"There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine...And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.”

Marianne Williamson

Have you ever asked yourself, "Isn't there more to life?" "Aren't I better than this?" "Can't there be more I could be, do or have?"

Those questions have been the impetus for countless adventures.

It prodded us to drive from Utah to Costa Rica, with our four children.

It inspired us to relocate to the Dominican Republic, to India and to Alaska.

It's driven us to read hundreds of books and listen to thousands of hours of audio on personal development.

Those questions have stimulated us to live with purpose and passion, seek experiences rather than things, to be nomadic on purpose, and homeless by choice. They've helped us to really live.

But the last year I haven't felt myself.

Maybe it's because of all those pregnancy hormones while I was expecting baby number five.

Little Atlas Sterling Denning, born September 11, 2010.

Maybe it's the car accident.

On October 30, 2010 we were hit broadside, and 3 year old Aaliyah broke her femur.

She was placed in a full body cast for the next 14 weeks. That kept us busy.

Whatever the reason, I've been living in 'victimville', complaining, and making excuses for my life.

Instead of thriving and striving, I've been merely existing.

I'd like to be in better shape...

I wish I had more time to read...

It would be great to do more writing...

Rather than being where I want to be, I've got a mile long list of all the ways 'life' got in the way.



Get Ready for a New Era

"Wanting to win is not enough. I have to be willing to work at winning."


Fed up with excusitis, I've decided to give myself a Challenge: 14 Weeks to a Better Body, Brain and Blog.

I know it will be difficult. I know that life will get in the way. I'm planning on it - but I'm committed to DO IT ANYWAY!

(Even writing this post at times I've done it one handed while holding a baby, and experienced countless interruptions thanks to my sweet kiddies.)

So what is the Challenge?


(This plan was inspired and created from Body-for-Life for Women)

My Motivations:

1. To have the energy to fulfill my job as a mother, wife and homemaker (read: make it through the day without being beat by the end of it).

2. Get rid of the baby fat belly. (read: be a sexy hot momma.)

3. Increase my overall fitness/flexibility level so that as I age I can remain fully active. (read: don't get old and dead.)


  • MWF Cardio exercise for at least 30 minutes (currently using Insanity)
  • TTHS Weight resistance training for at least 20 minutes (exercises from Body-for-Life for Women)
  • Daily stretching and yoga poses for flexibility and balance.


  • Keep a food journal to help me be conscious of my food choices and portions.
  • Focus on fruits, veggies, whole grains and average portion sizes. Eat when hungry, stop when full.
  • One 'free' day a week, otherwise no chocolate, or other sweets.


My Motivations:

1. Input determines output. When I listen to and read great stuff, I feel awake, energized and excited about life!

2. By studying 1 hour in my 'field' everyday, I will become an expert (so says Brian Tracy)

3. Develop more patience, peace and calm through meditation.


  • 10 minutes of 'smiling' meditation morning and night.
  • 'Mini meds' throughout the day as needed to maintain peace.


Daily reading with a goal of one of the following books per week (not necessarily in this order):

  1. How to Bring Up a Child by the Mother (I bought this book in Auroville, India)
  2. Essence of the Heart Sutra by the Dalai Lama
  3. What Do You Really Want For Your Children? by Dr. Wayne Dyer
  4. As a Man Thinketh by James Allen (Get it free here)
  5. The Yoga of Action: Karma Yoga by Swami Vivekananda (Given to my hubby in India)
  6. Prosperity by Charles Fillmore
  7. Life Strategies by Phillip C. McGraw
  8. Looking From Within by Sri Aurobindo and The Mother (also purchased in Auroville)
  9. The Bhagavad Gita
  10. A Mother's Book of Secrets by Linda Eyre & Shawni Eyre Pothier (Given as a gift to me from Linda Eyre)
  11. The Gift of Dyslexia by Ronald D. Davis
  12. The Snow Leopard by Peter Mattheissen

Books on audio to listen to throughout the day (when cleaning, dishes, cooking, etc.)

  1. How To Think Bigger Than You Ever Thought You Could Think by Mark Victor Hanson
  2. Get the Edge by Tony Robbins
  3. Goals! How to Get Everything You Want Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible by Brian Tracy
  4. Grow Younger, Live Longer: 10 Steps to Reverse Aging by Deepak Chopra
  5. Dreams Don't Have Deadlines by Mark Victor Hanson


My Motivations:

1. To share all the content I have 'in here', and get it 'out there'.

2. Increase my blog size and blog traffic by sharing all that content.

3. Establish my expertise as a family travel expert.


  • Write 1,000 words per day/Create 1 post draft per day
  • Publish 1 post per day


  • Upload the best of my entire photo gallery (over 15,000 photos total)
  • Create videos of adventures from 100's of hours of recordings

Stories, videos, photos, travel adventures, previously unseen and unpublished.

We're putting it all out there- starting with our road trip through Central America, to living abroad in Costa Rica, then our exploration of the Dominican Republic, our work with the leprosy affected in India, and finally our adventures in Alaska -the good, the bad and the ugly.

Plus, a new and epic adventure is under construction and will be announced soon!


You won't want to miss it.

After an 'off' year, and a break from the road, we've discovered an even stronger conviction to practice The Art of Non-Conformity, to be indefinitely permanent nomads, and to live more than an 'okay' life.

Perhaps our adventures will inspire you to make your own life changes.

You might be tempted to try something different.

You might be persuaded to travel, and take the kids.

You might be convinced that your life needs more passion.

We certainly hope so. If you're not, then I've failed, and there's no reason for you to keep reading.

  1. Subscribe here to get posts as they're published
  2. Get the first chapters of The Art of Family Travel here
  3. Watch the video on why we live our nomadic life
  4. What do you want to know about family travel? Share here.
  5. Start here with posts that will inspire you to live your unconventional life


I want to use this challenge to get my life back on the track I want it to be on.

I don't plan to change the world in the next 14 weeks, but I do want to develop new habits that will get me closer to my short, medium and long term goals, and help me to feel a greater sense of accomplishment and fulfillment.

What areas of your life would you like to make better in the coming weeks?



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8 Responses

  1. Kelly

    Love this! I’m in, and I’m sharing your exercise & diet for body (using Power 90) and input for brain!

  2. Heidi

    Love this! Going public with your goals is a great way to hold yourself accountable.

    And yes I’m with you too. I started Insanity on monday. We also have some pretty crazy financial goals this month also. So good luck to us all!

  3. Shelly

    How will you meet your fitness/workout goals being nomadic? Maybe I don’t understand how you actually “live” each day. And I’d love to better understand how you financially make this happen. Reducing my expenses and giving up the need to physical things and comfort still does not provide an income for what a family HAS to have; food, shelter, heat, education. I am not judging. I am trying to understand how this is really done to see if this is something my family could move closer towards. Because right now, I don’t believe we are really living! Thanks for any help/info you can share.

    • Rachel


      The fitness goals are something we’re still working on figuring out while on the road – we’ll share once we get a system down.

      As for income- we’ve saved money that we’re using, my husband has some jobs and business opportunities lined up along the way, but our biggest area of focus is building our online business so we have a ‘location independent’ income.

      As long as you keep asking yourself ‘how can I make this happen,’ you’ll find the answer.

  4. Shelly

    I hope it is okay. I am going to be blogging about your site and family! let me know if it isn’t


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