Since the first caravan trip we’ve been on the search for the absolute zen happiness. Honestly, while we were travelling, there were many moments that we’re not proud of. Still there were much more of those, that we remember in our hearts. After 6 years of travels we can say we’re in the zen. Let’s dive into the journey of a middle class couple turned into a hippie family.
We’ve just returned from another round-trip around Spain & Portugal. Travels took us some 3.5 months and gave us another spring full of adventures & happy memories. Trip report is in next article.
The Middle Class Beginnings
When I was 23 years old, I have moved from outskirts of Czech Republic to Prague the capital of Czechia. That was year 2003. I’ve joined a few friends to launch our first limited liabilities company Stickfish. Since then I’ve experienced all the fun related to entrepreneurship. Having significant income, having significant debt with IRS, hiring and firing employees and having travelled to places of the world such as USA or UAE. The target was simple — let’s make big money.
I’ve also been in love with BMWs since I was 18 years old, so I’ve spent almost all my income on either, rent, food & drinks or fixing the BMW issues. It was fun, but later I realised, that I was working hard to make other people (servicemen & car makers) happy. So after 5 beemers under my belt I’ve abandoned BMW for Toyota Hilux.
The Switch in 2012
Our values, meaning mine and my wife’s Renata, changed with our girls being born. A lot. And there with the new Caravan ownership began the most rewarding phase of our lives. Our friends changed too. From commenting us as the crazy ones they started to admire that we can travel freely, that we give our kids great fun. Various online and printed media started to write about our story. We found the balance between family, work & happy life.
Since then we try to change lives of friends around us as a thank you. We love to see you listening and changing your own lives to the better. We only share such a short time window together, that it would be wrong to not cherish and cultivate it the few moments we have in this life.
You might be wondering, how that happen. And was that easy? No, not really. As any big change it required a little bit of stubborness and perservirance. Here’s what happened.
The House Debt & Caravan on Credit
Financially we’ve been in pretty deep hole with the caravan being purchased on credit while finishing our real brick house, that was over the budget. We literally had debt everywhere — in a few banks, with our frieds, in the family. It was crazy pressure on me.
In those years I’ve decided to escape the rat race as fast as I could. I asked Rentara to help me. And now I can say that it paid off big time. Now we only have a small mortgage on the house, we have our second caravan, we transformed our Toyota Hilux into a self sufficient Overlanding expedition Car. All that while having money in investments and improving my financial skills every day. And it’s been only 6 years from the time when I felt desperate with all the debt. So it is possible.
Becoming a Hippie
We care less about expensive luxury things. We care less about dirty clothes or scratches on the dining table. We call those scratches “stories” that remind us of the life that passed. We enjoy time together, we visit friends and family as much as we can. We don’t hide our inabilities or different priorities to the “sorry, I’m busy now” mask as many people do it.
And we’re drifting slowly to the hippie style. We’re becoming happier every year. We have friends that still fight in their lives, they focus on buying things, house repairs and improvements. Hiding their inability to change themselves under the everyday work load. They have their fears as we had, but they’re still in the cage of fearing to step out and make the change for the better, more free life.
Other friends, who I highly admire for their business success, focus on their career more than the overall life balance. They try to make themselves think, that doing a great job at work, or pleasing their boss is what would make them happy. It wouldn’t long term. They live their Facebook Lives, pretending that they’re busy, happy & funny, while some of them might be thinking pretty negative in their real hearts and minds. I feel sorry for some them. Hoping they’ll understand their situation sooner than later.
Alternative School & Homeschooling
Our girls are attending an alternative school. That means, they go out more often, they don’t get grades and their teachers are more of guides in their studies, than generals who tell them what must be done. The main purpose of the alternative schooling is not to kill the kids willingness to learn, not to kill the playful spirit right after they leave kindergarten and began the formal education process.
We must say we love the results and the sparks we see in the girls eyes. Even if later in life they wouldn’t be socialized for the standard society, have titles all around their names, they’re on the path of living a fruitful life.
And our experience with homeschooling was not that bad either. We’ve had our fears, but after few months practise, we know we can achieve a lot of educatiuon in a short period of time, because the process is one to one. We also spent more time with kids, doing not just fun activities, but also doing some work together.
Renatas’ Paleo Diet
This year, Renata, my wife, tried Paleo diet based on the book It Starts With Food. So the whole family joined the fun. Since February we didn’t have much white flour, no sugar and sweet products, almost no milk. That itself made us happier and feeling healthier. Sure that we weren’t following the book to the last letter, but we’ve improved a lot of our dining habits. The book is an easy to read bestseller, so do not worry to try it as well.
Ximilar Project & Investing Ideas
Every day matters. We are constantly improving. Constantly reinventing our selves. Pivoting whenever the old idea loses its powers. Just before we left Czech Republic, our company Ximilar acquired assets of Vize.ai a project focusing on analysing images and helping businesses to structure large collections of images or videos. Since we left Czechia in February 2018, things got wild and as I am writing this, we are under crazy load of work. Hiring engineers & trying to merge two great projects together.
We’ve also considered buying a property in Spain, as prices are at lowest levels in 2018 and that is a huge opportunity. But we also love our freedom and so we decided to focus and grow the assets that are digital. As of 2018, loading money to Mintos P2P lending solution, makes the biggest sense for me. Return with buyback guarantee is around 10% a year which easily competes to renting a property.
Vision of our Future
Looking back, the transformation is insane. We’ve realised that the hippie lifestyle is not just flowers and smoking weed, as it’s seen by middle class population. We now understand it more as a philosophy that frees you from the chains of consumerism. We now have a direction to follow, rather than just folating in our lives and watching advertising.
Join us. Or do it your way. Do better for people around you. Don’t forget that you can’t take anything with you when you die. There’s only one “here & now” and there’s not much more than that.