We had the good fortune of connecting with Erin Lockwood and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Erin, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
As a married couple, we used to spend hours everyday working in our real life and planning for the life of our dreams only through fantasy. We were part of the “work now, play later” mentality, which holds a certain level of validity but also ignores the reality that age affects our ability to enjoy a truly active life. We’re only young for the first part of our lives (that’s true for us and our time with our 3 children), so why spend our best years together preparing and only our later years truly living? We certainly didn’t want to look back and feel like we worked through our kids’ childhoods. At some point (about 2 years ago), we decided to stop waiting. We bought our dream beach home on Coronado Island, enrolled our kids in online school, and started splitting our time between Coronado and Denver. A year after that, we started traveling almost constantly, with about 10 international trips booked in the following 6 months. On every trip, the entire family learns the history of the destination, explores its natural wonders, volunteers within the community, and spends a ton of quality time together. We’re now working toward the purchase of a solar powered yacht that will allow our family to travel the world in comfort full-time and immersing ourselves in new cultures until each of our kids heads off to college (or wherever they decide to take their lives). We no longer trodge through days feeling an overwhelming sense of longing. Instead, we feel like we’re living each day to its fullest, giving our kids a superior world education and bonding more than we ever thought possible just 2 years ago.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
As with many people, we’ve jumped from one job to another as we chased a true calling or passion. I have a degree in journalism from the University of Oregon but I ended up working random jobs in restaurants, finance, websites, and real estate throughout my 20s and early 30s. When we started traveling constantly a few months back, we decided to start documenting those experiences and created a YouTube channel for our family. That little channel has already become a time-consuming but fulfilling professional hobby. We have a comprehensive website, a branded merchandise store, sponsored content deals, and the endless hours of video content that have to be edited into cohesive episodes every few days. It’s an absolute passion already and we try to improve the quality of our footage, our stories, and our editing about 10% on each episode. As travel journalists, my career has come full-circle. Even though it’s a lot of work, it’s amazing to know that we’re creating a highly-produced video diary of our lives where we used to only have random photos and social media posts. At the rate we’re going, our kids’ kids (and friends) will one day have the ability to binge watch a library of episodes that documents a huge chunk of their childhoods. Imagine if you could watch 1000 hours of video from your own parents’ lives instead of just having that stack of black and white photos!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Denver has changed so much over the past 20 years that we sometimes feel like we can’t keep up with the latest and greatest. The best places for exciting nightlife used to be so focused on downtown and Cherry Creek, but those are the 2 areas that we visit the least now. That said, we don’t really try to ride the wave of trendy bar openings anymore either. When we host out-of-town guests, we stick to the basics: 1. Great Fare: We often cook/grill this at home now, but when we go out, we love a good steak (Urban Farmer), good sushi (Misaki at Stanley), good drinks (Lady Jane), and/or good views (El Five) 2. Mountain Visits: Especially outside of ski season, we love getting friends and family into the more cosmopolitan experiences in the high country, like a day trip to Aspen or Vail or a weekend trip to Telluride. To keep things closer and on more of a foothills level, a quick lunch drive to Boulder (Pasta Jay’s, where my husband used to wait tables), Golden (Woody’s), or Fort Collins (The Rio for margs 🙂 3. Local Culture: A tour of the Leopold Bros distillery is a favorite, as would be Stranahan’s and Breckenridge Brewery’s Farmhouse. Or we’ll catch a Rockies or Broncos game (sorry, outdoor sports only). We also love the laid back and kid-friendly time spent at concerts in the park (City Park or the greens of Central Park).
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There’s no way I’d be where I am today without the support, love, and collaboration that I enjoy with my husband. Many couples struggle to work together, but we’ve been doing it for more than a decade and it’s the only way we can enjoy living. He also owns and runs a marketing agency, which happens to be completely remote now, but still wouldn’t continue thriving without the incredible directors he has to help run things. They really help provide us with the freedom and flexibility to travel and prioritize parenting. As a writer, I count an incredible number of friends and family as huge supporters who have contributed reviews, feedback, purchases, and referrals that have kept me motivated and productive. Even our 3 children have helped me evolve into a parent who knows the value of loving something much, much more than yourself and I’m in awe of their little spirits and huge hearts as they navigate their childhoods with so much energy and passion.
Credit for the “family walking down the street” photo: Pilar Romo