As our launch date gets closer, one thing I’m becoming painfully aware of is the value of money. We’re going to be living off a fixed income for a while, with the goal of being able to generate income while on the road. I’m bringing my photo gear (softbox, lightstand, tripod, camera, computer, etc.,) with me and am planning to shoot while we’re traveling. Laura will bring her tools with her (files, hammers, pliers, raw metal, etc.,) and hopes to make some commissioned pieces or pieces that are inspired by our journey.

We’ll be a pair of bicycling artisans.

So to anticipate our soon to be radically simplified lifestyle we’re tightening the belt all around. We still try to make our weekly happy hour with friends (which seems more poignant as our leaving draws near), but I’ve been cooking my meals more. I use to go out to lunch fairly often, but now I spend it at home assembling meals and frying them up on the paella pan.

One of my favorite morning rituals use to be just hanging out at the local coffee shop to do some work, but now that is more of a luxury.

Now, every time I purchase something, I think about what it means in terms of travel time. Our rough estimate puts our daily travel budget between $20-$40. Ideally, we’ll be doing more sub $20 days since we’ll be camping or couch surfing and cooking a majority of our meals. So in my head, every time I hand over a $20 bill I’m thinking, “that’s an entire day of travel! Do I really want/need this thing or would I rather spend a day travelling?”

It’s strange, really, and is one of the more interesting things that happen psychologically. There’s a major shift of what it is you need/want to live with.

In many ways, it would have been easier if we could have just left the day that we decided we wanted to go. We wouldn’t have to deal with getting rid of all our stuff. We could be impulsive. Throw caution to the wind and just hit the road. However, having our launch date creep slowly towards us has given us so much time to think, to get the jitters and to ruminate. For me, it has made me really think deep if this is what I want to do – and it is.

Things aren’t perfectly aligned. I wish I had a little more saved up. I wish we were leaving a little earlier in the season, but things are just the way they are and if we wait for every star and planet to be perfectly aligned we’ll never leave. Nothing is perfect. We’ll never have the perfect touring bike or the perfect camping gear or have enough funds — and this thinking has stopped a lot of people. For a long time, it stopped me.

Sometimes you just have to jump.