We are Dennis and Kimberly Goza. We met at an audition for a theatrical production in San Francisco in 1988. We both were cast, and the rest is hysterical. Later that year, we formed our own theatrical troupe Act!vated Story Theatre, a non-profit 501(c)3, and in 1992 we got a call that set the wheels in motion. “Would we be interested in working fulltime as professional actors?” The answer was an emphatic yes! Five months later we put a show together, sold our possessions, bought a clunker of an RV, buckled in our 18 month old toddler and hit the road for uncharted territory. At the time we didn’t realize this would become our lifestyle. We thought we’d do it for a year or maybe two and then settle down and do something more “normal”.
Back then there were no cell phones, no GPS, and the Internet was in its infancy. If you wanted to get somewhere you pulled out a paper map and asked for directions from at least three people, then crossed your fingers and hoped you got there.
Our son, Zephyr, grew up on wheels, and maybe someday we will too. But for now we’re having too much fun. Having toured all over the U.S. many times over, we’re always on the lookout for new discoveries, new challenges, new adventures. And new ways to inspire others to put more oomph into life.
- plays a mean baritone ukulele
- writer, poet, playwright, composer
- loves to cook, never uses a recipe
- practices tai chi and shaolin
- loves history, linguistics and philosophy
- always notices other people who are southpaws too
- her secret super power is being a great navigator
- practices Ashtanga yoga
- always eager to jump out of an airplane
- passionate photographer
- Pokémon Go player
Currently: Volunteering Around the World
The world changed in 2020 and so did we. As performing on stage for kids in intimate settings came to an abrupt end due to the COVID-19 pandemic we were forced to switch gears and lay low, curtailing our travels to extended stays and volunteering in exchange for a place to park our RV. Once a vaccine was developed and administered we decided to set out and do what we could with our theatrical background to spread joy around the world. In June of 2021, we began the process of downsizing even more, clearing all of our sets, props, costumes and belongings out of our storage unit and trimming down all of our overhead expenses, while awaiting a vaccine. Then in November of 2021 after getting our booster shots, we parked our RV and set off to teach our craft, while expanding our horizons. We created a profile on WorkAway.info and are connecting with organizations all over the world who are in need of volunteers. We are thankful for programs like WorkAway as otherwise we wouldn’t have the means to explore the world and immerse ourselves in other cultures. We are also grateful to our patrons and supporters who are helping us realize this vision.
The original plan was to circumnavigate the world in nine or ten months. However, after three months we both looked at each other and decided we had found our bliss and didn’t want to stop anytime soon. In November of 2022, we celebrated one year of traveling with a theatrical flair and have collected passport stamps from twelve countries and volunteered for a dozen different communities.
Our favorite go-to volunteer job is teaching children English and Theatre Art skills. Making connections with young learners is a rewarding experience that fills us with joy.
Are we Rich?
Not by a long shot. In fact, for the past 12 months we have not had any income. Zero. Zilch. Dennis won’t begin collecting Social Security until next year, and that won’t be any astronomical sum by any stretch of the imagination. So we aren’t even retired. And we have not received any inheritance. Nor are there any investments, 401Ks or money hidden away in real estate. We don’t even have a credit card. So how do we do it?
We have always lived simply and have never put stock in owning a lot of things. We have never owned or rented a house. Just a motorhome that we used to tour the United States in for our children’s theatre business. No cars, no furniture, no fancy TV, just the bare necessities. There is not much money to be made in children’s theatre so most years we just barely made ends meet by never living beyond our means and saving what we could.
As we have been traveling around the world we have been keeping record of all of our expenses. Our average daily expenses for one year amount to about $43 USD (or $21.50 each). That includes air travel, food, lodging, health care expenses, attractions, a new cell phone (to replace the one that mysteriously died) and everything else for two people– even routine expenses not related to travel.
We feel we can reduce that amount down even more. We made mistakes this past year and are still learning. In the future we plan on staying in one location a bit longer. We aren’t looking to settle down anywhere but perhaps volunteering for a month or two in each.
Frugal Travel Tips
- We do choose to explore countries where we can live more economically.
- We don’t make seeing tourist attractions a high priority.
- We rarely eat out. We choose accommodations with kitchens or kitchen-like facilities so we can prepare our own meals. This is for our health as well as our wallet.
- Most of our food is purchased from local produce markets. When we need a supermarket, we thoroughly comparison shop to get the best deals.
- We volunteer for several weeks to months at a time in exchange for a roof over our heads and some meals.
- We stay at hostels and AirBnBs that are easy on the budget when we are not volunteering.
- If we can, we travel by land.
- We walk whenever possible.
- Everything we own fits into our backpacks.
- Since we weren’t ready to part with it quite yet, we left our RV in the care of friends. They get to use it, we don’t have to pay to store it.
- We cut out all unnecessary expenses.
- We shop around for the lowest ATM fees when we need to withdraw cash — and we avoid further fees by declining to have the ATM do a currency conversion for us.
- We have no data plan on our phone and don’t use SIM cards. Getting by just fine with WiFi. When we are in transit and need to get from point A to point B we use SkyRoam to connect, or as we like to call it the orange WiFi hockey puck.
After traveling, performing and living through his entire childhood and teenage years on wheels with mom and dad, Zephyr settled down in Rhode Island where he is surrounded by a lovely community of friends. He works as the Director of Guest Experience for 5-Wits, an entertainment company, bought a house and still enjoys traveling and performing on occasion. All in all he turned out more than all right; and his parents couldn’t be prouder.