Of the handful of rotating questions that we’re asked, this one comes up often:
It seems like you’re traveling quite a bit. What’s the deal? You dying or something? Did you win the lottery? What’s going on? Why now?
It’s a fair question. Perception can be reality. We’ve always traveled quite a bit. For the longest time it was to various Disney parks as we were Disney Vacation Club members. I get it though, it looks like we’re travelling quite a bit and people want to know how / why so they can do the same.
If you’re interested in how we save up for trips, Stefanie has written a great overview article here.
The why we travel? Well a few reasons…
It’s Not the Lottery, It’s Hard Work. And it Sucks.
We aren’t wealthy, not even a little bit. Stefanie talks a bit about this in her article here. Basically Stef is a freaking deal ninja and will do whatever she has to in order to make the impossible happen. Credit card points? Check. Sit in a 90 minute presentation to get a free flight? Check. Sell crap that we haven’t touched in a year? Check. The truth is we work an ignorant amount of hours. Seven days a week. Holidays, weekends, it’s all work o’clock. I don’t mind working so much if I have a trip to look forward to. I hate staying in one place. I go stir crazy if I can’t get out and do things. We both love to travel. I hate being locked in my office and forced to stare a screen 20 hours a day. We work hard so we play hard. It’s all about finding a way to keep the fires burning at work while exploring the world and Stef is amazing at both.
Because I Almost Died, Twice, and I’ve Had Enough.
**I’m glazing over serious things here like passing out in our hot warehouse and waking up in an ER. So many ER visits. Multiple trips to IC. All the scans, pokes, prods and tests you can give a human, etc. So many mistakes, wrong diagnoses and badly prescribed medicines.**
I’ve had years and years worth of really bad medical issues, most of which the doctors haven’t been able to properly treat or diagnose. There was a time where I could barely get out of bed. I was in so much pain and the medication was making things far worse. Constant nausea and vomiting, lots of pain, dizziness, coughing up blood, etc. etc. etc. Nobody could pinpoint it or treat it properly. I might blog about that journey one day but it’s far too painful and too real for me to dive into it now. In November of 2016 Stefanie and I had just finished doing a convention in Seattle and we decided to fly down to Cali and see Disneyland. The first night we were there, my sugar crashed out of nowhere. I truly thought I was going to die. Stef tested me and my count was a 47. That’s INSANE. We scrambled to find food or sugar of any kind and it took over an hour. I truly thought this is it. I thought there is so much I haven’t done with Stef, so much time I haven’t gotten to spend with her, there are places I haven’t seen. This is a crappy ending.
At my heaviest I was 436lbs. I couldn’t ride my favorite rides, flying sucked and everyone called me “Big Guy.” It was effing annoying. The medicine I was on was aiding in rapid weight gain. I was gaining 5-10lbs a week. It was NUTS. Our business was causing me lots of stress too, we were being stolen from, lied about, slandered, ripped off, etc. From there I just ate my stress, which caused more stress. It was out of control. Stefanie and I did thousands of hours of research and after failing several times we came up with our own health plan. I won’t bore you with details now, as of writing this article, I’m 231lbs. I’m no where near finished with my weight goals but I am happy to have shed over 200lbs in two years.
Part of our health plan includes eating better, working out and maintaining my stress. I suffer from anxiety in the worst way. This can really jack up your stress levels. In addition to eating better and monitoring my caloric intake I also row 30 minutes every day, use an inversion chair and drink a ton of water. Next comes travel. I have no stress when Stefanie and I are travelling the world together. There’s nothing more stress free than sipping good coffee and watching the ocean go by or snorkeling in Tortuga or wave running in Great Stirrup Cay. Life was not meant to be spent in a cubicle. I get to be active and enjoy life while still doing my job. Every time I travel I feel a little more free.
Because There is No Tomorrow
With all of the crazy in the world you just don’t know what will happen tomorrow. You can plan all you like but things happen. Why wait for a time that may never happen? We’ve lost dear friends and have witnessed terrible tragedies. Live like there is no tomorrow is a mantra around here. Will Smith shares a great thought about confronting your fears and living life to the fullest. He makes a compelling argument about the gold at the end of the fear rainbow.
What was stopping us from doing this? From traveling? From exploring and trying new things? Fear. False Evidence Appearing Real. After all that Stefanie and I have been through, ain’t nobody got time for fear.
I’m a working creative professional. I create effects and other tools for people who create video. I also shoot, edit and produce video for many clients. Even though these are all creative gigs, they aren’t creatively fulfilling for me personally. I’m a designer for hire. I create what you want or need. Finally I get to design and create just for Stefanie and myself. Shooting travel vlogs allows me to experiment with gear and ideas that I can’t afford to on a client project. It’s a freeing feeling to create just to create, no notes, flaws and all. I can act a fool or use some random gear and it won’t be dubbed stupid or unprofessional. I can mix and match snapchat and the GH5 without judgement. This is where I like to live in the video world. On the corner of ‘lots of random tech‘ and ‘there is no spoon‘.
For eleven years Stefanie and I tried everything that we could to have a family. Lots of heartbreak and thousands upon thousands of dollars later we came to the conclusion that it just wasn’t going to be. Now what? Do we just work and coexist? Nope. Now we’ve actively decided to dedicate time to one another. To make real quality time and memories with each other.
Invested in Each Other
Stefanie and I have spent our lives living for other people. We’ve never given ourselves or each other an opportunity to thrive. Now we get to do what we love and run our own business on our own terms. We can travel when we want to. We have the ability to run our company from anywhere in the world that has internet access. We don’t want to spend our lives in our respective offices. We want to go out and explore all while spending as much time with each other as we can.
Because We Were Told That We Couldn’t Do It
So many people, including family and friends, try to convince us that we can’t live this way. That we can’t work and travel. That we can’t do what we want to while doing what we have to. You don’t know if you don’t take your shot. You already know the answer if you do nothing. Why not take the shot and see what happens?
Sean Mullen is a Travel Filmmaker, Vlogger, VFX Artist, Brand Ambassador and the CEO & Lead Designer of Rampant Design, Inc. He is a 3 Time Emmy Award Winner and former Walt Disney World Monorail Pilot. Sean is married to the AMAZING Stef IRL.