We want a life that we don’t have to escape from.

It’s been pretty rainy and dreary here in NH lately. I’d love to say that I dance in the rain and embrace the clouds; but this is just not the case. I know that rain is good for our environment, I just find it so darn depressing. I know that it will rain everywhere I go; but I can’ t wait to be in a place where the weather is dramatically different than N.H.  I am beyond ready for a change.

For me, the only good thing about rain is the flowers it helps to bloom, and adorable rain boots. 

We live so much of our lives forcing ourselves to be okay with the status quo; and we are done being okay with it. We have been so excited about this blog and our dream to be location independent that it seems like we have confused a few people. I was speaking with some family members recently and I was happy to get some honest feedback. Most of them liked the blog, but they didn’t really understand what it was about or what we were doing. So, let’s get into a bit more detail.

I want to get into a little bit of the back story so we can really get into what it’s all about. I  work at a Trader Joes full time in NH as a Crew Member. I have had several jobs that were more aligned with my degree; such as an Academic Advisor at a university; and working for the State of NH;  but they just weren’t what I wanted. I was sick of being at a desk and being on the phone all the time. Trader Joes has allowed me to work physically and be stress free. While working at Trader Joes; I worked hard to get my Real Estate License and thought that this would be my big break. I love looking at homes; especially in regards to design and décor. I thought, why not try and see if I like it?


We have a few great friends in Real Estate who have been very successful; so I was hoping to find the same joy, success, and drive that they found. This was unfortunately not the case for me. I was exhausted with working a part time job on top of my full time job and realized that Real Estate just wasn’t for me. This was also around that time that Amanda and I realized that we were ready to pursue our dream and that waiting any longer would only delay the inevitable.  I put my real estate license into an inactive state and we started this website and blog. I felt like a bit of a failure for putting so much money into real estate, only to give it up. Luckily, I have a very supportive partner who both understands me and pushes me to do what I want. Her encouragement was exactly what I needed to let go of Real Estate.

The best part was that giving up did not make me a failure at all, it did the opposite. I realized that we were finally basing our choices on what we wanted; rather than what we thought we “should” be doing, Our mindset honestly changes a little bit everyday, due to the books we are reading, the podcasts we listen to, and the people we talk to.  We are trying to soak in every bit of knowledge we can; along with the inspiration that comes with it. Tim Ferriss is our newest source of inspiration. If you haven’t already read The 4-Hour Workweek , then I suggest that you make it your next read. He quotes Samuel Beckett by saying “Fail again, Fail better, You won’t believe what you can accomplish by attempting the impossible with the courage to repeatedly fail better”.  If anything, this book can really change your mindset on what is truly possible.

I recently reconnected with a friend from college who is living this lifestyle as well. She dove right in, head first out of college, and didn’t look back. Her fiancé and her own a successful CrossFit Business in Malaysia. Following her on Facebook has been both exciting and encouraging. I thank you Kerianne, if you are reading this; for all of your advice and inspiration! We will surely put it to good use.


On the other side of this coin is my beautiful wife, Amanda. She is honestly the powerhouse of our relationship. Where I lack, Amanda makes up tenfold. She is determined, confident, adventurous, and is able to make decisions. She had been working as an Operations Manager for a small chain restaurant for the past few years. She worked for a great owner, and had some wonderful employees. This job taught her a lot about herself and about the industry.  It was an overall positive experience. When she was ready for a change, she accepted a position as a General Manager for a restaurant in Boston.  This too has it’s Pro’s and Con’s. With the long commute; her days end up being at least 12 -13 hours. It would be ideal to move closer to her job; but then we wouldn’t be able to save money on rent as we are doing now. This change allowed Amanda to realize that managing a restaurant is not really what she wants to do in the long run. The income is certainly helpful; but it has only propelled her further to work on our online business ideas.


Mandy Waves

Pictures like this remind me of all of the beautiful things to see around the world. This was in me Maui, running away from the giant waves!

So here we are; a Trader Joes crew member, and general manager of a restaurant; madly in love, and reaching for the stars. For anyone still wondering what this blog is about; it is about following our dreams and the path that we are taking to get there. This blog is an honest tale of our journey to reaching those goals. We are trying to create an online business, while paying off our debt. As you can see; we haven’t figured it all out just yet. You will witness our struggles, success, and our failures alike. We want to live life on our own terms; and we plan to show you how we did it. I say “did” because I know we will get there.  We want to travel the world, be financially free; and free to do what we want with our own time.  We love to hear your feedback, so please feel free to reach out to us at thehacketts@suitcaseandaplaylist.com.

All you need is a suitcase and a playlist.



A & M