We are the Wandering Hartz
Welcome to our life on the road, errr… air/boat or any other mode of transportation out there! We’re digital nomads currently traveling the world seeking new experiences, adventures, and satisfying our curiosity and wanderlust. We hope this blog will serve as a resource for tips and tricks while traveling, provide insights and guides about travel within the United States and abroad, and how to live a minimalist lifestyle.
HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?
Travel has been a shared love of ours since before we even met. Both of us have some of our fondest memories from family vacations in our youth. Michelle was eight years old the first time she flew on a plane, the destination was San Diego and to this midwest girl that was pretty exciting, especially to see palm trees and the ocean. She also traveled to Ireland and ended up living in Dublin for a summer with her best friend in her early 20’s.
Joel’s most memorable vacation took him on a road trip from Washington State down to Disneyland at 10 years old. That trip continued onto Tijuana, Mexico which needless to say was an eye opening experience. Later after high school Joel drove across the U.S. and visited 16 states prior to enlisting in the Air Force a few years later. His time in the military took him to the Yukon Territory in Canada and even the Cayman Islands.
Fun Fact: When we both met Michelle was actually a travel agent!
Fast forward 11 years of saving and frugality so we could travel to places like Austria, France, Ireland, Czech Republic, Turks and Cacios, and Hawaii. Then came 2019.
2019 saw a lot of changes, personally and professionally for us both
Michelle unexpectedly lost her marketing job in commercial real estate and found herself quickly transitioning into self-employment. She moved into consulting and started her own company helping commercial real estate brokers with marketing and recruiting new agents to help them grow their business.
Joel’s work as a film and video producer meant that his “office” was his laptop and his smart phone. His focus had shifted to him producing more film projects with a travel component, taking him to different parts of the United States and beyond.
With both of us now working from home, we made some more changes like converting the guest room of our home of 12 years into an office for Michelle. We quickly had the realization that this was going to be our new normal, with both of us working from our laptops and phones. It became quite evident we didn’t need to stay locked down in one location any longer so we began to look at other options and what it would take to travel full time.
After a lot of discussions, questions, research, and evaluating our financial situation from every angle, we made the decision to sell our house, nearly everything we own and set out living a more minimalist nomadic lifestyle. This was definitely not an easy decision, we would have to make a lot of sacrifices but once we had made up our minds there was no looking back. We just wished we had done this sooner!
Looking back on 2019 it was pretty much a blur starting about June till the end of the year. We had to look at every single possession we owned and make a decision if we were going to sell it, keep it or donate it. On top of that we had to get our house ready to sell, which was a huge job by itself, but we set a goal for ourselves and got it done and we’re so glad we did.
Now that we’ve been living the digital nomad lifestyle for the last eight months we realized just how much stuff we had acquired in 12 years and there’s not one single thing we miss!
HOW WE TRAVEL AND WHY
During the majority of our previous travels, whether for work or pleasure, we never seem to have enough time to enjoy the location. Considering the time and effort it takes to get there we always have to leave just as we begin to settle into the rhythm of a new place.
As a result, we like to slow travel which means when we go to a new location we stay for a while. Our goal is to stay for at least 2 months or longer, that way we can get acquainted with the local culture, meet new friends and explore the area. We also travel because we like it, plain and simple. We don’t have any grandiose ideas that we’re going to change the world or anything but maybe, (hopefully) inspire others to think a little bit differently about how to live, that’s it.
Our hope is to learn more about ourselves along the way, meet new people, find beauty in our differences and similarities and ultimately become better citizens of the world.
Oh, and to have a bit of fun along the way!
SO WHAT’S NEXT? STAY TUNED!
If you want to follow along on our journey you can subscribe by email for monthly updates, reach out to us on Instagram or just send us a note. We really do love to hear from you and want to connect with as many people as possible. So follow along with us and maybe we will see on the road!