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Don’t let a language barrier set you back.

Traveling the world is an adventure within itself. Not only are you exposed to a variety of people and culture, but also language. We forget that outside of the U.S there are countries that primarily speak other languages outside of English. That in itself can be a major culture shock. Not being able to communicate can you leave you frustrated and ready to throw in the towel. Don’t do so just yet. Continue reading for how to triumphantly conquer a language barrier and explore a country while living your best life.

There are many resources available to get you by until you are able to practice the language more. Depending on how long of a stay you have in a country, it may not be worth it to invest financially in language classes. There are free resources available on the Internet that are easily accessible and at your fingertips. The first application to download is Duolingo. Keep in mind, this blog isn’t sponsored, this is just my honest advice as I’m speaking from experience. You can find it on Google Play or the iPhone app store for free. Familiarize yourself with how to speak basic words and greetings, such as hello, goodbye, may I, etc.

The next application to download is Google Translate. Google Translate can dig you out of a bind quickly if you get stuck and can’t communicate. However, be mindful of the inaccuracies of translation from the foreign language to English. It doesn’t take into account slang or improper words when translating so you will need to do your best at piecing together what is being conveyed. Another source is to find a translator, of course, this is more of a costly choice and requires you to communicate to find one.

For more information on how to navigate through language barriers with a limited amount of knowledge, watch our Youtube channel. We have a ton of resources available for traveling families.

Once you learn a few words, practice them with people you may come across while you’re touring the area. The best place to practice is in a taxi or at a restaurant because you usually have the other person’s undividend attention and they may be willing to help you. Please understand you will feel uncomfortable and at times embarrassed. It is just the nature of the game. Hopefully the reason you are traveling is to get out of your comfort zone and immerse as much as you can without overwhelming yourself.

5 ways to cope with anxiety while on the road

Redesigning your life can be long a process and not really a fun one. It’s the breaking down of the depiction you have of yourself to slowly rebuild the true version of you. We previously defined ourselves through our jobs, our cars, our house, and all of our accomplishments. We had a false sense of who we were and coming to grips with that is a hard pill to swallow. Read on for five techniques to cope with anxiety and depression while you’re on the road.

Exercising is a healthy way to cope with anxiety or depression.

I believe the first step to unpacking the emotional pain we have is to be honest about it’s existence. Exercising is a great technique for physically working out the stress that clogs our minds.

Eat healthier and surround yourself with positive people.

Acknowledging that we aren’t feeling too good could open the door for someone to help us or for us to get help for ourselves. Questioning our feelings and how we got there could be the start to analyzing where the emotions stem from. Taking better care of your health can be the first step to improving your life and way of thinking.

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Sometimes therapy and even medication is required to get out of the dark whole we wind up in.

While traveling it can be more complicated to seek help due to the acceptance of your insurance and other limitations. It is extremely important to look into as many options as you can so that you enjoy your travel without the baggage (no pun intended).

Improving your well being will always be a working process.  Our goal as a family is to consistently work on being the best the we can be. That means breaking down fears and anxieties. It means examining certain behaviors and asking ourselves how can we do better. It is a goal that can never fully be obtained and that we believe is the truth to finding happiness.

For more blogs or an update on where we are visit our website at www.atravelingjones.com or check out our Youtube channel for content for family travel.

4 reasons why we chose to move to Medellin

If you follow us on Youtube, you know by now we are in Columbia and have been here since the beginning of the year to start a new adventure. Initially, we were very nervous and didn’t know what to expect. We’ve heard great things about the country, but we didn’t know anyone personally that made the jump to live here. We took our entire family over and we want to share our experience with you so far. Read on for four reasons why we chose Medellin, Colombia.

To learn Spanish.

Our family goal is to learn Spanish and be fluent enough to order from a menu, catch a cab, ask what time it is, etc. We will most likely learn at different times while we are over here because we all have different learning styles and schedules. Not only will my husband and I learn Spanish, but our two kids as well.

Our goal is to enroll our children in a Spanish speaking school to pick up the language faster. We will continue to provide a US curriculum at home. We will share more details about the schools in a later blog for those interested. They are much younger and have a better chance of picking up the language faster. Spanish tutors are also very affordable and it is easier to learn a language by completely emerging yourself in the culture.

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It is more affordable.

After doing a massive amount of research, we’ve learned our dollar stretches much further in South American than it does in the states. We have a few income streams with side businesses and gigs via the Internet. We would like to pursue more of our personal interest while having a good time and not worrying about paying bills. Some of those interest include learning Salsa, scuba diving, meeting new people and or families, and taking up martial arts.

The climate.

Did you know that Medellin is known as the city of Internal Spring? It’s not too hot and not too cold, just right to positively affect our moods. At night you may need a light jacket, but it is very comfortable to the say the least. Right now, in Atlanta where our home is, it is most likely 50 degrees and people are tucked away in their homes until it gets warmer outside.

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Photo by EA on Pexels.com

The people.

The people here are very friendly and helpful. Are you surprised? Even with the language barrier, I’ve noticed people are still willing to help you. It can be a little intimidating not being fully fluent in Spanish and trying to get somewhere or carry on with life, but it challenges you to get out your comfort zone and accept the help.

Hopefully, this helps as to why we made the decision to move here. We don’t know how long we plan to stay, but we are taking our time and enjoying the city. We also plan to travel within the country, so stay connected and follow along on Youtube or on our website for travel updates. Maybe you can learn what to do or not to do before taking your big step in traveling.

3 major tips to help transition living in Colombia after a week’s stay

If you follow us you know by now we are living in Colombia. We arrived on January 1st, 2019 at 1:13 am with four bags of luggage and two little kiddos. We left the airport in a tiny yellow cab with our luggage squished in the trunk and front seat curving around mountains as if we were in a driving video game. Although it was scary transitioning here we’ve been here a week and already belong to a small embracing community helping us transition into the Colombian life. Read on for three tips  I’ve learned so far.

Join Social Media Groups 

The first benefit is to find Facebook groups to follow. Chat in those Facebook groups for answers to many of your questions you might have when transitioning to a new country. This is how I was able to find so many contacts within one week of my stay here. Meet up with the people you find in the Facebook groups. Usually, they offer meetups or functions for networking. It is very important to meet people face to face to build a connection and exchange information. You may also learn how those people are connected and how you fit in for a long term relationship.

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Use the Internet as your Research

Secondly, do as much research as you can about the area you’re traveling to. There are so many resources available to research an area. Youtube helped us out tremendously, Google Maps, where you can get a wide view on the area, or search Airbnb for not only places to stay, but things to do while you’re there.

Talk to the Locals

This tip may be limiting as there may be a language barrier. If you know the local language then you will have no issue. If you want to talk to the locals you can find a translator, usually, they’re inexpensive and ask questions about the area on how you should conduct yourself. The option of finding someone who speaks English and the native language may be available as well.

For more tips, you can follow us and learn about how to transition in a different country. It is very possible and is not as hard as you think. You can follow us on Youtube or our social media platforms for additional content of our travels.

3 New Year’s goals for our traveling family

Our family has been on the road for six months now.

In this short amount of time, I’ve unexpectedly learned so much about myself and my family. This trip started out as an adventure to see more places, but it has evolved into so many other great benefits. Read more for three goals we have for our family in 2019.

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1. Be more flexible; have an open mind

If it’s one thing I’ve learned being on the road it’s to let go and go with the flow. What I mean is if your original plan gets altered for any reason don’t freak out. Things change constantly – keeping an open mind when you’ve made plans that things may change makes life a little bit easier.

2. Live in the moment

I know living in the moment sounds very cliche. I wholeheartedly agree with you, but it’s never been truer to me than it is now. We take life for granted when we’re in our bubble of daily routines. We’ve been fortunate while traveling to slow down time a bit by living more in the moment. Sitting down and playing with our children or going for a bike ride in the middle of the day has made us more grateful for the precious moments.

3. Invest more in ourselves individually 

As important as it is to invest in each other as a family, it’s just as important to invest in our own individual skills and talents. For example, my husband is the diver in the family. He wants to work on improving his diving skills. I would like to take a video editing class this year. Our youngest is into singing, why not invest in singing lessons? I think you get the point. We need to grow to be people to be better for each other.

For more about our adventures in 2019 or this past year check our website or our YouTube channel. We post weekly updates.

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5 reasons you should travel young.

People think traveling is only for the rich. That you must stay at an expensive penthouse and have room service every night to feel like you’re on vacation. Did you know traveling can be inexpensive and you don’t have to make a lot of money to see the world? People all over the world are ditching their 9-5 jobs, houses etc. to. live more with less. Living smaller lives to travel big is the quickest way to make your desire for traveling happen sooner than later.

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Here are five reasons why you should at least think about seeing the world now than wait until you’re retired.

  • Traveling teaches life experiences.

You can learn life experiences at a regular job, but the benefits are less than if you meet different people everyday and learn experiences from first hand contact with the world.

  • Learn more about yourself and other cultures.

Traveling in my opinion makes people well rounded. You learn other ways of life besides what you are familiar with everyday and this unconsciously stimulates your growth as a human being.

  • Adaptable to different life situations.

Life throws curveballs at us all the time. If you are alive you will go through avoidable struggles that are outside of your control. Learning to adapt to other cultures teaches you to think on a broader spectrum. Generally you have an understanding that it’s not all about you when you are facing life hurdles.

  • It teaches patience and humility.

Learning a new language can be the most humbling experience known to man. Being in an unfamiliar place and having to ask for help to do normal things can be a bit intimidating. It teaches you to connect with others and to be humble because at the end of the day we need others to survive.

  • It creates opportunities.

Traveling can open the door to not only learn more about who you are, but it can attract opportunities you’ve never thought you would be interested in. For example, you may find while during your travels you like to write about your experiences with trying new foods. This may open the door to an opportunity to have a blog or start a social media page that can lead to success. You never know right?

Quitting your job and exploring the world can be risky and not for everyone. If you are thinking about it, weigh out the pros and cons and research if it is right for you.

For more information check out our channel on Youtube  or email us for questions.

How to maintain your hair in a RV.

I know a lot of people may be wondering how the upkeep must be on maintaining healthy hair in such a small space. I’m here to tell you it is definitely possible and it’s just like living in a house. My hair regiment is very simple and I make most of my own hair products. I find the hair products found in most stores are costly and have too many chemicals that dry out my hair and leave it feeling horrible. Not only am I able to maintain my hair, but also my daughter’s hair as well. I will share some really simple tips to keep your hair healthy and beautiful in a RV.

First, set how often you need to shampoo your hair. For me and my daughter’s hair it is every two weeks. I make my own shampoo that leaves our hair feeling soft and moisturized after the wash. The shampoo I use includes raw African black soap and essential oils. It also has a fresh scent which adds a great benefit after shampooing your hair. I use a recyclable glass container which is less harsh on the environment to store it. Also, consider where you wash your hair. We clean the kitchen sink and wash our hair in it. It is just easier to do and it keeps the soap out of our eyes. Everyone has their own preference and that is ok. The only thing to really consider is if the shower or kitchen sink works for you and your method of camping. Generally we use RV parks so we always have access to dump stations and water at all times. Another suggestion if you don’t want to use all your water is use the bath house at the campground. You can use all the water you want and don’t have to walk far from your RV.

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Next, after shampooing I am most concerned about retaining moisture so I use a deep conditioner to stimulate my roots and leave my hair feeling soft and light. I use a plastic cap to seal my hair after twenty minutes and wrap it in a towel to trap in heat. I also have a portable steamer which you can find on Amazon. It works and the parts breaks down which makes it really easy to store in a tiny space. It leaves your hair feeling amazing after sitting under the steamer for at least twenty minutes. I also used this on my four year old who can’t get enough of it.

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Finally, I twist my hair as a protective style. There are a few reasons why I twist my hair in between styles. It is a way to manipulate my hair less so that it can grow. It also keeps my hair moisturized in between washes which helps retain length. I make a twist butter that is creamy and easy to apply that keeps my hair smelling good and healthy in between washes. It is a multipurpose product so you can use it on your body as well for the same results. This product is made with organic raw shea butter, essential oils, plus a few more oils to keep you hair shining and growing. I hope this helps and good luck on your hair journey while traveling!

I also have a Youtube video on the shampooing process for more information. Link: “How to maintain your hair in a RV”

 

 

How long should you travel as a family?

I find this topic an interesting one for several reasons. I’m not here to dictate the amount of traveling a family should do. I’m no where near an expert at traveling, but I think this is a good question to debate. How long is too long on the road?

I think in order to answer that you must first know what you want to accomplish during your travel.

Does your family want to travel domestically only or a combination of domestic and international travel? You also may want to ask yourselves as a family how important is it to see museums, beaches, mountains, historical landscapes, etc. This all plays a major factor if in and when you will see the places you want to see and how long you will spend time in each place.

Do you still own your home?

Next, in order to determine the appropriate amount of time to be on the road it would heavily depend on if your family sold your home or if it is being rented out. If you are completely home free, then you would be free to roam and wander for as long as you need without having to get back to your home. If your family went the route of renting your home like us, it would depend on how long the lease is of course. Choosing the right lease agreement can be very tricky. Renters usually stay anywhere from 1-2 years. We rented our home to another family for 12 months and as of now we aren’t interested in going any longer than that, but things can change.

Do you want to travel for more than a year?

We plan to travel for as long as possible. We love seeing new places, learning new cultures, and meeting new people. Even after we return to our home we still will find a way to travel the world. Traveling is our passion and it gives us time to connect as a family and make everlasting memories. Can you see yourself living in a tiny space with your partner and children if you have any? It can be challenging and get rough at times. Ask your self if it is something you just want to do on the weekends rather than going through the process of selling your house and personal possessions. Traveling long term may not work for every family.

Leaving one life to live another.

Managing a life on the road can be tricky especially if you’re a newbie. It’s leaving one life to live another if you travel full time. There is an adjustment period that happens that most people don’t talk about. It’s the fight or struggle of trying to do things the way you did in a stick and brick house versus in an RV or movable home. Everything changes really fast and if you aren’t careful you won’t realize that you’re in tug of war with yourself to do things the old way because that is the space that is most comfortable. This lifestyle requires a ton of self management and flexibility. Plans don’t always work out which means you have to be willing to go with the flow.

I set my own schedule each day and that took some time getting used to. I’ve learned that I’m a person that craves structure. It minimizes my anxiety and keeps me focused when I set out a plan for the day.  It was always my dream to set my own schedule and travel the world. Schedules are opt to change and that is where flexibility comes in to the picture. Keeping an open mind when things don’t go right is a skill and unfortunately I’m still learning to master it.

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What you can do to maintain a life of full time travel? You can first explore how you can pay down your debt. You don’t want to get on the road with a lot of expenses. Next, you can find a remote job or see how you can make money online. There is also free lance work available for those who are experts in a specific skill. There are also many teaching English jobs online that make decent money. That is how I started out when I first got on the road. Create an expense sheet and see what’s the smallest debt you can payoff first to keep the momentum going. Then slowly work your way up to the highest debt.

It took us a year and a half to prepare before we officially took the jump and we still have a lot of work to do. Although, it still wasn’t perfect when we took the leap we learned that there will always be adjustments to make. You never reach a final point of completion or perfection, it’s more like a steady climb. The best part is that it is the best decision I’ve made in my life besides get married and starting a family. What I know for sure now being on this journey is that my soul is happy. The dollar amount that I make isn’t as nearly as important as it was because I don’t have as many things to maintain.There are still hard times and hurdles to overcome, but I’m choosing this life which makes it all worth it. This is something I really wanted to do, I pursued it, and it is working, I call that pretty freaking successful.  Cheers!

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Six steps on how to recover from being homesick when traveling full time.

Traveling isn’t always glamorous and can get a little redundant just like normal life in a house.

Traveling isn’t also a quick fix to the issues you experience internally (for ex. anxiety or depression). There is an adjustment period when traveling that most people don’t discuss, but sometimes the feeling of being homesick creeps in and you want to go back to a familiar place. 

Beginning stage: Prepare for your journey by researching the culture.

Ensure you are ready for your journey and new environment because it will take some getting used to. You can never fully be ready for the unknown but leave some room mentally that things may not look or feel the way you imagined it in your head.

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Initial happiness: In the beginning, you will feel pure bliss from traveling and seeing new places.

Just know the blissful feeling will wear off. Once it wears off you need to remind yourself why you are living the lifestyle and try to do some new things to mix it up. You may even need to touch ground in your home base to reconnect with some family and friends and that is ok. (using Skype or a digital means to talk to a familiar face is also a useful tool)

Frustration: If and when the blissful feeling wears off you will get annoyed by your new living arrangement.

Everything is different and unfamiliar, so you will need to check in with yourself or a close friend to stay connected to the reason you are traveling. There may be some stores that aren’t easily available such as Walmart or Chipotle. You may not be able to run to the store to get a hair product like you would at home and feel that you just want to be done with the new place you are visiting. These feelings are completely normal and please hang in there it will get better.

Adjustment: You get used to the new customs and culture of your new home.

You find it less of a challenge to adjust to the new environment around you and start to settle in. At this point, you may want to find a part time job or a community event to meet the locals. Find a comfortable routine that works with your schedule. After some time you should begin to feel like you are adjusting well with the new culture.

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Adaptation: Troubles don’t last always.

Once you begin feeling comfortable with the culture, you will start to feel a sense of biculturalism, where you identify and even like the new culture you are experiencing. Everything that was once foreign and odd to you now feels comfortable and normal. You may even meet a few friends to include in your site seeing. A suggestion would be  to learn the native language or try some different foods in your area.

Re-entry: Going home.

When you leave this foreign culture to return home, you may find that you go through these stages all over again. It is no place like home. Having a homestead or home base is a essential part of traveling and takes the ease off of feeling homesick. It also gives the opportunity to reconnect with family and friends. This is normal and healthy way to enjoy life on the road.

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