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This Couple Sold Everything They Own To Travel The World On An Endless Honeymoon

"The world is too big to stay in one place."

Life & Travel

Waking up on Monday mornings isn't something that Jacques and Dahcia Bastien dread, nor are they counting down the hours until their weekend escape. For these two entrepreneurs, everyday feels like a vacation, complete with lunch breaks at local restaurants in Bangkok, and weekend jaunts to Khai Nai Island in Phuket.

"The world is too big to stay in one place," reads the caption on their Instagram page, One Way For Two.

The couple took up residence in Jakarta, Indonesia when they made the decision to ditch their former way of living just days shy of their four-year anniversary. They sold all of their material things before leaving the U.S. to travel around the world, meanwhile continuing to run their portfolio of digital marketing companies and building remote teams worldwide.

The self-identified "entrepreneurs in love" are no strangers to making the most out out of life. In March 2014, their wedding proposal video went viral, which led to their special day being sponsored by Fox News NY, Galia Lahav, and more. Two months later, they were gifted with the wedding of their dreams and said "I do" at the Central Park Boathouse. The couple's $25,000 wedding gown, wedding bands, and a multitude of other decorative arrangements were all free.

"But our wedding day was also a humbling one," the couple writes on their blog.

Their wedding day bliss was cut short following the departure of their guests. Soon after the ceremony, they headed back to their hotel to do what they knew how to do best: work.

At the time, despite running their own marketing company that they started together in college, they were barely able to afford a cab ride. A honeymoon was definitely out of the question. That night, they promised one another that within 365 days, when they were in a better financial position, they would incorporate monthly honeymoons into their marriage.

The following year, they took their first weeklong trip to South Florida. It was just the experience that they needed to prove that they could marry their love for one another and travel, with their love for building brands.

Honeymooning as a lifestyle didn't come easy.

Like many entrepreneurs, it was difficult to step away for hours without having to put out fires upon return. Determined to make their new lifestyle work, they adapted their schedules. Their mornings were dedicated to growing and maintaining their businesses, and in the evening and on weekends, they would hit Venice Beach in Los Angeles, walk the strip in Las Vegas, or dig their toes into the warm Florida sands. Soon their trips carried them internationally as well to places like Canada, Costa Rica, and Indonesia, and for the next two years, they traveled the globe—finding places they'd never been before as they worked through the day and relaxed once the sun set.

In April 2017, their endless honeymoon came to a halt.

While on a two-week trip with family across the globe, the couple found themselves entrenched in the heavy demands of running a business. Their time was spent working, as opposed to enjoying the temples, forests, and waterfalls that the country had to offer.

Up until then, most of their travels kept them in a similar timezone, making it easier to coordinate schedules with their growing team. But this time, a 12-hour time difference meant that instead of seeing the beautiful country that they had traveled nearly 30 hours to see, the couple would spend the majority of the trip in meetings, or dealing with time-sensitive business demands.

"The trip showed us a lot of weaknesses in our companies and in our lives. For starters, all of our companies depended entirely too much on us. It was difficult for us to be off the grid for more than 10 hours without something going wrong. It also showed us that although the monthly-retainer business where clients pay us one monthly price to manage their marketing initiatives was a great way to know exactly how much money you're going to make each month, it also meant that we worked 24/7 for our clients and had to be available to react when anything went wrong (no matter the time of day... or night)."

The final wakeup call was realizing that they had spent a lot of money for a trip that they didn't even get to enjoy. Similar to their wedding night, they promised each that by the following year, they would change their circumstances, which would require a complete overhaul of their businesses.

But first, they had to answer one question: Was their team more productive at home or in the office? Afterall, their companies would only remain as strong as their teams were effective, and they couldn't just assume that the remote lifestyle was a good fit for the many personalities that they managed on a daily basis.

Shifting to a 100% remote workplace experiment proved to be a success, and after only six weeks, they closed their three offices and allowed employees to work completely from home. Their full-service marketing agency turned into a firm that focused on short-term consulting and team training projects, and they launched a photo booth company that would serve as to be a low maintenance and high-profit business. These changes allowed their core team to focus more of their time on growing their influencer talent management agency.

Since then, they've snagged work with companies such as McDonald's, Marriott, Square Inc., and CVS Pharmacy, and launched Nappy and CreatorBio.co— all while working in our pajamas from their living room. Today, they have team members working around the world, from New York to the Philippines.

"2017 was a transformative year for us that led to a lot of changes, both personally and professionally. It wasn't an easy year, but it was one where we learned from our past mistakes and started planting new seeds. By the end of the year, we had a lot more 'free' time to live our lives and do the things that we've always wanted to do...best of all, we could do all of these from practically anywhere in the world."

Today, the couple has turned their love for traveling as entrepreneurs into a permanent lifestyle. For two weeks to three months at a time, they travel the world, all while working on growing their businesses. Without hesitation, they broke their lease, sold their car and furniture, and donated 85% of their clothes to charity, fitting their entire lives into two suitcases and two carry-ons.

"We both love learning about different cultures, but after spending one month in a place so different than the places you're used to, it really makes reorganize your priorities, consider your privileges, and how minuscule our 'problems' really are in the grand scheme of things."

This past April, the couple caught a one-way flight to Jakarta, Indonesia to kick off their world tour and redo the 2017 trip. The couple spent the last three months traveling to Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand (Phuket, Bangkok, and Chiang Mai). They also have plans to travel to Haiti and other destinations abroad throughout the next couple of years, only returning to the States for work, speaking engagements, and to spend time with family.

"We both feel very privileged and fortunate to have been able to experience the world together. One of the most important things we've taken away from this first leg of our world tour is that we are each other's center, no matter where we are, the feeling of being 'home' is the feeling we get whenever we're together."

Their story is proof that we are the masters of our own lives.

Though it was undoubtedly challenging to transition multiple companies with full-time employees to a 100 percent brick and mortar-free lifestyle, it was more than worth it. Everyday, they're waking up and exploring new parts of the city together and doing what brings them joy. That alone is priceless.

Follow Jacques and Dahcia on their channel @onewayfortwo. And follow them individually at @JacquesHBastien and @__dahc.

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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Featured image by Shutterstock

This article is in partnership with Staples.

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