I’m “Jojo Bobo”, the Corporate Monkey. This blog is about my adventures escaping the corporate world to take a year off in South America with the wife and two kids (age 10 and 11). We’re calling it our “Family Gap Year”. Here’s everything you need to know:
Where are we going on our Family Gap Year?
We’ll be based in a small village in southern Bolivia named Villa Abecia. My wife grew up there, and probably 50% of the people in that village are related to her in some way. It’s a beautiful place surrounded by red-rock mountains. We’ll spend more than half our time in that village, but we’ll also take extensive trips around South America.
When are we leaving?
June 2017. We got four one-way flights for FREE! We are actually leaving on the very same day school is getting out. We have 5th grade graduation in the morning, and flight to Bolivia in the afternoon. We don’t waste time.
Where are we going to live?
We already own a house in Villa Abecia, Bolivia. As I mentioned, my wife grew up there. We’ve visited Bolivia several times while on vacation over our 15 years of marraige. In 2010, we decided to buy a farm and build a house, mainly because we wanted a nicer place to stay during our visits…. and we thought perhaps we could figure a way to use the house more frequently in the future. All in, it cost us only about $30,000 to build the house.
Are we going to work or make any money?
No. We’ve saved over 50% of our income for around 10 years, and we’ve invested wisely. Learn about our savings and investing strategy here. We don’t have enough money to completely retire yet, but we definitely don’t have to worry about income during our Family Gap Year.
How much is it going to cost?
We have a total budget of $40,000 for our gap year, including several exotic trips – that’s probably way more than we’ll need though, in my opinion. See my breakdown of our gap year budget here.
What are we doing with our house in California during our Family Gap Year?
We’ll rent it out. We have a mortgage, though. We’re not expecting to make any money from renting, after paying the mortgage and other costs.
Update: we’ve signed a one-year lease with our renters. See here for the income and expense breakdown.
What are we doing about healthcare during our Family Gap Year?
We’ll rely on local clinics in Bolivia. There are plenty of good doctors and dentists, if you want basic care. We opted out of expensive U.S. health insurance. But we have World Nomads travel insurance, which covers us for catastrophic medical emergencies, at a fraction of the cost.
What are we doing about school for the kids during our Family Gap Year?
We worked out a situation with the local school where our kids can attend 2-3 days per week. It helps them learn Spanish and make friends. But the school genuinely sucks academically. We homeschool our kids 2-3 days per week to keep them advancing academically. Homeschool offers wonderful flexibility for our situation.
What safety concerns do we have?
Only a few, but they are very manageable. Here’s why we think we’re not taking any unusual risks to our personal safety, and also why the experience will be safe for our children.
See all my posts about our Family Gap Year in Bolivia here. Thank you for visiting! Join my weekly newsletter to follow our adventure.
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