This is what happens when you say ‘F convention’ and live life on your own terms. Instead of spending money on a “lavish one-day wedding” Amirah Cook and husband Jarrell decided to see the world. They left their jobs in corporate America, sold all their possessions and began traveling about a year after marrying. Here’s the crazy thing; they’ve been on this honeymoon since October 2013! And their travels include three months in the Italian countryside, two months in the English countryside, and three months on Bastimentos Island in Bocas Del Toro, Panama!
My husband and I decided that instead of spending our money on a lavish one-day wedding, we would prefer to take an extended honeymoon. So that’s what we did. We left the states on October 1, 2013 and have been traveling ever since. So far we’ve visited over 30 cities in Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Belize, Mexico, Italy, England, France and Spain. Enjoying extended stays on an island in Panama, a mansion in Cancun, a villa in Italy, several homes in England and two months on the beautiful island of Majorca, Spain. Many people will read that or hear of our story in general and assume we’re trust fund kids, but that is not the case. We have discovered that there are so many different communities and opportunities for travelers to save. Our flights to Panama were only $120 and we caught a flight glitch that got us both tickets to Italy for $300, total.
When we were visiting Panama, our first country, we met a woman from Brooklyn that had just bought a guesthouse and found ourselves running the business. Living on the Caribbean Sea, we managed her guesthouse on a remote island, for two months. In Italy we stayed in a beautiful Italian villa with a gorgeous view of Tuscany, in exchange for learning Italian recipes and cooking for guests of the B&B four nights a week. Oh, and we had to drink a lot of wine to pick a house wine (hard work). We dog sit two shih tzus in London in exchange for free accommodation for a month, which included Oyster cards (metro/bus cards), groceries and a stipend. We’ll be living in a gorgeous house on a Greek island for three months this summer, looking after the property while the owner vacays in another part of Greece. By mixing in these gigs between renting apartments (usually on Airbnb), we’re able to cut our costs down tremendously.
When we left, we really didn’t have a plan or even a budget, we were just winging it. Neither of us had ever been out of the country, I didn’t even own a passport. In our first year we focused on developing our crafts into careers. My husband is an artist; he has painted murals in Panama, Italy and England, and created illustrations for clients around the world. I am a writer and run a blog detailing our journey, as well as writing for others. By creating our ideal careers, we have become location independent, able to work from anywhere in the world (as long as there’s WIFI). Traveling the world is life altering. Experiencing new places and ways of life expands your mentality in the most beautiful way possible. Every new place makes us eager to see more and question if we will ever return home. This year we are headed to Paris, England, Amsterdam, Morocco, Greece, Turkey, Egypt and India.