Our Ultralight.Life

Welcome to our Ultralight Life! We are two mid-30s professionals on a life adventure. We’re too young to retire but refuse to wait until retirement to start living the lives we really want.

We’ve thrown ourselves off the “meeting the expectations of others” train and are instead forming a new and experimental path of our own choosing.

We dislike tradition, restriction, regulation, and HOAs. We avoid physical and virtual things that are heavy and tie us down.  We’re not interested in acquiring “things” for the sake of having more.

This quote from Ellen Goodman says it best:

“Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for – in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.”

We don’t want to be normal.  Instead, we want: Continue reading

Day 5-7: Boondocking with Jira and Confluence

Menu:  Intro | Day 1-2 | Day 3-4 | Day 5-7 | Retrospective

We’re “Boondocking with Jira and Confluence“!
Enjoy $10 off your order at the Strategy for Jira Store

Code: BOONDOCKING Shop Now
Valid: July 8-15, 2018

Day 5

When boondocking it’s easy to run out of water.  How many times you wash your hands in a day?  Simple things like this deplete the supply quickly.  Our 46 gallon fresh water tank won’t last forever, no matter how much we conserve.  We got lucky though;  there was an on site water hose we could use sparingly.  We filled our 5 gallon portable container, used a pump that attaches to a drill, and slowly pumped the water through a hose and into the travel trailer.  A few rounds of filling the tank really made a difference. Continue reading

Day 3-4: Boondocking with Jira and Confluence

Menu:  Intro | Day 1-2 | Day 3-4 | Day 5-7 | Retrospective

We’re “Boondocking with Jira and Confluence“!
Enjoy $10 off your order at the Strategy for Jira Store

Code: BOONDOCKING Shop Now
Valid: July 8-15, 2018

Day 3

Lightning Strike Damage

In 2006, my stationary house was hit by lightning.  One strike sent electrical outlet face plates flying across the room and broke mirrored walls.  The fire department opened walls with their axes, checking for internal fire.  All the house’s appliances were fried.  No more fridge, no more hot water heater, etc.  The only electronics that survived were my computers, because they were connected to an APC battery backup and surge suppression system.  The APC took the lightning strike – not my devices. Continue reading

Day 1-2: Boondocking with Jira and Confluence

Menu:  Intro | Day 1-2 | Day 3-4 | Day 5-7 | Retrospective

We’re “Boondocking with Jira and Confluence“!
Enjoy $10 off your order at the Strategy for Jira Store

Code: BOONDOCKING Shop Now
Valid: July 8-15, 2018

As previously announced in Boondocking with Jira and Confluence, this week, we’re “off the grid” in our travel trailer.  We’re boondocking which means camping without hookups to city power, water, and sewer systems.  We’ll provide our own resources which includes enough power and internet to connect to Jira and Confluence – vital resources for our long-term RV trip.

We’re also attending a “convergence” which is like a conference with fellow digital nomads.  We’ve all parked together in the same place.  If we fail at boondocking, we’ll do it surrounded by experienced campers. Continue reading

Boondocking with Jira and Confluence

Menu:  Intro | Day 1-2 | Day 3-4 | Day 5-7 | Retrospective

We’re “Boondocking with Jira and Confluence“!
Enjoy $10 off your order at the Strategy for Jira Store

Code: BOONDOCKING Shop Now
Valid: July 8-15, 2018

Truck and Travel Trailer

Did you know I’ve worked from the road for over 3 years?  It’s a lot like working from home except when I look out the window of my home on wheels, the scenery is always different!  In May 2015, we got rid of most of our stuff, sold our cars, and hit the road in a travel trailer.

Our trip started in Virginia.  From there we traveled South through the Eastern states, explored the entire Florida coast, visited 8 Texas cities, stayed a while in Arizona and California, and then went North through Nevada, Utah, and Colorado.  This entire time I’ve worked as a Jira administrator, consultant, and speaker on the Strategy for Jira Tour.  The tour highlight was speaking at the Atlassian office in Austin, TX and at Summit! Continue reading

So are you a tobacco farmer?

Last year I took one of my “detour” trips.  We’re still on our RV trip, but I needed to go to California for business.  I guess you could call that, a “trip within a trip.”  And since I was already off to CA, why not add in some sightseeing too?  So it turned into a “trip within a trip within a trip.”

I flew from New Orleans to Los Angeles, spent a couple days there, and drove the Pacific Coast Highway North to San Jose.

While I was in LA, I took a city tour with some Australian tourists.  When hearing I was from Northern Virginia, one asked “So, are you a tobacco farmer?”   He asked with a totally straight face, which was answered by a totally confused look on my face.  It got me thinking:  What do others picture when you tell them where you’re from? Continue reading

Publishing on the Road

JIRA Strategy Admin Workbook

JIRA Strategy Admin Workbook

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, and it’s because I was finishing up a large project.  One of the items on my bucket list was to write a book.  I started this project before we hit the road in November 2014.  It took two years, but I finally finished it and published from our RV in Port Isabel, Texas!  The launch was on day 557 of our trip.

Publishing from the road has the same challenges as working from the road.  It’s up to you to find the needed tools (ex: a stable internet connection) and to motivate yourself to complete the work, no matter how tempting the scenery is outside your RV door. Continue reading

Trailer Evacuation and Retrospective

Crystal River Spills into Campground Lake

Crystal River Spills into Campground Lake

It was a normal Monday afternoon.  We were both working on our computers when I glanced out the trailer window and suddenly saw water had covered the ground.  Water from the nearby Crystal River was rapidly spilling into our campground and overtaking the small lake on the property.  We previously walked the campground at lunch and determined there was no way the rising river water could ever reach the area where we were parked.  Wrong! Continue reading

Foods of the Florida Keys

Being in the Florida Keys for 7 months gave us a good understanding of the cuisine in this part of southern Florida.  One of the joys of traveling and this RV adventure is experiencing local and common foods of the area.

Flavors

Lobster BLT at "Key Largo Fisheries"

Lobster BLT at “Key Largo Fisheries”

Keys’ cuisine is influenced by multiple cultures like early settlers from Spain, the Bahamas, Cuba, and merchants from New England.  The Keys are known for farming pineapples, limes, tomatoes, and melons.  Of course their location on the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico brings vast seafood opportunities.

In the 112 mile long stretch, there are 1700 islands.  Some are well known (Key Largo and Key West), some are privately owned, some are part of Everglades National Park, and others are only accessible by boat. Continue reading

Unexpected Camp Host Duties

A camp host is someone who helps other campers.  This includes anything campground related, like: receiving guests, collecting payment, completing paperwork, or even recommending a local restaurant or bait shop.  The host answers questions and solves problems while the official camp staff is away.  You become the “go to” person when assistance is needed.  The camp host is either a paid or volunteer position and most camping jobs are seasonal.  You reside in your own RV and sometimes park in an official “camp host” spot.

Camp Host Chris

camp-host

We wanted to stay in the Florida Keys through the winter, but were having trouble finding an available site for that length of time.  At the same time, our current campground was looking for a host for their busy season and had a site available for that purpose.  Kayak Chris agreed to become the camp host and we moved into the designated spot.

It was an interesting 5 months!  Now that the hosting gig is over, here’s a list of some of the unexpected things he ended up doing. Continue reading