Choosing A Life Abroad Over Home Ownership

Ashley and her husband, Carter. Ashley Madden

Written by  January 22, 2019

When society told me settle down, I booked a flight. Here’s why you could, too. 

For me, the moment I graduated from business college wasn’t really that big a deal. After all, I was already working and married. What was a big deal though, was settling down. All over the place, people asked what I wanted to do next, where we would live and when we would buy a house.

However, I had no interest in any of it and luckily neither did my husband. You see, we had both found our passion back in May of 2018, the month we got married and went on our honeymoon. 

Let’s start from the top

My name is Ashley Madden, my husband is Carter Madden. We got married in May of 2018 and I graduated college with a BBA two months later. It was then that I tried the whole “find a job, work, save for a house” routine. It lasted all of three months.

Then, I found freelancing and we found the Working Holiday Authorization Program.

Carter and I talked for about 20 minutes and it was confirmed. We’d follow the dreams our honeymoon had made for us. We’d travel abroad for two years starting in May of 2019. 

That conversation happened in November of last year. Now, I’m a successful freelancer focusing on content creation, marketing, and executive coaching. I was lucky to land a few long-term jobs right off the bat that set me up for success. Carter, on the other hand, is in construction management. While we are working with his company to let him work remote, our backup plan is him getting a job in the cities that we live. Luckily, the whole world has a need for construction managers right now. 

“What will you do about XYZ?!”

Even though we thought it was settled, no one around us did. People asked us questions like how freelancing was going to make us enough money or what if something happened. They asked us how we could just decide to give up everything to travel.

For us, deciding to give up everything was a good thing. We were going to ditch the $1,500 a month housing, car payment, the Internet, the utilities and so much more. With only four bags of belongings, we will have a sense of freedom. Our ability to work and live anywhere will give us new experiences, and over the next two years, we will have a chance to truly live. 

Though there are still some who don’t get it, most of our family has come around. 

"But, these are all just expectations."

You’re exactly right. There is a high chance we will love every minute of it. On the other hand, we could hate it and move right back, get a job, and buy a house before the two years end. However, that’s why we chose this path. We wanted to find out for ourselves. I wanted to see the world and my husband is awesome enough to agree. 

As we work and plan everything from our home in Atlanta, Georgia it becomes more real by the day. There are days that we question life as digital nomads, especially since it involves leaving our two pets with family and friends for the entire time we are gone. We’ve pondered if we are being selfish or greedy by taking this life abroad. However, each time we talk about it, we realize that all of our family and friends are right. It’s something we must do. Though it started with us convincing our family, it’s ended with them keeping us on track.

I think that’s the most important lesson I’ve learned so far.  It might be hard to go against the flow, to try something new, but it’s worth it. I would much rather go on this trip and hate it over not going at all and wondering.

So in the end, if you want to go, you can too. It might take hours or months of hard work and saving, however, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t or shouldn’t go on the adventure of a lifetime. Especially if they’d rather you just settle down and do nothing. They might eventually come around and push you to keep going.

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Ashley Madden

Ashley Madden is a free-spirited digital nomad, writer, photographer and content creator. She owns Helianthus Advising through which she helps small businesses grow. In her free time, she creates videos to help the world.

Website: www.ashleymariemadden.com

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