Our Goals for 2015


In 2014, we lived in Germany, spent a full month on the French Mediterranean coast, and visited 17 other countries. And at the end of the year, we decided to move back to Richmond, VA (having just counted the number of countries we visited last year, I’m now wondering why). Safe to say, 2015 will be a bit different than 2014, and our goals for the year will reflect that.

In 2014, our goals were to break even financially while in Germany, which we did, and travel to as many places as we could, which we also did. As our German visa expiration date loomed, we wanted to make some decisions about where to live, and what we want our life to be like long-term. I’ll write more about that decision process at another time.

2015 will be about building. Building strong sources of income and building a lifestyle that balances our desire for travel and adventure with our desire to not mortgage our future pursuing it. Our goals for this year reflect that. Rather than all travel all the time, we’re focused on creating a lifestyle. So here are our goals for 2015:


1. Create an independent source of income (independent from a traditional employer). This is goal #1 for 2015. We are each starting businesses that we hope can generate income from anywhere in the world. As we’ve previously written, our desire is to live in Richmond full-time, but with the ability to spend extended periods of time elsewhere (while mixing work and play).

Erin will be (already is?) a nonprofit consultant, specifically performing and advising in communications and fundraising. She actually got a head start on this, with her first clients signing on in late 2014. Go Erin! Many of her clients will be in the Richmond area due to her network of contacts, but she isn’t limited to local nonprofits. By the end of 2015, look for Erin to be a highly-valued NP consultant with clients all over the country!

And I will be parlaying my successful walking tour in Freiburg (which I’m still hoping to sell, in case you know anyone), into a food tour company in Richmond. Yellow Umbrella Tours will first offer food tours in the Carytown neighborhood, and once up and running, I’ll determine the best way to expand – new neighborhoods? Themed tours? Bigger cities? It’s all on the table.

This goal is by far the most daunting. Just thinking about everything it will take to build successful companies is exhausting. But we keep reminding ourselves that no successful venture is ever built in a day, and a year is a long time. Let’s see what we can accomplish before December 31st!

2. See something amazing in the US. We’ve done a lot of traveling outside the US lately, but we’ve only recently realized how much there is that interests us at home. We plan to do a lot of exploring our own country in the future, but for 2015, our goal is to take at least one “highlight” trip (goal #1 will make this a year of fewer travels, and that’s ok). As of today, our most likely destination to satisfy this goal is Niagara Falls (hey, part of it’s in the US!), but other possibilities include the Grand Canyon and Yosemite National park. If you know of a little-known place within the US that is truly a must-see, let us know!

3. Various personal goals. We each have a few personal goals that don’t involve business or travel. I want to practice German for a few minutes everyday (I know, I don’t live there anymore), complete five consecutive muscle-ups (that’s this), and improve my photography skills, among others. Erin wants to deadlift double her body weight and possibly compete in a weightlifting competition, practice her culinary skills with new cooking toys, and read more non-Buzzfeed literature.

What are your goals for 2015?

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