Hi, I'm Vicki!
Together with my husband, Youness, and my two sons, Jakob and Noah, we decided to quit our conventional, suburban life and leave California to travel the world. This wasn’t an easy or quick decision, but as our plans took shape, we realized that we could make some of our wildest dreams come true. Through this blog, I’d like to share how we got where we are now.
I grew up as a military brat, splitting my childhood pretty evenly between the United States and Germany. Because I had a mother who was committed to raising bilingual and bicultural kids, I had no problem going to local schools and making local friends in both countries. Deep down, I knew I wanted something some of these same benefits for my own children. Not having deep roots probably also contributes to my comfort with moving around!
While spending more than a year in Morocco completing public health research, I met my husband, Youness. He was teaching Moroccan and Modern Standard Arabic at a language school in the capital. We both shared a love of learning new languages and exploring new cultures.
I returned to California after finishing my work in Morocco, and decided to attend and accelerated program to become a registered nurse and then a Nurse Midwife/Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner. Little did I know that becoming a nurse would be one of my luckiest moves - it’s hard to rival the flexibility and potential salary of registered nurses, especially in the Bay Area.
I had my first son in 2011, and when my second son was born in 2015, maternity leave gave me the opportunity to reevaluate where my life was heading. I had spent the last 4 years working at a busy OB/GYN practice, while adding shifts as a per diem RN. With two young children, the pace of work was unsustainable, especially without an explicit goal in mind.
This is also when I encountered the FIRE (financial independence, retire early) community online. I started to learn more about managing money, investing and planning for the future. Taking a hard look at our numbers made me realize that I could take my foot off the gas and start enjoying life more, all while still being able to save for a well-funded early retirement.
Youness and I both wanted our children to spend more time with our families abroad, both in Germany and Morocco, and since our kids speak three languages, the language immersion aspect was important to us as well. The typical two to three weeks of PTO at a typical American job wasn’t going to cut it anymore.
We started to get organized and put a plan in place. Over the course of two years we increased our savings and started to sell our belongings, ultimately getting rid of our cars, selling our house and buying four one-way tickets to Munich, Germany. And that's where our adventure began!