We sat down with Pat Schulte, of Bumfuzzle fame. Pat and his wife, Ali, left their traditional life behind a number of years ago to sail around the world in a catamaran. They had no sailing experience at the time, mind you. Despite the lack of experience, they did it. And in the years that followed they went on to drive from Alaska to Argentina to Europe in a ’58 VW bus, and then raced across the United States in a ’65 Porsche 356C. After having two kids they went back to boating for a while, and now they are spending a couple years in a ’66 22-foot Airstream towed with a ’68 International Travelall. Yes, Pat and Ali may be the king and queen of adventure.
Pat now offers securities trading advice, through his website (wandererfinancial.com) to those who are interested in learning how he makes a living on the road. In preparing for a full-length feature article about the couple and their travels, we had an opportunity to ask them a few questions about their life, and how they have earned a living whiling living their adventurous lifestyle. Here are some of their comments. Stay tuned for the full-length feature about the Schultes. In the meantime, here is our conversation with Pat.
Q. Over the years your family has been on some amazing adventures. What is the best part of your adventurous life? What is the worst part?
A. The best part: Avoiding a hum-drum life—instead living one where each day is a question mark—where will we go, who will we meet, where will we eat. All of the questions that are answered before most people roll out of bed in the morning are left unanswered until we go out and answer them ourselves. The worst part: I don’t really have anything for this. I guess I could say weather. Not because the weather is bad, but because our life is so dependent on it. We spend all day every day outdoors, and if the weather is bad that throws a huge cramp in things. So we find ourselves constantly chasing perfect weather—whether we are on a sailboat or in an RV.
Q. I know you have spent considerable time adventuring at sea, as well as on land. Which do you enjoy most, and why?
A. That’s like apples to oranges in my mind. Boat life is fantastic, but at the same time that you are free, you are also confined. RV life opens up the populated world to you more, you’re no longer bound by the sea to exploring only coastal areas, but at the same time you give up that feeling of freedom that you get anchored alone in a bay.
Q. It seems that you have been able to continue to make a living while traveling. Would you like to provide any advice for others wanting to earn money while traveling?
A. Find a way to turn what you are already an expert in, into a way to make money. Trying to go out and reinvent the wheel is going to be extremely difficult. I am an expert in finance, so I’ve found a way to use that while I travel. I could have tried to completely reinvent myself with an entirely new occupation and expertise, but chances of success with that approach are low—not impossible, but low.
Q. Can you tell us a little about Wanderer Financial, and how it can help others achieve their goals?
A. I’ve been a trader my entire adult life. First in the trading pits of Chicago, and then from the computer screen of wherever I happen to be. Wanderer Financial is a newsletter service that I’ve put together with my partner, and it is aimed at teaching my subscribers what it is that I’m looking at as I trade, then giving them trade alerts as they happen so they can decide whether to join the trade. The beauty of the approach is that it isn’t a huge time suck. It leaves my subscribers with knowledge, without them needing to hover over a trading screen all day. Our trades come with an entry price, a target price, and a stop price. If they want to enter a trade, then place their sell orders and not think about it again, they can choose to do that. It’s an ideal way for wanderers to trade.
Q. What’s the next big adventure?
A. We never talk publicly about our next trip. It’s more fun for everyone when one day we are simply doing something new. Suffice to say that we’ve got “plans” enough to keep us busy and exploring for the rest of our lives. The other day my kids listed all the trips they’d like to make in their lives and the list filled a page—everything from hot air balloons, to motorcycles, to spaceships. Hopefully my wife and I can help them knock a few off of that list together.