From Being In Debt To Living Abroad Debt Free With Their Young Daughter In Tow
By DeAnna Taylor
AJ and Chinique Gordon of frofamilytravels realized early in their relationship that settling for life in the United Kingdom wasn’t in their plan. Traveling was big for them and every time they returned from a trip, they were left with a void.
After years of talking about escaping the traditional 9-5 lifestyle, the couple set out to start their own businesses. AJ started a juice business while Chinique created an Afrocentric jewelry and hair accessories venture. Unfortunately, AJ’s business failed right as the couple was set to be married. This sent him into a deep depression and it meant that they needed to rely on Chinique’s income in the meantime. The couple also began to go into debt.
“After reading Rich Dad Poor Dad, we knew that we couldn’t continue as we were so we decided to face our debts head on and take control,” Chinique told Travel Noire. “We were over £18,000 in debt, we were shocked when we actually saw the final figure and would spend the next 2 years being extremely frugal to clear every penny.”
By 2015, things started to look up for the Gordons, they were debt free and managed to save over £15,000 by continuing their frugal lifestyle just a little longer. However, the dream of traveling the world full-time and also starting a family began to weigh heavily on them.
“It didn’t seem possible to combine the two. In my head, babies needed a home and structure, we couldn’t possibly do both. I also felt strongly that I didn’t want to put off having children.”
Aj was all for just going with the flow, baby or not, and making things work as they went.
“I became pregnant and it coincidently worked out that the lease on our flat would end around the same time I would finish my maternity leave and have to go back to work. We gave ourselves one year to make it all happen, when our lease ended in March 2018 that would be when we would leave the UK. I wouldn’t go back to work and AJ would quit his job too. “
Now, 7 countries later and almost a year and a half later, this little family has learned how to truly make it work as they go. Their daughter Taji is almost two and was made for the travel life.
They are currently based in Bali with plans to move to Penang, Malaysia next. The family spends around one month in each country, although they will spend about 3 months in Malaysia just to slow down a little.
“When we first left the UK we didn’t really have a solid plan to bring in an income so I did lots of research into making money online. Turns out you can literally monetize anything. When I find an opportunity that works for us, I share it with our followers because I want us all to win.”
AJ has launched a web development company which caters to individuals and small business owners looking to build an online presence. Chinique works as a freelancer via various platforms like Upwork and Etsy, creating and selling digital products.
“We work online for a few hours and then spend the rest of our day exploring and just hanging out as a family. Taji was 9 months old when we left and now she’s almost 2 years old,” Chinique said.
“She’s made for this life, she’s very outdoorsy. As soon as she wakes up she wants to put her shoes on and go outside. We have proven that having children doesn’t restrict you from exploring the world and living the life you desire. Societal pressure and fear almost held us back, now we just want to show others that anything is possible. We only have one life to live so decide what you want, plan well, feel the fear and do it anyway!”
You can check out more from the Gordons on Instagram at @frofamilytravels.
DeAnna Taylor is a criminal defense Attorney turned travel writer. The Charlotte native recently completed one year abroad working as an English teacher in South Korea. Her hobbies include fitness, traveling to new countries, and trying new foods.