Steven Keys is an educator, photographer, analytical thinker, and co-founder of Trip of a Lifestyle.
Lauren and Steven met in high school and attended the same college. After undergrad, Steven was accepted into the Ph.D. program at UC Irvine. During the first year, he decided he didn’t really want a Ph.D. in Physics, but he really enjoyed working with students.They moved back to Florida so Steven could get his master’s in Education, while Lauren worked her first “real” job.But after two years, they were burned out from working full-time. After learning about financial independence and achieving an incredible savings rate—to the tune of $100K in two years—they decided to take a break.Their “break” was a six-month trip to Hawaii, paid for up front by their big savings account—but repaid by a series of side hustles in Hawaii. While most people spend lavishly to go on a tropical vacation for one week, they ended up $1,000 positive while spending six months there.Re-energized, they returned to Florida for a full-time job for Lauren and a continuing tutoring job for Steven—making more money than before they left for Hawaii. Increased income meant increased savings rate for these two, having lowered their expenses by purchasing a three-bedroom condo, periodically renting out an unneeded bedroom.But after about three years, they felt burned out again. This time their “break” was a trip around the country to visit every national park—all 61 of them—in seven months. Again, they wanted to pay for the trip with income generated during the trip.They cut expenses by buying a compact cargo van and sleeping in it for the majority of the trip. They continued working about 10 hours a week during the trip, rented their condo for seven months, and hit the road.Each time they return from their mini-retirements, they are refreshed, re-energized, and ready to jump back into work with both feet. Their end goal isn’t early, permanent retirement, but several small mini-retirements to enjoy their journey.In This Episode We Cover:Lauren and Steven's journey with moneyHow they managed their money during their college yearsHow they saved $100K in two yearsTheir monthly income and expensesPreparations to go to HawaiiHow they managed their cash flow while staying in HawaiiWhat they did when they returned to the mainlandTheir strategy for asset allocationWorking part-time while on the roadHow they get internet access while travelingTheir freelance businessThe ideas behind financial independenceAnd SO much more!Links from the ShowBiggerPockets ForumsMr. Money MustacheThe True Cost of Commuting - Mr. Money Mustache (blog)HealthCare.govBiggerPockets Money Podcast 84: Traditional Retirement: Social Security, Market Conditions, & Managing Expectations with Kyle MastBiggerPockets Money Podcast 41: How to Find the Best Possible Certified Financial Planner (CFP) for Your Needs with Kyle MastBiggerPockets Money Podcast 11: Financial Freedom in Less Than Five Years with Joel from FI 180XY Planning NetworkCheck the full show notes here:
Lauren and Steven Keys, millennial super-savers, investors, travelers and creators of the Trip of a Lifestyle blog, join the show to talk about how they were able to leave their 9-to-5 jobs, travel to all 61 U.S. national parks and maintain financial independence. See for privacy and opt-out information.
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Creator Details

Gainesville, Florida, United States of America
Episode Count
Podcast Count
Total Airtime
1 hour, 55 minutes
Podchaser Creator ID logo 848370