Who are We?
We are Sunny Eaton and Karin Balsley, a couple who has sold everything to travel the world. We are both in our mid-30s and from Nashville, Tennessee.
Karin has lived the majority of her life in and around Nashville. Sunny, an Army brat, has lived all over the world but has called the music city home for the last ten years.
In our lives before this journey, Sunny was a criminal defense attorney and Karin a network engineer. Our dog, Gracie, was a world-renowned expert in the art of lounging and now serves as our chief security officer.
Why are we Doing This?
We both had successful careers, a nice house in a great neighborhood, friends we adore, families that mean the world to us - why did we leave it all and decide to live in a tent on top of our car ? There is no short or easy answer to that question but here is the Reader's Digest Version:
A couple of years ago, the universe threw us a series of obstacles that, overnight, completely changed our lives. A difficult year followed that reminded us of the preciousness and uncertainty of each day. We began evaluating (usually over wine) what was important for our lives and what would make each of us happy.
Late night conversations spawned questions like: If we had six months to live, how would we want to spend that time? What would we regret not doing? What are we each proud of? What are we each capable of doing? What were we doing on our happiest days? What would we be willing to give up to have more of those days? What kind of people do we want to be? As a couple and as individuals, what do we really WANT?
It would be months before we could answer these questions fully and the answers are ever-evolving but the recurring themes in these discussions consistently involved: freedom, travel, adventure, challenging ourselves, healthy living, the pursuit of creative outlets, the ocean, the mountains, getting out of our comfort zones and meaningful time with each other.
Before long, an idea happened and a plan developed. We started saving like crazy, sold our house, our cars and all of our possessions to embark on an overland journey down the PanAmerican Highway (and off of it as much as we can) through the United States, Mexico, Central and South America - Tierra del Fuego here we come!
Are we insane? Yes!! But right now, in this moment, we are far happier being insane in this life of travel than we ever were in our day-to-day grinds. Will we go back to our lives? The short answer is – Yes! No! Maybe! We are open to anything. Whatever we do, the one thing I am certain of is that our lives will be forever changed by this experience.
Why the name - Vagabroads?
(VAGABONDS + BROADS – get it?)
It's a little silly, we know...not the kind of name that screams inspiration or epic-ness. But that is sort of the point. In our lives back home, we both "mattered" a lot, often too much - in our jobs, in our communities, to the people and companies we served. Our daily routines were filled with pressure and deadlines and literally, people's lives and companies' success or failures in our hands. Our work defined us. We found that our individual worlds had become small, with each of us at the center, and for very different reasons, we were both becoming disillusioned. Jobs that once filled us with pride and purpose became tedious and unfulfilling, more about routine, crisis management, meeting expectations set for us by others and the acquisition of achievements and material possessions. In our drive to make an impact on the world we had stopped experiencing the world and letting it impact us. For just a little while, or for as long as we can get away with, we needed to stop being us and to just be a couple of broads, vagabonding around the world, making as many memories as possible, having as many experiences as possible and letting go of everything that doesn't matter.
How Can We Afford This?
Click HERE to read a blog post answering this very question.