Deb and Johnny Blanton

The Zen search…our story


Hi, my name is Deb and my husband is Johnny.  Our travel/adventure/starting over blog is a little different than most because Johnny and I were sort of pushed into our new life, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Our travels and adventures are strategically woven into our daily lives while I have learned many lessons along the way in search of what  Zen really is, and how to achieve it.

I think it is fitting that our blog is three phased…How we got here will explain the journey from business owners to bankruptcy. Maui life… our adventures from Maui (where we currently live) and lessons learned…my personal road to becoming one with Zen.

We don’t vacation when we travel, we literally set up residence for a time while we live our lives. It is sort of like adventuring and living  for the average Joe on a very limited budget.

Like many of my fellow travel and adventure bloggers, I was also born with what my dad refers to as the wanderlust gene.  I knew at a very young age that I did not want to live the conventional lifestyle that society, parents and our peers push upon us.

Ok, so let’s put it all on the table.  I did not want children or a thirty year mortgage and I certainly did not want to put down those so called roots.  Unfortunately in my early twenties I was either abducted by aliens or brainwashed because that is exactly what I did, minus the children.

I did get married (that was always in the plan), had a thirty year mortgage, with a 3,000 square foot home on 15 acres, two thriving businesses and yes roots were starting to grow out of my feet.  What was I thinking and how did I wake up in some other woman’s life?

 The road less traveled


My worst nightmare was attending my retirement party that was thrown by the company that I just gave 30 years of my life to…Ugh. How was I traveling down this road which was so different than the road I had longed for?

Throughout my life I could never pinpoint with certainty that one occupation I loved so much that I wanted to do it for the next forty years.   Was I supposed to be content with living in the same house, going to the same job day after day, year after year?

We  believe that the joy in life comes from new experiences and there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, and for each horizon to have a new and different sun.

If you continue to follow our blog, you will soon find out that I was not an English major, I am far from a perfectionist, I don’t have a degree in journalism and sometimes I am not always politically correct, but what I will promise you is an incredible heartfelt journey in the months to come.

With my husband Johnny’s help, we will share with you the fear, anxiety, excitement and pure joy of having it all and then losing everything, or gaining everything.  It really depends on how you look at it.  I have always believed that in this life we are where we need to be.

We all experience loss, joy, happiness and sadness.  It is what we do with these emotions that makes all the difference. Why is our story so different than most of the other travel/adventure blogs?

Well for starters, we did not have the luxury of planning, saving and selling everything to fulfill our dream of travel and adventure.  There was no large savings account, no spreadsheet for budget planning and no world map spread out on the kitchen table. 

Since our house appraised for less than what we owed on it, there was no house to sell.  Don’t get me wrong, this all happened the way it was supposed to, because frankly we were chicken shits.

Bankruptcy is not the end of the world


If we would not have been forced into “losing it all” I believe we might still be in that 3,000 square foot house mowing 15 acres each week and paying a $2,000 a month mortgage.  Each of us being thirty pounds overweight, stressed to the max and Johnny taking blood pressure medication.

Yep, we had it all alright.  All the stress, all the worry and all of the day to day monotony of just living our lives paycheck to paycheck. Like so many other businesses in 2007 and 2008, ours were not recession proof.

Once we closed the doors on both businesses we spent the next several weeks soul searching deeper than we ever thought possible. What do we do with our lives now?

Living in the mountains and by the sea


We still believe more than ever that this was the best thing that could have happened to us.  We have been fortunate enough to live and work in the beautiful mountains of Colorado, live in a tent for five months at 10,000 feet and experience what it is truly like to be a local on island time in Key West.

We were so blessed to have our two great loves, the sea and the mountains.  The trouble is, Colorado is not close to the sea and Key West is as flat as a pancake.  Where can I have my cake and eat it too?  Maui it is.  So here we are now living, working and playing hard on the magical island of Maui.  Stay tuned and we will share with you how we did it.

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