the tender age of 44 years old, Barbara Singer
decided to reinvent her life. In one tense and
anxiety filled year, her only child went off to
school, she got divorced, and then fell in love with
a new man, but then he suddenly died. She found
herself looking down the barrel of twenty years in a
corporate sweathouse until retirement, chasing money
and running on the 7 AM to 10 PM treadmill of the
American Dream. She knew she could not keep up this
crazy pace and remain sane and successful. She was
no longer interested building wealth. She wanted
freedom, adventure, travel and romance.
she jumped off the track. She gave up her career and
travelled across country in an RV from Pennsylvania
to Alaska and back. She lived on a sailboat in the
"$1000 a months doesn't mean slumming it!! I was
paid crew to live on this sailboat for3 months
island hopping in the Caribbean."
she went to Italy and spent four months living in
“I lived in the
heart of Florence Italy. Many people are happy to
have company and open their homes, especially to
foreigners. I stayed with a celebrity who appeared
to have it all and really just wanted someone to
hang out with.”
her new book Living Without Reservations
she shares how she did it and offers an arsenal of
ideas about how anyone can have an Eat, Pray, Love
experience themselves and reinvent and re-engineer
their own lives to truly build the life they dream
Barbara says that you don’t need to earn a lot of
money. Without the trappings of the American
lifestyle, it actually takes very little money to
live. The real goal in life is to collect
experiences and enjoy people, not just to go
shopping and buy and collect stuff. You can live and
travel when and where you choose without incurring
"A 6 week road trip to Alaska was
the dream of my Dad. We used his camper and shared
Living Without Reservations
chronicles her odyssey around the world and
describes the many challenges and decisions she made
along the way.
“Right now,” she says, “it is readily feasible to
live abroad and travel comfortably and safe, on less
than $1,000 a month. I even know people who have
brought their children and pets along with them on
you’ve got to confront yourself and make the choice
that is right for you:
Would you rather have a plane ticket or a mortgage?
Would you rather have freedom or a pay check?
Would you rather have a backpack or walk-in closet?
Would you rather have a passport filled with stamps
or a bank book filled with money?
Would you rather live your dream or watch it on
“Once you make the decision,” she says, “your view
of the world changes. From then on you think, ‘I am
moving. I am mobile and travel light. I need
nothing. Everything is negotiable. I choose to spend
my time differently. I choose to spend money
differently. I choose to live my life differently.’
You choose to decide what is best for you, not what
others think is best for you.”
Barbara offers up insights into what decisions need
to be specifically addressed as one works through
the adventure of personal discovery. Here is her
roadmap for making a personal transformation that
allows you to slowly and steadily develop, realize
and achieve one’s own personal vision:
Your attitude is far more important than the check
book balance. Focus 100% on creating the lifestyle
that you want. Be acutely aware of how you are
spending your time and money. If it is not bringing
you closer to your goal, it is taking you farther
away. There are NO neutral actions. You must
believe in why and what you doing with all your
heart. You are no longer marching in step with
everyone else. You are choosing a different path
and will be making daily decisions that others will
question. Don’t listen to anyone who is negative.
Stop doing anything that doesn’t bring you joy.
Quit all organizations, commitments. Create a
totally different home environment -turn off the TV,
turn on your favourite music, open the windows, eat
your meals outside and de-clutter. Change up your
daily routine and spend time walking or biking alone
in nature. Plan your strategy.
Liquidate your home.
Rent it to someone else or sell it. The goal is to
travel light. You will be renting a room from
someone else somewhere in the world (perhaps even
several times a year in different locations), so all
your possessions need to fit into a bedroom. Rent
or sell your home furnished if you can. It will
save you a lot of hassle of moving and selling
furniture and household goods which have very little
resale value. Sell antiques or valuables on Ebay.
Hold a garage sale. Consign designer clothing and
expensive jewelry. Avoid storing anything except
personal keepsakes. You will pay to keep stuff that
no one, including you, will want in 5 years from
now. If you have debt, rent your extra bedrooms,
attic, basement, garage to others who need it for
storage until your Jump Date arrives.
Rid of Your Car.
Stop your car lease or car payments sell it then buy
something under $5,000 and put the minimum insurance
required by your state. You will cut 2 bills with
this one move. Most of the time, your car will just
sit, unused while you are out of the country.
all re-occurring monthly charges.
If you don’t spend it, you won’t have to earn it.
Stop all services like cable TV, lawn care, pool
care, cleaning service, car detailing, beauty
treatments, all memberships, and classes. You will
have plenty of time to do these things yourself
because you are not doing any of the old time
wasters of the past. Eat all your meals from home.
Use up all household products in your pantry,
bathroom, wine cellar/bar and garage. BUY NOTHING!!
Forget about Security and Responsibilities.
Security doesn’t exist. It is a big lie. All kinds
of unexpected events can change our lives in second-
like a heart attack, car accident, getting fired, or
divorced. Live today joyfully rather than spending
time, energy and money on days that may never come.
You will handle what actually happens. You are only
responsible for yourself. You are not responsible
for another. Let each person stand on there own. By
providing for another, you are actually weakening
them by making them dependent. Let each person stand
on their own. Their life is a result of the choices
they made. If you just said, “I would love to do
that but…,” everything after the but is your ego
talking. I can assure you, that if you died
tomorrow, everything after the but…would some way or
some how be taken care of.
Since you will be living and travelling abroad, you
need to be in good shape. Get off all medications
and get in your correct weight category. Look toward
alternative medicine if need be. Buy catastrophic
health insurance with a big deductible and shop
around for the best price. The healthy you are, the
cheaper your monthly rate.
Get a laptop and learn to get all the information
about your finances and other important things on
line. Stop every piece of paper mail and learn how
to get what you need from anywhere in the world.
Get a Post Office box at Mailboxes Ect. And have
them forward you the mail every so often.
Living Without a 9-5 Job.
Focus on the gift of exchange.You may not have
money, but you have something much more valuable,
time and talent. Practice thinking of ways to
get what you need without using money. Always give
more than you receive in cash value. Do your best
and think win/win. I trade you this X and you give
my Y. Everytime you spend, think how you could get
this without paying with money. You can have
everything you need to live your dream life without
a huge pile of money. Start in small hops. Take a
leave of absence, unpaid for a month or two. You
will be surprised how many employers would love
that. You would take time off unpaid if you or your
loved one was sick, why not when you are well. There
are lots of ways to make money without a “real job”
and all the deduction from a normal paycheck. Trade
out for services you need. Clean for the dentist
or paint his fence. Let your natural talent shine
and the money will come. Offer something you enjoy
doing. Such as babysitting, tutoring, yard work,
painting, caring for elderly or sick, music lessons,
computers, fixing things, organizing closets,
helping make a garage sale or running errands. You
can even trade your room rent for these items.
on the Road.
Work when it’s right, then make it last as long as
you can. That’s my motto. You work in season in the
states and then travel wherever you want until it is
time to work again. If you have skills you can
freelance your self online anywhere. If you don’t,
you can still find good paying tipping jobs at
restaurants and resorts at during high season for a
few months in destination towns (e.g., Aspen or Key
West). Then you can fly to Italy or the Carribean,
rent a room for a month at a time, and go on from
there. When you head to the destination and high
caliber tourism locations during high season
everyone is hiring. The beauty of moving around is
you get choose a place where the weather,
temperature, and recreational opportunities meet you
Your Plans and Study Now.
You may simply want to move to someplace new and get
set up for the first time. You can do that. If you
have a particular country in mind, apply for a visa
before you quit your job and travel. Every country
is different so get online and do your homework.
Don’t be afraid! It is easier to find work
once you are already there. Not the other way
around. You can’t even imagine the
opportunities until you are there to see what is
happening. Find work with housing included: working
on a cruise ship, for Club Med type resorts,
caretaker. Work for an American company abroad.Use
the internet! Tons of resources at your fingertips.
Work for a resort company. Work for the National
Park system (Campworkers.com), find unique
opportunities at Caretakergazette.com or work on
boat and be paid crew (Crewfinder.com or
7knots.com), or be a live in nanny or teacher and
travel with an International family (nanny
Making a Living on the Road.
don’t have to plan out the rest of your life. Break
it down into little chunks. Rent a room for a month
at time or plan to stay in an area for a season. If
you decide to go touring you can keep costs low by
staying in hostels (no longer just for youths!).
There are also organizations that offer assistance
to travelers, pensiones, and home stays like
serva.org. Americans can even travel and work in
places like American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the
US Virgin Islands, and other places without any
additional papers. Once you are on the road, fellow
travelers are an excellent source of information.
You do not need to have an agenda or great
light and be flexible.
Helpful And Be Useful.
- Visit without mooching - If you are lucky and have
friends and family in places you want to visit, go
see them, and be useful. Offer you talents. Offer
your time. Work freely and wholeheartedly. While you
are there, you can wait for the roofer or the air
condition inspector to arrive, take the dog to the
vet, clean the pool, mow the grass or take their car
in for repairs, hang drapes, paint, do yard work –
whatever you do to be helpful and appreciated. Make
people happy you are there and make sure you leave a
the road. Go ahead. Decide to meet new people
living incredible lifestyles. You will blow your
mind and eyes wide open.
will learn to trust the laws of the universe. You
will find courage that you never knew you had. You
will watch in sheer amazements as life and all its
miracles, unfold right before your eyes.
Living Without Reservations
is for all those who say “some day.” This book will
inspire you to take that leap of faith and starting
living your dreams.
A Journey By
Land and Sea in Search of Happiness
Trade soft cover 436 pages
Me Roar Press
Available in bookstores nationwide and online.
more information visit
Barbara grew up in rural Lancaster County
Pennsylvania. After graduating from Penn State
University, she moved to Orlando, Florida. She has
one daughter. Being a lifelong student of self help
and motivation, she has walked on fire with Tony
Robbins. She finds great joy in traveling, meeting
people from around the world, reading and listening
to eclectic music. She is a three time marathon
finisher and two time Ironman tri-athlete. As a
dynamic speaker, her greatest passion is inspiring
others to wake up and start living.