Wanted: A Life of Bikes and Family Time

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  There are really only two things that matter to me and that is Family and Bikes….the rest is just stuff.  But I’m not sure if people realize how serious I am about this.  It sounds like a pretty simple thing to achieve, but I’m finding the search a little tougher than you would think.

You see, there are a few more factors that go into making this life of Family and Bikes work the way I anticipate.  I’m very much a cold weather wimp so I need to be located in a place where I can comfortably ride year round and terrain flat and safe enough for my Wife and Kids to ride as well.  So a place like the Netherlands would definitely provide the bikey culture and infrastructure for us to be a Family that lives on our bikes…but there is no way I could take the winter conditions.  Not only that, but being Canadians we can’t just walk into any country and stay there indefinitely.

Yeah, the immigration and residency issues are definitely the toughest part of fulfilling this goal of mine.  I’d still like to slap the Canadian politicians who didn’t seal the deal back when Canada was looking to buy Turks and Caicos.  And I’d like to slap them again for not buying Barbados when they were looking into it as well.  If one of those deals would have went through, there is no doubt in my mind that I’d be living there right now…riding bikes and enjoying life with my Family.

Once you get through the issues of relocating to a new country, there’s the issue of finding a way to make money.  This part of the puzzle is actually not as complex for me as the immigration deal is…but still one to think about.  Ideally, I’d love to find the location which is cheap enough to live in that we can live comfortably off my internet based income and not have to worry about making any local money.  Otherwise, starting up a cool local business that allows my Family to all work at it together would be a nice little option as well.

Okay, so I’m a Canadian living here in Austin, Texas….pretty dang close to my ideal scenario.  But living on a work permit that allows me only one more year in the Country is reason enough to find something different.  Add to it that the infrastructure in the area we currently live is not at all conducive to any real bike commuting for my Family.  There is the option of moving to a different area of the city that would be more bike friendly, and to find a company who’s willing to go after a green card.  But I’m not interested in working for “the man” and without doing that, a green card is not really available (unless I have a cool Million dollars to invest into a business).

So there you have it.  The Loving the Bike Family will be on the move soon and have been working on it for much longer than I desire.  There has been hints, tweets, and rumors floating around….and the big picture will be revealed soon.  But one thing is for sure…..creating a life around the Bike and my Family is not as easy as it should be.

It might have taken me more words to say this than it should, but what I’m trying to say is that nothing is impossible.  If you have your mind set on what you want to achieve, keep focused on it….and it will happen.  Big Dreams, baby….believe in them.

If anyone has suggestions or ideas on where to find the ideal location I’m looking for….I’m all ears.

  • Jay

    Consider the Denver/Boulder area. World class cycling, great weather, family friendly and not nearly as expensive as Austin, etc. I’d be happy to guide you around some amazing rides!

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Thanks, Jay. Although the weather isn’t ideal for me, I have thought many times about how nice it would be to live in the Boulder area. I have some good friends in that area and it sounds great.

  • http://twitter.com/SkipjackPublish SkipJack_Publishing

    Hey Guys (LTB Family)
    You can check out any time you like. But you can never leave. :) You guys are to great too leave, you need to stay! There, glad that discussion is over. HAH
    Seriously though, unfortunately it doesnt seem like anywhere in the US is going to allow you to achieve your goals. Immigration issues aside the cost of living in the climates that you are looking for are going to make it a difficult.
    Of course the problem with some of the remote “dream places” is that there are often hidden costs and “barriers to entry” that make those challanging as well. as I know you know.
    Austrailia is a beautiful place with awesome friendly people but….. I am not sure it would really be any easier there than it is here.
    Talk about this reminds me of my parents who moved to the US Virgin Islands (from Connecticut), in 1962, to find a simpler and better life. They did, and I am grateful for the childhood I had, but time caught up with that place too. And what they fled from, “civilazation”, followed them there.
    So what I am saying? No matter where you go you are going to face challanges in getting to your goal. You guys though are the type of people that will make wherever you are, great. At the risk of sounding like an old fart though, your family right now is at this incredible wonderful collective age, that is SO fleeting. You are going to wake up one day, a LOT sooner than you expect, and those beautiful kids of yours will be gone.
    I think some people make the mistake of spending thier lives trying to GET to the place they want to live (location, wealth, status, whatever) instead of actually living while they have the chance.
    I know that you guys, however, have it figured out.

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Great advice and comments as always. Thanks for sharing this, Eric.

  • Jenna

    Beautiful

  • http://www.lifes2wheelbalance.com Anthony Lussier

    Can you not renew your work visa? (sorry don’t know much about this) I know of a couple who have been in the US (From Poland) for a few years now and plan to stay a while to earn decent money before they go back. They’ve been here at least 5 years now. As far as a city or place to live, shoot San Diego has just about the best weather you could ever ask for. Great routes for climbing, or you can shoot up the coast, drive a couple hours to see snow and the desert if you’re into the off road stuff and bike lanes galore for it all :)

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Great advice, Anthony…..I really do mean that. If we were to stay in the US, San Diego would definitely be a top choice. Not sure that I could convince my Wife to move there as all that “California falling into the ocean” talk really doesn’t sit well with her. I’m pretty sure I could extend my visa for another 3 years for sure, but after that I don’t know what options we’d have. It’s really too bad that they can’t just open the boundaries up between Canada and the US and let people live where they want. That would be cool.

  • Spencer D

    Just that you are wanting to do something to go after your life’s desire is incredible enough. I do hope you find that place you are looking for, but i also want you to take pride in putting on the shoes that will take you down that path.

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Thanks Spencer, I appreciate your kind words. Yes, I do take pride in my choice of lifestyle.

  • http://www.reasons2ride.com/ Joel Phillips

    I always thought Gilligan’s Island would be an awesome place….Of course I kid, kinda…the castaways wanted to get off the island & I would trade places with them. They hade everything they needed, roof over their head, food, the greatest radio on the plantet and each other. Why would you want to get away from that??? Of course on an uncharted desert isle, you’d need to get fat bikes, and I’d suggest the Surly Moonlander….

    Brother, like Bethel said, follow your heart & use your head, it’s been serving you well so far…

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Yeah, I could dig living on Gilligan’s Island. You wouldn’t have found me trying each week to get off the island if I would have been there with Gilligan and the crew.

      Thanks for your kind words and thoughts, Joel.

  • Rob at OceanAirCycles.com

    Patagonia or LuLuLemon, very different locations, but just sayin. Both good starter options if you can get a foot in the door. Here at the Patag neighborhood it is not tropical heat, but never icy. LuLu, is colder and Canadian, but very Bikey.

    If you want to see what No.1 is like plan a vacation to Ventura and I am sure I could show you around

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Thanks Rob. Dude, I would totally love to head over to Ventura and have you teach me to surf. I don’t know you very well, but from what I’m seen…I really dig your vibe and style for living. But seeing as I’m a Canadian, I can’t unfortunately pick up and work anywhere I like. If it were that way, I would totally be there with you. Thanks for your comments and suggestions.

  • Matt

    I don’t know what to recommend for you, but with an attitude like yours I know you’re going to find it.

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Thanks Matt, I appreciate your comments and kinds words.

  • Bethel Strong

    Darryl, you are one Great Family man. You have a Great Family, I know, I’ve met them. I wish I could do what you do to get out of the Big City Life and Traffic. You always remind me of the Cycling Jimmy Buffet or the Cycling Kenny Chesney. Actually you kinda look like Kenny Chesney. Let your Heart and Your Gut tell you what is right. Your family will back you 100% in your choice. Good thing about the worlds we live in now, is that we can all over this Big World we live in. We can stay connected 100% of the time. We all out here in Cyber World will always be here for YOU and Your Sweet Family,
    Love Ya Man…I mean IT!!
    Bethel

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Hi Bethel, thank you so much for your kind words. It mean a lot to be acknowledged as a great Family man, especially by someone like you who I look up to as well.

      Oh, and being compared to Kenny Chesney is pretty darn cool as well…..he rocks.

      Great words of wisdom, and I appreciate it very much.

  • Rae

    May I suggest Melbourne, Australia? An amazing, bike friendly city, with great public transport, and Australia loves Canadians.

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Great suggestion, Rae. We actually considered Australian and Melbourne is a great suggestion. I have a couple friends who live there “car-free” so it’s a great place to live by bike.

      The issues we found there is that importing dogs is quite difficult and requires a long quarantine (we have two dogs coming with us and not interested in their process). Plus getting a work permit or setting up your own company if you’re a foreigner is not very easy either.

      Anyway, I don’t mean to come across negative on your suggestion….just letting you know what we found. Thanks so much for your thoughts and comments on this.

      • AmandaGaleKotyk

        Yeah….I think Australia would definitely be my top pick if it were easier to import the dogs (who are very much part of our family).