More Books.
We both love reading! This year, I want to start reading more books that’ll help us further grow
5. Continue to Journal Regularly.
In 2019, I started a journal about halfway through our bus build. Eventually, the goal is to use some of this and write a book. For now, I’m setting a goal of being more on top of writing in it.
6. Be Better at Managing Our Monthly Expenses.
This year has been so extremely difficult for us to keep track of our expenses. We’re hoping to create a better organization process that works for us.
Most Importantly…A BIG THANK YOU to All of Our Followers!
Despite us not being entirely active on our platforms in 2019, we couldn’t thank you enough for sticking around! We really try our best to be transparent with our followers and hope that you find value in our content. We don’t know exactly where our travels will take us in 2020. But, we’re excited that you’ll be apart of our crazy journey!