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Amazing Inspiration: Paul and Tammie Limoges
Traveling the World with Teenagers
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Shea Oliver: Hi, I'm Shea Oliver. Welcome to The Priority Paradigm. I'm sharing stories of amazing people who have made radical changes in their lives for something more important today. I'm joined by Paul and Tammy Limoges, and they have a truly amazing story to tell you. So without further ado, take it away.
Tammie Limoges: All right, well, so I would say that our story starts actually more than 20 years ago. I'm from Arkansas. Paul is from Quebec, Canada, and somehow the two of us met up with an international group traveling the world. And together we really both had this passion for learning about cultures and seeing places from around the world. Fast forward more than 20 years. We are, now, have three teenagers, and have been working for 20 years in nonprofit, executive positions. And so one day, one of our teenage daughters brought to our attention a really cool video they saw online, and it was a gentleman who was talking about life changes and how we all get caught up in the expected thing that you're supposed to do, living the American dream and working until you retire and saving your money.
Tammie Limoges: And, you know, the really typical things, nothing wrong with it, but we realized that we had been married for 20 years, had three kids that were growing up a little faster than what we had thought would happen and it was a really inspirational video that talked about seeing the world and experiencing things and dreaming beyond what you're sort of expected to do.
Tammie Limoges: And so from there, that video prompted a conversation among our family of five and we have this really awesome picture of us, actually in our office, all gathered around the couch because just hanging over the couch was this beautiful world map, and we're all standing there looking at different countries and having this discussion about where would you want to go? Well, where would you want to go? Well, if we could do something, what would you do? And so the story began and that was about a year and a half ago.
Paul Limoges: Yeah, a year and a half ago. And for us what was important with our family is, because we love our kids and we love our family. And we always said when we got married and we want to travel with our kids. And, life got in the way and for some reason, you know, we have small travels here and there and we set for us to travel is not to be a tourist, but to understand better of culture and being involved with an engage in the culture that we're in. And also what was very important is that everyone, for everyone in our family, to be onboard, and if someone, one of the kids say "Oh no, I don't want to miss my high school year and I wanted to stay with my friends," well would not have forced it. So for one of our daughters, she said, yes right away, "I don't care. I'm going, I want to go." For the other one is "I need to think more about this." And it took her about a month to talk with her sister, with friends, with us as parents and once everyone was on board. And we really solidified our plans to move forward with the project.
Tammie Limoges: And our oldest, our teenage son, who's very easygoing was, "Whatever happens. We're good. It's fine. See what happens." So we said, okay, before all, when we finally got to the point, we said, okay, here's what we want to do. We want to really change our lifestyle big time. So sell the house, potentially change the jobs that we're currently working in. Work out a budget of how could we live in a different way, and we want to see the world and we want to do it with our kids before they're grown up and moved out and doing their own thing with their own family. So that started the ball rolling. We put our house on the market. We started, of course, I started putting together a budget of what if we did this? If we went to these countries, if we spent this much time here, where would we stay? How would we make this happen? How much money do we need to have coming in? How much do we have saved up, or would we get from the seller, our house? What are the different things that we could do to make money while we're traveling around? So a lot of different things that really over about a year's time we started writing those dreams out, putting it all on paper and making it all start making a little more sense. There were certainly moments along the way where there were a lot of butterflies in the stomach and one of us, one of us would say, "Oh my God, what are we thinking?" And the other would have to sort of talk them off the ledge and go, that's fear talking like where's that away? And keep thinking like keep, keep the ideas flowing of what could happen.
Tammie Limoges: And so in, I guess March of this year, we put our house on the market and was that the first time or the second time?
Paul Limoges: The second time.
Tammie Limoges: The first time we put the house on the market and it didn't sell, and we had only left it on about maybe eight weeks. At that point we said, you know, maybe it's not time. And so we took the house off the market, we realized later how much more prep we really needed. So it was sort of the universe talking to us that we really weren't, we were not ready, but when we put it on the market the second time, literally the first two couples who came to look at it, both brought offers, and so the very first people who looked at our house on it. And so suddenly you're like, "Oh my God, we have to know what we're doing now."
Paul Limoges: Now it's real. Because before that, I mean we reorganized a lot of things in the house. We minimized and sold a lot of things, getting rid of things. So that's part of the process for us cleansing the energy and making sure that we're ready because the question is also after this great project, how do we, what do we want to do when we come back? Do we want to come back as we were? And it's a big long, extended vacation or are we changing for...
Tammie Limoges: Will we come back?
Paul Limoges: Will we come back?
Tammie Limoges: We don't know.
Paul Limoges: Who knows!?!? So, and the other thing for me is like to have a great conversation and be excited about doing something is one thing. But then when needs to become real, then we'll look at each and say "are we sure we want to do this?" You know, for us to say and for everyone, so it's not just us as a couple. We have three kids and so on.
Tammie Limoges: So, essentially where we are now is that a few days ago we returned from Central America. We spent the summer with all three teenagers. Actually our son, went to Thailand and Japan for a month and then we let him go without us on that expensive, a little tour because it was a dream area for him. And then after he returned, six days later, the five of us flew to Mexico, spent some time there, then went down to Guatemala and Belize, and basically have spent the summer. We returned a few days ago and we're at my sister's house, spending this last week before we go to Virginia, which is where we used to live. Where the remaining of the things that we own or in a storage building there. And we will get his college stuff, take him to Canada. He decided to go to university in Canada. And then the four of us, my husband and I and our two daughters fly to Europe.
Tammie Limoges: So in Europe we have currently planned, it is right now August, we will be there all of September, October, November, December. In lots of different countries, and that's as far as we planned. We really only know through 2018, and we will see what happens when 2019 comes in. We may decide to move back to the US we may decide to move somewhere else. We really want to explore different options. And for me I'm doing, I had been doing contract work for about the past year in nonprofits and I can do that work from a distance. So that lends itself to this type of work. Paul had to leave a job that he had been at for four years, five years?
Paul Limoges: Three and a half years,
Tammie Limoges: So close four. And he's now gotten a contract as well. And he'll be doing that while we're traveling, we're planning to stay. We rent homes for anywhere from two weeks to four weeks at a time and then we can move to a different place, and really get a chance to explore a lot of different places. Right now we know that we're going to be in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Croatia, Poland, Italy, and then we'll see after.. at the end of the year how it goes.
Paul Limoges: And then the other thing also is the coordination for our daughters that they are starting 11th grade, so now they just started last week - online school. So then as we travel, which would be a great learning experience, but they can continue their high school and maybe finish earlier and plan to go to university right now in Canada as well, to explore that different culture that I belong to. And, maybe in Ontario and Ottawa area, Ontario, Canada.
Tammie Limoges: So we have done a lot of different things. We worked for different organizations. We've lived in several different states, North Carolina, Virginia, Arkansas, Colorado. We've moved around, we've explored different places in the United States. We also have worked for others and we have owned a couple of businesses ourselves. Again, just kind of trying to find what's that thing that feels right for long-term and we found several things that felt really good for the short term, but we, you know, a year would go by, and maybe two years would go by and you just get that itch of there's something more out there, and I'm not feeling like I'm getting it. I haven't found it yet. So what does that thing? And so we, you know, we owned, we startup businesses, we've tried a lot of different types of professional things that we've done, and we love working in nonprofits, and we love helping people and we want to do things that make a difference, professionally, but also personally we want to incorporate that into our lives.
Shea Oliver: Sure.
Paul Limoges: And for us, for me, my philosophy in these type of project is that it's not a longterm. I think it's kind of shift gear. So I can be working for five, six years being in one place and then I'll look at Tammie and we'll say, well, maybe it's time for a different adventure, And so, you know, and then we let life help us with that. So if I started applying for jobs and in this specific state that we want to discover and things happen, then we follow that and we make things happen. And for example, our trip moving to Virginia, I have family there and we did we open a business or two of things that we've never done before, but we said, we looked at each other and we said why not? And that was a wine store and craft beer and gourmet food and, and we always find a way to help the community in the nonprofit. So we had a program called wine for a cause where we were doing wine tasting that will benefit the nonprofit in the community where we were. So even though it was a for profit wine business, we try to incorporate elements that will help the community that we're in.
Shea Oliver: Very cool.
Tammie Limoges: We're just seeing where life takes us.
Shea Oliver: Very cool. So, how many people said, are you guys crazy when you were getting ready to head to South America?
Paul Limoges: Well, I can, I can start because when I had to quit my job in talking with my boss there, and then the board of director, everyone in the staff, they all look and say, "Oh my gosh, I want to do this!" Everyone we talked, I talked with, they all want to do it, but they're in a place in their life where they can not, but that's the...
Tammie Limoges: Well, that's whats not true. Everyone thinks they can't do it, because we find reasons why we can't do it. There is never going to be enough money and there's never going to be enough time. There's never going to be that time when it's comfortable. It really, to do something like this, is to go outside of what you know as comfort and be okay with things being a little bit uncomfortable and not really being sure what's going to happen or where you're going to be or where our family is going to be next year. We'll be together somewhere. Our girls are going to be doing school online. We're going to be working, making some type of income and were willing to do whatever that is to live the lifestyle that we want, to have the experiences. So we were willing to sell half of our furniture and just sell our house and to get rid of all kinds of things that we really don't need to do something we want to experience.
Shea Oliver: So as you ran up to that point of getting on that airplane to head to South America. You have each other, so that when one of you went, said, "Oh no, I don't know about this insane plan." The other one could say, "Oh, here's why we're doing it and pick each other up." Did you ever both go down at the same time?
Tammie Limoges: I don't know that we have. I think that quite often it's that one starts going that way and so automatically the other one like sort of feels my time to be the cheerleader and you know, and figure this out. And so you sort of lifted back up and I think that happens with our daughters too. So yes, we both started feeling that they were sort of the voice of reason to kind of remind what, but here's why we're doing this, this is think about where we're going to be next year, think about where we're going to be next month or whatever. But it kind of brings you back to that, oh yeah, we get to have that experience together and then we'll see from there. But I do think more people said, as Paul said, not that many said, you're crazy. What are you doing? But almost everyone has said, "Oh, I so envy you. I could never do that. Or how do you do that?" It's just really going outside of the box that most people sort of. I don't know. We've put ourself in. .
Shea Oliver: We do. I agree. So what's usually your response when somebody says, I'm envious, how can you possibly do this? Aren't you afraid you're not going to retire?
Tammie Limoges: I'm absolutely afraid, but the fear is like, you just push it aside, and, you know, because we could, we could live the traditional American lifestyle and we could both have, you know, our two incomes, decent incomes, and save money and when we retire we go and travel and do things. For one, we won't have that experience then with our kids, which was really important to us to have that experience with them and to show them the world.
Tammie Limoges: But I think also it, there's never a guarantee that you make it to retirement, you know, we all just seem to think that we're invincible and it's going to be, you know, you get to live to be 100 and when you're 60, retiring and hanging out at the beach and going, most people I know that are 60 or more, haven't retired and they're not sure when they're gonna retire ,and they've been saving, but they never get comfortable with the amount of money they've saved up that's going to last them the rest of their lives if they even lived to that point. And so we just decided we're not waiting
Paul Limoges: Or someone gets sick and then you can not go because you're not healthy enough. The type of travel is, yeah, so it's not the tourist route, but it's not the hardcore of backpacking. It's kind of inbetween as a family of five and trying to speak the language where we are. But I think, I think we are, I feel it as an inspiration to a lot of folks to do something like this and we're really willing to help out. And sometimes we toyed with the idea, well maybe we should coach or you know, they've left some coaching strategies to help people to get there because to get there, there's a lot of things that needs to happen before in the mind and the heart. And
Tammie Limoges: There's more things internally than externally that you have to prepare, actually. Internally, it's just this constant of.. getting your, your emotions right, you know, and fighting some of the logical, you need to have some logical in there and budget and understand what you're doing. But you also have to also lead with what feels right and not just what's in your head.
Shea Oliver: So what's your, what's your biggest fear about going and doing something like you're doing?
Tammie Limoges: Well, not having the funds to do everything we want to do, or getting to a point where we have left secure jobs and the money gets to a point where we say, "Oh, we have to go back and we have to just take any job and we have to, you know, come back to the, what would be expected of us, a respectable American family." For me that's, that's probably the biggest fear. I'm really excited about the change that we've made, and we're already feeling so much freer and so many ways. Some of the things that you stress about, you really realize are, they're silly.
Shea Oliver: Like what?
Tammie Limoges: Well you worry when, when are you going to get the vacation? When are you going to actually reach that magical number in your bank account that you're gonna start feeling secure? And I just think it never happens. And, so you start letting some of that go and not throwing all caution to the wind. I mean we still want to take care of our family and make sure we're all healthy and we're planning accordingly. But we also want to just enjoy life and really enjoy our time together in all stages, not just after we're a certain age and our kids are older and they've got their own kids. We want to enjoy this whole process.
Paul Limoges: And speaking of process, the kids have been involved in it as well. From the packing and cleaning their room, of getting rid of stuff to sell or to donate to even moving packing boxes and carrying boxes, put in the u haul truck and things like that. But they were so motivated in doing it and often times it gave us the courage to pursue and to continue and to, because like Tammie said, it's the travel together and it's not all rosy and great There are always challenges, but that's part of the experience. For example, you know, in South America and Central America, a long travel day from Guatemala to southern Mexico and Tammy was sick. And so that means that kids need to take leadership and helping out, especially at the border. And when you wait four hours, there was no air conditioning, bring water to mom and take care of, you know, and things like that. And these are the types of experiences that brings us together I think as a family unit, you know, could this happen in a regular setting in US when we both were, but we're not as much there. Then the kids each have their room and their video games on their phone or things like that. Even when in small Airbnb, it's a one bedroom, and we're held together and you know, so it's learning to respect each other when someone needs time alone to take that time and to respect that. And, you know, it's not always working. But for the most part, I think when we grow as a family with this.
Tammie Limoges: I think it's important that we are in no way wealthy. We both have worked in nonprofit organizations, and for almost, you know, the great majority of both of our careers have been in nonprofits. So we don't have a lot of wealth, that's not where we come from. So this is, I think also something people think. "Oh Wow. When did you win the lottery?" And that's not at all the kind of travel or experience that we're having. We're taking buses. We took an overnight bus from Mexico down to Belize. It was not glamorous when, you know, he jokes about me being sick. There were, you know, sometimes you can't drink water in some areas, which we all know, but then I had some ice and one of my drinks I was violently ill. And unfortunately that fell on a travel day where we were going to be spending a solid 12 hours on several buses and going through hours, through immigration at two different countries during that day.
Tammie Limoges: So, you know, it's not all easy and glamorous and we laugh a little bit about that because of course we post pictures on facebook of our travels in different places that we go and things we're seeing. And what you don't post is when you're vomiting in a bus with 80 people watching you or you're, you're soaking wet from sweat from the moment that you walk outside and, you know, where you're sleeping with mosquito nets over you, you know, there's a lot of things that are not glamorous about what we're doing, but they're amazing experiences that you laugh about later.
Shea Oliver: Sure, sure. So how... what do you say to people? I think it's fantastic that you shared that you're not wealthy. I think that that's really important. A lot of people do have this. Wow, I need seven figures or more in my bank account before I can do this. So you made the choice then to head to places that aren't... You're not staying in London, you're not in Paris or places that are more expensive. What do you say to people that are like, wow, isn't that terribly dangerous?
Tammie Limoges: I think it's such a myth. People are scared of, they don't know. And so, you know, there's some common sense that you have to put into play. There are parts of Detroit or New York City or wherever big city is that I won't go to at night alone especially, and you have to incorporate that same thing into everywhere you go. There is a lot of common sense that has to be used, but essentially people are amazing all over the world and if you try just a little bit to incorporate a little of their language or a little bit of the cultural things that they want to show you, you know, they want you to experience what they do and, and if we think as Americans or Canadians of someone from another country coming to visit, okay, you know, you want to show them what it's like to be here. You want them to have a little experience of that and people are the same wherever you go. If you ask for a little help and you try just a little bit to, you know, say hello in their language, to ask a question, to introduce yourself, learn just a little bit. They always really try to help you out and to welcome you there.
Tammie Limoges: We really haven't had a lot, you know, there are some cultural norms that you have to be aware of, so certain places you go pick pocketing is really common, and you just have to be careful and use your common sense
Paul Limoges: And part of the common sense is dress modestly, don't put all your jewelry that you own and you know, and things like that. But as you engage in these type of travel, hopefully some research are being made. And for me as a dad, as a parent, as a husband, I don't want to put my family in harm's way, but it's to balance the right place to visit at the level also that the kids are, and as Tammie kept saying, we're not going to do hardcore backpacking or things. I'm not interested. I said okay, I understand. And so we balanced each other have of what we want because it's, we wanted to have fun and, and it's not again, all the glamor, but it's not all the challenges that goes what is the right balance of things. And I think we found it in our conversation together as a couple, but also as a family about what are your goals and in the preparation I think is important before you go there and how do we, and are you interested to learn about their culture? So then you're engaged in open and for me, I speak a little bit of Spanish which is very helpful and had the chance to really improve it because people were speaking Spanish to me and you know, I said if you don't understand, sometimes you just smile. Say "Si!" and I did that learning English!
Shea Oliver: Certainly, so, with teenagers. I know I've read from different people that have traveled and stuff. They often travel with young children and then come back to the US when they get the kids get to high school age. And one of the things I've often heard is they don't want to steal their children's high school experience. I don't know if you've heard that or not, but have you, did you have any sense as you're heading into this that you might be doing that?
Tammie Limoges: We talked a lot about that. We talked to our teenagers a lot about that. Our son was, as it turned out, it worked out for us, him to finish his senior year, but for our girls, they just finished their sophomore year. So now they've started their 11th grade year and a lot of discussions happened about, you know, that this may mean, well, it definitely will mean probably not going to homecomings for these last two years of your high school. Probably not going to prom for the two years of your high school. There are... your friend groups that are going and hanging out and going to football games and doing all these things and you're going to see it on social media and you're not going to be there. But what you are going to be doing is going to this country, staying in this place, having these experiences, seeing some of those things that you learn about in your history class, but you're going to actually be standing there looking at it. And so they were completely on board, honestly, our girls preferred to have that experience of really seeing it and living it, then just learning about it, in a book or online and so big for them, you know, of course they miss their friends and they want to be able to do some of the normal teenage things and we hope that in some of the places that we are able to, you know, short term live that they'll be able to meet people their age and have some of that fun experience because we really don't want to go places and just be a tourist. We want to go and stay there and be a part of the community for a short time. So they'll get, they'll get a chance to see and do some of those things. Just not exactly the way that it would have been if we had stayed in the same spot we we were in.
Paul Limoges: And, and just to add to this, our daughters, our son, I think they're taking more leadership. So one of our daughter bought a video camera and she's starting to do vlogging. It's all new terms for me, but she knows what she's doing and, and I think it's wonderful that she's recording some of the experience that we're having and sharing with her group of peers her age that are all in tune with these, these things, and when I look at the video, so it's fun also far for us because for me it was the old picture, but also the other part is just realized about listening to Tammie talk is always been involved in nonprofit with that has to do with global education and experiential education on the concept of getting out of your comfort zone and, and being with people that speak a language that you don't understand but you're still involved with them because we both travel with Up With People. I don't know if we mentioned before that organization, that's how we met. So that's why a small town, French Canadian and small town Arkansas met. But, so these values always been there for us. And like we said, just to relate to your question, our goal was to take the kids and travel like this when they were younger. But the opportunity didn't come, which now I really appreciate it because we have adult conversation, yes, about traveling and what we talk about women's issues. We talk about political issue happening in the different countries that we visit and especially when we're in Guatemala and stayed in a place where it's called Mondo Maya and a lot of good experience and conversation about the world of the Maya in the history and the present, how they're trying to conserve the language. I mean there's no book that could explain as well as what they had experienced being surrounded by the ruins in Tikal, Guatemala, but also where we were staying and being involved with the people there that didn't speak English, that much of we have to translate with my, you know, halfway Spanish and so on. But then they were researching on their computer also their translation of things. And so all this makes it, that is a, it confirms that all the decisions that we've made so far have been great.
Shea Oliver: Very cool. So as you guys have done this, what has been the biggest surprise to you about how you've changed?
Tammie Limoges: Hm? The biggest surprise about how we've changed, I don't feel that we have changed other than, you know, realizing the things that are important and not for reading about some of the insignificant things. It's funny how, in just a normal life you think about, I forgot to put gas in my car and now I'm going to be two minutes late to get to that. It's just one thing after another living that there is a freeing, part of this that we still have to worry about catching that bus or that plane or you know, how we're going get to the next place or is the check in going to go, okay, with this Airbnb, can we find key? Whatever it is, there are always things, there's responsibility, but I'm really not a sweating the small stuff. I guess I'm, we're working on it. It's not perfect. We moments where there's just something so trivial that one of us gets uptight about and we have to work that out. I think for our for our girls probably more so than for me at least, I think they're having more meditation. They're reading more and focusing more on how they feel and their emotions and being in tune with that moment. And so I thought that I haven't gotten there yet. I hope that I do. But, they have really been conscious of each moment, each place, what they're experiencing so far.
Paul Limoges: Well, and in fact, while you're talking, I'm trying to get the girls to come.
Tammie Limoges: They're sitting in the same room with us watching us talk to you.
Paul Limoges: They said no.
Shea Oliver: Well, let's talk about them since now I know that they're there. You've already talked about some of the changes you've seen in them. Do you think those changes would have been happening had you stayed in the United States?
Tammie Limoges: No, and I think, that when I think about what they're doing now, I'm with reading more meditative type of focused books, just being a little bit more present in the moment. I think that they're typical teenagers, you know, they really are. They have a big friend group. They all go hang out at each other's house. Our typical house weekend would be eight or nine girls, all filling our basement to watch movies and football games. And laughing at, you know, so it was a typical thing. They are very, very typical teenagers, but I think that this experience, and planning for it ahead of time, There's a maturity of knowing what you're about to do and being a part of the responsibility for what you're about to do. So where are we going, why should we go there, what is there to see or do, is it a safe environment for us. There are all those things they really got to be a part of that research. And so now as we start to actually do it, not only do they see that planning come to life, but there they're just more, more centered I think.
Paul Limoges: And for me, I have I guess two examples. So we rented a car and some place in Mexico and then my daughter came around, my daughter came with me to get the tickets for the bus station and that helps a lot because my limited Spanish, or they tell me the price in it, you know, in Pesos, what's the conversion to make sure that it's the right thing. So she does the research right beside me and tells me - it's kind of a team approach. And that did that a few times during the trip and then converting them with the money in the Belize dollars or Guatemalan quetzal and so on. So that was helpful. And my other daughter, the last day that we came, we had booked shuttle to take us to the airport. The shuttle never showed up, or it showed up an hour late. The stress
Tammie Limoges: So, we're literally standing out on the street corner with our luggage waiting on the shuttle to take us the 45-minute drive to the airport in hopes of getting our plane in time.
Paul Limoges: And she's here and, and then she said "Dad, what do we do? I think we need to find a mode of transportation." And so we talk it out to each other and then that thing she suggested that I go talk to the security guard to borrow his phone and to come and try to call the shuttle company and, so on. So these are experiences that she helped me to stay calm and focus and say, okay, what do we do now if it doesn't show up and you know, and so on, so that, these have been small example, but that I have not seen before in our daily life. So these, you know, so it makes me in tune with them. I mean they have their leadership inside of them, but as a parent to see it being fulfilled.
Shea Oliver: So not to put words in your mouth, but are you more confident now of your girls being able to manage their own futures and take care of themselves than you were when you were living the traditional life?
Tammie Limoges: We've actually said so they are just 16, two or three months ago, they haven't been 16 for very long. And just in the last month, we've had this conversation that I swear they could move out and live on their own and be fine. Right now. They really are at a place of - They're so mature and understanding and they would make mistakes just like anyone would. But honestly at 16, barely 16, they have a maturity and an understanding about what's going on around them that I don't think that they would have if they were in sort of the comfort of suburban life and going to school with all their friends. And there's just, there is a difference. There's a maturity and a learning and growth that happens that just naturally happens that you don't even plan for it.
Shea Oliver: Very cool. So what has been the most surprising thing? Well, let me, let me ask something first. Has your perception of life in the states changed since you left the United States?
Tammie Limoges: I think our perception of life in the United States changed before we left. I think that that had something to do with our leaving. I think the culture has, there's a lot of divide and of course a lot of it's political and it's changed the way people treat each other and what's acceptable behavior. But it also has made us have a lot more conversations and do a lot more research on things that are supposed to be. Family values, for instance, are kind of a big American trait. We, you know, we say that we have a really strong value in families, but yet when we really started talking more about that, it's funny if you compare that because, so many American families don't have health insurance. So do we really care about those families? So many people have a lot of economic issues, can't find jobs, the little man's being eaten up by the big corporations. So do we really value them? And then, you know, there are so many different things with healthcare. I had three babies in the United States, so I've gone through the six week leave that you get from your job after giving birth and it's not paid, you use all your vacation time which by the way, you really need a vacation after having a baby. But that's not really considered a vacation. When you use that time to try to get. And you compare that to other countries. You know, if you look at Finland or Germany or France, Canada, so many places that really do value and that value the family and want to offer maternity leave and paternity leave and, and really give more support to this family unit so that they can still, the parents can still work and have a family, and so many of those conversations came up in that year prior to us saying it's time for change for us.
Shea Oliver: Interesting. Very interesting. So, let's shift gears just a little bit. So you guys have done it and you're doing it.
Tammie Limoges: We're homeless.
Shea Oliver: Is it frightening to say that? I'm seeing you smile.
Tammie Limoges: We're fine. Like, I don't know, do you think it's frightening to say that?
Paul Limoges: No because we have a good support of a family, now at Tammy's sister and then we're going to go to my brother's house and the four, before we go to Canada. But uh, I think it's not as practical as it could be because now which address do we put when we request something. So, you know, because if you say no, we don't have at home. So we won't have to be granted some of some of the things that may be needed. Especially if we prepare our transition back and finding a job or something like that, you know, they always want to know what's your current address. But I think we smiled because we know we're not in the hardship homelessness. It's by choice - traveling and getting experience. And it's interesting that you mentioned that because has a contract with a homeless shelter or organization right now working. So she's more in tune with the reality and the sadness of some of the stories.
Shea Oliver: It's not that you're without a home; you're without a physical house.
Tammie Limoges: That's correct. We literally have our stuff in a storage unit. We're fine with that. We have what we need with us right now, and we will see what happens. We really are keeping it very open and we keep, we don't know that we will come back to the United States, but we might, maybe we'll come back and get a regular nine to five type job eventually. We're not closed to that at all, but we know that that's not where we are right now and we need to have this experience and really figure out what do we want next. Maybe we will end up somewhere that we just love so much that we want to find jobs there and do something really be stable there right now. Online work is the way to go for us until we figure that out.
Shea Oliver: Very cool. Very cool. So with people that are looking at you guys, and saying, wow, I'm so jealous of you. I wish I could do that. What do you tell them?
Tammie Limoges: You can. You can do that. We're nothing special. We have nothing different than anyone else has, but you definitely need to plan a little bit for it. Figure out what your budget is or if you can find some type of income that will support you in some way. Doesn't have to be a lot. I mean, it's really a fraction of what we're used to, but you can do it. You just have to take the leap of faith.
Paul Limoges: Well and for me also, we're willing to help and coach or to share our experience and thank you for giving us that opportunity, but also to answer some questions. So why would you like to do this? What's your purpose? And you know, and sometimes it's and what's the right length of time and what's the right experience for you to achieve in order to accomplish what you want to accomplish. So for us it's the family is important for someone else, maybe it's to go solo for a month, something to get unstuck and or for whatever reason.
Tammie Limoges: Sometimes you just need a vacation.
Paul Limoges: You just need a vacation,
Shea Oliver: Not an American vacation, a real vacation.
Tammie Limoges: A real vacation! no laptop, no cell phone, no email, a real vacation, a way to figure out what you want. But I'm someone who really wants to experience it. I think that it's about a little bit of planning and letting.. not letting fear get in your way.
Paul Limoges: Well. And I think to trust life, if it feels good, you're insync. You go with it. And I mean that's my belief even though it's scary because society and our culture says no this is what you should be feeling. And then. But now for us, I mean so far, when the house sold, we got that offered the first weekend. Then we knew that it was happening and everything work out at a fast pace that the kids had. We had to find an airbnb too, so they finished school. So we started our trip basically in our town.
Tammie Limoges: In the town we were living in we had to stay several weeks at an airbnb just to finish the school year out. And that started the adventure.
Shea Oliver: So was there, you know, as you begin to conceptualize what this was going to be, do you recall any, like major step or major change inside of you that finally was the accelerant or the thing that I'm doing it?
Paul Limoges: Well, first of all, that video that Tony mentioned at the beginning, so that was one question in that, that the guy said, he said, we interviewed 100 older people on their death bed to see what's your biggest regret in life? In 100 percent said not spending more time with family and not to travel more, you know, wish I would travel more. And this for me was the trigger to say something is about to happen and I look at our family and we presented this idea and, and had that conversation. That's where I, you know, I feel like it was a trigger inside. It needed to happen inside of me or us for the external to materialize. So the first time that the house did not sale, we were not, we were disappointed later bit, but we also, well it was not meant to be. There's more, there's something we're not ready for. We realized that we were not to have either the readiness for the kids to finish school or whatever reason it is and the, and we, we go through life with that type of feeling. I mean if we have each other and we're healthy and if it feels good in our heart, that means is the direction that we need to go.
Shea Oliver: Very cool. Right. What about for you Tammie? Was there like a trigger, a sudden changing direction doing this? Was it that video or...?
Tammie Limoges: Well the video is really what started it all. We all kind of stood around in our study with our mouths open, watching the video going, oh my. That's how I feel. That was the thing that I, you know, we always wanted to travel and with the kids and we always wanted to do this and all of a sudden they're 16 and 18 years old. And where did those years go? That just flew by all of a sudden.
Tammie Limoges: And so, you know, watching that video inspired us. And then for me it was probably a little bit more practical that I sat down and started working through budgeting and so I kind of took the six or seven month period of time and said, okay, if we sold the house now and I planned through the rest of 2018, what could we do? You know, how much would we need to survive and to be able to pay for a place to stay, the food that we have, the travel that we would need to do the to still do some fun things. How much per person could we spend on each meal? And so I kind of put the numbers to paper and after I did that then I was able to say, okay, actually we can do this, we can make this happen. And so then it was like, oh, we're doing it, you know, when that came together I was like, we're doing it.
Shea Oliver: Very cool. So, we keep talking about this video. What is this video? Do you recall the name of it?
Tammie Limoges: Yeah, but we'll have our daughter look it up now so she can send it to you.
Shea Oliver: Great, I do want to include it with this. It is very obvious that it was very influential. So other than the video, were there any people, resources, heroes that you guys began to follow or read about or read blogs or books or anything like that that kinda got you even further over the hump and said, let's do it.
Tammie Limoges: I think online following minimalism sites. And so on Facebook there a couple of minimalism sites and really realizing that you get caught up in thinking that you need a lot of material things that you don't need. And so more, more and more we would share, you know, one of us would see something about minimalism and share it to the other one, see that, watch this, watch this, and, and then you start realizing how much stuff you have and then when you start cleaning out and selling stuff or giving away stuff, donating stuff, then you really realize you're like, I just cleaned all that out and I still have, you know, six more sets of dishes. Why do I have this? So I think the minimalism part was something that, of course there are the, the TV shows that you see tiny house hunters or people living abroad. There's different TV shows for minimalism in, and for those things. We got more and more inspired by watching people stories. And actually it just reminded me at one point, there was a International House Hunters TV show and there was a couple, that we saw on there that he was French and she was from Denver and they had lived in Denver and we used to live in Denver and they had moved to Uruguay and bought a house on the International House Hunters television show and it was seven years later and the show had done a followup and they were still there and so I went online and found them and started conversing with them by email and they had decided after they had gone there to visit and they loved it and then they bought this place and then they decided to stay longterm and they'd had a couple of kids there and just loved the style, the culture fit them more, even though know she was American, he was French and we just thought it. I thought it was kind of a funny coincidence. French speakers. Sure. American. We were both living in Colorado and so, we had considered Uruguay at one point as a place to go. We still haven't made it there. Maybe we will on this trip. We'll see.
Shea Oliver: Certainly. Certainly. So if you were given an opportunity to tell somebody who hasn't seen the video yet, who's thinking, I need to make a big change, I want to go travel, I want to do something different with my life. And you can only tell them one thing. What would you tell them?
Paul Limoges: Hmmm, it can be a question?
Shea Oliver: Of course it can.
Paul Limoges: Well for me, what's important to you in your life? Because for us it's travel. Maybe for someone else it's not about travel, but they can still do something drastic that will make them happy and so I think for us, you know, like I said, well utilize the vehicle of traveling and exploring other culture because that's important, but maybe for someone else writing a book or running a marathon. I think asking those question, you know, what, what's important to you? What are your dreams? Sometimes I realized that that question is very hard to answer. People don't have time. We so well my dream you telling me? Yeah, if you can do whatever you want in your life, money is no object. Time is no object. What? What will it be? Most people cannot answer that question, so it's hard to make plans to focus on something that is important to you. If you don't take time to introspect and realize what your dreams are, so that's.. I will research more that or coach or explore to in order to help the person to say, yes, you can do it.
Tammie Limoges: We all have bucket lists in our family, we try to check a few things off of those bucket list, you know, every couple of years, you know, you kind of go back to them and say, are we living the life that we wanted? Are we, are we checking off those things on our list of things to do before you kick the bucket? And so for us it's traveling internationally, it's living abroad, it's having the experience, not just together, which is very important and we've done that over the years. But really having our kids grow up and have that same passion and having that depth for life, you know, to want to experience things outside of the norm. Nothing wrong with someone who grows up in a small town and stays in the small town and they love where they are and they love what they're doing. And that's great. As long as that's what really makes them happy, but if there are some other internal dreams that you have not letting fear get in the way of pursuing them.
Shea Oliver: Very nice. Now that you're in the middle of doing it, do you have any regrets?
Paul Limoges: Not For me, no, not at all because I'm still excited and for me I go with what I mentioned before is that if it feels good, that means the right thing and all the way through in this process it felt good for me and now it still feels like our month abroad was great and it was also great to come back because now we're getting ready for another transition. To put our son to university and us to travel to Eastern Europe for the next four months or longer. And then we'll see what, what's next for us. And, I think we're open and it will go with what feels right at the time and whatever it is, I really, for me, it's important to be excited about any plans that we're making or any transitional plan. If it's to come back either in the US or somewhere else to have a regular job. Because for me, one of my goals is I want to go back into executive nonprofit job and big boom. Maybe now I'm refreshing myself, kind of, I said to my employer and the staff I was working with them. It's kind of a reset, little bit ready for something different. I'm going to miss you guys and you know, and send pictures and people are envious. But, when we come back it's going to be as exciting than what we're doing right now because we see this as a project, as an adventure together as a family or as a couple. And now then when the girls go to university, it's an adventure for them as well. So I think living life without regret. That's a great question. I always said, since I'm an older teenager or young adult i don't want to ever say, Oh, I regret something in my life and we remind each other oftentimes in, you know, and...
Tammie Limoges: It goes back to it's not always rosy. Everything you do is not always rosy and you might look at Facebook and think that everybody's life is perfect. It's not whether you're living in the suburbs or traveling the world. There are challenges everywhere, but it's really embracing those challenges, the ups and the downs. And sometimes if you don't have the downs, then you don't realize how special the ups are. So I'm kind of going with the flow of that and saying, okay, today my not be fantastic, but it's leading to tomorrow, which is where, you know, we're going in the direction that we want to go in.
Shea Oliver: So has this experience that you've had made you more confident and feeling more empowered about living your life?
Paul Limoges: Yes.
Tammie Limoges: Yeah. So not living with someone else's plan, you know, I just think we all, I feel that way. You grow up and there's a certain expectation. So by the time you hit your twenties, you should be finishing up college and maybe you've met that special someone and then you start getting pressured to get married and then you start getting pressured to have babies and then when are you going to work your way up the ladder to that executive role. And then I think that's sort of a general cultural thing, but not every person experiences, but generally that's kind of the way things are and when you kind of go against that a little bit and do something a little different, there's some, some fear and doubt that can come into play, but you also have this sense of you're controlling your own life and your own destiny and living out the things that you maybe had only dreamt of before and that others maybe will only ever dream of.
Paul Limoges: For me it's a yes also because it's the gut feeling. I think it's trusting that instinct, that God that I knew that something needed to change and happen. I didn't know what or when? And I think when I made peace with the when, but that I knew for sure that something will be happening. Damn. That's where that thing, it triggered things to make things happen. You know, sometimes I'm being patient is important. So from a spiritual standpoint, if you want it now and right now and you change, you never know.
Tammie Limoges: Don't be your own obstacle.
Paul Limoges: Exactly.
Tammie Limoges: We get in our own way most of the time it's not really other people stopping us. We stop ourselves from doing things that we want to do or taking chances. Again, it goes back to fear for me. It usually is just a fear of something that's unknown.
Shea Oliver: Very cool. Well I really appreciate you guys taking so much time here and chatting with me today. I've got a couple of questions to kind of wrap up with the first one. Is there a way, are you guys blogging at all, or is there a way people can get ahold of you or follow your adventures?
Tammie Limoges: We haven't started that for us, I actually am hoping to do that. I've been writing and taking some notes and things, but our daughter has started her blogging and so is that okay if I give that? So KennediRaye She started on YouTube so she started her vlogs, got a couple of a couple of videos up when she's still working on some editing, so that'll continue and, and should be able to follow all the adventures and fun things that we do.
Shea Oliver: Great.
Paul Limoges: Oh sorry. We have I think the video of a.
Tammie Limoges: Yes, tell you what the video. Sorry, can you just look at with it. The name of it is.
Tammie Limoges: I know, but I was trying to figure out what the name of it is. Travel Inspiration Video That Will Give You Goosebumps on Youtube. That's Travel Inspiration Video That Will Give You Goosebumps
Shea Oliver: Okay, Easy enough. If people want to get ahold of you to to ask questions. Would that be okay?
Tammie Limoges: Absolutely. So my email is probably the best way or on Facebook of course, but my email, email@example.com. Certainly welcome anyone to do that or friend or follow us on facebook.
Shea Oliver: Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So I always end with this question. What question did I forget to ask you guys? And if it was I didn't. That's okay too, but there's a piece of your story and piece of this whole thing that we didn't get to. So what question should I have asked you?
Tammie Limoges: Do you guys think of anything? Yeah, I think you covered it.
Shea Oliver: Hey, I'll take a win.
Tammie Limoges: You've covered it. You did good.
Shea Oliver: Great. Again, I really, really, really appreciate your time and sharing your inspirational story with with us. This has been fantastic, and I wish you guys only the best of luck in your travels, and I hope you and your family continue to go out there and live the lives you want to live.
Tammie Limoges: Well, thank you very much and thanks for sharing our story. I hope that we can stay in touch. I'd love to see what all you find out there. I know there's some really interesting people doing interesting things.
Shea Oliver: Indeed, there are. Thank you.
Paul Limoges: Thank you.