Annual Review Exercise 2014

Annual Review 2014 Jedd and Michelle

Happy Holidays!

We can’t believe it’s the end of 2014. Starting last year, we decided to do an exercise called the Annual Review which was inspired by unconventional blogger and author Chris Guillebeau (who founded the World Domination Summit).  It’s an intentional (cough cough) opportunity to take sometime time out to reflect on the past year. If you’ve done one before, it’s also an awesome opportunity to see if you’ve accomplished the goals you had from the previous year. Finally, it’s a chance to start planning and thinking about the next year.

Here’s what we came up with for our annual review, 2014:

What went well this year? (click on links for more details)

What didn’t go well?

  • Had some hurdles with our interpersonal communication
  • Didn’t prioritize a goal to learn a new language (Jedd)
  • Did not achieve a goal to learn/master Adobe Creative Suite & FinalCut Video Editing (Michelle)
  • Were not consistently present to a home community
  • Felt “directionless”at times and insecure about our choice to live unconventionally

Other Highlights of 2014

2015 is the year of… “Being Digital Nomads”
At the end of our Peace Corps service in April, we decided to take a leap of faith and committed ourselves to a trial period of unconventional, location-independent living. We started a business that we could operate anywhere (with internet) and decided to live simply to keep our expenses down (i.e. housesitting, help exchange). This allowed us to have the flexibility and freedom to pursue our biggest passions of travel and spending time with family and friends.

2014 was still a “sabbatical” period for us. We were readjusting from our 2-year Peace Corps experience. We weren’t actively looking for jobs. We weren’t seeking a place to settle down. Living as digital nomads was an experiment.

2015 is where we try to take things to the next level. We identify ourselves as full-time digital nomads. Here are some of the larger, overall things we hope to achieve this year:

  • Grow our freelance web service business
  • Start a new business (more info to come about this in a future post… it’s about travel!)
  • Continue to improve on skills for professional and personal goals
  • Continue to travel (internationally and domestically)
  • Continue to live simply and keep expenses low

At this time next year… we will either be a) successful digital nomads writing blog updates from who-knows-where in the world or b) having to try a different lifestyle or c) committed a whole new adventure that wasn’t even on our radar at all.

Additional Goals
This is just a sample and many are not yet fully fleshed out- each one is supposed to be specific and measurable so you know when you’ve accomplished it. We actually came up with quite a few goals in each of our categories, which are: Friends & Family, Spiritual, Business, Travel, Health, Learning, Service, Blog, Earning, Giving, and Saving.

  • Travel to Japan & Vietnam to visit family and friends
  • Travel to Europe for a family wedding and adventure in the summer
  • Be available to family and friends that need assistance of any kind
  • Go to at least 2 “new” states (we are only counting the states we visit together, with a goal to eventually see all 50 together)
  • Read at least 6 spirituality-focused books (Jedd)
  • Increase our monthly income through our businesses to sustain all of our expenses and still have extra to save
  • Run a half-marathon (maybe an international one?)
  • Continue to exercise 6 days a week and eat raw, unprocessed foods whenever possible
  • Learn useful phrases in Japanese (Michelle) and French (Jedd)
  • Seek out opportunities to learn more about gardening and farming
  • Continue to tithe

Did you do an annual review or goal setting this year? What does 2015 hold for you? Let us know by adding a comment below.

Homes for the Holidays – Part 1: Jamaica

Christmas in Jamaica

Do you see Michelle? Christmas decorations at our host family’s house.

As digital nomads, our concept of home is constantly evolving. As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, it’s hard for us to answer where “home” exactly is. It seemed only fitting, then, that as we returned to Jamaica, our friends here said “Welcome home” to us, additionally adding: “Will Jamaica be home?” We made sure to answer them directly. “No. But we do love Jamaica.” Continue reading

The Ultimate Cinnamon Roll | the PCJ -:- Cook Shop

In honor of being back in our Peace Corps host country where I first used this recipe, I wanted to reblog The Ultimate Cinnamon Roll post. It’s fun to look back on the pictures of us making big batches of these delicious treats in our former kitchen for our Jamaican host sister’s wedding.

According to Facebook, many of you actually tried these out at home last year! For my family, cinnamon rolls are a traditional part of our holiday celebrations, and I’m looking forward to sharing these rolls with my family in both Oregon and Hawaii this Christmas. I like to make the miniature-sized rolls for this recipe to counteract the generous helpings of cinnamon-sugar and cream cheese frosting it calls for.

Continue reading

Back in Jamaica (and How to Save on Travel)


We are back on the rock!

Saturday morning we landed in Jamaica, exactly 7 months after completing our service with Peace Corps. This time around, we’re taking the opportunity to experience Jamaica on our own terms (read: with a car and no longer getting approvals or reporting whereabouts to Peace Corps).  Continue reading