Barriers to Vagabond Entry

On the road to becoming a vagabond, one encounters several obstacles.  Probably the biggest for most people is having enough money saved so as not to require an income.  For me, I’ve paid off all my debts (except my house), and my anti-materialistic nature has led to several years of thrifty spending habits.  That said, I do share some other obstacles with most, and here’s how I’m dealing with each:

Job

I love my job.  I work for 2Checkout.com, and love the place and the people there a lot.  I like the work I do on most days, and the idea of leaving it is quite sad.  However, I’ve always been able to move from one cool work assignment to the next, so I hope that jobs like my current one will always be available.  My desire to see a smooth transition for what I do there has led me to tell them about my plans even before I had an exact date.  Now that I have a date and everyone at work knows I’m leaving, I feel a sense of relief from the anxiety I’ve been carrying around there for six months.

House

I made the stupid mistake of buying a house some years ago during the housing bubble.  I’ve been trying to sell it for several months and have recently dropped the price by 20K in order to help move it faster.  Don’t tell me about renting it out, because I’ve already looked into that, and the market rental rate isn’t enough to cover my mortgage.  Please don’t tell me to refinance, because I’ve tried that too and been rejected due to the extreme devaluation which has wiped out all my equity.  May-July is the best time to sell, and I hope with the lower price, increased showings, and extra stuff I’m throwing in that it will sell.

Family

This is really a tough one… even harder than selling my house.  The reason is my mom suffers from advanced multiple sclerosis and has lived in a nursing home for almost 6 years.  I’ve been visiting her twice a week for this time, and I know she really counts on me a lot to bring her supplies, deal with her finances, and be an advocate for her in the nursing home.  Out of all the things keeping me grounded in Columbus, this is the hardest one emotionally.  I’ve gotten closer to my mom since my dad passed away in 2006 and she had to move to the nursing home.  I’ve spent many an hour talking to her about traveling, and she’s actually one of my biggest supporters for undertaking this journey.  I do have some money stashed away to pay for some of her care, and plan to hire someone to sit with her for a couple hours a week while I’m away.  I can also deal with her financial issues over the internet, so that’s how I’m reconciling my absence.

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