090 | The Power of Slowing Down with Jess of the Fioneers

Slower Adventurous Lifestyle
Adventure and Travel lifestyles often catch us in the "once in a lifetime" experiences suggesting we need to do all.the.things. Jess walks us through her journey which demonstrates the power of slowing down on her ideal journey to an adventurous lifestyle.

As we head into fall and many kids head back to school I am reminded about the structure that I look forward to with this time of year.  It’s a bit of a settling in period, with some rebellious moments when we strive to cling onto any strand of summer. One of the fun changes I witnessed this summer was the transformation of a caterpillar to a monarch butterfly.  That actually reminded me about the theme of this episode, the power of slowing down and allowing things to emerge.  I chuckled as I created a reel on Instagram about the transition.  In the beginning all the caterpillar does is eat.  Thankfully we have an abundant supply of milkweed at our house and were able to keep that little fella plump.  The Chrysalis phase is so fascinating to me, because often in life we don’t see or hear about the messy middle – when nothing is happening or things aren’t quite ready.  As we observed  this with the caterpillar and while we were excited about the Chrysalis forming the kids quickly grew bored of it and were just ready to release the butterfly already.  

I thought about this in relation to where we are in life – with our lifestyle choices, our kids’ interests or skill development, the ability for society to be bored, the glorification of accomplishing goals…we often just want to get to the good part. There aren’t a lot of resources to support that in-between stage, beyond beginning but not expert.  I would often describe myself as an Intermediate in many aspects of adventure.  I’m beyond the get started guide, but not interested in the hard-core type.  Maybe that is the place for Ordinary Sherpa – a community of in-betweeners that supports growth and discovery of adventure. Maybe we are a community that can help with the messy middle.  

Jessica is a full-time human being and a part-time lifestyle design coach and writer at the award-winning blog, The Fioneers. Jessica’s goal is to build a life she doesn’t want to retire from and help others do the same through her writing, courses, and group coaching programs. Jessica has been featured in MarketWatch, Business Insider, The Motley Fool, and Forbes. When not writing and coaching, you can find her perfecting her sourdough pizza recipe, road-tripping in her campervan with her husband and dog, and playing complex, cooperative board games. 


  1. Financial Independence or the idea of increasing income, decreasing spending and accelerating your savings can sometimes feel like deprivation.  Jess saw FI as a tool to inspire her to consider “What would I really want out of life?” Developing that vision helped her establish how to get from here to there.
  2. Following some challenges with her mental health she needed to make immediate changes and it was the first time she was able to look at her money and ask “What can my money do for me today?”  Recognizing she had a 9m savings runway she could take a career break.  This gave her the freedom to focus on her health and once that was in a good place she could begin to add in the passion work from her life vision.  
  3. Coast FI (Coast FI Calculator) is the point at which you no longer need to save and still be on track for traditional retirement.  Semi-Retirement (sometimes known as Barista FI) is a higher amount overall and through the combination of drawing down + a smaller amount of active income are able to potentially step back from traditional employment.
  4. Two of the empowering beliefs that helped guide her vision were:
    I deserve to be pain free
    I deserve to live a thriving and joyful life
  5. Part of living into the vision is paying attention on a daily basis.  Not only from a to-do list perspective, but being intentional about having fun and spacious time.
  6. I learned that doing travel and adventure didn’t have to be only on big trips, she began asking How can I do this everyday? What does adventure mean today?  
  7. Recognizing that travel doesn’t have to be a hurry.  She stopped viewing travel as a “Once in a lifetime experience.” She referenced a two-week vacation to Europe that led to her feeling like she had to do all the things which led to other problems.  
  8. Slowing Down came as a necessity for her to remove everything and asking herself What do I want to add back in?  She also recognizes that you don’t need an external crisis to go through this process.  The power is in realizing you have options and having the courage to take action. 
  9. Being intentional allowed her to reduce what she didn’t want to do which then gave space for her to test what she did want to do.  It can be a virtuous cycle to build upon.  
  10. Jess speaks highly of the importance of building a community of like-minded people.  “It’s life changing when you find the people who do understand and seeing different examples of what is possible”  

To stay connected and learn about the upcoming LIVE event and Community subscribe to Ordinarysherpa.com/subscribe 

To follow or Connect with Jessica (aka Mrs. Fioneers)

Website: https://thefioneers.com

Email: thefioneers@gmail.com

Facebook: Slow FI Enthusiasts Facebook group – https://thefioneers.com/fb

Instagram: @thefioneers

Twitter: @thefioneers

Resources from this episode:

Coast FI Calculator: https://thefioneers.com/coast-financial-independence-calculator/ 

Supportive Friends will Change your Life: https://thefioneers.com/supportive-friends/ 

Where to Listen

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