You Must be Rich

We are met with many responses to our story. However, the response of "you must be rich" is one that we know is out there yet it's more thought than spoken.

Is it jealousy? Is it from a place of self-doubt? Or is it grounded in reality?

Are they envious or are they simply displaying crab mentality?Rescued crabs trying to climb out of a plastic bucket, with Trevor waiting for more, Tsethar, Life Release Project, 108 live crabs, In Celebration of the Centennial of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Lotus Speech Canada, Vancouver BC, Canada

What we've found in our (relatively) short lives here on earth is when you don't follow the cultural norm, the "script" attacks will come from all sides. This is part of human nature and how cultural norms are created.

We as a family unit have often found the urge, the call, the desire to buck the system. From not owning a TV, to eating as natural as possible before it was popular, to not immunizing our children. Because of our choices to be different since we started life together we've found that it doesn't matter their reasons for attacking, it just matters how you respond.

So lets just be clear about this rich thing.

A definition of rich, or better stated as wealth can be "having options." In financial terms that means when you go to buy a car if you are wealthy your options greatly open up, however if you are poor you don't even have the option to purchase a car.

We believe we are wealthy by this definition, however, we just got out of debt last year (all but our house debt). We set out a year ago to get real serious about our financial house and have cleaned it up and have the ability to afford some travel.

However, don't think of this as taking a vacation every week for the rest of the year, when you're on vacation you splurge, you eat out more often, you stay in hotels for $120+ a night, you buy tickets to Disney World etc. if you were to live a vacation lifestyle for a month (120*30) you'd be spending well over $3,000 just in hotels. Not to mention $2,000 in food/entertainment. Plus a couple grand in travel expenses.

What if you could live as a family of 6 in a place for less than $800/month? Would that be considered affordable? Compared to a vacation budget of $10,000 a month that is very affordable!  One of the premises of our travel is if we cut costs and live cheaply we can use the extra money we save to afford travel. By far our largest expenses will be the plane tickets (6 of them each time!) but when we live off of less and enjoy the simple life we'll come out a wash in the end.

Back to the discussion about options. Yes we have options, a ton of them and are very blessed to have a wealth of options.

One of our options is to stay living in an expensive cost of living environment with it's blessings. Another option is to live off of less in places with different blessings and use the cost savings to get from place to place.

So yes, we're wealthy (because we have options) but financially rich?  We certainly aren't poor but, no, we're not rich. For the last 7 years we've been a single car family with only one income. We won't be living an extravagant lifestyle overseas, just one with different blessings (and different challenges).

Paul Kortman

Dad of 4, husband, blogger, digital marketer, follower of Jesus. I podcast at and own We're on this crazy journey to travel the world as a lifestyle. Looking for help in how to live as a digital nomad family? Join this Facebook Group!

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