As a kid I was a poor sport when playing games.
I would lose and lose. Then, when I would finally win a round I’d walk away, claiming, “I’m the winner! I’m done!”
Yes, I was that kid. Everyone would be mad at me and probably throw objects, but I didn’t care. Why? Because I left the game feeling like a winner. I was MJ leaving the game at his prime, not looking back!
This is kind of how I feel after 2014. Alyssa and I had a pretty epic year. There is a small part of me that’s intimidated to try and even top 2014. As a result of this pressure, I’ve let up on my writing and consistently publishing blogs, something that’s really important to me.
After all, here is a short list of what we accomplished in 2014.[ul type=check-2]
- We got married (whoop!)
- We bought our first RV.
- We traveled to 48 states, countless national parks, and saw the most beautiful parts of America
- We filmed a documentary
- We were on national TV (3 times!).
- We both wrote more blogs than in any year prior.
- WE WENT TO DISNEY WORLD (yes, meant to type this in all caps)
It’s difficult for me to look at this list and not feel pressure to do something awesome. At times I feel paralyzed, like maybe I should just not write any more and “go out on top”. I would hate to somehow screw up and then feel like a failure after having a few wins.
But for some reason, my wonderful wife and I are mustering up the courage once again to reach for the stars. In 2015 we are attempting to yet another huge quest.
[highlight]In 2015 our next big goal is to pay off $27,000 in student loan debt (all of which is mine). [/highlight]
I also think it’s worth mentioning we didn’t accrue any debt while going on our 48 state RV honeymoon. If you didn’t get a chance to read it, I shared some details about the fact that we actually only spent $3,000 on our entire trip. The rest of our trip was completely funded by our sponsor, through our writing, and my consulting work with an author.
Why is this your goal for 2015?
Last year we had a lot of fun traveling across America. It proved to both of us that we could live a life true to ourselves, while also making money and traveling. However, the fact that we have a lot of debt is glooming over our heads now that we’re not constantly on the move. We both agreed this is our number 1 priority for 2015.
It would be really easy to keep making money, paying the minimum amount I am required to pay for my student loans, and keep going about our lives. But we’ve seen way too many people end up thirty-five years old or older who still carry student debt around with them. I don’t want to bring kids into this world and start thinking about having THEIR college to pay for while still paying my own student debt. That sounds awful.
$27,000 is a lot of debt, how do you expect to pay that back in one year?
Well, for starters we’ve become pretty good at cutting back from unnecessary expenses. For instance, right now we’re living in arguably the most expensive part of the United States (greater Silicon Valley area), and instead of paying $2,500 for a one bedroom apartment (yes, they are expensive out here) we are continuing to live full-time in Franklin the RV. Sure, it would be nice to upgrade to an apartment or rent house, but we’ve decided to make paying off debt a higher priority than comfort.
Our next strategy for paying off debt in 2015 is the work I am currently doing with an author. I’m using my travel experience to plan a book tour for a Random House author- Jia Jiang, as well as creating an online course to help his community get over the fear of rejection. This is currently paying the bills and then some, and since part of my work is commission based we are hopeful this will enable us to bite a big chunk of our debt out this year.
We will also continue to freelance write for companies we believe in (such as Good Sam and DoItYourself RV, and we’re also considering taking on clients who want some help with film and media. Since we’ve picked up quite a bit of skills while filming for Hourly America and at a couple conferences along our trip, we feel we can also help businesses communicate the message of their brand.
So yes, in 2015 our next big adventure will be paying off our student loan debt. It’s not as sexy of a quest as traveling to all 48 states in an RV or working a job in every state, but it’s equally as freeing and 100% align with our mission to live a simple, happy life.