Ideas and Inspiration

After taking over a year off from blogging, I’m back! We are still living and learning at home and on the go, so that hasn’t changed at all. I will be doing a highlights from the past year post very soon to catch you up on what we’ve been up to.

But for today, I’m sharing a review I’ve written about the book UnWorking: Exit the Rat Race, Live Like a Millionaire And Be Happy Now. A few months ago I found out that my friend Clark Vandeventer from the blog Family Trek had finally finished writing a book all about how to design your life and live life to the fullest. I knew this book was in the works for some time, and I was excited to finally get a chance to read it, especially after I found out I had been included in a chapter about education!

I’ve always been amazed at the wonderful experiences Clark and his wife Monica have created for their family. They travel extensively, spend weeks and weeks skiing and taking their kids to the beach. They do interesting work. And they love spending time together.

So I’m thrilled to share some of my thoughts with you today about the book. I really enjoyed reading it! It’s a fun read and an incredible resource for anyone interested in designing their ideal lifestyle.

In a few weeks, I’ll also be sharing an interview I did with Clark where he shares more tips and ideas from his book so look forward to that.

So….on to the review!

In UnWorking, Clark Vandeventer mentions writer Mark Manson who wrote a piece titled 10 Things Most American’s Don’t Know about America. In it Manson defines being wealthy as “having the freedom to maximize one’s life experiences.”  And maximizing your life experiences is exactly what life style design is all about.

I’ve read quite a few books on lifestyle design. Your Money or Your Life, the 4 Hour Workweek, and The Art of Nonconformity. They have all richly added to my life and taught me to look at the world through a lens of creativity and making the most of every opportunity.

And now I’ve read another book that deserves be shelved right along with those I’ve mentioned above.

I have known Clark through his website and other social media for years now. I’ve been able to track his life through words and pictures for quite awhile.  But hopefully that gives my opinions even more credibility because I have seen his family’s ups and downs. I’ve seen the difficult choices and tough work they’ve had to do in order to create their ideal lifestyle.

And I’ve seen the incredible, amazing things their family has been able to do because of their deep belief that living a life that you design based on your individual/family purpose and interests in life is worth it all.

But this book is different from the others lifestyle design books. In a way, this unassuming book written by a new and relatively unknown author resonated with me far more than those more popular, well-known lifestyle design books.

Why? Because Clark Vandeenter, author of UnWorking is someone I can relate to. He’s at a point in his life where I’m at now. He has kids, his kids are living and learning in this world outside the school system, he enjoys a life of long-term travels and fills his days with things that are meaningful and important to himself.

What makes this book so special and different is Clark’s story. Yes, this book does give many important and helpful tips towards designing your own life, but he sprinkles those actions steps over the course of telling you his story: where he started out and where he is now. And it’s his story that allows you to see that if he can do it, if he could overcome so many setbacks in his life and now have the freedom and choices to live epicly, it’s possible for you, too.

He doesn’t sugar coat things. In fact, he’s very real about how hard you need to work towards designing a life that is richer and more meaningful than anything else you have ever known. The focus and intensity it takes to create this epic lifestyle drives most people away from even trying. But if you have the courage to pursue this idea of lifestyle design, Clark is a great coach to lead you in the right direction.

I’m going to end this review with a few of my favorite quotes from the book. If you like what you read, just know that this book is crammed full of more excellent bits of wisdom and advice.

“I’m trying to take a more direct path to happiness. Rather than making as much money as possible and then buying all the happiness that money can buy, I’m doing the things that make me most happy and then figuring out a way to make the money I need to sustain a life of my own design.”

“I’ve discovered that for me, it’s all about achieving and maintaining the freedom to have choices.”

“In establishing your own tenants for achieving and sustaining the life of your dreams, the important thing is to give yourself a framework that will allow you to achieve your goals broadly, acknowledging that what you want long-term may subtly change.”

And my absolute favorite quote…. “While society tells us to buy more stuff to be more comfortable, I’m hoarding experiences instead.”

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Our August 2014 Unschooling Resources & Activities

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After a hectic first two months of summer, this month was wonderfully lazy in comparison. We hung around the house a lot and didn’t travel at all. September looks to be the same way, too, so far. It was a month of both wrapping up old projects like our Minecraft Homeschool class and diving deeper [...]

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Our July 2014 Unschooling Resources & Activities

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 This was an incredibly busy month for us. We had lots of fun, but I am really glad the month’s  over! I know I’ve missed out on recording quite a bit of what the kids did at home on their own since I had so much to do myself without them and couldn’t keep up [...]

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Is Everything Awesome?

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Everything is Awesome! If your kids are like mine, you’ve heard this phrase sung in your house no less than 50 times in the last month. With a son who owns no less than 60-70 Lego sets, I guess it was inevitable The Lego Movie would become a favorite at our house. Not that it’s [...]

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Our June 2014 Unschooling Resources & Activities

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It’s finally summer after months of never quite feeling warm most of the day…and I’m posting our June 2014 learning log at the very beginning of July, too!  Things are off to a great start this month We had the opportunity to do some more travel again this month. We took a 4 day weekend [...]

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Our May 2014 Unschooling Resources & Activities

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I’m almost done catching you up on all that we’ve been up to these past few months. Yea! Next week I’ll actually have June’s Learning Log posted on time Most of May we weren’t even home, so the rest of this learning log won’t be as long as previous months. As I posted last week [...]

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2014 Spring Travel Edition: England, Wales & Ireland

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At the beginning of this spring, my family and I were able to take a two and a half week trip to England, Wales and Ireland. Besides Canada and a British territory, we had never been able to travel to a foreign country on our travels, so this was a very big and exciting trip [...]

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Our April 2014 Unschooling Resources & Activities

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I’m still playing catching up with my learning logs so I didn’t write a lot this month about the things we did- pretty much just made out a list for you! But I’ve included lots of links in case you want to research any resource in more depth. Highlights of the Month: Went to lots [...]

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A Video Highlight of our 2013-14 Unschooling Adventures

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I wanted to share with you the annual DVD I made for the kids’ birthday which highlights some of our favorite memories over the past year. I’ll be back next week to share our April 2014 Unschooling Resources & Activities. Enjoy! Share on Facebook

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