Travel

Interview: Liveworkdream.com

Posted by 9 October, 2008 (2) Comment

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Could you tell us a little about yourselves?
We met in San Francisco, CA where Rene worked downtown and Jim commuted to Silicon Valley. In 1997, we got married and moved to Eureka, CA to get away from the rat race. We started a small home-based graphics and marketing firm serving clients around the country. We grew the business for ten years to the point where it was ready for additional staff, and decided to sell. We marketed the business opportunity ourselves and closed the deal in six months with a buyer who purchased our home along with the business. During that time we decided to take a sabbatical road trip and researched potential RV options, selecting a 24′ Arctic Fox as our home/office on wheels. We hit the road in June 05 2007. Our plan was to see the country and find some land near a community we liked where we would settle down. We quickly discovered this was not possible in one year and decided to start workamping to extend our journey. In exchange for full-hookup sites and/or a stipend, we have worked at an animal rescue in North Carolina, organic farm in Florida, a New Mexico hot springs resort, and most recently a Colorado guest ranch. We see no end to our “trip” in sight, but have begun a serious search for some land where we can set up a home base camp so we can stop paying fees for the items we have in storage.

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(sorry, I couldn’t resist putting this picture in)

I’m impressed with the guts and audacity you guys had to sell your business and most of the things you own to go traveling across America. What do you think was the turning point that propelled you to sell your business and a lot of your belongings to travel across America?

We had always intended to grow our business to the point where we could sell it someday. But this was mostly just talk until our dog Jerry got sick. We had always hiked and camped with Jerry, and we knew we wanted to travel with him. So when he was struck with bone cancer we knew it was time to plan a trip. Since we had his front left leg amputated in November 2006, hiking and camping was out, and we decided to research RVs and market the business for sale. Jerry was given 3-4 months to live after his surgery. He is still with us 22 months later and has become an inspirational canine cancer survivor with a website (www.tripawds.com) dedicated to educating people going through what we did with him.

Do you miss your business and the stable environment it provided?

Not in the least. After ten years, it was beginning to get tiresome and monotonous. Jim does not miss dealing with client headaches and production issues. Rene does not miss the overhead, debt and drudgery of logistics management. Compared to the new daily experiences and myriad challenges of life on the road, running the home based business seems like entrapment, a lifetime ago.

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What are some of the advantages that you guys have enjoyed by full-time RVing?

The freedom to choose our own life path and experience what we want to do, where we want to do it, is the best advantage to full-timing. Equipped with Satellite internet service and solar power, the ability to work and stay connected while getting way off the beaten path is a joy that must be experienced to be fully appreciated. Working online or listening to internet radio where there is not even cell phone service is another enjoyable advantage to life in an RV. And, the often magnificent view from our kitchen table changes almost nightly.

What are you guys doing for income?

Workamping at the guest ranch this summer recently provided us with a small income, but more importantly extreme savings from campground fees and fuel. (We went the whole summer on one tank of gas!) Jim provides on-call internet-based consulting services. Rene is a digital scrapbooking consultant, selling software and traditional crafting supplies online. Our websites include syndicated advertising from Google AdSense and other programs. We are Amazon affiliates which allows us to sell books and other products for small commissions. Our Amazon store at LiveWorkDream.com includes items related to travel and full-time RVing. Our Tripawds.com Amazon store includes resources about canine cancer and three legged dogs. At RVblogz.com we provide free travel blogs for other fulltime RVers. At Tripawds.com we also resell Ruff Wear products — including a harness, dog boots, and a canine life preserver — which help people provide support and mobility for their three-legged dogs. We also have a Café Press store (www.cafepress.com/tripawds) which offers merchandise for three legged dog lovers. None of this by any means will enable retirement for us anytime soon. But every little bit helps us extend our journey.

What are some of the more interesting places you have RVed at?

The best times have been spent boondocking off the grid, far away from others. One memorable stay was in Colorado’s Routt National Forest (Seedhouse campground) at about 9,000′ deep in the rocky mountains outside Steamboat Springs. Another was early in our trip alongside the San Juan river near Bluff Utah. One rather scary memory was in the woods outside Eau Claire, WI where we sat out a tornado warning. A developed campground in Georgia’s Okefenokee Swamp was memorable, primarily because of our alligator encounters.

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If someone was considering quitting their job to RV full-time, what are some of
the preliminary steps they should be doing?

If one is not independently wealthy, three things to think about are to plan, plan, and plan. Preparing a budget is most important. Rene created a detailed financial plan for our sabbatical road trip including all potential expenses which we review regularly. This is especially important with the volatile cost of fuel. We make our planning documents and budgets available at LiveWorkDream.com to help others plan their own fulltime RVing adventure. It is also imperative to know your comfort level, with your living space and your spouse/partner. RVing is very cozy, intimate living. We are very comfortable in our 24′ trailer, even after going from about 3,700 to 200 sq. ft. of live/work space! We budgeted for a few hotel nights each month, but have only spent a couple nights in a hotel all year. And that was because we were workamping in Truth or Consequences at the time and left our rig there while we took Jerry to the veterinary cancer clinic in Santa Fe.

Where do you guys see yourselves in 5 years? Do you see yourselves RVing full
time?

More likely, we will be part time full timers. We are starting to consider going seasonal. Perhaps we will purchase some land where we will park our home for half the year, then travel and/or workamp for the other half. Another idea is to have two small pieces of land — one in the north and one in the south. We could then travel between these two lots seasonally. Regardless, RVing will indefinitely be (a big) part of our lives.

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Is there anything else you’d like to add?

For people who say they can’t afford it, we say think again. Compared to the costs of paying for, maintaining and living in a stick house; full-time RVing can even be less expensive. Do the math — compare mortgage, insurance, utilities, and home improvement costs to fuel and campground
fees. You may be surprised. But when it comes to quality of life … There is no comparison.
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For more information about Jim & René, please take a look at their websites.

www.liveworkdream.com

working to find the dream life

www.tripawds.com

better to hop on three legs than limp on four

www.rvblogz.com

get your own free travel blog

www.agreda.com

the mobile headquarters of Agreda Communications

Photos courtesy of LiveWorkDream.com

Categories : Entrepreneur,Frugality,Travel Tags :

How To Earn 70,000 Air Miles For Only $90

Posted by 8 August, 2008 (1) Comment

This is from the Bestfares.com website. I want to state that I do not in any form or fashion encourage people to get a credit card. People that have a recent history of not paying off their credit cards every month should certainly not sign up for a credit card. However, if you happen to be in the market for a credit card, you can read before and find out how to earn 70,000 air miles for only $90. Very cool indeed.

Before we start, we must advise you that to earn 70,000 air miles on Delta you will need to sign up for three credit cards and also sign up for the frequent flyer programs of both Delta and Northwest.

All of this will take about an hour of your time, but if you have good credit and an extra $90 it can be well worth it.

As of today, Delta’s SkyMiles Awards permits you to fly two people to Hawaii, Central America and to cities in the northern part of South America.

For 60,000 air miles, you can fly two people to the Caribbean or Mexico.

For 50,000 air miles, you can earn two tickets for travel within the continental U.S., Alaska and Canada.

For 50,000 air miles, you can fly to Santiago (Chile), Buenos Aires (Argentina) or one of over 40 European destinations.

To see Delta’s SkyMiles Award mileage chart, please click here.

To accumulate 70,000 air miles on Delta, you will need to sign up for three different credit cards using the special links we have listed below. The three cards are the Northwest WorldPerks Visa Signature card, the Delta Gold SkyMiles card and the American Express Gold Business card. Please note that you do not need to be a business owner or even a business traveler to qualify for the American Express Gold Business Card.

There is a $90 fee for the first year for the Northwest WorldPerks card. Both the Delta and American Express cards waive the annual fee for the first year if you qualify using the special links we are providing.

I guess we should get the Northwest credit card out of the way first. Many of you may be wondering why you need to sign up for a Northwest credit card when you want to accumulate Delta air miles. The answer is MERGER! Currently, Delta and Northwest are in the final stages of their merger which will one larger airline under the Delta name.

As with all mergers we have seen in the past, when one airline merges with another their frequent flyer miles are transferred to the new airline. So if you sign up for the Northwest Airlines WorldPerks Visa Signature card, you will receive 20,000 air miles when the two airlines merge at the end of the year. The 20,000 miles you have with Northwest will be transferred to your existing Delta SkyMiles account.

To sign up for the Northwest frequent flyer program, please click here.

To see the perks and air miles you will earn by applying for the Northwest Airlines WorldPerks Visa Signature, including the 20,000 bonus air miles, please click here.

The second credit card you will need to sign up for is the American Express Gold Business card. You do not have to be a business owner or business traveler to qualify for this card.

Once you qualify for this card you will receive 5,000 American Express Membership Rewards points after your first purchase. To receive 20,000 additional bonus points, you will need to charge $1,000 on this card by October 31, 2008. Now folks, when you can use this card to buy groceries, gasoline or even Christmas gifts, this is not a hard challenge. American Express is also waiving their annual fee for the first year.

American Express also has tie-ins with several airlines where you can transfer your American Express points mile for mile to one of their airline partners. Guess who is one of their airline partners? If you guessed Delta, you win the big cigar.

It’s also not uncommon for American Express and Delta to offer up to 40% bonus miles if you transer your American Express points to your Delta frequent flyer account.

To sign up for American Express Membership Rewards, please click here.

To see benefits of the American Express Gold Business card and to apply, please click here.

The third credit card is Delta Gold SkyMiles credit card. You will first need to sign up for a free Delta frequent flyer membership. This credit card offers you 20,000 bonus miles when you sign up. You receive 10,000 bonus miles immediately and another 10,000 bonus “thank you” miles after you make your first purchase. Plus, if you add two additional family members to your card for free you will earn an additional 2,500 bonus miles per card giving you a grand total of 25,000 Delta SkyMiles. Delta is also waiving their annual fee for this credit card for the first year.

To sign up for Delta’s frequent flyer program, please click here.

For more details on the benefits and how to sign up for this credit card, please click here.

Now in summary, if you qualify for these three different credit cards you are on your way to 70,000 air miles. Here is the breakdown:

Sign up for Northwest Airlines WorldPerks Visa Signature card and transfer miles to Delta SkyMiles after merger Award miles – 20,000 Annual fee – $90
Sign up for American Express Gold Business card, charge $1,000 to card before October 31, 2008 and transfer miles to Delta Award miles – 25,000 Annual fee waived first year
Sign up for Delta SkyMiles Gold card, add two additional family members to your account and receive 2,500 miles extra per person Award miles – 20,000 (plus 5,000 miles for two additional cardholders) Annual fee waived first year
Total amount of awards 70,000 miles Total fees first year – $90
Categories : Frugality,Travel Tags :