At the beginning of May, after a short time at home upon our return from Latin America, we headed out on our road trip from Virginia to Alaska for our travel PT contracts starting in the middle of the month. I’d been looking forward to driving the ALCAN for many years, so I was pretty excited to get back on the road. There were some sketchy parts of the drive (mostly when driving through heavy snow for a couple of days), but overall it lived up to the hype! We saw some of the most amazing views of our lives along with lots of wildlife. I picked one particularly beautiful secluded spot at Kluane National Park in Canada to propose to Whitney! It caught her completely off-guard and was a beautiful moment. We are now officially ENGAGED (but don’t ask when the wedding is, because we have no idea or plans yet, ha!)
Once we arrived in Anchorage and got settled in, we started our new contracts. These jobs are absolutely perfect for us like we hoped they would be. We’re working at 1:1 outpatient clinics with great patients and coworkers and, the best part, only working two days per week each. The two day per week schedule gives us time to keep up with our work on the websites, while also having time each week to explore Alaska. The state is massive with endless adventures which we’ve been taking full advantage of so far.
Throughout the rest of May, we spent most of our time working, hiking, going on weekend adventures, and meeting up with other therapists in the area. To our surprise there are over a dozen therapists, mostly travelers, in Anchorage that reached out to us wanting to meet up while we’re in the area. It’s awesome to have other travelers to plan hikes and other adventures with, and this is the first time we’ve been in an area with so many other travel therapists.
Income from our websites (FifthWheelPT and Travel Therapy Mentor) for May was around 70% of what it was in April, but considering April was an all time high, it was still a very good month. We’re starting to earn more from ads, sponsored posts, course sales, and affiliates now, which is helping to diversify our income sources. We’re also having to constantly bring on more travel companies and recruiters to send travelers to as our business grows each month. Adding companies, managing recruiters, keeping them accountable, as well as following up with payments, and managing our hot jobs list is now taking about as much or more time than writing articles, making videos and social media content, and answering emails/questions. Between Whitney, our assistant, and I, we are now spending about 60-70 hours per week on the business, which is way more than I would have ever thought would be needed or possible with this business. The time requirement grows by the month, but we are being compensated well for it and enjoy it right now, so it’s time well spent.
May expenses were very high. Gas prices on the road trip were really expensive (well over the equivalent of $6/gallon in many places throughout Canada) and our rent in Anchorage is much higher than anywhere we’ve lived in the past. We’ve also discovered that everything in Alaska is expensive, which we expected to some extent, but some of the tours and getting to/from National Parks here can be completely insane, like over a thousand dollars for a day trip due to having to take small chartered float planes. We’re planning to visit all 8 of the Alaska National Parks while we are here, so we have been gradually booking those despite the astronomical prices compared to what we’re used to. Luckily the business is doing very well, and despite the high costs, I was still able to manage a savings rate of around 70% for the month.
The S&P 500 was basically flat in May with a tiny gain of .01%. Bitcoin was down about 15.6% on the month with most of the alt coins down much more than that. Inflation continues to rage, and now a recession is becoming much more likely as economic activity is slowing significantly. I’m still holding a pretty heavy cash position which has helped to blunt some of the market drop, but it has still been decently painful and probably not over yet. Just about every asset class outside of commodities is down significantly in the first half of 2022, but crypto is leading the way down. I took profits on my crypto holdings in February and October of last year near the highs and have now been gradually putting that money back in at much lower prices. I certainly regret not selling more back then, but hindsight is always 20/20.
Financial Independence Progress
My net assets decreased by 3.5% in May. My high monthly income and big cash position cushioned the drop in my investments again this month. Any drop in assets hurts a little, but it could certainly be a lot worse if I hadn’t been limiting my risk throughout 2020 and 2021 as asset prices were exploding. With this drop, I’m now sitting at assets equal to 51.0 times my yearly expenses.
In June we’ll spend the whole month working, planning weekend trips, and adventuring around the Anchorage and Kenai Peninsula areas. Business income should continue to be very good for the foreseeable future based on our traffic and metrics. I continue to expect investing conditions to be tough for the rest of 2022 but plan to gradually buy more Bitcoin and equities throughout any drops.
How was May for you financially? Let me know in the comments!