Monday, February 20, 2017

The Road Owns Me


This love of the road has a strong hold on me. I need to find a way to answer it's call.

Song lyrics are haunting me. . .

"Moving me down the highway, rolling me down the highway
Moving ahead so life won't pass me by
And I'm gonna go there free. . . "
- Jim Croce

How was I to know in May 2013, after only being on the road a couple of months, that I would be spoiling my future? That I would fall so madly in love with the road that I may never be able to live stationary again.

"I hear it call
Sounds so sweet and plain
I gotta go, baby
Because the road's my middle name."
- Bonnie Raitt

If this all sounds very romantic, well, that's because it is. My romance with that asphalt is as real as any romance I've ever known. The independence of my own ride, my own hands steering my bike, determining my path, following my heart, is the only thing I can think about now.


When I was in Alaska riding my friend's Sportster down to Homer, I had this incredible epiphany. There was a moment when the clouds opened and the sun shone through on the two lane Sterling Highway ahead. I was overcome with a sense of autonomy, this breathtaking singularity.

"I can go anywhere. . . I can go anywhere I want to go. I don't need anyone to go with me either."

It was if, for the first time in my life, I had liberty. Finally, I was emancipated from my own fears.

"Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose
Nothin', don't mean nothin' hon' if it ain't free."
- Kris Kristofferson

I want to be unattached. I want to own nothing that I'm not willing to let go. Even if I lost my motorcycle I hope I would not lose my freedom.

You know, we may own our things, but they in turn own us.

Though I want to be on the road, perhaps I am not actually free. Perhaps now, the road owns me.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

How To Earn Money On The Road: Vol One

I intend to address how to earn money while traveling full time in a series of articles and videos. Initially I want to discuss how my husband Steve and I earn money while traveling.

Steve and I own two companies that publish online, sell advertising, coach business owners on marketing and/or market for them. Our entire enterprise is designed be accomplished wherever we have WiFi and phone reception.

Steve has been interested in computers since he was a teenager in the 1980's. When the internet became a buzzword he began online publishing as a hobby. He was interested in genealogy and built a cemetery records directory in 1997. In 1999 he began selling advertising on that genealogy site and by 2003 he was making a six-figure income and left his day job. In 2004 he came across a magazine Revenue for online affiliate marketers featuring wealthy publishers who traveled full time. It became his goal to do just that.

As for me, in 2005 I left a full-time job and took a 70% pay cut to work part-time as a publisher's assistant. I have always wanted to be a writer and publisher. My family and I tightened our belts dramatically so I could learn all there was to know about print publishing. By 2008 I was making a fair living writing, selling advertising and learning every aspect of print publishing. That same year I noticed many of my advertisers going to online advertising. Since I saw this was a growing industry, I contacted a local online news publisher to write for him and learn about blogging.

In 2010 when the magazine I'd been working for had been sold I was looking for a job selling advertising. I met that online publisher in person for the first time to ask him for a job. It was Steve. Thus our business relationship began based on our mutual career goals. Steve had recently returned from his first long, motorcycle trip; a 30-day ride from Menifee, CA to Fairbanks, AK. He was working toward living that life on the road.

In 2011 Steve and I began our romantic relationship, married in 2012 and in March 2013 left for our 2 1/2 year life as working vagabonds.

It didn't happen overnight. We spent hundreds of hours creating careers out of our passions and hobbies that would lead us to a mobile lifestyle. It took long work hours, pay cuts, sacrifices and an inordinate amount of time of planning. But it has been well worth it!

What works for us certainly won't work for everyone! But we are not the only people who vagabond.

Your first step to create a career that affords full time travel is to evaluate your skill sets, both in your career and hobbies. If you (and your spouse) are the adventurous types, willing to make sacrifices, willing to open your minds to a new way of life, you too can live and work on the road.

You have to want the road so bad you can taste it, you dream about it, or perhaps are obsessed with it. We were deeply determined to make it happen and motivated one another throughout the process. It's not a life for everyone. If you're interested in one-on-one coaching, we can help.

In future articles and videos I'll be discussing specific careers of vagabonds to give you ideas in insight for yourselves. I'll be interviewing these travelers who earn money as they live on the road to teach you how you can do it for yourself!

Help me put a little fuel in my gas tank. My ebook, "Rude Biker Chick: Lessons From My Daddy" is available for purchase here. Buy your copy now or if not for you, buy a copy for a friend! The woman in your life will love you for it.


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Monday, December 19, 2016

Living on the Road Saves Money

Living on the road isn't quite as impossible as it may seem. You just have to be willing to give up some things you own and ideas you hold on to if you want to make it happen.

I've written a few times about the logistics of life on the road and how to make that happen.

I won't lie to you. It's a challenging experience that will push you beyond what you thought you could do. It's daunting to let go and be free. The responsibility of providing for yourself each day with little support is arduous.

But the payoff far outweighs the efforts.

The most important item to address is finances. In a future post I will address how to earn money on the road, but first, let's look at how much money you actually need. Based on some research I found the median rent/mortgage payment to be $1,100 per month, so we'll start there.


Current living Space:
  • Mortgage             $          1,100
  • Property Tax                       189
  • Utilities                               247
  • Internet                                 75
  • Miscellaneous costs            350
  • Average bonus savings       (150)
Total per month            $       2,111

Current Living Space @ $2,111 per month for 12 months = 25,332

(According to research by the U.S. Dept. of Housing, the average person spends $2,736 per month to live in a one bedroom space, totalling $32,832 per year.)

When you join a hotel loyalty rewards program and stay in only those chains, you'll earn a ridiculous amount of reward points. In fact, if you stay with one chain for 10 months in one year, you'll earn between 6 - 8 weeks of free stays, if you work the system right. This stretches your "rent" dollar much further.

Hotel Living Space @ $2,300 per month for 10 months (2 months free!) = $23,000

That's a savings of $2,332 per year.
I'm not talking about a theory. I know because I've done it.

Miscellaneous costs (as noted above) can apply to a number of things: home repairs, landscaper, parking, new furniture, etc. When living on the road, we buy fewer items than when we live in a house or apartment. Curtains, pillows, rugs, clothing, knick knacks, dishes, cookware, etc. You just don't buy it when you're on the road. You learn to live with so much less. This is your average bonus savings.

Yes, on the road you may eat in restaurants more. Currently the average American spends $232 per month eating meals prepared outside the home. This adds up to $2,784 per year. But long stay hotels not only provide a breakfast included, but other meals and a kitchen. You should spend no more or less on groceries since you'll have a kitchen.

Once you are free of the costs above, you can apply that to your "rent" along the road if you choose to stay in long stay hotels. Keep in mind all of the benefits of staying in a hotel. You not only get a room, you get utilities, internet, gym, maid service, pool, office space/service, full breakfast and more. We focused on the Marriott chain and stayed in Residence Inns and Townplace Suites. These rooms also have a kitchen with all the dishes you need to cook for yourself. Residence Inn also serves dinner 2 -3 nights per week, beer and wine included.

Additional Meal Savings per Year:
  • Breakfast @ $3 per day x 365 days  = $  1,095 per person
  • Dinner @ $7 per day x 104 days      = $    728 per person
Total savings for prepared meals = $1,823

You will probably continue to spend around $250 per month eating out. But with the meals served at the hotel, you'll be buying far less groceries, thus having a savings on food each month of nearly $150 per month. 

Total savings of hotel living ($2,332) and food ($1,800) per year is $4,132. 

If you take a long, hard look at your current finances, chances are you can afford to live on the road, perhaps even for less than you're spending now. Two adults can live a great life living and working on the road, staying in nice hotels and seeing the country.

I'm not talking about a theory. I know because I've done it.

My ebook, "Rude Biker Chick: Lessons From My Daddy" is available for purchase here. Buy your copy now or if not for you, buy a copy for a friend for the holidays! The woman in your life will love you for it.


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Monday, December 12, 2016

Travel Plans

I am dying to get on the road again.

Steve and I are just not happy in one place.

We came back to San Diego to due to my health issues. Now that they've been resolved as much as they can be, we want to head back out on the road.

We've decided we need to travel. But we have a problem.

Now we have Mia. This means motorcycle vagabonding is out.

But we are working on a plan! We have some ideas we are vetting out. I'll keep you posted.

Don't let obstacles stop you from what you really want to do.

My ebook, "Rude Biker Chick: Lessons From My Daddy" is available for purchase here. Buy your copy now or if not for you, buy a copy for a friend for the holidays! The woman in your life will love you for it.


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About Sash

People call me "Sash" because I'm a former beauty queen in my old home town. My father used to ride in an MC which got me interested in the culture. After my last divorce I said "goodbye" to Susie Homemaker and became the rude biker chick I always felt inside. (Read more...)