In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age
of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this
financially independent lifestyle, they invite you
to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.
Deliberately; A Family in Motion
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli
It’s not every day that one meets a family
like the Dennings. One of our own Readers mentioned to me that this family was
Panajachel, one of the most beautiful locations in
recommended that I contact them.
This family is on a mission; one focused on
discovery, expansion, learning and finding out what it means to be a human being
in an inter-country exchange that began in Alaska and will pause at the tip of
You can’t do this
Greg and Rachel have been told since 2007
that they can’t do what they are doing, that it is impossible. No one can travel
with five children in a tented truck on a budget of around $1,000 month.
Initially shocking to their friends and
family, they are doing just that - and with more joy and enthusiasm than it
The Denning clan in Panajachel, Guatemala
Failure as fertilizer
With solid investments in both the stock
market and in real estate, they were living high when they moved to Costa Rica
in 2007. Renting a 6500 sq foot, fully-furnished, $2 million dollar mansion on
the hill for $3,000 a month, life was good.
Then the markets crashed and took the
Denning’s financial wealth with it.
Amid feelings of failure they returned to the
States and found themselves confronted with plenty of “welcome to reality” and
“see, I told you so” comments. They were bruised but not broken.
“The hardest thing in the beginning was
feeling lonely. We wanted to do something different than what family and the
rest of the people we knew were doing, so it felt like we were leaving the
tribe” says Greg.
“Meeting those dark
nights of the soul and coming out on the other side has been a process” adds
They read personal
development books to keep them motivated and to dispel the loneliness. Defining
their priorities, they got clear on what mattered to them. They knew what they
wanted, and it was not following “the formula.”
the road with a vehicle tent
Homeless on purpose, nomadic by choice
Traveling has been important to Greg since he
was young. Tasting the exotic in Costa Rica lit the fire for rambling in Rachel.
Putting their plan in motion took some mental adventure and creativity.
Converting their truck with a
vehicle tent to give their family more room, they hit the road. They run
their truck on used vegetable oil as fuel and they are able to obtain that fuel
for free or for a low price everywhere they have traveled.
Performing home repairs and improvements in
trade for lodging, and working in campgrounds in exchange for accommodation has
worked out well for them. Sometimes they rent housing – like the $200 a month,
volcano view home they have in Panajachel, Guatemala. Other times they stay in
forests, fields, or in parking lots, gas and police stations. Not being tied to a brick and mortar home
gives them the freedom to explore the world on their own terms and become
experts on location independent living.
Everything in daily life offers an occasion
to teach their children whom they home school. Focusing on a classical education,
they utilize the Thomas Jefferson Education
Principles supplemented with loads
of reading and experiential learning. Greg was a high school teacher in a
previous life, but both Greg and Rachel are involved in
teaching a love of learning to their children. "Once that is understood,”
says Greg, “you can’t stop a child from achieving from that point on.”
With this love of
learning with a foundation of values, morals and having respect for both work and
contributing to others, they are teaching their offspring how to think, not just
memorization. Once their children get to the scholar phase, they will become
self-directed and “I have confidence they will be able to pass the SAT no
problem!” beams Greg.
World Schooling in Yellowstone Park, U.S.A.
become a massive movement and more colleges will accept kids in with proper
scores, regardless of previous education” Rachel adds.
The Dennings use
kindles for books, and if cell phone service is available, then they have their
iphone for internet. They change to a pre-paid local sims card wherever they are
and they pay about $30 a month for that service. Both Greg and Rachel have a
laptop, and Rachel creates content for their popular website DiscoverShareInspire.
“There are those who
live in a small reality. We prefer an expanded reality, giving us more options
on how to live, how to learn, and how to interact in the world” shares Greg.
Paying for what is
There is much to be
learned from this original, energetic couple, but I had another practical
question to pose. How do you take care of your medical needs? Having a family of
five children would put most Americans into mild panic or ultra security mode.
“Our philosophy is to
pay for what is, not for what if,” Greg states matter-of-factly. “We maintain our
health with exercise and good food, and concentrate on staying healthy first.”
Their next line of
defense after this is to go to natural cures for most things, as do the
indigenous and farmers all over the world. They use essential oils which help
them with headaches, stomach aches and fighting bacteria. But, if someone needs
to go to the doctor, then they go. The fact that Greg has worked on an ambulance
at a former job and knows emergency care obviously helps and gives them
Mirror, mirror on
It was odd in some
respects seeing this young family fashion the life of their dreams against what
conventional wisdom offers. It was like seeing a younger version of ourselves:
independent, self-sufficient, creative. We spoke the same language, albeit in a
different tempo. In their mid thirties, and with 5 children, Rachel and Greg
Denning are the generation behind us in age, but I see their thinking to be that
of the future.
For more information
on becoming location independent for living and for income, visit their website
About the Authors
Early Lifestyle appeals to a different
kind of person – the person who prizes their
independence, values their time, and who doesn’t
want to mindlessly follow the crowd.