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Reverse. Full Throttle.

The point of life is happiness.

The Dali Lama

After almost three months of hustling, and weeks spent waiting in long government lines to set up a temporary life in Barcelona. We are done.

Done? Yes done.

Barcelona is lovely. Really, really lovely. Like one of the most beautiful cities on the planet, type of lovely.

But it’s not moving us in the direction we want to go: a long term sailing adventure with our family.

A major factor is our son is unhappy at school. Before the holiday break he was crying and begging to stay home nearly every morning. It was painful and I beat myself up. A lot. We suffered through, Diego and I arguing about the pros and cons of traumatizing our son in a classroom of Catalan where he doesn’t understand a word. But here’s the deal. We aren’t planning on staying here long term. So why make him suffer for our choices when it doesn’t serve the ultimate goal anyway?

After a tortuous month, we relented and all stayed home, me trying to work from the couch with ear plugs in a 420 sq. ft apartment while chaos circled around me. Diego did his best to edit his videos after everyone else went to bed.

As much as I would like to be, I am not that mother who can work from home, do elaborate educational projects with the kids for a few hours, prepare meals and be pleasant to everyone all at the same time. Honestly, I don’t even want to be that person. I don’t trust women who are that angelic.

For a moment I felt stuck. We had just sold everything we owned and walked out on our life for this?

Just two weeks earlier, in our eagerness to get settled and down to business, we had put close to 2,000 euros down on an apartment and signed a 6 months lease. We were excited about getting into a routine and having time and space to focus on work. But now, with the four of us on top of each other, the thought of staying here for 6 months felt stifling and suffocating. I was tired, felt like my brain was in a fog and everything seemed like chore. A task to be endured. No joy.

The last thing I felt was creative and inspired. Even though we were living in a beautiful city on the other side of the world, away from home, we weren’t enjoying it. Money was going out, waaaaaay faster than it was coming in, and I found myself sinking into fear and a total scarcity mentality. I felt trapped.


Launching an empire from the office/living room/bedroom.

But why?

No one was forcing us to do things this way. We were making one bad decision after another because we felt like we didn’t have options.

But that couldn’t be farther from the truth. We were the only ones holding ourselves to a pre-determined course of action. When we made this whole scheme public in the first place, didn’t we call it an improv, not a plan for a reason? We knew we would have to stay open to the mystery and serendipity of life and allow the universe to work its magic.

So if things were feeling overwhelming, and not fun, why suffer through? What was the ultimate goal and what was the most direct route to reach it?

As soon as we were honest with ourselves that our new circumstances weren’t what we were hoping for, everything instantly shifted.

We made a bad choice. We should have gone to Mexico instead of Spain, like originally planned.We had tried a particular route, and had failed. Time to correct course and get back on track. No need to waste time beating ourselves up. I googled failure quotes and had a good laugh at the ridiculousness of the whole thing.

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.” – J.K. Rowling

“Failure isn’t fatal, but failure to change might be” – John Wooden

“If you don’t try at anything, you can’t fail… it takes back bone to lead the life you want” – Richard Yates

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill

“Sometimes by losing a battle, you find a way to win the war.” -Donald Trump


Optimist: Someone who figures that taking a step backward, after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it’s more like a Cha-Cha.

I went from feeling lethargic and confused, to energized and excited again.

That’s when the gift of clarity from the experience surfaced.

We were going about this dream all wrong. In our excitement of pursuit we were all consumed with THE BOAT. But what was it we were after in the lifestyle of a boat? I believe we pursue goals because we are actually after how the goal will make us feel, a concept that Danielle LaPorte really brings home in one of my favorite books of all time, The Desire Map.

So what was the feeling we were pursuing?


The appeal of cruising life, is the ability to move freely from destination to destination and literally float wherever the wind takes you. That feeling of total and utter liberation of being in sync with nature.

Our idea of moving onto a boat, while we paid for it was a good one. But we didn’t take into consideration that our kids would need us to be more present to ease them through the transition of a new culture and not one, but two new languages—Spanish and Catalan.

So we realize the best course of action, is to take them back where they are comfortable—home, where they are surrounded by their friends and family, until we are able to buy the boat outright.

That’s right—we’re going HOME!

Disappointing? Surprisingly no. It feels totally invigorating to give ourselves the freedom and space to make decisions based on how we want to feel.

And so that’s it!

We’re as excited to go back to California as we were to leave only a few months ago. And we’ve already got a new plan intention in place. We’ll stay stationary at home until we have built a steady income that will support us as we travel. We’ll focus on one thing at a time.

Then as we had previously decided against, we’ll drive to Mexico, buy that boat and sail away with no lines of credit holding us to the dock. We’ll be working out an achievable timeline over the the next month.

But in the meantime, it’s the hard to argue with the wisdom of the Dali Lama—the point really is to be happy. And happiness isn’t a place (or a thing!), it’s a mindset.

Happy New Year!

Tiffiney Lozano is the creator of the Mama Said Project and two crazy humans. She offers workshops for women craving connection with themselves and the world around them. After 18- months of continuous travel she and her family are finding adventure in the everyday from the comfort and beauty of their home in the Sierra Nevada mountains near Lake Tahoe.
30 Comments... add your own
  • January 18, 2015, 5:38

    Great post! I just wrote a blog post about this very thing. Sometimes progress means going backwards and redirecting! Bravo for recognizing this!

  • Yvonne Bonham
    January 5, 2015, 8:09

    Don’t beat yourself up to bad. I always felt that someone who never tries is a failure. Just think if man never tried we would not have some of the things we so depend on…Keep on trucking and see you on the other side. Your friends about you in California Yvonne Bonham 🙂

    • January 5, 2015, 8:16

      Agreed Yvonne.

      If there’s one thing I want to teach my kids, is that the important thing is to try and keep trying.

      And have some fun along the way!

  • January 5, 2015, 3:12

    Thanks for sharing this Tiffiney. Came across it via a FB share. Inspiring stuff & brave. Love your dream – something we thought, when my partner & I hooked up together on the RTW Clipper Yacht Race 14 years ago, that we would, without doubt, one day do – sail away with freedom, but life integrates your dreams – family, kids, money.. We have since moved to Mallorca, from the UK (3 years ago) with our now 10 year old daughter, & had similar language issues with her. However now she is fluent in Spanish & some Catalan. It was hard for her the first year but she loves the sun, sea & space.. I often wonder if we did the right thing coming here, but its better to look back & know you tried it, than to look back & wish you had.. Even though we have kids doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have our dreams to, as they will have theirs..
    t know for sure we will set sail again, older, wiser.. I dream constantly of a way out of this life that sucks you in.. so for you to go back to the start & re-evolve sounds the way to go.. Good luck with it all.. Su x

    • January 5, 2015, 3:30

      Su thank you so much for sharing!

      As parents I think we always wonder if we’re doing the right thing, even if we never take risks, right?!

      We have met so many lovely people in just this short span of time, it has expanded my sense of possibility and that in itself is priceless.

      Did you catch any of the Barcelona World Race??

      We’re so silly, we were right here and didn’t see the start! Oh well.

      Thanks so much for your kind words and story!

  • Chris Anderson
    January 4, 2015, 10:53

    Thank you for sharing. Your writing really allowed me to follow your mental journey through it all. That balance between planning and following a plan; tricky business. So great that you can see that it’s not a failure, it’s learning, it’s life! And in 5 years, you will all look back on Spain as a great adventure; one of many.
    Look forward to getting to know you guys better when you return. We have some things in common to share.

    • January 5, 2015, 3:36

      Thank you Chris–parenting is tricky business in any location I find!
      That’s what I love about community, and Plumas County in particular, all the support of other families.

      Looking forward to it!


  • sarah
    January 4, 2015, 9:37

    We started with a similar dream: to sell everything, buy a boat in Seattle, move aboard and eventually sail down the coast to Mexico and beyond. We then changed that ‘plan’ to one of driving down to La Paz and buying a boat there. After a short time in La Paz we had changed the ‘plan’ yet again deciding to put the whole boat dream on hold and become nomadic by land instead. We do still hope to become cruisers one day but we realized that even though we’d been planning it for 2 years there was still so much we needed to do first. Creating a location independent income being the first thing as owning a boat would eat through our savings very quickly. We know we made the right decision and like you we felt relieved and happy with it from the second we made it. I’m sorry we won’t get to meet in Barcelona in May but I do hope you keep blogging as you move forward with your revised ‘plan’!

    • January 4, 2015, 9:42

      That’s awesome Sarah.

      Thanks for sharing. So many people have been sharing their “failure” stories with us, and it’s so validating to hear of others that stayed true to their values and made decisions accordingly.

      I may still come for Christine’s workshop in May–who knows?! We’re crazy like that!

      We are looking at the St. John (have some friend there) and Mexico.

      We know we will make it happen, but we want to enjoy the journey along the way!

      So happy to connect with you here!


  • Amy
    January 3, 2015, 11:53

    Aw, sounds great, one of my favs is… YOU ARE WHERE YOU ARE MEANT TO BE. I like your energy, so I’m glad you are heading back this way and the schools need kids and the outdoors needs Diego and families need to be walking and running around the parks and the sidewalks AND, YEAH, IT’s all good.❤️

  • January 3, 2015, 2:19

    I love this Tiffiney, and yeah, life is a journey!! I so so so hope though that your journey will take you via Norway on your way home… 🙂

  • January 3, 2015, 11:06

    Tiffiney – I woke up thinking about you and wondering if we could hop on Skype so I could see your beautiful face! And here you are, soon to be home where I can hug you all in person! I’m so proud of you and inspired by your journey – every glorious human step of it. It is authentic. It is wild. It is close to the bone – always hugging close to what is true for you. In. Each. Moment.

    I love this about Freedom: “That feeling of total and utter liberation of being in sync with nature.” Hooray for living in sync with your own true nature – moment by moment.

    Thank you for sharing this wild journey. Here’s to more jumping on the trampoline of dreams!
    Love you all!

    • January 3, 2015, 12:16

      Love you Katie! I kind of knew when we left the timjng was off- it was too much of a PUSH. But i have so much goodnstuff that came from this time. Lots of beautiful bloggy friends and a crystal clear vision. I cant WAIT to jump on the trampiline some more! Weve got some playshops to plan!!

  • January 3, 2015, 10:54

    Haha! I love how you crossed out “plan” at the bottom there! Brian and I, in our farming pursuits did the same thing. We don’ t use the term anymore either. We have “goals”, which morph and change along with us. However, with that said, I often think of a qoute (yup, a fellow qoute junkie here) that was on the bathroom wall at Launch Your Life conference. “The plan is useless, but the planning, is essential. ” I interpret this as it gets us started, ya know, but I agree with you too, Tiff, that we are pursuing a feeling above all, and I love the way you describe finding the energizing feelings again! Keep it up, you are a warrior for those who do follow the good feelings yet struggle to find a way to explain themselves to the “rational” people! Good job guys, you may stumble but you and Diego have done an amazing job where a lot of folks actally would fail by turning on each other! Much love and smooth sailing bsck to California, for now!

    • January 3, 2015, 12:19

      Thanks Pres! You and brian are pretty darn inspiring yourselves!! Actually you gave me courage to even try!
      I love your story youre writing together- and i love you!!

  • karen
    January 3, 2015, 8:09

    You are correct: It is hard to argue with the widsom of the Dali Lama!!!! Welcome to another “baby” step in the many many steps that make our life. One of my favorite thoughts is: Life is birth and death, everything in between is just a journey. Soak up your next journey and welcome back.

    • January 3, 2015, 8:45

      Thank you Karen.
      I love that! It is just a journey, we can’t take it too seriously, or we forget to appreciate the gift of each new day.


  • Amy Schulz
    January 3, 2015, 7:17

    I applaud your courage to go for it and your courage to re-evaluate for this time. You know you are welcome with open arms–we missed you. No matter what your future holds–this experience has been an important chapter in your life. You probably won’t truly understand the meaning of it for years to come, but your time in Barcelona with wee ones and selling everything has shaped you in ways you can’t imagine. Can’t wait for the Welcome Back party!

    • January 3, 2015, 7:21

      Love you Amy!

      My time with world changers like you gave me the courage to try in the first place! You are absolutely right, it gave us perspectacles.

      You’ll be one of the first people we hug!


  • January 3, 2015, 7:03

    An amazing story still! Having freedom as you are pursuing is scary and I give you many props. Making a life to be happy with your family is what it’s about; and it may take you many directions, but it will always be the right one when doing so for yourselves and your kids. I’m excited to keep hearing the updates as your journey continues, no matter where it takes you. xo

    • January 3, 2015, 7:19

      Aw thanks Lea! Sometimes it’s braver to take a step back than keep forcing your way forward.

      Life always supports us, if we listen and pay attention, right?!

  • Martha Gonzi
    January 3, 2015, 6:57

    I toast to you all for at least trying and heading towards your dreams. I don’t consider this a failure I consider this a step in the right direction. Apparently it’s just not time but the time will come.
    It’s hard to uproot your children from their comfort zone especially when they have family and friends all around them. You have definitely made the right decision.
    Happy New Year to you all! Love and light around you as you return home, Martha

  • January 3, 2015, 6:49

    Tiffiney! Wow – I was so surprised to read your latest post. I think this is such a brave move – talk about living to your values and searching for freedom wherever it may be (even in California!). I can’t wait to see what comes next. A road trip to Mexico in your near future? that will be epic…

    • January 3, 2015, 7:07

      Aw thanks Julie!

      I’d rather admit I was wrong and get on with being happy, than be right and miserable : )

      SO nice to meet you! Stay in touch! And I’ll still come to London for a grown up night on the town someday soon!


  • January 3, 2015, 6:42

    Congratulations on moving forward! Feeling stuck is bad enough but when you realize that you are the one doing the sticking, it’s even worse.

    You never really go backwards because you have new perspectives to draw from and clarity that propels you forward to your real or different desires.

    We had the pleasure of meeting you in Barcelona….congratulations on continuing the journey.

    • January 3, 2015, 7:06

      Thank you Sabina! That means a lot. My only regret was that we didn’t get to spend more time while you were here, but alas, that’s right during the time we were getting hit the hardest and stubbornly clinging to our first decision!
      It was a pleasure to me you and your beautiful children. We’ll meet up again another time!

      All good things!

  • January 3, 2015, 6:14

    I absolutely think you are doing the best possible thing you could do right now. Before we set off we spent a couple of months ‘travelling’ (aka not working) in our own city and home area. I was as happy as I am when I’m in Mexico/Colombia/Spain (maybe a little more because there is no stress of bureaucracy) and I realised then that although I love to travel I also love being home. The true addiction is freedom. To be able to make the choice to be home or away is the end goal. Plus with all the lessons you guys have learned about life in small spaces and economising in Barcelona you’ll be able to create a powerful saving machine regardless of where you are. And when the kids are happy, everyone is happy.

    • January 3, 2015, 6:31

      A great way to put it Emma!
      “The true addiction is freedom.”

      It was SUCH a pleasure to meet you during our time in Barcelona and I can’t wait to meet the rest of your family on one side of the world or the other : – )


  • January 3, 2015, 5:33

    I love you guys! I am so proud of you for diving towards what you want, no matter what direction that takes you, even if it means going back home, regrouping and changing direction. It speaks so much to your personal convictions to not just go through the motions but to really honestly fight for what you want. I can’t wait to see you guys in a year, sailing around the world — or not — but no doubt somewhere fantastic and incredibly happy! Besitos!

    • January 3, 2015, 6:30

      Aw thank you Christine!

      It’s been a wild ride already. We are totally committed to the dream, but even more committed with being true to ourselves every step of the way. EVEN if it means a little egg on the face and the ability to laugh at ourselves!

      Life is about the journey right??

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