Traveling the World as a Family [4 Hour Work Week success story]

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Tim Ferriss and Brian Swan - Unstoppable Family

It’s our 6 Year Anniversary this Nov 25th….yeehaw 

So, why would I post a pic of Tim Ferriss & myself?

Since it was Tim’s book, The 4-Hour Workweek that planted the idea of traveling the World, all while working online with a “muse”.

It’s actually our “6 Year Anniversary for traveling the world” as the Unstoppable Family, since we departed our beautiful home in San Diego on Nov 25th.

RHonda Swan & I celebrate our 11 Year wedding anniversary on Nov 28th 

You may have read this story below, since I posted it a couple years ago…though I thought it would be an appropriate story post for ‪#‎TBT‬

Let me hear your thoughts in the comments below…..


“the 4 Hour Work Week” by Timothy Ferriss was the book I was reading during our Bankruptcy back in 2008. Let me tell you….my wife was not the happiest of campers during this time of our lives. One day after reading a Chapter in the 4HWW called the ‘mini-retirement’…I said to my wife, “Honey, lets get rid of everything and take a trip around the World”… kidding. She then gave me this crazy look for 5 seconds (seemed like 5 hours) and said, “have you lost your F*‪#‎k‬!ng mind?”

Today, people see us like we are some type of “miracle” since we have been traveling around the world since 2008 and replaced both of our 6 figure incomes in the corporate world. Before I get to how life is today, let me go back to when it wasn’t so good.

My wife had read the 4HWW a couple times, though she dismissed Tim’s idea of the ‘mini-retirement’ which is traveling the world while running a business. Sure….Tim can do it (he was single), though we have a daughter that just turned 1 year old. Over the next couple months, we had this same conversation multiple times… along with the same outcome from my wife….”You have lost it, Brian”. Finally one night, I found my wife researching Bali on the internet at 2am ….she was in!

So what did we do….we sold allof our possessions except for some of our sentimental items i.e., photos, artwork, etc. We started out on our trip with $24,000 to our name…for a 2 year journey around the world. We started out with our 1st stop in Hawaii for 3 months….not the greatest place to conserve money.

We love Timothy Ferriss because he implanted the idea that traveling while operating a business is possible. We already had an internet business with a great system….so we just plugged in and played.

Let me give you a little background on myself, first. I grew up in a small, wonderful Midwest town of 2,000 people called Cambridge, Illinoislwith a middle class upbringing. I wish I could tell you that my family was starving and only 1 piece of cheese to share with my brother & sister, though that is not the case. The reality was that I had a great childhood with loving parents & childhood friends. After high school, I attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and graduated with a degree in engineering. This was not my passion, but I was good at math…and my high school counselor said that I could make decent money right out of college. A few years after graduating, I was earning a 6 figure income with a company car & benefits….life is good!

My corporate Job moved me to California where I met my future wife, Rhonda. I had no real problems except for the fact that I could not see myself doing this for the next 40 years. In my mind, one of the worst things in life is to live with regret….or that I didn’t take a chance to do something I love. I actually worked my engineering job for 9.5 years, even though I had no passion about what I was doing.

Back in 2004, my wife was also making a 6 figure income as a corporate executive in a big Pharma company (don’t get us started). Just 1 month after we purchased our 2nd home in California, she looked at me and said, “I want to have a family…and I do not want to put our children in daycare”. This is the moment where I gave her the crazy look and said, “I wish you would have told me this before we purchased this 2nd home”. She told me to find a better job & I told her to find a business she could work from home….and that was it.

I have to give all the credit to my wife….she was the one who started our online business. I was the huge, skeptic corporate engineer…and this was before we read the 4 Hour Work Week. She started a home based business and plugged into a system. After 3 months with her online business, she decided to quit her Corporate Job….even though she not even made a Dime yet. In fact, she had already plucked down $24K + from investing in her business…marketing, websites, lead management & conference… learning from people who were successful.

Let me tell you….I was not the most supportive husband! I kept asking her everyday…when is the money coming? I bugged the crap out of her. By her 7th month with her business, she generated $37K in a single month…. I was blown away! That was more than both of us were making at both of our corporate jobs combined in a month.

Shortly after that, I quit my corporate job and the money just kept flowing…everything was golden. We started to invest heavily in real estate with unfortunately the wrong people…..and lost everything financially. Things go so bad, that we can’t even afford skype credit for making phone calls. I remember buying a $5 burrito and my wife went nuts on me….since we did not have the funds. We ended up filing for bankruptcy in 2008 and almost lost our marriage over this.

For the first time in my life…. I was truly scared! I had no idea what we were going to do. As a man, you have certain pride knowing you can take care of your family. Now, I found myself arguing with my wife over a $5 burrito. We now had a 1 year old daughter…and we promised her that we would never put her into daycare.

We had always wanted to take a trip around the world, though we just never knew how to. We required a completely mobile business. We went out searching and found exactly what we were looking for. The 4HWW was the book that kicked us into gear. Tim was not exactly accessible and we needed a mentor to guide us along the way. That’s why we joined a proven online system, with a track record.

I know this post is long enough already, so I’ll wrap it up. We went from an all time high….to an all time low (Bankruptcy), and then came back even stronger. It’s amazing how life can change so quickly when you follow someone who knows what they are talking about. We set off on a 2 year trip around the world and now it has been 6 years later….and we are still going strong. We were regular corporate American folks with no special skills. We just plugged & played into a system where our mentor who showed us the way. Before we knew it, we had months in the upwards of $50K.

When we left our jobs, so many of our family & friends called us crazy…and they still do 

Let us show you how we have created this life we have now.
Life waits for no one, no better time for change than now

Enjoy our free E-Book…our step by step guide to being a “Freedom-prener”

Even though it’s been 6 years now….I feel like we just begun the Journey!

Here’s our Story told back in 2010…

Aloha from the Caribbean of Panama….

Rhonda & Brian Swan
Enjoy our Freedom-preneur Training Series:
Tim Ferriss (4HWW) & Rhonda Swan (Unstoppable Family)
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Showing 12 comments
  • Paul MacInnis

    You guys are awesome!! Your lives are having the same effect that others the 4HWW had on you!

    • Brian Swan

      @paul_macinnis:disqus appreciate the kind words…..just sharing the vision 🙂

  • Tiffany

    This book has truely changed my life…as has Tim & you guys!!

    • Brian Swan

      Nice, Tiffany….it’s great to have you and Bernie here 🙂

  • AAntoi77

    I really really enjoy reading your posts. Your story is soo inspiring, after riding it I’m so pumped up!. You guys are fantastic!. Thank Youu :)!

    • Brian Swan

      @antoinetteantalv:disqus …..thank you much much. Cheers from Panama 🙂

  • Scott Vento

    Your story is so amazing! You guys made the 4HWW seem more attainable! Thanks for leading the way for so many of us!

    • Brian Swan

      Cheers, @scottvento:disqus ….you are more than welcome and great to have you part of the Tribe. You and @kimberleyvento:disqus rock 🙂

  • Regina Van de Velden

    this is the book that connected you with most of us… and definitely me for sure. if you guys didn’t have the ‘balls’ to do what you do we wouldnt be here. we’ll def be on some journey, away from the 9-7 but prob not as fast and def not in bocas.

    • Brian Swan

      Indeed the 4HWW did connect many of us here…and yes, you probably wouldn’t be with us here in Bocas del Toro, Panama 🙂

  • Kimberley Vento

    I’m so glad you decided to take this path of traveling and introducing us to the “homeless” lifestyle (haha). I loved reading the 4HWW but when I read it back in 2011, there wasn’t a way for us to have mini retirements or work from a laptop from anywhere with our current jobs. I’m so grateful that our paths crossed on FB when you were talking about your story and meeting Timothy Ferriss. Thanks for lighting our pathway and helping us to burn our boats!

    • Brian Swan

      So great to have you and @scottvento:disqus part of our Journey of the “homeless” 🙂 / Vagabond lifestyle. To many more years together 🙂

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