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It’s the Fourth of July. American Independence Day. A day that our US friends celebrate the indepedence they gained from the British and a celebration that symbolises freedom. America was (and I guess still is) about starting afresh and living life how ever you want to live it. Why else would immigrants risk it all to cross an ocean, be separated from family and friends and start life all over ago without a safety net? The quest for freedom and a better life still reigns today.

Star-Spangled Banner


During a cold, blustery walk along the beach yesterday, Lee and I reflected about what freedom means to us.

Freedom means being able to do and experience what we want, when we want it. It means not being tied down to one spot through a house or a job or too many commitments.

Ask a two-year old and I'm sure they'd say freedom means eating a bag of chips for dinner and sitting in bed watching "The Simpsons"


Freedom means spending as much time as we want with each other and with Reuben. We can see so many benefits from our son spending most of his day in the company of both of his parents. It’s a rare gift that not a lot of children get to experience. We think about other families we know and realise how little time they spend with their children in comparison to us.

It also means spending that all important time apart when we need it, which we definitely do. I’m particularly looking forward to my own spot of independence when Reuben starts preschool in a few weeks. It’s only two morning a week, a grand total of six and a half hours, but I’m sure we will both benefit from a little time apart. I can see that it will be good for him to learn he can do things on his own and without our constant supervision and involvement. I can see that it will be good for me to sit and drink a chai latte on my own and read a book.

Bottom line – money equals freedom. Freedom to buy the experiences we want in our life.

Experiences like a walk along a country road in Thailand.

 “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.” 

We lost a lot of our valuable possessions in the Christchurch earthquake. We see now that it wasn’t stuff we needed anyway. It was just tying us down to one spot. The spot where all your stuff is doesn’t necessary have to be your home.

We strongly believe, now even more so, that money isn’t to be used for accumulating stuff.

We’re human beings not human havings.

We’ve learnt that the focus of our expenditure shouldn’t be on having the latest car, clothes and furniture. It should be on building meaningful memories we can share as a family. In 20 years time I’m not going to remember what pair of shoes I wore when I was 29. I am going to remember spending two months travelling through Thailand and Malaysia with Lee and Reuben.

We know we’re on the right track with living a free and meaningful life. I’d say we’re about 80% there. We have the income, we have the desire and our heads are in the right spot. We just need to sell our house and we’ll be one step closer to living the life of freedom we want.

What does freedom mean to you? Leave a comment below and let us know.


This post was sparked by a discussion through the Families on the Move Facebook Group. Read the thoughts other travelling families have on freedom:

Let Freedom Ring – Gabi at The Nomadic Family.

Are we free? – Heather at Living Differently

The Freedom to Choose – Alisa at Living Outside of the Box

Freedom to Roam – Diya at Minor Diversion

What is Freedom? – Nancy at Family on Bikes

Do you know what Freedom is? – Mary at Bohemian Travelers

Freedom and straying off the beaten path – Kirsty at Barts Go Adventuring‎

Free Falling – Melissa at Break Out of Bushwick


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Showing 6 comments
  • Mary

    Great job! You have chosen to be free and you should be so proud. I love the “We’re human beings not human havings”…so perfectly put!

  • Kirsty

    I love this post! Gorgeous pics as well 🙂

    I know I can get very caught up in material things, my husband even more so, and being at a point now where we’re getting rid of it all, I do wonder why we bought so much. Buying experiences would have been so much better and is how I am aiming to be with gifts for family as well now.

  • Lou

    Great post B – I loved reading your reflections on freedom – you’ve got a brilliant attitude.

    I agree, it’s SO important to spend the TIME with your kiddos, especially while they are young…. I’m fine being a tad skint on 1 income if it means me and Misty can hang out and enjoy each other 🙂

  • Cole @ Four Jandals

    Brilliant post! Good luck moving forward and reaching your goals. I think everyone can always do better at trying to live a meaningful life. We are slowly getting there ourselves and can’t wait to see what the next few months brings for us 🙂

    • Bethaney

      Thanks Cole. Travel is one of the best ways to focus your priorities, isn’t it? Almost as good as a natural disaster!!!!

  • Kathryn

    The pictures in this post are so adorable, especially the one of Reuben and Lee in bed with the chippie packet!

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