Simply put, travelling the world defines my life. My passion for travel began when I met my now wife, and it soon grew into a passion for experiencing new and wonderful cultures, destinations, and activities. And from there, it blossomed into a business that has completely changed not only my life, but my family’s life. But before I even started to make any money from my travels, I was just that perpetually broke guy trying to make ends meet. We all know a few of those.
My parents were both teachers. They worked hard during the school year, and spent the summers balancing volunteer activities and keeping their three kids busy. My dad was in a folk band that sometimes travelled the country playing outdoor festivals and local gigs.
At home we talked a lot about life, culture, and responsibility. But we rarely talked about money. Money was always “that thing you work hard for.” Money was what we needed in order to do things, get clothes and have food on the table.
My parents were always very careful with the money they made. Paying bills, investing for retirement and using whatever was left over to pay for making a good life for their children. And when I moved out on my own, I followed this same rule of thought.
I moved out of my parent’s house at young age. This forced me to take on many financial stresses and responsibilities on my own without any previous experience or education. I learned pretty quickly that there were a few key basic tricks to surviving: work, make money, and use that money for food and a roof over your head. Wash, rinse, repeat, and use what little was left over to enjoy a few beers with friends and a trip from time to time.
I was not yet travelling professionally. And as my love for travel led to bigger, longer, and more expensive destinations, I found myself simply working less to travel more. As expected, this became a bit of a money woe in itself. It’s hard to travel without money. But when you are working hard to make that money, it’s difficult to take the time off work to go anywhere.
Learning about passive income completely changed my mindset on travel
I was starting to get my own graphic design and photography business off the ground, and as I started getting a few more opportunities, I had more income. Although, because of the volatile nature of my work, I never knew when my next paycheque was coming. I struggled with trying to decide whether to spend this money coming in or squirrel it away to use during the next dry spell. Living in the unknown for a while, I finally decided there had to be a better way to live that still satisfied my love for wanderlust.
Kevin snorkelling in the Philippines.
I started to compare my income and lifestyle to others who were, seemingly, just as qualified but appeared to be floating through life effortlessly.
How are these people flourishing in a world in which I was just scraping by?
How are they balancing their money and time, and I’m not?
What am I doing wrong?
After digging around, I found that that there was one main thing I was missing in my portfolio: passive income. All of these people who travelled extensively found ways to make their investments – whether they be investments of time, expertise, or finance – actively work to support their lifestyles.
Learning about passive income completely changed my mindset on travel. If I had known earlier that there were ways to make money while not actively working, I would have been able to travel longer and further than I had ever done in the past.
My journey was coming full-circle as I found out how to use my family travel experiences as another form of passive income
Instead of nesting away extra money when I had it, I invested it in property, stocks, and business opportunities that would pay out whether I was sitting at a desk or on a beach.
In the beginning, it wasn’t much, but it did take some financial weight off my travels. Eventually things started to pick up, the investments grew, and I was able to gain more capital. I was no longer strapped to work, living paycheque to paycheque, worrying if I had the time or money to go on my next trip. I was gaining control of my life in a way I never imagined possible.
I started sharing my travels on my own website as a way to inspire other parents to travel the world with their children. But I soon found out that I could turn the website into an investment in its own. By developing a following in the travel industry, the website started to pick up traction, and I was able to make some great brand partnerships.
My journey was coming full-circle as I found out how to use my family travel experiences as another form of passive income. And thus, my passion has now become my lifestyle.
Kevin, his wife, and kids exploring the ancient city of Petra, Jordan.
Sometimes I can’t help but wonder how life would be different if I had only known earlier how to make my money work for me. It probably would not have taken me as long to establish myself in world travel. I probably would have spent more of my youth exploring amazing places like Peru, Jordan, Iceland, the Philippines, and so much more.
So as the father of two young boys, I have made it my mission to teach my children the value of money from an early age to ensure they are established and have good money sense before facing the world on their own. That way, they are able to pursue their dreams more actively and passionately than I was able to do during my youth.