Not that long ago I took a trip to Mexico without my husband and kids. If you didn’t hear that story, read this, I highly recommend the experience.

Now my family has just arrived to volunteer for 3 months at a small school, in a small town in a little community on the coast of El Salvador.

For me it is a dream come true as I have always yearned for my children to learn a third language and be immersed in a new culture. I want them to learn that Starbucks is not the centre of the universe and that there is more to life than material things. Our lives in Vancouver have been very blessed, but Vancouver is but a speck on this vast planet we live on and I think we need to really step out of our comfort zone to fully appreciate that.

So here we are.

View from the plane in El Salvador

El Salvador as seen arriving by plane.

This decision to pack up our lives and head to the unknown was met with various reactions from friends and strangers: surprise, jealousy, judgement and regret. What really struck me was the number of regretful people who all said the same thing to me: they had discussed going abroad with their spouses but never followed through and now their kids were too old and they knew they would never do it.  I had total strangers telling me to just do it, to go for it because they wish they had, which only reconfirmed my choice.

Kits Beach in Vancouver

‘A tough place to leave on days like this’: Kits Beach, Vancouver BC

I know I am leaving a good job, a safe country, friends, and a predictable life, but in my mind, I have nothing to lose. No mortgage, no pets, two young children, and a job that I could do from anywhere especially with my most recent launch of my Online Personal Training.  So why not El Salvador?

a change of life for our family

Our family settling in to the El Zonte beach life.

Now, I would like to clarify that my family and I are not running away from anything. In fact, life is actually pretty darn good!  I absolutely love my job (working 1-on-1 with personal training clients, teaching group fitness classes, and leading Paddleboard Bootcamps in the summer). I love my clients, my friends and my city, but I struggle with the frantic pace of keeping up, the exorbitant cost of living, the childcare (that negates one of our incomes) and the stress (ours and everyone around us) in Vancouver.

Essentially, I am tired of being tired. And I know nothing is going to change unless I do.

Some might say I am having a mid-life crisis, but I see it more as a mid-life awakening. I feel very grounded right now, knowing that this change in life will not necessarily result in something ‘better’ but something different. Something special to experience as a family: life lessons, languages, communities, culture and more.

So, how did I get here?

As I mentioned, I recently completed my Online Training Certification and Jon Goodman’s course taught me to create my own online training program, giving me confidence, inspiration and strategies to make it a realistic possibility. I am seriously loving the success stories I am hearing from my clients. (I would highly recommend a 1 month trial.)

Tale Back Your Body

I was also fortunate to have stumbled across Rachel Macy Stafford who has been an ongoing inspiration through her books, Hands Free Momma and Only Love Today. Simple and uplifting advice from someone who’s been there: stressed, overwhelmed, overworked, and hugely distracted by it all. I can’t thank her enough for her wise words.

And finally, a fun and entertaining cottage read of the 5 Hour Work Week, by Tim Ferris, got me thinking when he wrote “It’s lonely at the top. 99% of the world is convinced they are incapable of achieving great things, so they aim for mediocre.” Therefore, why not be in the 1%? There is less competition there. Besides, we only have one life to live, and I want to live it well.

I want to be more than mediocre. I have things to do, places to go, and people to inspire!

If you are interested in learning more about El Salvador or just want to live vicariously through our adventures, you can follow our adventures by blogsFacebook, YouTube and Instagram.

I challenge you too to take one small step (or go for a giant leap) towards your personal dreams and share where your life adventures take you.




Written by Dawn Joseph
Dawn Joseph is an Online Personal Trainer who focuses on form and function! She loves to travel and kite board. Train with her online or ask her a question here.